Installing sarge

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 has been superseded by Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (etch). Some of these installation images may no longer be available, or may no longer work, and you are recommended to install etch instead.

To install Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r8 (sarge), download any of the following images:

businesscard CD image (50 Mb)

other images (netboot, USB stick, floppy, tape, etc.)


If you read only one document before installing, read our Installation Howto, a quick walkthrough of the installation process. Other useful documentation includes:


This is a list of known problems in the installer shipped with Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r8. If you have experienced a problem installing Debian and do not see your problem listed here, please send us an installation report describing the problem or check the wiki for other known problems.

Errata for release 3.1r8

No changes from release 3.1r7.

Errata for release 3.1r7

The issue listed for 3.1r6 regarding support for installing oldstable from network mirrors has been resolved. All 3.1r7 installation CDs and other installer images fully support installing Sarge again.

Installation of the Desktop environment task may fail when installing from a full CD. This is due to the fact that OpenOffice is not included on the first CD, but that for some packages security updates are available from the security mirrors.
The problem can be avoided by also selecting the option manual package selection when selecting the desktop task. After that, aptitude will display the packages to be installed. Find the package and unselect it by pressing the - key, and then continue the installation by pressing the g key.
The problem can also be avoided by adding a network mirror, or by also scanning the second full CD during Apt configuration.

Errata for release 3.1r6

The issue with kernel selection from 3.1r5 was resolved in this release.

Due to the fact that Sarge is no longer stable but is now oldstable, the installer will no longer correctly fetch packages from network mirrors. This most affects installations that use a network mirror before the first reboot, such as netboot and businesscard images. You can still install Sarge using netinst and full CD or DVD images as long as you manually edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list to make sure that any source lines for network mirrors point to sarge and not to stable before installing packages from a network mirror. Effectively, this means that you cannot use a network mirror during the installation!

Errata for release 3.1r5

On four architectures the installer may select an incorrect kernel for your system. The affected architectures are: i386, hppa, ia64 and s390.
You can work around this issue by booting the installer with the parameter debconf/priority=medium. This will result in a full list of available kernels being shown, from which you can manually select the flavor that is appropriate for your system.

Errata for release 3.1r4

The 3.1r4 point release does not include an update of the installer, except that the issue introduced with 3.1r3 for sparc32 was fixed with this release. The general comments listed below for 3.1r3 are still valid.

Errata for release 3.1r3

In addition to the original errata for Sarge 3.1r0 listed below, the following issues should be noted for the update of the installer with the 3.1r3 release (r1 and r2 did not include an update of the installer).

With the update of the kernel for this release, some of the installer images originally released with sarge 3.1r0 will no longer work due to a mismatch between the kernel the installer boots and kernel udebs loaded later. Affected are all installation methods that download udebs from the network, e.g. floppy-based and netboot installations. The updated installer images should work correctly.
CD-based installations are not affected, so you can continue to use CD/DVD images from earlier sarge releases.

Errata for release 3.1r0

Improved versions of the installation system are being developed for the next Debian release, and can also be used to install sarge. For details, see the Debian-Installer project page.

Installer for the blind - "speakup"

For the i386 architecture Debian provides a special set of installation images for floppies that support braille displays. A complete list of supported models may be found in the brltty documentation.