Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Started with Debian - Basic Install and SSH

Let me start by saying I am not an expert programmer, nor am I a Linux guru, instead you can call me a technology explorer.  I am always trying to push the limits of what I can do with the technology around me.  I have flirted with Linux numerous times in the past (more on that in a later post), but each time I never really had a use or a need for it.  Well now both Linux and myself are a little bit older, and a little bit wiser so the time has come to take the plunge.

A friend of mine got an old computer from work and he gave it to me.  Dell Precision 670 to be exact.  It had all you could want from a server...2 Xeon procs, 4 gigs of ram and a TB hard drive.  After messing with Ubuntu for a bit and finally getting sick of not having full root access, I went and got me a Debian ISO file from here... .

So...enough of the histroy lesson...first browse the page and you will see numerous options to choose from.  Choose the basic live cd (just command line) and make sure to get the one that matches your computer's processor (i.e. i386 for intel).  Save the iso file to disk. Use an appropriate iso burning program (I use it is open source and free \o/) and burn the disk.  Next power up your server and pop in the disk, then reboot.

You should now have some options to choose from...text or a graphical install.  I would go with the graphical install.  It will walk you though the basics, what is your region, what is the root password, time zone, etc. After all of this is done it will ask you to eject the disk and restart. (FYI - this isn't going to be a one stop shop for all answers in the Linux universe...that would be very bad for all parties.  This is more of a help for me to remember what to do when I setup a server at home for testing...cabbienot emperor or whatever those dead poets say. :D )

If this worked you should be sitting at a bash command prompt.  Now comes the fun part, picking packages you want to install on your new server! For starters we will install open SSH (so you can putty from the potty into your computer from any other machine)

So to install SSH type the following...

user@yourcomputer:~$ su
Password: yourpasswordhere
root@yourcomputer:/home/username# apt-get install ssh

After a bit it may ask you to install y or n.  So yeah...pick y :D

Congrats! You can now sit on your couch with your windows laptop and log in with putty!  \o/ I just helped your marriage!

Next Post: Customize your new home server!

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