Debian Installer etch beta 3

August 11th, 2006

The Debian Installer team is proud to announce the third beta release of the installer for Debian GNU/Linux Etch.

Major new features introduced with this release

Both these features currently have some limitations. See the sections below for additional information!

Other improvements in the installer

Known issues in this release

See the errata for details and a full list of known issues.

Our thanks to everybody who has contributed to this release. This time in particular to Bastian Blank for his work to switch S/390 to a 2.6 kernel.

Installation CDs, other media, errata and everything else you'll need are available from our web site.


  1. These changes are documented in the development version of the installation guide.

Graphical user interface

For i386 and amd64 the graphical installer is available on all CD images and for hd-media installations. To use it, you need to boot the installer with installgui.
In addition, special mini.iso images are available which boot the graphical installer by default (look for gtk-miniiso from the links to other images).

For powerpc and powerpc64 the graphical installer is only available as an experimental mini.iso image. Main reason for this is that tests have shown problems on various machines and we feel it is not yet stable enough for general use.

The graphical installer is functionally identical to the regular installer, with exception of encryption support (see below). One of its real advantages is that it allows installation in nine new languages that cannot be displayed in the regular installer.
We are aware that the graphical installer still needs polishing. Part of this is planned immediately after this release: an update to newer libraries will allow better theming.

The graphical user interface runs on VT5. To switch consoles from the graphical user interface, you need to use ctrl+alt+F2 (for the debug shell), just like when switching consoles from X. To switch back, use alt-F5.
Note that for amd64 switching consoles is not possible as it will crash the frontend. This is a known bug that we hope to solve before the release of Etch.

The graphical installer uses directfb. For i386 and amd64 this currently needs a special boot parameter to work: video=vesa:ywrap,mtrr. All images already have this parameter included in the bootloader configuration, but you will need to add it yourself if you want to boot the hd-media/gtk image from your own bootloader.
The installer is designed to work at a resolution of 600x800; for this the boot parameter vga=788 is set by default for graphical installer images.

Setting up encrypted partitions

How to set up encrypted partitions during installation is documented in the installation guide.

As this is the first release to include support for encrypted partitions, you are requested to use this option with caution and make sure the resulting system is set up correctly before trusting any important data to it.

Please take note of the following known issues: