Debian is a well-known name in the Linux world. No one “owns” Debian as it has a very loyal and active community of volunteers internationally and one of the very first operating systems developed on the Linux kernel. Debian is not owned or backed by any major corporation to interfere with operations from a commercial standpoint, and the community makes all decisions and work for the wider community. Ian Murdock created Debian in 1993 that supports CPU architectures Intel x86-based, AMD64 & Intel 64, ARM, ARM with hardware FPU, 32bit MIPS (big-endian), 64bit MIPS (little-endian), 32bit MIPS (little-endian), Power Systems and 64bit IBM S/390 with 51,000 packages support according to Wikipedia as of Debian 10 which is why many call label the distribution as “The Universal Operating System”.
Debian comes in 3 branches currently for Debian, which are below.
Current and main release. Debian recommends using this branch for a safe, stable environment running critical systems. Currently, the distribution codename of the stable branch is Buster which was released on July 6th in 2019, with the latest version, 10.9, released on March 27th, 2021.
Codename “Bullseye” is the testing branch that contains packages that have not been accepted as “stable” and are still in the testing phase. The benefits of the testing branch are that they include newer packages and similar to Ubuntu. Still, the packages are older than unstable but recommended to people with desktops or who do not have critical systems such as web servers.
Unstable means unstable branch, and always in development, packages are accepted as is and can be unpredictable and from a security standpoint unsafe. This branch is not recommended at all unless you have an interest in development. The current name for unstable is “Sid”.
So, you would like to install Debian, great we will do a guide below on installing the latest Debian 10 buster, which is version 10.9.7. You will need to make sure you meet the Minimum Hardware requirements of 256 megabytes minimum, 10 gigabytes hard drive for desktop install.
Make sure to back up your original critical files before wiping your old system to replace them with Debian 10, especially if it’s the first time you are installing Debian or Linux distros.
Table of Contents
- 1 Installation of Debian 10:
- 1.1 Download:
- 1.2 Create Bootable Disk
- 1.3 Load Bootable Disk
- 1.4 Debian 10 Install: Initial Configuration
- 1.5 Debian 10 Install: Disk Set Up
- 1.6 Debian 10 Install: Configure APT Package Manager
- 1.7 Debian 10 Install: Software Selection
- 1.8 Debian 10 Install: Optional Grub Boot Loader Setup
- 1.9 Debian 10 Install: Final Stage
- 2 Conclusion and Comments:
Installation of Debian 10:
First off, visit the Get Debian official download page, make sure to select the correct architecture. If you are unsure, select amd64 as this is the most commonly used architecture compared to any other options.
Create Bootable Disk
Debian 10 will need to create a USB bootable disk. BytesBoss recommends using the boot disk create software named Rufus. The current version as of 30/05/2021 is v3.14 however, download the latest version on their website.
Once you have sourced a spare USB drive, download the program and find the “.ISO” image you have downloaded by hitting “SELECT”, default settings are primarily fine. Hit “START” boot disk. The process will not take long. Once completed, you are ready to install Debian 10.
Load Bootable Disk
Once you have created a bootable disk, you will come to your first menu. The best option is to use “Graphical install.”
Debian 10 Install: Initial Configuration
Select your native language.
Country the operating system will be installed in, select your country of location. Debian will automatically set up your time zone.
The keyboard layout selection, for most keyboards, American English default for most. However, options are available if required.
Next, you will see a few minutes of the installing processing network option and arrive at configure network name, change to the desired hostname or leave as default if you are unsure.
The second option for configuring network you will arrive at setting a domain name. Set to a domain that your Debian 10 install will be on. If you are using the installation for personal use at home, you can leave it blank or make up a random name.
Set up users and passwords screen will show next. The first page is significant as it’s the root password which you must make sure is secure.
The next option is entering the user’s full name you will create that will be used instead of the root account.
After you enter your full name for the account, you can set the actual username of the new account.
Set your username of the user account.
You will see options for time zones as per your choice of the country you selected at the start of the install options. Select the time zone of choice and hit continue.
Debian 10 Install: Disk Set Up
Now we come to the options in the installation of disk set up. Disk setup can be adjusted in several ways manually, but we will use the recommended settings for brand new users to keep it simple.
Select guide – use entire disk option.
Select the disk of choice you want to partition and install Debian 10. If you have one drive, the choice is simple. Remember to back up data if you are erasing an previous operating system installation if you have any important data saved.
As we stated, we are doing the new recommended users Partition disk set up, as per Debian’s recommendation below select “All files in one partition (recommended for new users)” and hit continue.
You will come to the final page, leave the default setups if you are unsure what you are doing.
Final page for partition disks to confirm to write changes you have selected, you will need to choose yes and hit continue.
Debian 10 Install: Configure APT Package Manager
You are halfway through the install setup. Now you need to configure the package manager. First, you will come to a page with the option to scan another CD or DVD, select No and continue.
This part is essential. You should select your actual country your installation resides in or the closest country to set up the mirror for downloading for efficiency.
Choose a server. Default mirror is fine if you are unsure and proceed to the next page.
Set the HTTP proxy if required. Most setups leave blank and continue.
Opt-in to send anonymous information to distribution developers with statistics. Select your choice and hit continue.
Debian 10 Install: Software Selection
Select what you want to install with your operating system. Default is fine. If you plan on running web servers or like additional choices of desktops, you can choose here. Once finished selecting your preferences to proceed.
Debian 10 Install: Optional Grub Boot Loader Setup
Next, we come to the Grub Boot loader option. You can safely choose no as this is optional, but we selected yes to show you what it will look like for this guide.
You may ask what is Grub, a quote from Debian WIKI:
GRUB is the GRand Unified Bootloader, a very powerful newish BootLoader that can be used to boot most operating system on the intel platforms. Debian provides both GRUB v1 and v2 (more on Debian BootLoader). … It is the default bootloader since DebianSqueeze.18 Oct 2015
Next, we come to our next screen, for novice to normal users select /dev/sda.
Debian 10 Install: Final Stage
Once you have installed the Grub boot loader or skipped it, you will come to the final screen with your installation completed. Debian 10 will restart now.
After your installation reboot, you will see the boot menu. Select “Debian GNU/Linux”, note this will auto-select after a minute or so.
If your first-time boot works and everything is working well, you will come to your login screen, enter the password you set during the installation.
Congrats, you have installed Debian 10 latest edition stable codenamed Buster.
Conclusion and Comments:
Debian is an excellent operating system known for its stability over anything else. Debian operating systems come with advantages and disadvantages. You will find mostly more advanced Linux users with Debian, with most normal, novice users going for Ubuntu or similar other systems if you are still making your mind up about if Debian is for you, some notes below.
- Since the very first few Linux Operating Systems with one the most respected reputations, free and open-source has been around.
- Community-focused is not tied to commercial interests and is trusted more for its security than most other systems on the market.
- Debian releases are thoroughly tested. Debian stable is designed just never to stop working even in 5 years, with security updates, of course.
- The APT package manager is one of the largest in the market.
- No enterprise support.
- No PPA’s like Ubuntu has, which can be challenging.
- It’s not user-friendly as Ubuntu or some other well known newer operating systems.
- Due to Debian’s high testing standards, it lacks newer software versions with new features, stable is nearly two years behind most other operating systems.