Objective

Replace systemd with SysV Init as the init system on Debian Stretch

Distributions

Debian Stretch

Requirements

A working Debian Stretch install with root privileges.

Difficulty

Medium

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Introduction

Not everyone loves systemd, and for those that don't, there really aren't many options. That's especially true if you want something like a stable server. Fear not, SysV Init is actually still supported under Debian, and it's not hard to switch.

**Note:** don't try this if you're running GNOME or another desktop environment that has a hard dependency on systemd. It will just break your system.

Add Devuan Repositories

This part isn't strictly necessary if you just want to switch the init system and leave systemd installed as a compatibility layer. That would work fine. If you absolutely don't want systemd on your system at all, you need to make some arrangements to make the things that depend on it work.

Devuan, the systemd-less Debian fork is lagging a bit behind. Their Stretch release, ASCII, isn't ready, and running Devuan's testing releases isn't super stable right now. However, the did build some crucial packages to make systemd-dependent programs work without it, and you can use them in Debian.

First, create a new .list file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ for Devuan. Then, add the following line to it.

Objective

Install packages from Ubuntu PPAs on Debian.

Distributions

Debian

Requirements

You need a working Debian install with root privileges.

Difficulty

Medium

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Introduction

Ubuntu and it's derivatives are easily the most popular Linux distributions in the world. As a result, they enjoy more third party support than most other distributions, including Ubuntu's parent, Debian.

It's often frustrating for Debian users to come across software packaged in the .deb format and made freely available, but not to them. Ubuntu packages don't always work on Debian. Actually, more often than not, there's some kind of problem running or installing them. Plus, Debian isn't really set up to interact with Ubuntu PPAs.

So, what's a Debian user to do? That's something the Debian Project has thought of. There's actually a defined method for downloading source packages from Ubuntu PPAs and rebuilding them for Debian. As an added bonus, it's not really that hard.

Objective

Install the Composer PHP package manager on Debian.

Distributions

This guide focuses on Debian, but may work with Ubuntu as well.

Requirements

A working Debian install with root privileges.

Difficulty

Easy

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Introduction

Composer is a PHP package manager that assists in the installation and management of PHP packages. It also helps handle project dependencies. As a result, many modern PHP projects rely on Composer.

Though Composer is in the Debian repositories, the version there is terribly out-of-date. Installing it directly from the development team is easy regardless.

Objective

Install Firefox 57, Quantum, on Debian Stretch

Distributions

Debian 9 Stretch

Requirements

A working Debian Stretch install with root privileges.

Difficulty

Easy

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Introduction

Firefox 57 is easily the best update to come to Firefox ever. Mozilla even named this release "Quantum" because of how dramatically the browser speed improved. Couple that with the complete redesign of Firefox's UI, and you have a pretty dramatic change.

Thanks to Debian's release schedule, it's unlikely that Stretch will ever officially see Firefox 57. However, it is available in Sid. You won't need to upgrade all the way to Sid to get it either. You only need to tell Debian to use Firefox from Sid.

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