Setting up a Debian Linux install

Notes regarding various install configuration I typically perform. I am using Debian 10 (Buster) and Debian 11 (Bullseye) on a Dell XPS 15 i7 and an 11th generation Intel i9 11900 with Integrated Graphics UHD 750 desktop PC.


Power Management

https://wiki.debian.org/CpuFrequencyScaling

Apt sources

comment out the following lines (or similar) using nano:
deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 10.9.0 Buster - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20210327-10:39]/ buster contrib main

SU

$ su -l
# adduser USERNAME sudo
# exit

Then, log out of the desktop environment and log in again. You can check the success of the above by entering

$ groups

https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstall#The_Full_.22CD.2FDVD.22_Image

Bootloader

Grub
https://wiki.debian.org/Grub

Debian 10 Buster | update-grub | command not found
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/482569/debian-10-buster-update-grub-command-not-found

update-grub2 is just a symbolic link to update-grub and both update grub2 configuration (because grub2 is the default)

Uninstall GRUB and use Windows bootloader
https://askubuntu.com/questions/429610/uninstall-grub-and-use-windows-bootloader

Problem with Windows bluescreen from Grub2

  • I can boot to either O/S but must use UEFI option rather than GRUB Menu option for Windows
  • When booting Windows off the GRUB menu, I get the blue screen

Answer: use UEFI to boot, not a bootloader

Nvidia

Booting successfully

enter grub. press E. Add nouveau.modeset=0 to the end of the line that starts with linux. press F10 to boot …OR…

Append ‘nomodeset’ (no quotes) to grub

https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers

Nvidia driver not recognised as automatically installed by Ubunto 20.04

Out of the box, Ubuntu installed the correct Nvidia driver for me.

However, according to the package manager, the driver (whilst in active use) wasn’t installed and some of the various underlying libraries were marked as no longer required (incorrectly!). Running sudo apt autoremove would delete off these various Nvidia libraries and cause the next boot to fail.

Running apt-mark wasn’t possible either because it couldn’t find the driver package. The ultimate fix was to manually install the driver, forcing it to be marked as “manually installed”.

sudo apt-get install nvidia-driver-460

Intel Integrated Graphics UHD 750

TL;DR. Append “i915.force_probe=4c8a” (no quotes) in grub as a linux kernel parameter

Getting any linux distro to work using latest hardware
https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxhardware/comments/ms28mk/getting_any_linux_distro_to_work_using_latest/

Setup UHD 750 GPU on Intel Rocket Lake processors on Linux
https://gist.github.com/Postrediori/556706b28aff3b831d9e41acb47418c5

drm/i915: Drop force_probe requirement for Rocket Lake
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1905466

Intel Core i5 11600K + Core i9 11900K Linux Performance Across ~400 Benchmarks
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel-rkl-linux&num=2

Multi-monitor

[20 Oct 2021] I think the Intel UHD 750 chipset is so new that multi-monitor is not supported in the Linux kernel bundled with Debian Bullseye, see: https://www.mail-archive.com/debian-user@lists.debian.org/msg772983.html and https://www.linux.org/threads/intel-uhd-750-resolution-problem.37135/ After 2 weeks of trying everything, I’ve caved in and bought graphics card with a NVIDIA chip: ASUS GT710-4H-SL-2GD5 GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR5 with 4 x HDMI ports and single slot for silent multi-monitor productivity
[25 Oct 2021] The Nvidea card worked out of the box with Debian 11 (Bullseye) using the i915 driver. It also worked out of the box with Ubuntu with Nvidea 470 drivers installed (nb. nomodeset needed to be added to grub however)

Note: none of the following commands in this section should need to be performed manually (when everything is working as it should)

X Window Rotate and Resize
xrandr -q
xrandr --verbose

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/multihead

How to dump out the current display drivers: inxi -Gx
https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=314526

xrandr --output HDMI-1 --auto --right-of DP-1
https://askubuntu.com/questions/796827/hdmi1-is-disconnected

HDMI not detected on Ubuntu 18.04 (Intel UHD Graphics 620)
https://askubuntu.com/questions/1121132/hdmi-not-detected-on-ubuntu-18-04

Display Manager

Installing LXQT manually

Reference: Installing LXQT in Ubuntu on Ubunut20.04 (link)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install lxqt sddm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm

Switching back to Gnome:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

Installing cinnamon manually

sudo apt install tasksel
sudo tasksel

OR

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install task-cinnamon-desktop

Multi-monitor setup on my Dell XPS 15 using Cinnamon

Where the multi-monitor setup is stored: ~/.config/monitors.xml [OR /home/frankray/.config/monitors.xml]
http://blog.frankray.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/monitors.xml_.txt (trim the ” .txt” from the filename)

Adding WIFI

apt edit-sources

#contrib non-free are required –>
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ buster main contrib non-free

apt update
apt install firmware-atheros

File system customisations

Mount shared NTFS partition

Safely sharing a partition between Windows and Linux
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/24j5f4/safely_sharing_a_partition_between_windows_and/

nano /etc/fstab

#Storage
UUID=F8B2281EB227E03C /home/frankray/Storage ntfs defaults,nls=utf8,umask=000,dmask=027,fmask=137,uid=1000,gid=1000,windows_names 0 0

Introduction to fstab
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Fstab

Create a large storage partition

I often take an image of my linux partition (using Aomei Backupper) so that I can muck around with settings and simply reinstall it if/when I make breaking changes.

Because I want the image to be small but include all my user settings (typically saved in various ‘.’ files under my home directory), I’ve found the best way to do this is to leave the /home directory on the same partition as the Linux install, but move out large files, often source from GitHub, to another separate partition.That why I have a complete system backup without chewing up diskspace with files I can just re-fetch if needed.

The following commands will create such a partition:

sudo blkid

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

#Storage
UUID=126ba622-b87c-410d-96c7-8ef1a0ad4e08 /home/frankray/Storage ext4 defaults 0 0

#change the permission of the folders and contained files you want to access
sudo chown -R frankray /home/frankray/Storage

#To mount all file systems in /etc/fstab, run:
sudo mount -a

Final Tweaks

Some truly excellent suggestions I followed from here:
https://www.dwarmstrong.org/minimal-debian/


Frank Ray

Frank Ray & Associates is a software engineering consultancy that builds high quality software for businesses.

We develop new applications, automate manual processes, integrate vendor packages, replace Excel workarounds, fix unreliable applications, retire end of life software and remove dependence on poor value suppliers.

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