2.4. Installation Media

This section will help you determine which different media types you can use to install Debian. There is a whole chapter devoted to media, Chapter 4, Obtaining System Installation Media, which lists the advantages and disadvantages of each media type. You may want to refer back to this page once you reach that section.


[Note] Note

Whenever you see CD-ROM in this manual, it applies to all of CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs and BD-ROMs, because all these technologies are really the same from the operating system's point of view.

CD-ROM based installation is supported for most architectures.

On SGI machines, booting from CD-ROM requires a SCSI CD-ROM drive capable of working with a logical blocksize of 512 bytes. Many of the SCSI CD-ROM drives sold on the PC market do not have this capability. If your CD-ROM drive has a jumper labeled Unix/PC or 512/2048, place it in the Unix or 512 position. To start the install, simply choose the System installation entry in the firmware.

2.4.2. Network

The network can be used during the installation to retrieve files needed for the installation. Whether the network is used or not depends on the installation method you choose and your answers to certain questions that will be asked during the installation. The installation system supports most types of network connections (including PPPoE, but not ISDN or PPP), via either HTTP or FTP. After the installation is completed, you can also configure your system to use ISDN and PPP.

You can also boot the installation system over the network without needing any local media like CDs/DVDs or USB sticks. If you already have a netboot-infrastructure available (i.e. you are already running DHCP and TFTP services in your network), this allows an easy and fast deployment of a large number of machines. Setting up the necessary infrastructure requires a certain level of technical experience, so this is not recommended for novice users. This is the preferred installation technique for Mips.

Diskless installation, using network booting from a local area network and NFS-mounting of all local filesystems, is another option.

2.4.3. Hard Disk

Booting the installation system directly from a hard disk is another option for many architectures. This will require some other operating system to load the installer onto the hard disk. This method is only recommended for special cases when no other installation method is available.

2.4.4. Un*x or GNU system

If you are running another Unix-like system, you could use it to install Debian GNU/Linux without using the debian-installer described in the rest of this manual. This kind of install may be useful for users with otherwise unsupported hardware or on hosts which can't afford downtime. If you are interested in this technique, skip to the Section D.3, “Installing Debian GNU/Linux from a Unix/Linux System”. This installation method is only recommended for advanced users when no other installation method is available.

2.4.5. Supported Storage Systems

The Debian installer contains a kernel which is built to maximize the number of systems it runs on.

Any storage system supported by the Linux kernel is also supported by the boot system.