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== Introduction ==
Installing Debian is a fairly simple task and is distributed freely over the Internet. It is possible to install it in several ways: from a CD, DVD, USB drive or Blue-ray disk, over a network, bootstrapped from within another Linux distribution by using [[Debootstrap]], or from a MS Windows system. After the initial installation has been completed, further upgrades and maintenance are performed using built-in package management tools. It's possible to upgrade major software components, or even transition between releases of Debian without reinstalling the system.
== Getting Familiar With Debian's Releases ==
'''Prior to making any major change to your computer you should ALWAYS backup all of your work. While the Debian Installer has been extensively tested, it cannot prevent you from making mistakes nor a prevent a power failure in your city while you are installing your new operating system.'''
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At any given time, there is one stable release of Debian, which has the support of the Debian security team. When a new "[[DebianStable|stable]]" version is released, the security team will usually cover the previous version for a year or so, while they also cover the new/current version. Only stable is recommended for production use. Refer to [[DebianReleases|Debian Releases]] for more information about the Debian versions, but the following ideas may guide your decision.
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There are also two main development repositories "[[DebianUnstable|unstable]]" and "[[DebianTesting|testing]]" which are continually updated during the development of the next stable release. The latest packages arrive in "[[DebianUnstable|unstable]]" (which always has the codename "Sid"). Packages are automatically copied from unstable to testing when they meet criteria such as lack of release-critical bugs, and dependencies being satisfied by other packages in testing. === Stable ===
Choose Debian "[[DebianStable|Stable]]" if you want the computer to just work for a prolonged period of time, without the risk of new packages breaking your habits or workflow. In most cases, when people talk about Debian, they are referring to Debian "Stable". The network install images for stable (<<DebianCodename(stable)>>) can be found at http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/
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'''Prior to making any major change to your computer you should ALWAYS backup all of your work. While the Debian Installer has been extensively tested, it cannot prevent you from making mistakes nor a prevent a power failure in your city while you are installing your new operating system.''' === Testing ===
If it is important to you to have recent packages of ''all'' the installed software continuously rolling onto through Debian, and you are fine with constantly downloading and installing updates that may stir up a bug every once in a while, you may choose Debian "[[DebianTesting|Testing]]". The network install images for testing (<<DebianCodename(testing)>>) can be found at http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/.

=== Unstable(Sid) ===
If it is important to you to have the absolute latest packages available in Debian, you should learn about Debian "[[DebianUnstable|Unstable]]". There are currently no network install images for unstable. If you want to install unstable, download the image for testing and upgrade to unstable by editing /etc/apt/sources.list. However, unless you want to test the installer for testing, the better choice is to use the stable installer to install a minimal stable system and upgrade to testing and then unstable as described above.
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== Select Appropriate Debian Release ==
Refer to [[DebianReleases|Debian Releases]] for more information about the Debian versions, but the following ideas may guide your decision.
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 * Choose Debian "[[DebianStable|Stable]]" if you want the computer to just work for a prolonged period of time, without the risk of new packages breaking your habits or workflow. In most cases, when people talk about Debian, they are referring to Debian "Stable".

 * If it is important to you to have recent packages of ''all'' the installed software continuously rolling onto through Debian, and you are fine with constantly downloading and installing updates that may stir up a bug every once in a while, you may choose Debian "[[DebianTesting|Testing]]".

 * If it is important to you to have the absolute latest packages available in Debian, you should learn about Debian "[[DebianUnstable|Unstable]]".
----

== Where do I get Debian? ==
== Choosing The Appropriate Installation Media ==
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=== 1. Download the network install image === === The network install image ===
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You can download the network install image [[https://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/|here.]]

=== 2. Download the full "CD/DVD" image ===
=== The full "CD/DVD" image ===
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You can checkout how to download CD/DVD images [[http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp|here.]]
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== Buy a set of CDs ==
The easiest way to install Debian is with a set of CDs bought from a vendor. There is a list of CD vendors:

 * http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors

== Netboot via another Debian system ==
There is also the possibility to boot from another computer without needing to use CD/floppy media at all. All you need is a TFTPD and a DHCPD running on the install-from computer. This is called installing via "netboot".

 * [[PXEBootInstall]] - the manual for setting up a netboot server.

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 * [[PXEBootInstall]] - The manual for setting up a netboot server.
 * http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors

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Getting Familiar With Debian's Releases

Prior to making any major change to your computer you should ALWAYS backup all of your work. While the Debian Installer has been extensively tested, it cannot prevent you from making mistakes nor a prevent a power failure in your city while you are installing your new operating system.

Refer to Debian Releases for more information about the Debian versions, but the following ideas may guide your decision.

Stable

Choose Debian "Stable" if you want the computer to just work for a prolonged period of time, without the risk of new packages breaking your habits or workflow. In most cases, when people talk about Debian, they are referring to Debian "Stable". The network install images for stable (buster) can be found at http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/

Testing

If it is important to you to have recent packages of all the installed software continuously rolling onto through Debian, and you are fine with constantly downloading and installing updates that may stir up a bug every once in a while, you may choose Debian "Testing". The network install images for testing (bullseye) can be found at http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/.

Unstable(Sid)

If it is important to you to have the absolute latest packages available in Debian, you should learn about Debian "Unstable". There are currently no network install images for unstable. If you want to install unstable, download the image for testing and upgrade to unstable by editing /etc/apt/sources.list. However, unless you want to test the installer for testing, the better choice is to use the stable installer to install a minimal stable system and upgrade to testing and then unstable as described above.


Choosing The Appropriate Installation Media

There are two main choices of installation media to meet your needs.

The network install image

For those with broadband Internet access it is often preferable to use a minimal network install image, rather than download a full set of 650 MB ISO images. This network install ISO (called "netinst") contains just enough packages to install a basic Debian system. During the install procedure only the required packages are downloaded from the Internet, making it more efficient overall. A netinst iso image is around 180 MB.

If your wireless network card is not recognized by the installer you might consider doing the installation using a wired (ethernet cable) connection or installing using a different network card. In any case it may be preferable to install with a wired connection for bandwidth reasons or simply to defer wireless setup until after the initial installation.

If you have no way of establishing a network connection during the installation, then you will need to install using full installation CDs or DVDs.

The full "CD/DVD" image

These images are for those who need all available packages that are in the current "stable" release of Debian.

Although there are over 30 CDs (or 5 DVDs) in a full set, only the first CD or DVD is required to install Debian. The additional images are optional and include extra packages, that can be downloaded individually during the installation, or later.


See also


CategoryQuickInstall