The beginner's handbook


Image28 without headaches




Debian 8 Jessie





Last update: 20 December 2016





the beginners handbook index-en.html

About this manual

"The beginner's handbook" is a simplified manual to install and take-over the Debian system.

You will find in the following pages the answers to your first questions concerning the Debian GNU/Linux system, its history, how to obtain it, to install it, to take-over it, to configure and administrate it.

You will be able to go further and obtain information concerning the privacy protection, the backing up of your data, and the various actors of the Free Software world.

Usually, the manuals begin by teaching you the theoretical basis and the usage of the terminal. This manual takes the very side of the "graphical environment": it is designed to let you start quickly with Debian, screen powered on, fingers on the keyboard and the mouse nearby 6.

The mission of this manual is not to be comprehensive.

For a more detailed documentation, please visit the official Debian Wiki:

If you need a complete Debian manual, please read the Debian Administrator Handbook from Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas



How to use the beginner's handbook ?

Come and pick   8 !! That's the principle: a beginner's question about Debian ?

Take the time to consult this manual and the appropriate section before you ask the question on a forum; you will learn faster by doing it yourself, you will be more and more familiar with system, you will master your installation, and the penguins will fly high   9 .


A lot of external links are available in this manual. Don't hesitate to click on them in order to read more detailed information.


To modify this handdbook and tailor it to your own situation (derivative distribution, association, school …) simply export the following page in the .ODT format and edit it with your favourite word processor.




Note : this is the first english release; Don’t hesitate to contact us for feedbacks or comments.

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The beginner's handbook on Debian: The beginner's handbook on Debian

Main chapters

11 Debian ? What's that ?

12 A simplified introduction to computer systems

13 Initiation to the graphical environment

14 Pick your Debian

15 Installing Debian

16 Fast boot after installation

17 Tweaking of your environment

18 System administration

19 Back up your data

20 Protect your data and your privacy

21 Basic Command Memo

22 Free Softwares directory

23 Simplified glossary

24 Sources

25 Index

26 Table of contents