Monday, April 30, 2007

Upgrading to "Lenny"

With "Etch" being released as new Debian stable I decided to upgrade to "Lenny", Debian's new testing branch. By the time of writing the difference between stable and testing isn't very big - Etch was released about three weeks ago. So I didn't expect any difficulties in upgrading and with one little exception I was right.

As always, updating Debian is very easy. You need to edit "/etc/apt/sources.list" and replace etch or stable with lenny or testing. I prefer the names, because this way you would automatically use the stable branch once lenny becomes stable - which will be in the far, far future. ;-) So, your "sources.list" should look something like this:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Etch amd64: installing 32bit apps

If you're running Debian Etch for amd64 you might want to install some 32bit applications, too. As some browser plugins (like Adobe's Flash oder Sun's Java) are available as 32bit binaries only, you may need a 32bit browser. In Ubuntu that was done very easily whereas in Debian this task needs a bit of extra work. But no need to worry, if you know how it's very simple! So, here we go. (The orginal post can be found in German on Thanks to "Linuxpeter"!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Configuring Debian Etch


As mentioned in my last post, installing Etch was very quick and easy. If you need to boot the installation CD/DVD with special kernel options, they will be added automatically to grub's "menu.lst" and will be there after each kernel update when the "menu.lst" file is regenerated. Responsible for this is a part of "/boot/grub/menu.lst" which looks like this:
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda2 ro noapic

Leave all the "#" in place as those parts should not be read by grub but by "automagic" which runs after each kernel update. The part which really makes grub boot the kernel looks like this: