2013-06-01

Installing Debian with Mate

Preparing your installation medium

First you need to put your Debian image on a USB stick. You can do this by using the dd command; if is the input file, of is the output file. We are going to use the ISO as input and the USB device address as output.
dd if=/home/orangensaft/Downloads/debian-wheezy-DI-rc1-amd64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdb
When it's done you'll see a new line, ready for input. At that point, you may restart your system and boot from USB.

Installing Debian & initial setup

I recommend keeping a second USB stick around to conveniently deliver missing firmware to the installer, although this is optional if they aren't essential network or display drivers. Put the missing firmware files or its packages into the root, or a firmware/ folder on your installation media or a second USB stick.
When the system is running, we'll switch to root..
su root
.. and install sudo, vim (or your favourite text editor) and bash-completion (to get the convenient tab feature).
apt-get install sudo vim bash-completion
After that, add your user to the sudoers group.
adduser username sudo
And let's restart.
shutdown -r now

Installing MATE, LightDM

MATE

Follow MATE instructions.

LightDM

We'll use LightDM as our display manager. It's relatively small, has a bunch of features and.. "why not?".
sudo apt-get install lightdm
By default you'll have a login window with a username and password input. If you'd rather have a list of users to choose from, apply this change.
sudo vim /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf 
Set greeter-hide-users to false
or, if you haven't touched your ligthdm.conf yet or just don't want to, you may also use the following to append the line to your LightDM config file.
su root 
echo "greeter-hide-users=false" >> /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Multiarch

Depending on your needs and your installed system, you may want to enable other architectures. If you are installing an amd64 system and additionally want i386 packages, this is what you have to do.
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 
sudo apt-get update

Sources.list

The sources.list is your system's repository file. If you're often checking other repositories for files or just want more available packages, you should take my own sources.list and replace yours with it for awesomeness.
sudo pluma /etc/apt/sources.list 
Replace it with mine

TL;DR

su root 
apt-get install -y sudo vim bash-completion 
adduser orangensaft sudo 
shutdown -r now
then
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 
sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list 
> deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install -y mate-archive-keyringsudo 
apt-get updatesudo apt-get install -y mate-core mate-desktop-environment lightdm 
shutdown -r now
then
sudo pluma /etc/apt/sources.list 
> # https://gist.github.com/kriswema/5431388 contents here, adjust to your needs 
sudo apt-get install -y pidgin pidgin-otr vlc eiskaltdcpp libreoffice gdebi netbeans