Light Debian

My aim after being given old computer is to see if they can be used for anything light usage.

All I intend to do is:
  1. Install a light weight GUI desktop.
  2. Quick wipe the disks for security.
I could mange this with many different distros and with many different tools. I am not interested in wiping sensitive data as the stuff that was on the machine before isn't that sensitive). I have chosen to:
  1. Install light Debian (Easy and many packages can be installed to use for anything).
  2. Use wipe to clear the disks after installing (I'm not that worried about the nature of the data previously on the machine).
I am basing this on an older document here: The perfect light Debian with Fluxbox There are a couple of changes needed.


Download a net install (as long as you have internet access for the machine). This is faster than getting a CD.

Install the base system as you wish without selecting any graphical desktop etc...

Run these commands:
Basic X server:
apt-get install xserver-xorg x-window-system

Fluxbox Window manager:
apt-get install fluxbox fluxconf

X desktop manager (starts x on boot and provides authentication prompt).
apt-get install xdm

Debian x configuration script:
apt-get install xdebconfigurator

run the debian configuration script

Restart and you can now use fluxbox to install any extra software you want. A good place to start is with installing synaptic.


To wipe the unused space on the disks (just to keep things safe from off the shelf recovery software).
apt-get install wipe

dd if=/dev/zero bs=1024 of=/home/KRAP

wipe -q /home/KRAP


For some reason the default audio set-up isn't quite right with the debian business card... bits are missing.

apt-get install alsa-utils alsa-tools alsamixergui

Configure the volume (as user) (you will most likely need to turn op "PCM" and "Master"). Then (as root) save the configuration:
alsactl store