The Perfect Desktop - Debian Lenny - Page 4

10 Opera

Open a browser and go to; select Debian as the distribution and then Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian Testing (Lenny), Debian Unstable (Sid) and click on the Download Opera button:

On the next page, a download dialogue should pop up; click on Save File:

After the download has finished, right-click on the downloaded file and select Open with "Gdeb" from the menu:

A new window opens - click in Install:

Type in the root password:

A terminal window opens where the package is installed. Press ENTER after the successful installation to close the terminal:


A second way to install Opera is to use gdebi as root from the command line. In contrast to Gdeb, gdebi resolves all dependencies of a package, so you should use this if you are getting dependency problems with Gdeb.

Open a terminal and become root:


You can then install Opera as follows:

gdebi /home/falko/Desktop/opera_9.63.2474.gcc4.qt3_i386.deb

Make sure you use the correct path; also the package name can differ, for example if there is a newer version - use the TAB key to use autocompletion in the terminal.


11 Skype

To download Skype, go to, and click on the Download now button. On the next page, select Debian Etch:

Download the file to your computer...

... and then install it exactly as shown for Opera in the previous chapter (either with Gdeb or with gdebi).


12 KompoZer

Go to and click on the Debian package link in the right column:

On the next page, a download dialogue should open. Download the file to your computer...

... and then install it exactly as shown for Opera (either with Gdeb or with gdebi).


13 Google Picasa

Go to and select the right .deb package for your architecture (i386 or amd64):

Save the file to your computer...

... and then install it exactly as shown for Opera (either with Gdeb or with gdebi).


14 Google Earth

Go to and click on the Agree and Download button:

On the next page, a download dialogue should pop up. Click on Save File and save the file to your computer, e.g. the desktop (/home/falko/Desktop in this example):

Then open a terminal and become root:


Make the downloaded file executable and run it:

cd /home/falko/Desktop/
chmod 755 GoogleEarthLinux.bin

This will start the installation. A Google Earth Setup window opens. Accept all default settings and click on Begin Install:

After the installation, you can click on Quit or on Start, if you want to start Google Earth now:

Afterwards, we delete the Google Earth installer:

rm -f GoogleEarthLinux.bin


15 Inventory (III)

Browse the menu again and check what you've got installed so far.

Your list should look like this now:

[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

[x] Firefox/Iceweasel
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird/Icedove
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] Transmission BitTorrent Client
[x] Azureus/Vuze
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Real Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] Brasero
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

[x] KompoZer
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

[ ] VMware Server
[x] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

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18 Comment(s)

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From: Anonymous at: 2009-03-28 21:29:03

Hi falko,

I have a problem how to install Debian Lenny on laptop with SCSI disk? thanks for answer!

From: mo at: 2009-05-21 23:24:37

AS long it doesn't and open other partitions it will be 20 years behind..mood: furious

From: dave at: 2009-02-22 04:42:56

Great article & very helpful!  Thanks for the time to put it together.

My preference is for KDE, but not sure how to do this with netinstall.  I have read that we have to use the Advanced install options, but that may lead to a messed up system as it is for advanced Debian users (I'm not -- Puppy user).  I have also read that users are having problems with adding the KDE packages and making it the default environemnt.  Anyone know how to use the netinstall and end up with a reliable KDE enviroment? 



From: craigevil at: 2009-02-23 01:56:40

To install KDE using the netinstall

feeding the following command at the boot prompt:

install tasks="-desktop, standard"

As for the article why install a ton of media players? I can see installing mplayer, and maybe amarok, rythmbox or exaile no need for a ton of media apps.

From: sylware at: 2009-02-24 10:37:13

Avoid like hell .net based technologies (since it will screw GNU/Linux one day, and it's bloatware): use gthumb (or other C language based non-bloated programs) instead of f-spot and stick to rhythmbox (or other C language non-bloated programs) instead of banshee.

Do not promote bloatware, especially the ones from companies who sweared to destroy GNU/Linux, because that will make the community take very high risks.

That's my advise

From: Todd at: 2009-02-25 18:19:02

Another way to go about it.

We had a customer request a Live Debian disc like the ones available for Ubuntu. We were able to create one using remastersys, which is installable using the remastersys installer. See:

From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-05 23:16:31

I just make a clean install on my hp nx9420 and after reboot doesn´t start the desktop.

Why if I exactly follow this tutorial ?


Thanks in advance.

From: Narcarsiss at: 2009-02-23 22:13:54

I would highly recomend to install aptoncd "apt on cd" which will provide a easy and simply way of having a backup of all the files installed and downloaded...

and look for some themes as well to make the desktop look pretty

From: Pax at: 2009-03-15 18:45:44

This is my frist debian instal, i am a ubuntu user, now i like change to tray debia, i download debian lenny 5.0, in oficcial mirror, i install all u recomend bud i cant instal mplayer and others...


this is my source.list

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.0 _Lenny_ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20090214-16:29]/ lenny main

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.0 _Lenny_ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20090214-16:29]/ lenny main

deb lenny main contrib non-free
deb-src lenny main contrib non-free

deb lenny/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src lenny/updates main contrib non-free

deb stable main
deb-src stable main


u can telme what is worng? why i cant instal mplayer to down... 

From: at: 2009-07-27 00:33:53

The following issues (some of which occurred because I believe this HowTo is actually for the 32-bit version of Debian, but that's ok, virtually all of the HowTo still works!) were encountered while trying to install Debian 5.02 (AMD-64) on a real world (Intel WG965DH moboard, 8GB mem, 4x500GB HDD, CD-RW, and DVD-RW):

** Warning on duplicate entries in the source list when doing apt-get as above (didn't seem to matter--pressed on)
** w32codecs not available in Synaptic, presuming for AMD-64 need w64codecs, installed instead
** realplayer was not available in Synaptic (likely because it is a 32-bit app) -- see below
** Presumed xine-plugin was correct, vice xineplugin
** Do not select acroread-fonts-jpn--will be installed with acroread-fonts-kor

To install RealPlayer (fair warning - you're on your own, I haven't yet tested whether RealPlayer actually works, only that it installs!)

** Retrive RealPlayer from
** Click Download RealPlayer (downloads a bin file).
** Close the browser when the download completes.
** The download is in your home folder -- it MUST be executed from there.
** Open a terminal as root.
** Execute chmod +x RealPlayer11GOLD.bin
** Execute ./RealPlayer11GOLD.bin (the installer runs--accepting the defaults at all prompts works).
** When the installer finishes close the terminal (RealPlayer 11 is now on the Sound and Video menu).

After finishing Step 6 is where I installed the nVidia drivers - the Debian way. Worked like a charm. Detailed instructions are at Follow the directions explicitly and precisely and you will enjoy.

Enabling TwinView after that is easy (I have two monitors). In a console, execute apt-get install nvidia-settings. Then run nvidia-settings. I ran as root (as I was in that state from installing the drivers)--not sure whether that is really needed or not (suspect it is, though). The nVidia configuration window appears. Configure the monitor(s) as you desire, apply, and save the new xorg.conf file. What could be easier? Enjoy TwinView!

From: Andre Felipe Machado at: 2009-02-25 23:49:02


You could use the "debian-way" of configuring system, using the "update-alternatives" root command to inform what flash program, java, pdf reader, etc, when installing from outside repositories.

Official packages with alternative implementations from debian repositories always have this command built in at their internal packaging scripts to ease things and most users will never know about this command.

But unofficial packages not always honor this "debian-way" of configuration.

For example, (as root):

# update-alternatives --config

# update-java-alternatives --auto


Andre Felipe Machado

From: at: 2009-07-27 01:49:34

Flashplayer, at least in an AMD64 install, is not at the location specified in step 7. Instead, in the console, execute:

cp /usr/lib/flashplayer/ /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

From: Arjan at: 2009-05-21 14:11:06

An easier way to install Opera and keeping it up-to-date is by using their apt repository.


From: at: 2009-03-01 03:51:53


Your instructions indicate to install Google Earth as root.  And to use Google Earth 5.0 (beta) for PC, Mac or Linux.  When I installed it as root it failed with:
# ./googleearth-linux-plus-4.3.7284.3916.bin
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 4.3.7284.3916..............................................................
No protocol specified

Then when I installed it as a regular user it failed with:
Installing desktop icon...
./googleearth-bin: relocation error: /usr/lib/i686/cmov/ symbol BIO_test_flags, version OPENSSL_0.9.8 not defined in file with link time reference

So, I installed the older version, Linux: Google Earth 4.3.  And I didn't install it as root.  Installing as a regular user just worked.

From: at: 2009-07-27 13:24:44

If one is trying to install Skype on an AMD64 system, it will have to be forced (the ia32 libraries are already installed if this tutorial has been followed and adapted for a 64-bit system). In a console as root:

dpkg -i –force-all skype-debian_2.0.0.72-1_i386.deb

Also, Kompozer will not install on AMD64 Lenny as described above. There is a procedure at that seems to work quite nicely and is easy to follow. Modify it to suit your needs. Of course, YMMV.

From: Grant at: 2009-02-25 15:54:38

I have found that the official Debian repository for Scribus is out of date, and slow to fix bugs.   I add the Scribus repository to my list, and things are much nicer, especially with scribus-ng.

deb stable main non-free contrib

From: Naeem at: 2009-03-04 09:57:54

First of all Bravo on this wonderful post, i was more than impressed with it. on the other note... debian have came along way, brushed up quite good. i will give it a go now.


From: at: 2009-07-27 18:20:01

When accessing VMware Server, only port 8222 worked. 8333 never accessed the server. YMMV.