Archive:Install a Debian box

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So, you've got a computer and you'd like to run Debian GNU/Linux on it...

Firstly, this brief(!) tutorial assumes you're installing onto a fairly modern (Pentium II and greater) Intel/AMD PC. Basically, not a Mac. It also assumes you don't want to keep anything else on the computer.. It also assumes you know all your networking settings, or are on a network with DHCP.

Did you read that?

It also assumes you don't want to keep anything else on the computer.

If you have Microsoft Windows on your PC currently, and wish to dual boot, please see HOWTO Install Linux after Windows. There are also links to other dual-boot methods on that page.

Why Debian?

Debian is a good choice for end-users because of the commercial support which is readily available for consumers - such as NetZero, Nero, and a widening range of other commercial products (of course, with the variety of OpenSource software I can't say that you're very likely to need such software - but just in case, y'know?).


However, Debian itself is not as user-friendly as Ubuntu Linux, which is a derivative of Debian which also has a great user support base. Commercial debian-based distros include XandrOS and Linspire (I wouldn't recommend the latter, though you can pick it up at Wal-Mart and CompUSA).

Getting started

You will need:-

  • A broadband/cable internet connection. Faster the better.
  • Stick the CD into your computer and reboot. It should load the CD. If it doesn't, you'll need to set the boot order of your computers drives to look at CDROM first. This is outside the scope of this tutorial.
  • If you got this far, it's fair to assume you've got the Debian logo on the screen. If you hit Enter/Return now, you'll begin the installation routine.
  • The installation routine is fairly simple, taking you through each process, step by step. At some point, it'll ask you which software you want to install.
    • Desktop environment is a really good choice if you intend to use the machine as a desktop. You'll get all sorts of cool stuff, like Firefox and Evolution.
    • Otherwise, skip anything at that step.
  • Because we're downloading everything over the net, your machine will be up to date with all the latest packages.