Chapter 2. Basic Debian installation

We want to have as clean a system as possible to install on, we only want to install as little as possible to begin with. Just enough, so that we can log on to the system, and later install needed packages.

We therefore install only the absolute minimum to get the system up and running. We will later install additional packages that I think is needed.

2.1. Installation

Get hold of a Debian CD #1. In my case I use a Debian NonUS verison of CD1 - I do this because I live outside the US...

Boot from the CD and follow the instructions. A minimumn knowledge of Linux installations is needed at this point if You wish to install successfully. If this is the first time You are installing a Debian, You might want to go real slow and read the instructions carefully.

You will be asked to initialize Your disks during this process, it is a good idea to have the layout of Your disks planned at this time.

We will later add specialized user authentication, You should at this point make the first deviation from good practices, and NOT add any normal users to Your system. This will be done later.

As we only want a basic system, You should break off further installation when You are asked to select packages/tasks.

After You have finished the basic installation, You should now be able to access hosts on the internet. This means that Your network should be configured correctly, otherwise the next steps will fail.

2.2. Updating the system

Any installation from a static media, such as a CD-Rom is bound to be a bit out of date. We want to make sure that we have the newest packages and security patches on our system.

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Voila... If You configured Your network correctly, and has an internet connection, Your system should now be reasonably up-to-date.

2.3. Removing unwanted packages

To remove a package, we use the command apt-get --purge remove <package>. The --purge part of the command ensures that everything from a package really IS gone, and is not just lingering around on our hard disks.

The packages I want to remove are:

apt-get --purge remove at
apt-get --purge remove tasksel
apt-get --purge remove ipchains
apt-get --purge remove ppp
apt-get --purge remove nano

2.4. Installing additional packages

We add packages to the system with the command apt-get install <package>.

The minimal system we installed did not include a lot of tools I like to have present on my systems. I won't install all of the tools at this time, since that would be to exhaustive, but for me, it is almost impossible to use a system without the following:

apt-get install ssh
apt-get install vim
apt-get install vim-perl
apt-get install zip
apt-get install unzip
apt-get install bzip2
apt-get install wget
apt-get install finger
apt-get install less
apt-get install make
apt-get install sudo
apt-get install mc
apt-get install hdparm
apt-get install ncftp
apt-get install ftp
apt-get install host
apt-get install lsof
apt-get install openssl
apt-get install gcc