How to Install Debian 12 (Bookworm) [A Complete Guide]

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Debian is a versatile and widely used Linux distribution that is known for its stability, open-source principles, and large software repository. Its flexibility and the availability of a vast software repository make it adaptable to a wide range of applications and user preferences. Consequently, its commitment to open-source principles and a strong community contribute to its widespread use in various domains. In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Debian (Bookworm) on your computer step by step.

Requirements for Installing Debian 12

  • RAM: 2 GB or more.
  • CPU: Dual-core processor of minimum 1GHz clock speed.
  • Storage: At least 20GB of disk space.
  • USB drive: 8 GB or above.

Ensure you have a backup of your important files while replacing your current OS with Debian, to prevent data loss.

Install Debian 12 on Windows/MacOS

The process of installing Debian on Windows or any other OS comprises four fundamental steps. This includes downloading a Debian ISO file, making a bootable device with the ISO file, installing the OS, and finally post-installation setup.

To install Debian 12 on your computer easily, follow the below steps:

1. Download the Debian ISO File

After backing up data, the next step is to download 64-bit installer of Debian iso file from the official website. But if your computer has a 32-bit CPU, download the 32-bit installer of Debian.Download link webpage of debian 12.2.0

2. Create a Bootable USB Drive

To create a bootable USB drive of the ISO file, use Etcher which is a free and open-source application. First, Install Etcher on Windows or MacOS. After installing Etcher, open it and select “Flash from File”.Selecting flash from file in etcherThen, select the ISO file from the location you’ve downloaded.selecting the ISO file of debian for flashing.Now, plug in your USB pen drive to the PC and click on Select target.Clicking on Select target in EtcherSelect your USB drive from the list shown.Selecting USB drive from the listFinally, click on Flash to start flashing the ISO file into the USB drive.Clicking on Flash to start flashing ISO into the USBAfter that, Etcher will flash the ISO file into your USB drive and make it bootable.

3. Boot Debian from USB Drive

To boot Debian from the USB drive, at first plug the bootable USB drive into the PC where you want to install Debian. Then, turn on/Restart the PC. It will automatically launch the boot window like this. Selecting Graphical Install for debian installationSelect “Graphical install” and press ENTER without delay.

If the window doesn’t appear,  restart your PC and press the BIOS key according to your device. F12 is the most common BIOS key, but ESC, F2, and F10 are alternatives for some devices. For macOS, hold down the COMMAND(⌘) + R or OPTION (⌥) key immediately after turning the power on. Keep “Removable Devices” at the top in Boot menu using + key .
final boot sequenceAfter configuring the boot serial as above, press F10 to save and exit.

4. Select Language

Select a language according to your preference and click on Continue.Selecting English as system language

5. Select Location

Select your location. You can select “United States” if you don’t see your country in the list.Selecting location United States

6. Configure the Keyboard

Select the keyboard layout from the Configure Keyboard window according to your preference. Then click on Continue.Selecting American English as keyboard layoutThen, it will load installer components from the installation media. After this automatic process, network configuration window will appear.Loading installer from installation media

7. Configure the Network

Type a hostname for your Debian system and click on Continue. The hostname should be a single word.Entering linuxsimply as network hostnameThen, type a domain name for the network. It is the part of your internet address that appears at the right of your hostname. Click on Continue to move to the next step.Entering as network domain name

8. Create User Credentials

At this stage, you have to create user credentials such as username, password, and root password. To create user credentials in Debian first, create a root password for the root user and click on Continue.setting password for root userNow, enter your full name and click on Continue.Entering my full nameThen, type a short username for your system. By default, it will take the first name from your full name. However, you can keep that or edit it. After that, click on Continue.Entering a short single-word user name Finally, set the user password. This password will be required every time you turn on the PC. So, use a strong and mnemonic password. Finally, click on Continue to move to the next step.setting user password for log in

9. Configure the Clock

Select your time zone and click on Continue.Selecting Eastern as time zone

10. Set up the Disk Partition

When installing Debian, it’s important to create appropriate disk partitions to ensure the operating system functions smoothly. To partition the disk, select ‘Guided-use entire disk’.Selecting guided partitionThen, select the disk that appears for partitioning and click on Continue.

Warning: It will erase the disk of your current system and install Debian in your system. Make sure you have a backup of your important files before proceeding to the next step.
selecting disk for partitioningChoose “All files in one partition” as a partitioning scheme.Selecting all files in one partitionA prompt will show the summary of the configured partition. Click on Continue.partition summary Check the “Yes” option and click on Continue to confirm writing the changes to the disks mentioned in the prompt.Selecting Yes to confirm disk writeThen installation of the base system starts and the screen appears like the image below. It will take some time. So wait for a while.installing the base system

11. Configure Package Manager

For faster installation, select “NO” and click on Continue.Selecting NO to configure package manager Then it will take some time to retrieve files for software installation.Retrieving files for software installation

12. Software Selection for Installation

At this point, select the software you want to install while installing Debian. I’ve selected the software for installation as the below image shows.Selecting Desktop Environment, GNOME and standard system utilities After a little time, all the checked software will be installed in your Debian system.

13. Install the GRUB Bootloader

To install the GRUB bootloader, check the “Yes” option in the confirmation window and click on Continue.Selecting Yes to install GRUBNext, select ‘/dev/sda’ as the boot loader device to install GRUB and click on Continue.Selecting /dev/sda as boot loaderAfter that, it installs GRUB and starts to finish the OS installation.Finishing the installation on progressFinally, reboot your computer by click on continue after finishing the installation.Clicking on continue to reboot the system

14. Post Installation Setup

After rebooting, a login prompt appears. Type your password and press ENTER to Log In.Entering user password for logging in into the systemAfter logging in, there are a few setups that remain to do for getting a better user experience. The first window will show the system language. Click on Next.System languageThe next window shows that the system is going to set the keyboard layout that was selected during installation. You can change it if you want. Otherwise, click on Next.Keyboard layoutFrom the privacy settings window, on/off Location Services according to your preference and click on Next. I’m leaving it turned ON.Location servicesNow, you can connect your online accounts with your Debian system from the list marked in the below image. Or, you can skip this step by clicking the “Skip” button on the top right corner.Connect online account pageAfter that, click on the blue button titled “Start Using Debian GNU/Linux”.clicking on start using GNU/LinuxFinally, here is the desktop of your Debian operating system.Debian desktopCongratulations! You have successfully installed Debian on your computer.

Advantages of Installing Debian

Debian provides its users the following advantages:

  • Stability: Debian is known for its rock-solid stability. It has a rigorous testing process, and new software versions are thoroughly vetted before being included in the stable release.
  • Wide Hardware Support: Debian supports a wide range of hardware architectures, making it versatile for various platforms, from desktops and laptops to servers, embedded systems, and more.
  • Package Management: Debian uses the APT (Advanced Package Tool) package management system, which is highly efficient and user-friendly. It simplifies software installation, updates, and dependency resolution.
  • Security: Security updates are provided promptly, and there’s an active security team dedicated to ensuring the safety of Debian systems.
  • Long-Term Support (LTS): Debian offers LTS releases with extended support for up to five years or more. This is beneficial for organizations and users who require long-term stability.
  • Customizability: Debian allows for a high degree of customization by letting you choose your preferred desktop environment, software, and configurations to create a personalized computing experience.
  • Community and Documentation: Debian has a large and active community that provides support and documentation. You can find extensive resources, forums, mailing lists, and wikis to help you with any Debian-related issues.


Debian is a versatile and widely used Linux distribution that serves various purposes and use cases. However, remember to back up any important data on your computer before installing, as it involves modifying your disk partitions. The exact steps for installing Debian may vary depending on your hardware, but the general process are same for all platforms.

People Also Ask

Can I install Debian on Windows?

YES, you can install Debian by replacing Windows or run Debian alongside Windows by dual boot. The process comprises three fundamental steps. These include downloading a Debian ISO file, making a bootable device with the ISO file, and finally, proceeding to install Debian.

Is Debian free to install?

YES, Debian is free to use. It is a free and open-source operating system, and it is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This means that you are free to use, modify, distribute, and share Debian with others without cost. You can download and install Debian without any licensing fees, and you can modify the source code, redistribute it, and contribute to the Debian project if you wish.

What is Debian Bookworm?

Debian Bookworm is the development codename for Debian 12, a major release of the Debian operating system. Debian is known for using code names based on characters from the ‘Toy Story’ movies for its development branches. However, as a development codename, ‘Bookworm’ represents the unstable branch of Debian, where new packages and updates are introduced for testing and development.

Is Debian better than Ubuntu?

Both Debian and Ubuntu are popular Linux distributions, and they have their own strengths and characteristics. If you value long-term stability, are comfortable with a less frequent release cycle, and have expertise in Linux, Debian might be a better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer quicker access to the latest software, or if you’re new to Linux, Ubuntu may be a better fit. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Ubuntu is based on Debian, so they share many similarities.

Which is faster Debian or Kali?

The speed or performance of a Linux distribution like Debian or Kali Linux depends on various factors, including your hardware, the desktop environment or window manager you’re using, and how you configure and use the distribution. Comparing, the speed of Debian and Kali Linux is fundamentally similar at their core.

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Ashikur Rahman

Hello, I’m Ashikur Rahman, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I have completed my graduation in Computer Science and Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET). Also, I’m pursuing my master’s in the same department at Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). I like to learn new technologies, contribute, and share those with others. Here my goal is to provide beneficial and user-friendly articles on Linux distribution for everyone. Read Full Bio

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