Debian 7 Wheezy Beta4 (KDE version)

If this is your first visit to my blog, you may want to read about my distro-hopping.

Debian is my main distro. I have used Lenny, Squeeze, and maybe for the last year or so, Wheezy, which is the current testing. Wheezy is in freeze state, getting ready to reach stable status. I used to have Gnome2 and XFCE, but for my Wheezy time, I have been on KDE.

After some problems with my new motherboard, and also installing some other DE/window managers for fun, my system had some quirks. I actually bought a new separate ethernet card that is supported by free drivers. I do like to keep my system as free (as in freedom) as possible. At the moment, it is just that horrible Flash I have to activate at times :S

To be clear, the Beta4 in title means the beta4 (12 nov. 2012) version of installer. Wheezy is the current testing, but will become the stable this spring (probably).

I downloaded the weekly build of the KDE CD iso. The KDE version is 4.8.4. I usually install Debian with a small net-install, but this time I chose the ready KDE one. For convienence and also out of curiosity. As it is a CD and space is a bit limited, it is a bit frugal, but fully functional. There are Konqueror and Iceweasel (Debian's rebranded Firefox) for web browsing. The mail program is kmail. Music players are VLC and Juk ( a really minimal one). VLC is the backend sound sytem. LibreOffice and The GIMP is there. Other apps include KWrite, Korganizer, K3b (disc burner) and Kopete (IM client).

Below is how it looked after installation, with me only having added a few launchers in the panel. One panel. Very elegant. As for me, I prefer a slightly more bright desktop. Click for larger pic.

Debian Wheezy Beta 4 KDE desktop environment

One, for me, surprise was that the GUI package manager Synaptic (GTK-based) is not there. Instead we get Apper. Apper is a lot simpler than Synaptic, but has a nice interface and is very fast, and it is KDE. It also can be set to autocheck for updates. I installed Synaptic anyway (I admit I am a Synaptic fanboy). One oddity I found with Apper was that I deselected the CD in the sources/repository list, but I couldn't keep that setting. It worked in Synaptic, though. Another option is (as root) comment out the lines with CD in the /etc/apt/sources.list config file. (I first attempted to install Synaptic in the command-line with aptitude. It declared to install a bunch of dependencies, but also remove many files. Exact same response with apt-get (as expected). I think it was meta-packages, but I sadly did not note them down. I installed via Apper instead. Apper listed the files that it was going to install, but no mention of removing anything. I suppose Apper acts the same way with files and dependencies as Synaptic/aptitude/apt-get do. And yes, aptitude, apart from being a commandline utility, also has an interface based on ncurses. I never really been comfortable with the latter. I guess I should RTFM 😉

Default theme is Air.

Debian, unlike many of its derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu) does not by default make the first created user belong to the sudoers group. Therefore, use su or modify your installation to be able to use sudo. Addendum: A kind commenter pointed out one can decide on the sudo way of things at install time (see below).

I wrote the above during the first two days after installation. At the time of this writing (Jan 3) I have been using this installation for about a month, almost every day, as my only computer OS (apart from a little of Raspberry Pi fun). There has been quite many updates, but it has remained very stable. I have not even turned off Nepomuk, which in my previous experience take a lot of resources, and just being a nuisance. I now have a quite new processor and motherboard, so that might be rather forgiving. I have installed more applications, among them Amarok and also Clementine (I had to compile the latest version 1.1). Somehow the vlc backend to Phonon (the KDE multimedia framework) behaved strangely, even for VLC. A bit odd, as I often have used vlc backend for e.g. Amarok in the past. I installed gstreamer. However, at the moment I am using VLC as my main music player and it now works flawlessly with vlc backend. I have found in the past that if one gives some problems, the other does not. If the default (vlc) works fine with the media players of your choice, no point in installing gstreamer. I think that in my previous installs, the gstreamer was installed automatically, and not the vlc backend, but maybe that was a result of what media players I installed.

If you are looking for a nice, stable system with KDE, Debian Wheezy is a good choice. There are of course also Debian isos with GNOME shell, XFCE and LXDE. Furthermore, practically every de/window manager can be found in the repositories. The beta 4 installer works fine. Since it is at time of writing almost 2 months old, there is a big bunch of updates after install. Wheezy will stay with KDE 4.8, so if you desperately want 4.9 or the coming 4.10, you have to compile and install them on your own. Or wait for the next Debian testing ("Jessie"). Or using Debian unstable ("Sid"). Or going for another distribution. Debian is very stable, but sometimes a bit late in newer software versions. The choice is yours.

This is my 100th post on this blog. So it goes.


  1. If you do not provide a root-password during installation, the user created will have sudo-rights.

    • Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂

      I have totally missed that.

      I installed Debian a fair few times, so these days I skip reading the installer’s instructions 😳

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