Today, the Debian Team has announced the first update of the latest stable distribution Debian 7 Wheezy. In this update we can find some security corrections and few more adjustments for other big problems.  Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

This update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 and only updates some of the packages included.  You don;t need to  throw away your 7 CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Those who frequently install updates from won’t have to update many packages and most updates from are included in this update.

New installation media and CD and DVD images containing updated packages will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the aptitude (or apt) package tool (see the sources.list(5) manual page) to one of Debian’s many FTP or HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available at:

You can find more from the official Debian Announcement: Continue Reading…

Debian Work Environment

Valic —  June 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

You found out in a previous article that Midnight Commander allows you to do almost everything under Debian, but it is very important for you to become familiar with the work environment and to learn how to use the command line tools from the shell prompt. You are able to select your login shell using chsh. The list of shell programs may include: bash, tcsh, dash, zsh, pdksh, csh, sash, ksh, rc or posh. In this article we will use bash as the interactive shell. The bash behaviour can be customized from “~/.bashrc“. Under Debian work environment there are some key strokes, special ones, which have a special meaning, as you can see in the below list:

  • Ctrl-U will erase the line before cursor
  • Ctrl-H is used to erase one character before cursor
  • Ctrl-D will terminate exit shell
  • Ctrl-C used to terminate a running program
  • Ctrl-Z stops the program temporarily
  • Ctrl-S used for halt output to screen
  • Ctrl-Q will reactivate the output to screen

Mouse can be also used, and these operations are made using a 3 button mouse. Button functions are not different that a standard one. Please note that in order to use a mouse on a Linux console you must have gpm(8) as a daemon running. An enhanced pager, less(1), exists on this work environment. If you have not defined yet a default text editor under your Debian operating system, you will have to install one. VIM is recommended by most users. The default editor is located at ‘/usr/bin/editor‘ and can be properly invoked by other applications. Before installing one editor, please check what values you have for environment variables “$VISUAL” or “$EDITOR” and see what editor are you currently using.

If you need a mode to record the activities you make while using the shell prompt, in order not to lose forever what you wrote there or if you need to do a review of them sometime in the future (especially for those of you who are doing administrative tasks), this is the way to do it: type ‘script‘ in command line, make your commands, press ‘Ctrl + D’ to exit the script and then write ‘vim typescript’ which will show you the entire script history.

Now you are at that moment when you will have to learn some basic Debian commands in the editor. Execute the below command while logged in with a non privileged user:

  • pwd is used to display the name of the working directory
  • whoami will display the current username
  • id displays the current user identity
  • file <x> will display a type of file for the file “<x >”
  • ls lists the content of a directory
  • ls -a lists the contents of a directory but including all files and directories
  • mkdir x – make a new directory x
  • rmdir x – removes a directory x
  • top will display the current process information using full screen mode Continue Reading…
Commander may sound familiar for you. GNU Midnight Commander, or MC, is a clone from Norton Commander and a free cross platform file manager licensed under the terms of the GNU License. It has a text user interface, being a console application. It includes 2 panels meant to display the system of files. You can move to files using arrow keys, you are able to select one file using the Insert key and some Function keys are for operations like editing, renaming or copying files. Some advanced versions of Midnight Commander have support for mouse.

If you didn’t knew, the term of Midnight Commander comes from a Swiss army knife. It is excellent for a newbie in Debian because it gives you a menu driven console experience which you will find very easy to learn, especially standard Debian commands. If you want to install the Midnight Commander package, called ‘mc’, you will have to run the command ‘ apt-get install mc‘.

If you need to explore the Debian file system the command is mc. Now you have it there, here are some cool locations you can explore using direction keys and Enter key:

  • “/etc” and subdirectories
  • /usr/share/doc” and subdirectories
  • /var/log” and subdirectories
  • /bin” and “/sbin

The default package comes without any customizations. If you need some changes, these can be made modifying the “~/.bashrc” which has to include a script provided in the package. You can start the MC using the command ‘mc’. Your effort will be minimal since all operations are made using the included menu. F1 is the best way to start, in order to see the help screen and check some useful stuff there. If encoding characters are an issue for you, just including an ‘-a’ to your command in MC will make these problems disappear.

File manager in Midnight Commander

It includes two panels which lists the files. Many users set the right panel to display information regarding permissions, for example, which you may find it to be useful sometimes. Here are some keystrokes very important when you use the MC under Debian:

  • F1 opens the help menu
  • F3 displays the internal file viewer
  • F4 opens an internal editor
  • F9 to activate pull down menu
  • F10 will exit from Midnight Commander
  • Tab helps you move between two windows
  • Insert or Ctrl-T is used to mark the file for a multiple-file operation such as copy or rename
  • Del is used to delete the file (set MC to safe delete mode)
  • Cursor keys –  move through file system

Also, if you want to know some tricks for command line, here are some of them – ‘cd’ command will change the directory, ‘Ctrl + Enter’ will copy a file name to the command line, shell file name expansion choices can be seen using ‘Alt + Tab’, ‘Esc + 1’ has the effect of F1 and pressing ‘Esc’ before pressing another key is like pressing Alt + that key.

This is just a starter article, more to come soon. Please use the above information along with Debian documentation and Midnight Commander will become easier for you. Continue Reading…

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