Installing Debian GNU/Linux for Personal Telco use


On CoreServer systems and many nodes which use normal PC hardware, the NetworkOperationsTeam uses the GNU/Linux distribution called Debian. See DebianLinux for general information.

The normal procedure for installing Debian is well-documented:

Although it may seem intimidating, that guide is very complete and effective. You may find it helpful to read over it before beginning, especially if you have not installed a Debian system before, and to refer to it if you run into problems.

This document specifically refers to installing Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codename 'etch', on x86 systems which are intended to be managed by the NetworkOperationsTeam. Many of these settings are not appropriate for home usage, unless one is hosting an ops-managed system.

These instructions must be followed precisely by users who are following the UsingBuilderHowTo.

Installation procedure

1. Download and burn (or otherwise get a copy of) the Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 'etch' netinst disc. See (for example) here.

2. Boot your target system using the netinst disc.

4. Follow through the questions until you see the option to partition a hard disk.

5. Recently, the most common hard drive size that we have been using is ~2GiB. This is our usual partition layout:


(hda1) primary partition 1



(hda2) primary partition 2

/ (root)


(hda5) logical partition 1



(hda6) logical partition 2



(hda7) logical partition 3


Increasing any of these sizes is acceptable - swap, /var and /home being likely candidates. Also, /home may be shrunk as small as about 400MiB. Generally, the ext3 filesystem should be used.

6. Continue following through the questions. Eventually, the system will reboot.

NOTE - the rest of this page needs to be updated for etch.

7. After rebooting, the system will congratulate you and continue to ask questions.

8. When you see a 'login:' prompt, the Debian base installation and configuration is complete.

What Next?

For nodes which will be managed by the NetworkOperationsTeam, continue with UsingBuilderHowTo. Otherwise, check out NewCloneArmyInstallMethodology.