Image86.Fast boot after installation

The first things to do after the installation.

Remember that before proceeding with the real installation, it is highly recommended to run a test in "Live session" mode to check your hardware compatibility (network connection, screen resolution, peripherals …) with the system.

245 … but what is exactly a " Live session" ?

Recall that we presented this feature in the section . This is a session that let you test the operating system without risk. The system is installed from a CD or USB key, directly into the computer RAM . Then you can test your WI-fi connection, your print er etc … None of the settings made during this session will be saved after the computer shutdown.

6.1.Network connection setting

246Using either an Ethernet wired connection or a Wi-fi wireless connection, your Debian system is expected to access the network. The Ethernet connection is recognized natively. As far as the Wi-fi is concerned, it is sometimes necessary to use a non-free driver.

6.1.1.Check if the driver is present

In order to check if the driver is present, we are using the command:


which should return a result like:

eth0       Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx  
           BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
           RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
           TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
           collisions:0 lg file transmission:1000
           RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
 lo        Link encap:Boucle locale  
           inet adr:  Masque:
           adr inet6: ::1/128 Scope:Hôte
           UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
           RX packets:552 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
           TX packets:552 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
           collisions:0 lg file transmission:0
           RX bytes:37827 (36.9 KiB)  TX bytes:37827 (36.9 KiB)
 wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx  
           RX packets:638993 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
           TX packets:412031 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
           collisions:0 lg file transmission:1000
           RX bytes:617235341 (588.6 MiB)  TX bytes:42145548 (40.1 MiB)

If the interface named "wlan0" or "eth1" does not appear in the list, this means that the Wi-fi driver is missing.

6.1.2.Identifying a network device, and installing its driver

If your network connection is not functioning, it is usually a driver issue. In order to select the right one, we need to identify first the network device.

Within a terminal, in user mode, launch the command:

lspci | grep -i "net" | cut -d: -f3

which will return a result like:

Intel Corporation 82567LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 03)
Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller ...

Here, the detected Wi-fi device is the Broadcom BCM4322

If I run a simple Internet search, like " Debian Broadcom BCM4322 ", I found quickly the right page 58 which tells me to install the firmware -b43-installer .

The Wi-fi connection setting is a very touchy subject for the GNU/Linux distributions, due to the non-free nature of the drivers to be installed.

More information on the Debian Wi-fi Wiki:


This is the network manager delivered with Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, and Xfce.
It is accessible from its icon within the notification area:

247 248
Network management on Gnome a n d Xfce

All the active or inactive connections are listed here, and the Wi-fi networks are detected as well. Left-click on the network you want to connect to, and a dialog box will pop up. Select your network then "Connect". A password is then required (the one given by your Internet Service Provider). Here on the Gnome desktop:

249 250

Then enjoy your Wi-fi connection:


To tweak the Wi-fi settings, select the dedicated entry in the main menu:


You will be able to modify the connection settings, and even "Forget" it:



Wi-fi connection settings on Gnome -Shell


Wicd 59 ( W ireless I nterface C onnection D aemon) is an independent network manager delivered with LXDE .
However, it can be used on any other desktop.

Its interface is slightly different compared to the one of the Gnome manager, but the functionality is the same.

Wicd is available from its icon in the task bar (usually at the bottom right, in the notification area); A left-click opens the main interface which let you select your network access:

Wicd:connection properties

If the network does not show up, verify first that in the Wicd "Preferences", the right interface (the very one found in the previous chapter: "wlan0" for example) is selected for the Wi-fi network.

Wicd: Connection manager preferences

6.1.5.KDE Connection editor

On KDE, the network connections are managed like on the other desktops: through a graphical interface. A left-click on the network icon in the notification area and you access to the list of available networks. A click on "Connect" and KDE ask you to enter the network Wi-fi key:

258 259

When this is done, you can connect your computer using this Wi-fi network and/or modify its settings.

KDE : network connexion editor

6.2.Configuring your printer

261 C.U.P.S 60 , is an acronym for C ommon U nix P rint ing S ystem , and as its name suggests it, a print er management system created by Apple Inc. for OSX and other Unix-like systems. It is used by default on Debian to manage print ers. To achieve this, CUPS uses the Internet Print ing Protocol (ipp) to drive both the local and the network print ers.

What is enough to remember is that CUPS is the tool managing the printers 262

If you chose an exotic installation, you might need to install yourself some Debian packages.
Within a
terminal in administrator mode (thanks to "su" see chap.3.8.3 ):

apt update && apt install --install-recommends task-print-server


Likewise Wi-fi devices, printers need external drivers. However their detection by default is much better, which enables Debian to embed a simplified printer setting interface (detailed in the first section of this chapter). Methods may vary from one manufacturer to another.

To check your print er compatibility , you can visit the dedicated page of the open print site: print print ers

263Regardless of the chosen method, don't forget to plug the power cord at both ends, to verify that the paper tray is not empty, to connect the printer either directly to your computer, or to the local network, and turn its power on. 264

6.2.1.Simplified graphical method with system-config-printer

The Debian GNU/Linux desktops include the system-config- print er tool, a simplified graphical manager to add and configure your print er.

If you followed the Debian classic installation procedure, this tool is already present on your system and can be found usually at "Sysem > Print Settings", or in the Control Centers for Gnome or KDE. If you don't find it, simply open a terminal and launch:


In the first window which opens you can press the "Add" button to add a printer.

System-config- print er: interface by default

Then you access the "New Printer" window which presents the local or network "Detected Devices" list. Select your printer and click the "Forward" button:


If your printer was correctly detected, its driver has been selected for you. You can describe your printer in the next window. Once you are done with the modifications click on the "Apply" button:


The installer then ask you if you want to test the printer:


The printer is now correctly added to your machine. It is available for the printing tasks executed by any of the installed applications on your system (LibreOffice, Evince (for pdf files), etc.).

To change your printer settings, double-click on its icon:


Small hint: to change the print er behavior in case of error, go to your print er settings, click on the "Policies" category, and select the " Abort job " option (instead of " Stop print er ") in the "Error policy" field.

6.2.2.Universal graphical method with CUPS

The simplified interface is handy, but the classic CUPS interface is no longer as austere as it used to be. You can access it from your Internet navigator since CUPS is a print server offering a web interface. So let's meet on the page http://localhost:631/ print ers/ which displays all the detected print ers (don't forget to connect your print er either directly to your computer , or to the local network, and to turn its power on).

CUPS : " Print ers" tab of the web interface

A left-click on your printer opens the dedicated page:


which includes the "Maintenance" and "Administration" menus. Depending on the selected operations, the administrator password will be requested.

272 273

More information of the Debian System Print ing Wiki: Print ing

6.3.Check for updates

274 Debian updates have nothing to do with Windows' updates

The GNU/Linux system updates are the direct evidence of one of the free software strengths: the public sources .

As opposed to the proprietary systems, hiding their software flaws (since they sell it) as long as possible, the free distributions publish their software flaws as soon as they are discovered and fix them immediately.

So, when a small window suddenly pops up and invite you to update your system, say yes, of course, and your computer will thank you a all lot.

6.3.1.Update with a terminal

The terminal, this little box which frightens you so much, whereas it is actually your friend … yes yes … your friend 275 .

You want a proof ? Easy: we are going to update the entire system using just one line.
We start by opening a terminal and log in as administrator. That is (depending on your environment) from the Applications menu > System > "Administrator Terminal", or in the more classic way, open a terminal and type the command:


In both cases, the administrator password is requested ( see chap.3.8.3 ). Once connected as "root" in the terminal , cut and paste this line:

apt update && apt dist-upgrade

276 … wait a minute, what does that mean exactly ?

6.3.2.Updates notification

The GNU/Linux desktops use APT (standing for " Advance Package Tool ") on the Gnome, Xfce and LXDE interfaces, or Apper (package management tool using PackageKit ) on the KDE interface, and both tools include a notification function.
Thus, your system checks the
repositories on a regular basis (when the network is available, of course), without even bothering you and displays a notification at the beginning of a new session when some updates are available. It is enough to accept the updates , or to click on the notification bubble opening up, to display the update manager tool integrated in your system.

Update notification on the KDE interface

If you want to manually check for available updates , you can use the procedure listed at the beginning of this chapter.

6.4.Retrieve your email account

278 If you have an online messaging service like or, you can access it from your Firefox web browser (launches from the application menus in the "Internet" section). Enter the address of your online account provider (,,, …) in the address bar and launch by pressing [Enter].

If you are using a local email client , a dedicated Thunderbird-like software , Debian offers Icedove , which is the free equivalent.

6.4.1.Icedove: your free mail client

280 Icedove is primarily an emailer , but it is also a communication hub that allows you to read and write within newsgroups, chat with others (discussion group), and read RSS feeds provided by some websites.

If you have two or more email accounts, it might not be very practical to access each of them using the browser! Icedove is an application that brings together all the mail boxes of all your email accounts, in one single convenient interface.

Icedove is a clone of Mozilla Thunderbird , the eMail client of ,the Mozilla foundation. Due to legal issues around its icon copyrights, Thunderbird is not integrated into Debian but Icedove provides exactly the same functionality.

To open Icedove, from an application list or a menu, select the "Mail client" from the "Internet" category. setup

At first startup, Icedove provides temporary configuration interface and a foreground window that allows you to create an account with two suppliers and partners.

If you want to take advantage of this option, fill in the fields and let you guide, the configuration will be automatic.

If you are not interested you can click on "Skip this step and use my existing address".

Another window opens. Then provide the requested information about your account. You can choose whether Icedove must remember the password. If you uncheck this option, you must enter your password each time you connect.

Icedove: mail account configuration

Click on "continue". Icedove then searches in its database then specific parameters for your eamil account. When finished click on "done".

Icedove: mail account verification

Icedove now displays your account details in the right column, starts downloading all your emails and, depending on your provider, all your contacts (this may take sometime). Now click on your account in left pane to unfold it, then on "Inbox". The interface takes its normal appearance:

Icedove: default display interface

The Icedove interface is relatively intuitive. In the top tool bar you can check your mail, compose a new message, open a chat session, access your address book, put a label on a message, or filter your messages.
At the right of the menu bar you can find the Icedove menu, represented three small horizontal bars, from which you set your preferences, and launch various actions.
For example if you click on the Message menu (or right-click on given message), a list of actions is proposed like Reply, Forward, Archive, Mark as Junk, etc …

If you are looking for a specific message you have several options: other email account(s)

If you have more email accounts you want to access via Icedove, click on the Icedove menu (the three small horizontal bars at the right of the tool bar) and select "New Message" > "Existing Mail Account …" and continue the Mail Account Setup procedure like explained above. settings

In the modern presentation of Icedove (as well as other communication tools like Firefox and Chromium, for example) the application menu is define by the three small horizontal bars at the top right of the window. From this menu you have access to the parameters of the application.
If you prefer the classic presentation, with the menu bar at the top of the window, click on this Icedove menu and then "Preferences" and tick "Menu Bar" on.

It is advisable to visit the Preferences setting window, where you can define the handling of junk mails, define a master password for all your account, customize your tag list, among all the settings available in there. your new and forwarded e-mails

284 … Encrypt your e-mails … what does that mean?

Let us take the example of the regular mail, sent via post-mail. You send a postcard to your mother-in-law for example, you know that what is written on it can be read by the postman or anyone else. Well, with your e-mails, it's exactly like the postcard,if you do not encrypt them.

"Does not matter" you say, " I don't care if someone knows that I wrote to my mother-in-law that the weather is fine during our vacations" . Perhaps. But you can write more than just mundane wordings in your messages, and you never know what can happen to them. You are not convinced? I ask you to reconsider if you really have nothing to hide by visiting this page on the FSF website: .

285 To effectively protect your electronic exchanges, use EnigMail !

6.5.Login configuration

GNU/Linux systems follow the principle of rights and permissions by default. When you install Debian, a password is requested for the primary user. This password is requested at the beginning of the session.

Gnome : authentication at session startup

If you are using Debian in single- user mode, you can disable this password request in order to begin your working session directly when the computer is started. Debian uses three different default connection managers: GDM (on Gnome & Cinnamon ), LightDM (on MATE , LXDE & Xfce ) and KDM (on KDE ).

6.5.1.Autologin with GDM

GDM3 63 is the default Gnome Display Manager for the default desktop environment on Debian 8 "Jessie". To enable automatic login , you need to edit its configuration file in administrator mode ( see chap.3.8.3 ). The GUI way with the mouse just follows 287 :

At the beginning of the file, locate the following lines:

Edit it to obtain this result:

Don't forget to adapt "my_login" to your login.

Save the file with [Ctrl]+x then answer "Y" for "yes":

GDM: editing configuration file in Nano CLI editor

You can close your terminal, the next time you restart, you will not be prompted for your password.

In case of problem, you can retrieve your original file with this command in administrator mode:

mv -f /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf.bak /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf graphical method




6.5.2.Autologin with LightDM

You can setup LightDM 64 by editing its main configuration file. To enable auto login , you'll have to edit it with a root terminal ( see chap.3.8.3 ).

Open a terminal and become root with the " su " command. The administrator password will be asked. Once connected in root terminal , copy (to backup ) and edit the dedicated file with:

cp /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.bak && nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

This command opens the configuration file in the CLI Nano editor. Use arrows to scroll and locate those lines:


Remove the "#" in front of each line then add your login like that:


With "my_login" remplaced by your login.

Save the file with the [Ctrl]+x shortcut, the answer "Y" for "yes":

LightDM: edition of the configuration file in Nano CLI editor

You can close your terminal: your password won't be asked anymore at login time.

In case of troubles, just enter this command in administrator mode to restore your previous LightDM configuration:

mv -f /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.bak /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

6.5.3.KDM configuration on KDE desktop

KDM: KDE login screen on Debian 8

KDE is a truly complete environment and KDM 65 provides you with a graphical interface to configure your login screen . The configuration tool will allow you to manage the wallpaper, the language used, some options and of course, the automatic connection.

So open KDE 's KickOff menu > Applications > Settings > System settings > System administration > Login screen .

KDM: login screen configuration launcher on KDE

Enable autologin from the "Convenience" tab:

KDM: configuration interface

Tick the case "Enable Auto-login" then select the user int the "User" drop-down menu. As this configuration is part of the system settings, the root password will be asked:

KDE : administrator password request

Your password won't be asked anymore at login time.

KDE : init desktop

6.6.Navigate on Internet

6.6.1.About Internet browser

299The primary function of a web browser is to let you consult information available on the Web (World Wide Web).
The user gives the browser the web address of the resource to consult. There are three ways to give a web address:

The browser connects to the web server hosting the target resource. The communication protocol commonly used is HTTP or HTTPS (secure version).

6.6.2.Firefox: a free web browser

Mozilla Firefox 66 is an open and free web browser , developed and distributed by the Mozilla Foundation 67 with the help of thousands of volunteers using the free software /open source development methodology (dixit wikipédia 68 ).

Debian integrates Firefox-ESR , the " E xtended S upport R elease" version, aimed at large organizations (and small ones) for mass deployments. This version is maintained for 10 months from its release date and only benefits from security updates , ensuring a stable and secure browser.

Firefox on Debian

The main window consists of the following elements (from top to bottom):

To add features to your Firefox browser, navigate to Preferences > Add-ons. In the tab that opens, select "Get Add-ons" and choose from the available modules70.

Firefox: Add-ons catalog

302 The default version of Firefox on Debian "stable" can be a bit old (v45). If you wish to obtain a more recent version (v49), use the external repositories of the Mozilla Foundation ( see chap. ).

6.7.Watch a video

303Debian GNU/Linux comes with a video player on each Desktop Environment (DE like Gnome or Xfce). Debian natively recognizes most common video formats (ogv, mkv, mp4, avi, webm…).

Once your system is installed (or in Live session), a double-click on a video file will open it with the default player of your DE.

For Gnome or Cinnamon, it's the "Videos" player (Totem) that is automatically launched when double-clicking on a video:

Totem: "Videos" and "Places" windows on Gnome -Shell

Its use is very simple and intuitive. At the slightest movement of the pointer, the playback menu is displayed and allows you to browse the video file, set loop playback (the vertical bar formed by 3 points) or adjust the volume. The main menu gives you access to other functions:

Totem: video player menu

Each DE integrates its own player, all featuring the same basic functions, largely enough for a first use of a Debian system. As usual on Debian, you can add the multimedia software of your choice. I'll let you visit the list of applications available on the Debian wiki71.

The Xfce desktop comes with a multi-platform media player widely used by Windows®: VLC , a way to get started on Debian without changing your habits.

6.7.1.VLC: a multimedia player

VLC 72 is a free media player and a system capable of playing most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various broadcasted protocols.

VLC opens with a double-click on a video file (if this is the default application defined for this action and this type of file) or from the applications menu > Multimedia > VLC Media Player.


To open a video media : click on the " Media " tab.

VLC is able to:

VLC: open a media from the "Media" menu

VLC: select the media you want

VLC in player mode

VLC can also play network streams (podcasts), listen to an online radio, capture the screen, as well as encode a stream to save it.

6.8.Listen to music

310Debian GNU/Linux comes with a media player for each DE. Some allow the management of a large music library, including sort management, play lists, cover artwork, etc (such as Amarok73 or Rhythmbox described in the following section), others are simple, lightweight and easy to master (Such as Audacious74 or XMMS75 ).

6.8.1.About audio format natively recognized

Wikipedia76 is my friend …

An audio file format is a file format for storing digital audio data on a computer system. The bit layout of the audio data (excluding metadata) is called the audio coding format and can be uncompressed, or compressed to reduce the file size, often using lossy compression. The industry has produced many formats for either production or distribution

The program element which transforms the signal into a file and the file back into a signal is called a codec 77 , an abbreviation for co der- dec oder.

Debian recognizes (among other things) the 4 main default formats (mp3, ogg, flac, wav). If you need to install codecs or non-free audio software , you will need to modify your repositories ( chap.8.1.3 ) to add the "contrib" and "non-free" sections.

6.8.2.Rhythmbox: your music player

Rhythmbox 78 is the default music player in the Gnome environment, which allows you to play and organize your music collection.

Here are its main features:

At first launch, Rhythmbox scans your "Music" folder, but you can add more folders to your music library.

Rhythmbox: default view

Preferences menu

Rhythmbox: preferences settings

Rhythmbox integrates a plugin82 system that adds functionality to the player.

Rhythmbox: configure plugins

Default audio player of the Gnome desktop, it benefits from a complete integrated help:

Rhythmbox: complete help

Main Desktop Environment have their own player: Xfce uses QuodLibet 83 and KDE includes Amarok 84 .

6.9.Work on word processor

316 Debian integrates by default the full office suite Libre Office which allows you to work on documents of any type format coming from different office suites.

If you don't need such a comprehensive tool suite, you can use the Abiword 85 or Gnumeric 86 tools, lighter while maintaining a high level of compatibility .

6.9.1.LibreOffice the free office productivity suite

Libre Office 87 is a free (as in freedom) office suite that offers tools for word processing (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress), drawing (Draw), database (Base) and editing mathematical formulas (Math).

Libre office : default view

There are many possibilities embedded in Libre Office . The official Wiki of the community is very well done and will provide you with an efficient and complete help:

Good reading 318.

319 The version of Libre Office offered by default on Debian "stable" can be a bit old (v4). If you want to install a newer version (v5), use the " backport s" ( see chap.8.2.3 ).


6.10.Edit your photos with the Gimp

Debian includes the graphic manipulation software the Gimp .

320 GIMP , standing for G NU I mage M anipulation P rogram, is an image processing software . Often considered as a competitor of Adobe™ photoshop™, it is, at any rate, a safe alternative with all the same functionalities, and, on top of it, it is free! 321

Available for a whole range of OS, it runs naturally on Linux, MacOsX, * BSD and Windows®.

There are already very good documentation concerning The GIMP, and this page is only to gather, in few lines, the most basic hints, without having to browse through dozens of sites hoping to find its happiness.

6.10.1.Interface Overview

At first launch, Gimp displays 3 windows with several elements:

The Gimp on Gnome -Shell

1 The tools box - 2 The tools options - 3 The Gimp menu bar - 4 The active picture - 5 & 6 The tabs displaying the values of tools and layers.

By default, the first tab displays the active layers in the image.

323 … What does those "layers" exactly means??

Gimp uses the principle of layers , ie the superimposition of images for a final rendering. It is the same principle as recording a piece of music: the instruments are all recorded on separate "audio tracks", the voices also, then "mixed" all together to obtain the final piece of music.
For the layers of Gimp, it is the same: you separate the different elements on layers and the final image will be exported in the format of your choice (JPEG, PNG …).

The default format of Gimp is "xcf" , a format that allows to preserve the independence of the layers and thus, to be able to modify an element without touching the other layers.

6.10.2.First Tips

Prepare a folder with a copy of the images to modify:

It is often said, the backup is your friend and it is also true for image editing. Before working on your project, create a folder where you will place a copy of your original image as well as all the elements you want to add (other images to process, modify, your graphics resources in short).

Record your work regularly in ".xcf" format:

Gimp uses the default "xcf" format to save your project. This format allows to save the layers and therefore, permits a fine modification of your work. To save in xcf format, direction the menu "File"> "Save". Once your project is finalized, you can export your project in a compressed format (jpeg, png, gif) from the menu bar : "File" > "Export as".

Switch to single-window mode:

If the default interface with its 3 windows disturbs you, Gimp has provided a "single-window" mode available from the menu "Windows" > "Single window mode".

The Gimp in "single window" mode

Have Fun !

One way to discover the Gimp is to test, try, have fun editing your family photos for fun… Create a folder to play with Gimp and place your favorite photos or images and start to gimp-it 325 !


The Gimp website provides a large choice of tutorials where you could start to play:

Print an image

If Gimp print s only white pages, and the preview is desperately showing a blank page too, you can fix this problem by installing the gimp-guten print package in administrator mode ( see chap.3.8.3 ):

apt install gimp-gutenprint

Then, to print a image, all you have to do is: "File > Print with Gutenprint". A page is open where you can set up your printer and print layout.
























81 http://www.lastfm