Devuan GNU+Linux is a free software operating system for your computer. Free software means you are free to use, copy and distribute, study, change the software, and share your modifications with the community.

Devuan ASCII Install Guide

This is an easy to follow guide to installing Devuan from the CD/DVD images for supported hardware. The general advice accompanying this guide is that you should always backup your data before you begin.


Devuan 2.1 ASCII Release Notes
Supported architectures
Installation images
Installing Devuan


At minimum you should know how to write an ISO image to CD/DVD or USB, and make your computer boot from it. For those already using GNU/Linux or similar we can cover the steps for that.

Supported architectures

Installation images

These are currently the ways of getting installation images. Please use mirrors or torrents where possible.

If you have access to the Internet you can use the `*_netinst.iso` which will install a base system then download the remaining packages during the installation process.

Choose the single `*_dvd-1.iso` if there is no network available and/or a need for multiple offline installations. The image contains several desktop choices and additional software options.

The leaner `*_cd-1,-2,-3.iso` set provides the default Xfce desktop and a more limited software selection.

Those not using the command line can skip to installation.

Check the integrity of images

Before you write an image to your removable device, it's best to check the integrity so that you can be sure the image is in a good state. This avoids many problems that may later occur during installation.

Download the SHA256SUMS from the release archive and verify image integrity.

user@hostname:~$ sha256sum --ignore-missing -c SHA256SUMS

Verify the images

Installation images distributed by Devuan are signed so that they can be verified as coming from Devuan. Verifying images lets you know they have not been altered prior to you receiving them.

Get the Devuan developers signing keys and import them to your keychain.

user@hostname:~$ gpg --import devuan-devs.gpg

Use the signed SHA256SUMS.asc from the release archive to verify the image.

user@hostname:~$ gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.asc

A report of a good signature indicates everything is fine.

Writing an image to a CD/DVD or USB drive

Images can be written to a CD or DVD using wodim.

user@hostname:~$ wodim dev=/dev/sr0 -eject filename.iso

All Devuan ISO images are hybrid ISOs and may be written to a USB drive using dd.

root@hostname:~# dd if=filename.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M && sync

Installing Devuan

This is an easy to follow guide to installing Devuan from the CD/DVD images for supported hardware. The general advice accompanying this guide is that you should always backup your data before you begin.

For the install we are going to use a non-graphical installer. This is generally faster than a graphical install and needs less resources. This should be suitable for installing in a virtual machine as well as on physical hardware. Whilst this may be intimidating for new users, there is nothing to be feared as you will be guided through this process.

If you would like to select an alternate bootloader (lilo) or exclude non-free firmware, you must select one of the Expert install options.

1) Boot from the CD/DVD or USB drive and choose the regular Install option.

Devuan install first boot

2) The next few steps will ask about your language, location and keyboard layout.

Keyboard layout

3) The installer will automatically configure the network. Wireless network users will have to provide an SSID and passphrase. You will then be asked to choose a hostname for your new system. By all means get creative but remember not to use any spaces or special characters.

Machine hostname

4) You will also be asked to provide a domain name. If you don't need this or don't know what it is for, you should leave it blank.

Domain name

5) It's recommended that you set a root password for Devuan. It's good security practice to use a strong password. You will have to type your password again to make sure that you've set it correctly.

Root password

6) You will now be asked to configure a user account, which you should do in most cases. Unless there is a need to do otherwise, leave your full name blank and continue to providing a username.

User name

7) You will need to enter a password and type it again as you did before for root.

User password

8) The installer will now set the clock using NTP. Enter your time zone information and continue with the install.

Configure the clock

9) Before you can install Devuan the disk needs to be partitioned. If it's available as an option, choosing to use the largest continuous space is recommended. This will preserve existing partitions and not alter them. Otherwise you should use the whole disk if you have no data you need to save.  

If you need full disk encryption see HERE before continuing.

Use largest space

10) Choosing all files in one partition is a sensible option for newcomers. Manual disk partitioning is beyond the scope of this discussion.

All files in one partition

11) It's time to write those partitions to the disk and format them with file systems. If you are happy with the changes choose write to disk and continue. You will need to confirm this before the changes are made.

Write changes to disk

12) The base system will now install. Depending on your hardware this may take some time.

Waiting for the base system install

13) Next the installer asks to scan more CDs, if any.

Scan CDs

14) If you are installing from CD or DVD, the installer will now ask if you want to choose a network mirror or if you want to continue installing off-line. If you have network access this is recommended because you will have access to the latest versions of packages.

Network mirror option

15) You can now select a Devuan archive mirror. You should choose "" unless there is a country code-based mirror available that serves you better. See

Choose a network mirror

16) Devuan uses popularity contest (popcon) to collect information about the most used packages. This is purely on an opt-in basis and will only collect statistics about packages that are installed from this point onwards.

Popularity contest

17) Then the installer asks you to select the initial software set up. A server system might only be "SSH server" while a desktop would be set up as a "Devuan desktop environment" and your DE of choice such as "Xfce". It's always good to include the "standard system utilities".

Software selection

18) Next you will be asked to choose your preferred init system and then confirm that choice.

Init choice

19) The installer will now install the packages you selected. This will take some time.

Installing software

20) Now that all the sofware you need is installed, the GRUB bootloader will be installed. This allows the operating system to boot after installation. If you are asked to install to the MBR then you should usually do this.

Some setups will require no configuration and the install will now finish.

Installing the grub boot loader

21) It's important to choose the correct bootloader location. It should not be installed to a partition but to the MBR area which is located on the hard disk.

In this case /dev/sda is the only hard disk so we will install it there.

Choose bootloader location

22) The install is finished. Remove your installation media to continue to boot into the Devuan graphical environment.

Finish the install

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