Mini Debian

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Proven on:
Logo Debian.png
11 (bullseye) well... duh...


A full desktop system as a server VM really is a bit silly.

Let's do something different.

Installing a minimal Debian

Installer Menu
Software selection
Installation Complete
Boot Screen
Great Success!
  • Insert the CD/ISO/whatever & boot the machine/VM from it.
    • I'm running it as VMs under ESXi
      • "ESXi 6.7 VM", "Linux", "Debian GNU/Linux 10 (64-bit)"
      • 4 CPUs, 4GB memory, 16GB storage
    • These days, I'm running it as VMs under Proxmox
      • "Linux", "5.x - 2.6 Kernel"
      • 4 Cores, 4GB memory, 16GB storage
      • Pretty much leaving everything else default...
  • When the installer menu appears, select "Install" rather than the default "Graphical Install" option
  • Cruze along configuring the system to your liking until you reach the screen titled "[!] Software selection"
  • Make sure that only SSH server and standard system utilities are selected, then continue
  • Keep cruzing along until it tells you Installation complete
  • When you tell it to continue, the system will reboot.

All done

The sequence in pictures...

Upon first boot up of your new system:

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt upgrade

(Because there're ALWAYS updates...)

Configuring the minimal Debian

Install & configure sudo

By default, root account is not enabled for login (other than directly at the console) to Debian. As a result, sudo authentication is needed. (But it doesn't seem to be installed by default...)

  1. Log in to the Debian machine and switch to root using the su command.
    • su -
    • (remember that root pasword you picked during install?)
  2. If sudo is not installed, install the sudo package using the following command:
    • apt install sudo
  3. Add an existing user with id=USER to group=sudo:
    • adduser USER sudo
  4. Log into the USER shell, and type the following command to verify that the user is authorised:
    • sudo -v

You have successfully configured sudo in Debian.

Install & configure vim

  • sudo apt install vim

Then fix the Visual Mode silliness...

  • vim ~/.vimrc
set mouse-=a
syntax on

Do the same for when you use it vi sudo...

  • sudo vim /root/.vimrc

Aliases for ls

ls needs it's aliases set. (Who in heck doesn't use ll for ls -l???)

  • vi ~/.bashrc

Scroll down & you'll see:

# some more ls aliases
#alias ll='ls -l'
#alias la='ls -A'
#alias l='ls -CF'

Un-comment those aliases!

  • source ~/.bashrc

More Configurations

Usage notes

Missing commands

If you're used to Ubuntu-derived Linuxes, you may note that a lot of commands cannot be found while signed in as a regular user. Before attempting to install them, check with sudo or while signed in as root. The root user account has a different search path that includes the programs that are normally not allowed to regular users anyhow.

One good example:

ifconfig results in-bash: ifconfig: command not found


sudo ifconfig results in details about your network connection(s)


ip a does similar & is a more modern replacement.