Questions specific to the Debian official distribution (stable, testing, or unstable); if you are using a derivative of Debian (e.g. Mint, Ubuntu, Kali, etc), then use that distribution’s tag instead.

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192
votes
10answers
73k views

What is the real difference between “apt-get” and “aptitude”? (How about “wajig”?)

I know that both apt-get and aptitude are command line package management interfaces on Debian derived Linux, with different options, but I'm still somewhat confused. Under the hood, aren't they ...
186
votes
5answers
32k views

What's the story behind Super Cow Powers?

As we know, apt-get has Super Cow Powers and aptitude does not: $ apt-get --help | grep -i cow This APT has Super Cow Powers. $ aptitude --help | grep -i cow ...
67
votes
4answers
159k views

How to add repository from shell in Debian?

In Ubuntu one can add a repository to apt-get via the following command - sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair As Ubuntu is based on Debian code base, I was expecting that the same ...
61
votes
6answers
77k views

“no public key available” on apt-get update

When performing apt-get update, I get the following error: root@ADS3-Debian6:/home/aluno# apt-get update Atingido http://sft.if.usp.br squeeze Release.gpg Ign http://sft.if.usp.br/debian/ ...
54
votes
4answers
18k views

Why is video tearing such a problem in Linux?

I've used many variants of Linux(mostly Debian derivatives) for over a decade now. One problem that I haven't seen solved satisfactorily is the issue of horizontal tearing, or Vsync not being ...
49
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is 'ls' suddenly wrapping items with spaces in single quotes?

I just noticed that on one of my machines (running Debian Sid) whenever I type ls any file name with spaces has single quotes surrounding it. I immediately checked my aliases, only to find them ...
47
votes
6answers
35k views

List packages by installation date

How can I list installed packages by installation date? I installed a lot of stuff to compile a certain piece of code, and I want to get a list of the required packages, which are the ones I installed ...
42
votes
2answers
50k views

How do I run 32-bit programs on a 64-bit Debian/Ubuntu?

I have a 64-bit (amd64 a.k.a. x86_64) Debian or Ubuntu installation. I need to run 32-bit (i386/i686) programs occasionally, or to compile programs for a 32-bit system. How can I do this with a ...
38
votes
1answer
77k views

How to upgrade Debian stable (Wheezy) to testing (Jessie)? [duplicate]

I downloaded and installed Debian 7 Wheezy, the stable version, but I would like more recent apps and libs so I'd like to switch to testing version (aka Jessie). How do I proceed?
38
votes
1answer
11k views

What is $debian_chroot in .bashrc?

What is the debian_chroot variable in my bashrc file? and what is it doing here? PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
37
votes
3answers
42k views

How do I change the default text editor in the Debian (squeeze) distro

"Joe's own editor" does not come naturally to me. How do I change to using nano or vim? I've tried export EDITOR=nano but it doesn't seem to be respected. I'd like visudo to respect this as well.
35
votes
8answers
30k views

Differences between Debian and Ubuntu

I'm getting sick of Ubuntu's seemingly random changes. I'm thinking of switching to Debian permanently. Does anyone know if there's a list of changes between the two distros somewhere? I want to know ...
35
votes
2answers
30k views

What does adduser do that useradd doesn't?

In addition to the more widespread useradd, Debian based systems also contain an additional adduser command which provides a higher level interface for adding users and some related tasks. There are ...
34
votes
3answers
75k views

How do services in Debian work, and how can I manage them?

In Windows I have the services manager, where I see all system services, that can be started through Windows itself, I set up the user it uses, the rights management is in there, and I can pass ...
32
votes
3answers
47k views

How can I communicate with a Unix domain socket via the shell on Debian Squeeze?

I’m running a Debian Squeeze web server. I’ve installed memcached on it, and configured memcached to listen on a Unix domain socket (at /tmp/memcached.sock), as it only needs to receive messages from ...
30
votes
4answers
50k views

Why is Debian's root shell colorless?

Are there any security concerns? What is the best way to enable it?
29
votes
3answers
65k views

Can't ifdown eth0 (main interface)

I can't ifdown an interface on a Debian 6.0.5 box; user@box:/etc/network$ sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifup eth0 ifdown: interface eth0 not configured SIOCADDRT: File exists Failed to bring up ...
28
votes
2answers
29k views

Is sudo not installed by default in Debian?

I was reading a guide to install some software and came reading until this shocking statement: sudo is not installed on Debian by default. Make sure your system is up-to-date and install it. As ...
27
votes
3answers
50k views

Installing a .deb package on Arch - Is it possible?

The problem is simple - I have a .deb package and I want to install it on my Arch Linux. Is this possible? If yes, how?
27
votes
3answers
51k views

How to use GoToMeeting in Linux

My employer wants me and the team of developers to communicate with them using gotomeeting.com service. Is it possible to use GoToMeeting in Debian? I know that officially GoToMeeting supports only ...
27
votes
3answers
25k views

How to install a single Jessie package on Wheezy?

I want to install a single package (and its dependencies, but only to the extent those are not satisfiable in Wheezy) from Debian Jessie onto my Wheezy system, without upgrading "everything and the ...
26
votes
2answers
90k views

List of available services

Is there any command that would show all the available services in my wheezy Debian based OS? I know that in order to see all the running services you can use service --status-all.
26
votes
1answer
17k views

OpenSSH: How to end a match block

I'm using a Match block in OpenSSH's /etc/ssh/sshd_config (on debian) to restrict some users to SFTP: # my stuff Match group sftponly X11Forwarding no AllowTcpForwarding no ForceCommand ...
25
votes
3answers
96k views

How do you change the root password on Debian?

I want to change the password I assigned to root on my Debian webserver to something longer and more secure. Bit of an obvious newbie question, but how do I do that? I haven’t forgotten/lost the ...
25
votes
1answer
78k views

reading from serial from linux command line

I have a serial port device that I would like to test using linux command line. I am able to use stty and echo for sending commands to serial port, but when device responds I have no way of reading ...
25
votes
3answers
41k views

Debian/Grub2: Moving root partition to new drive?

Does anybody have a suggestion for how to move the root partition to a new drive and set up grub2 to boot on that drive? I seem to have no luck instructing grub-mkconfig what it is I want to do (e.g. ...
24
votes
1answer
63k views

Using ip addr instead of ifconfig reports “RTNETLINK answers: File exists” on Debian

I have a Debian system working as a wireless router with eth0 and wlan0. Now I added an additional network manually on eth1 with ifconfig: alix:~# ifconfig eth1 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 ...
24
votes
2answers
17k views

How to update linux “locate” cache

How can i update the cache / index of locate? I installed new packages and the files are clearly not yet indexed. So which command do I have to ommit, in order for the indexer to trigger. I'm ...
24
votes
4answers
102k views

How to install the latest Python version on Debian separately or upgrade?

I'm still new to Linux, so I'm still trying to understand where executables and their libraries are and how to install packages, so I have Debian Wheezy 7.3 which has these Python versions: Python ...
24
votes
3answers
44k views

VirtualBox: two network interfaces (NAT and host-only ones) in a Debian guest on Ubuntu

I created a Debian VM on VirtualBox with two interfaces: a NAT one (for accessing internet) and a host-only one. However, I do not know how to make both interfaces work at the same time. If I the ...
24
votes
7answers
14k views

How to convert a 32-bit (x86) Debian-based system to 64-bit

I have a 32-bit system which runs on a 64-bit processor. How do I convert it to be all-64-bit, without re-installing? I have seen somewhere that it is doable as a result of the new Multiarch ...
23
votes
5answers
37k views

Is there any advantage of using Iceweasel and Firefox?

I used Mozilla Firefox in Windows, and now I'm using Iceweasel in Debian 6. Is there any difference to the two programs? What are the advantages and disadvantages to each program? Which one seems ...
22
votes
6answers
6k views

How to safely turn off swap permanently? (on Debian Jessie)

I fresh installed Debian Jessie with default partitioning on an SSD drive. My current disk partitions look like this: As I have 16GB RAM, I think I don't need swap. On Windows, I had it turned off ...
22
votes
4answers
16k views

Count number of lines of output from previous program

I'm trying to count the number of lines of output a certain program produces. The problem is, the program takes a long time to run, and I want to display the output to the user. Is there a way to ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does the 'bin' user need a login shell?

During an audit of /var/log/auth.log on one of my public webservers, I found this: Jan 10 03:38:11 Bucksnort sshd[3571]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Linux Debian codenames

I've got a few, quite silly, non-technical questions about giving codenames to Debian releases. Each Debian release has its unique codename, which is (so far) a characters' name from Toy Story movies ...
20
votes
6answers
26k views

How to find which process is regularly writing to disk?

How can I find which process is constantly writing to disk? I like my workstation to be close to silent and I just build a new system (P8B75-M + Core i5 3450s -- the 's' because it has a lower max ...
20
votes
7answers
26k views

How to create a DEB file manually?

I want to create a DEB file manually. I would like to just provide a folder which contains data to install, and a script to be executed after installation. Is this possible?
20
votes
3answers
9k views

How Debian package should create user accounts?

The package qqq.deb installs the program qqq that should run from uqqq user account. The package consist of the qqq program, qqq.conf config file and /etc/init.d/qqq initscript. How should the ...
20
votes
2answers
12k views

Upstart on Debian?

I created an upstart script in Ubuntu, thinking it would be the same for Debian. But Debian doesn't have a /etc/init folder that Ubuntu has. I went to the upstart download page and seeing that they ...
19
votes
5answers
21k views

How to find out if a system uses SysV, Upstart or Systemd initsystem [duplicate]

Is there a simple way to find out which initsystem is being used e.g by a recent Debian wheezy or Fedora system? I'm aware that Fedora 21 uses systemd initsystem but that is because I read that and ...
19
votes
1answer
17k views

How do I know which version of Debian I'm running?

In a tutorial, I'm prompted "If you are running Squeeze, follow these instructions..." and "If you are running Wheezy, follow these other instructions..." When I run uname, I get the following ...
18
votes
5answers
11k views

How to see package version without install?

I want to see the version of a package before I install it. How can I do this?
18
votes
3answers
11k views

Will Debian Wheezy (stable) automatically upgrade to Jessie once Jessie becomes the stable release?

I am on Debian Wheezy (stable) and routinely update my system via the basic: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade In the future, once Jessie becomes the stable release, I wonder whether ...
18
votes
1answer
13k views

How can I access a directory outside a chroot from within it?

I have a user which is chrooted to her home directory, but I want her to also be able to manage files within /var/www. As such, I did the following: root@server:/home/username# ln -s /var/www www ...
18
votes
2answers
15k views

In which log should I check for udev errors?

I've written a udev rule which is run each time my device is mounted/dismounted. However, in which Linux (Debian) error log should I check when debugging such rules?
17
votes
5answers
5k views

Advantages of Debian over Ubuntu

What are the main advantages of using Debian instead of Ubuntu?
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a difference of stability between Linux distros?

I've using Debian since 2010 for some home purposes and it has been stable. Is Debian still a good option if I need a server for heavy network, cpu, disk and memory usage? Last month I listened to ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

How is Ubuntu based on Debian?

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. Ubuntu is based on Debian. Like this, there are several other linux distributions that are based on Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, etc. What confuses me is what does this ...
17
votes
4answers
40k views

Moving /var, /home to separate partition

I am attempting to move some folders (such as /var and /home) to a separate partition after reading this guide: 3.2.1 Choose an intelligent partition scheme I was able to move one folder ...