Ever got confused by the amount of disc made available for downloading on Debian servers? Worry not, if this is your approach looking around the Internet for an explanation why and what are those various discs for installing Debian on your beloved computer, you are at the right place. I'll try to be quick and concise so you can get on with Debian installation within 2 minutes read :)
What are those discs?
Debian disc 1, disc 2, disc 3, etc are all installation discs but only one of them is bootable while the rest are not. The bootable disc is labeled as disc 1. The rest are just multiple software packed into one or more discs and may be labeled as disc 2, disc 3, disc 4, etc depending on how much software are out there on Debian repositories.
As of now, Debian Stretch is the latest stable version and you might have noticed on its download page that there are three discs made available for downloading. So if you want to install Debian OS on your computer, you must download the disc that is labeled as 1. Remember the rest are just software discs.
Why multiple discs?
Because they come in handy if you are installing and configuring someone's computer or yours with no or poor Internet connection. So when you want to install some piece of software, you just have to key in the apt install command on the terminal prompt and the computer will ask you to insert the appropriate disc to install the software.
Moreover, Debian tries to pack the disc with software at maximum disc (DVD) capacity. So you must have noticed its installation disc that is labeled as disc 1 is over 4 gigabytes!!! There are some additional software too on that disc that won't be installed on your computer during installation. But will be needed along with the other discs if you prefer offline configuration + maintenance.
But won't they be outdated soon?
You might doubt that the contents in the disc will be outdated when you start updating your system. Yes, but only a few of those that require severe bug fixes and security updates. Those software will need an Internet connection for getting the latest version from Debian servers.
However, that doesn't mean your discs will become unusable. Debian makes sure stable version remains... well stable. So most feature updates won't be made available on your current stable version. Instead, you'll get mostly security updates.
Debian has an interesting yet technical method for its installation process. Hope I cleared your doubts about the various Debian installation discs. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section below.
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