Chapter 3. Installation System

Table of Contents

3.1. What's new in the installation system?
3.1.1. Major changes
3.1.2. Automated installation

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 jessie can be found together with the Installation Guide on the Debian website.

The Installation Guide is also included on the first CD/DVD of the official Debian CD/DVD 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 7, resulting in both improved hardware support and some exciting new features.

In these Release Notes we'll only list the major changes in the installer. If you are interested in an overview of the detailed changes since wheezy, please check the release announcements for the jessie beta and RC releases available from the Debian Installer's news history.

3.1.1. Major changes

Removed ports

Support for the 'ia64' and 'sparc' architectures has been dropped from the installer since they have been removed from the archive.

New ports

Support for the 'arm64' and 'ppc64el' architectures has been added to the installer.

The kernel flavor has been bumped to i586

The kernel flavor "i486" has been renamed to "i586", since "i486" is no longer supported.

New default init system

The installation system now installs systemd as the default init system.

Desktop selection

The desktop can now be chosen within tasksel during installation. Note that several desktops can be selected at the same time, but some combinations of desktops may not be co-installable.

Replacing "--" by "---" for boot parameters

Due to a change on the Linux kernel side, the "---" separator is now used instead of the historical "--" to separate kernel parameters from userland parameters.

New languages

Thanks to the huge efforts of translators, Debian can now be installed in 75 languages, including English. This is one more language than in wheezy. Most languages are available in both the text-based installation user interface and the graphical user interface, while some are only available in the graphical user interface.

Languages added in this release:

  • Tajik has been added to the graphical and text-based installer.

The languages that can only be selected using the graphical installer as their character sets cannot be presented in a non-graphical environment are: Amharic, Bengali, Dzongkha, Gujarati, Hindi, Georgian, Kannada, Khmer, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan and Uyghur.

UEFI boot

The Jessie installer improves support for a lot of UEFI firmware and also supports installing on 32-bit UEFI firmware with a 64-bit kernel.

Note that this does not include support for UEFI Secure Boot.

3.1.2. Automated installation

Some changes mentioned in the previous section 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 wheezy 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.