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


Follow MATE instructions.


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, set greeter-hide-users to false.

sudo vim /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

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


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


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


su root
apt-get install -y sudo vim bash-completion
adduser orangensaft sudo
shutdown -r now


sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list
deb wheezy main
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mate-core mate-desktop-environment lightdm
shutdown -r now


sudo pluma /etc/apt/sources.list contents here, adjust to your needs

sudo apt-get install -y pidgin pidgin-otr vlc eiskaltdcpp libreoffice gdebi netbeans