Installation of Debian 8 “jessie” testing

1 Preparation

1.1 Download image

To download a image go to http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ and copy the download link of the netinstall iso for your architecture from the netinst section (Right Click > Copy Link Location (Firefox) / Copy Link Address (Chrome)) and download it with the command

wget -c [copied link]

(you can simply paste the link with the shortcut STRG+SHIFT+V). Create now a file for the checksum with the command

touch sha512sum

in the same folder and open it with

nano sha512sum

Then click in the CD section on your architecture and click on the new page on SHA512SUM and copy from there the line of the netinstall iso (normally it is the second one from the bottom) into the sha512sum file (you can simply use the shortcut STRG+SHIFT+C to paste it). Save now the file with the shortcut STRG+SHIFT+O and close it with STRG+SHIFT+X. Finally check now the iso image with the command

sha512sum -c sha512sum

Normally the image should be fine, if not, try again to download it.

1.2 Preprare the boot device

1.2.1 Prepare a boot DVD

I recommend to burn the CD with brasero. Open the program and click on burn image. Choose then your iso image an burn it on a CD. Now your CD is ready for installing Debian.

Some old dvd drives have problems to boot from a dvd, so you have to choose a CD!

1.2.2 Prepare a boot USB flash drive

Write the ISO image with the following command on your USB flash drive:

sudo dd if=debian*.iso of=/dev/sdX

The X is the letter of your USB flash drive. If you are unsure about the name of your usb flash drive, you can find it out with

lsblk

/dev/sda is normally your hard disk, so do not use this device! Now your USB device is ready for installing debian.

1.3 Boot from the installation device

Now reboot your computer and start from the DVD or USB flash drive. You may have to change the boot device by tap F12. On some computers you have to go in the BIOS or EFI with ESC, DEL, F2, or some other key. If the computer doesn’t boot from the USB flash drive, make sure that the USB Legacy Support in the BIOS is enabled. Some old computer can’t boot from USB, so you have to take a CD. If your computer start from your boot device, then continue with ENTER to start the installation.

TRICK: The default desktop environment in Debian is XFCE. If you want to install another desktop environment, go into ‘Advanced Option’, then go to ‘Alternative Desktop Environment’. Now choose one of the three and continue with install.

2 Installation

2.1 Localization

First choose your favorite language and contuine with ENTER. Then choose your contry. If your contry isn’t listed search under others. Choose your keyboard layout in the next step and continue with ENTER.

2.2 Network connection

Choose the network you wanna use and continue with ENTER. If you have only one of them, the installer will automatically continue with this method. ‘eth0’ is your wired connection and something like ‘wlan0’ is your wireless connection.

2.2.1 Ethernet connection

The ethernet connection configures itself normally, so you don’t have anything to do. Continue with step 2.3.

2.2.2 WiFi connection

Choose the name of your wireless network from the list and continue. If you have a hidden network you have to choose ‘Enter ESSID manually’. In the next step you have to choose, if your wireess connection is open or secure. For open one choose ‘WEP/Open Network’ and for protected networks choose ‘WPA/WPA2 PSK’, where you have to enter your key in the next step.

2.3 Network configuration

Enter a hostname for your computer. This is the name that appear in your (home) network. Then insert in the next step an domain name. You should use the same on all the computer of your home network. If you didn’t use a home network yet, make something up.

2.4 Root and user

The next step is to set up a root password. You need this for example to install or update software. In the next box simply retype this password to verify it. Don’t forget this password ever! The next step is about creating a user. In the first box you should insert your full name. Then choose a username. You can also use the one which is automatically insert. Then create a password for the user and verify it.

2.5 Time zone

Next choose your time zone. Which one you have to choose varies in every country.

2.6 Partitioning

I recommend to use the manual way. If you have already a file system on your hard disk the installer should show it. You now can change there you partition details. If you have no file system on you hard disk or simply want to create a new one, choose your hard disk from the list, mostly it is the third option. Then create a new empty partition table. After the installer did this you see again the list from the beginning of this step, only with a few more options.

I recommend for the following procedure a hard drive with at least 40 GB.

2.6.1 Boot partition

Continue with ENTER on the line, which is marked with ‘FREE SPACE’. Choose now ‘create a new partition’. This partition should have 50MB. Choose ‘Primary’ in the next step, then choose ‘End’ in the next step. Change now the partition settings to the following example:

Us as: Ext4 journaling file system
Mount point: /boot
Mount option: default
Label: boot
Reserved blocks: 5%
Typical usage: standard
Bootable flag: on

If all is set like the example above, continue with ‘Done setting up the partition’.

2.6.2 System partition

Continue with ENTER on the line, which is marked with ‘FREE SPACE’. Choose now ‘create a new partition’. This partition should have at least 20GB. Choose ‘Primary’ in the next step, then choose ‘Beginning’ in the next step. Change now the partition settings to the following example:

Us as: Ext4 journaling file system
Mount point: /
Mount option: default
Label: system
Reserved blocks: 5%
Typical usage: standard
Bootable flag: off

If all is set like the example above, continue with ‘Done setting up the partition’.

2.6.3 Home partition

Continue with ENTER on the line, which is marked with ‘FREE SPACE’. Choose now ‘create a new partition’. Use the rest of the disk minus your RAM size, you need this for the next partition. Choose ‘Logical’ in the next step, then choose ‘Beginning’ the next step. Change now the partition settings to the following example:

Us as: Ext4 journaling file system
Mount point: /home
Mount option: default
Label: home
Reserved blocks: 5%
Typical usage: standard
Bootable flag: off

If all is set like the example above, continue with ‘Done setting up the partition’.

2.6.4 Swap

Continue with ENTER on the line, which is marked with ‘FREE SPACE’. Choose now ‘create a new partition’. Use now the rest of the disk, this is normally the size, that the installation program suggest. Choose ‘Logical’ in the next step, then choose ‘Beginning’ in the next step. Change now the partition settings to the following example:

Us as: swap area
Bootable flag: off

If all is set like the example above, continue with ‘Done setting up the partition’.

2.6.5 Finishing partitioning

Now choose ‘Finishing partitioning and write changes to disk’, which is normally the last option. Accept now the summary and the partitions will be written on your hard disk.

2.7 Configuration of the package manager

Choose your country, or, if country isn’t available choose one which is near your country. Normally you can choose the mirror at the top of the list. Then you can enter a proxy server. If you don’t use one just hit ENTER. After that you will be asked, if you want participate in the package usage survey. Choose here what you decide for yourself. If you aren’t sure choose no and reconfigure it later with the command

dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest

2.8 Software selection

For normal users I recommend to select the following software:

  • Debian desktop environment
  • ssh server
  • laptop (if you have a laptop)
  • print server and standard system utilities.Continue with TAB and ENTER.

2.9 Finishing installation

Answer the next question simply with ENTER. Then remove the boot device from the computer until it start again the installer. At the first start you will be asked, if you want to ‘Use default config’ or simply ‘One empty panel’. I recommend to ‘Use default config’ and customize it later.

So congratulations to your Debian testing “jessie”!

3 Upgrade from Debian 7

If you have already an Debian 7, then make a backup and continue with step 2.

3.1 Install a Debian 7

If the installation above fails, you can try this way to get an Debian testing on your system. First install Debian 7 “wheezy” on your computer. You can mostly following the guide above. You can download it on https://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst.

3.2 Change repositories

After installing, change your repositories as root with the command

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

3.2.1 Debian 8 repositories (If you want just the next release)

Replace “wheezy” everywhere with “jessie”. It should be look like this:

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ jessie main

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main

3.2.2 Debian testing repositories (If you always want a Debain testing)

Replace “wheezy” everywhere with “testing”.

Backport repositories must always have a codename like “jessie”.

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing main
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing main

deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing-updates main
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing-updates main

3.3 Upgrade the system

Now update first the package list with:

apt-get update

as root. Then upgrade your system with

apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

also as root.

3.4 Install systemd

I highly recommend to install and use systemd.

Install it first with

apt-get install systemd

as root. Then open the grub configuration with

nano /etc/default/grub

and add ‘init=/bin/systemd’ to the line ‘GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT’. It should look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nomodeset init=/bin/systemd"

Execute then the following commands as root:

update-grub && reboot

So congratulations to your Debian testing “jessie”!

Published by

Marcel Kapfer

Composer, Designer and Programmer

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