Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Freshly Squeezed Debian: Installing from Live DVD

Filed under
Reviews

Last month, the Debian Live Project released live CD and DVD images of the next version of Debian, codenamed "Squeeze." (For an overview of the various Debian repositories and codenames, see this Wikipedia article.) They included an installer that uses the live filesystem rather than packages, so it has the advantages of being fast and allowing you to preview on the live media, what you eventually get on your hard drive. This may not seem like a big deal, since most modern Linux distributions use this installation method, but it's still fairly new for Debian.

I downloaded and installed the 64-bit GNOME version.

 
 

Installation

A graphical, wizard-like installer (like Ubuntu's) is not available; the installer runs in a terminal. (Other than nice anti-aliased fonts, there's not much difference between the current graphical installer and the traditional ncurses-based installer anyway, so you're not missing much.)

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

Since it's an alpha release, bugs are to be expected. They weren't hard to find, starting off with the desktop icon that's supposed to launch the installer. The *.desktop file is apparently malformed and threw up an error message.

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

However, it's easy enough to copy the installer's command line from the icon's properties and launch it using the terminal, which is where we would end up anyway.

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD
From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

The next two screens that came up in the terminal explained the difference between the text-based installer and the GUI installer. Since a GUI installer isn't available, they seemed to be leftovers from the regular installation program.

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

The installer looks and feels just like the regular Debian installer. (Speaking of bugs, somewhere during the installation process, my ability to run applications, including gnome-screenshot, went away, for some unknown reason.) Perhaps the biggest change in Squeeze is that it now uses GRUB 2 as its bootloader.

 
 

Post-install


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

Amazingly enough, after installation was finished and the system rebooted, it looked exacly like it did when running from the live DVD. One problem: "/etc/apt/sources.list" was empty except for the Debian security repository. Regular repositories had to be added manually.

Installed applications included the following:

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD


Office-related applications:
OpenOffice.org 3.1.1
Gnumeric spreadsheet 1.10.0
AbiWord (Note: It wouldn't run from the Live DVD due to an error about a missing library. This was automatically fixed via a dist-upgrade.)
Evolution 2.28.2

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD


Graphics-related applications:
GIMP 2.6.7
Inkscape 0.47

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD


Multimedia-related applications:
Totem Movie Player 2.28.5
Brasero CD burner 2.28.3
Rhythmbox 0.12.6

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD


Internet-related applications:
ekiga 3.2.6
Empathy 2.28.2
Transmission bittorrent client 1.9.1
Iceweasel (debranded Firefox) 3.5.8

 
 


Other:
GNU make 3.81
Kernel 2.6.32-trunk-amd64
GNOME 2.28.2

 
 

And Finally...

Your experience and my experience will differ based on the hardware we have. Personally, I found that Debian Squeeze didn't support my motherboard's on-board audio chipset (Via VT1708B). Apparently it's only supported by ALSA v1.0.22.1 and above, and so far the only distro I've found that supports it out of the box is Fedora 13. Also, I still haven't been able to install the proprietary NVIDIA drivers the "Debian way" using a stock Debian kernel. Instead, I have to use the NVIDIA installer. This means that every time there's an update to one of X.org's components, or a new kernel's installed, I have to reinstall the NVIDIA driver. Finally, GRUB 2 is not very user-friendly, and it doesn't seem to "play nice" with the NVIDIA driver. I've found that switching from GRUB 2 to gdm (the GNOME display manager) won't necessarily work when GRUB 2's running in any mode other than 640x480.

 
 


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

And then there's Debian's default look 'n' feel, which, in my opinion, could use some polish.


From Debian Squeeze from Live DVD

I don't want to seem overly critical, though. My impression is that Debian values stability and functionality over looks and release schedules. You can look at this alpha version as a preview of Debian's next stable release, or you could simply run Debian Testing as a constantly-updated "rolling release." Despite the "testing" moniker, it's a pretty good balance between the stablity of Debian Stable and the more up-to-date applications in Debian Unstable. It's also got a huge repository of over 25,000 available packages and an excellent package management system going for it.

— Andrew Heil, 4/19/10

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record
    MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.
  • Samsung Halts Android 8.0 Oreo Rollouts for Galaxy S8 Due to Unexpected Reboots
    Samsung stopped the distribution of the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system update for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones due to unexpected reboots reported by several users. SamMobile reported the other day that Samsung halted all Android 8.0 Oreo rollouts for its Galaxy S8/S8+ series of Android smartphones after approximately a week since the initial release. But only today Samsung published a statement to inform user why it stopped the rollouts, and the cause appears to be related to a limited number of cases of unexpected reboots after installing the update.
  • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian
    The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
  • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
    A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.
  • LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier
    Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory. The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for "interceptor objects" for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm

  • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline
    The "L" in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities. Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data. At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline - basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users' "stash" for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.
  • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm
    Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won't see a change in corporate direction. Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005. On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

Servers and GPUs: Theano, DevOps, Kubernetes, AWS

  • Open Source Blockchain Computer Theano
    TigoCTM CEO Cindy Zimmerman says “we are excited to begin manufacturing our secure, private and open source desktops at our factory in the Panama Pacifico special economic zone. This is the first step towards a full line of secure, blockchain-powered hardware including desktops, servers, laptops, tablets, teller machines, and smartphones.” [...] Every component of each TigoCTM device is exhaustively researched and selected for its security profile based especially on open source hardware, firmware, and software. In addition, devices will run the GuldOS operating system, and open source applications like the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash blockchains. This fully auditable stack is ideal for use in enterprise signing environments such as banks and investment funds.
  • Enterprises identify 10 essential tools for DevOps [Ed: "Source code repository" and other old things co-opted to promote the stupid buzzword "devops"]
    Products branded with DevOps are everywhere, and the list of options grows every day, but the best DevOps tools are already well-known among enterprise IT pros.
  • The 4 Major Tenets of Kubernetes Security
    We look at security from the perspective of containers, Kubernetes deployment itself and network security. Such a holistic approach is needed to ensure that containers are deployed securely and that the attack surface is minimized. The best practices that arise from each of the above tenets apply to any Kubernetes deployment, whether you’re self-hosting a cluster or employing a managed service. We should note that there are related security controls outside of Kubernetes, such as the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (S-SDLC) or security monitoring, that can help reduce the likelihood of attacks and increase the defense posture. We strongly urge you to consider security across the entire application lifecycle rather than take a narrow focus on the deployment of containers with Kubernetes. However, for the sake of brevity, in this series, we will only cover security controls within the immediate Kubernetes environment.
  • GPUs on Google’s Kubernetes Engine are now available in open beta
    The Google Kubernetes Engine (previously known as the Google Container Engine and GKE) now allows all developers to attach Nvidia GPUs to their containers. GPUs on GKE (an acronym Google used to be quite fond of, but seems to be deemphasizing now) have been available in closed alpha for more than half a year. Now, however, this service is in beta and open to all developers who want to run machine learning applications or other workloads that could benefit from a GPU. As Google notes, the service offers access to both the Tesla P100 and K80 GPUs that are currently available on the Google Cloud Platform.
  • AWS lets users run SAP apps directly on SUSE Linux
  • SUSE collaborates with Amazon Web Services toaccelerate SAP migrations

Chrome and Firefox

  • The False Teeth of Chrome's Ad Filter.
    Today Google launched a new version of its Chrome browser with what they call an "ad filter"—which means that it sometimes blocks ads but is not an "ad blocker." EFF welcomes the elimination of the worst ad formats. But Google's approach here is a band-aid response to the crisis of trust in advertising that leaves massive user privacy issues unaddressed. Last year, a new industry organization, the Coalition for Better Ads, published user research investigating ad formats responsible for "bad ad experiences." The Coalition examined 55 ad formats, of which 12 were deemed unacceptable. These included various full page takeovers (prestitial, postitial, rollover), autoplay videos with sound, pop-ups of all types, and ad density of more than 35% on mobile. Google is supposed to check sites for the forbidden formats and give offenders 30 days to reform or have all their ads blocked in Chrome. Censured sites can purge the offending ads and request reexamination. [...] Some commentators have interpreted ad blocking as the "biggest boycott in history" against the abusive and intrusive nature of online advertising. Now the Coalition aims to slow the adoption of blockers by enacting minimal reforms. Pagefair, an adtech company that monitors adblocker use, estimates 600 million active users of blockers. Some see no ads at all, but most users of the two largest blockers, AdBlock and Adblock Plus, see ads "whitelisted" under the Acceptable Ads program. These companies leverage their position as gatekeepers to the user's eyeballs, obliging Google to buy back access to the "blocked" part of their user base through payments under Acceptable Ads. This is expensive (a German newspaper claims a figure as high as 25 million euros) and is viewed with disapproval by many advertisers and publishers.
  • Going Home
  • David Humphrey: Edge Cases
  • Experiments in productivity: the shared bug queue
    Over the next six months, Mozilla is planning to switch code review tools from mozreview/splinter to phabricator. Phabricator has more modern built-in tools like Herald that would have made setting up this shared queue a little easier, and that’s why I paused…briefly
  • Improving the web with small, composable tools
    Firefox Screenshots is the first Test Pilot experiment to graduate into Firefox, and it’s been surprisingly successful. You won’t see many people talking about it: it does what you expect, and it doesn’t cover new ground. Mozilla should do more of this.