How to Install Debian

Debian is a Linux-based operating system, i.e., an operating system built off of a Linux terminal. Unlike most systems, it does not run scheduled updates. Debian only publicizes updated versions as they are deemed stable. As of June 2018, there are nine versions; the most recent is called Stretch.

We’re focusing on Stretch for 64-bit computers, (also known as AMD64).

5 Benefits of Debian

There are numerous advantages to using Debian over other operating systems:

  1. It’s free
  2. Perfect for software developers
  3. Easy installation
  4. Open source community
  5. It’s flexible

Just in case you were wondering, “Why Debian?”

 

 

System Requirements for Installing Debian

You’ll need 256 MB of memory and 10GB of hard disk space to install Debian on your computer. Almost all network interface network cards (NICs) are supported, but it’s important to note that ISDN or PPP is supported only during use of Debian and is not available to use for the actual installation.

Graphics hardware is more complicated, but it is unlikely for any modern graphics hardware to not suit the installation and use of Debian. Multi-processor support is available and automatic, so no need to worry whether you have one, multi-core or multiple processors. Both AMD64 and Intel 64 processors are accepted. Laptops follow all the same rules as regular PCs, but to be sure, check out Linux on Laptops to make sure your computer can run Linux.

 

Back up Your Data

Debian installation can be done over a network connection, USB drive, CD, hard disk, or Un*x/GNU system. You may choose to make Debian your only operating system (OS), or you could set up a dual boot system. Either way, you will likely need to repartition your hard drive.

The next step is to back up your data on whichever format you prefer: CD, external hard drive,  thumb drive, or another device. Do this before you repartition your hard drive because when you do, no files will be safe. If you are installing dual boot, or are unsure about going fully Linux, be sure you have the installation media for your previous OS (Windows or Mac) just in case you need it.

 

Know Your System

While not necessary, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with your computer hardware, or at the very least, compile all of your hardware and computer manuals, know your OS and RAM/memory space, laptop year and model, and the BIOS screen of your computer (can be seen by holding specific keys during boot). Knowing your system administrator and internet service provider (ISP) can also help. If you’re hooked up via ethernet or something similar, i.e., a fixed internet connection, you need to collect some information from your network administrator.

 

Info to Collect from Network Admin When Using Ethernet:

  • Host name
  • Domain name
  • IP address
  • The netmask to use with your network
  • The IP address of the default gateway system you should route to (if your network has a gateway)
  • The System network you should use as a Domain Name Service (DNS) server

You’ll need to collect different information if you’re connected to the internet via WIFI or WLAN.

Info to Collect from Network Admin When Using WIFI or WLAN:

  • Your network’s name (ESSID)
  • The WEP or WPA/WPA2 security key to access the network

It’s now time to choose whether you want a dual boot or not. Dual boot means you have two operating systems installed and have the option to switch between them.

It’s preferable to keep your Windows OS and set up a dual boot if you play video games because Linux isn’t made for playing games on.

If you decide to set up a dual boot, a repartitioning of your hard drive is absolutely necessary. It will divide the space up into appropriate compartments to hold your operating systems separately. If you’re running Windows on your computer, you can go to the Integrated Disk Manager to repartition or use the Debian Installer to do it. FAT/FAT32 and NTFS partitions are accepted.

 

Installing Debian

Use BIOS to enable all booting options, or at the very least, the option you are using to install Debian. If you have Windows 8, you must disable the fast-boot feature. Fast-boot stops the computer from shutting down properly and can cause data loss, especially when using dual boot.

In order to automatically install Debian from the Debian-installer download the FAI ISO file. Run the file after download, and it will take you through the installation step by step.

For other installations, visit Debian and follow the available instructions at this website to download and install Debian.

Once you’re finished, you will have a Linux-based operating system on your computer, which is perfect for programming and organizing large quantities of files.

If you chose to install Debian on a partition, you would have the ability to boot into either Debian or your native OS at any given time.

Enjoy!

 

Have you installed Debian?

What do you like using Debian for?

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