Introduction

How often do you need to install your favorite Linux distribution in a single year either virtually or using real hardware? How frequently it happens that you just want to test new release of certain Linux distribution so you install it on different partition or simply virtually using your current system as a host. How often do you need to deploy a server which is a complete clone of the one you configured yesterday. The installation part of any Linux system today is a very straightforward process. Nonetheless, the hardest and the most tedious part comes with a fine tuning, customization and configuration of your system's services as well as your own user environment. You can simply copy your custom system configuration files from one system to another but engaging in this concept this task can become quite disorganized, time consuming and most importantly error-prone.

In this article, we are going to take a different approach which involves a creation of a Debian package archive containing all required custom user and configuration files. First part of this article describes a rather simple way on how to create a Debian package archive containing all custom files followed by its installation. In the second part, we will look at the way on how to create our own very basic Debian Repository and use it to deploy a simple website including Apache webserver installation and configuration on a freshly installed Linux system.

Part1

In this section, we create and install simple Debian package. The package will accommodate some sample user data to serve as an example.

Creating a Debian Package

It took you a while to configure your desktop to have it the way it best suits your needs and convenience. In your custom environment, you may for example include some bash scripts, create several aliases using .bashrc file or changed default behavior of a vim text editor by altering .vimrc file. Furthermore, you may also have customized numerous system configuration files such as /etc/network/interfaces and so on. All this hard work can be saved within a Debian package and installed and removed from any system with a single dpkg command. As a first step we need to create a bare minimum skeleton for a Debian package. This is a fairly simple task as it only involves a single DEBIAN/control file. So let us start by creating a directory named "myenv". This directory will hold all data for our own version 1.0 Debian package.

$ mkdir myenv

In the next step, we need to create a control file:

$ cd myenv
$ mkdir DEBIAN
$ vi DEBIAN/control

Installation prerequisites

Debian LogoIt is said that the installation of Debian Linux is know as one of the hardest among all Linux Distributions. In this article we will see that this is just a myth, in fact it is very easy, even for beginners. All you need is basic understanding of disk partitioning techniques and a downloaded/burned netinstall image which suits the hardware architecture you intend to install onto Debian Linux, and a internet connection. Of course there are other requirements, such as a working PC with a CD-ROM drive and free/unpartitioned space on your hard disk. :'''NOTE:''' Do not download all Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 installation disks! You only need the first CD or go to netinstall CD.

 

 

 

Beginning of the installation

Make sure you set your BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM. Once you boot Debian, it will welcome you with an Introductory Screen similar to the one below.

Debian Etch Introductory Screen

At this stage you can navigate with the function keys F1-F10:

Introduction

This guide will provide all necessary steps on how to create, bundle, upload, run and connect Debian ETCH AMI on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). For this guide we have used a Ubuntu 9.04. However, any other Linux distribution can also be used as long as it contains java and ruby packages. For more information about Amazon EC2 read  here.

This page is not in any way an affiliate to Amazon Web Services. !

Prerequisites

  • Internet connection
  • registered user account for S3 and EC2 services with Amazon Web Services (AWS) 
  • Amazaon Access Key ID
  • Amazon Secret Access Key
  • Amazon Account Number
  • Amazon X.509 Certificate
  • at least 1GB free hard drive space
  • following packages need to be installed:
apt-get install ssh debootstrap ruby 
sun-java6-bin libopenssl-ruby curl

Before we start



 As you will see in the next sections of this guide many different files are required to successfully use Amazon's EC2 Web Services. For the sake of simplicity, we will create a directory "aws" in ~/ and store all necessary files there for a quick access. There will be three exceptions:

This guide provides a step-by-step installation of VMware-server-2.0.2 on Debian Squeeze Linux. Here we assume that user has already obtained VMware-server-2.0.2-<minor version>.i386.tar.gz installation pack along with a serial number provided upon the user registration.

System specs:

  • Linux debian 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Tue Mar 8 21:36:00 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux
  • installation package ~/VMware-server-2.0.2-203138.i386.tar.gz

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