How to install a Debian 9 (Stretch) Minimal Server

This tutorial exists for these OS versions

On this page

  1. 1 Requirements
  2. 2 Preliminary Note
  3. 3 The Debian Base System

This tutorial shows how to install a Debian 9 (Stretch) 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 9 tutorials and the perfect server guides here at howtoforge.com.

1 Requirements

To install a Debian 9 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 server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.1.100 and the gateway 192.168.1.1. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

 

3 The Debian Base System

Insert your Debian 9 (Stretch) network installation CD into your system and boot from it. When you use a virtualization software like VMware or Virtualbox, then select the Debian 9 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):

Debian 9 Boot Screen

Select your language:

Select Debian installation language

Then choose your location:

Select server location / country

Choose a keyboard layout:

Select 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:

Loading additional components

Configure network with DHCP

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

Enter the server hostname

Enter your domain name. In this example, this is example.com:

Enter the domain name of the Debian server

Afterward, give the root user a password:

Enter the root password

Confirm that password to avoid typos:

Confirm the root password

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):

Enter realname of the user

Enter username

Set a password

Repeat the user password

Now select the timezone for the server

Select the time zone

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. 30GB for / and a large /var partition as all website and email data is stored in subdirectories of /var.

Partition method

Select the disk that you want to partition:

Select Disk 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:

Partition scheme

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

Finish partitioning

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

Write partitions to disk

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

Installing the base system

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