Debian is a community-driven GNU/Linux distribution which provides a large range of packages and supports a large range of architectures. It strongly focuses on free software. It has several derivatives, notably Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

125
votes
9answers
38k 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 ...
112
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
33
votes
1answer
9k 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\$ '
25
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
10k 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.
20
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
30k views

How to make a machine accessible from the LAN using its hostname

Here are details of the machine I want to access using its hostname: $ hostname hostname $ cat /etc/hosts 127.0.0.1 localhost 127.0.1.1 hostname.company.local hostname It's a default Debian 6 ...
18
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
11k views

List available updates but do not install them

I want my cron-run reporting script to notify me in case there are updates for my packages. Is the a way to make apt-get give me the list of available updates but don't do anything more?
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Advantages of Debian over Ubuntu

What are the main advantages of using Debian instead of Ubuntu?
15
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
34k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
26k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
536 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

How to convert a 32-bit (x86) Debian Wheezy 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
899 views

TCP dies on a Linux laptop

Once in several days I have the following problem. My laptop (Debian testing) suddenly becomes unable to work with TCP connections to the internet. The following things continue working fine: UDP ...
13
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Full disk encryption with password-less authentication in Linux

I have a fairly standard disk encryption setup in Debian 5.0.5: unencrypted /boot partition, and encrypted sdaX_crypt that contains all other partitions. Now, this is a headless server installation ...
13
votes
5answers
35k views

How to change the order of the network cards (eth1 <-> eth0) on linux

Is there any way to swap network interfaces (eth1 <-> eth0) after system installation. My brand new Debian 6.0 install assigned PCI network card as "eth0" and motherboards integrated network ...
13
votes
1answer
936 views

Rebooting without shutting off?

I have been using Linux Mint Debian with Debian unstable and noticed that when I press restart, instead of going all the way back to the BIOS, then grub, then booting up, I seem to be shutting down ...
12
votes
3answers
14k views

Which users are allowed to log in via SSH by default?

When I set up my Debian 6, I was wondering, which users apart from root whose password I know can log into my system via SSH? When I install Apache 2 a user called www-data gets created. Does this ...
12
votes
1answer
21k 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?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is there a separate package repository for Debian security updates?

Why don't they upload packages to the normal package repository? Is this a general convention (IE, do other distros separate the repositories also)?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

In Debian based systems, how do we purge configuration files of packages that have already been uninstalled?

To be more specific, I would like to do the equivalent of adding the --purge flag to the following command sudo apt-get autoremove --purge [package name] to packages that are no longer on the ...
12
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Debian based system, only one gui program, nothing else

I would like to make a debian system where you can only open one GUI program at boot, no other graphical interface, no minimize, or any X apart from that program, is there a way to do it on debian if ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

How to find out which (not installed) package a file belongs to?

On Debian systems (and derivatives): $ dpkg --search /bin/ls coreutils: /bin/ls That is, the file /bin/ls belongs to the Debian package named coreutils. But this only works if the package is ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Why should I use Debian 6 with FreeBSD kernel?

Debian 6 will also be available with the FreeBSD kernel. Why did they decide to to that and why should I use it?
11
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
17k views

Installing Unity on Debian

I'm a former Ubuntu Unity user, and currently running Debian Squeeze. I love Debian's stability over Ubuntu, but I do miss being able to switch between applications use Super+1,2,3 etc. Has anyone ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to simulate installation of Debian packages, still marking them installed?

Here's what I would like. Start with a virtual system with no installed packages. Then I invoke a tool similar to apt-get to ask it to compute the dependencies and mark all the packages that would be ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What happens when I press “Shut Down” from the GUI?

I have been banging my head against this for quite a while now. It's related to this question. I would like to find out exactly what happens when I choose to shut down my Linux box from the GUI. This ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Installing two glibc alongside in debian/ubuntu

Is it possible to install and use two different glibc versions on the same machine. Where one version is only used to run legacy software, which relies on old glibc binaries? Is it possible to do ...
11
votes
2answers
258 views

unable to remount filesystem back to read-only after package upgrade

On my Debian system, I have my / on separate partition and mounted read-only. Only /home/, /var/ and /tmp/ are writable. I have also created a Pre-Invoke and Post-Invoke apt hook, so that apt can ...
11
votes
1answer
934 views

Ctrl-C does not work with pppd non-detached session

I have a Mini2440 ARM Board, and I have put a base Debian 6.0 system on it using multistrap. I have used tmux to run several processes in defferent windows from /etc/rc.local. I connect to the board ...
10
votes
4answers
18k views

Why is Debian's root shell colorless?

Are there any security concerns? What is the best way to enable it?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

31 Debian CDs — Why? and which do I need for a vanilla desktop install?

I've been using Linux (Ubuntu) for a couple of months now, and I want to try Debian to see how different it is. Well, I've already found a couple of differences.. The first one that Debian-Live ...
10
votes
3answers
30k views

What is the best text-mode browser? [closed]

I am looking for one that is updated frequently and has support for many things. Please also state how to install it.
10
votes
1answer
779 views

Why does verifying SHA256 checksum with `sha256sum` fail on Debian and work on Ubuntu?

On Ubuntu 14.04, sha256sum from coreutils works as I expected: echo 879dd0d7637876be4796f7e6f194a111d21088be85cfe717fc97e2e7f05e79d2 /tmp/myfile | sha256sum -c /tmp/myfile: OK However, the exact ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

“tar: unrecognized option --warning” during 'apt-get install'

I just ran apt-get upgrade on my debian 5 vps and I got this error: tar: unrecognized option `--warning=no-timestamp' Now when I try to install other packages e.g: imagemagick I get the same ...
10
votes
1answer
11k 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/ ...
10
votes
2answers
436 views

How to list files and folders that are not maintained by any DEB package

I am in the process of moving my files from one Debian machine to another so that I can use the old machine for a different purpose. I do not want to miss any file because I will be formatting the ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

What should I do before dual-booting Windows 7 and Debian on EFI?

I'm about to purchase an Asus motherboard with EFI firmware and wanted to prepare myself for installing Windows and Debian once the hardware arrives. I was hoping that someone who has gone down this ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Solving Ethernet watchdog timer deadlocks

I have a debian linux box (Debian Squeeze) that deadlocks every few hours if I run a python script that sniffs an interface... The stack trace is attached to the bottom of this question. ...