Debian Wheezy and systemd

Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) can be configured to use systemd.

# apt-get install systemd

# less /usr/share/doc/systemd/README.Debian

# nano /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet init=/bin/systemd”

# update-grub && reboot


That’s it!

Now experiment with

# man systemd

# systemctl

# systemd-journalctl

# systemctl reboot


Home mail server with Postfix + Dovecot (IMAP) + Squirrelmail/Roundcube on NetBSD 6.0.1


NetBSD 6.0.1


  • lightweight (no mysql server, no antivirus)
  • simple (no virtual domains/users)
  • secure


  • a valid internet domain name if you want to be able to send/receive email to/from the internet (buy a domain or take a free one at )
  • valid DNS records for your domain
  • we assume your mail server is behind a properly configured router/gateway/firewall

Hardware/Virtual machine requirements

  • 512M RAM
  • 3G of disk space minimum, 8G recommended

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Wireless Ad-hoc server script

Today, a quick and dirty Bash script which will allow you, for instance, to quickly serve files from your laptop to other wireless devices (Warning here, we use WEP encryption which is not secure).

# Wireless Ad-hoc script
# /
# This script will setup your wireless adapter in Ad-Hoc mode
# and start a DHCP server so that other peers (eg. an Android device)
# can receive an IP address and connect to your computer.
# After that, you can start a minimal webserver (darkhttpd for example)
# so that you can quickly share some files with minimal effort!
# This script must be run as root.
# Tested on Arch Linux.
# Some adaptations may be needed for other Linux systems.
# Requirements: iw, ifconfig commands, and dnsmasq.
# WARNING : WEP encryption is weak security :)

# User variables

# Main program
echo -n "Stopping wireless connections (if any)... "
# adapt to your system; I use wicd
systemctl stop wicd && echo "OK"
# for networkmanager
#systemctl stop NetworkManager

echo -n "Starting wireless Ad-hoc mode... "
ifconfig $mywlan down || exit 1
iwconfig $mywlan mode ad-hoc || exit 1
iwconfig $mywlan essid $myessid
iwconfig $mywlan channel $mychan
[ "$mywepkey" ] && iwconfig $mywlan key $mywepkey

ifconfig $mywlan $myip
ifconfig $mywlan up && echo "OK"
echo -n "Starting DHCP server ... "
dnsmasq --dhcp-range="$mydhcprange" && echo "OK"

echo "--------------------------------------"
echo "ESSID : $myessid"
[ "$mywepkey" ] && echo "WEP KEY : $mywepkey"
echo "This computer's IP : $myip"
echo "--------------------------------------"

# debug
#iwconfig $mywlan

while true; do
echo -n "Enter 'q' to quit. "
read value
if [ "$value" == "q" ]; then

echo -n "Killing DHCP server... "
killall dnsmasq && echo "OK"
echo -n "Killing wireless... "
# restoring the wlan interface to "default" mode
ifconfig $mywlan down
iwconfig $mywlan mode managed
iwconfig $mywlan essid off
iwconfig $mywlan key off
echo "OK"
echo "Wireless Ad-hoc mode terminated."
# now you can restart your network manager

exit 0

Linux Slackware 14.0 (64 bits) quick setup

Slackware 14.0 (XFCE)

Slackware 14.0 (XFCE desktop)

System used for this howto :
VirtualBox 4.2 virtual machine, with
2 cpu’s
1024Mb RAM
20Gb Hard disk


Download the official (64 bit) DVD iso
Boot the DVD
Select your keyboard map, login as “root”.
Create your partitions (I use cfdisk)
# cfdisk /dev/sda
First partition (/dev/sda1) : swap
(use at least the same size as your RAM for suspend-to-disk to work)
Second (bootable) partition (/dev/sda2) : Linux
Start the installer
# setup
Go to ADDSWAP and follow the steps. For my Linux root partition I use ext4 as filesystem.
Package selection
I choose Default, but personally deselect “GNU Emacs”, “TeX” and “Games” as I don’t use them.
We will install KDE international language later.
Select prompting mode. I select “terse” which is faster.
Default choices are used for the rest of the installation steps.
End of installation
# reboot

Post-installation configuration

Note : root login is permitted by ssh in the default Slackware installation.
First login on the system, login as root, then check your mail
# mail
or even better, use mutt
# mutt

Setup Slackpkg and update your freshly installed system

Select your mirror
# nano /etc/slackpkg/mirrors
Uncomment ONE mirror.
# slackpkg update
# slackpkg upgrade-all

Set the system locale

Show list of supported locales
# locale -a
Then set it (changes will be effective after a reboot)
# nano /etc/profile.d/
(here for french systems)
export LANG=fr_FR.utf8
(Do the same for /etc/profile.d/lang.csh if you use the tcsh shell)
Add your KDE international language (here french for me).
Note: installing the KDE environment will also install the Calligra office suite.
# slackpkg search l10n
# slackpkg install kde-l10n-fr calligra-l10n-fr
Note 1 : you’ll have to select the language to use in KDE’s system settings (look under Locale).
Note 2 : the language pack in XFCE will be automatically detected after you set the systemwide locale.


Note : your system should have a valid DNS name otherwise email relaying will be refused ( “Sender address rejected: Domain not found” ).
Use netconfig to reconfigure hostname and domain if needed
# netconfig
Configure the MTA so that the system can send outgoing mail to the internet.
We will use our ISP’s SMTP smarthost. For this we need to generate a new configuration file
# cd /usr/share/sendmail/cf/cf
# nano
Uncomment the SMART_HOST define :
dnl define(`SMART_HOST',`')
Save changes and build the config file
# ./Build
Copy the generated .cf file to sendmail’s directory
# cp /etc/mail/
Now start sendmail (also this way sendmail will be automatically started on boot, Slackware-style)
# chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.sendmail
# /etc/rc.d/rc.sendmail start
Send an email for testing
# echo 'from my Slackware box'| mail -s 'Hello'
See the logs to see if everything goes well
# tail /var/log/maillog
Forward root mail
We create a .forward file in root’s home so that emails sent to root@localhost will be forwarded to another address (useful for cron jobs and daemons)
# echo >/root/.forward
(several different addresses can be added to the file, one per line)
Test the forwarding
# echo 'from my Slackware box'| mail -s 'Forwarding' root@localhost

X.Org systemwide keyboard settings

You can setup keyboard layout in KDE or XFCE settings. If you prefer to set it up systemwide, just create the file :
# nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "evdev keyboard catchall"
        MatchIsKeyboard "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "evdev"
        option "xkblayout"      "fr"

Virtualbox guest additions (optional, only if running in a VM)

It’s easy to do since Slackware’s default install includes a standard development environment and the kernel source.
(First mount the VirtualBox Additions cdrom)
# mount /dev/sr0 /mnt/tmp
# sh /mnt/tmp/

Create a regular user “fred”

# adduser fred
Additional groups (press the UP arrow key) : audio cdrom floppy plugdev video power netdev lp scanner

Graphical login

Edit the /etc/inittab
# nano /etc/inittab
Comment out some ttys while we are at it (will save some memory)
c1:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty –noclear 38400 tty1 linux
c2:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty2 linux
c3:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty3 linux
#c4:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty4 linux
#c5:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty5 linux
#c6:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty6 linux
Save changes, reboot.
Now you should be presented to the default session manager (KDM or XDM if you did not install KDE)

Install additional software

Surprise! There’s an “extra” directory on the DVD! It contains some popular applications :
Chromium web browser, Java, Flash player plugin, …
Just open a terminal and read the TXT file (README) for instructions.
Note: the flashplayer-plugin slackbuild found on the DVD does not work (outdated flash player version no more available for download).
Or just copy extra/flashplayer-plugin/* files to /tmp, edit the .slackbuild file
# nano flashplayer-plugin.SlackBuild
Save changes and run the slackbuild
# sh flashplayer-plugin.SlackBuild
Install the generated package
# installpkg /tmp/flashplayer-plugin-
Also, as an alternative, the slackbuild found on will work ( ).

Additional software from 3rd party packages

(versions are likely to change since the writing of this document)
VLC (from AlienBob’s repository)
(as root)
# cd
# wget
# installpkg vlc*
LibreOffice (from RlWorkman’s repository)
# wget
# installpkg libreoffice*
Note : the language packs are not included.
AlienBob also has LibreOffice packages (including the language packs), just wait for some days for the updated packages for Slackware 14.0 to appear 🙂

Filesystem optimizations

# nano /etc/fstab
Add the “noatime” option for the rootfs.
/dev/sda2        /                ext4        defaults,noatime         1   1
Add /tmp in tmpfs
tmpfs           /tmp            tmpfs           defaults,nosuid,nodev   0       0

Generic Kernel, faster boot and resume from hibernation

Generate an initramfs
# /usr/share/mkinitrd/ -r
Copy the result to your command prompt and execute it
(in my case)
# mkinitrd -c -k 3.2.29 -f ext4 -r /dev/sda2 -m mbcache:jbd2:ext4 -u -o /boot/initrd.gz
Then update lilo’s (bootloader) configuration
# nano /etc/lilo.conf
– add the “compact” directive (will gain some boot speed) at the beginning
– decrease the “timeout” value to your liking (a value of 50 should be enough)
– add a “default” directive for our new kernel entry :
then add a new kernel entry at the end
image= /boot/vmlinuz-generic-3.2.29
  initrd = /boot/initrd.gz
  label = Linux-generic
  append="quiet fastboot resume=/dev/sda1"
Save changes, make sure lilo is executed to update the bootloader code
# lilo -v
Then reboot. Less messages, (a little) faster boot times 🙂
Be sure to test suspend-to-disk (hibernate) and system resume.


By default, no firewall is configured at all.
# iptables -L
We can generate a simple firewall configuration from this website :
Then copy and paste our generated firewall to /etc/rc.d/rc.firewall
(the generated config needs some adjustments, like the path to the iptables executable in the IPT variable)
# iptables script generated 2012-09-30
# Flush old rules, old custom tables
$IPT --flush
$IPT --delete-chain
# Set default policies for all three default chains
# Enable free use of loopback interfaces
# All TCP sessions should begin with SYN
$IPT -A INPUT -p tcp ! --syn -m state --state NEW -s -j DROP
# Accept inbound TCP packets
#$IPT -A INPUT -p tcp --dport smtp -m state --state NEW -s -j ACCEPT
#$IPT -A INPUT -p tcp --dport http -m state --state NEW -s -j ACCEPT
#$IPT -A INPUT -p tcp --dport https -m state --state NEW -s -j ACCEPT
$IPT -A INPUT -p tcp --dport ssh -m state --state NEW -s -j ACCEPT
# Accept inbound ICMP messages
$IPT -A INPUT -p ICMP --icmp-type 8 -s -j ACCEPT
$IPT -A INPUT -p ICMP --icmp-type 11 -s -j ACCEPT

Start firewall at boot

# chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.firewall
If you want to disable the firewall
# iptables -F
To disable at boot time
# chmod -x /etc/rc.d/rc.firewall

That’s it!


Read the TXT files on the DVD! Lots of useful info for special setups (encrypted, lvm/raid, etc)
Need to boot in single user mode (useful for rescue)?
Append “S” to your kernel line at boot time.
Need to reconfigure your system?
# pkgtool
Want to change the default desktop environment?
# xwmconfig
Want to change the default X session manager?
# chmod -x /usr/bin/kdm
This will use XDM instead of KDM as the default session manager

Useful links

Official Slackware wiki
Packages list
AlienBob’s packages
Rlworkman’s packages
Great sendmail howto

Building a simple lightweight web kiosk system with Arch GNU/Linux

Update 29/03/2014 : This tutorial is currently outdated and may not work as intended. I made it before Arch switched to the systemd init system.

Optimized for maximum boot speed and read-only filesystem operation (especially for usb drives and other flash memory cards).

DISCLAIMER : As always, use this tutorial at your own risk!

Hardware used for this howto :
Mini-ITX motherboard with Pentium-M 1.5GHz (centrino)
512M DDR ram
Integrated graphics, sound and ethernet.
8G Compact Flash card with IDE-CF adapter.

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