Debian: Explanation & Insights

An operating system for Linux servers


In this guide, we'll explore what Debian is, how it works, and why it's a popular choice for setting up your own Linux server. Whether you're a beginner or have some experience with Linux, we'll cover the basics and provide you with a solid foundation to get started.

What is Debian?

Debian is a free and open-source operating system based on the Linux kernel. It is renowned for its stability, security, and extensive package management system. Debian is designed to be versatile and can be installed on a wide range of devices, from personal computers to servers and even embedded systems. It offers a robust and reliable platform for hosting websites, running applications, and managing services.

Why choose Debian for your server?

One of the key reasons to choose Debian for your server is its stability. Debian's development process places a strong emphasis on thorough testing and bug fixing, resulting in a rock-solid operating system. This stability is particularly important for servers that need to operate continuously without unexpected downtime.

Another advantage of Debian is its vast software repository. Debian has a wide range of pre-packaged software available through its package management system, making it easy to install and update applications on your server. Additionally, Debian has a large community of users and developers who actively maintain and support the software, ensuring that security updates and bug fixes are promptly released.

Setting up a Debian server

To set up your own Debian server, you'll first need to obtain the Debian installation media. You can download the Debian ISO file from the official Debian website and create a bootable USB drive or CD/DVD. Once you have the installation media, follow these steps:

  1. Boot from the installation media: Insert the bootable USB drive or CD/DVD into your server and restart it. Make sure your server is configured to boot from the installation media.

  2. Choose the installation type: Debian offers different installation types, such as the "Graphical Install" or the "Advanced Options" mode. For server setups without a graphical user interface (GUI), the "Advanced Options" mode is recommended.

  3. Partition your disk: During the installation process, you'll be prompted to partition your disk. If you're unsure, you can choose the guided partitioning option for a basic setup. Alternatively, you can manually partition your disk according to your specific requirements.

  4. Configure network settings: Debian will prompt you to configure your network settings, including setting up an IP address, gateway, and DNS servers. Make sure you have this information handy before starting the installation.

  5. Select software packages: Choose the software packages you want to install. For server setups, you can select the "SSH server" package to enable remote access to your server via the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.

  6. Configure additional settings: Debian will guide you through configuring additional settings, such as creating user accounts and setting the root password. It's important to choose a strong password for the root account to enhance security.

  7. Complete the installation: Once you've finished configuring the settings, Debian will proceed with the installation process. This may take a few minutes, depending on the speed of your hardware.

Useful commands for managing a Debian server

Managing a Debian server involves interacting with the command line interface (CLI). Here are some essential commands to get you started:

  • apt: The primary package management command in Debian. Use it to install, update, and remove software packages.

  • systemctl: A command used to manage system services in Debian. You can start, stop, restart, enable, or disable services using

this command.

  • dpkg: A low-level package management command that provides direct control over the installation and removal of software packages.

  • ls: A command to list files and directories in the current directory.

  • cd: A command to change the current directory.

  • nano: A simple text editor for editing configuration files and scripts.


Debian is a robust and versatile operating system for Linux servers. Its stability, extensive software repository, and active community support make it an excellent choice for hosting your websites, running applications, and managing services. By following the installation steps and familiarizing yourself with essential commands, you'll be well on your way to setting up your own Debian server. Enjoy your journey with Debian, and happy server administration!

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license CC BY SA