There is a new version of this tutorial available for Debian 11 (Bullseye).

How to install a Debian 8 (Jessie) Minimal Server

This tutorial shows how to install a Debian 8 (Jessie) minimal server. The purpose of this guide is to provide a minimal Debian setup that can be used as the basis for our other Debian 8 tutorials and the perfect server guides here at

1 Requirements

To install a Debian 8 server system you will need the following:

 I will use the 64Bit installation media here.

2 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial, I will use the hostname with the IP address and the gateway These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.


3 The Debian Base System

Insert your Debian 8 (Jessie) network installation CD into your system and boot from it. When you use a virtualisation software like VMware or Virtualbox, then select the Debian Jessie minimal iso file as source file for the DVD drive of the VM, you don't have to burn it to a CD or DVD for that first.

Select Install (this will start the text installer - if you prefer a graphical installer, select Graphical install):

Select your language:

Then choose your location:

Choose a keyboard layout:

The installer checks the installation CD, your hardware and configures the network with DHCP if there is a DHCP server in the network:

Enter the hostname. In this example, my system is called, so I enter server1:

Enter your domain name. In this example, this is

Afterward, give the root user a password:

Confirm that password to avoid typos:

Create a Linux user account, e.g. your name or nickname. For this example installation, I will choose the name "administrator" with the user name administrator (don't use the user name admin as it is a reserved name on Debian Linux):

Now select the timezone for the server

Now you have to partition your hard disk. For simplicity's sake I select Guided - use entire disk - this will create a large partition for the / file system and another one for swap (of course, the partitioning is totally up to you - if you know what you're doing, you can also set up your partitions manually). For hosting systems like the ISPConfig 3 perfect server tutorials you might want to choose e.g. 20GB for / and a large /var partition as all website and email data is stored in subdirectories of /var.

Select the disk that you want to partition:

Then select the partitioning scheme. As mentioned before, I select All files in one partition (recommended for new users) for simplicity's sake - it's up to your likings what you choose here:

When you're finished, select Finish partitioning and write changes to disk:

Select Yes when you're asked: "Write changes to disk?":

Afterward, your new partitions are created and formatted. Now the base system is installed:

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17 Comment(s)

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By: Cai6zohp

What about skipping systemd installation ?boot: ... preseed/late_command="in-target apt-get install -y sysvinit-core sysvinit sysvinit-utils" ...

By: till

As far as I know, Debian plans to switch completely to systemd in the long run. So I guess it might be better to make new installations with systemd so you dont have to convert from sysvinit to systemd later when they drop sysvinit support. For systems that get updated from Wheezy and therefor run sysvinit at the moment, I would stay with sysvinit for now.

By: lanmant

i am sure you meant debian jessie network installation CD

To install a Debian 8 server system you will need the following:

the Debian Wheezy network installation CD, available here: 32Bit: (i386) or 64Bit: (x86_64 / amd64) a fast Internet connection.


By: lanmant

shouldnt that be systemctl restart networking

and thanks for the article

By: Richard

What happens if I use two disks that are larger than 2Tb ? 

I just tried a netboot install and got the partition length of 5860530176 sectors exceeds the msdos-partition-table-imposed maximum of 4294967295then tried a terminal and can't use parted. 

By: Tomm

Try using ext4

By: Swizz

 Download links raise 404

By: till

The Links are updated now.

By: Sijmen

Debian link is down new Link

By: inside83

Here are the links

By: Daniel

Would you happen to have noted how much disk space was being used at the end?I did almost exactly what you said to install an emulated Debian, but in the end my 5 GB disk was insufficient to install SSH server + standard system utilities. I find it a bit too much for a "minimal" server.

By: Nok

thanks so much!! Great job

By: Ed Ortiz

 update download iso files, regards

By: r scott

i want to insall it on a partition but it will not let me this is ......

By: human

just do auto install.

By: jason

One of the most useful links I tried for my frist installation of Debian on VMWare, thank you.

By: Jann-Cedric

Reeeeally good documentation, thank you very much!!!!