Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution popular among both server and desktop computers. It's known for its old and stable package base, which is only updated with every new Debian release. Debian is also the OS of choice for most of the self-hosting guides on this wiki.


Debian can be installed onto a device either by downloading the latest iso or by using the debootstrap utility.

Installing with debootstrap

Debootstrap, similarly to Arch Linux's pacstrap command, is a command-line utility for installing Debian from any other existing Linux installation. It is available in the Arch repositories, meaning you can install Debian from Arch Linux.

Once you have set a partition to install Debian onto, simply run:


The parameters in capital letters have to be set by the user. For example, if one wanted to install Debian 11 into the /mnt directory using the ftp.it.debian.org mirror:

debootstrap --arch amd64 bullseye /mnt http://ftp.it.debian.org/debian/

Non-free firmware and software

By default, Debian only contains free software in it's ISO; If you need to run proprietary firmware drivers for certain devices, such as processor microcode, please install Debian with the non-free ISO)

It may also be required to alter the /etc/apt/sources.list file like so to enable non-free repositories if you wish to install non-free software:

deb YOUR_REPO buster main contrib non-free
deb-src YOUR_REPO buster main contrib non-free