Debian Jessie install


Q : What does a play work assistant do on his day off ? ; A install debian Jessie on an old computer.

This is what I spent most of today doing.

My Old Duron 1600 has been sitting under my desk for ages,  not doing much.  It had a few technical issues which today I decided to tackle.

Firstly it wasn’t booting from the hard disk.  I was using a ubuntu cd to boot off that,  then select an OS installed on the hard disk to boot.   Opening it up I looked at some of the cables and tried different configurations,  I eventually swapped out one of the cables for a different one and it then booted up properly from the hard disk.

I tried to install ubuntu server 14.04 from a cdrom,  but this started off fine then it was displaying errors which suggested a problem with the cd media.

Not wanting to investigate further,  I knew that debian offered a very basic install, so I found the ISO and burnt this to a cd-r.  and then installed,  selecting ssh server and desktop environment (so I at least have a gui if needed)

Once all this was installed I booted in to the system.  As I intend to use this has a headless server I decided to try and set it so that it booted to the console, easier said than done,  Jessie uses SystemD, whcih if you are upto date on GNU / Linux is the new replacement for the way init works.

In the old sysv days doing this was as simple as editing /etc/inittab and finding the line for initdefault:5 and replacing with initdefault:3

this is no longer the case. I was asking on IRC and was given some help from melodie and phillw

So as per instructions at entering

systemctl set-default

fixes this and boots directly in to the console.

Stage 1 + 2 complete

The next step was to check that my normal user was actually part of the sudo-ers group as it is a really bad idea to ssh over root or even allow root login.

so some more google searches revealed the following
sudo adduser <username> sudo

Adds my normal user to the sudo-ers list

I could then check I could ssh in properly,  disconnect the monitor etc and set up the computer so it can be accessed over ssh.

I would argue that most of this was pretty straight forward, other than the over complex way you now have to tell a system to boot in to the console.

update 7/1/2016

I have added a new post with some update and more information on installation.