Debian GNU/Linux is distributed freely over the Internet. If you simply want to install Debian, these are your options:
Debian has a reputation for being harder to install than other Linux distributions. Some would say that the reputation is ill deserved. Others point out that installation is something that typically only happens once in the lifetime of a Debian GNU/Linux system. Once the initial install has been done, further upgrades and maintenance happen on the fly. It's possible to upgrade major software components, or even transition between releases of Debian without rebooting the system. Other than kernel or hardware upgrades (or to test that your boot process still works), there are few if any routine maintenance reasons to take down a Debian system.
The Debian install is also particularly versatile. It's possible to install from floppy, CDROM, over a network, bootstrapped from within another Linux distribution (see, they're good for something ;-), over a ?LapLink (aka ?NullModem) cable, or from within a DOS or legacy MS Windows system. Identifying your preferred method is one of the first problems to deal with.
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 at http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors/
Download files over the Internet and make a CD set yourself
The biggest advantage of downloading the .iso files and burning them yourself is not having to wait for CDs to arrive. The full CD set can be downloaded in .iso format from [http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/ one of the Debian mirrors], or better yet, using the [http://www.debian.org/CD/jigdo-cd/ jigdo] tool to do a distributed download of the images.
Note, although there are over 20 CDs (or 3 DVDs) in a full set, only the first CD is required to install Debian. The additional CDs are optional and include extra packages. See also ["DebianCDContents"] to find out what is on each CD.
If you do want to download one or more of the full 650 MB iso images, please use the ["jigdo"] tool which spreads out the load among various Debian servers, lightening their load as well as giving you a faster download.
For the easiest install, buy, beg, borrow or burn a set of installation ["CDROMs"]. (don't steal them)
Download the Network Install CD
For folks with broadband internet access, it's quite rare to download a full set of 650 MB iso images to install Debian. Instead, it's most common to just use a minimal network install CD instead. This network install iso (called "netinst") contains just enough packages to install a very basic Debian system. During the install procedure, it downloads the rest from the Internet as needed. A netinst iso image is around 180 MB. Also available is the so-called "businesscard" image that is around 40 MB. [http:DebianNetworkInstall read more: ]
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". See the installation manual for more info on netboot installation.
The most useful thing you can do is to [http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual read the installation instructions]. For most of you, that's the [http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/install Installing Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 For Intel x86], particularly Section 5, [http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-install-methods.en.html Methods for Installing Debian], which both describes how to install Debian and points to downloadable resources. See also [http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016 The Very Verbose Debian 3.0 Installation Walkthrough].
After you Finish Installing
How do I install "sid" ? (That's the latest, most cutting-edge version of Debian, right ?) http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/ only gives 2 choices: "stable: woody" and "testing: sarge". Why isn't "cutting_edge: sid" listed ?
Just install one of the other releases and then change the file /etc/apt/sources.list, where it says stable or testing, change those words to unstable. Then apt-get update and apt-get -u dist-upgrade - then you have a sid release.
Q: The above mentions "bootstrapped from within another Linux distribution" Do you have a pointer? I need to to a ?ZeroDiskInstall, but even a net install seems to require a CD.
We generally recommend installing etch instead of sarge for new desktop systems.
Go to http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ to get Etch. You can get a 110 MB net-install ISO image, or full CD or DVD images by bittorrent, or floppy images (2-5 floppies for a net-install), etc.
Sarge installs with a Linux 2.6 kernel by default. It does hardware detection using discover. It has a shinier, prettier, fancier, smoother installation dialog. It also offers the ability to install using a graphical user interface
Where can I download the net install image cd for stable/testing/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 changing /etc/apt/sources.list
Do I need all the ISOs?
No! You can install using only the first ISO. Or you can do a network install using a special small ISO image (usually under 100 MB). Or you can do a network install using only a handful of floppies.
Downloading all ISOs is massively wasteful of bandwidth. You're highly unlikely to use any software on the last five ISOs. Each of them contains Debian packages, and they're sorted by popularity. The most popular stuff (like X, gcc, KDE, GNOME) is all on the first ISO.
Why are there two different versions of ISO #1? What's NONUS?
The non-US section of Debian contains cryptographic software which cannot be hosted within the United States due to legal restrictions. These restrictions were softened in recent years, so that most of the cryptographic software in Debian has been merged into the main body of Debian. Thus, as of woody (Debian 3.0), the non-US section is very small.
The laws governing the use, export, or sale of cryptographic software in your legal jurisdiction may or may not have impact on your decision. If you have any doubts about whether you may safely use the non-US software, or cryptographic software in general, please consult a lawyer you know.
Where are the net install images?
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Debian/installers.html has a list of many of them.
OK, I have an i386 box and Debian etch CD #1. Now what?
Put the CD in the drive, and tell your BIOS to boot from CD-ROM. The CD should boot and drop you at a boot: prompt. If you read the screen you will see that you should press F1 for help. Please do that, and actually read the help.
You must first choose which kernel you will attempt to boot. This kernel is not only used during the installation, but is also installed onto your hard drive, so you will want to choose carefully.
Introduction to the DebianPackageManagement
- ["IRC"] Useful Debian Irc Channels
- usenet (aka newsgroups)
- Cooking your ["KernelALaDebian"]
The DebianInstaller Installation HOWTO is appendix A of the Sarge Installation Manual: http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/en.i386/apa.html
- ["iso image"]
DebianLive, a Live Debian that you can try in a CD-rom or install in your hard disk or usb stick.
DavidCary install diary
Is ?NetBoot relevant
[http://mirror.home-dn.net/d-i/ Backported Debian Installer Images Archive] This directory provides Debian GNU/Linux Stable installer ISO images with a modification by [http://kmuto.jp/ Kenshi Muto] to support newer hardware, mainly SATA and Ethernet devices.
[http://www.projektfarm.com/en/support/debian_setup/index.html The Perfect Setup - Debian] - This is a detailed description about the steps to be taken to setup a Debian based server that offers all services needed by ["ISPs"] and hosters.
[http://kitenet.net/%7Ejoey/blog/entry/tour_of_the_Debian_4.0_CDs/ Tour of the Debian 4.0 CDs] - Advice on deciding which CD/DVD to download for installing Debian
See also: Before Installing Debian GNU/Linux of the Debian GNU/Linux Installation Guide ([http://www.debian.org/releases/etch/i386/ch03.html i386], [http://www.debian.org/releases/etch/amd64/ch03.html amd64]...) [:CategoryRedundant:Redundant pages]: ["?InstallationHelp"], ["?InstallDebian"] or ["?InstallationPage"]