Draft Installation Chapter
I've started revising the install docs, and thought it was a good time
to put out some of my work in progress. The portion below is a new chapter
One concern I have is that the presence of multiple kernels may only be
an issue for i386. If so, appropriate guards should go around some
of the following discussion. I know other architectures have sub-arch's,
perhaps the only issue there is picking the one that matches your hardware?
Also, I put in a reference to an item in an enumerated list. I'm not sure
if that will work.
I've adopted "sources" as the generic term for the varieties of media and
installation methods. This is consistent with with apt.
The draft appears immediately below.
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<chapt id="install-methods">Methods for Installing Debian
You can install Debian from a variety of sources, both local (CD, hard
disk, floppies) and remote (ftp, NFS, ppp, the web). Debian also
supports various hardware configurations, so you may still have a few
choices to make before you get going. This chapter lays out the
choices and some suggestions for how to make them.
But wait, there's more! You can actually make different choices for
different steps in the installation. For example, you may start the
installation by booting off diskettes, but then feed later steps in
the install process files from your hard disk.
As the installation progresses you will move from a scrawny, incapable
system which lives only in RAM to a full-featured &debian
system installed on the hard disk. One of the key goals of the early
installation steps is to provide stronger support for hardware (e.g.,
interface cards) and software (e.g., network protocols and file system
drivers) so that later steps have a richer choice of installation
sources than the earlier steps.
<![ %supports-bootable-cd [
The easiest route for most people will be to use a set of Debian
CD's. If you have such a set, and if your machine supports booting
directly off the CD, you are set. Simply
<![ %i386 [
configure your system to boot off the CD as described in <ref
insert your CD, reboot, and proceed to the next chapter. If it turns
out the standard installation doesn't work for your hardware, you can
come back here to see about alternate kernels and installation methods
which may work for you. In particular, note that some CD sets provide
different kernels on different CD's, so that by booting off some CD
other than the first may work for you.
Here's an overview of the installation process, highlighting the
points for which you must choose an installation source, or make a
choice which will affect which sources you can choose later:
<item>You begin by booting the installation system.
<item>You will immediately need to provide a source for the
<item>You answer a series of questions to perform the initial
<item>You provide a source for the drivers.
<item id="step-drivers">You select which drivers to load.
<item>You provide a source for the base system.
<item>You reboot the system and then do some final configuration.
<item>Optionally, but almost certainly, you install addtional
software, providing one or more sources for it.
In making your choices, you need to bear a few dependencies in mind.
Each architecture has various kernels. The kernel that you pick for
the initial system boot is the same kernel that your fully configured
system will use. Since drivers are kernel-specific, you must also
pick the drivers at step <ref id="step-drivers"> which go with your
kernel. We'll turn shortly to the details of picking the right
Different kernels also have different networking abilities out of the
box, and so also expand or limit your source choices, particularly
early in the install process.