Debian on CD

Downloading Debian CD images with jigdo

Jigsaw Download, or short jigdo, is intended to be the main way of distributing Debian CD images in the future. Currently, the system works, but is not yet very comfortable to use because the download manager application is not finished.

Why jigdo is better than a direct download

Because it is faster! For various reasons, there are far fewer mirrors for CD images than there are for the "normal" Debian archive. Consequently, if you download from a CD image mirror, that mirror will not only be further away from you, it will also be overloaded, especially just after a release.

Furthermore, some types of images are not available as full .iso downloads because there is not enough space on our servers to host them.

Of course, a "normal" Debian mirror does not carry any CD images, so how can jigdo download them there? jigdo achieves this by downloading individually all the files that are on the CD. In the next step, all these files are assembled in one big file which is an exact copy of the CD image. However, all this happens behind the scenes - all that you need to do is tell the download tool the location of a ".jigdo" file to process.

More information is available from the jigdo homepage. Volunteers willing to help with jigdo development are always welcome!

How to download an image with jigdo

For a detailed, step-by-step description of this process, have a look at the Debian jigdo mini-HOWTO. The HOWTO also explains jigdo's advanced features, such as upgrading an older version of a CD image to the current version (by downloading only what has changed, not the entire new image).

Once you have downloaded the images and written them to CD, be sure to have a look at the detailed information about the installation process.

Official images

Official jigdo files for the stable release


Be sure to have a look at the documentation before you install. If you read only one document before installing, read our Installation Howto, a quick walkthrough of the installation process. Other useful documentation includes:

Official jigdo files for the testing distribution

Search Contents of CD images

Which CD/DVD image contains a certain file? Below, you can search the lists of files contained in a wide variety of Debian CD/DVD images. You can enter several words, each word must match a substring of the filename. Add e.g. "_i386" to restrict the results to a certain architecture. Add "_all" to see packages which are identical for all architectures.

What files are contained in a certain image? If you need a list of all files that a certain Debian CD/DVD contains, just look in the image's corresponding list.gz file on

Frequently Asked/Answered Questions

How do I make jigdo use my proxy?

Load the file ~/.jigdo-lite (or jigdo-lite-settings.txt for the Windows version) into a text editor and find the line that starts with "wgetOpts". The following switches can be added to the line:

-e ftp_proxy=http://LOCAL-PROXY:PORT/
-e http_proxy=http://LOCAL-PROXY:PORT/

Of course, substitute the correct values for your proxy server. The last two options are only necessary if your proxy uses password authentication. The switches need to be added to the end of the wgetOpts line before the final ' character. All options must be on one line.

Alternatively, under Linux you can also set up the ftp_proxy and http_proxy environment variables, for example in the file /etc/environment or ~/.bashrc.

Aargh! The script fails with an error - have I downloaded all those MBs in vain?!

Of course this Should Not Happen(tm), but for various reasons you may end up in a state where a large ".iso.tmp" file has already been generated and jigdo-lite appears to have problems, telling you repeatedly to try restarting the download. There are several possible things to try in this case: