How to do a minimal Debian install from usb/cd
22-06-2014

How install a minimal Debian system from usb/cd
In this is a tutorial I'll show you how to install and setup a minimal Debian system from a cd or usb. First we need to download the iso file you can download the 32bit version here and the 64bit version here. Next you need to put the iso onto a usb or cd. If you're on windows download unetbootin here this is pretty easy to use so I wont explain it here, if you can't work out how to use this post your problems in the comments and I'll try to help you. If you're on Linux or BSD you can do it with dd the command.
dd if=/path/to/the/debian.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
If your usb is in a different place then put that instead of sdb. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like putting the iso onto a usb with dd, this is dd on FreeBSD it's the same on Linux. Also one quick thing I want to add in here I wont be covering how to install this using wireless, I'll add in how to setup wicd after the install though.
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Putting Debian onto a CD
From windows you can use imgburn you can get that here For Linux, BSD or mac you can use brasero or you can use the command line. Right so now for the install the first screen you come to press enter on install, the net install disk only has 1 install option.
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Select your language, there is not really anything that needs explaining here.
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Set your host name if you don't know what a host name is you can set it to anything for a desktop it will just be your PC's name, if you're setting up a server for a site or anything like that set it as your domain name or what ever you want the server name to be and the next option is to set your domain name, if this is a server put your domain name in and if it is a desktop just leave it blank.
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Next set your root password try to set it to something secure and unique don't use the same password for everything.
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Next setup your user account and then set that accounts password.
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Next select if you want Debian to use your full hard drive or not. Now setup your partitions I recommend the middle option, if you let Debian setup your partitions, you might want to change change the file system type to ext4 from ext3, to do this just press enter on the partition and then press enter on the use as part and select ext4 like in the images below.
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Now select what repos you want to use to download updates and programs try to pick a mirror as close to you as you can.
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Now setup a http proxy if you want to use one.
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Now select what you want to be installed this is where we make it minimal and make sure you unselect everything like in the image below we will install Xorg and a desktop environment or window manager after you have unselected everything select continue.
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When the grub dialog pops up asking if you want to install grub to the master boot record select yes and after that is done select continue and your PC will reboot into your Debian install make sure you remove the cd/usb so it doesn't just boot back into the install cd that is the install all done now it is time to setup Xorg. After the reboot log in as root, After you've logged in as root run the following commands to make sure everything is up to date.
apt-get update apt-get upgrade -y
Now it's time to setup Xorg type in the following command
apt-get install xorg
Next type in startx to check that xorg is working it should start and just give you a terminal type exit now it is time to setup a window manager or desktop environment. For Gnome
apt-get install gnome
For Xfce
apt-get install xfce4
For Kde
apt-get install kde
For Fluxbox
apt-get install fluxbox
Now logout and log into your normal user and type startx and you should go into the window manager/desktop environment you installed earlier that is everything done. Below I'll add in some useful applications you might want to install. To install things you just type apt-get install file name but if you really don't want to use the command line you can install Debian's GUI package manager with the following command. To install things you need to be root you can do this by typing in su and then typing in your root password.
apt-get install synaptic
For wireless and easy network management install wicd with the following command
apt-get install wicd
A good browser
apt-get install opera

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