Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Minimal Debian install with Fluxbox

Basic Installation

Install only the base system (w/ networking) of the latest Debian (I don't select any of the package bundles when given the option).

$ su -
$ nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Comment out the line with the CD in it with a #.

Add these lines (adjust for the version of debian you're installing):

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian etch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian etch main contrib non-free

Now is generally a good time to update your system with any security patches:

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

Installing sudo

I have gotten really used to using sudo, so the first thing I do is:

$ su -
# aptitude install sudo

Then I edit /etc/sudoers
# export VISUAL="nano"
# visudo

Add the following line:

username ALL=(ALL) ALL

(Note ganked from somewhere: So the first part is the user, the second is the terminal from where the user can use sudo, the third is as which user he may act, and the last one, is which commands he may run.)

Installing X and Fluxbox

$ sudo aptitude install fluxbox
$ sudo aptitude install xserver-xorg
$ sudo aptitude install xdm

To run Fluxbox from xdm you should create a .xsession file in your home_directory. Insert the line:

exec startfluxbox

$ sudo reboot

Installing Xterm

sudo aptitude install xterm

Installing other Useful Apps

Install your preferred editor, browser and any other programs you want:

sudo aptitude install geany [full featured editor, though there are lighter ones out there]
sudo aptitude install firefox
sudo aptitude install gentoo [useful graphical file manager]

Other Tweaks

One program I generally like to install is Conky, which gives me all the stats about my system resources and whatnot. Here's the installation I've use. Recently, though, I've had a problem with it flickering on my screen (and I've tried the suggested fixes), so I've started using the curses based Saidar.

$ sudo aptitude install saidar

Next, in order to easily switch between keymaps edit ~/.bashrc by adding

alias aoeu="setxkbmap us"
alias asdf="setxkbmap dvorak"
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MadJawa said...

Thanks, that helped me :)

Anonymous said...

It is best to install xterm before the reboot. Just a suggestion. Also I did not need to create the .xsession file. Thanks for all the tips though!

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