Setting Up a Web Development Server – Part 2 – Installing Debian O.S

Installing Debian on a VirtualBox Web Development VM

Image sourced from TheGeekStuff

In Part One, we created our virtual machine in VirtualBox, configure port forwarding rules, and attached the ISO image for our virtual machine’s operating system – Debian. In Part 2, we will be installing the operating system and configuring extra settings. Right now, you should have something similar to the image below:

VirtualBox VM Setup Completed

Step One

To proceed with installation of the operating system, click on the green ‘Start’ arrow. Upon doing so, you will be shown installation options for the Debian operating system. For the purposes of this guide, we will select the default option highlighted (Install). Click inside the virtual image window with your mouse, then press the Enter key.

The following steps will now take you through the operating system install for our VM.

 Step Two

For the first set-up option (usually ‘Select a language’), select your preferred language from the available options. For this guide, I will be selecting English. An image of this set-up option is below, with my selected language highlighted in a red colour:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Language

With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the enter key.

Step Three

The next option, called ‘Select your location’ is mainly to setup the correct time zone for your machine. For this example, I will be selecting New Zealand, as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Language

With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the Enter key.

Step Four

The next option, called ‘Configure the keyboard’, is used to correctly configure the keyboard according to your chosen language preferences. For this guide I will be using British English, as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Keyboard Configuration

With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the enter key.

The installation will now automatically setup some of the core operating system files. This will take some time, depending on your machine resources.

Step Five

After the automatic configuration has finished, you will be prompted to ‘Configure the network’. The first option for this is to set a hostname – for this guide, I will be using ‘debian’ as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Network Name

With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the Enter key.

You will now be prompted to enter a domain name for the operating system network. For this guide, I will be using ‘debian’. With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the Enter key.

Step Six

With the initial network settings configured, it is time to set up users and their passwords. You should be now shown an option called ‘Set up users and passwords’. For the root password, enter any password you desire (note: this guide is for only a local development machine). For this guide, the password I will be using is ‘debian’ (without the single quote marks). When you press the enter key, you will be required to confirm this password – just enter the same password as previously entered, then press the Enter key.

Step Seven

With the next option, we will be setting up a standard user account, for non-administration activities. For the ‘Full name for the new user, I will be using ‘debian’ as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Standard Account Username

With the mouse still in the virtual machine window, press the Enter key.

Step Eight

You will now be setting and confirming the password for this user. For the purposes of this guide, I will be using ‘debian’ (without the single quote marks) for the password. Enter the password, enter it again for confirmation, then press the Enter key.

Step Nine

The next option allows us to configure the operating system’s clock, using a location within our selected time zone. For this guide, I will be using ‘Auckland’ as the location. With your location selected, press the Enter key.

Step Ten

The next set of options will format the file system for the virtual machine’s operating system. For this guide, I will be using the first selected option (Guided – use entire disk) as shown below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Partition Method

With this option selected, press the enter key.

Step Eleven

As we have created only one disk for our machine, use the default selected option for ‘Partition disks’. Once you have done so, press the Enter key.

Step Twelve

For the ‘Partitioning scheme’, we will be using the first selected one by default – which is ‘All files in one partition (recommended for new users)’, as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Partition Scheme

With this option selected, press the Enter key.

Step Thirteen

We will now be shown confirmation details for partitioning the disk for our virtual machine. If you are satisfied with the details shown, press the Enter key while the ‘Finish partitioning and write changes to disk’ option is selected. A screenshot of the confirmation screen is below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Confirm Details

We will now be shown another confirmation screen, as shown below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Partition Final Confirmation

Normally, ‘No’ is selected by default. If you are happy with the details you see, select ‘Yes’ and press the enter key. It should take a few minutes to complete the partitioning and formatting process. During this process, the base system will also be installed.

Step Fourteen

After this process in the previous step has finished, you will be shown an option to add additional ISO images for scanning. For this guide, we can just use the default selected option ‘No’ – as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine - Scan For Another CD/DVD

With ‘No’ selected, press the enter key.

Step Fifteen

Now we will be asked to set up a network mirror – which is used for updating and installing packages on the system. As this is highly recommended, select Yes and press the Enter key.

For the ‘Debian archive mirror country’, select the country you reside in (or any country you desire). I will be using New Zealand for this option. Once you have selected your desired country, press the Enter key.

For the archive mirror, I will be using ‘ftp.nz.debian.org’. The available options will be different if you have selected a different country. Once you have selected your preferred mirror, press the enter key.

For ‘HTTP proxy information (blank for none)’, we can leave this blank. To proceed, press the down arrow key (selecting the ‘Continue’ option), then press the enter key. It will take a few minutes to configure the settings.

Part way through the process, you will be shown an option called ‘Configuring popularity contest’. This isn’t necessary for our virtual machine, so we can select No and press the Enter key.

Step Sixteen

Now we will be shown a screen to install software packages as part of the installation. For this guide, we will only need the last option (Standard system utilities) as we will be installing most of the others manually. Once all other options have ben deselected, you should be seeing something like the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Default Software Install

Now you can press the Enter key. This will install software categorized under the selected option/s – which will take a few minutes.

Part way through this process, you will be asked where to install the GRUB boot loader. For this guide, it is safe to select the default option ‘Yes’. Once this option has been selected, press the Enter key. The installation process will then carry on.

When the installation is complete, you will be shown a completion message. This should look similar as in the image below:

Set-up Debian Virtual Machine Complete Install

As our Debian ISO image has automatically been detached, we can select ‘Continue’ and press the Enter Key. This will finalize the installation, then restart the virtual machine.

Step Seventeen

As you will need user credentials to sign in, I have displayed them below.

  • Root User Details
    • User Name: root
    • Password: debian
  • Standard User Details
    • User Name: debian
    • Password: debian

This step completes the operating system install for our virtual machine.

Part 2 Conclusion

In Part 2, we have managed to install and configure our virtual machine’s operating system. We don’t have enough of the right applications to begin development, which is where Part Three will come in.

Part 2 Resources

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