Debian 9 (stretch) install

Scope and Purpose

  • To document a basic installation of Debian 9 Stretch.


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We assume the target system has met the following minimum requirements:

  • 64GB RAM
  • 1GB Hard Disk
  • Internet connectivity (via wired connection, wireless connections are out of scope).

Setup Process

  1. Download a [Debian Installer] ( netinst CD images are recommended in most cases as they are smaller and faster to download.

  2. Burn the ISO to a CD or USB media, unless you are creating a virtual machine. In the case you are creating a virtual machine, the CD image (.iso) will need to be mounted to your hypervisor once you've created the virtual machine.

  3. Boot the target machine from the installation media.

  4. When the "Debian GNU/Linux Installer boot menu" appears, select "Install" and press ENTER.

  5. Next select the appropriate language (e.g. English) and press ENTER.

  6. Then select the appropriate location (e.g. United States) and press ENTER.

  7. Select the appropriate keymap (e.g. American English) and press ENTER.

  8. The system will now configure and load some additional components. This may take a few minutes.

  9. You should be prompted to "Configure the network" next. Enter your desired hostname and press ENTER.

  10. Next enter your desired domain name (e.g. acme.tld). Please note: don't use .corp or .local or any other top-level domain name you don't control. Use ".tld" if anything or just "localdomain."

  11. Enter your root password and press ENTER. You will be prompted to do this twice.

  12. Next enter the full name of your user (e.g. Will E. Coyote) and press ENTER.

  13. You'll be prompted to enter the username (e.g. wcoyote) then press ENTER.

  14. Two times, you'll be prompted for the new user account's password. Press ENTER after entering it each time.

  15. Then select your timezone (e.g. Central).

  16. Next you will need to partition your disks. This can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. For purposes of this discussion, just select "Guided - use entire disk" and press ENTER. If you're interested in complex partitioning schemes, be careful. I have seen people create complex partition schemes only to degrade their own performance due to ignorance and missed details.

  17. Then select the disk to partition. In most cases there should be only one disk. Press ENTER to continue.

  18. When asked for the partioning scheme, select "all files in one partition" unless you know what you are doing. For production systems, for example, I would recommend putting logs, tmp directories and other data volumes on separate devices and partitions. But that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

  19. Next confirm your settings and select "Finish Partitioning and write changes to disk" then press ENTER to continue.

  20. A second window will ask you to confirm (yes/no) whether to write changes to disk. Select "yes" and press ENTER to continue if you are sure you want to do this. YOU WILL OVERWRITE DATA ON THE TARGET DISK.

  21. At this point the system will begin installing the base system. The process can take a few minutes.

  22. You will be prompted to Configure the packaage manager. This screen will ask if you want to scan another CD/DVD. If you are using a net install disk (recommended) then select 'no' and press ENTER. This will pull packages from the Internet.

  23. To pull packages from the Internet you must select a Debian archive mirror country (e.g. United States) and press Enter, followed by a Debian Archive Mirror server (e.g. and press ENTER again.

  24. If your internet connection requires an HTTP proxy, enter the proxy infromation and press ENTER. Most people will just select continue and press ENTER.

  25. The system will begin configuring apt, the package manager. This may take a few minutes.

  26. When the package manager is ready, you will be prompted whether you want to participate in the package usage survey. Answer as appropriate to your use case. In many cases I will actually allow this to help the Debian project. But in some cases where I don't want the system sharing anything, I select 'No' and press ENTER to continue.

  27. Next you will be prompted for basic package installation. Choose wisely based on your need. I usually don't install anything here and just deselect everything and move forward with a basic system.

  28. Once the packages are installed, you'll be prompted to install the GRUB boot loader. Select "Yes" and press ENTER.

  29. Next select the hard disk (e.g. /dev/sda) and press ENTER.

  30. The installation will finish and you'll be prompted to remove any installation media and select "Continue" and press ENTER to reboot to the newly installed environment.

  31. Once the system reboots, log in and continue configuring and installing as needed for your particular case.

That is it. Happy Hacking!