Sebian is vanilla / stock Debian, with the difference that it has been set up as a preinstalled image.


Sebian initially solved my Raspberry Pi issue. Until that time I used Raspbian as the Operating System, which worked fine. But I do not want a GUI, nor all the applications which were pre-installed and the partitioning scheme was not to my liking. The only way to solve it, was to create my own flavour (image).

A few weeks into the project, I thought of extending the image to not only support Raspberry Pi's, but also my HP MicroServer, which runs from an USB stick. Previously I had to install the server by manually installing Debian or using preseed, but using an image would make things even easier.


  • Based on Debian:
    • State of the art and stable Operating System
    • In-line with regular Debian updates (including security updates)
    • Yes, this means I have been running Stretch a while now
  • Flexible
    • Usable on multiple platforms
    • Hostnames can easily be modified before booting the system for the first time
    • Passwords can easily be configured before booting the system for the first time
  • Usable
    • Zerconf - Avahi enabled by default for easy access
    • SSH - OpenSSH is enabled by default
  • Intelligent
    • Automatically maximizes the partition on which the root filesystems physical volume resides
    • Uses LVM by default
    • Reduced writes to the installation device by default (so less wear & tear and more durability for your USB stick, micro SD cards and other flash based media)
  • Raspberry Pi:
    • Using the upstream Raspberry Pi foundation kernel


  • Not optimized for a certain architecture
  • Not optimized for GUI use (not installed by default)
  • The automatical reboot at first run
  • No ARM64 build yet...



Use unxz (or 7-zip if you are on Windows) to unpack the archive and then use dd (or W32 disk imager if you are on Windows) to put the image on the target device. To be safe, do not forget your sync. Example:

unxz stretch_amd64_2017-08-04-17-47.img.xz
dd if=stretch_amd64_2017-08-04-17-47.img of=/dev/sde bs=10M

Note: The system will reboot automatically once after the first boot. Do not interrupt the process or you will have to re-image.


If unmodified, the default login credentials are:

  • User
    • username: user
    • password: welcome
  • Root
    • username: root
    • password: backdoor

Just use SSH to connect to your pi. Example:

ssh user@hostname.local

Optional customization

After the installation you can choose to change:

  • default (first and only) username
  • user password
  • root password
  • hostname

This can be done by editing boot_firstboot.cfg on the first partition (FAT partition where all the boot files reside).

Note: this can only be done after the installation and before the first boot of the device.