This document describes how to install &debian; &releasename; for
the &arch-title; (&architecture;) with the
new &d-i;. It is a quick walkthrough of the installation process
which should contain all the information you will need for most installs.
When more information can be useful, we will link to more detailed
explanations in the &debian;
The debian-installer is still in a beta state.
If you encounter bugs during your install, please refer to
on how to report them. If you have questions which cannot be
answered by this document, please direct them to the debian-boot
mailing list (&email-debian-boot-list;) or ask on IRC (#debian-boot
on the freenode network).
Booting the installer
For some quick links to CD images, check out the
&d-i; home page.
The debian-cd team provides builds of CD images using &d-i; on the
Debian CD page.
For more information on where to get CDs, see .
Some installation methods require other images than CD images.
The &d-i; home page has links to
explains how to find images on Debian
The subsections below will give the details about which images you should
get for each possible means of installation.
There are two different netinst CD images which can be used to install
&releasename; with the &d-i;. These images are intended to boot from CD
and install additional packages over a network, hence the name 'netinst'.
The difference between the two images is that on the full netinst image
the base packages are included, whereas you have to download these from
the web if you are using the business card image. If you'd rather, you can
get a full size CD image which will not need the network to install. You
only need the first CD of the set.
Download whichever type you prefer and burn it to a CD.
To boot the CD, you may need to change your BIOS
configuration, as explained in .
To boot a PowerMac from CD, press the c key while booting. See
for other ways to boot from CD.
If you can't boot from CD, you can download floppy images to install
Debian. You need the floppy/boot.img, the
floppy/root.img and possibly one of the driver disks.
The boot floppy is the one with boot.img on it.
This floppy, when booted, will prompt you to insert a second floppy —
use the one with root.img on it.
If you're planning to install over the network, you will usually need
the floppy/net-drivers.img, which contains additional
drivers for many ethernet cards, and support for PCMCIA.
If you have a CD, but cannot boot from it, then boot from floppies and use
floppy/cd-drivers.img on a driver disk to complete the
install using the CD.
Floppy disks are one of the least reliable media around, so be prepared for
lots of bad disks (see ). Each
.img file you downloaded goes on a single floppy;
you can use the dd command to write it to /dev/fd0 or some other means
(see for details).
Since you'll have more than one floppy, it's a good idea to label them.
USB memory stick
It's also possible to install from removable USB storage devices. For
example a USB keychain can make a handy Debian install media that you
can take with you anywhere.
The easiest way to prepare your USB memory stick is to download
hd-media/boot.img.gz, and use gunzip to extract the 128 MB
image from that file. Write this image directly to your memory stick, which
must be at least 128 mb in size. Of course this will destroy anything already
on the memory stick. Then mount the memory stick, which will now have a FAT
filesystem on it. Next, download a Debian netinst CD image, and copy that file
to the memory stick; any filename is ok as long as it ends in ".iso".
There are other, more flexible ways to set up a memory stick to use the
debian-installer, and it's possible to get it to work with smaller memory
sticks. For details, see .
Some BIOSes can boot USB storage directly, and some cannot. You may need to
configure your BIOS to boot from a "removable drive" or even a "USB-ZIP" to
get it to boot from the USB device. If it doesn't, you can boot from one
floppy and use the USB stick for the rest of the install. For helpful hints
and details, see .
Booting from network
It's also possible to boot &d-i; completely from the net. The
various methods to netboot depend on your architecture and netboot setup.
The files in netboot/ can be used to netboot &d-i;.
The easiest thing to set up is probably PXE netbooting. Untar the
file netboot/pxeboot.tar.gz into
wherever is appropriate for your tftp server. Set up your DHCP server to pass
filename /pxelinux.0 to clients, and it with luck
everything will just work.
For detailed instructions, see Booting from hard disk
It's possible to boot the installer using no removable media, but just an
existing hard disk, which can have a different OS on it. Download
and a Debian CD image to the top-level directory of the hard disk. Make sure
that the CD image has a filename ending in ".iso". Now it's just a matter of
booting linux with the initrd.
explains one way to do it.
Once the installer starts, you will be greeted with an initial screen. Press
&enterkey; to boot, or read the instructions for other boot
methods and parameters (see ).
If you want a 2.6 kernel, type linux26 at the
The 2.6 kernel is available for most boot methods, but not when booting from
After a while you will be asked to select your language. Use the arrow keys
to pick a language and press &enterkey; to continue. Next you'll be asked to
select your country, with the choices including countries where your
language is spoken. If it's not on the short list, a list of all the
countries in the world is available.
You may be asked to confirm your keyboard layout. Choose the default unless
you know better.
Now sit back while debian-installer detects some of your hardware, and
loads the rest of itself from CD, floppy, USB, etc.
Next the installer will try to detect your network hardware and set up
networking by DHCP. If you are not on a network or do not have DHCP, you
will be given the opportunity to configure the network manually.
Now it is time to partition your disks. First you will be given the
opportunity to automatically partition either an entire drive, or free
space on a drive. This is recommended for new users or anyone in a hurry,
but if you do not want to autopartition, choose manual from the menu.
On the next screen you will see your partition table, how the partitions
will be formatted, and where they will be mounted. Select a partition to
modify or delete it. If you did automatic partitioning, you should just be
able to choose "Finished partitioning" from the menu to use what it set up.
Remember to assign at least one partition for swap space and to mount a
partition on /. has more information
Now &d-i; formats your partitions and starts to install the base system,
which can take a while. That is followed by installing a kernel.
The last step is to install a boot loader. If the installer detects
other operating systems on your computer, it will add them to the boot menu
and let you know.
By default GRUB will be installed to the master boot
record of the first harddrive, which is generally a good choice. You'll be
given the opportunity to override that choice and install it elsewhere.
&d-i; will now tell you that the installation has
finished. Remove the cdrom or other boot media and hit &enterkey;
to reboot your machine. It should boot up into the next stage of the install
process, which is explained in .
If you need more information on the install process, see
Send us an installation report
If you successfully managed an installation with &d-i;,
please take time to provide us with a report. There is a template
named install-report.template in the
/root directory of a freshly
installed system. Please fill it out and file it as a bug against the
package installation-reports, as explained in
If you did not reach base-config or ran into other trouble, you
probably found a bug in debian-installer. To improve the installer it
is necessary that we know about them, so please take the time to
report them. You can use an installation report to report problems;
if the install completely fails, see .
We hope that your Debian installation is pleasant and that you find Debian
useful. You might want to read .