Before you can install Debian you must first get a copy.

The different ways to install Debian Edit

Debian can be installed in a number of different ways. Here's an overview:

  • Full CD images - download Debian and install it off a CD
  • Full DVD images - download Debian on to a DVD
  • Network CD images - download Debian as you are installing

It doesn't really matter how you install though.

Full CD images Edit

Full CD images contain a set of Debian packages and the Debian installer. This is a good way to go if you are not an expert.

If you don't want to download whole CDs (they are around 700MB, so for dialup users, you will have to purchase) you can purchase pre-made CDs from many vendors, e.g. Debian Shop and ELX. These usually cost around US$10 for a 3 CD set - ELX sells the entire 14 CD Debian 3.1 for $49 Australian.

If you have a fast broadband connection you can download them from the Debian CD server and burn them using popular CD burning software.

Full DVD images Edit

Full DVD images are just like CD images, except they contain 4.7 GB, not 700MB. You will of course need a DVD drive to be able to use these.

These discs, like CDs, can be purchased and also downloaded. One thing to note if you download - many operating systems, including Windows, cannot make one file larger than 4GB. On Windows this can only be done by using NTFS, which is only supported on Windows NT, 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003.

Network download Edit

Network download involves downloading the packages as you go. This requires a fast internet connection right on the installed computer. Network download has the advantage of only downloading the packages you need, but has the disadvantage of only downloading and installing on one computer. If you need to set up multiple computers you should either use the CDs or use network install through a special proxy.

If you want to do a network install you need to download either the Netinst CD or the Businesscard CD. The businesscard CD is smaller, however it needs to download more, which is what the netinst CD already includes.

You can download both types of network install CD from the official Debian CD website.

Burning ISO images Edit

If you chose to download Debian off the internet, you'll now have an ISO image file which needs to be burnt to CD.

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What to do now Edit

Now you have a Debian CD, you're ready to proceed.