I recently installed Debian testing on my new laptop, an HP Pavilion dv5z. I recorded the core installation steps and the installation summary in the installation page for the dv5z, but I wanted to add additional details about how I personalized the install, which may be helpful for others if they want to make certain higher-level systems work or work better. I'm not sure where the line should be drawn between this sort of application-level installation and configuration detail, and the core operating system installation description. Feel free to suggest changes to either of the two pages about the dv5z, or to add other comments, at either the discussion page for the "Installing Debian On" page or the discussion page here.
- powerful keyboard shortcut configuration, excellent window management features, and it's pretty
- plays it all
- excellent CD-burning front-end
- for editing graphics
- for editing vector graphics
excellent software KM2 solution
- for doing development
- for all your editing needs
- as-of-yet-untested implementation of Flash
- All your instant messaging are belong to pidgin.
- Run any command line program in the background.
Sometimes I use the original BitTorrent client behind screen; for everything else, there's KTorrent.
- manage those SSH keys
- turn any SSH endpoint into a network filesystem
- Even on a laptop, I occassionally want to SSH in.
- Having two-click access to wireless selection is just too appealing.
- Keep your time in sync.
- This seems to be the preferred way to manage CPU throttling.
- And this helps you see that your CPUs are being throttled.
- glxgears, of course
graphics acceleration; I cover this on the main dv5z installation page.
- open rar archives.
for backups. Coexisting with rsync since I first discovered it.
for running XXE
I use KDE as my desktop environment and window manager1. When I first started using KDE under Debian, I noticed that my GTK apps (e.g. Iceweasel and Synaptic) looked pretty bad, with an ugly default font and theme. They look fine under Gnome, though, and after some investigation, it looks like Metacity (the Gnome window manager) is choosing some sane defaults for font and theme. I'm not sure if the following is the best way to set the font and theme in KDE, but I discovered that the gtk-chtheme utility (from the package of the same name) is useful for choosing the look-and-feel of your GTK apps. It writes to the file $HOME/.gtkrc-2.0, but it seems to use an outdated format. You will need to update the file to have the following format:
include "/usr/share/themes/Clearlooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc" gtk-font-name = "FreeSerif 10"
Note that in the GTK configuration file, I am using the "FreeSerif" font. I didn't mention this above (in "Essentials"), but I installed a bunch of additional fonts after installing Debian. I searched for "font" in Synaptic and installed any that sounded interesting.
Of course, font configuration for "KDE applications" is where you would expect, in the KDE Control Center. Go to Appearance & Themes > Fonts and you can lose yourself experimenting for a while. While you're in the Control Center, you may want to customize some of your keyboard shortcuts; these can be found in Regional & Accessibility > Keyboard Shortcuts2.
Unfortunately, this means that you have to change your font settings in two different places to keep them consistent. This isn't horrible, but it would be better to have a more natural, unified way to manage one's look-and-feel across desktop environments and graphical toolkits. This is something that could use improvement in Debian.
In Gnome, when I want something to start when my session starts (e.g. Synergy), I create a startup option in the Sessions configuration. I wasn't able to find a similar interface in KDE, so I just ended up creating shell scripts in $HOME/.kde/Autostart/, which, as the name would imply, are started when KDE starts. For example, I have a script named synergyc in this directory:
Note that these scripts need to be executable in order to be started by KDE. I tried using $HOME/.xsession for this in times past, but I never could get X to actually run commands from that file. I'd be happy to hear suggestions for improvement on this front.
Things I want to cover on this page, but don't (yet):
- multimedia setup
- useful commands
security (sudo, backup)
Things I haven't yet figured out:
- fingerprint reader
- special keyboard keys