I made a partitions on a new SSD drive (empty), now I want to install Debian, use netinst ISO CD. I chosed "Graphical expert install" type, which show a series of questions. When installation process come to a Partition disks step, there is a lot of options, and what's unclear:

  • "Bootable flag : off/on" - should I set it "On" for Boot partition? Should I skip it for the other partitions, or should set it Off for the rest partitions?

  • "Format the partition: no keep existing data" - should I format partitions, even they are empty?

  • Reserved blocks: 5% - should I use this option? (SSD disk 60GB but really show 55.80GB available, so I assume that ~7% space already reserved?)

  • Should I set/change any flag for Swap partition? Currently it marked "F".

What steps should I make starting with "Partition disks" page? Overall, the Debian installer is unclear at this point and does not make installation easier.

  • 2
    experts don't use graphical install...
    – Sebastian
    Sep 7, 2014 at 20:12
  • 1
    I do! It looks a lot nicer! When you have a fully automated network installer and you want to demonstrate it, the graphical install is truly the way to go! That's why it's supposed to be the default in jessie. I still have the initrd-console.gz on the pxe config as an option for the weird machines. :)
    – umeboshi
    Jan 25, 2015 at 23:21

1 Answer 1


This is a critical moment of the installation, the guide doesn't want to interfere too much because:

  • you have chosen expert
  • you could erase data involuntarily

Exposing all possible options to a GUI installer is difficult (GUI is always limiting choices).

Finally some recommendations:

  • Bootable flag for boot partion: on
  • Other partitions, bootable flag: off/ skip(=off)
  • Format the partitions: yes, formatting also creates a suitable file system (e.g. ext4). Choose no only if you are sure that the current format will work.
  • Swap: leave the default -- it doesn't matter much imo.
  • Thanks for tips. Not sure also for Reserved blocks: 5% option.
    – Lexx Luxx
    Sep 7, 2014 at 20:24
  • 1
    You only need this on the / partition. This is reserved for space the root user, which is located in /root. Should you run out of disk space, the root user will still be able to write to these reserved blocks. If you have a partition for /home/, set this factor to 0% for the home partition.
    – Sebastian
    Sep 7, 2014 at 20:26
  • For the "Mount point:" and "Mount options:" In Mount point I should set mount point for every partition?(except swap). And what to specify in "Mount options"?
    – Lexx Luxx
    Sep 7, 2014 at 20:47
  • be careful here, the mount point is where your partition is being attached to the root /. If you want the partition to be automatically mounted, specify a mount point (yes, swap doesn't need one). Also, mount options shouldn't be necessary.
    – Sebastian
    Sep 7, 2014 at 20:51

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