Posts Tagged debian

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

Posted by on Saturday, 11 April, 2009

Found at

Here are the reasons why we think Debian GNU/kFreeBSD could be preferred to other systems such as FreeBSD and Debian GNU/Linux.

They’re not absolute truths, nor do we expect everyone to agree with them. So please don’t engage in an endless discussion trying to convince someone that Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is the best. That kind of things do us more harm than good.

Why would you prefer Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to Debian GNU/Linux?

  • Cleaner or more standard kernel interfaces:
    • Single /dev implementation via devfs, instead of the 3 discordant ways of handling /dev that Linux provides.
    • OSS as the default sound system (i.e. the standard interface supported by almost every Unix-like system around).
    • OpenBSD Packet Filter (pf).
  • Other nice security features, like jails.

  • Support for NDIS drivers in the mainline kernel. On Linux, NdisWrapper is unlikely to make it into the mainline kernel.

  • Possible support for ZFS in the mainline kernel. Due to license and patent issues, ZFS is unlikely to appear on Linux.
  • kFreeBSD offers an alternative in case Linux is branded illegal by the SCO case or other threats. In legal terms, Linux sources are like a minefield. kFreeBSD is much less vulnerable to such attacks because of its less bazaar-like development model.
  • kFreeBSD developers often have more interest in merging new features rather than spawning forks all along (the port to Xbox is a very good example. See the responses from Linus Torvalds and kFreeBSD developers).

  • Some people say that kFreeBSD has better performance and/or stability (especially in disk/filesystem areas).
  • The FreeBSD kernel might support some hardware which Linux does not support and/or the FreeBSD kernel support might be better (less bugs).

Why would you prefer Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to FreeBSD?

  • If you like the Debian package system (or its package set) more than FreeBSD ports (just a matter of preference).
  • If you like GNU userland more than BSDish one (again, just a matter of preference).
  • If you don’t have anything against GPL or other copylefted free software licenses, you’ll appreciate that useful kernel modules like ext2fs driver, the upcoming reiserfs and xfs, or the upcoming ethernet driver for Xbox are (or will be) compiled in on the default kernel.
  • If you’re concerned about running a 100% free system, our commitment to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) guarantees that Debian GNU/kFreeBSD doesn’t contain any non-free software. In fact, we have removed some non-free binary-only drivers that are contained in the upstream FreeBSD tree, like the ath driver.

Now I found this very interesing myself as I have used both systems and liked them both. I found debian to be better in respects for configureability via apt, and FreeBSD was equally good with its ports, though time consuming compiling somewhat. FBSD generally i found handled higher loads on production servers better, though to be fair that would be a HUGE serverload and for the most part Linux would do fine.

So if this happens, I would definately be one counted in having a nosey and giving it a go. However I do wonder if it would take off enough, and have enough support behind it to keep it going (and anyone whos in sysadmin hates trying to upgrade something no longer supported!)

Debian 4.0 (Etch) released

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 April, 2009

April 8th, 2007

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed etch, after 21 months of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. It also features cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB.

Using a now fully integrated installation process, Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 comes with out-of-the-box support for encrypted partitions. This release introduces a newly developed graphical frontend to the installation system supporting scripts using composed characters and complex languages; the installation system for Debian GNU/Linux has now been translated to 58 languages.

Also beginning with Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, the package management system has been improved regarding security and efficiency. Secure APT allows the verification of the integrity of packages downloaded from a mirror. Updated package indices won’t be downloaded in their entirety, but instead patched with smaller files containing only differences from earlier versions.

Debian GNU/Linux runs on computers ranging from palmtops and handheld systems to supercomputers, and on nearly everything in between. A total of eleven architectures are supported including: Sun SPARC (sparc), HP Alpha (alpha), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Intel IA-32 (i386) and IA-64 (ia64), HP PA-RISC (hppa), MIPS (mips, mipsel), ARM (arm), IBM S/390 (s390) and � newly introduced with Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 � AMD64 and Intel EM64T (amd64).

Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from various installation media such as DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and floppies, or from the network. GNOME is the default desktop environment and is contained on the first CD. The K Desktop Environment (KDE) and the Xfce desktop can be installed through two new alternative CD images. Also newly available with Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 are multi-arch CDs and DVDs supporting installation of multiple architectures from a single disc.

Debian GNU/Linux can be downloaded right now via bittorrent (the recommended way), jigdo or HTTP; see Debian GNU/Linux on CDs for further information. It will soon be available on DVD and CD-ROM from numerous vendors, too.

This release includes a number of updated software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5.5a (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.14, the Xfce 4.4 desktop environment, the GNUstep desktop 5.2, X.Org 7.1, 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, Iceweasel (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox, Icedove (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5), Iceape (an unbranded version of Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8), PostgreSQL 8.1.8, MySQL 5.0.32, GNU Compiler Collection 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3, Samba 3.0.24, Python 2.4.4 and 2.5, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.4 and 5.2.0, Asterisk 1.2.13, and more than 18,000 other ready to use software packages.

Upgrades to Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 from the previous release, Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 codenamed sarge, are automatically handled by the aptitude package management tool for most configurations, and to a certain degree also by the apt-get package management tool. As always, Debian GNU/Linux systems can be upgraded quite painlessly, in place, without any forced downtime, but it is strongly recommended to read the release notes for possible issues. For detailed instructions about installing and upgrading Debian GNU/Linux, please see the release notes. Please note that the release notes will be further improved and translated to additional languages in the coming weeks.
Last-Modified: 2008-11-19 11:46:52

Debian nVidia setup

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 April, 2009

you need a working network connection and contrib and non-free in your sources.list. Also you need unstable/sid sources for this to work currently.
Open a terminal, su to root and copy the following:

apt-get install build-essential module-assistant &&\
m-a a-i nvidia && apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-settings &&\
echo nvidia >> /etc/modules && modprobe nvidia && dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

— Edit by Pizbit, if you don’t actually want to reconfigure your whole xserver you can ignore the last part (&& dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 ) and follow the last section below.

Thanks to dpkg on #debian

— The below is what I, Pizbit has written. 🙂

Or to use the official NVIDIA package. This will require a internet connection if you don’t already have your kernel headers and the nvidia driver although if you’re using the kernel off the cd and the cd has the kernel headers you’ll save yourself some of your precious BW because apt-get will get the package off the cd assuming it’s in your sources.list etc etc.

Note: If all else fails, read the NVIDIA README!
Go to: and download the latest .run file for your CPU. (IA32 for most people). Take note of where you download it to!
Close your x server by logging out – or painfully with ctrl+alt+backspace.
Hit ctrl+alt+F1 , login as root or your normal user then use sudo or su.
You need to actually stop your x server first, this can usually be accomplished by: /etc/init.d/gdm stop Where gdm might be kdm or xdm .(It will only be one of these three)

Most likely you don’t have your kernel headers installed, no worries!:)
Run: apt-cache search `uname -r` header This should return just one package, if it returns more, then, erm, to continue. For example: kernel-headers-2.6.10-3-386 – Linux kernel headers 2.6.10 on 386

Install the kernel headers by: apt-get install ThePackgeName
Chances are you will also need to make a symlink in /usr/src/ cd to this location and: ln -s (I believe it’s always the name of the package you downloaded, in either case it’ll be something clearcut, use uname -r to guide you, the directory should contain this string) linux

eg. cd /usr/src
ln -s kernel-headers-2.6.10-3-386/ linux

Note: If there is already such a symlink it may either have been created for you and you can miss this step or from an older kernel and set of headers, in any case use ls -l linux to see where it comes from, write this down somewhere, rm linux and attempt to make the symlink again.

You may need to: apt-get install build-essential

Run the nvidia installer by going: sh
Follow the instructions, it rather easy:) Just say ‘yip’ to everything.
Assuming all goes well, any errors on building the kernel module if it needs too are probably because you don’t have the build-essential package installed or the kernel headers, install it and run the installer again.

Now you need to configure your x server to actually use the driver. If you use xorg you will want to edit: /etc/X11/xorg.conf If you use xfree edit: /etx/X11/XF86Config-4.conf
Where you see all the Load “blah” lines(near the top), put a # at the begining of these lines if you have them(Doesn’t matter if you don’t have them)

Load “dri”

Load “GLcore”

After that, make sure there is in the same section:

Load “glx”

The next step is to actually use the driver, scroll down to where it mentions your video card, it probably already has:

Driver “nv”

Change this to:

Driver “nvidia”

Load up your xserver again. /etc/init.d/gdm (or kdm, xdm) start
The nvidia installer puts it’s README into /usr/share/doc/NVIDIA_GLX-1.0/ , if you get lost have a peek. 🙂 Last-Modified: 2007-03-07 19:38:50