Archive for the ‘Debian’ Category.


I’ve been a big fan of the package management system in Debian ever since began using it. It’s the most complete and carefully maintained system I’ve seen for this.

But apart from their package management system, Debian is also famous (or should we say infamous :-) for their strict demands on the licensees of the programs in the distribution: They will only distribute programs that are truly free. I was reminded of this today when I tried to compile the dADS report with LaTeX — it complained about missing files. I discovered that they had removed several LaTeX packages because the files weren’t licensed properly!

They have removed these files: algorithm.sty, algorithmic.sty, beton.sty, booktabs.sty, caption.sty, euler.sty, footbib.sty, fvrb-ex.sty, picinpar.sty.

I’m actually using 6 of these packages/files at the moment, so that was kind of bad for the document :-) But it only took a couple of minutes to download them again from CTAN. I’ve now placed the packages in my own texmf-tree in my home directory so that they’ll be preserved next time the good guys at Debian decides to change something.

I’m going to The Party

The Party I’ll be attending The Party for the first time this year together with thoooms. I’m really looking forward to it — thoooms has told me so many exiting things about it.

I’m thinking about reinstalling my Debian system — they have a local mirror of all major Linux distributions… I also look forward to the many conferences. I’ll let you know how it went when I get home again the 29th December.

Yes! Finally! I’ve found a new version of Mozilla for Debian!

If you’re using Debian and want to use the great (but somewhat slow) Mozilla, then make sure that you include this line in /etc/apt/sources.list: deb ./

There you’ll find the latest debs of Mozilla. I’ve searched for such debs for a long time, as the debs in the mainstream Debian repository wasn’t updated beyond M18. I’m now using 0.8 which is faster and better that M18. The new version fixes a lot of annoying bugs, like not being able to handle anchor-tags and SSL. The latter meant that I had to install Netscape 4.76 to be able to log in to SourceForge and manage PHP Weather. Now I can just use Mozilla.

My experience with Debian


I’ve now been using Debian for about three weeks. And I like it :-) It’s a little confusing in the beginning, but now I feel that I understand most of it.

The package-management system is just great, after you get used to it. I run the unstable branch, called Woody, and this means that the packages are updated quite often. And when they do, they sometime break! At one point BBDB stopped working in Gnus. It was strange, since I didn’t remember messing with it. But one or two days later a new version appeared, and when I installed it, the problem went away. So with Debian you really get the chance to try out the vary latest software. So far, this has been the only incident of this sort. I hope they watch more carefully before they make a new version of something important, say lilo :-)

I’m also eagerly awaiting a new version of Mozilla. I’m currently using M18, but they’ve already made both a version 0.7 and 0.8. But so far, there hasn’t been made any debs. The same goes for Enlightenment. I haven’t compiled the new E17 yet, because I don’t want to mess-up my new tidy system. But I’ll probably do it after all, when it’s useful for everyday work.


Yesterday I finally got my soundcard working again, after I switched to Debian. I really didn’t understand what the problem was, because the card was found without problems when I booted. But when I tried to play some sound using XMMS, I was told to check that my sound-card was properly configured etc…

The problem turned up to be that I didn’t have read-write permission to the soundcard. I think it would have been nice, if XMMS would have told me that. In fact, it was only because I was playing with the Open Media System DVD PLayer that I got the idea to look at the permissions. OMS complained to me that it didn’t have permission to access my DVD drive. So I had a look at it, and surely enough:

gimpster:~# ls -l /dev/hda brw-rw----    1 root     disk       3,   0 Nov 30 16:22 /dev/hda

At the same time I had a look at the permissions for the sound-card. When those were fixed also, I had sound!

OMS works great, if it were not for the poor performance I get on my NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS. The playback isn’t smooth, and you can hear some clicks in the audio. But I’m sure it’ll get better when they make some code for my card, like they’ve done for Matrox cards.