Install Debian Linux in Gateway laptop


1. Obtain a bootable mininal CD for network install from here:

Or burn the CD from iso:

Reference 2.7 Debian and the kernel:

 Install KDE in the package.
Enable default X program KDE:
echo "exec startkde" > ~/.xsession

Install a new Kernel:

- C.4.5. Install a Kernel

If you intend to boot this system, you probably want a Linux kernel and a boot loader. Identify available pre-packaged kernels with

# apt-cache search kernel-image

Then install your choice using its package name.

# apt-get install kernel-image-2.X.X-arch-etc

Install a customized Kernel

apt-get install kernel-package libncurses5-dev
cd /usr/src/
tar xzf /root/linux-2.4.20.tar.gz
mv linux-2.4.20 linux-2.4.20-mh9
cd linux-2.4.20-mh9
zcat /root/patch-2.4.20-mh9.gz | patch -p1
cp /root/config-2.4.20 .config
make oldconfig
Remember to revise .config:
Remember to check ...USB_UHCI_HCD=y for 2.6 kernel to enable MS optical USB mouse
 make-kpkg clean
make-kpkg --initrd kernel-image dpkg -i kernel-image-2.4.20-mh9_10.00.Custom_i386.deb cd /boot; makeinitrd -o /boot/initrd.img-2.6.13 2.6.13 make changes in the /boot/grub/menu.lst reboot

Enable Dual boot

title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
        rootnoverify (hd0,0)
        chainloader +1

title           Other operating systems:

# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/hda1
title           Microsoft Windows XP Professional
root            (hd0,0)
chainloader     +1

Configure touchpad and external usb mouse:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
#       Option          "AlwaysCore"
#       Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "IMPS/2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "GlidePoint Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/psaux"
        Option          "Protocol"      "IMPS/2"

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        Screen          "Default Screen"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"      "CorePointer"
        InputDevice     "GlidePoint Mouse"      "AlwaysCore"


Install Broadcom 802.11g wireless driver, through ndiswrapper (requires kernel 2.6 above)

1. install ndiswrapper debian src package
2. ln -s /usr/src/linux-<kernel-version> /lib/modules/VERSION/build
3. Install Wireless Tools in debian if not done yet (package: net/wireless-tools)
4. Compile the source and install
( the above method is not ready for kernel 2.6.13 yet. No debian modules found.)

Professional methds:
1. Download ndiswrapper 1.2 (yes, 1.2. Version 1.3 does not work). Install wireless-tools.
2. Compile. make, make install.  Check by ndiswrapper -l
3. Download DELL TruMobile 1300 windows driver.
    Unpack it and find useful files: bcmwl5.inf, .sys.
4. ndiswrapper -i DIR/bcmwl5.inf
    ndiswrapper -e bcmwl5 to uninstall previous installations.

5. Use ndiswrapper -m to create alias.

6. modprobe wlan0
    OR modeprobe ndiswrapper to start.
dmesg to see if the wireless card is recognized or not:

ndiswrapper version 1.2 loaded (preempt=no,smp=no)
ndiswrapper: driver bcmwl5 (Broadcom,02/17/2004, loaded
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:09.0[A] -> Link [LNKB] -> GSI 10 (level, low) -> IRQ 10
ndiswrapper: using irq 10
wlan0: ndiswrapper ethernet device 00:90:4b:da:f3:75 using driver bcmwl5, configuration file 14E4:4320.5.conf
wlan0: encryption modes WEP, WPA with TKIP, WPA with AES/CCMP

Install intel 8x0 AC97 sound card

apt-get install alsa-base

use alsamixer to adjust vol
Remember to mute the External Amplify by press "M"
Put the modem sound module to blacklist file:  Add snd_intel8x0m to the file /etc/hotplug/blacklist

Also, in KDE control center, in Sound and System, Choose "Threaded Open Sound System" in the hardware option.

Useful Debian linux tools and commands:
Refer to this installation page
# apt-get install zsh       (install zsh shell)

Text Editor

You will need a text-editor. nano is installed by default, and it is really easy to use.

I currently prefer emacs because it is very powerful.

# apt-get install emacs21-nox

Sometimes, I use jove because it is small and fast.

# apt-get install jove

The Man

You should make yourself familiar with the UNIX "manual pages".
These are built-in documentation manuals for almost all commands and programs.
For example, to see the man page for the ls command, type:

] man ls

Other helpful man pages:

] man man
] man wget
] man ping


Before going any further, you need to be aware of security. Linux is a real multi-user OS and it is important that you secure your system against unauthorized access. If a Linux box is on a network, and bad people get into it, they can run programs and do nasty things without having any physical access to the hardware.


Network Security:

Keep Up To Date:


In UNIX (and Linux), there are some things you must do as root.
For everything else, use your regular user account.

Login: user
Password: ****** (your regular user password)

Whenever you want to logout:

] logout
] exit

You can create user accounts for your family and friends:

# adduser


If you want to change your shell from bash to zsh, find zsh's path with which

] which zsh

then run "change shell" with the correct path to your new shell:

] chsh -s /bin/zsh

Hit Alt+F2 and login again. You're now running zsh.


With sudo, you can run commands as root without logging-in as root. Sudo is nice because, while doing necessary tasks as root, you still have your familiar shell, aliases and environment. This seems to reduce mistakes and typos.

Install sudo:

# apt-get install sudo

Configure sudo:

# emacs /etc/sudoers
add a line:
user ALL=(ALL) ALL

To run one command as root:

] sudo command 

For more commands, run your shell with sudo.

] sudo zsh      (if zsh is your shell.)

Be careful when you are root. When you are done, type exit

Nifty commands

] lspci
] lsmod
] cat /proc/cpuinfo
] cat /proc/interrupts
# updatedb
] locate file
] df
] free
] uptime
] uname -a


Before you turn your computer off, run:

# halt   (wait until it says "Power Off")

To reboot your computer, run:

# reboot

Debian Hints

These often-used commands are for manipulating the debian packages and system files. Replace pkg with the exact name of the package.

# apt-get update          update the package lists
# dselect update update the available package lists
# apt-get upgrade upgrade all installed packages
# apt-get install pkg installs package
# apt-get remove pkg uninstall package

] dpkg -l show all installed and removed packages
] dpkg -l pkg show install status of package
] dpkg -l "*pattern*" show all packages that match pattern
] dpkg -S pattern list packages that contain string
] dpkg -L pkg list files in package
] dpkg -s pkg show status of package
] dpkg -p pkg show details of package
] apt-cache search string list relevant packages

# dpkg -i file.deb install package from a deb file
# dpkg -P pkg purge package (and config?)
# dpkg-reconfigure pkg re-run the configure for a package
# apt-get source pkg get the source
# apt-get build-dep config build-deps for source and install as needed
# apt-get -t release install pkg install package from specific release
# update-rc.d -f name remove prevent name from running at bootup

The X Window System

I always install X one package at a time. (you could use tasksel)
x logo

# apt-get install xlibs
# apt-get install xutils
# apt-get install xbase-clients
# apt-get install rxvt
# apt-get install xterm
# apt-get install xserver-xfree86
# apt-get install fvwm
# apt-get install fvwm-icons
# apt-get install xfonts-75dpi
# apt-get install xfonts-base
# apt-get install xfonts-scalable
# apt-get install xlibs-dev

Getting X totally tuned up can sometimes be a challenge. You may need to know the model and specs of your video card and monitor. Run lspci to help figure out what video card you have. Be careful when configuring XFree86. If you enter incorrect specs, your monitor and video card could be damaged. The configure script will ask you questions about your hardware. Below is an example of some of the answers I gave:

autodetect      = no
driver = depends on your video card
keyboard rule = xfree86
keyboard model = pc101
keyboard layout = us
mouse = /dev/psaux (for PS2 mouse on PS2 port)
mouse = /dev/ttys0 (for serial mouse on "com1")
monitor setup = advanced
horizontal = from monitor spec
vertical = from monitor spec
depth = (depends on your hardware)
resolution = (depends on your hardware)

# emacs /etc/X11/XF86Config-4

mouse protocol = PS/2 (yours may be different)
emulate3buttons = no (mine has 3 buttons)

The X environment and window manager

The most personal component of your X environment is your window manager. There are many different window managers available, but I use fvwm, because it is versitile, fast, and extremely efficient.

Login as user to configure your Xinit resource configuration:

] emacs .xinitrc


xset m 31/20
xset r rate 250 35
xset b off

rxvt -geometry 144x6+0+100 &
rxvt -geometry 127x39+0+200 &
xsetroot -solid '#444488' &
fvwm2 &
rxvt -geometry 50x10+102+21

(xset is used here to turn off the annoying beep)

Next, get your .fvwm2rc file from the sample:

] mkdir /home/user/.fvwm
] cd /home/user/.fvwm
] wget
] mv sample.fvwm2rc .fvwm2rc

Starting X

Lets try starting up X:

] startx

If you get stuck in X, you can usually exit immediately by pressing the keyboard combination Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. This should take you back to the console command prompt.

For more info and help, read the "man pages" for XFree86:

] man XF86Config-4
] man XFree86

Customizing X

My preferences are below, (YMMV):

# emacs /etc/X11/XF86Config-4

keyboard section:
Option "AutoRepeat" "200 200"
Mouse Section:
Option "Resolution" "900"

To set the default X video mode, put it before the others.     Then restart X.

Remote display of X applications

The coolest aspect of X is its client-server design, which allows the remote display of applications over a network. For example: You you can run an X-server on an old (slow) laptop, and then run an X-client (application) on a different (fast) computer. The application is displayed on the laptop's screen, and you interact with the application with your laptop's mouse, and keyboard. The application runs fast while using very little of the old laptop's RAM and CPU. Additionally, an X-server is not needed on the computer that sends X-client displays to other computers. The terms “server” and “client” may seem backwards here, but they are correct. One X-server can accept connections from multiple X-clients.

On the X-client side:

From the X-server side:

Install more X applications

# apt-get install xearth
# apt-get install gimageview

Upgrade the Kernel

To see what type of processor is in your computer, run:

] cat /proc/cpuinfo

Update your package lists:

# apt-get update ; dselect update

Read the package descriptions to find the kernel type that best matches your processor:

] dpkg -p kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 
] dpkg -p kernel-image-2.4.27-2-586tsc
] dpkg -p kernel-image-2.4.27-2-686
] dpkg -p kernel-image-2.4.27-2-k6
] dpkg -p kernel-image-2.4.27-2-k7

If you want more choices, see the entire list:
] apt-cache search kernel-image | grep kernel-image

User apt-get to install the kernel package.

# apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.27-2-foo

Follow the directions carefully. Then run

# /sbin/lilo
# reboot

Further Documentation