Tuesday, 3 April 2012

9 best tips recommended exclusively for Debian

The Debian operating system comprises software packages which are released as open source and is well known for the abundance of options it offers.

Below is a comprehensive compilation of some of the best tips exclusively recommended for Debian.
  1. Never install new packages with long dependency lists unless you make sure (packages.debian.org) that they do not contain any major bugs or are currently broken, or might break other packages in the tree.
  2. Its advised you run apt-get update weekly. Package lists tend to change very often.
  3. Never EVER run apt-get upgrade OR apt-get dist-upgrade. Doing so, you will have signed a deal with the devil. Those two commands are very dangerous to run as they tend to upgrade a very long list of packages which are considered core system packages. This will result in lots of painful package downgrading which you really don’t want to spend time doing.
  4. Always keep an eye out for security packages and patches which are available via apt. Those things are often life savers.
  5. If you have multiple Debian boxen, you NEED apt-proxy, which serves as a local Debian mirror to all running systems on your network. This will save you endless hours if you have a slow internet connection.
  6. In case you ever feel your hard drive space is mysteriously vanishing, then a quick look with -ch /var will show you that the cache directory is keeping hold of all your downloaded Debian packages. You can choose to keep them somewhere else or simply wipe them out by using apt-get clean.
  7. If you need a new kernel installed then the folks at Debian have compiled one just for you. It’s a modular kernel with security and Debian patches applied. A simple search for "kernel" and "2.4.xx" should suffice. Find the right architecture, and install it. Look out though, you will have to modify Lilo (or grub) to use the provided initrd.img file so you can load the cramfs file system and boot.
  8. If on the other hand you're "I'm a real hacker and I compile my own kernels thank you!" kind of person, then feel free to get your own kernel source and use make-kpkg to compile it and create a Deb file from it. This will make installing and removing kernels easier and more "in sync" with the whole Debian packaging system.
  9. The last and final tip is, um, actually, there's no last tip. I just wrote this cause I like the number nine, and I thought I'd just waste some more of your time.
I hope that you find this helpful as educational and fun as I did.

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