Debian GNU/Linux was first released way back in 1993 and has been under active developement ever since. Today, the Debian Project unites thousands of contributors from across the globe with the aim of producing “an operating system distribution that is composed entirely of free software”. www.debian.org
These instructions offer a straightforward path to the GNOME 3.38 desktop running on amd64 hardware. You need a reasonably fast connection to the Internet, an Ethernet connection to your router and a bootable Debian CD image.
It is probably easiest to write such an image to a USB storage device and use that for installation. If the only computer you have access to is running Windows, I would suggest you use Rufus as a means to create a bootable USB flash drive. Depending on your acutal requirements, there are many different Debian images to choose from. If you are following these instructions to install on x86-64 hardware, use the unofficial firmware-11.6.0-amd64-netinst.iso, which supports Intel as well as AMD processors and “includes non-free firmware for extra support for some awkward hardware”.
Debian GNU/Linux will be the only operating system installed on your computer. Ensure that all of your data is safely backed up elsewhere because formatting your storage device will lead to the loss of all data.
In the examples which are to follow, debian is used as the hostname and bullseye as the username. You may of course substitute any names that you prefer. Just be careful to also make the required changes before blindly executing any of the commands. Decide on an encryption passphrase to encrypt your storage device, a user password to secure your user account and a root password to secure the root account. In addition to Debian packages, Flatpaks and Snaps will be enabled as well.
Installing the base system
If your computer uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and you are unsure about which settings to use, you may wish to disable the Secure Boot option for the initial setup.
After booting the system from the USB stick that you have prepared, continue by selecting the text based installer. With Secure Boot enabled, the menu will look different. Options, however, will be the same.
Keep English as the language for the installation.
[!!] Select a language
Select United States as the location for your system. This will also set United States as the default locale for the system environment. You will have an opportunity to set additional locales and adjust time zones at a later point during the installation.
[!!] Select your location
Country, territory or area: United States
Use the keymap that is the correct one for your particular keyboard.
[!!] Configure the keyboard
Keymap to use: your keyboard
If your system has multiple network interfaces, set your Ethernet interface as the primary interface to use during the installation.
[!!] Configure the network
Primary network interface: choose your Ethernet interface for installation
If your system has multiple Ethernet interfaces and you are presented with the following dialog, select Continue and Go Back to select a different Ethernet interface.
[!!] Configure the network
Network autoconfiguration failed
Your network is probably not using the DHCP protocol. Alternatively, the DHCP server may be slow or some network hardware is not working properly.
Set the hostname for your system. In this example, we use debian as the hostname.
[!] Configure the network