Table of Contents
2017-06-17: Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 (Stretch) released
Not much news on my site, even though content gets constantly polished and updated where needed.
However, last night Debian Stretch has finally been released Go grab your copy and have an install party!
2017-05-06: Icedove became Thunderbird again
Well… maybe a little late… but still. You get the picture
2016-03-14: Iceweasel became Firefox again
For years, the Debian team had to rebrand Firefox into Iceweasel. Luckily, by now Debian and the Mozilla Foundation settled their “disputes” and henceforth Iceweasel will be called Firefox again in Debian.
Please note that this also has an impact on your sources.list!
2015-04-26: Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 (Jessie) released
The heading says it all: Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 a.k.a. Jessie has been released! Although the release was scheduled for april 25th and here in Europe the 26th already was 4 hours old: Congratulations Debian Team for making this another great release!
I run Jessie for a while now on my desktop(s), now on to upgrading all servers :)
2014-06-28: Moved from MediaWiki to DokuWiki
MediaWiki is most certainly a great piece of software. However, because of its features and functions, for my use it is a little bit too heavy. My site aims primarily at documentation, this is why I moved my content to DokuWiki.
This switch also made me overhaul some of the content, double-check if all links are still working and hopefully present the content more clearly.
2013-07-30: Das Keyboard
Usually I am not about blogging or writing down experiences because I want to provide objective documentation. But in this case I have to write a few words on Das Keyboard with MX Blue switches.
I am no professional at typing at all, but working in a terminal a lot I do appreciate a good keyboard. After a lot of research I chose the Das Keyboard Professional S with MX Blue switches. To put it short: this really is a great keyboard! Even when you are no professional, it makes you type faster and gives a good tactile feeling. Personally, I also like the sound :) and compared to the good old IBM model M it is even less noisy. The integrated USB hub is nice and handy. What I also like is that this is a no-nonsense keyboard without a zillion added functions.
This is also the thing I don't like about Das Keyboard Professional S: it has a function key. Whereas the fact alone is no problem (I can simply choose not to use it), in my opinion the placement is a little off. The space key is moved a little to the right which makes me (sometimes) hit the wrong key when using the space key with my left thumb. Also, due to the FN key the Windows keys were shrunk a little. This makes it impossible to replace the key caps with penguin keys :S
This last point is no big issue of course, although it leaves a little strange taste to it. All in all I am very happy with my Das Keyboard, I am sure it will serve me long!
2013-06-16: A word of warning about debian-multimedia.org
Previously, this domain was owned and maintained by Christian Marillat providing (amongst more) Multimedia Packages for Debian. By request from te former Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli, the domain name changed to deb-multimedia.org. My pages on the Debian sources.list reflected that change, but maybe you are still using that repository.
Nowadays that domain is owned by an entity unknown to the Debian team, so you should remove it from your sources.list. Debian even issued an official warning about this issue.
2013-05-05: Debian 7.0 (a.k.a. Wheezy) released
Debian Wheezy is released. Thank you Debian team for yet another great release and as usual the best Debian ever! Now on to Jessie :)
2013-05-03: Adding Games
Gaming on Linux always has been a major topic around, but with the release of Steam this really got a boost. And because it's not 100% easily installed on Debian I created some content fr that, as well as for running Vice on Wheezy on an amd64 platform.
Also, Wheezy will be released this weekend. Yay!
2012-09-16: Major updates
Today I made several major updates. Time flies when having fun, so a few updates had to be done :)
New pages have been added, like content about E17 as well as nifty Power Management. All other pages got a little cleanup and updated information concerning the upcoming release of Wheezy. As you might know, Wheezy is frozen by now and IMHO it is now usable as desktop OS.
2012-08-29: New server
I no longer wanted to maintain an own server at home. Regular investments in hardware, power consumption, slow upstream… all considerations lead to the decision to hire a virtual server in a real datacenter.
So DeskTux should be more available at higher speeds from now on. Of course, all as well through IPv6!
2011-03-13: Upgrade to Squeeze and IPv6
Instead of upgrading DeskTux from Lenny to Squeeze I decided to make a fresh start and install a new VM. Because I also wanted to make a few changes in the structure of the server that seemed to be the most sensible choice.
Downtime was minimal, if I am not mistaken nobody should have noticed it.
Instead of using a headless VirtualBox installation I moved to KVM using libvirt and virt-manager. Great tools! This is due to a few reasons, the stability of VirtualBox wasn't good enough for a server and I don't like the recent Company Politics either…
On other news DeskTux is now fully running IPv6 dual stack. So any service offered by DeskTux is ready for the future ;)
Oh, how I hate it: downtime. But if there's a defective DSLAM that you're connected to there's nothing you can do but wait.
Luckily my site's not important enough, so I think not very many people will have noticed ;)
Update 2010-09-11: It seems the cause of the outage was a broken cable. Down the street they are digging for a new roundabout and of course it had to be my cable they hit…
2010-08-28: DeskTux now available via IPv6!
As of now DeskTux is also available via IPv6 under www6.desktux.nl.
Note that this is experimental as I don't know whether or not I can keep that IP address. Most likely it is to change in the future.
2010-08-27: More content
I even did it today: adding a description on how to regain a Graphical Console without the
vga=xxx parameter. Just as promised below!
Furthermore I've been working on the categories and a little on the layout again.
2010-08-27: Updates and new content
Amazing what you get done if you are on holiday. I got quite a lot of the existing content updated and also could add new content (pages). So, make sure to check out the new content.
And there's even more to come! Since Debian Squeeze and GRUB2 you can't use our beloved
vga=xxx parameter anymore. And especially when also using an Nvidia card and also the “nvidia” kernel module, it is quite hard to get a graphical console. But it is possible though!
Additions for Sunbird calendaring including sharing your calendars (e.g. in the family). Also Address Book synchronization. Both using your own WebDAV server.
- BIOS flash
Added information for a bootable USB stick, which is more versatile than CD ISO images.
- Compiz Fusion
Updated information for Debian Squeeze.
Updated information for Debian Squeeze, also added a description of “the Debian way” for the driver installation.
How to set up your own WebDAV server to use it for synchronization of bookmarks in Firefox as well as calendaring and address books in Thunderbird.
2010-08-17: Debians Birthday
is celebrating its 17th birthday this year.
Time to say Thank You Debian!, don't you think?
2010-08-16: 'Strange' Outages
My little daughter loves to push buttons a lot. I guess she comes after her dad ;)
Well, recently she found (crawling under the desk) the power button of the UPS… I tried to take counter-measures but we'll still have to see if that works.
So if you experience strange downtime from my server you know why ;)
In other news, I'll get a new IP address soon. I don't know exactly when, but due to DNS changes it can also take a little while before everything works again hen that happens.
2010-08-01: Upgrade to Mediawiki 1.16
As you probably have noticed I upgraded to Mediawiki 1.16. If you are used to Wikipedia you already know what's new. Here I will just outline the two most obvious changes:
- New theme “Vector” which provides a slicker, leaner look & feel (IMHO).
- The search field moved to the top-right of the screen, which is where visitors mostly expect a search field anyway.
For those interested just have a look at the release notes ;)
By the way: the problems with the debian-multimedia.org repository mentoined below are resolved by now.
2010-06-12: Marillat Problems
If you use my sources.list you may have noticed that you won't receive updates from the debian-multimedia.org repository.
Actually, there's been a crash and everything is up and running again. it only seems the hostname “www.debian-multimedia.org” (temporarily?) doesn't exist anymore.
As of now I assume it will be available soon. Just use the hostname “debian-multimedia.org” in the meantime. If the old name won't become available again I will change my documentation accordingly.
2010-03-27: EeePC 1005P, an odyssee comes to an end
Again: very nice work, Debian Team! I just found the EeePC 1005P Wiki page that wasn't there earlier. Because everything was working so well I really didn't actively search for it, but that page provided 2 great hints for me:
- The new kernel (available since some time) in Squeeze has patches for the WiFi card in the 1005P, so no more need for ndiswrapper!
- A boot parameter needs to be added to grub to load the EeePC ACPI scripts (those make e.g. the brightness buttons work).
The WiFi driver for the EeePC 1005P is ath9k. To get it loaded automatically if you have used ndiswrapper before, you must remove <tt>/etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper.conf</tt>!
The Wiki page says to add the boot parameter <tt>acpi_osi=“Linux”</tt>. To accomplish this, edit the file <tt>/etc/default/grub</tt> and find the parameter “GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT”. There, add this between the quotes (!) including the backslashes and extra quotes: <tt>acpi_osi=\“Linux\”</tt>. Afterwards run <tt>update-grub</tt>, reboot your system and be happy :)
BTW, it is possible to use <tt>GRUB_GFXMODE=1024×600</tt> in <tt>/etc/default/grub</tt> ;)
2010-01-31: EeePC 1005P, an odyssee
Accidents happen and I guess everyone with little kids will recognize this. My old EeePC 901 came too close to the edge of the table and seconds later it was lying on the ground with a broken display. My other EeePC 900 just wasn't fast enough anymore for my needs and the display unfortunately couldn't be transplanted. So a replacement was necessary.
After lots of “searching the web” one thing became clear to me: there are no more modern netbooks w/ SSD and w/o Windows anymore (maybe the upcoming Google netbook will be one of those, but we'll see). How very sad. But I needed a replacement so I had to make a choice. That choice fell on the new Asus EeePC 1005P, for it wasn't expensive, features a non-glare screen and long-life battery. As soon as the warranty period is over the HDD will have to go and I'll put in a SSD.
But — of course — the Windows (7 Starter) installation had to go right away. Shame for the license I had to pay, but it simply wasn't workable. Very slow boot process, too large Window decorations and other space-consuming stuff and so on.
So I first gave Debian Stable (Lenny) a shot. I realised up front that it wouldn't be easy or even possible, but I tried anyway. Well, even the HDD wasn't detected so this was a definite no-go.
Second, I tried the Squeeze installer. It saw the HDD but the ethernet card was a problem. And because Squeeze only comes with netinstall or as business card this is a must… at that point I was a little disappointed.
So I decided to go for (X)Ubuntu for the time being, till the Squeeze installer would use a newer kernel and see the network card. The installation worked fine, so did the network card. Finally a working installation on my new Eee 1005P!
But soon problems came up. To get WiFi working you have to use the ndiswrapper (for the time being) using the Windows XP (!) WiFi drivers that are supplied on the Asus Support Site. Nice, now I had a working WiFi card and could connect to my wireless network. For the first evening for that matter… as of the next day WiFi wasn't working stable anymore. I got connection, but no DHCP. After trying 10 times or so (even tried manual IP addressing) I finally got a connection but got no data through. Soon enough I discovered that the connection broke up, reconnected, broke up again and so on.
This was a non-workable situation either, one of the many bad experiences I had with Ubuntu. But that is no topic to discuss here. So back to trying Squeeze, very coincidentally it got a kernel update in the meantime.
Now it saw all hardware in the 1005P, except for the WiFi card. But using ndiswrapper and the above mentioned drivers I got it to work eventually. Finally, all praise the Debian team, I had a stable new netbook, stable WiFi connection and although I used the testing Distribution all software is (till now) 100% stable as well!
This might (temporarily) change in the near future with one of the many updates, but for now my Asus EeePC 1005P odyssee has ended.
2009-11-03: Long time, no news
The title says it all: no news since quite some time. But hey, that doesn't mean nothing happened!
First of all, I made even more use of the categorizing and continued restructuring the page. Navigation should become easier now as well as maintenance for me.
Second, I did some minor updates in the sections about LaTeX and Skype. Major content has been added to SciTE and totally new pages are imapfilter and Thunderbird.
Third, I installed the server on new hardware. Is is a fast system optimized for low power and noise, running in a VirtualBox VM, installed on a SSD. Hm. It just appeared to me that I also should add a section for VirtualBox, how to install the latest version on Debian without X… well, that'll come soon.
And last but not least it just came to my ears (well, eyes) that at least the UI of Skype will be released as Open Source Software! This is great news for users who are waiting for a 64bit version of Skype and some features that never have been in there or were poorly implemented. Thank you very much, Skype!
Read more about this:
- Heise.de (German)
2009-07-12: Updates, structure and language
Next to all minor edits that happen regulary I have made some major updates this time. Yesterday I installed my system with the amd64 port of Debian. This was the first time since Sarge that I tried an amd64 installation and well… it just works. Good!
That's also where the updates come from. Firstly, I updated the documentation about the sources.list, there's now an i386 version as well as an amd64 version. Also there's still desktop software out there that's not available for 64bit systems. For most stuff there are nice alternatives (who wants to use the monster “acroread” anyway?), for others there aren't. Especially Skype is only available as 32bit version, so it got its own section.
Information about the 64bit version of the native Lotus Notes Client will follow ASAP!
You probably won't notice that, but the pages got more organized by making better use of the categories from Mediawiki. That makes the maintenance easier for me ;)
Last but not least a friend of mine – who is a native English speaker – took mercy on my bad English and is currently going through all DeskTux pages looking for mistakes.
I certainly don't want to have it perfect, as I am no native speaker you wouldn't believe a too perfect English anyway ;) But hey – common mistakes, typo's and other errors happen so he's correcting that for me.
Thanks a million, Peter!
2009-05-02: Updates for Domino and my favourite Shell
Well, I have to keep myself busy ;) so a lot of content got updated. Next to a few minor updates these sections got bigger overhauls:
- Some very useful tuning hints for Domino.
- You may have noticed it already, but today just came another version and better explanations of my ZSH configuration.
Minor updates include the nVidia information, connected to this a Compiz Fusion troubleshooting hint concerning performance.
2009-02-24: Everything's available again
All files which were lost during the upgrade mentioned below have been restored by now.
2009-02-20: Several updates
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 codenamed “Lenny” has been released. Yeah!
Although this is old news by now this means quite some things. Firstly of course this is yet another great Debian release!
Also, on Lenny it is possible to install Domino 8 and 8.5 without a hassle. The same goes for Notes 8 and 8.5, in 8.5 you even have a .deb-file :)
For NVidia users who wish to use the official driver binaries you will have to <tt>export cc=gcc-4.1</tt> (after installing gcc-4.1 of course) again before installing the driver. This was something from the past I thought, but apparently not.
Last but not least, this had an impact on my own server, of course it got an upgrade as well. There were some problems with the update of MediaWiki and accidently I deleted some files (no, those were not in the backup, ask Murphy about that). So, as also stated on the Main Page please be patient until I restored everything.
2008-10-11: nVidia on Debian Lenny continued
nVidia has released version 177.80 as the latest stable release of their Linux driver. You can use that driver for Lenny without having to use the latest beta version.
Using the right compiler is still a must though.
2008-09-21: nVidia on Debian Lenny
On Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny) w/ kernel 2.6.25 or higher the official nVidia installer will complain about you having a XEN kernel which is not currently supported. Also the kernel is compiled w/ gcc-4.1 whereas gcc-4.3 is the default compiler in Lenny.
To install the latest nVidia driver in Lenny you should:
- Install gcc-4.1:<br>
- Use the latest nVidia beta-driver from the nVidia forums, at least version 177.76
- Run this to install:<br>
For more information have a look at the nVidia page.
2008-08-12: Downtime during vacation
I seem to have a lot of luck at this. Last year when I went on vacation the DeskTux server died. This year the server kept running but by some weird coincidence the connection to the world was lost…
Luckily this time it didn't take that long, the server wasn't reachable between the 7th and 11th of august. Sorry for the inconvenience!
2008-07-13: Major updates
Long time no big updates (only new versions of the nVidia driver etc.). Sometimes I wished the day had 48 hours…
But the last few days I have been busy. These pages have been updated or added: ; nVidia : The problems mentioned below with the 169 series of the nVidia drivers are gone with the 173 series. ; LaTeX : The template got some polishing, especially for usage with TeXlive and special characters. ; Notes : Some finetuning in general, but especially to the information about the native Notes 8 client for Linux. ; SameTime : Information updates and a rant into the direction of IBM concerning configuration files. ; Domino : Adding a Domino 8 section. ; Miscellaneous : Polishing the <tt>sources.list</tt> and adding information for the Z-Shell and Compiz Fusion in Debian.
2008-03-02: Some nVidia issues
There seem to be some issues with the latest nVidia drivers (169 series) and rendering on at least Debian.
In 3D screensavers as well as in 3D games some parts of the rendering (I am no graphics specialist, so I don't know what parts) produces white artifacts. Until these problems are solved I recommend installing version 100.14.19 (available from the http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_archive.html nVidia archive).
2007-12-29: DeskTux now as Wiki
Due to a lack of time to maintain a fully-fledged website and after considering several alternatives of content management I decided to migrate DeskTux to a Wiki engine. This way I can focus on the content and don't have to spend time on layout, design and programming as well. As DeskTux was some kind of “knowledge-base” anyway a Wiki seemed to be the sensible choice.
Naturally I did a little cleaning-up, error-checking and updating as well.
This Wiki does not allow for user-registration. I do not have the time to moderate and control all entries. Only a few people have accounts right now.<br> Anyway, if you think you want to and can contribute to this Wiki, please don't hesitate to contact me! I will then create an account for you.
2007-11-10: Updates for Lotus Notes 8
Notes 8 has been released and I convinced my boss to order a disk-kit ;) So far I only tested the native Linux version and I am very pleased with what I see. Just a few drawbacks and lots of benefits. Good work IBM!
I also did some minor updates on the SameTime section.
2007-07-22: Server died
Sorry to everyone who tried to reach the site between july 10 2007 and july 18 2007. I was on a vacation and during that the server died (go ask Murphy about that).
I went through some trouble but finally got it working again. Luckily te RAID was still intact :) So… welcome back!
2007-04-25: Overhauling the NvInstall section
Finally – the nVidia section got the overhaul it needed for almost a year. The information is up-to-date again and hopefully clearer as well.
Also the Domino and AMD64 tips got some small updates. And I got my Links list cleaned up again.
So lots of updates, enjoy!
2007-02-03: New home
Desktux has a new home, desktux.xs4all.nl has moved to desktux.nl. Because I made a terrible mistake, desktux.xs4all.nl no longer exists. So it will take some time for this new site to become known again…
Also there has been some cleaning up, the Domino/Notes tips got updated and re-structured. Soon the NvInstall section needs an overhaul.
2006-12-16: No more user comments
Sorry, due to massive spamming I disabled the User Comments function.
Old comments will stay in place and as soon as I can I will make some time to re-implement this function “spamming-save”.
2006-09-30: Major update to the Domino/Notes tips
Ah… finally. There was need and need became desperation. So I invested some time into Lotus Notes 7 again.
So I got the Notes 7.0.1 Windows client in WINE and the Notes 7.0.1 Linux client running on Debian/Etch and Ubuntu/Dapper Drake :) This resulted in a major update of the Domino/Notes tips.
Because that page becomes longer and longer I will have to split Domino and Notes into seperate pages, this will happen soon. Also (not very logical) the latest information is at the bottom of the page. This will change as well.
On other news I am working on a new script which I call “OpenVPN mini-GUI”. If you have to handle tens of connections it can be a real pain in the ass, the OpenVPN mini-GUI makes that easier. As soon as there is a usable version it will be published in the “Scripts & Programs” section.
2006-08-27: New nVidia driver 8774
Three days ago the latest nVidia driver version 8774 got released. Today I got around to testing it and it works well.
But I also recognised the fact that NvInstall needs a complete redesign. With every new release there are different things to take into account.
If you wish to install the latest driver, go ahead! On every stable release of your favourite distribution that should work well using the nVidia binaries. On Debian/Etch you need to “export CC=gcc-4.0” (of course gcc-4.0 needs to ben installed) before installing the usual way.
2006-08-13: Update to the unsorted tips
The unsorted tips got an update today.
I have added a template for LaTeX which I personally use. Also a workaround for a pdflatex-problem is included. The editor SciTE comes with no default configuration or preferences menu, so I added my own user settings which can be used as a starting point for your own configuration.
2006-08-11: Digging the cables
In a neighbour city a communication cable has been hit during digging works. Yesterday there were already huge problems on the mobile and normal telephony networks as well as on the internet in the whole region.
Well, it seems since about midnight last night I have no decent internet as well, so this site was not available. Excuses for the inconvenience!
2006-07-11: Minor site update
Today the site got some minor updates.
First of all, the encoding has changed to UTF-8. Please let me know if any characters behave strange in your browser!
Second, some information on nVidia Debian AMD64 and the general nVidia configuration on Debian Etch systems has been updated.
2006-07-10: Lotus Notes 7.0.1 for Linux
The prayers of many many Linux users have been heared: IBM brings the Lotus Notes client 7.0.1 natively for Linux! It will be released (at least that is the plan) over two weeks, on the 24th of july 2006.
As opposed to earlier rumors, this is a little bit surprising. The original plans were to release a native Linux client with version 7.5 at the earliest, as a managed Workplace client based on the Workplace server. But this client version will be independant of the Workplace server and run stand-alone just fine. The code is still based on the Eclipse framework, so the technical difference between the Windows and Linux clients is huge. Existing Notes applications will work anyway, both applications are based on the same Notes-code.
As soon as I get a grip on this version I will try to make some tips available on the Domino/Notes Tips page.
2006-06-18: Update to AMD64 section
My information on AMD64 systems was running behind a little (or maybe even a lot)… Today I got around to update the nVidia instructions and corrected a big blunder in the “Multimedia” section concerning the Marillat repositories as well. These were changed quite some time ago.
2006-06-18: Spam issues
I used to receive no or very little spam. As well in e-mail as on this website. Since a couple of weeks though I also am a target of spam, so I had to take measures.
First the User comments had to be limited in functions. All posts which include an URI will not be accepted, sorry for that.
Second, if you want to contact me you have to either type over my e-mail address from a badly readable graphics file or use the newly added contact form. The contact form also filters URIs to prevent abuse.
I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to you!
2006-05-28: New nVidia driver 8762
NvInstall has been updated to install the latest nVidia for Linux driver. Version 8762 of the driver has been released on 22 may 2006.
2006-04-09: New nVidia driver 8756
A new nVidia driver has been released 2 days ago – thus a new version of NvInstall has been released as well. I also did some bugfixing and cleanup in the code… nothing special.
To make NvInstall usable with Etch on AMD64 again I will need to put some more effort into it, basically I need to rewrite some parts of the script. So stay tuned, time is and will be an issue ;)
2006-03-17: Update to Domino tips
I updated the Lotus Domino rc-script today.
The script now works better with Domino 7 and I added lots of commentary to clarify things and make it easier to understand. An addition concerning language settings when encountering problems with language-specific characters has also been made. Thanks to Giorgio Fedon for pointing this out!
Gianpietro Previtali sent me a Domino startscript with screen integration which I think is a really good idea. Unfortunately the script is based on several RPM dependancies and doesn't follow default rc-script guidelines. But I will pick up that great idea and integrate that into the rc-script as well!
2006-02-11: nVidia instructions for AMD64 updated
I admit, I didn't run Etch for quite some time… today I got around to install Etch again.
This resulted in an update for the instructions on how to install the nVidia driver in Debian/Etch AMD64. I will also make a new version of NvInstall for this as soon as possible.
Today the server/site was unreachable for several hours. The server itself was up and running und my ISP was up and running, too. But the internet line just didn't do what it's supposed to…
Sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused!
2006-01-29: New layout and more for DeskTux
The old layout for Desktux began to bore me so I decided to make a new one. Also there is some more content (still to grow of course) and other polishing to the site (technically speaking).
I hope you like it! Feedback is – of course – welcome.