An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. At the core of an operating system is the kernel. The kernel is the most fundamental program on the computer, which does all the basic housekeeping and lets you start other programs. Debian is kernel independent. It currently uses the Linux kernel but work is in progress to provide Debian for other kernels, using the Hurd. Most of the basic operating system tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.
Debian is available for various kinds of computers (“architectures”), like “IBM-compatible” PCs (i386), Compaq's Alpha, Sun's Sparc, Motorola/IBM's PowerPC, and (Strong)ARM processors. Check the ports page for more information.
This disc is labeled Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.0 "Lenny" - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20090214-16:03 . It contains programs ("binaries") for `i386' computers.
This disc is a netinst image. It contains the installer and a very basic system. Any other packages you might want to install will be downloaded from the network.
The Release Notes for "lenny" are available on the Debian web site.
Because Debian is a complete Operating System, the installation procedure may seem a bit unusual. You can install Debian GNU/Linux either alongside your current OS, or as the only OS on your computer.
An Installation Guide for this disc is available from the Debian web site.
For the impatient ones: you can start the installation program easily by booting off this disc. Note that not all (esp. older) systems support this.
You can also examine the /install/ directory; you might be able to start the installation system directly from there.
After installing or upgrading, Debian's packaging system can use CDs, DVDs, local collections, or networked servers (FTP, HTTP) to automatically install software from (.deb packages). This is done preferably with the ‘apt’ and ‘aptitude’ programs.
You can install packages from the commandline using apt-get. For example, if you want to install the packages ‘commprog’ and ‘maxgame’, you can give the command:
apt-get install commprog maxgame
Note that you don't have to enter the complete path, or the ‘.deb’ extension. ‘Apt’ will figure this out itself.
Or use aptitude for a full screen interactive selection of available Debian packages.
You are completely free to manufacture and re-distribute CDs/DVDs of the Debian GNU/Linux Operating System, like this one. There is no charge from us (but of course donations are always welcome).
For all needed information and contact addresses, please refer to:
There is much more information present on this disc. Besides the already mentioned installation and upgrading procedures, this is the most interesting:
Also on the Internet are many resources. To name a few:
See the Debian contact page for information on contacting us.