Debian Etch on a Dell 6400 (E1505)


PCI devices

# lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)

Encrypting root on an existing Debian lenny installation

Once in a time, I get to travel to places that make me worry about the data on my laptop. This time, it is not the US, but another openly democratic country where they kill you for a joint, let alone nude pictures. Enough politics, though.

I have a laptop with the /boot in a separate partition, followed by a /root partition and a /swap. Having a separate /boot is mandatory, as the BIOS has to load an unencrypted kernel and its initrd before being able to access the encrypted partition. Another option is to keep /boot on a USB stick, but its setup can take a whole other post.

First things first, let us install software for managing encrypted disks and updating the initrd image:

aptitude install cryptsetup initramfs-tools

We have to make sure that the encryption modules are present on the initrd, so I add the following three modules to the initrd config:

echo aes-i586 >>/etc/initramfs-tools/modules
echo dm-crypt >>/etc/initramfs-tools/modules
echo dm-mod >>/etc/initramfs-tools/modules

Next step is to inform cryptsetup and inittab of the partition mapping between /dev/hda2 (the physical device) and /dev/mapper/root (its encryption interface).

echo "root /dev/hda2 none luks" >>/etc/crypttab
sed -i 's#/dev/hda2#/dev/mapper/root#' /etc/fstab

We also have to change the root device for grub the same way we did it for inittab:

sed -i 's#/dev/hda2#/dev/mapper/root#' /boot/grub/menu.lst

Now, recreate the initrd image by issuing

Report on (successfully) installing Samsung SCX-2160 MFP on Debian Lenny

The summary is that the printer is indeed mostly working, but requires a bit of hacking.

Splix driver

I tried first using the Splix printer driver as it looked a bit more clean than the foo2qpdl recommended by the Open Printing Database.

The printer requires the libjbig library that is not available on Debian due to unclear licensing. However, Markus Kuhn distributes the jbig-kit package that can be compiled easily. The only strange annoyance being that its makefile has no install target, so I just copied the library and its header files to /usr/lib and /usr/include. After that, Splix compiled flawlessly and afer running make install, and restarting cups, the printer was available for configuration in the cups web interface

Samsung unified driver

The printer has a USB interface for scanning on a USB key, but I decided to install the Samsung unified driver, anyway. It is now intelligent enough to suggest adding existing users to the lp groups and after that, xsane is able to scan under non-root users.

The official printer driver does not print well (see image), all text appears bold and blurred, but I use the Splix driver am very satisfied with the results.

Using the debian package of tomcat in etch

For many years already, Java developers running Debian ignored the Tomcat bundled with Debian in favor of a manual installation. Nowadays, with the availability of Sun Java 1.5 in Etch, it is time to reconsider this.

Install Tomcat with aptitude install sun-java5-jdk tomcat5 tomcat5-admin tomcat5-webapps.

Edit /etc/default/tomcat5 to change the JAVA_HOME and TOMCAT5_SECURITY environment variables.


Note that you should consider reenabling the SecurityManager for production environments.

Now, you may install webapps into /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps and start tomcat with /etc/init.d/tomcat5 start