Debian configuration howto

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Debian configuration howto

Postby Avon_B » Sat Apr 26, 2003 3:38 am

After plundering mailing lists, I came across this entry. It lists the tools and utilities to configure a Debian system. Man pages are listed in parenthesis () with there respective units (eg. man update-rc.d(8)):

Configuring system

This documents describes how to correctly configure the various programs and
services of a Debian system. It is directed towards system administrators and
those emigrating from other Linux distributions and unix systems.

Oskar Liljeblad <>, July 1999


kernel modules loaded on startup
add modules to /etc/modules (see modules(5))

change services started and rc-scripts run in different runlevels
use update-rc.d (see update-rc.d(8))

local boot-time initialization script (rc.local)
make a copy of /etc/init.d/skeleton, modify it, and run update-rc.d (see update-rc.d(8))

miscellaneous (time, login etc) settings related to rcS boot scripts
edit /etc/default/rcS (see rcS(5))

XFree86 xdm on startup
edit /etc/X11/xdm/Xservers (to remove, comment out line starting with ``:0'')

[STD] filesystem configuration and initially mounted filesystems
edit /etc/fstab (see fstab(5))

initial networking (interfaces, routes, dhcp, ...)
add necessary commands to /etc/init.d/network (manual configuration)

initial networking for pcmcia cards
run /usr/sbin/pcnetconfig or edit /etc/pcmcia/network.opts

samba startup configuration
run /usr/sbin/sambaconfig or edit /etc/samba/debian_config


confinguration of services run by inetd
run /usr/sbin/update-inetd or edit /etc/inetd.conf

[?] devpts configuration
edit /etc/default/devpts

kernel module/modprobe configuration (usually /etc/conf.modules
or /etc/modules.conf)
make a new file in /etc/modutils/, then run /sbin/update-modules

default XFree86 server, and access for xinit/startx (xserver-common)
edit /etc/X11/Xserver
edit /etc/X11/Xsession.options (see Xsession.options(5))

various settings for XFree86 xdm
edit /etc/X11/xdm/xdm.options (see xdm.options(5))

[STD] settings for the XFree86 server (xserver-common, xserver-*, xf86setup)
run /usr/sbin/xserver-configure or run XF86Setup or edit /etc/X11/XF86Config

dialup and ppp networking
add username and password to /etc/pap-secrets or /etc/chap-secrets
make copy of /etc/ppp/peers/provider in same directory and modify it
make copy of /etc/chatscripts/provider in same directory and modify it

default console keymap
run /usr/sbin/kbdconfig or
copy file from /usr/share/keymaps to /etc/kbd/

default console font
edit /etc/kbd/config

exim configuration
run /usr/sbin/eximconfig or edit /etc/exim.conf

gpm configuration
run /usr/sbin/gpmconfig or edit /etc/gpm.conf

timezone configuration
run /etc/tzconfig or
symlink /etc/localtime as file in /usr/share/zoneinfo and
in /etc/timezone put name of that file.

lilo configuration
run /usr/sbin/liloconfig or edit /etc/lilo.conf

enable/disable shadow passwords
run /usr/sbin/shadowconfig

System tasks

[STD] adding new users
run ``adduser'' (part of package adduser) or useradd (part of package passwd)

[STD] adding an user to a group
run ``adduser <user> <group>''

[STD] removing users
run userdel (part of passwd)

[STD] edit /etc/passwd or /etc/group manually
run vipw (for /etc/passwd) or vigr (for /etc/group)

[STD] verify integrity of /etc/passwd or /etc/group
run pwck (for /etc/passwd) or grpck (for /etc/group)
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