Installing Debian GNU/Linux 5.0


Bill Giannikos


In this guide we will be providing a easy set of instructions for installing Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 on your computer. This guide already assumes you have prepared your computer for Linux or alternatively have followed the guides for VMware or VirtualBox.

Installation Guide

Booting off the CD

After booting off the Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 CD/DVD (which is covered in the guides mentioned in the introduction) you will be presented with the above screen. In this guide we will be using the text installer so press enter on this first option.

Using the Debian Installer

After some loading from the CD/DVD you will the Choose language screen. Select the language appropriate to you.

Next you will be asked which country you live in. Select the country appropriate to you.

You will now see the Select a keyboard layout screen. Select the layout appropriate for your keyboard.

You will now be asked which hostname you would like to use in the Configure the network screen. Type in the name you would like to give your computer and press Enter.

The next screen asks you for the domain you would like to use. Unless you have a special need leave this as the default.

On the Configure your clock screen select the timezone which you are in.

You are now presented with the Partition disks screen. In this screen you will see the following options:

  • Guided - use entire disk - This is the default option and is generally fine for most users. It is designed to provide a simple partitioning scheme. In this guide we will be using this option.
  • Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM - Similar to the above option except installs Debian on a LVM partitioning scheme. LVM allows for easier resizing and provides the option of expanding a partition over multiple disks.
  • Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM - Again this is similar to the above option except it encrypts the data on your hard drive. This ensures the safety of your data but has a performance hit and also requires a password on startup.
  • Manual - This is for experienced users to partition their hard drive in a custom way.

For most people the first option is fine, select it and press Enter.

On this screen you are asked which hard drive you would like to use. In this system there is just one but you may have more. Select the drive you would like to install Debian on and press Enter.

On the following screen we are asked which type of partitioning scheme we would like to use.

  • All file in one partition - This is the default option, it just installs everything in one big partition.
  • Separate /home partition - This installs everything in one partition except for each users home folder which are kept on a separate partition. The advantage of doing it this way is that it makes reinstalling/upgrading Debian easier as you can keep the /home partition and only format the root partition. However you may get to the situation where you run out of hard drive space on the /home partition while there is plenty of room left on the root partition or visa versa.
  • Separate /home, /usr, /var, and /tmp partitions - Similar to the above option excepts partitions the system up even more.

Most users will select the first option and is what we will be using in this guide.

You will now have an overview of the changes which will be made on your hard drive. If you are happy with the changes select the Finish partitioning and write the changes to disk option.

The next screen is basically a warning message to ensure this is what you want to do. Select Yes.

Your hard drive will now be formatted and the base portion of your system will be installed. This will take a few minutes.

After the base installation is complete you will see the Set up users and passwords screen. You are asked which root (administrator) password you would like to use. Type in the password you wish to use and press Enter. You will then be asked to re-enter your password to ensure it is correct.

Now you are asked to create a normal user for the system. Enter your name (or the name you would like to use) and press Enter.

You are now asked which username you would like to use. As you can see Debian has already populated this item with an appropriate username. You may keep this as it is or change it to what you prefer however it is recommended to keep the username lowercase.

You are now asked which password you would like to use for the normal user. Type in the password you wish to use and press Enter. You will then be asked to re-enter your password to ensure it is correct.

The CD/DVD you have in your optical drive will now be scan to determine the packages available to be installed. You will then be presented with the Configure the package manager screen. If you have another CD/DVD you will like to use insert it into your optical drive now and select Yes. If you are using the Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 DVD then you can just select No here.

You will now be asked if you would like to install packages from a network mirror. If you have such a mirror to use then select Yes here, however most people will select No.

You are now presented with the Configuring popularity-contest screen. This helps the Debian team in determining which are the most used packages so it is recommended you select Yes here.

Now you will see the Software selection screen. In this case we are installing a desktop system so leave the Desktop environment and Standard system options selected. If you are installing Debian on a laptop then select the Laptop option as well. After you have chosen the option appropriate for you then press on Continue.

The installation process will now commence, this will take about 10 minutes.

After the installation process is complete you will be presented with the Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard drive screen. Nearly everybody would want GRUB to the install on the master boot record so choose the Yes option.

Finally the installation process is complete. Select the Continue option and your system will reboot.


Your Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 system is now fully installed. For further guides in configuring certain parts of Debian please view our Debian Guides section.


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installing_debian_gnu_linux_5.0.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/26 05:56 by billg
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