- Where to find additional information
- Download the installation media for Debian Edu 5.0.6+edu1 Codename "Lenny"
- Request a CD/DVD by mail
- Installing Debian Edu
- Screenshot tour
Where to find additional information
We recommend that you read or at least take a look at the release notes for Debian Lenny before you start installing a system for production use. If you just want to give Debian Edu/Skolelinux a try, you don't have to though, it should just work.
Even more information about the Debian Lenny release is available in its installation manual.
Download the installation media for Debian Edu 5.0.6+edu1 Codename "Lenny"
DVDs for i386, amd64 and powerpc
The multiarch DVD ISO image is 4.4 GiB large and can be used for installation of amd64 and i386 machines. To download it, use any of these methods:
The netinstall CD, which can be used for installation of i386, amd64 and powerpc machines, is available via
The powerpc port has not been tested as much as the other architectures, though it should work just fine and has been reported to work. Still, we consider the port an experimental release of Debian Edu, which we might not be able to support as the other archs.
The Sources are available via
Request a CD/DVD by mail
For those without a fast internet connection, we offer to send you a CD or DVD for the cost of the CD or DVD and shipping. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss the payment details (for shipping and media) Remember to include the address you want the CD or DVD to be sent to in the email.
Installing Debian Edu
The installation process
When you do a Debian Edu installation, you have a few options to choose. Don't be afraid; there aren't many. We have done a good job hiding the complexity of Debian during the installation and beyond. However, Debian Edu is Debian, and if you want there are more than 15000 packages to choose from and a billion configuration options. For the majority of our users, our defaults should be fine.
- Select type of installation
Install is the default text mode installation on i386 and amd64.
64 bit install does an amd64 text-mode install.
Select Graphical install to have the GTK installer where you can use the mouse.
Select 64 bit graphical install to have the amd64 GTK installer where you can use the mouse.
The debian-edu-expert boot-option adds the minimal profile to the profile options, and switches to manual partitioning.
- Further notes:
On i386/amd64 boot-options can be edited by pressing the tabulator-key in the boot menu.
- The powerpc installer does neither support the graphical installation nor the boot menu that i386 and amd64 have.
On powerpc, enter install debian-edu-expert at the yaboot prompt to enter expert mode.
If you want to boot the amd64 text mode with the multiarch DVD it would be amd64-install.
Likewise you can choose amd64-expertgui to get the GUI version on amd64.
If you want to boot the i386 mode with the multiarch DVD on an amd64 machine you need to manually select install (text mode) or expertgui (graphical mode).
- The multiarch DVD defaults to use amd64-installgui on x86 64-bits machines, and installgui on x86 32-bits machines.
If you have already installed the mainserver profile on a machine, you can use its http proxy service to speed up the following installations from CD. Add d-i mirror/http/proxy string http://10.0.2.2:3128/ as additional boot-option.
to install the GNOME desktop instead of the KDE desktop, add desktop=gnome to the kernel boot params.
- Choose a language (for the installation and the installed system)
- Choose a time-zone
- Choose a keyboard keymap (usually the countrys default is fine)
Choose a profile:
- This is the main server (tjener) for your school providing the following services: file, print, intranet, proxy, DNS, DHCP, LDAP, backup, nagios, sitesummary, and munin. All services are pre-configured to work out of the box. You must only install one main server per school! This profile does not include a graphical user interface. If you want a graphical user interface, then select Workstation or Thin-Client-Server in addition to this one.
- A computer booting from its local hard drive, and running all software and devices locally like an ordinary computer, but the user login is authenticated by the main server, where the user's files and desktop profile are stored.
Thin client (and diskless workstation) server, also called LTSP server. Clients without hard drives boot and run software from this server. This computer needs two network cards, a lot of memory, and ideally more than one processor or core. See the chapter about networked clients for more information on this subject. Chosing this profile also enables the workstation profile (even if it is not selected), a thin client server can always be used as a workstation, too.
- An ordinary computer that can function without a main server, ie. doesn't need to be on the network. Includes laptops.
- This profile is only available when using the 'debian-edu-expert' boot option. It will install the base packages and configure the machine to integrate into the Debian Edu network, but without any services and applications. It is useful as a platform for single services manually moved out from the main-server.
- Say yes or no to automatic partitioning
- Be aware that saying yes will destroy all data on the harddrives! Saying no on the other hand will require more work and one will need to make sure that the required partitions are created and are big enough.
Please say yes to submit information to http://popcon.skolelinux.org/ to allow us to know which packages are popular and should be kept for future releases. Though you don't have to, it is a simple way for you to help.
- if thin client server is among the selected profiles, then the installer will spent quite some time at the end, "Finishing the installation - Running debian-edu-profile-udeb..."
- Be happy
A note on manual partitioning
As a general advice: if you choose manual paritioning and your system fails to boot, try automatic partitioning first.
If you decide to do manual partitioning for the main-server, you should consider this:
Make sure the directory /skole/tjener/home0 exists, usually you will also be mounting a partition there. If you don't create that directory you will only be able to login as root. The reason is that the user creation system require this directory to exist to be able to create users home directories, and without a users home directory the user can not log in.
If /var/spool/squid is on a seperate partition, 3GiB free space is a good recommendation. Squids cache size will be set to 80% of the partition size.
/boot should have its own partition.
A note on notebooks
In principal it makes sense either to install notebooks with the workstation or with the standalone profile. Keep in mind that the workstation profile uses LDAP for the user accounts and NFS for the home directories, so those workstations will only work while in the network where they can access the server. If you plan to use your laptop at home or on the road, then choose the standalone profile.
It is possible to reconfigure workstations to cache authentication information and sync the home directories to local disk (and resync to the server when in the network) with unison, but there is currently no howto available for this.
A note on DVD installs
If you install from a DVD, /etc/apt/sources.list it will only contain sources from the DVD afterwards. If you have an internet connection we strongly suggest adding the following lines to it so that available (security) updates can be installed:
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ lenny main deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main deb http://ftp.skolelinux.org/skolelinux lenny local
A note on CD installs
The netinst installation (which is the type of installation our CD provides) will fetch some packages from the CD and the rest from the net. The amount of packages fetched from the net varies from profile to profile:
- Main server: 8 of 115 MiB downloaded.
- Main server and Thin client server: 618 of 1082 MiB downloaded.
- Main server and Workstation: 618 of 1081 MiB downloaded.
- Thin client server: 618 of 1052 MiB downloaded.
- Workstation: 618 of 1051 MiB downloaded.
- Standalone: 618 of 1020 MiB downloaded.
- Minimal: 12 of 83 MiB downloaded.
A note on some RAID controllers
When using a USB drive to add missing firmware during install, with some RAID-controllers GRUB is installed to the USB drive. So a reboot after installation results in a GRUB-error. A workaround for this problem is to remove the USB drive after the firmware is loaded, and preferably before partitioning starts.
A note on thin-client-server installations
First of all, this profile name is confusing due to historic reasons: the profile actually installs a LTSP server environment for thin-clients and for workstations. So for the next release of Debian Edu the name of this profile will be changed.
By providing the kernel argument edu-skip-ltsp-make-client it is possible to skip the step which converts the LTSP chroot from a thin-client chroot into a combined thin-client/diskless workstation chroot.
This is useful in certain situations, e.g. if one wants a pure thin client chroot or if there is already a diskless chroot on another server, which can be rsynced. For these situations skipping this step will cut down the installation time considerably.
Except for the longer installation time there is no harm creating combined chroots always and this is why this is done by default.
Creating custom CDs or DVDs is possibly quite easy since we use the debian installer, which has a modular design and other nice features. Preseeding allows you to define answers to the questions normally asked.
So all you need to do is to create a preseeding file with your answers (this is described in the appendix of the debian installer manual) and remaster the CD/DVD.
Installation over the network (PXE) and booting diskless clients
For this installation method it is required that you have a running main server. When clients boot via the main network, a new PXE menu with installer and boot selection options is displayed.
This is how the PXE menu looks like with the Main-Server profile only:
This is how the PXE menu looks like with the Main-Server and Thin-Client-Server profile:
This setup also allows to boot diskless workstations and thin clients on the main network. Diskless workstations must be added with LWAT just like normal workstations or thin client servers.
More information about network clients can be found in the Network clients HowTo chapter.
Modifying PXE installations
The PXE installation is using a debian-installer preseed file, and this file can be modified to ask for more packages to install.
A line like the following needs to be added to tjener:/etc/debian-edu/www/debian-edu-install.dat
d-i pkgsel/include string my-extra-package(s)
The PXE installation uses the files /var/lib/tftpboot/debian-edu/install.cfg and the preseeding file in /etc/debian-edu/www/debian-edu-install.dat. These files can be changed to adjust the preseeding used during installation, i.e. to avoid more questions when installing over the net. Another possibility to achieve the same is to provide extra settings in /etc/debian-edu/pxeinstall.conf and /etc/debian-edu/www/debian-edu-install.dat.local and to run /usr/sbin/debian-edu-pxeinstall to update the generated files.
Further information can be found in the manual of the Debian Installer.
To disable or change the use of the proxy when installing via PXE, the lines containing mirror/http/proxy, mirror/ftp/proxy and preseed/early_command in tjener:/etc/debian-edu/www/debian-edu-install.dat need to be changed. To disable the use of a proxy when installing, put '#' in front of the first two lines, and remove the "export xhttp_proxy="http://webcache:3128"; " part from the last one.
Some settings can not be preseeded because they are needed before the preseeding file is downloaded. These are configured in the pxelinux based boot arguments available from /var/lib/tftproot/debian-edu/install.cfg. Language, keyboard layout and desktop are examples of such settings.
The text mode and the graphical installation are identical, only the appearance is different. The graphical mode offers you the opportunity to use a mouse. Of course the graphical mode looks much nicer and more modern. Unless the hardware has trouble with the graphical mode, there is no reason not to use it.
So here is a screenshot tour through a graphical Main-Server + Thin-Client-Server installation: