The system will now ask you if you want to use the pre-rolled software configurations offered by Debian. You can always choose package-by-package what you want to install on your new machine. This is the purpose of the dselect program, described below. But this can be a long task with the thousands of packages available in Debian!
So, you have the ability to choose tasks or profiles instead. A task is work you will do with the machine, such as ``Perl programming'' or ``HTML authoring'' or ``Chinese word processing.'' You can choose several tasks. A profile is a category your machine will be a member of, such as ``Network server'' or ``Personal workstation.'' Unlike with tasks, you can choose only one profile.
To summarize, if you are in a hurry, choose one profile. If you have more time, choose the Custom profile and select a set of tasks. If you have plenty of time and want very precise control on what is or is not installed, skip this step and use the full power of dselect.
Soon, you will enter into dselect. If you selected tasks or profiles, remember to skip the ``Select'' step of dselect, because the selections have already been made.
A word of warning about the size of the tasks as they are displayed: The size shown for each task is the sum of the sizes of its packages. If you choose two tasks that share some packages, the actual disk requirement will be less than the sum of the sizes for the two tasks.
Once you've added both logins (root and personal), you'll be dropped into the dselect program. dselect allows you to select packages to be installed on your system. If you have a CD-ROM or hard disk containing the additional Debian packages that you want to install on your system, or if you are connected to the Internet, this will be useful to you right away. Otherwise, you may want to quit dselect and start it later after you have transported the Debian package files to your system. You must be the superuser (root) when you run dselect. Information on how to use dselect is given in section 3.20.