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FreedomBox is a pure blend of Debian. This means that all the work on FreedomBox is available in Debian as packages. It also means that any machine running Debian can be turned into a FreedomBox.

This page describes the process of installing FreedomBox on a Debian system. Currently, FreedomBox works in Debian Stable (Stretch), Testing (Buster), and Unstable (Sid).

Use a fresh Debian installation

Installing FreedomBox changes your Debian system in many important ways. This includes installing a firewall and regenerating server certificates. It is hence recommended that you install FreedomBox on a fresh Debian installation instead of an existing setup.

1. Installing on Debian

  1. Check the Troubleshooting section below, for any tips or work-arounds that might help during the install.
  2. Install Debian Stable (Stretch), Testing (Buster), or Unstable (Sid) on your hardware.

  3. Update your package list.
    $ sudo apt-get update
  4. Install freedombox-setup package.

    $ sudo DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get install freedombox-setup
    • The "DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive" will avoid several configuration prompts that would otherwise appear during the install.
    • Note: If you are using Debian Buster or later, then the steps below (running setup script and rebooting) do not apply. You can jump to using FreedomBox.

  5. Run FreedomBox setup program. This installs further packages and sets up basic configuration.

    $ sudo /usr/lib/freedombox/setup | tee freedombox-setup.log
    You may have to clear your existing network configuration. See Troubleshooting note #2 below.
  6. Reboot the system. This is necessary to trigger the first-run script.
    $ sudo reboot
  7. After the system boots up, wait for it to reboot again. The first-run scripts sets up a few things and initiates a reboot.
  8. After the second reboot you can start using FreedomBox.

2. Troubleshooting

  1. There is a bug in policykit-1 package that causes errors and hangs during installation of freedombox-setup package. A workaround is to first install policykit-1 package and then reboot. After that, follow the above setup procedure.

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install policykit-1
    $ sudo reboot
  2. Freedombox does not support network device configuration via /etc/network/interfaces, and it will not manage any non-loopback interfaces mentioned there. (See bug #797614.) Future versions of freedombox-setup will clear this file automatically; for now, edit it manually and ensure that it contains only the following:

    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback

    If you have already completed the setup process without doing this step, you will need to clear out the /etc/network/interfaces file keeping only the above lines. Then perform a reboot. After this network connections configured by the setup step above will configure your network. Network interfaces will then be in the internal or external firewall zone. This is essential for the FreedomBox's web interface to be reachable from other machines in the network. You can tweak network manager connections with the nmtui command if you wish.

  3. Freedombox-setup will not set up a static IP, and if you set one up during your Debian install, it will clobber it. After you have run the setup, you will need to re-configure the network. For ipv4 addresses, use:
      nmcli con mod "Ethernet connection 1"  \
      ipv4.addresses A.A.A.A/X  \
      ipv4.gateway G.G.G.G  \
      ipv4.dns N.N.N.N  \
      ipv4.dns-search  \
      ipv4.method "manual"  \
      ipv4.ignore-auto-dns yes  \
     ipv6.method ignore

...with the block capitals and replaced with your actual address, mask description, gateway and dns server details.








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