dbootstrapfor Initial System Configuration
dbootstrap is the name of the program which is run after you have
booted into the installation system. It is responsible for initial system
configuration and the installation of the ``base system''.
The main job of
dbootstrap, and the main purpose of your initial
system configuration, is to configure essential elements of your system. For
instance, you may need to use certain ``kernel modules'', which are drivers
which are linked into the kernel. These modules include storage hardware
drivers, network drivers, special language support, and support for other
peripherals which are not automatically built in to the kernel you are using.
Disk partitioning, disk formatting, and networking setup are also handled by
dbootstrap. This fundamental setup is done first, since it is
often necessary for the proper functioning of your system.
dbootstrap is a simple, character-based application, designed for
maximum compatability in all situations (such as installation over a serial
line). It is very easy to use. It will guide you through each step of the
installation process in a linear fashion. You can also go back and repeat
steps if you find you have made a mistake.
dbootstrap is accomplished with the arrow keys,
Enter, and Tab.
If you are an experienced Unix or Linux user, press Left Alt-F2 to get
to the second virtual console. That's the Alt key on the
left-hand side of the space bar, and the F2 function key, at the same
time. This is a separate window running a Bourne shell clone called
ash. At this point you are booted from the RAM disk, and there is
a limited set of Unix utilities available for your use. You can see what
programs are available with the command ls /bin /sbin /usr/bin
/usr/sbin. Use the menus to perform any task that they are able to do
-- the shell and commands are only there in case something goes wrong. In
particular, you should always use the menus, not the shell, to activate your
swap partition, because the menu software can't detect that you've done this
from the shell. Press Left Alt-F1 to get back to menus. Linux
provides up to 64 virtual consoles, although the Rescue Floppy only uses a few
Error messages are redirected to the third virtual terminal (known as
tty3). You can access this terminal by pressing Left
Alt-F3 (hold the Alt key while pressing the F3 function
key); get back to
dbootstrap with Left Alt-F1.
These messages can also be found in
installation, this log is copied to
/var/log/installer.log on your
The first screen
dbootstrap will present you with is the ``Release
Notes''. This screen presents the version information for the
boot-floppies software you are using, and gives a brief
introduction to Debian developers.
You may see a dialog box that says ``The installation program is determining
the current state of your system and the next installation step that should be
performed.''. On some systems, this will go by too quickly to read. You'll
see this dialog box between steps in the main menu. The installation program,
dbootstrap, will check the state of the system in between each
step. This checking allows you to re-start the installation without losing the
work you have already done, in case you happen to halt your system in the
middle of the installation process. If you have to restart an installation,
you will have to configure your keyboard, re-activate your swap partition, and
re-mount any disks that have been initialized. Anything else that you have
done with the installation system will be saved.
During the entire installation process, you will be presented with the main
menu, entitled ``Debian GNU/Linux Installation Main Menu''. The choices at the
top of the menu will change to indicate your progress in installing the system.
Phil Hughes wrote in the
Journal that you could teach a chicken to install Debian!
He meant that the installation process was mostly just pecking at the
Enter key. The first choice on the installation menu is the next
action that you should perform according to what the system detects you have
already done. It should say ``Next'', and at this point the next step in
installing the system will be taken.
Make sure the highlight is on the ``Next'' item, and press Enter to go
to the keyboard configuration menu. Select a keyboard that conforms to the
layout used for your national language, or select something close if the
keyboard layout you want isn't represented. Once the system installation is
complete, you'll be able to select a keyboard layout from a wider range of
kbdconfig as root when you have completed the
Move the highlight to the keyboard selection you desire and press Enter. Use the arrow keys to move the highlight -- they are in the same place in all national language keyboard layouts, so they are independent of the keyboard configuration.
If you are installing a diskless workstation, the next few steps will be skipped, since there are no local disks to partition. In that case, your next step will be ``Configure the Network'', Section 7.13. After that, you will be prompted to mount your NFS root partition in ``Mount a Previously-Initialized Partition'', Section 7.9.
Did we tell you to back up your disks? Here's your first chance to wipe out all of the data on your disks, and your last chance to save your old system. If you haven't backed up all of your disks, remove the floppy from the drive, reset the system, and run backups.
If you have not already partitioned your disks for Linux native and Linux swap filesystems, i.e., as described in Partitioning Prior to Installation, Section 4.6, the next step will be ``Partition a Hard Disk''. If you have already created at least one Linux native and one Linux swap disk partition, the ``Next'' menu selection will be ``Initialize and Activate a Swap Partition'', or you may even skip that step if your system had low memory and you were asked to activate the swap partition as soon as the system started. Whatever the ``Next'' menu selection is, you can use the down-arrow key to select ``Partition a Hard Disk''.
The ``Partition a Hard Disk'' menu item presents you with a list of disk drives you can partition, and runs a partitioning application. You must create at least one ``Linux native'' (type 83) disk partition, and you probably want at least one ``Linux swap`` (type 82) partition, as explained in Partitioning Your Hard Drive, Chapter 4. If you are unsure how to partition your system, go back and read that chapter.
Depending on your architecture, there are different programs which can be used. These are the program or programs available on your architecture:
fdisk manual page.
Be careful if you have existing FreeBSD partitions on your machine. The
installation kernels include support for these partitions, but the way that
fdisk represents them (or not) can make the device names differ.
Be careful, and see the
cfdisk manual page.
cfdisk doesn't understand FreeBSD partitions at all,
and, again, device names may differ as a result.
One of these programs will be run by default when you select ``Partition a Hard
Disk''. If the one which is run by default isn't the one you want, quit the
partitioner, go to the shell (tty2), and manually type in the name of the
program you want to use (and arguments, if any). Then skip the ``Partition a
Hard Disk'' step in
dbootstrap and continue to the next step.
A swap partition is strongly recommended, but you can do without one if you insist, and if your system has more than 5MB RAM. If you wish to do this, please select the ``Do Without a Swap Partition'' item from the menu.
This will be the next step once you have created one disk partition. You have the choice of initializing and activating a new swap partition, activating a previously-initialized one, and doing without a swap partition. It's always permissible to re-initialize a swap partition, so select ``Initialize and Activate a Swap Partition'' unless you are sure you know what you are doing.
This menu choice will first present you with a dialog box reading ``Please select the partition to activate as a swap device.''. The default device presented should be the swap partition you've already set up; if so, just press Enter.
Next, there is a confirmation message, since initialization destroys any data previously on the partition. If all is well, select ``Yes''. The screen will flash as the initialization program runs.
At this point, the next menu item presented should be ``Initialize a Linux Partition''. If it isn't, it is because you haven't completed the disk partitioning process, or you haven't made one of the menu choices dealing with your swap partition.
You can initialize a Linux partition, or alternately you can mount a
previously-initialized one. Note that
not upgrade an old system without destroying it. If you're upgrading,
Debian can usually upgrade itself, and you won't need to use
dbootstrap. For help on upgrading to Debian 2.2, see the
Thus, if you are using old disk partitions that are not empty, i.e., if you want to just throw away what is on them, you should initialize them (which erases all files). Moreover, you must initialize any partitions that you created in the disk partitioning step. About the only reason to mount a partition without initializing it at this point would be to mount a partition upon which you have already performed some part of the installation process using this same set of installation floppies.
Select ``Initialize a Linux Partition'' to initialize and mount the
/ disk partition. The first partition that you mount or
initialize will be the one mounted as
/ (pronounced ``root'').
You will be asked whether to preserve ``Pre-2.2 Linux Kernel Compatibility?''. Saying ``No'' here means that you cannot run 2.0 or earlier Linux kernels on your system, since the file systems enable some features not supported in the 2.0 kernel. If you know you'll never need to run a 2.0 or earlier vintage kernel, then you can achieve some minor benefits by saying ``No'' here. The default is ``Yes'' in the name of compatibility.
You will also be asked about whether to scan for bad blocks. The default here is to skip the bad block scan, since the scan can be very time consuming, and modern disk drive controllers internally detect and deal with bad blocks. However, if you are at all unsure about the quality of your disk drive, or if you have a rather old system, you should probably do the bad block scan.
The next prompts are just confirmation steps. You will be asked to confirm
your action, since initializing is destructive to any data on the partition,
and you will be informed that the partition is being mounted as
the root partition.
Once you've mounted the
/ partition, if you have additional file
systems that you wish to initialize and mount, you should use the ``Alternate''
menu item. This is for those who have created separate partitions for
/usr or others, which ought
to be initialized and mounted at this time.
An alternative to ``Initialize a Linux Partition'', Section 7.8 is the ``Mount a Previously-Initialized Partition'' step. Use this if you are resuming an installation that was broken off, or if you want to mount partitions that have already been initialized or have data on it which you wish to preserve.
If you are installing a diskless workstation, at this point, you want to NFS mount your root partition from the remote NFS server. Specify the path to the NFS server in standard NFS syntax, namely, server-name-or-IP:server-share-path. If you need to mount additional filesystems as well, you can do that at this time.
If you have not already setup your network as described in ``Configure the Network'', Section 7.13, then selecting an NFS install will prompt you to do so.
In some special situations,
dbootstrap might not know how to mount
your filesystems (whether root or otherwise). It may be possible, if you're an
experienced Linux user, to simply go to tty2 and manually run the commands you
need to run in order to mount the partition in question.
If you are mounting a root partition for your new system, just mount it to
/target, the go back to dbootstrap and continue (perhaps running
the ``View the Partition Table'' step to cause
re-compute where it is in the installation process.
For non-root partitions, you'll have to remember to manually modify your new
fstab file so that when you reboot the partition will be mounted.
Wait for that file (
/target/etc/fstab) to be written by
dbootstrap, of course, before editing it.
The next step is to install a kernel and kernel modules onto your new system.
You will be offered a menu of devices from which you can install the kernel. Choose the appropriate device from which to install the kernel and modules. Remember that you can use any devices which is available to you, and that you are not restricted to using the same media you used to mount with (see Methods for Installing Debian, Chapter 5).
Note that the options presented to you will vary based on what hardware
dbootstrap has detected. If you are installing from an official
CD-ROM, the software should do the right thing automatically, not even
prompting you for a device to install from (unless you boot with the
verbose argument). When prompted for the CD-ROM, be sure to
insert the first CD-ROM in the drive.
If you are installing from a local filesystem, you have a choice between two
options. Select ``harddisk'' if the disk partition is not yet mounted; select
``mounted'' if it is. In both cases, the system will first look for some files
dists/potato/main/disks-arm/current. If it doesn't find those
files, you will be prompted to ``Select Debian Archive path'' -- this is the
directory within the disk where you have placed the required installation files
discussed in Booting from a
Hard Disk, Section 6.3. If you have a Debian archive mirrored locally, you
can use that by giving the directory where that exists, which is often
/archive/debian. Such archives are characterized by directory
structures such as
You can type in the path manually, or use the <...> button
to browse through the filesystem tree.
Continuing the discusssion on installation from a local disk or similar medium
(such as NFS), you will next be prompted for the actual directory containing
the needed files (which may be based on your subarchitecture). Note that the
system may be quite insistent that the files appear in the precise location
indicated, including the subdirectories, if any. See the logs in tty3 (see Using the Shell and
Viewing the Logs, Section 7.1.1) where
dbootstrap will log the
location of the files it's looking for.
If the ``default'' option appears, then you should use that. Otherwise, try
the ``list'' option to let
dbootstrap try to find the actual files
on its own (but note that this can be very slow if you're mounting over NFS).
As a last resort, use the ``manual'' option to specify the directory manually.
If you're installing from floppies, you'll need to feed in the Rescue Floppy (which is probably already in the drive), followed by the Driver Floppies.
If you wish to install the kernel and modules over the network, you can do this using the ``network'' (HTTP) or ``nfs'' options. Your networking interfaces must be supported by the standard kernel (see Peripherals and Other Hardware, Section 2.4). If these ``nfs'' options don't appear, you need to select ``Cancel'', then go back and select the ``Configure the Network'' step (see ``Configure the Network'', Section 7.13), and then re-run this step.
Select the ``nfs'' option, and then tell
dbootstrap your NFS
server name and path. Assuming you've put the Rescue Floppy and Driver
Floppies images on the NFS server in the proper location, these files should be
available to you for installing the kernel and modules. The NFS filesystem
will be mounted under
/instmnt. Select the location of the files
as for ``harddisk'' or ``mounted''.
Select the ``network'' option, and then tell
dbootstrap the URL
and path to the Debian archive. The default will usually work fine, and in any
case, the path part is probably correct for any official Debian mirror, even if
you edit the server part. You may choose to pull the files in through a proxy
server; just enter the server ...this sentence isn't
If you are installing a diskless workstation, you should have already configured your networking as described in ``Configure the Network'', Section 7.13. You should be given the option to install the kernel and modules from NFS. Proceed using the ``nfs'' option described above.
Other steps may need to be taken for other installation media.
Select the ``Configure Device Driver Modules'' menu item to configure device drivers, that is, kernel modules.
You will first be prompted if you would like to load additional kernel modules
from a vendor-supplied floppy. Most can skip this step, since it is only
useful if there are some additional proprietary or non-standard modules which
are needed for your hardware (for instance, for a specific SCSI controller).
It will look for modules in the floppy in locations such as
/lib/modules/misc (where misc can be any standard
kernel module section). Any such files will be copied to the disk you're
installing to, so that they can be configured in the next step.
modconf program will be run, which is a simple program
which displays the kernel modules sections and allows you to step through the
various kernel sections, picking out what modules you would like to install.
We recommend that you only configure devices which are required for the installation process and not already detected by the kernel. Many people do not need to configure any kernel modules at all.
For instance, you may need to explicitly load a network interface card driver from the net section, a SCSI disk driver in the scsi section, or a driver for a proprietary CD-ROM in the cdrom section. The devices you configure will be loaded automatically whenever your system boots.
Some modules may require parameters. To see what parameters are relevant, you'll have to consult the documentation for that kernel driver.
At any point after the system is installed, you can reconfigure your modules by
If the installation system does not detect that you have a network device available, you will be presented with the ``Configure the Hostname'' option. Even if you don't have a network, or if your network connection dynamically goes up and down (e.g., uses dialup) your machine must have a name to call itself.
If the installation system does detect a network device, you'll be presented with the ``Configure the Network'' step. If the system does not allow you to run this step, then that means it cannot see any network devices present. If you have a network device, that means you probably missed configuring the network device back in ``Configure Device Driver Modules'', Section 7.12. Go back to that step and look for net devices.
As you enter the ``Configure the Network'' step, if the system detects that you
have more than one network device, you'll be asked to choose which device you
wish to configure. You may only configure one. After installation, you may
configuration additional interfaces — see the
dbootstrap will next ask you whether you wish to use a DHCP or
BOOTP server to configure your network. If you can, you should say ``Yes'',
since it allows you to skip all the rest of the next section. You should
hopefully see the reply ``The network has been successfully configured using
DHCP/BOOTP.''. Jump forward to ``Install the Base System'',
Section 7.14. If configuration fails, check your wires and the log on
tty3, or else move on and configure the network manually.
To manually configure the network,
dbootstrap will ask a number of
questions about your network; fill in the answers from Information You Will Need, Section
3.2. The system will also summarize your network information and ask you
for confirmation. Next, you need to specify the network device that your
primary network connection uses. Usually, this will be ``eth0'' (the first
Some technical details you might, or might not, find handy: the program assumes
the network IP address is the bitwise-AND of your system's IP address and your
netmask. It will guess the broadcast address is the bitwise OR of your
system's IP address with the bitwise negation of the netmask. It will guess
that your gateway system is also your DNS server. If you can't find any of
these answers, use the system's guesses -- you can change them once the system
has been installed, if necessary, by editing
The next step is to install the base system. The base system is a minimal set of packages which provides a working, basic, self-contained system. It's under 70MB in size.
During the ``Install the Base System'' step, if you're not installing from a CD-ROM, you'll be offered a menu of devices from which you may install the base system. You should select the appropriate installation media. If you are installing from an official CD-ROM, you will simply be prompted to insert it.
If you choose to install from a filesystem on the harddisk or from a
non-official CD-ROM, you will be prompted to specify the path to the
file. If you have official media, the default value should be correct.
Otherwise, enter the path where the base system can be found, relative to the
media's mount point. As with the ``Install Operating System Kernel and
Modules'' step, you can either let
dbootstrap find the file itself
or type in the path at the prompt.
If you choose to install from floppy disk, feed in the base floppies in order,
as requested by
dbootstrap. If one of the base floppies is
unreadable, you'll have to create a replacement floppy and feed all floppies
into the system again. Once the floppies have all been read, the system will
install the files it had read from the floppies. This could take 10 minutes or
more on slow systems, less on faster ones.
If you are installing the base system from NFS, then choose NFS and continue.
You'll be prompted to specify the server, the share on the server, and the
subdirectory within that share where the
file can be found. If you have problems mounting NFS, make sure that the
system time on the NFS server more or less agrees with the system time on the
client. You can set your date on
tty2 using the date
command; you'll have to set it by hand. See the
At this point you've read in all of the files that make up a minimal Debian system, but you must perform some configuration before the system will run.
You'll be asked to select your time zone. There are many ways to specify your time zone; we suggest you go to the ``Directories:'' pane and select your country (or continent). That will change the available time zones, so go ahead and select your geographic locality (i.e., country, province, state, or city) in the ``Timezones:'' pane.
Next, you'll be asked if your system clock is to be set to GMT or local time. Select GMT (i.e., ``Yes'') if you will only be running Unix on your computer; select local time (i.e., ``No'') if you will be running another operating system as well as Debian. Unix (and Linux is no exception) generally keeps GMT time on the system clock and converts visible time to the local time zone. This allows the system to keep track of daylight savings time and leap years, and even allows users who are logged in from other time zones to individually set the time zone used on their terminal.
If you elect to make the hard disk boot directly to Linux, and you are not installing a diskless workstation, you will be asked to install a master boot record. If you aren't using a boot manager (and this is probably the case if you don't know what a boot manager is) and you don't have another different operating system on the same machine, answer ``Yes'' to this question. If you answer ``Yes'', the next question will be whether you want to boot Linux automatically from the hard disk when you turn on your system. This sets Linux root partition to be the bootable partition -- the one that will be loaded from the hard disk.
Note that multiple operating system booting on a single machine is still something of a black art. This document does not even attempt to document the various boot managers, which vary by architecture and even by subarchitecture. You should see your boot manager's documentation for more information. Remember: when working with the boot manager, you can never be too careful.
FIXME: about the boot manager?
If you are installing a diskless workstation, obviously, booting off the local disk isn't a meaningful option, and this step will be skipped.
You may wish to make a boot floppy even if you intend to boot the system from the hard disk. The reason for this is that it's possible for the hard disk bootstrap to be mis-installed, but a boot floppy will almost always work. Select ``Make a Boot Floppy'' from the menu and feed the system a blank floppy as directed. Make sure the floppy isn't write-protected, as the software will format and write it. Mark this the ``Custom Boot'' floppy and write-protect it once it has been written.
This floppy will contain a kernel and a simple filesystem, with a directive to use your new root filesystem.
You system's first boot on its own power is what electrical engineers call the ``smoke test''. If you have any floppies in your floppy drive, remove them. Select the ``Reboot the System'' menu item.
If are booting directly into Debian, and the system doesn't start up, either use your original installation boot media (for instance, the Rescue Floppy), or insert the Custom Boot floppy if you created one, and reset your system. If you are not using the Custom Boot floppy, you will probably need to add some boot arguments. If booting with the Rescue Floppy or similar technique, you need to specify rescue root=root, where root is your root partition, such as ``/dev/sda1''.
Debian should boot, and you should see the same messages as when you first booted the installation system, followed by some new messages.
After booting, you will be prompted to complete the configuration of your basic
system, and then to select what additional packages you wish to install. The
application which guides you through this process is called
If you wish to re-run
base-config at any point after installation
is complete, as root run dpkg-reconfigure base-config.
You will first be prompted whether to install MD5 passwords. This is an alternate method of storing passwords on your system which is more secure than the standard means (called ``crypt'').
The default is ``no'', but if you do not require NIS support and are very concerned about security on this machine, you may say ``yes''.
Unless you said ``yes'' to MD5 passwords, the system will ask whether you want
to enable shadow passwords. This is a system in which your Linux system is
made to be a bit more secure. In a system without shadow passwords, passwords
are stored (encrypted) in a world-readable file,
This file has to be readable to anyone who can log in because it contains vital
user information, for instance, how to map between numeric user identifiers and
login names. Therefore, someone could conceivably grab your
/etc/passwd file and run a brute force attack (i.e. run an
automated test of all possible password combinations) against it to try to
If you have shadow passwords enabled, passwords are instead stored in
/etc/shadow, which is readable and writable only by root, and
readable by group shadow. Therefore, we recommend that you enable shadow
Reconfiguration of the shadow password system can be done at any time with the
shadowconfig program. After installation, see
/usr/share/doc/passwd/README.debian.gz for more information.
The root account is also called the super-user; it is a login that bypasses all security protection on your system. The root account should only be used to perform system administration, and only used for as short a time as possible.
Any password you create should contain from 6 to 8 characters, and should contain both upper- and lower-case characters, as well as punctuation characters. Take extra care when setting your root password, since it is such a powerful account. Avoid dictionary words or use of any personal information which could be guessed.
If anyone ever tells you they need your root password, be extremely wary. You should normally never give your root account out, unless you are administering a machine with more than one system administrator.
The system will ask you whether you wish to create an ordinary user account at this point. This account should be your main personal log-in. You should not use the root account for daily use or as your personal login.
Why not? Well, one reason to avoid using root's privileges is that it is very easy to do irreparable damage as root. Another reason is that you might be tricked into running a Trojan-horse program -- that is a program that takes advantage of your super-user powers to compromise the security of your system behind your back. Any good book on Unix system administration will cover this topic in more detail -- consider reading one if it is new to you.
Name the user account anything you like. If your name is John Smith, you might use ``smith'', ``john'', ``jsmith'' or ``js''. You will also be prompted for the full name of the user, and, like before, a password.
If at any point after installation you would like to create another account,
You will next be asked whether you wish to install the rest of the system using PPP. If you are installing from CD-ROM and/or are connected directly to the network, you can safely say ``no'' and skip this section.
If you do choose to configure PPP at this point, a program named
pppconfig will be run. This program helps you configure your PPP
connection. Make sure, when it asks you for the name of your dialup
connection, that you name it ``provider''.
pppconfig program will walk you through a pain-free
PPP connection setup. However, if it does not work for you, see below for
In order to setup PPP, you'll need to know the basics of file viewing and
editing in Linux. To view files, you should use
zmore for compressed files with a .gz extension. For
example, to view
README.debian.gz, type zmore
README.debian.gz. The base system comes with two editors:
ae, which is very simple to use, but does not have a lot of
elvis-tiny, a limited clone of
will probably want to install more full-featured editors and viewers later,
/etc/ppp/peers/provider and replace ``/dev/modem'' with
``/dev/ttyS#'' where # stands for the number of your
serial port. In Linux, serial ports are counted from 0; your first serial port
/dev/ttyS0 under Linux. The next step is to edit
/etc/chatscripts/provider and insert your provider's phone number,
your user-name and password. Please do not delete the ``\q'' that precedes the
password. It hides the password from appearing in your log files.
Many providers use PAP or CHAP for login sequence instead of text mode
authentication. Others use both. If your provider requires PAP or CHAP,
you'll need to follow a different procedure. Comment out everything below the
dialing string (the one that starts with ``ATDT'') in
/etc/ppp/peers/provider as described above, and add user
name where name stands for your user-name for the
provider you are trying to connect to. Next, edit
enter your password there.
You will also need to edit
/etc/resolv.conf and add your
provider's name server (DNS) IP addresses. The lines in
/etc/resolv.conf are in the following format: nameserver
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where the xs stand for numbers in
your IP address. Optionally, you could add the usepeerdns option
/etc/ppp/peers/provider file, which will enable automatic
choosing of appropriate DNS servers, using settings the remote host usually
Unless your provider has a login sequence different from the majority of ISPs,
you are done! Start the PPP connection by typing
pon as root, and
monitor the process using
plog command. To disconnect, use
poff, again, as root.
/usr/share/doc/ppp/README.Debian.gz file for more information
on using PPP on Debian.
The main means that people use to install packages on their system is via a
apt-get, from the
apt package. APT must be configured, however,
so that it knows where to retrieve packages from. The helper application which
assists in this task is called
The next step in your configuration process is to tell APT where other Debian
packages can be found. Note that you can re-run this tool at any point after
installation by running
apt-setup, or by manually editing
If you are booting from an official CD-ROM, then that CD-ROM should automatically be configured as an apt source without prompting. You will notice this because you will see the CD-ROM being scanned, and then asked if you want to configure another CD-ROM. If you have a multiple CD-ROM set — and most people will — then you should go ahead and scan each of them one by one.
For users without an official CD-ROM, you will be offered an array of choices for how Debian packages are accessed: FTP, HTTP, CD-ROM, or a local filesystem. For CD-ROM users, you can get to this step by specifically asking to add another source.
You should know that it's perfectly acceptable to have a number of different
APT sources, even for the same Debian archive.
automatically pick the package with the highest version number given all the
available versions. Or, for instance, if you have both an HTTP and a CD-ROM
apt-get should automatically use the local CD-ROM when
possible, and only resort to HTTP if a newer version is available there.
However, it is not a good idea to add unnecessary APT sources, since this will
tend to slow down the process of checking the network archives for new
If you plan on installing the rest of your system via the network, the most common option is to select the ``http'' source. The ``ftp'' source is also acceptable, but tends to be a little slower making connections.
For any of the network package sources, you will be prompted whether you wish
to use ``non-US software''. You will generally wish to say ``yes'', because
otherwise you won't be able to install cryptographically secure software, such
as the popular
Next you will be asked whether you wish to have any non-free software. That
refers to commercial software or any other software whose licensing does not
comply with the
Debian Free Software
Guidelines. It's fine to say ``yes'', but be careful when
installing such software, because you will need to ensure that you are using
the software in compliance with its license.
The next step during the configuration of network packages sources is to tell
apt-setup which country you live in. This configures which of the
official Debian Internet mirror network you connect to. Depending on which
country you select, you will be given a list of possible machines. Its
generally fine to pick the one on the top of the list, but any of them should
If you are installing via HTTP, you will be asked to configure your proxy server. This is sometimes required by people behind firewalls, on corporate networks, etc.
Finally, your new network package source will be tested. If all goes well, you will be prompted whether you want to do it all over again with another network source.
You will next be prompted whether you wish to install packages the simple way, or the more fine-grained, advanced way. We recommend you start with the simple way, since you can always run the more advanced way at any time.
You should know that for simple installation,
merely invoking the
tasksel program. For advanced package
dselect program is being run. Either of these
can be run at any time after installation to install more packages. If you are
looking for a specific single package, after installation is complete, simply
run apt-get install package, where package
is the name of the package you are looking for.
If you chose ``simple'' installation, you will next be thrown into the Task
tasksel). This technique offers you a number of
pre-rolled software configurations offered by Debian. You could always choose,
package by package, what do you want to install on your new machine. This is
the purpose of the
dselect program, described below. But this can
be a long task with around 3350 packages available in Debian!
So, you have the ability to choose tasks instead. These loosely represent a number of different jobs or things you want to do with your computer, such as ``Samba'' for SAMBA servers, or ``Gnome Desktop'' for the GNOME desktop environment.
For each task, you can highlight that task and select ``Task Info'' to see more information on that task. This will show you an extended description and the list of packages included for that task.
Once you've selected your tasks, select ``Finish''. At this point,
apt-get will be run to install the packages you've selected. You
will be shown the number of packages to be installed, and how many kilobytes of
packages, if any, need to be downloaded.
There are two caveats to be mentioned at this point. Firstly, of the 3350
packages available in Debian, only a small minority of those are covered by
tasks offered in the Task Installer. To see information on more packages,
either use apt-cache search search-string for some
given search string (see the
apt-cache(8) man page), or run
dselect as described below.
The second caveat is that some so-called ``standard'' packages are not installed by default. Thus, some software, which we consider basic to any Linux system, may not be installed. In order to install that software, simply run tasksel -s, without selecting any packages, then select ``Finish''.
If you selected ``advanced'' packge selection, you'll be dropped into the
dselect program. The
Tutorial is required reading before you run
dselect allows you to select packages to be installed on
your system. If you have a CD-ROM or hard disk containing the additional
Debian packages that you want to install on your system, or you are connected
to the Internet, this will be useful to you right away. Otherwise, you may
want to quit
dselect and start it later, once you have transported
the Debian package files to your system. You must be the super-user (root)
when you run
After you've installed packages, you'll be presented with the login prompt. Log in using the personal login and password you selected. Your system is now ready to use.
Installing Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 For ARMversion 2.2.27, 14 October, 2001