Installing Debian 8 on Vultr

Updated on February 16, 2015
Installing Debian 8 on Vultr header image

Debian 8 (Jessie) is still in development, therefore it is not yet available in the Vultr control panel.

Vultr allows any operating system to be installed from an ISO install image, so we could take the small netinst image for Jessie and perform the installation manually. However, installing Debian 7 and upgrading to Debian 8 immediately afterwards is a lot faster.

The procedure is as simple as this:

  • Install a Debian 7 system.

  • Edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list and change wheezy to jessie everywhere. You don't even need to use the nano editor, the following command does it:

      sed -i 's/wheezy/jessie/' /etc/apt/sources.list
  • Update the index of available packages and perform the upgrade:

      apt-get update
      apt-get upgrade
      apt-get dist-upgrade
      apt-get clean
  • Reboot once to use the default kernel for Jessie:

      init 6
  • Debian Jessie ships with Linux 3.16 by default. After the reboot, check that you are using the new kernel:

      uname -a

... you will see output similar to this:

   Linux mymachine 3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt4-3 (2015-02-03) x86_64 GNU/Linux
  • Next, remove the kernel for Wheezy safely, as it will not be used anymore:

      dpkg --purge linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64
  • It is possible to do a little bit more of cleanup. The deborphan tool will help:

      apt-get install deborphan
      dpkg --purge `deborphan`

Enjoy your new Debian 8 system! Don't forget to upgrade it from time-to-time for security updates.