Installation of Debian 9 (Stretch) Minimal Server

In this guide, we will walk you through the installation of a Debian 9 (Stretch) 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 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 9 installation instructions.


Minimum Systems Requirements:

  • RAM 64 MB
  • Hard disk space: 1GB

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 9

Debian 9 server system network installation minimal CD image:

  1. For 32-bit: Debian-9.0.0-i386-netinst.iso (i386)
  2. For 64-bit: Debian-9.0.0-amd64-netinst.iso (x86_64 / amd64)

Installation of Debian 9 Minimal Server

1. After downloading the Debian 9 minimal CD image from the above links, burn it to a CD or create a bootable USB stick using LiveUSB Creator called Unetbootin or Etcher.

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 Graphical Install and press [Enter] key.

Debian 9 Boot Menu

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

Select Debian 9 Installation Language

Configuring Location, Locales 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 then country. Once your done click Continue as shown below.

Select Country Location

Select Location Region

Select Location Country

5. Now configure the system locales (language and country combination) and click Continue.

Configure Country Locales

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

Select Keyboard Layout

Select Keyboard Layout

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

Debian 9 Installer Components

Configure Hostname and Domain Name

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

Set Debian 9 Hostname

Set Debian 9 Domain Name

Configure Users and Password

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

Set Debian 9 Root Password

10. 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.

Setup Debian 9 User Account

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

Set Debian 9 Username

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

Set Debian 9 User Password

Debian 9 Partitioning Disk

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

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

Select Manuel Disk 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.

Overview of Disks

Create New Disk Partition

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

Select Free Space to Partition

Creating Swap Partition

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

Create Swap Partition

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 Beginning

18. Now set partition as Swap area as shown in the following two screen shots.

Swap Partition Details

Select Swap Area

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

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 new partition. Afterwards set the root partition size, make it Primary and set it at the Beginning of the free space.

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

Select Free Space to Create Root Partition

Create Root Partition

Set Root Partition Size

Set Root Partition to Primary

Set Root Partition as Beginning

Set Root Filesystem to Ext4

Create Home Partition

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

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

Click on Write Changes to Disk

Finalizing Debian 9 Installation Process

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

Installing Debian 9 Base System

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

Configure Debian 9 Package Manager

25. Afterwards, press Esc to continue without a network mirror by selecting Yes. Then click Continue.

Configure Without Network Mirror

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

Configure Popularity Contest

27. Now install standard system utilities and click Continue.

Debian 9 Software Selection

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 Debian 9 Grub Boot Loader

Install Grub Boot Loader 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.

Debian 9 Installation Completed

Debian 9 Login

That’s all. You now have a working a Debian 9 (Stretch) 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 these following articles.

  1. Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB or MySQL and PHP) Stack on Debian 9
  2. How to Install LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MariaDB, PHP-FPM) on Debian 9
  3. The Ultimate Guide to Secure, Harden and Improve Performance of Nginx Web Server

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