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 wheezy 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 6.0, 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 squeeze, please check the release announcements for the wheezy beta and RC releases available from the Debian Installer's news history.

3.1.1. Major changes

New ports

Support for the 'armhf' and 's390x' architectures has been added to the installer.

Software speech support

Debian can be installed using software speech, for instance by visually impaired people who do not use a Braille device. This is triggered simply by typing s and Enter at the installer boot beep. More than a dozen languages are supported.

New languages

Thanks to the huge efforts of translators, Debian can now be installed in 74 languages, including English. This is three more languages than in squeeze. 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 include:

  • Welsh has been re-added to the graphical and text-based installer (it had been removed in squeeze).

  • Tibetan and Uyghur have been added to the graphical 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.

Network configuration

The installer now supports installation on IPv6-only networks.

It is now possible to install over a WPA-encrypted wireless network.

Default filesystem

ext4 is the default filesystem for new installations, replacing ext3.

The btrfs filesystem is provided as a technology preview.

UEFI boot

It is now possible to install PCs in UEFI mode instead of using the legacy BIOS emulation.

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 squeeze 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.