How to install Debian on VMware ESXi [Part 2]

This is the second part of the Tutorial on “How to install Debian on VMware ESXi”. This post will take the virtual machine created in part 1 and installs Debian on it.

How to install a new Debian system

  1. If you have completed part 1 successfully, then your virtual machine should boot up with this screen (make sure the disk with the install image is “inserted”):
  2. At first you have to choose the language you wish the system to be installed on. I prefer English, simply because you don’t get crappy translations and can use Google or other search engines for error messages, if necessary.
  3. Next you have to set your location, here you can choose on whatever location you are sitting. I choose for obvious reasons Switzerland …


  4. Just select the default (United States) and hit Enter. I really don’t know, or care, what this means. I had no problems selecting this in years, so 🙂
  5. Now choose your keyboard layout that you like to work with. For me it is Swiss German.
  6. Now you have to set the hostname for the system. I prefer to use the same name as I have set for the virtual machine itself.
    PS: If you have forgotten to configure the DHCP server, you will have a different screen saying it couldn’t get an IP address (if, of course, you have setup  a only fix lease based DHCP network). So make sure you will get an IP address for this step.
  7. The next thing you need to enter is the domain of your network. If the DHCP server is set up correctly, then it should say the value you have set there. If not, you should set it here.
  8. Next you will be prompted for the password for the administration user account (root). Please make sure to set something difficult, because with this account you can change everything on the server!
  9. Of course you have to confirm the password a second time, to make sure it is right (no typos).
  10. Next you have to enter a new user. Just because it is more secure to not use the root account from external (like PuTTy over SSH). But you can login with your personal user and call “su” in the terminal, followed by the password for the root account to gain access to root.
  11. Now the username for the newly created user.
  12. And of course it needs a password. The same rules apply as on the root account: choose a good and secure password.
  13. Of course it needs to be re entered to make sure it is set correct.
  14. Next you need to enter on how you want to have the disk partitioned. I use the guided way for the disk with unencrypted content. Encryption is cool, but you can overdo it.
  15. As I have only one disk on this virtual machine the choice here is obvious.
  16. Now here it will get exiting again: I would recommend to use the last option for seperate partions for the /home, /usr, /var  and /tmp folder.
  17. Next you see a summary of the choices to made. If you are sure to do this, hit Enter on “Finish partitioning …”.
  18. And again you have to confirm, now really, to let it write the changes to the disk.
  19. After formatting the disk, you have to choose the package manager from which you are downloading the rest of the files for installing Debian. I choose Switzerland (it really don’t care, although the server is really located in Germany).
  20. Just hit Enter, Debian.org is just fine.
  21. Here you usually haven’t to do anything,  only if you use a proxy server to connect to the internet, then you have to enter it here.
  22. Here you can choose if you want to take part in a package survey, but I really don’t have the time for that, so I click No.
  23. Next you have to choose which software packages you want to install. Surprisingly the default selection is a bit odd. Here you have to change it! I normally select SSH Server and the Standard system utilities. I strongly recommend not to choose the Graphical desktop environment, because, common, you really don’t need it!
  24. Next you have to decide whether you choose GRUB as your boot loader or not. I recommend to use GRUB. Only if you want to setup a multi OS system you would use maybe another boot loader.
  25. And finally the installation is complete. It now prompt to remove the disk from your drive, but it will do it automatically, so don’t worry. Just hit Enter.
  26. The system should now boot into the just installed Debian system. Congrats!
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