Before diving into the actual Linux installation, first go through the check list below to make sure you do not lose any data and that you're ready to install. Have you:
The slide-show below will guide you through the entire process of the Debian Linux installation on your computer. The installation takes about 33 steps to complete, however, most steps are self-explanatory and do not require any interaction.
Step 1 - Installer Boot Menu
Welcome to the Linux installation dialog. You will be prompted with this screen once you correctly download, burn and boot from an installation image downloaded in the previous step. You have an option to perform an installation in the text or graphical mode. Choose Graphical Install.
Step 2 - Select a Language
Debian Linux currently supports 28 languages. Choose any language you wish your system to speak with. The language you choose will be used during the installation process as well as it will be set as the main system language.
Step 3 - Select your Location
The location you choose in this step will be used by the system to select appropriate time, correct update server and more. If necessary your location can be changed anytime.
Step 4 - Configure the Keyboard
Not everyone has the same keyboard layout. Configure your keyboard to match your keyboard layout. Do not worry if you select wrong keyboard as this mistake can be corrected at any time after the initial installation.
Step 5 - Load Installation Components
This step should take just few seconds. Please wait until all components are loaded from your installation medium.
Step 6 - Set Hostname
Choose any name how you would like your computer to be seen on the local network. Feel free to keep default name string "debian".
Step 7 - Domain Name
Keep this field empty unless you have been told otherwise. If required, domain name can be configured later.
Step 8 - Set root password
Superuser or administrator account on a Linux system is called root. Root user has unlimited privileges over the entire system. It is recommended to use root account only if it's absolutely necessary.
Step 9 - New User Account
In this step you set a full name for an account you will be using most of the time. In comparison to the root account your regular account will have limited privileges. Linux is a multiuser operating system and this allows you to create a number of additional accounts if required. You can create additional accounts once the Linux installation is finished.
Step 10 - User Name
This is a user-name you will use to login to the system. Choose any lower-case string according to your liking.
Step 11 - Set your User Password
Set and verify your new user password. You will use a user name defined in step 10 and a password defined in this step to login to your Linux system.
Step 12 - Configure Clock
Set a correct timezone for your location. Timezone will be used to determine a correct local time.
Step 13 - Disk partitioning
Unless you know what you are doing the easiest option to choose here is "Guided - use entire disk". This option will automatically prepare your hard disk for the upcoming installation.
Step 14 - Hard Disk Selection
Depending on how many hard disks your computer uses you may see a number of options here. Select a hard disk you wish to use for this installation. If you do not know the name of your disk then another good indicator is the disk size.
Step 15 - Partition Layout
Linux has an ability to install different parts of the system into separate disk sections called partitions. While this has numerous advantages, for a regular desktop installation as well as for new users it is recommended to choose "All files in one partition". One big advantage of installing all files in one partition is that you can utilize maximum of your disk's free space.
Step 16 - Partition Overview
In this step you can see a final overview of disk partitioning. You can see that two partitions will be created. One will be used to install the new system on and the other will be used as a virtual memory.
Step 17 - Save Changes
WARNING: Once you click on continue all data on your disk will be deleted. This includes any data or operating systems currently residing on the disk. This step is irreversible so make sure that you have backed up all you data such as photos, bookmarks, contacts, passwords, local emails, etc. before you continue.
Step 18 - Installing the Base System
In this step Debian installer will install core packages ( software ) on your system. Depending on your hardware this should take only few minutes.
Step 19 - Enable Package Manager Mirror
Linux is all about options. In this step you have an option to enable a "Network Mirror" to be used by your package manager. In other words "Network Mirror" is a remote computer center from which your system's software manager will download any necessary updates to keep your system secure and up to date. It is recommended to say "Yes".
Step 20 - Set Closest Mirror
There are multiple Debian software repositories around the world. They are also called mirrors because any one of them belongs to an official Debian repository, which is replicated and kept synchronized across all sites. In this step, you simply choose which mirror is closest to you so you do not have to fetch data from unnecessary distances and in low speed.
Step 21 - Set Closest Mirror
In this case, choose any mirror you think is the closest to you or has fastest speed. If you do not know which one to choose leave the default option selected. This can be changed anytime after your Linux installation is finished.
Step 22 - Set Proxy access
If you do not know what proxy server is or you have not been told otherwise, it is save to leave proxy settings field blank.
Step 23 - Resynchronize the Package Index Files
Debian installer, in this step, will connect to the Internet and resynchronize the package index files. This index will be used by the installer in order to install only up to date software on your system. It may take few minutes. Check your Internet connection in case this process fails.
Step 24 - Software Installation Preparation
This step should take maximum few minutes. Debian installer is preparing an optional list of software, which you can install.
Step 25 - Popularity Contest
The message on this screen is quite self-explanatory. If you feel like to contribute to Debian Linux project say "Yes" however nothing happens if you choose to say "No".
Step 26 - Software Selection
Debian Linux can serve multiple purposes. Whether you wish to install it on your laptop, desktop PC or use it as a network server the flexibility of this operating system is unlimited. The above three selected options are recommended. They will install the graphical user interface ( GUI ), print server so you can attach printer to your system later on and some standard system utilities. If you are performing this installation on your laptop select the "Laptop" option as this will, additionally, instruct the installer to install some laptop specific features.
Step 27 - Main installation
This is the main installation dialog window. Installer is now performing the final installation. Depends on software you have selected to be installed and your Internet connection speed it may take some time.
Step 28 - Grub boot loader settings
In this step you need to specify from which hard drive your system will start. The chances are very high the installer already has configured this option correctly and, therefore, it is safe to leave the default option selected.
Step 29 - Boot Loader Installation
Boot loader is now being installed. Boot loader's main purpose is to identify multiple operating systems on your system and to give you an option to boot your computer from different operating systems.
Step 30 - Installation Complete
Congratulations ! Your installation is now complete. All what remains is to remove your installation medium from your system and reboot.
Step 31 - System Selection
After reboot you will be presented with this screen. The content of this screen may be different. Choose Debian GNU/Linux to boot your new Linux system.
Step 32 - Login
Use the username and password you have defined in previous steps to login to your new Linux system.
Step 33 - Graphical User Insterface
Welcome to your main Graphical User Interface ( GUI ). Your installation is now completed and verified. Navigate your browser to STEP 3 - Customization to perform post installation optimization.