As Debian Wheezy beta1 got released the other day I thought it was high time I updated my netbook from Fedora14.

I was pleasantly surprised how little tweaking was needed to get to Sid, even Gnome 3.4 only needed a few extensions and CSS tweaks.

For the sake of speed I only encrypted my /home partition, chosing not to bother with a swap partition, and as /tmp is on tmpfs these days, the only permanent storage that’s not encrypted is the OS like /bin, /sbin /etc and so on.

The hotkeys and powersaving work out of the box with the 3.2 kernel, no need for eeepc_laptop or Jupiter anymore.

My /etc/apt/sources.list looks like this, which gives me Debian-unstable (Sid) and some packages like Firefox/Thunderbird from Debian-experimental:

deb sid main non-free contrib
deb experimental main non-free contrib
deb sid main non-free

I noticed that the package difference between Wheezy and Sid was only about 200Mb worth of downloads, a lot less than between Squeeze and Wheezy.

I halved the size of the icons in the Gnome Shell Dash by editing /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css like so:

.icon-grid {
    spacing: 18px;
    -shell-grid-horizontal-item-size: 96px;
    -shell-grid-vertical-item-size: 96px;

.icon-grid .overview-icon {
    icon-size: 48px;

To get the taskbar as I like it I installed the following extensions:

Alternative Status Menu (adds suspend/poweroff)
Quit Button (replaces username/IM status with an Ubuntu-esque power button)
Remove Accesibility (removes the alternative input method icon)

To make the fonts look a bit nicer I followed this post that tweaks fontconfig. Still not sure it looks great though on very small fonts, but it is a 10″ screen I guess….

The only problem I had was that NetworkManager was not configured to control my WiFi interface for some reason, possibly as I configured that as my primary interface during install – as eth0 was set to use NetworkManager which doesn’t make much sense. Anyway, to get NetworkManager to control it I just removed all references to wlan0 from /etc/network/interfaces

The extra packages I had to install (some odd ones like gedit were missing!) are:

aptitude install deb-multimedia-keyring gdebi icedove knockd rsync gstm ntpdate gnome-tweak-tool lm-sensors gkrellm gnote pidgin-plugin-pack pidgin-sipe gedit geany qgit backintime-gnome backintime-common nautilus-open-terminal nmap zenmap gftp-gtk flashplugin-nonfree gnome-mplayer mencoder ffmpeg ttf-mscorefonts-installer msttcorefonts libxml-dom-perl libspreadsheet-writeexcel-perl pyrenamer grdesktop ia32-libs openjdk-7-jdk icedtea-7-plugin enigmail file-roller

apt-get -t experimental iceweasel icedove iceowl-extension

I also manually installed Google Chrome, Talk plugin plus Opera and Nessus (4.4.1 not 5.0.1)

Disabled IPv6 using:

echo net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1 > /etc/sysctl.d/disableipv6.conf

Finally I stopped a lot of useless servers starting at boot, for example:

update-rc.d -f avahi-daemon disable

I also updated the blog to WordPress 3.4.1

Update: I’ve upgraded my F14 desktop to Sid too, as I do compiling and stuff on that I had to install a few more packages:

aptitude install java-package fakeroot conky libxml2-utils pwgen john-data john texlive-fonts-recommended texlive-fonts-extra gcc g++ bcc iasl xsltproc uuid-dev zlib1g-dev libidl-dev libsdl1.2-dev libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev libstdc++5 libhal-dev libpulse-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev python-dev libqt4-dev qt4-dev-tools libcap-dev libxmu-dev mesa-common-dev libglu1-mesa-dev linux-kernel-headers libcurl4-openssl-dev libpam0g-dev libxrandr-dev libxinerama-dev libqt4-opengl-dev makeself texlive-latex-base  libc6-dev-i386 lib32gcc1 gcc-multilib lib32stdc++6 g++-multilib ttf-mscorefonts-installer ttf-liberation ttf-linux-libertine libvncserver0 libvncserver-dev optipng

I also forgot to mention that due to a recent upgrade (OpenSSL?) pidgin-sipe is broken, the fix is to make a wrapper script:



Then edit /usr/share/applications/pidgin.desktop to Exec=pidgin-wrapper

I also installed Sun Java 6 using these instructions, which I tweaked a little to use the /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun symlink which CyanogenMod expects.