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Installing Debian Sarge

Friday 30th September 2005

Categories: Guides, GNU/Linux, FLOSS

Basic Installation... Again

The next part of the installer should greet you with:

Welcome to your new Debian system!

Unsurprisingly, hit Ok to continue. The next question asks:

Is the hardware clock set to GMT?

If you're running Windows alongside Linux, you'll want to select No here; if you're just running Linux, Yes is the option you want. You'll then be presented with a list of timezones - just pick the one most appropiate to you. After that, you're asked for a root password. For those who haven't used Linux before, here's a quick diversion - those you that know what root is, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. The root user is similar to Window's Administrator, except that the concept works much better with Linux. You should only be logged in as root when you need to - this includes installation of programs, and changing some configuration files. The rest of the time, you should be a normal user. This increases security, as well as reducing the chance of you destroying your system.

Right, on with the installation - enter your root password, and enter it again. Then you told to:

Enter a full name for the new user:

This could be Joe Bloggs, or Miss Flobadob, or whatever takes your fancy - the computer doesn't really mind if you don't use your real name or every middle name you have. You'll then be asked to:

Enter a username for your account:

This should be something fairly simple and easy to remember since you'll be using it every time you want to use the computer (at least under that account). You're then asked for another password, and to confirm it. Next is apt configuration. If you left the CD in the drive, the installer will start reading it. Otherwise, you'll have to select which method of obtaining packages you would like to use. If you want to pull packages off the internet, you'll want to use HTTP or FTP protocols. Try to pick servers near your location - hopefully, that will result in faster speeds.

After all of that, the computer will start testing the apt sources. If all goes well, the list of packages should be obtained, and the installation continues. You'll be asked what software you want to install. You can pick any options that take your fancy, but if you're following this guide to the letter, don't install anything yet - we want to be specific about what we install.

The installer should now happily start grabbing and installing packages. It should ask you to configure Exim after some time - specifically:

General type of mail configuration:

From the list, the default of local delivery only; not a network should be fine. You'll then be asked to pick the Root and postmaster mail recipient - again, the default value should be fine. Some more thinking by the computer, until, thankfully, you are told:

Setup of your new Debian system is complete.

Hooray! You can log in using the username you provided beforehand - don't log in as root - you should never log in as root. Instead, at a prompt such as the one provided once you log in, type su. You'll then be asked for a password, which is the root password you gave earlier. This effectively turns you into root - never do things as root that you could do as a normal user, such as browse the internet or chat online. To turn back into a normal user, simply type exit.