Debian is a common and completely free Linux distribution. It is released in 3 release-branches: stable, testing and experimental. We are using the testing release, since debian-stable is very conservative and updates getting rolled out pretty slow.

Administrator / Root privileges

Normal users don’t have the privileges to install software and change system configurations like adding printers. The so called root user is the administrator. You can change to that user with su root if you know the password. Otherwise we use the program sudo to provide normal users admin privs without using the user root directly. The privileged users are entered in visudo with a line like that victor ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL.

Victor then have the privs to call a program as administrator (root) with the sudo command.

Never run programs as root unnecessary such as git or you bioinformatical pipelines. You can actually damage the servers integrity.

Install software

First look if you can find the software you are looking for in the official debian repositories with:

aptitude search $softwarename

Note: If aptitude is not installed just install it with apt-get install aptitude.

This will list all findings, if nothing get’s posted your software is not inside the official repos. Then you have to evaluate if you really need this software… When you really need it google for a download link. You should go for a package with the ending “.deb” which indicates a debian package. Often these packages are listed under Ubuntu, since Ubuntu is a Debian-derivate.

If the search finds your desired software you can easily install it via:

sudo aptitude install $softwarename

If Aptitude is not installed... ... you first need to install Aptitude with the command sudo apt-get install aptitude.

Update and upgrade Debian

It is recommended to update and upgrade the system regulary.

sudo aptitude update

Will update the package list/cache. Always run this before you upgrading or installing software!

sudo aptitude upgrade

Will upgrade all packages which are outdated.

Software that needs regular manual updates

  • [Seafile server]
  • [RStudio server]

Connect to a server via ssh

On the client machine you have to create ssh keys with: ssh-keygen

Then cat the created key: cat ~/.ssh/

Copy the output. Now you need a already working connection to the server or you send the key to someone who can add it onto the server. To add the key on the server run (replace $username with your actual username on the server): nano /home/$username/.ssh/authorized_keys

Paste the key onto the end of the file. If .ssh doesn’t exist you can create it with mkdir. Now test your ssh connection to the server.

Tip to connect quickly

Create a ssh-config on your client machine with: nano ~/.ssh/config. And enter the servers IP, username and a shortcut to quickly connect to your servers. To use the underneath config you simply would call ssh h.

Host h
User marius

Working with printers

If you want to add a printer you will need sudo privileges. Then run the printer-settings gui with:

sudo system-config-printer

This will open a window where you can add a printer. Click Add and have a look at the list of network-printers. Mind the printers IP adress (there should be a sticker on the printer or you can look them up in the IP-mapping table).

Add programs to the autostart WORK IN PROGRESS - PICTURES BROKEN


Hit the windows-key and search for "startup", open the first search result "Startup Applications".

[Seafile server]:
[RStudio server]:

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