dselectDocumentation for Beginners
Please note that newer versions of this file can always be found at
This file documents
dselect for first-time users, and is intended
to help in getting Debian installed successfully. It makes no attempt to
explain everything, so when you first encounter
through the help screens.
If you are eager to get Debian running as soon as possible, well, you shouldn't
dselect :-) Debian installation procedure allows you to run
tasksel which provides some generalized tasks that you can select
and be done with it.
dselect is used to select which packages you wish to install
(there are currently around 8300 packages in Debian 3.0). It will be run for
you during the install and as it is a very powerful and somewhat complex thing
which can be used for good or for evil; some knowledge of it beforehand is
highly recommended. Careless use of
dselect can severely mess up
dselect will guide you through the package installation process as
As each step is completed successfully it will lead you on to the next. Go through them in order without skipping any steps.
Here and there in this document we talk of starting another shell. Linux has 6 console sessions or shells available at any one time. You switch betwen them by hitting Left Alt-F1 through Left Alt-F6, after which you log in on your new shell and go ahead. The console used by the install process is the first one, a.k.a., tty1, so hit Left Alt-F1 when you want to return to that process.
dselect Documentation for Beginners