/ Markus Amersdorfer:home / university / about:me /
\ Say NO to Software-Patents! \

Debian Doc /Documentation/Installation/Configuration/

On this page I'm documenting my Debian Woody installation in order not to have to run into the same errors over and over again ;). Perhaps it can be of some help to you too.
Update: I've meanwhile updated my machines to Debian Sarge, which is the current testing branch (at least as of today, 02-11-18).

Further pages on topics such as creating a Debian Mirror or a Debian Package Repository as well as lots of external links can be found my Debian Related Stuff homepage.

You can find my experiences with a "HP Omnibook XE3 GF" notebook and Debian Woody/Sarge within this Installation Guide.

Table of Contents

General Documentation on Debian
Getting Debian
The Base Installation
The Base Installation (Minimum Installation)
localization -- or "Teaching the Shell a Foreign Language"
Problems with console-common
X Window System <2003-09-11>
Installing Gnome
Installing Gnome 2 <2004-01-18>
Installing KDE 3 <2004-01-18>
msttcorefonts: Fonts such as Trebuchet <2004-05-12>
Euro Currency Symbol (€) <2003-03-07>
keyboard++ <2003-03-30>
Java <2003-02-21>
Package Management <2003-04-28>
kernel-package <2003-06-05>
HP Deskjet 5550
mplayer <2004-02-04>
OpenOffice.org <2003-05-20>
Sylpheed <2003-06-02>
Mirroring Debian <2003-09-18>
Keeping several machines updated using "dsh" and "sudo" <2003-05-28>
"QT" yourself <2003-05-08>
GCC-3 <2003-05-08>
Miscellaneous <2004-09-19>

General Documentation on Debian

A (German) Debian-FAQ ... great.

The Debian Maintenance HOWTO ... great too.

Getting Debian

You can download bootable CD's from http://www.debian.org/CD/. If you have a fast internet-connection for your machine, you might download the minimal bootable CD and get most of the packages after the base installation directly from the net. Therefore you'll safe bandwidth, as you will probably update your packages anyway after the first installation, and even more important, you won't install (and thus you won't download) all those packages available on the CD's.
Otherwise you'll be better of with the usual CD images. Anyway, you definitely will NOT need all 8 CD's ;). The first two for example should suffice.

The Base Installation

The Debian base installation is actually straight forward - once you got used to it. Basically: Just hit enter until you're done ;).

You can either select the packages via tasksel (which is the easy method) or using dselect (which is much more powerful as you can chose each packet individually, but it's also much more time-consuming).
Either way: when logging in the first time, I always start dselect, add and remove some crucial packages (e.g. +bzip2, -telnetd) and install the rest of the standard-selected packages. (You'll have this by starting dselect, choosing "select", hit "enter", choosing "install", ...).



Base installation (Minimum Installation)

This section is based on a file-server installation with just 2 GB harddrive space. The requirements are therefore, to get a real minimum of packages possible.

We don't want for example dselect's standard-selections with "new" packages just after installing the base system and booting for the first time.
In order for that, you can do the following:

The procedure from above did not work, actually. unfortunately, I realized this too late, so I can't try another version this time :( ...)
Try this one:

Another possible way instead of pressing "R" would be to just hit "_" (for Purge) on the "Newly available packages" heading. They will all be dselected then.

Localization -- or "Teaching the Shell a Foreign Language"

First, you'd properly install a German keyboard (e.g. latin1-nodeadkeys). To do this, you need a few basic packages if you they are not already installed.

  apt-get install console-data console-tools debconf

Next, configure them by choosing the correct keyboard-layout using this command:

  dpkg-reconfigure console-data

To enable to enter German Umlauts, you'll just have to de-comment the line "set convert-meta off" in /etc/inputrc.

    set convert-meta off

Next the locales:

  apt-get install locales

If the package is already installed, use

  dpkg-reconfigure locales

Make sure you have de_AT ISO-8859-1 and de_AT@euro ISO-8859-15 checked (or similar if you don't live in Austria).
Add "LC_CTYPE=de_AT" to /etc/environment:


This will enable your shell to show German Umlauts but keep everything else such as program messages and user interfaces English. :)

You should dpkg-reconfigure locales once after the first basic installation, as it can happen the configuration while first installing has no effect.
With this setup, updating the package base-config may reset the values in /etc/inputrc and /etc/environment to the English language default. Neverthelles, this behaviour seems to be better since official release of Debian 3.0.
You'll have to manually edit the files again as described above and best logout and login again.

For details on the locales, see here.

Commands && Files:

  dpkg-reconfigure locales
  dpkg-reconfigure console-data
  dpkg-reconfigure console-common


I have one of the earlier Fritz!PCI isdn cards from AVM.
02-10-09 -- Update: I replaced it with a new Fritz!PCI version 2. I'll mention both kernel-configs below.

Kernel Configuration:
Before dealing with the Debian-packages, I needed to recompile my kernel. For some reason when having the HiSax driver loaded as a module, it recognizes the device and everything seems to be fine, but at least for me this didn't work. I got a "Your system lacks PPP support"-error, although it definitely did have PPP functionality.

The first chapter of http://www.infodrom.north.de/~joey/Linux/Tips+Tricks/isdn-schnellstart.html was of great help to me:

Besides basic network functionality you'll above all need 'PPP'. Furthermore, check the following options (and remember not to load as a module but to have it in the kernel):

  <*> ISDN support
  [*] Support synchronous PPP
  [*] Use VJ-compression with synchronous PPP
  [*] Support generic MP (RFC 1717)
  <*> HiSax SiemensChipSet driver support
  [*] HiSax Support for EURO/DSS1
  [*] HiSax Support for AVM PnP/PCI (Fritz!PnP/PCI)
  <*> ISDN support
  [*] Support synchronous PPP
  [*] Use VJ-compression with synchronous PPP
  [*] Support BSD compression
  <*> HiSax SiemensChipSet driver support
  [*] HiSax Support for EURO/DSS1
  [*] AVM Fritz!Card PCI/PCIv2/PnP support (EXPERIMENTAL)

After booting the new kernel, you should have a message like the following within the dmesg output:

  Feb 19 08:04:04 forest kernel: HiSax: DSS1 Rev.
  Feb 19 08:04:04 forest kernel: HiSax: 2 channels added

The Debian packages and their configuration:
As there were no ISDN-packages on my first Woody-CD (it's a snapshot from December '01) and I had no further CD's, I had to download the packages seperately. You'll need the following:


Before installing them, configure your PPP-packages as if you had a normal modem (you'll perhaps need to install the packages "ppp", "pppconfig" and similar...):

  # pppconfig

Next, install the ISDN-packages from above and configure them. Assuming you saved them in "/isdn-for-woody":

  # dpkg -iR /isdn-for-woody/

... should do the trick.
You can check if ippp0 is up (# ifconfig). One of the most important configuration files is /etc/isdn/device.ippp0.

This page shows you how to set up a quite tight iptables-based stateful packet filtering (aka "firewall"). You'll also find some info on how to stay online all the time :).
Go here for the same info based on the older and stateless ipchains.

DNS Servers:
Debian comes with the scripts /etc/ppp/ip-up.d/0dns-up and /etc/ppp/ip-down.d/0dns-down which dynamically replace /etc/resolv.conf with the DNS servers your IPS provides. If you don't want that (because e.g. you often have troubles with those as they are much too slow) and want /etc/resolv.conf to be used as it is, do one of the following:

(I have the primary DNS of my provider as the first and a totally different DNS server as the second mentioned in /etc/resolv.conf. This way, DNS works nearly all the time, even if my ISP has troubles with its own again...).

In order to get compression working, you need the kernel to support it (see config of Fritz!PCIv2) and you need to comment "noccp" in /etc/isdn/ipppd.ippp0.

If you activate "debug" in /etc/isdn/ipppd.ippp0, you'll get some more detailed information in /var/log/messages and /var/log/kernel.


  dpkg -iR /isdn-for-woody/
  /etc/init.d/isdnutils [stop|start|...]
  isdnctrl [dial|hangup|status|...] ippp0

ISDN with Linux 2.6

AFAICT: The ISDN system has changed considerably with the introduction of Linux 2.6, as it has been migrated to CAPI4Linux ... and some things like that.
I haven't seriously tried the 2.6-series yet. Nevertheless, AVM offers CAPI4Linux-drivers for Linux 2.6: Linux bei AVM (German).


In order to get X-forwarding working from your machine as the SSH-server, you'll need the package "xbase-clients" in order to get "xauth"-functionality. In /etc/ssh/sshd_config you'll of course also have to config "X11forwarding yes"...
On the client-side, also activate X-Forwarding by either adding the command-line argument "-X", or generally allowing it for all outgoing SSH-connections by editing /etc/ssh/ssh_config like the following:

  Host *
  ForwardX11 yes

Note though: Why it might be a bad idea to enable X11-forwarding by default is explained in this article: SSH Users beware: The hazards of X11 forwarding.

Problems with console-common

I had problems configuring the package console-common, and as a result console-data and base-config were not configured either.
It stated an error similar to "Could not install the keymap" when calling [C]onfig in dselect as the script /usr/sbin/install-keymap returns an error code 1 (showing the "usage line").

Tto solve this you'll have to simply edit the script (/usr/sbin/install-keymap) near the beginning in order to exit with code "0" and pretend everything is fine. ;)

  exit 0

  if [ $# != 1 ]
      echo >&2 "Usage: `basename $0` [ keymap_file | NONE | KERNEL ]"
      exit 1

After entering dselect and calling "[C]onfig" again, everything (at least the three mentioned packages) should be set up correctly without any major problems left.
As soon as this is done, you can and should delete the "exit 0"-line again.

X Window System

In order to get X running, I simply started tasksel and chose "X Window System". This should result in the needed files and programmes being installed.

In order to get X configured correctly (the initial configuration always end up in a not-working config with me, I don't know why :), I started

  dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

The point with my configuration was to say NO to the use of "The kernel frambuffer device interface".
BTW: for my good old Riva TNT graphics card, I used the driver "nv" which comes with Debian's XFree86 4.1.

Update -- 02-08-23:
From the Debian 3.0 release notes (or a message posted along with them): "If you install discover, read-edid, and mdetect before installing xserver-xfree86, the debconf script will be able to detect your graphics card, monitor and mouse. This means you only have to answer one or two questions about your keyboard, and X practically configures itself."
Update -- 03-06-17: From our beloved "apt"-bot in irc.debian.org's #debian channel:
from memory, set up x is To set up X in woody, sarge or sid, "apt-get install discover read-edid mdetect && dpkg --force-depends -P xserver-xfree86 && apt-get install xserver-xfree86" (or x-window-system-core instead of xserver-xfree86 if you don't have it yet) Sometimes "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86" works.

Official nVidia drivers <2003-02-20>

If you want to use nVidia's official drivers in order to get accelerated 3D-support, just install the Debian packages nvidia-glx-src and nvidia-kernel-src, read the documentation in /usr/share/doc/nvidia* and install accordingly.
A disadvantage you'll have using this driver is that starting an X-server (or switching between command-line (ctrl-alt-f1) and X (ctrl-alt-f7)) takes very long! (At least that's the case with my installation...)

Here's what I do, based on this detailed German description of how to get the nVidia-drivers running:

  apt-get install xlibmesa3
  apt-get remove '.*glide.*'
  apt-get install gcc-2.95 make  [plus "kernel-headers-xxx" or kernel-sources]
  apt-get install nvidia-glx-src nvidia-kernel-src fakeroot
  cd /usr/src
  tar zxvf nvidia-kernel-src.tar.gz

  cd /usr/src/nvidia-glx-1*
  dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -rfakeroot
  cd /usr/src/linux  [holding your kernel-sources]
  make-kpkg clean
  make-kpkg --revision=forest.02 --append_to_version=-02 modules_image
  dpkg -i /usr/src/nvidia-kernel*deb
  dpkg -i /usr/src/nvidia-glx_*deb

... and don't forget to set the options in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 accordingly. Follow the instructions from /usr/share/doc/nvidia-glx/README.gz, (sec-03) EDITING YOUR XF86CONFIG FILE.

Recompiling the nVidia-drivers for a new kernel

If you compile a new kernel for yourself and already have the drivers working with the old one (by following the description above), you just have to do the following:

Miscellaneous on nVidia-drivers <2003-09-11>

A great external resource is minion.de which holds lots of information on current versions of the nVidia drivers. Check this out!

Tune your X <2003-03-28>

Installing Gnome

Unfortunately, I'm currently doing this from memory, sorry for not writing it down exactly...

You can run tasksel and choose "Desktop Environment" which should install the base packages concerning Gnome (among other things).
Anyway: check that you have "gnome-control-center" installed as well as window manager for Gnome. I use "sawfish-gnome" (along with "sawfish-merlin-ugliness").

Logging in via the graphical login "gdm", you'll end up with a Gnome desktop telling you, you dont't have a valid window manager installed.
Call "Programs -- Settings -- Gnome Control Center" from the menu and choose "Desktop -- Window Manager". You can see, Sawfish is currently the only one installed and also marked "(current)". God knows, why it's not already running...

In order to have correctly configured, you'll need to add a dummy-window-manager and use this one for a few seconds, and afterwards switch to Sawfish again:
"Add" a new window manager and call it "dummy" with the command "/bin/ls". "Try" this one. After 10 seconds, Gnome will try to start the window-manager "/bin/ls" and - of course - prompt you with an error message. This says in detail: "Could not start 'dummy'. Falling back to previous window manager 'Sawfish'."
"Save now" the settings concerning the session-changes and be happy: here you are with a finally running sawfish. ;)

If the fonts are too big for you, just set something like "helvetica, 10" in "Theme Selector", "Use custom fonts".

In order to get gtk-themes working, install gtk-engines-pixmap and (not available for woody currently but only for sarge and later) gtk2-engines-pixbuf. It's possible to install and select themes in the gnome-control-center afterwards.
To uninstall a theme again, just remove the corresponding directory in ~/.themes/.

Sawfish themes can be installed by exploding the tarball creating a subdirectory of /usr/share/sawfish/1.0.1/themes/ (when using Debian Sarge). Starting the gnome-control-center afterwards, one can select the new theme.

Installing Gnome 2

Gnome 2.4 in Sarge seems pretty complete now. A few small packages might still be missing, but nothing important.
ALT+F1 and ALT+F2 work fine again too (the problem was a too old version of some I-don't-know-anymore-package). (New splash screen is also included ;) ...)

Sarge meanwhile has Gnome 2.4 (or least most of it).
If you're lacking icons in Nautilus, install the package gnome-icon-theme (this fixes it for most icons, including Nautilus).
I currently can't get ALT+F1 and ALT+F2 to work, I don't know why...
The splash screen has not changed from 2.2 to 2.4, that's probably because gnome-session is still version 2.2.2-4. Something similar goes for gnome-panel* (version

Installing Gnome2 with Woody is quite easy: according to the GNOME 2 on Debian homepage, Just add deb http://people.debian.org/~kov/debian woody gnome2 to your sources.list and type apt-get update; apt-get install gnome gdm2.

Next, it'd be best to run dselect, update and install in order to get associated files (suggested and co) being installed too.

Next, you'll need to reconfigure your default window-manager to be Metacity instead of e.g. twm. Do this by calling update-alternatives --config x-window-manager and choose Metacity.
Install and run metacity-setup for basic configurations.

Hint: edit gdm2 via the "system" entry to show as "Graphical" instead of "Standard", looks much nicer. :)

Installing KDE 3

Sarge includes KDE 3 already.
For Woody, check out kde.org/download. (If there are no Debian packages available already for the latest brand-new bleeding-edge version as is the case today with KDE 3.1.5, check out the previous version, such as 3.1.4: Just include "deb http://download.kde.org/stable/3.1.4/Debian stable main" into your sources.list. Oh, and here's a README.)

msttcorefonts: Fonts such as Trebuchet

Wow, my homepage looks somewhat more styled suddenly... ;)

Here's what I did in order to get MS-sponsored fonts such as Trebuchet, Arial, Verdana, Courier New or Andale Mono working:

  apt-get install msttcorefonts cabextract x-ttcidfont-conf
  editor /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
    # and add the following two lines:
    FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
    FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/CID"

Basically, that's all. Restart X, and everything should be fine...
Check out by e.g. starting the Gnome Control Center and find some font selector. In the dialog "Pick a Font", you should see "arial", "trebuchet ms" and so on. Furthermore, clicking on them should change the sample text on the bottom. If it doesn't but there appears a message such as "Font can not be loaded" (or similar), run dpkg-reconfigure x-ttcidfont-conf and use "freetype" instead of "xtt".

Of course it's wise to check through files such as /usr/share/doc/x-ttcidfont-conf/README*.

Hint: If you should run "dpkg-reconfigure x-ttcidfont-conf" for some reason, have it run completely to the end. I started it once and canceled the configuration process at some point. This resulted in the fonts not working anymore. (A simple clean and complete re-run did the trick to get them working again...)

Update -- 04-05-12:
I'm currently re-installing a Debian-system from scratch using Sarge. With all packages up-to-date, running the apt-get command from above was enough to get the fonts working. No changes to XF86Config-4 or restart of X necessary. (I only had to restart Mozilla to have it use the correct fonts ...)

Euro Currency Symbol (€)

The EURO currency symbol (€) is not that hard to set up with Debian. I'll explain the "Austrian" way here.
And mind: Read the Debian Euro HOWTO for more detailed information.

1: dpkg-reconfigure locales and compile the locales de_AT and de_AT@euro.

2: Install the following packages:

  `apt-get install`:

3: Set up the correct locale-values:


This sets everything to de_AT@euro, except for LC_MESSAGES: I want an English interface with all my programs, which can be accomplished by setting this environment to "C".
Add-on: For some reason, LANG is set to "C" within X!? Anybody an idea, what the reason might be?

4: Re-login.

5: Use fonts with the character set ISO-8859-15.

The Euro now works with nearly every application within my Gnome-environment. If you use Sylpheed as your mail client, download version 0.8.11 (released today, 03-03-07) and use this one, as 0.8.10 had some bugs (crashed when sending mails with euro symbol in the subject, could not display euro symbol with mails in folders such as outbox, inbox). Only LICQ 1.2.4 does not like the Euro-Symbol, though I use a "-15" character set font.


If you have one of those fancy "internet keyboards" with lots of additional keys and want to use those, just install linEAK or acme. (The second is in Sarge and Sid only, the second is for Gnome2 and currently in Sid only.)

Just install lineakd (apt-get install lineakd, there's also a lineakconfig, but I didn't use it) and use a config-file similar to the following (which is for my MS Natural Keyboard Pro), to be saved as ~/.lineak/lineakd.conf:

# LinEAK - Linux support for Easy Access and Internet Keyboards
#  Copyright (c) 2001,2002 Mark Smulders < Mark@PIRnet.nl >
#  http://lineak.sourceforge.net
# lineakd configuration file
# example key configuration:
# 	play	= "xmms --play-pause"
# 	eject	= EAK_EJECT
# available special actions:

# LinEAK Configuration for Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro USB
# (generated by lineakconfig)

# Global settings
KeyboardType		= MNKproUSB
CdromDevice		= /dev/cdrom
MixerDevice		= /dev/mixer

# Specific keys of your keyboard
#   Thanks to Ruud Althuizen for providing me the information
#   about the back, forward and stop commands!
webback		= "mozilla -remote 'openURL(javascript:history.back())"
webforward	= "mozilla -remote 'openURL(javascript:history.forward())"
webstop		= "mozilla -remote 'openURL(javascript:window.stop())"
refresh		= ""
media		= "EAK_EJECT"
previous	= "xmms --rew"
stop		= "xmms --stop"
play		= "xmms --play-pause"
next		= "xmms --fwd"
volumeup	= "EAK_VOLUP"
volumedown	= "EAK_VOLDOWN"
mute		= "EAK_MUTE"
web/home	= "/opt/mozilla_start-this_max"
mycomputer	= ""
mail		= "/opt/sylpheed/bin/sylpheed"
search		= ""
favorites	= ""
calculator	= "gcalc"
sleep		= "xlock -mode blank"

# end lineakd.conf

Finally, just add "lineakd" to your Gnome-Startup in order to have it always called as soon as you enter your desktop environment.

If your keyboard is not supported by linEAK by default, install and start xev, move your cursor into the new window and press the corresponding buttons. "xev" will show you the keycodes you can use to add the new model to /etc/lineakkb.def.

For HP's Omnibook XE3, an explanation on how to geht the Onetouch keys working can be found here.

Unfortunately, I just haven't figured out yet how to tell Mozilla remote-commands such as Back, Stop or Reload... If you know, I'd be glad if you dropped me a line... THX! :)

Be careful: Whatever commands you configure your add-on keys to run will be executed even if you locked your screen! So mind to not use these buttons with any kind of security or privacy related stuff!


Java (version 1): Sun's official Java-Release

Install j2sdk
Hint: It can happen you would have to install the "old" libstdc++2.9-glibc2.1_2.91.66-4.deb before getting Java to work.
I installed j2sdk1.4.0_01 from java.sun.com by Simply execute the .bin-file, move the expanded directory to /opt/j2sdk1.4.0_01, create a symlink to it (/opt/java -> j2sdk1.4.0_01) and add "/opt/java/bin" to ENV_SUPATH in /etc/login.defs and to PATH in /etc/profile.

Mozilla plugin
Moved here.

Java (version 2): Blackdown's Linux-optimized Java <2003-02-21>

Install j2sdk
Download the new j2sdk-1.4.1_01 packages from blackdown.org, make it executable, change to the directory you want to install to (e.g. /opt) and start the .bin-file. A new directory j2sdk1.4.1 is created. I usually create a symlink to it enabling me to have different versions installed at the same time (ln -ivs j2sdk1.4.1 java).
Add "/opt/java/bin" to PATH in /etc/profile and re-login.

Mozilla plugin
Moved here.

External Resources

Java on Debian.

Package Management

I found some of the following hints at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/quick-reference/ch-package.en.html:


rcconf is a very small package (just 9kB...) which is a "frontend" to update-rc.d and works with both System-V style and file-rc runlevel configuration. You can easily enable or disable certain daemons/scripts for boot-process.


I moved this information here.


I've never thought I'd use it, but it really is another great Debian-package: kernel-package. Using it you can build your own .deb-file based Linux kernels. Less commands, less confusion, less work when compiling your kernel "by hand".

first time:

  apt-get install kernel-package
  $EDITOR /etc/kernel-pkg.conf

I added image in boot := true to kernel.pkg.conf.
If you're using LILO, add image=/vmlinuz and image=/vmlinuz.old (the latter with the option "optional") to your /etc/lilo.conf.

  cd /usr/src/
  tar xjf /path-to-downloads/linux-2.4.19.tar.bz2
  ln -ivs linux-2.4.19 linux
  cd linux
  make mrproper

Each time:

  cd /usr/src/linux/
  make xconfig
  make-kpkg clean
  time make-kpkg --revision=forest.02 --append_to_version=-02 kernel_image
  dpkg -i /usr/src/kernel-image...
  cp .config /path-to-backups/kernel-config-2.4.19_forest_02

revision: This kernel is used for my machine "forest" and is the second (".02") one I built for it.
append_to_version: in order to have several versions of 2.4.19 installed at the same time, append "-02" to the kernel name. (Has effects on /lib/modules/$kernel-version/, /boot/vmlinuz-$kernel-version, "uname -a", ...).

nVidia: If you use the official nVidia-drivers for your graphics card, don't forget to recompile them too.

gcc-3.3 - citing "apt" (#debian, irc.debian.org): "it has been said that 2.4bug is look at http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=194287 as it says there, gcc-3.3 cannot compile 2.4 kernels, apt-get install gcc-3.2 or gcc-2.95 (preferred) then edit the top level Makefile before you make dep with: perl -pi.bak -e 's/gcc/gcc-2.95/' Makefile, or gcc-3.3 compiles 2.4.21-rc3 and up just fine."

Linux 2.5: If you want to use Linux 2.5 (kernel-source-2.5.69 is available in Sarge already), install the Debian package module-init-tools, otherwise modprobe & co won't work.

HP Deskjet 5550

I moved the correspondig info here.


Update -- 03-03-03:
Marillat now provides the package mplayer-mozilla which is a Mozilla plugin to play movies and similar with mplayer.

Update -- 03-02-10:
Downloading and installing this libdv2-package should not be necessary anymore, AFAIR. I still keep the link here until verified... (there seemed to be an error in the server's database, so this was necessary.)


  # mplayer for Debian Woody
  deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ stable main
  # mplayer for Debian Sarge
  deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ testing main

to your /etc/apt/sources.list file, and run dselect -- [u]pdate -- [s]elect in order to get a list of the newly available packages. Choose from the plattform-specific builds for 386, 686 and k6 architectures, install and use the program. :)

Hint: mplayer -vo help and mplayer -ao help give listings of available output drivers for both video and audio. If performance is bad with the default settings, try for example the sdl output or others. If your video card is supported properly (whatever that means, choose for yourself ;) ), you should find a suitable output driver.


Update -- 03-05-20: Debian Sarge now has OpenOffice.org included.

Debian Woody packages for OpenOffice.org are available "inofficially", just add the following line (or similar, check out the mirror servers) to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

  deb http://ftp.sh.cvut.cz/MIRRORS/OpenOffice.deb woody main contrib

I installed the packages "libstlport4.5gcc3.0 ooqstart-gnome openoffice.org openoffice.org-bin openoffice.org-help-de openoffice.org-l10n-de openoffice.org-l10n-en openoffice.org-spellcheck-de-at", which run fine with my Debian Sarge.
To get a german interface by default, it's probabely easiest not to install the "-en" package(s).


I moved my information 'bout Sylpheed.

Mirroring Debian

The information on how to set up a mirror for Debian Woody/i386 and Security can be found here.

Keeping several machines updated using "dsh" and "sudo"

If you manage a whole bunch of servers or client workstations (or both), it comes in handy to update them all with just one command.
(Credits: This is based on an article to be found in the "Linux Magazin 5/2003, page 33". Thanks!)


  adduser --disabled-login update
  apt-get install sudo

Use "visudo" to edit /etc/sudoers similar to:
  Cmnd_Alias      APTGET = /usr/bin/apt-get update, /usr/bin/apt-get -y upgrade, /usr/bin/apt-get -y dist-upgrade, /usr/bin/apt-get clean
  root	          ALL=(ALL) ALL
  update          ALL = NOPASSWD : APTGET

This allows user "root" to execute every command on every machine (default) as well as the user "update" to execute all commands from APTGET as root on every machines without having to enter a password.
(If you have a NIS/NFS-network, of course just add the user "update" to the NIS-server and add "+update:*:::::" to the other machines (if you use a line like +:*:0:0:::/bin/false to block shell-access for most all NIS-users).)

You also have to create the file ~update/.ssh/authorized_keys which simply holds the public-key(s) from the key-pair(s) to be generated on the initiating machine(s) (see below). This allows you to login to your servers/workstations as user "update" without having to provide a password.

The initiating machine

  apt-get install dsh

  verbose = 0 
  remoteshell = ssh  
  showmachinenames = 1
  waitshell = 1


This configures the "dancer's shell".
If you don't already have an ssh-keypair, generate one (man ssh-keygen) and - as mentioned above - copy the public-key to your machines' ~update/.ssh/authorized_keys file(s).

Update all machines using:
  dsh -a -- 'sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade && sudo apt-get clean'

You might also want to use "-c" as an option to dsh. Check out its manpage.

"QT" yourself

I just downloaded and compiled QT 3.1.2 myself. On the one hand to have QT3 to use with LICQ (as LICQ won't support the €uro symbol with Debian's QT2-packages), and on the other hand just to try that once.
Download is possible at Trolltech.

Once you have the about 12 MB tar-ball, follow the INSTALL file, which basically boils down to:

  cd /usr/local
  tar xjf ~/download/qt-x11-free-3.1.2.tar.bz2
  ln -ivs qt-x11-free-3.1.2 qt

 create the file ~/qt3.sh:



 source the file ~/qt3.sh:
  . ~/qt3.sh

 compile QT:
  cd /usr/local/qt
  ./configure -thread

The last command took about 100 minutes on my AMD Duron 1300 using gcc 2.95 and about 150 minutes using gcc-3.2.3, so get a few cups of coffe ;). Anyway, once your CPU is "finished" (in any sense of the word), you've successfully installed QT3.

To compile LICQ (I used licq-1.2.6), just source qt3.sh and run through the LICQ compilation process. (LICQ should find the new QT-libraries itself due to the set environment varible "QTLIB".)

Also check out the following section on the compiler of your choice, GCC, as Debian Sarge switched to version 3.


As of the beginning of May 2003, Debian Sarge uses gcc-3.2.3 as the default-compiler. The C++ code produced by GCC-3.x is incompatible to the one produced by the previously used GCC-2.95.
As for example QT is based on C++, you'll have to recompile QT too if want to compile QT-based applications with the new compiler (and if you have compiled QT yourself).


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last modified: Tuesday, 23-Feb-2010 15:42:09 UTC