Debian in virtualbox as quick solution pre-installed.

Nothing new. This is one of it. 🙂

My virtualbox image to be used for every one who wants to have a quick „getting in to it“: Learn more about debian or just use the box as startup.


Please install/use the 7-zip (de, en) to de- compress the download/s!


Install virtualbox if you haven’t it and then follow these steps:

  1. Extract the download somewhere or to existing virtualbox/HardDisks folder
  2. Open Virtualbox
  3. Create a new maschine and switch to expert view (bottom below of the create new machine window)
  4. Enter a name, OS type and OS version. Give it some more RAM if you like
  5. Choose existing disk and select the VDI file from the extracted download file
  6. Select „create“ (Which finishes the machine and closes the window) and thats it
  7. Now you can start the machine and enter to debian.

Some notes to Virtualbox: You may need the Virtualbox extension pack e.g. for USB 2.0+ support. Available at the webside for download.

Virtualbox machine setup

Virtualbox machine setup

Virtualbox initial settings

Disk/type: VDI/dynamic size
Disk max. size: 5 GB

Debian OS settings

Administrator: root
Password: root

Hostname: debian

Initially installed options

  • Language / Locale: en_US.UTF-8, de_DE.UTF-8
  • Keyboard: American English (dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration)
  • Network: dhcp / auto detected
  • Shadow passwords
  • Clock using ntp for UTC
  • Disk partition: All in one (ext4) + swap (~500 MB)
  • Kernel: linux-image-686 (no pae)
  • non-free packages: No/Off (Up to you: Update source.list)
  • contrib packages: No/Off (Up to you: Update source.list)
  • virtualbox-ose-guest-x11 (Not installed to reduce image size)
  • Popularity contest disabled! Please enable to assist debian: „dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest
  • No futher packages like ssh but debian standard utils. See below to get additionals fast.
  • Bootloader: Grub in mbr / No EFI
  • Manual installations:
    • aptitude (i love it and makes things more clear than just using apt-get)
    • dctrl-tools (dpkg package helper)

Tuning debian

Well, the image is really low level and having an X Server will may end in the limit of 5GB of the image config. 5GB are really enough for a full featured desktop debian but with some *but’s*. One of it: Custom/ user data should be stored on a network drive or so. Otherwise you will get problems in the near future with disk space.
I suggest using the image as a test or playground server for the background without X window system.

To get a more custom full featured version you need to install packages and create basic stuff like:

  • create a user account adduser <yourusername>
  • Install ssh to connect to other machines or to this new machine
  • Extend source.list (E.g non-free tree?)
  • Merge packages from another debian box?
    • Both systems: apt-get install dctrl-tools
    • Other machine: dpkg --get-selections > /tmp/pkglist.txt
    • Copy /tmp/pkglist.txt to the new machine (e.g.: using ssh)
    • This new machine:
      • sync-available (sync/update apt-get and aptitude db)
      • dpkg --clear-selections
      • dpkg --set-selections < /tmp/pkglist.txt
  • Allow usb devices in virtualbox? usermod -G vboxusers -a <your login>