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3.4. Meeting Minimum Hardware Requirements

Once you have gathered information about your computer's hardware, check that your hardware will let you do the type of installation that you want to do.

Depending on your needs, you might manage with less than some of the recommended hardware listed in the table below. However, most users risk being frustrated if they ignore these suggestions.

A Pentium 100 is the minimum recommended for desktop systems, and a Pentium II-300 for a Server.

Table 3.2. Recommended Minimum System Requirements

Install Type RAM Hard Drive
No desktop 24 megabytes 450 megabytes
With Desktop 64 megabytes 1 gigabyte
Server 128 megabytes 4 gigabytes

Here is a sampling of some common Debian system configurations. You can also get an idea of the disk space used by related groups of programs by referring to Section C.3, “Disk Space Needed for Tasks”.

Standard Server

This is a small server profile, useful for a stripped down server which does not have a lot of niceties for shell users. It includes an FTP server, a web server, DNS, NIS, and POP. For these 100MB of disk space would suffice, and then you would need to add space for any data you serve up.


A standard desktop box, including the X window system, full desktop environments, sound, editors, etc. You'll need about 2GB using the standard desktop task, though it can be done in far less.

Work Console

A more stripped-down user machine, without the X window system or X applications. Possibly suitable for a laptop or mobile computer. The size is around 140MB.


A desktop setup with all the development packages, such as Perl, C, C++, etc. Size is around 475MB. Assuming you are adding X11 and some additional packages for other uses, you should plan around 800MB for this type of machine.

Remember that these sizes don't include all the other materials which are usually to be found, such as user files, mail, and data. It is always best to be generous when considering the space for your own files and data. Notably, the /var partition contains a lot of state information specific to Debian in addition to its regular contents like logfiles. The dpkg files (with information on all installed packages) can easily consume 20MB. Also, apt-get puts downloaded packages here before they are installed. You should usually allocate at least 100MB for /var.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire