My gripe with Debian

I wanted to test the new Debian release to see what was new in that sphere, so I got it setup on my machine.

Few things ticked me off right from the start…

One and the main one being that my Intel WiFi card was not picked up.. And yes, I get that Debian has their special rules (Debian Free Software Guidelines) and all but how do you provide a desktop environment where people will want to run it on a laptop without allowing for WiFi drivers. And yes, I know too that it’s easy to get it working but these are things that should work out of the box and not to mention that unless you are familiar with Linux you will not want to get into that process.

I do not recommend Debian as an entry Linux alternative for several reason, main ones being that there are lots of things missing because of their restrictions on what they include by default and all the extra configs that need to be done depending on what machines you run it on.

It does not make it easy on them either that they provide all the extras in their non-free sources that should be enabled by default if you ask me.

Note:
We use vi for editing, supplement it with your favorite editor (nano, emacs, ed, etc).

First thing you want to do is grant your user sudo access:

Open a terminal and become root

su -

Install sudo and grant your user sudo access

apt-get install sudo
usermod -a -G sudo <username>

Now log out and log back in.

How to get it working?

It’s quite easy once you know what to do. First is to ensure that you have all the sources in your apt sources.list file.

  • Open a terminal and backup your original sources file:
mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.orig
  • Create a new sources file:
vi /etc/apt/sources.list
  • Paste in the following:
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free
  • Update and upgrade your system
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y
  • Now run a distro update
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade -y

Install Intel WiFi Firmware

apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi

My second issue was printing, I tried to add a printer and got this message: Sorry! The system printing service doesn’t seem to be available

Come to find out that the CUPS printing package was not installed. How to fix that?

Install cups

apt-get update && apt-get install cups

Extra stuff

While I was at it I did some more work to make things work

Firmware

sudo apt-get install firmware-linux

Install Extra Fonts

apt-get install ttf-freefont ttf-mscorefonts-installer ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation

Install plugins

apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree pepperflashplugin-nonfree icedtea-plugin file-roller evince parcellite qalculate clementine vlc bleachbit gimp shotwell gparted gnome-disk-utility libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-impress chromium libavcodec-extra libavcodec-extra gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio libgstreamer-perl libgstreamer-interfaces-perl xscreensaver-gl gnome-tweak-tool

Setup Firewall

apt-get install ufw
ufw default deny
ufw status
ufw status verbose

Install the Firewall GUI

apt-get install gufw

Have some things you’d like to share or have a gripe with Debian and fixed it? Did my tweaks help you with an issue you were having with Debian?  Drop us a comment below.

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