How to make a custom Debian setup

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How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby slipshot on Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:30 am

How to make a custom Debian setup By Slipshot

For this little project you WILL need a good Internet connection and a Debian CD, i used the net install CD but any will do. And if you are asking why would anyone want to do this than here is your answer. First LFS is a pain to get right and lets face it I'm no genius and i ain't trying to spend the next month trying to compile everything i want to use, Arch is OK to but still a pain nun the less. Second i just want a fast light weight system without all the bloat that most Distro's come with. You may have to do a little research to make sure about the packages/apps you want but Google is your friend always keep that in mind. OK so now lets get down to business.

You have to figure out first what Window Manager/ Desktop you want.
I'm going with Openbox because it is fast, light weight, and fairly easy to configure.
I will have a complete app list for my setup at the end of this tutorial.

You will need to put the Debian CD in the CD-ROM and have your computer boot from the CD-ROM. You may have to go into your computers BIOS to get it to do this but that ain't no trouble, just make sure it boots from the CD.

After i start my computer, i am met with the Debian Installer Menu.
I have the options,

Install
Graphical Install
Advanced Options >
Help

I am going with 'Advanced Install' so i use the down arrow on my keyboard to move over it and select it by hitting Enter

I am met by another Menu, Advanced Options i can select,

Back.. <
Expert install
Rescue mode
Automated install
Graphical Expert install
Graphical rescue mode
Graphical automated install
Alternative desktop environments >

I go with Expert Install again, and a bunch of words i cant read come up on the screen, after this little process is over i am met with yet another menu, at the top it says, "[?] Debian installer main menu"
Seeing that we are going to be in this menu for the rest of the install i will call it the Main Menu. The options are,

Choose language
Select keyboard layout
Detect and mount CD-ROM
Load installer components from CD
Detect network hardware
Configure the network
Chang debconf priority
Check the CD-ROM(s) integrity
Save debug logs
Execute a shell
abort the installation

I choose, Choose language
I am met with a screen with a bunch of different languages on it, i choose English
I am next met with a screen that has a bunch of different country's on it, i choose United States
After that it gives me a few more options based on my language and country choices, i just hit enter.
Then it gives me options for additional locals to be installed, again i just hit enter.

Now it takes me back to the Main Menu, i choose 'Select a keyboard layout' by hitting enter.
It says please choose a type of keyboard, i take the first option 'PC-style"
it then asks me the keymap to use, i take American English, again it takes me back to the Main Menu

I next choose 'Detect and mount CD-ROM' by hitting enter
It then tells me i have kernel modules matching me hardware, i hit enter
It asks me to choose whether should be started, i select <Yes>
it asks me something about 'some hardware needs special resources' i just hit enter again.
Then it says CD-ROM detected, and i hit enter to continue. It takes me back to the Main Menu

Next i choose Load installer components from CD, by hitting enter
It gives me a screen to load optional components, and tells me the are probably not necessary, but may be interesting to some users, i just hit enter
It gives me a load screen and returns me to the Main Menu, except it now has more options.
I ain't going to write the all because well will be going over most of the anyway.

I next select Detect network hardware by hitting enter. It gives me a load screen and returns me to the Main Menu.

Next i select Configure the network, by hitting enter (on a side note you will be hitting enter a LOT!)
It next asks me to 'Auto-configure network with DHCP' i hit enter, it gives me a load screen and after that asks me for a host name for my system, the default is Debian but i want to change it (note it don't matter what you put here), i type Slip and hit enter.
It next asks me about the 'Domain name' i just hit enter.

It takes me back to the Main Menu, i select Configure the clock by hitting enter.
It then asks to 'Set the clock using NTP' i just hit enter,
It asks me about a server, i just hit enter again, it gives me a load screen, then asks me my time zone, i pick Eastern, by hitting enter, and it takes me back to the Main Menu.

I select Detect disks, by hitting enter. It gives me a load screen and takes me back to the Main Menu.

Next i select 'Partition disks' by hitting enter. It gives me a load screen followed by a option screen.
The options are,

Guided - use entire disk
Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM
Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM
Manual

I select 'Guided - use entire disk' (note if you have more than one operating system you will need to select 'Manual' to partition you hard drive accordingly)
Next it gives me a screen with my hard drive on it, i hit enter.
It next gives me a screen for my 'Partitioning scheme'. I choose ' All file in one partition' and hit enter.
It gives me another screen showing how my hard drive will be layed out, i choose 'Finish partitioning and write changes to disk, by hitting enter
It gives me another screen and asks to if i want to 'Write changes to disk?' i select <Yes> and hit enter.
I next see a load screen and it takes me Back to the Main Menu.

I select 'Install the base system' by hitting enter. It gives me another load screen as it installs.
It next asks me what Linux-image i want to install. (note Linux-image is the kernel)
i select 'Linux-image-2.6.26-486' and hit enter (note newer computers use a 2.6.26-686 but I'm going with the 486) it continues the install and then asks if i want the kernel 'generic' or 'targeted' i select 'generic' and hit enter. (note targeted is over all faster but i just need a generic kernel)
It takes me back to the load screen, and finishes installing.

Next i select 'Set up users and passwords' by hitting enter.
It asks me if i want to 'Enable shadow passwords' i select no.
Next it asks if i want to 'Allow lo gin as root' again i select no. (note i like to use sud is why i selected this)
Next it asks for my 'Name' i type it in and hit enter, and then for my 'User Name' i type it in and hit enter.
Then it asks for a 'Password' i type it in and hit enter, it asks for my 'Password' again i do the same and hit enter.

It takes me back to the Main Menu and i select 'Configure the package manager' by hitting enter.
It gives me a load screen followed by asking me if a want to 'Use a network mirror' i select <Yes>
It asks me for the 'Protocol' i choose 'HTTP' and hit enter.
It next asks what country mirror i want i select 'United States' and hit enter.
Next it asks what archive mirror i want. I select the first one and hit enter.
It asks me for a proxy, i just hit continue.
It then asks if i want to use 'non-free software' i select <Yes> and hit enter. It gives me a load screen and says Pleas wait...
It next asks if i want 'security' and 'volatile' updates. i hit enter
It takes my back to the loading screen. And then back to the Main Menu.

Next i select 'Select and install software' by hitting enter. (note this is the key part of the custom setup)
It takes me to the load screen. It than asks me if i want to 'Participate in a package usage survey'
I select <No> and hit enter.
It takes me back to the load screen, then it takes me to the 'Choose software to install' screen. It has options for different software but the most important thing to do here is to UN-check the 'Desktop environment' section. (note It IS selected if it has an * by it and ain't if it don't)
Unselected Desktop envirment by hitting space bar on the keyboard.
So i unselected it and hit enter.
It takes me back to the load screen.
After it is done installing, it takes me back to (of course) the Main Menu

Now i select 'Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk' by hitting enter.
It asks me if i want to install GRUB 2 instead of legacy i select <No>
It takes me to a load screen quickly followed by a window asking if i want to install the boot loader the the master boot record i select <Yes>
Next it asks for a GRUB password, i just hit enter.
It takes me back to the Main Menu.
Next i select 'Finish the installation' by hitting enter. It takes me to another loading screen.
Then it asks if i want to set the system clock, i hit <Yes>
It next ejects the CD and tells me the installation is complete i take out the CD and i hit <continue> it then reboots the computer.

After the computer Reboots

It shows me a little screen where i can select what to boot into, i take the first one
I then see a bunch of words going up the screen, followed by, Slip login: and a blinking cursor.
I type in my login name and password.
Now here comes the fun part. What to install!
All i have now is, slipshot@Slip:~$ and a blinking cursor
I use the 'sudo -s' command to become root.
It asks for my password and i put it in
Now i have root@Slip:~# and a blinking cursor
There are some software you are going to have to install no matter what Window Manager/Desktop you choose and xorg is one of them. Like i said this is the part where i little prier Googling can help a LOT.
Here is what i chose to install first, and the command to install them.
root@Slip:~# aptitude install xorg gdm openbox thunar synaptic file-roller gdebi iceweasel terminator obconf obmenu lxappearance nitrogen lxrandr gedit
Next it show all the stuff it has to install and asks if i want to continue? [y/n/?] i push y and hit enter
(note this part is going to take a while depending on your connection speed)
After i finish installing all of that i reboot my system by typing reboot and hitting enter.
I am then met by the Debian Graphical log in screen, after i put in my name and password, i enter into the openbox Window Manager.
right now it aint much just a grey background and a small right click menu.
Boy Do i Have a Lot more work ahead of me.
But that is another tutorial all together. will give you my app list and a lot of good openbox info on getting it configured, when i writ a tutorial on configuring openbox ill post it. Thank you i hope this Helps you.

Good Web sites for openbox help
http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/
http://urukrama.wordpress.com/openbox-guide/
http://crunchbanglinux.org/wiki/theming
and above all Google!

Slipshots openbox App list

----------------
Internet Apps
----------------
iceweasel - web browser
icedove - email client
gftp - ftp client
deluge - torrent
pidgin - messenger
xchat - irc client
irssi - terminal irc client
----------------
Graphics Apps
----------------
gpicview - picture viewer
scrot - for screenshots
----------------
Office Apps
----------------
abiword - word processor
gnome-calculator
evince - PDF viewer
----------------
Sound and Video
----------------
mplayer - movie player
exaile - music player
audacity - sound editor
kino - video editor
cheese - Webcam App
soundconverter
gnome-sound-recorder
----------------
Other Tools
----------------
gedit - text editor
gdebi - .deb package installer
file-roller - Archive Manager
----------------
System Tools
----------------
gparted - partition editor
synaptic - package manager
htop - system monitor
conky - system-monitor
thunar - file manager
obconf - openbox configuration manager
obmenu - openbox menu editor
nitrogen - wallpaper chooser
lxappearance - GTK theme selector
lxrandr - resolution setter
terminator - terminal emulator
gdm - gnome display manager
xorg - x handler
Last edited by slipshot on Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby tawan on Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:50 am

good work slipshot
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby exploder on Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:02 am

Very impressive set of instructions! Thanks for taking the time to create this.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby ell02 on Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:31 pm

T Y this is something worth saving. It will be good next time i get an itch.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby slipshot on Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:01 pm

Thank you and i DO plan on writing another tutorial just for setting up the openbox i installed. I wrote that tutorial on this comp while i was doing the actual net install on another so i am still where i left off.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby rivenathos on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:06 pm

It looks like you had more fun setting up Debian than I did. I opted for GNOME, and now my Lenny looks like Gloria. There is probably a joke in there somewhere... Anyway, I have found Debian to be extremely stable. Your in-depth instructions will be extremely helpful to those attempting their first Debian install.
Debian 7 with GNOME 64-bit
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby MALsPa on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:08 pm

slipshot wrote:Thank you and i DO plan on writing another tutorial just for setting up the openbox i installed. I wrote that tutorial on this comp while i was doing the actual net install on another so i am still where i left off.


Good, I can't wait to see that. In my Openbox installations I've been using feh along with a random wallpaper script that I found somewhere. Wondering about nitrogen and if I can use that for some kind of random wallpaper set-up.

Also, maybe I missed it but do you use a panel in Openbox? I've been using pypanel, and I like it, but I see that tawan used tint2, thinking of trying that one out, if it will work with Debian Lenny. I have Openbox installed in Mint Elyssa and Ubuntu Hardy but not currently in Debian, so I think I'll install it there next. (Taking a different route than you since I like to add Openbox and others to existing installations.)
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby MALsPa on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:11 pm

rivenathos wrote:I opted for GNOME, and now my Lenny looks like Gloria. There is probably a joke in there somewhere...


:lol:

On that note, I opted for KDE with Lenny, and ended up with a set-up that looks pretty much like Mepis 8. Almost seems like the same distro. Almost.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby rivenathos on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:17 pm

Clem made a post, viewtopic.php?f=141&t=10267&start=285#p175246 , in regards to Debian in case anyone missed it and might be interested in reading it.
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby slipshot on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:25 pm

Good, I can't wait to see that. In my Openbox installations I've been using feh along with a random wallpaper script that I found somewhere. Wondering about nitrogen and if I can use that for some kind of random wallpaper set-up.

Also, maybe I missed it but do you use a panel in Openbox? I've been using pypanel, and I like it, but I see that tawan used tint2, thinking of trying that one out, if it will work with Debian Lenny. I have Openbox installed in Mint Elyssa and Ubuntu Hardy but not currently in Debian, so I think I'll install it there next. (Taking a different route than you since I like to add Openbox and others to existing installations.)


Yes nitrogen is very easy to use, just open obmenu and in your menu entry just put 'nitrogen ~/path/to/wallpapers'
and save it, when you open the menu and select nitrogen 'or what ever you named the entry' it will open a window to select the wallpaper you want. I dont know if there is a random wallpaper script for nitrogen i have never looked.

And i did forget to put the panel i use. The panels i like best are tint2 or fbpanel. Tint2 is based off of fbpanel so there wasnt that much of a stretch. Fbpanel is kinda like tint2 with a menu, but like tint2 it is very configurable.

viewtopic.php?f=61&t=30019
look at this thread for a screenshot of my Fbpanel setup
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Re: How to make a custom Debian setup

Postby MALsPa on Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:37 pm

@slipshot: Thanks for the info about tint2 and fbpanel, and I'll look around about the random wallpaper script for nitrogen.
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