Chapter 3. Installation System

Table of Contents

3.1. What's new in the installation system?
3.1.1. Help with installation of firmware
3.1.2. Automated installation
3.2. Container and Virtual Machine images

The Debian Installer is the official installation system for Debian. It offers a variety of installation methods. Which methods are available to install your system depends on your architecture.

Images of the installer for bullseye can be found together with the Installation Guide on the Debian website.

The Installation Guide is also included on the first media of the official Debian DVD (CD/blu-ray) sets, at:


You may also want to check the errata for debian-installer for a list of known issues.

3.1. What's new in the installation system?

There has been a lot of development on the Debian Installer since its previous official release with Debian 10, resulting in improved hardware support and some exciting new features or improvements.

If you are interested in an overview of the detailed changes since buster, please check the release announcements for the bullseye beta and RC releases available from the Debian Installer's news history.

3.1.1. Help with installation of firmware

More and more, peripheral devices require firmware to be loaded as part of the hardware initialization. To help deal with this problem, the installer has a new feature. If some of the installed hardware requires firmware files to be installed, the installer will try to add them to the system, based on a mapping from hardware ID to firmware file names.

This new functionality is restricted to the unofficial installer images with firmware included (see The firmware is usually not DFSG compliant, so it is not possible to distribute it in Debian's main repository.

If you experience problems related to (missing) firmware, please read the dedicated chapter of the installation-guide.

3.1.2. Automated installation

Some changes also imply changes in the support in the installer for automated installation using preconfiguration files. This means that if you have existing preconfiguration files that worked with the buster installer, you cannot expect these to work with the new installer without modification.

The Installation Guide has an updated separate appendix with extensive documentation on using preconfiguration.

3.2. Container and Virtual Machine images

Multi-architecture Debian bullseye container images are available on Docker Hub. In addition to the standard images, a slim variant is available that reduces disk usage.

Virtual machine images for the Hashicorp Vagrant VM manager are published to Vagrant Cloud.