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#1 2021-06-04 03:17:13

starbreaker
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2021-06-03
Posts: 16  
Website

[Success Story] Installing Devuan 3.1 (Beowulf)

I just joined the forum after switching to Devuan. These are the notes I took during my installation. I thought I'd share them in case they help others.

***

I've been using Debian lately, but with a stripped down environment. For the most part I use a text console when logging in, and live mainly in Emacs. When I want to use Firefox, I have a X11 session with Openbox as my window mangler.

This being the case, Debian with its default systemd is overkill. However, Debian has a working console setup that provides UTF-8 support and lets me remap Caps Lock to Compose without using X11, so I want to keep it.

I'm hoping the migrating from Debian to Devuan will let me reproduce my text-mode setup without having to depend on systemd. If this post seems disjointed, it's because I wrote it as notes to myself documenting my installation so I can reproduce it on other machines.

Getting Devuan

I followed the instructions on this page to get the netinstall ISO image for Devuan 3.1 (Beowulf).

Afterward, I was able to prep a USB drive with the following command.

sudo dd if=Downloads/devuan_beowulf_3.1.1_amd64_netinstall.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M status=progress
Installing Devuan

The image I put on my flash drive supports both BIOS systems and UEFI systems, but I'm old-school so I'm sticking with BIOS. Since I don't dual boot with Windows, I don't need UEFI. I'll be installing on my desktop machine first. It's a Lenovo ThinkCentre M92P that was originally manufactured in 2012. I bought it from a refurbisher in 2017, added a SSD, and maxed out the RAM.

Setting language to English...

Setting country to United States...

Setting keymap to American (US) English...

The installer used DHCP on eth0. I'll want to go back and set a static IP of 192.168.1.100 since that's where my router expects to find this machine.

Setting hostname to [redacted]...

Setting domain name to [redacted]...

Not gonna write anything about my root password or user setup.

Setting time zone to [redacted]...

Using manual partitioning since I already have partitions and don't want /home to get nuked.

  • /dev/sda1 is /: 128GB, ext4, bootable, noatime

  • /dev/sda2 is swap: 32GB

  • /dev/sda3 is /home: 840.2GB, ext4, noatime

I'm going to use deb.devuan.org as my archive mirror. I don't need a proxy.

Since Devuan asked me to opt into package installation telemetry using popularity-contest instead of making me opt out, I decided to opt in.

For software selection I'm going with the following:

  • Console productivity

  • print service

  • SSH server

  • standard system utilities

I've turned off "Devuan desktop environment" because I want a bare-bones graphical environment built from selected packages. As I mentioned earlier, I want to live mainly in the console (and GNU Emacs) with only occasional forays into X11.

I'm going to stick with sysvinit as my init system. It works, and I'm not doing anything fancy so it's good enough.

GRUB is going into the master boot record on /dev/sda.

Installation is complete. Time to reboot and install additional packages...

First Boot

Though I have an ordinary user, I'm logging in as root first. I need to enable sudo for my ordinary user, and want to configure my console. I might as well do my package installation while I'm at it.

Console Setup

To setup the console, I need to enter the following command.

dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
  • encoding: UTF-8

  • character set: guess optimal

  • console font: TerminusBold

  • font size: 16x32 (framebuffer only)

Next is keyboard configuration:

dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration
  • keyboard model: Generic 105-key PC (intl.)

  • keyboard layout: English (US)

  • key to function as AltGr: default

  • compose key: Caps Lock

Upgrading User Privileges

To upgrade my regular user, I ran the following command.

usermod -a -G sudo,audio,video,cdrom [username]

Running visudo on Devuan shows that anybody in group "sudo" will be able to use sudo to escalate privileges as needed. Adding my username to group "cdrom" allows me to rip CDs using abcde.

Yes, I still buy CDs because I like to own my music and because most musicians get paid fuck-all on services like Spotify, Deezer, etc.

Additional Packages

I'm adding the following to round out my experience.

  • build-essential

  • git

  • emacs

  • libvterm-dev

  • cmake

  • neofetch

  • offline-imap

  • maildir-utils

  • mu4e

  • abcde

  • mpv

  • fonts-noto

  • fonts-noto-cjk

  • fonts-noto-color-emoji

  • fonts-firacode

  • openbox

  • lxappearance

  • comixcursors-righthanded-opaque

  • materia-gtk-theme

  • papirus-icon-theme

  • stalonetray

  • redshift-gtk

  • quodlibet

  • firefox-esr

  • xscreensaver-gl

  • dict

  • dictd

  • dict-devil

  • dict-elements

  • dict-foldoc

  • dict-gcide

  • dict-jargon

  • dict-vera

  • dict-wn

  • fortune-mod

  • fortune-anarchism

  • fortunes-bofh-excuses

  • fortunes-debian-hints

  • fortunes-off

  • gawk

  • m4

  • anarchism

  • gawk-doc

  • m4-doc

I ended up installing "task-desktop" after all because my wife came up and asked me what I thought would happen if she needed to use this particular computer and XFCE (her preferred environment on GNU/Linux) wasn't available.

Which reminds me; I need to create a user account for her, too.

Disabling Graphical Login

Installing "task-desktop" also installed slim and enabled graphical login by default. That's not what I wanted, so this is how I fixed it.

service stop slim
update-rc.d disable slim

Setting a Static IP on eth0

Since my desktop doesn't use wifi and doesn't get moved (I missed out on LAN parties, LOL), there's no need for DHCP networking. Let's set up a static IP on the home LAN instead.

First, let's edit /etc/network/interface and delete everything after the "allow hotplug eth0" line. Then add the following to /etc/network/interface.d/eth0.

iface eth0 inet static
      address 192.168.1.100
      netmask 255.255.255.0
      gateway 192.168.1.1

Problems with GNU Emacs 26.1, eww, SSL, and MELPA

eww in GNU Emacs 26.1 can't access websites via HTTPS. Pulling package listings from MELPA is likewise a no go. I don't get paid enough to debug this, and Emacs 26.1 is old and busted anyway, so I might as well just upgrade to unstable.

This entails editing /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb http://deb.devuan.org/merged unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://deb.devuan.org/merged unstable main contrib non-free

Next, run the following commands and say yes to all questions.

apt update
apt full-upgrade
reboot

N.B.: Only run "apt full-upgrade" when changing releases. Otherwise, "apt upgrade" is fine. I rebooted because the migration upgraded my kernel version from 4.19 to 5.10.

(This post originally appeared in my gemini capsule.)


"Out of order? [BLEEP!] Even in the future nothing works."
desktop: refurbished ThinkCentre M92p (i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD)
laptop: refurbished Thinkpad T60 (Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, 1TB SSD)
gemini capsule: starbreaker.org

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#2 2021-06-04 04:45:04

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,218  

Re: [Success Story] Installing Devuan 3.1 (Beowulf)

Welcome to the forum starbreaker!  Just one quick note about sources.list designations in Devuan.  Since we are not always in sync with Debian releases, it is safer to use Codenames rather than Suite names.  I not sure that "unstable" is filtered for banned packages so ceres might be safer.  It's all explained on this page.

Nice to see that you're using gemini and your sig is oh, so true.

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#3 2021-06-04 13:32:25

starbreaker
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2021-06-03
Posts: 16  
Website

Re: [Success Story] Installing Devuan 3.1 (Beowulf)

golinux wrote:

Welcome to the forum starbreaker!  Just one quick note about sources.list designations in Devuan.  Since we are not always in sync with Debian releases, it is safer to use Codenames rather than Suite names.  I not sure that "unstable" is filtered for banned packages so ceres might be safer.  It's all explained on this page.

Thanks for the advice, I updated from "unstable" to "ceres" and did a full-upgrade. There weren't any changes, so I guess I was lucky.

golinux wrote:

Nice to see that you're using gemini and your sig is oh, so true.

That line was hilarious in 1987; today it's just tragicomic.


"Out of order? [BLEEP!] Even in the future nothing works."
desktop: refurbished ThinkCentre M92p (i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD)
laptop: refurbished Thinkpad T60 (Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, 1TB SSD)
gemini capsule: starbreaker.org

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