3.4. Meeting Minimum Hardware Requirements

Once you have gathered information about your computer's hardware, check that your hardware will let you do the type of installation that you want to do.

Table 3.2. Recommended Minimum System Requirements

Install Type RAM Hard Drive
No desktop 24 megabytes 450 megabytes
With Desktop 64 megabytes 1 gigabyte
Server 128 megabytes 4 gigabytes

Here is a sampling of some common Debian system configurations. You can also get an idea of the disk space used by related groups of programs by referring to Section C.3, “Disk Space Needed for Tasks”.

Standard Server

This is a small server profile, useful for a stripped down server which does not have a lot of niceties for shell users. It includes an FTP server, a web server, DNS, NIS, and POP. For these 100MB of disk space would suffice, and then you would need to add space for any data you serve up.


A desktop setup with all the development packages, such as Perl, C, C++, etc. Size is around 475MB. Assuming you are adding X11 and some additional packages for other uses, you should plan around 800MB for this type of machine.

Remember that these sizes don't include all the other materials which are usually to be found, such as user files, mail, and data. It is always best to be generous when considering the space for your own files and data. Notably, the /var partition contains a lot of state information specific to Debian in addition to its regular contents like logfiles. The dpkg files (with information on all installed packages) can easily consume 20MB. Also, apt-get puts downloaded packages here before they are installed. You should usually allocate at least 100MB for /var.