Things to do after installing Debian 6 Squeeze

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Because i didn’t have much to backup from my hard drives, i decided to make a clean Debian 6 Squeeze install. The installer is very friendly and comprehensive and it can’t put you in trouble at all if you read a little the installation manual or check the internet for installing Debian.

From what i experienced, there are some easy steps one can do after installing Debian and here is what i did (i will not go in detail explaining in detail how things works, the scope of this article is just to get you started with a fully functional Debian install. If you are a true newbie just type the commands in a Terminal and stay tuned for articles explaining the details of Debian):

Checking software repos:

First check the sources from where you can install software, those sources being in  /etc/apt/sources.list and you can access that with the default text editor vim, typing this command on a Terminal:

vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Get to know and understand those lines in this file and read about those on and

Now do an update of the apt-get as root like this:


[type the admin password]

apt-get update or aptitude update


Getting the sound to work:

For me it was very simple as running as root:

alsactl init

And the sound worked after running this command


Installing the flash player:

I installed the flashplayer-nonfree from the non-free repos of Debian Squeeze. Start in a Terminal:


[type admin password]

vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Inside vim, press ‘i’ to start inserting text (vim is very weird for a newbie and it requires some time to get to know him, but once you break the barrier you will do wonders) and add this line:

deb squeeze main contrib non-free

The ro in the line above can be replaced with a mirror of choice.

After you insert that line, still in vim do this:

press Esc

press :wq

This will exit the text insert mode, write the file and then quit vim (i told you it’s weird but very fast).

As root do apt-get update or aptitude update

To use Synaptic this time, go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager and search for flashplugin-nonfree, thick and hit Apply. Now if you go to you should play flash movies.

Installing NVIDIA drivers:

I use an NVIDIA graphics card and installing the drivers it’s very easy, you just have to pay attention a little at what the installer tells you. First thing to do is go to the NVIDIA website and download the driver for your card and your OS architecture (eg.: for a GeForce 8600 GT and Debian amd64 you should download the GeForce 8 series Linux 64 driver)

Now go to the directory where the driver is and make it executable:

chmod +x [the name of the driver file] HINT: use Tab for auto-completion

Next will be, maybe a game of starting the NVIDIA installer, seeing that you don’t have somehing installed, exit the installer, go in Synaptic and install the missing parts and going back to the NVIDIA installer:

/etc/init.d/gdm3 stop INFO: i use GNOME so for me it’s gdm3

Navigate to where you have the NVIDIA drivers with cd and start the installer:

./NVIDIA[use Tab for auto-complete]

If everything is ok following the installer, answer ‘yes‘ when it asks to configure X and if there are no errors go back in X window system with /etc/init.d/gdm3 start and enjoy the 3D power.

If the installer tells you that you missing something, you must exit the installer, start X (see above), go in Synaptic and install the missing parts, stop X again and restart the NVIDIA installer. I repeated that about 3 times i think, but it was ok, consider it an exercise and the next time you’ll install the graphics like a pro.:)

It asks me about a package version 4.4 and i had 4.3 installed, i ignored the warning, continued and everything went fine.

Now having flash player installed, having the sound working and the 3D at it’s glory i am set to start working, so guys, have fun!!!

[EDITED – by @erbureth guides on]

[EDITED AGAIN – by Nickmind guides in the comments]


10 thoughts on “Things to do after installing Debian 6 Squeeze

  1. adding the non-free didn’t work for me. I had to add the contrib as well otherwise the plugin package could not be found.

      • Kaigaraonline, first thanks for the efforts. But, if you missed something, and someone corrects you. Shouldn’t you add that to the main article? So everyone that reads your article gets it right the first time.

        And not the third or fourth time, in my case. Then look in the Comments area to find the right fix…

        So in:

        The line must read:

        deb squeeze main contrib non-free


  2. I had to download the .deb file from Adobe, the one in repo didn’t do the trick. The .deb I downloaded worked fine with dpkg -i

  3. Thanks. I followed your instructions but couldn’t exit write quit after :wq in the same vim. The rest worked for me but :wq didn’t let me exit from wq. Some updates appeared 4 day after installation of Debian 6 Squeeze and I updated and used synaptic package manager to install flashplugin-non free which was not listed before appeared after update was performed. I don’t really know how it appeared out of blue. I installed them instantly and worked for me. I did follow your tutorial and it did help me a lot. Can you tell me how my problem was fixed please?
    Thanks again for your tutorial.

    • Before issuing the :wq commands press Esc key first, it should work. If it doesn’t, try :w and see if it writes the file, then do :q and it should quit. About the flash plugin, maybe you have updated the apt-get or aptitude and the repositories where updated, the next time you went in synaptic/apt/aptitude, the repos being updated, flash appeared. In the end it works and that’s the best thing!:) Have fun with Debian and remember this, when you will be frustrated don’t panic, take a little break, think about your problem, read online, ask questions and if you succeed you’ll feel very great. ^-^

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