Debian GNU/Linux 5 installation options

DebianThe Debian GNU/Linux installer has always been one of the best installers you’ll find on any free operating system. My one gripe with it is that it involves far too may steps. That is still true with updated installer that comes with Debian 5, the latest release of the distro. However, this new installer has made selecting the initial options a bit more “fun.”

Take the first screen shot, for example. The first options you are presented with are:

  • Install – choose this if you want an ncurses-based installation.
  • Graphical install – this is what you would select if you want a point-and-click installation. Since it’s much better than the ncurses-based option, this should have been the default.
  • Advanced options – want to install like a pro or to access more – not necessarily advanced options – highlight this option and hit Enter on your keyboard.

Lots more to choose under advanced options:

  • Expert install and Graphical expert install – these two options are the expert equivalents of the Install and Graphical install options you encountered on the first screen. Under the expert options, you are in full control of your choices. Even if you are not a pro, do not be intimidated by these two. Try either one. It’s a good way to learn more about the Debian installer and all the options available to you. Having a good knowledge of how a distro is installed puts you in a better position to manage it once it’s up and running.
  • Rescue mode and Graphical rescue mode – These are the ones you do not ever want to use, but when trouble strikes and you need to fix the system, you’ll be glad they are available.
  • Automated install and Graphical automated install – these two options are designed to reduce your input during the installation process. However, for the iso image I used for testing (x86 iso image), both failed to “load components from the DVD …,” and I had to abort the installation. Because this error occured using the same DVD I used for a graphical insatallation, I doubt if the error had anything to do with the media. Must be a problem with the script.
  • Alternative desktop environments – if Gnome is not your kind of desktop environment, the installer gives you three more to choose from.


Aside from Gnome, which is the default desktop environment on a Debian system, these are the three alternative desktop environment the installer presents if you select the last option in the screenshot above.

  • K Desktop Environment
  • LXDE – Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment
  • XFCE Desktop Environment

Selecting any of the alternative desktop environments gives you the same installation options you encountered in the first and second screenshots above. Most distros, like Sabayon and Mandriva, allow you to configure most aspects of the system and then present the supported desktop environments towards the end. There is nothing wrong with the Debian way, it is just different.

KDE advanced options. Same options available under the default install process.

Related Posts

Zap GPT data structures from a disk, while preserving existing MBR partitions Using GPT partitions, or a GPT partitioning scheme, takes care of the shortcomings of the MBR partitioning scheme. However, if you are not careful, i...
Add cloud storage to OpenOffice.org with SMECloud Cloud computing is all the rage these days. But while the idea of using your browser to access your applications and documents sounds like a great ide...
The best Markdown editors for Linux During my search for a good Markdown editor for Linux, I came across a few that are good and a few that are not that good. See The search for a usable...
Dual-boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10 in UEFI mode Dual-booting Windows 8 and a Linux distribution in UEFI or EFI-compatible mode can be a very frustrating and unpredictable adventure. You just never k...
Dual-boot Ubuntu 14.10 and Window 8 on a Toshiba Satellite C55-A The Toshiba Satellite C55-A is a Toshiba laptop with Intel Core i3 processor inside, a 750 GB hard disk drive (HDD) and Windows 8 factory installed. T...
6 things to do after installing OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 is the first stable release of OpenMandriva, a Linux desktop distribution that is a community-continuation of what used to be M...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


One Comment

  1. Have to correct myself on the automated install options: although it failed using a DVD burned from a full iso image, it worked using a netinst image. Keep in mind that “automated” install does not mean that you boot up, one mouse click, and the installer does all the rest for you. No, that’s not how it works. It still requires a lot of input from you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*