Installing Debian Sarge alias Debian 3.1



To install such a system you will need the following:

  • A Debian Sarge Netinstall CD (available here)
  • an internet connection since I will describe a network installation in this document

1 The Base System

Insert your Sarge Netinstall CD into your system and boot from it (enter expert at the boot prompt and enter linux26 at the boot prompt to install a 2.6 kernel). The installation starts, and first you have to choose your


Select your country

Keyboard layout 

The hardware detection starts:

Enter the hostname. In this example, my system is called, so I enter server1:

Enter your domain name. In this example, this is

Now you have to partition your hard disk. I will create one big partition (with the mount point /) and a little swap partition:

Now the base system is being installed:

I install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record:

Afterwards remove the Sarge Netinstall CD from your system and reboot it:

Configure your time zone

Enter a password for root

Create a second user admin

Choose your installation method. Since I want to do an installtion over the network I select http or ftp.

Select a mirror for your installation:

Enter a proxy for the installtion (if necessary). Normally you can leave this field empty.

Under Debian software selection I only choose Mail server. I will install all other services manually later on.

The network installation starts:

Do not configure Exim as we will replace it with Postfix later on:

Congratulations! Your base system is finished now:

2 Installing And Configuring The Rest Of The System

Configure The Network

Because the Debian Sarge installer has configured our system to get its network settings via DHCP, we have to change that now because a server should have a static IP address. Edit /etc/network/interfaces and adjust it to your needs (in this example setup I will use the IP address

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system

# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The primary network interface

auto eth1

iface eth1 inet Static



Then restart your network:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add some nameservers:

Search Server

Name server1 ipaddress

Name server2 ipaddress


Edit /etc/hosts and add your new IP address

3 Setting The Hostname

echo > /etc/hostname
/bin/hostname -F /etc/hostname

After setting up the basic setup now we need to Install the packages

This article can be found here

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