Linux Tips & Tricks

Things to do after installing Debian 9 “Stretch” on your desktop or laptop

Hello my fellow readers, here some things to do after installing Debian on your desktop or laptop computer. All steps are optional and you’re not required to do anything of them. These are the ones that I personally do after a fresh installation. I did the installation with Debian NETINST iso image and usb stick, laptop plugged in to my router, you will soon get to know why I had to plug it in and not use WLAN. I selected Gnome desktop in the installation process, you can choose your favorite DE of course.

Things to do after installing Debian 9

And here we go!

1. Install wireless firmware if necessary

If you have Intel wifi card in your laptop, like I do in my Lenovo laptop, you need to install proprietary firmware for it. You also can install them from usb stick during the installation if you’d like to do that, but personally I just plug my laptop to my router and use wired connection.
After the installation I do the following commands to install Intel wifi firmware.

First, you need to be root
After that, open /etc/apt/sources.list with your desktop environments text editor, on Gnome it is gedit.
gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Then, after every line that says “main” you need to add “contrib non-free” right after “main”. Then you should save and close.
My file looks like this after editing. You should look the same except the source URL might be different, because I use servers in Finland.
things to do after installing debian sources.list image
After you have finished editing the source file, you should run
apt-get update
as root.
Then, install the wifi firmware.
apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi
Now you should have a working WLAN.

2. Configure sudo to use super user commands as normal user.

As this may not be necessary, I recommend very much doing this.
Instructions on my other post: Configure sudo and add user to sudoers group on Debian (will open in new tab when clicked)

3. Remove unneeded softwares

I recommend to remove all unneeded softwares that came along with the desktop environment. Personally, I will remove all games and evolution email client that came along with GNOME 3 desktop.
Removing evolution
sudo apt-get purge evolution
Removing games – Remove all games from GNOME 3, Debian GNU/Linux
sudo apt-get purge gnome-2048 aisleriot atomix gnome-chess five-or-more hitori iagno gnome-klotski lightsoff gnome-mahjongg gnome-mines gnome-nibbles quadrapassel four-in-a-row gnome-robots gnome-sudoku swell-foop tali gnome-taquin gnome-tetravex
sudo apt-get autoremove

4. Customize your OS and desktop

Then you should customize your desktop environment or add boot animation or whatever you would like to do.
You can check out this article to customize GNOME desktop – Customize your GNOME 3 desktop looks

5. Install favorite browser

Installing a browser is probably one of the things to do after installing Debian, that almost everyone is going to do.
I have completely fell in love with Opera, it’s great I will show you how to install it, and also how to install Chrome or Chromium, because of course not everyone want to try out Opera just because I say so. You still should try it! 😉
Download the Deb package from Opera download page.
Then run as root and replace the package name (opera.deb) with yours.
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https libcurl3
Install Opera
cd ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i opera-stable_46.0.2597.57_amd64.deb
That’s how to install Opera on Debian.

If you’d like to install Chrome
Download the Chrome .deb package from Chrome for Linux download page.
Install Chrome
cd ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
If you get a depency error, run this as root.
sudo apt-get -f install
Now you have got Google Chrome installed on your Debian.

If you would like yo install Chromium, just run this command as root.
sudo apt-get install chromium

Summary for Things to do after installing Debian 9 “Stretch”

Thank you for reading my post till the end! Feel free to share my post on social media, from the button above, or copy pasting the link.
I hope this article was helpful for you, please share your thoughts or opinions by commenting the post 🙂

You should also check out these articles:
25 Reasons to use Linux
Upgrading Debian 8 “Jessie ” to Debian 9 “Stretch”
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Best gaming laptops 2018 | Based on specs and design

3 replies on “Things to do after installing Debian 9 “Stretch” on your desktop or laptop”

Thanks for feedback. I remembered the package name wrong, fixed. But why do you think it’s a bad idea to run GUI text editor with root, I’ve been doing it for years and never encountered any problems, only on desktop though, on servers I always use nano?

That’s not just my opinion, it has been the established consensus for many many years.

The first reason is security. GUI programs typically consist of a lot of code, especially if you include all the libraries they use. And nearly all of that code was written with the assumption that it won’t get run as root. And that’s particularly problematic if you use X. Since the GUI code does not need to run as root, the principle of least privilege says that it should not run as root. See e.g. this article by one of the core KDE developers.

The second reason is that because it has long been the established consensus that GUI programs should not be run as root, parts of DEs have been developed with the implicit assumption that GUI programs are not run as root. So if you nevertheless do that, you have to be quite careful exactly how you do it. Else you can hit strange bugs like

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