4.11 Getting the Installation Media

You can install Debian GNU/Linux in a number of ways. Here we review a CD-ROM (and DVD-ROM) installation (although floppy install is also covered for some older installations). CD-ROM is the current recommended approach (although DVD-ROM is now also available and will soon become the recommended approach). However, floppy disk install is still feasible, if a little tiresome. LiveCD (see Section 4.9.2) install is an alternative but you may not be able to simply upgrade to Debian when you want to.

4.11.1 Floppy Distribution

A collection of floppy disks (sixteen for Debian 2.2, for example) is required to begin the floppy-disk installation. The raw floppy disk images can be retrieved from http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/main/disks-i386/current/images-1.44/. The required images are: rescue.bin (the Rescue Disk); driver-1.bin to driver-4.bin (the Drivers Disks); and base-1.bin up to base-11.bin (the Base Disks). These can be written to floppy disks using the rawrite2 executable for MS/Windows (which is available from http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/main/disks-i386/current/dosutils/):

  C:\> rawrite2 -f resc1440.bin -d a:

4.11.2 CD or DVD ROM Distribution

The available CD and DVD ROMs for Debian include the main distribution, which is a self contained install, and the network installer, netinst. Netinst distributions are Debian CDs with a bare installer. The base OS and any additional packages you choose to install are downloaded from a Debian mirror. (netinst) CD-ROM. Other CPU specific CD-ROMs (e.g., the Sparc 3.0 srage CD-ROM) are also available from Debian. The disk images can be obtained from, for example, http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/debian-cd/ and similar archives (this Australian mirror is only available to Australian hosts). For CD-ROM only installations you may need to obtain multiple CD-ROMs, although even with DVDs this is starting to spill over two DVDs. For the netinst approach the CD-ROM images are generally around 100MB.

Grab the disk image from a web site and burn to CD or DVD (preferably using an RW format!):

  # cdrecord -data cdimage.raw

A good approach is to use the netinst approach—the base packages are provided on one CD-ROM and from there the rest of the system is installed, as required, over the network.

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