How to Install Debian 11 (Bullseye) Server Using Net Install

In this guide, we will walk you through the installation of a Debian 11 (Bullseye) Minimal Server, using the netinstall CD ISO image. This installation you will carry out is appropriate for building a future customizable server platform, without a GUI (Graphical User Interface).

[ You might also like: A Fresh Installation of Debian 11 Bullseye Desktop ]

You can use it to install only the necessary software packages that you need to work with, which we will show you in future guides. However, before you move further, read the system requirements, download the netinstall CD ISO image and then proceed to the Debian 11 installation instructions.

Requirements

  • Minimum RAM: 512MB.
  • Recommended RAM: 2GB.
  • Hard Drive Space: 10 GB.
  • Minimum 1GHz Pentium processor.

Important: These are only values for a test scenario, in a production environment, you probably want to use suitable RAM and Hard disk size to meet your local environment needs.

Download Debian 11

Debian 11 server system network installation minimal CD image:

Installation of Debian 11 Minimal Server

1. After downloading the Debian 11 minimal CD image from the above links, burn it to a CD or create a bootable USB stick using LiveUSB Creator called Unetbootin or Rufus.

2. Once you have created the installer bootable media, place your CD/USB into your system appropriate drive.

Then start the computer, select your bootable device, and the first Debian 9 installer boot menu should appear as shown below. Choose Install and press the [Enter] key.

Debian 11 Install Menu
Debian 11 Install Menu

3. The system will start loading the media installer and a page to select the installation language should appear as shown below. Select your installation process language and click on Continue.

Debian 11 Install Language
Debian 11 Install Language

Configuring Location and Keyboard Settings

4. Now select your location used for setting the system timezone and locales, if not on the list go to Other and click on Continue. Find the region and the country. Once you are done click Continue as shown below.

Select Country Location
Select Country Location

5. Next, choose your Keyboard Layout to use and click Continue.

Select Keyboard Layout
Select Keyboard Layout

6. The installer will now load components from the CD shown below.

Debian 11 Components
Debian 11 Components

Configure Hostname and Domain Name

7. The next step is to set your system hostname and domain name and click Continue.

Set Hostname
Set Hostname
Set Domain Name
Set Domain Name

Configure Users and Password

8. Here, you will configure system users and their passwords. Start by setting the root user password as shown below and click Continue when you are done.

Set Root Password
Set Root Password

9. Then create a user account for the system administrator. First set the user’s full name as shown below and click Continue when you are done.

Set Account Name
Set Account Name

10. In this step, set the user’s system name and click Continue.

Set User Name
Set User Name

11. Now set the above user’s password and click Continue.

Set User Password
Set User Password

12. Configure your system clock.

Set System Clock
Set System Clock

Partitioning Disk

13. On the next screen, choose Manuel to perform disk partitioning.

Note: You can select Guided – use the entire disk and set up LVM (Logical Volume Manager) as partition layout for efficient disk space management and follow the instructions.

Choose Manual Partitioning
Choose Manual Partitioning

14. You will see an overview of your current system disks and mount points. Select the disk to be partitioned and click Continue.

After that, select Yes to create a new empty partition table on the disk.

Choose Disk for Partitioning
Choose Disk for Partitioning
Create New Empty Partition Table
Create New Empty Partition Table

15. Next, select the free space on the disk to partition it and click Continue.

Choose Free Space
Choose Free Space

Creating Swap Partition

16. Now create the Swap area by selecting Create a new partition and set appropriate size as shown in the screenshots below. Then click Continue.

Create Swap Partition
Create Swap Partition
Set Swap Size
Set Swap Size

17. Set swap partition as Primary and choose the Beginning of the free space on disk and click Continue.

Set Swap Partition to Primary
Set Swap Partition to Primary
Set Swap Partition to Beginning
Set Swap Partition to Beginning

18. Now set partition as Swap area as shown in the following screenshot.

Set Swap Area
Set Swap Area

19. Now select Done setting up the partition and click Continue.

Done Setting Swap Partition
Done Setting Swap Partition

Create Root Partition

20. In this step, you can now create the root partition by selecting the free space, then select Create a new partition. Afterward set the root partition size, make it Primary and set it at the beginning of the free space.

Then use the Ext4 file system on it and finally select Done setting up partition and click Continue as shown in the following screenshots.

Create Root Partition
Create Root Partition
Set Root Partition Size
Set Root Partition Size
Set Root Type
Set Root Type
Done Root Settings
Done Root Settings

Create Home Partition

21. Similarly to create a /home partition follow the same instruction as explained above using the remaining free space if you have.

22. Once you have created all the necessary partitions, click on Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.

Finish Partitioning
Finish Partitioning
Finish Partitioning Changes
Finish Partitioning Changes

Finalizing Debian 11 Installation Process

23. At this point, installation of the base system should begin as shown below.

Installing Debian Base System
Installing Debian Base System

24. Now configure the package manager as shown in the screenshot below. Select No and click Continue.

Configure Package Manager
Configure Package Manager

25. Afterwards, configure a network mirror by selecting the nearest country and then click Continue.

Choose Debian Archive Mirror
Choose Debian Archive Mirror

26. Next, choose whether to participate in the package usage survey or not. Then click Continue.

Configure Popularity Contest
Configure Popularity Contest

27. Now install standard system utilities and click Continue.

Installing Debian Software
Installing Debian Software

28. In this step, you will install the Grub boot loader by choosing Yes. After which you should choose the disk to install it.

Install Grub Boot Loader
Install Grub Boot Loader
Install Grub on Disk
Install Grub on Disk

29. Finally, the installation is done, click Continue to reboot the machine and remove the bootable media, then boot in your system and login.

Finish Debian 11 Install
Finish Debian 11 Install
Debian 11 Login
Debian 11 Login

That’s all. You now have a working Debian 11 (Bullseye) Minimal Server for developing a future customizable server platform. If you are looking to deploy a web server such as Apache or Nginx, go through the following articles.

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