Devuan install guide
This is an easy to follow guide to installing Devuan from the CD/DVD images for supported hardware. The general advise accompanying this guide is that you should always backup your data before you begin.
At minimum you should know how to write an ISO image to CD/DVD/USB and make your computer boot from it. For those already using GNU/Linux or similar we can cover the steps for that.
These are currently the ways of getting installation images.
- Directly from the Devuan release archive
- From mirrors listed on devuan.org that may be closer to you
- Via torrent for the stable releases
If you have access to the network it’s suggested to use a single full DVD image for installation, otherwise you will want the full set.
Please use mirrors or torrents where possible.
Those not using the command line can skip to installation.
Check the integrity of images
Before you write an image to your removable device, it’s best to check the integrity so that you can be sure the image is in a good state. This avoids many problems that may later occur during installation otherwise.
SHA256SUMS from the release archive and verify image integrity.
user@hostname:~$ sha256sum --ignore-missing -c SHA256SUMS
Verify the images
Installation images distributed by Devuan are signed so that they can be verified as coming from Devuan. Verifying images lets you know they have not been altered prior to you receiving them.
Get the Devuan developers signing keys and import them to your keychain.
user@hostname:~$ gpg --import devuan-devs.gpg
Use the signed
SHA256SUMS.asc from the release archive to verify the image.
user@hostname:~$ gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.asc
A report of a good signature indicates everything is fine.
Writing an image to a CD/DVD or USB drive
Images can be written to a CD or DVD using wodim.
user@hostname:~$ wodim dev=/dev/sr0 -eject filename.iso
All Devuan ISO images are hybrid ISOs and may be written to a USB drive using dd.
root@hostname:~# dd if=filename.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M && sync
Devuan installation is presented via console framebuffer screens and responses are given by keyboard. Whilst this may seem intimidating for new users, there is nothing to be feared as you will be guided through this process.
1) Boot from the CD/DVD/USB drive and choose the
2) The next few steps will ask about your language, location and keyboard layout.
3) The installer will automatically configure the network, wireless network users will have to provide
an SSID and passphrase.
You will then be asked to choose a host name for your new system. You can be creative but spaces and
special characters will not be accepted.
4) You will also be asked to provide a domain name. If you don’t need this or don’t know what it is
for you should leave it blank.
5) It’s recommended that you set a root password for Devuan. It’s good security practice to use a
strong password. You will have to type your password again to make sure that you’ve set it correctly.
6) You will now be asked to configure a user account, which you should do in most cases. Unless there
is a need to do otherwise leave your full name blank and continue to providing a username.
7) You will need to enter a password and type it again as you did before for root.
8) The installer will now set the clock using NTP. Enter your time zone information to continue with
9) Before you can install Devuan the disk need to be partitioned. If it’s available as an option choosing
to use the largest continuous space is recommended. This will preserve existing partitions and not
alter them. Otherwise you should use the whole disk if you have no data you need to save.
If you need full disk encryption see here before continuing.
10) Choosing all files in one partition is a sensible option for newcomers. Manual disk partitioning is
beyond the scope of this discussion.
11) It’s time to write those partitions to the disk and format them with file systems. If you are happy
with the changes choose write to disk and continue. You will be given a last chance to back out before
the changes are made.
12) The base system will now install. Depending on your hardware this may take some time.
13) In the case you have no Internet access or don’t want to use a mirror, it’s recommended to scan
additional CD’s so that you have more packages available to install.
14) If you are installing from a full CD/DVD image, the installer will now ask if you want to choose a
network mirror. If you have Internet access it’s recommended to use a mirror so that you have the
latest versions of packages. For an offline installation you should continue without a mirror.
15) Either of the provided mirrors will be fine. If there is a mirror close to you then you will be
redirected automatically when installing packages.
16) Devuan can use popularity contest (popcon) to collect information about the most used packages.
This is purely on an opt-in basis and will only collect statistics about packages that are installed from
here on in.
17) The defaults here are sufficient to get a working xfce desktop. Note that you don’t need to select
xfce4 explicitly as it’s the default, but you may choose another desktop. Others can be excluded or
included based on your needs.
18) The installer will now install the packages you selected. This will take a little time.
19) You will now be asked to choose your preferred init system. The default in Devuan is sysvinit.
20) Now that all the software you need is installed, the GRUB bootloader will be installed. This allows
the operating system to boot after installation. If you are asked to install to the MBR then you should
do this usually.
Some setups will require no configuration and the install will now finish.
21) It’s important to choose the correct bootloader location. It should not be installed to a partition,
but to the MBR area which is located on the hard disk.
In this case
/dev/sda is the only hard disk so we will install it there.
22) The install is finished, remove your installation media to continue to boot to your Devuan install.
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