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My Debian configuration notes

How to enlarge apt source list

In file /etc/apt/sources.list add lines of type

deb testing main contrib non-free
deb-src testing main contrib non-free

How I disabled IPv6

In file /etc/modprobe.d/aliases change line

alias net-pf-10 ipv6


alias net-pf-10 off

How I set default window manager

  • Install the desired manager, let's say kdm
  • run

dpkg-reconfigure kdm and chose the right one or manually change file


How I set up reasonable font for Konsole



How I compiled my kernel

  • I dowloaded desired kernel source from to /usr/src and unpacked resulting in linux-2.6.12 directory.
  • In the the linux-xxx dir a run

make menuconfig to configure the kernel. I did it many times, so I can't remeber what exactly I chose.

  • Compilation and installation - the Debian way (I slightly followed this manual)

First I had to clean previous compilation (otherwise the recompilation didn't take affect, but on the other hand it deleted everything already compiled, so the next compilation took long time again).

make-kpkg clean

The compilation.

make-kpkg kernel-image

Before inslation I removed the previous kernel package.

apt-get remove kernel-image-xxx

The instalation of package /usr/src/kernel-image-xxx.deb

dpkg -i kernel-image-xxx.deb

This led into correct vmlinuz in /boot and correctly modified /boot/grub/menu.lst, but the kernel was still unbootable, see point d).

  • Compilation and installation - the NonDebian way. Simply run in /usr/src/linux-xxx


make modules_install
make install

This leads into correct vmlinuz, but /boot/grub/menu.lst must be modified manually.

  • To make the kernel boot, I had to manually generate initrd by

mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd-xxx /lib/modules/xxx and in grub configuration file /boot/grub/menu.lst add line for the new kernel

initrd /boot/inird-xxx

And the it worked :-)

How I installed NVidia driver

Having installed my kernel I downloaded the driver from NVidia page. Then I ran


and that was it. Actually, I had to remove nvidia framebuffer from kernel first. The /etc/X11/XF86… has to be modified according to the NVidia readme. And I encountered problems with glx module which I haven't solved yet :-(

How I mount USB key

The key I use, has FAT fs. It can be mounted by a single root command

mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usbkey

(the destination directory /mnt/usbkey must be created before). Or a more convenient way is to add following line to /etc/fstab

/dev/sda1       /mnt/usbkey     vfat    users,fmask=111		0	0

Then every user (done by users parameter) can mount (unmount) the key by

(u)mount /mnt/usbkey

The fmask parameter is negative octal chmod parameter (applied on regular files only). Here, 111 means that nobody will have permisions to execute any file.

How I set up ethernet card (including hardware address)

My /etc/network/interfaces now reads

iface eth0 inet static
	hwaddress ether 12:34:56:78:90:AB

It is a home configuration, where I'm not connected to internet. Therefore the static (internet version is with dhcp instead). For full explanation see man interfaces.

How I installed mplayer

  • I downloaded mplayer source, essential codecs, iso-8859-2 arial font and some skins from mplayer homepage. After unpacking I copied the codecs to /usr/lib/win32.
  • Then I moved to MPlayer-…/debian/ directory and edited file rules. The original ./configure … line was replaced by

./configure –prefix=/usr –confdir=/etc/mplayer –disable-runtime-cpudetection –enable-menu –enable-gui –language=cz The first two parameters are original debian, the last four mine (taken from the first google result of mplayer �esky). Debian package is created by

fakeroot debian/rules binary

from MPlayer-… directory. Finally, the package is installed by dpkg -i ….

  • I created local configuration directory ~/.mplayer and there directories Skin, font and configuration file config. To the skin directory I moved all unpacked skins and made a symlink default pointing to one of the skins. The unpacked arial fonts were moved to the font directory and I added following row to the config file

font = /home/kaspi/.mplayer/font/font-arial-18-iso-8859-2/font.desc Fonts in windows cp1250 coding can be recoded to 8859-2 by

recode ms-ee..l2 file.sub

How I set up 802.3 network

(thanks to Olda)

  • I installed xsupplicant package.
  • I downloaded certificate file (cacert.pem) a copied it to /etc/xsupplicant
  • I modified fields identity, root_cert(to the cacert.pem), username, password in /etc/xsupplicant/xsupplicant.conf.
  • By default xsupplicant is started in all runlevels excluding the single user one. Thus I moved the link from /etc/rc2.d to /etc/rcS.d. The xsupplicant must be started before networking a therefore a renamed the xsupplicant link to S39xsupplicant.

How I changed default shell

I used chsh.

How I installed ALSA

(thanks to Olda) As root I ran

apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils alsa-oss

Then I adjusted settings with alsamixer. Then I changed sound configuration for KDE. I chose ALSA and I enabled full duplex (because of Skype).

en/linux/debian.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/08 16:51 (external edit)