Si Griffiths edited this page Nov 19, 2018 · 19 revisions

Useful info for users of Debian Technical Preview 2

This is basically just TP1 + all the updates.

There are still some things you need to do and some you might like to do:

First login

You should select your keyboard layout from the login screen, you only need to do this once after that it is remembered though wont show correctly until you type the first letter of your password.

The default user is gemini, and the password gemini.

More disk space

The image has minimal head room so the first thing to do is to on-line resize your root file system to make full use of the space on the partition:

df -h

Gives for example:

Filesystem       Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mmcblk0p29  4.4G  4.1G   97M  98% /

Do the resize:

$ sudo resize2fs -p /dev/mmcblk0p29

Then check the free space again:

Filesystem       Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mmcblk0p29   45G  4.1G   39G  10% /

Pick a more local mirror and update all the packages

The image comes set as a generic in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multistrap-debian.list you might get faster downloads with a more local mirror.

Conflicts trying to upgrade libreoffice-base/common can be resolved using --force-overwrite, as documented here.

Set your timezone

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

You might want to set local ntp servers: local sources



You probably want to pick a language_location specific UTF8 locale:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

eg for the UK - en_GB.UTF-8.

WiFi eats battery whilst sleeping

You need to install connman-plugin-suspend-wmtwifi to avoid this:

sudo apt install connman-plugin-suspend-wmtwifi

Turns out this plugin just stops the repeated reconnection's to wifi. It still eats lots of battery.

Volume control

The volume buttons change the lxqt volume indicator, if they don't work you might need to set the mixer you need to attach a mouse and right click on the volume control and select 'Configure "Volume Control"'. You need to keep the device as PulseAudio, but set it to 'Droid sink primary' for the output. Then set the External mixer to 'alsamixer'.

Sleep on close

We have auto-configured xss-lock gemian-lock to fire off on device close, however this conflicts with the lxqt power management 'enable lid watcher' and will cause a crash and log your user out. If you find that your back at the sddm login screen after closing the device check to turn off the lid watcher.

Sticky keys

If your not a touch typist you might like sticky keys so that you don't have to twist your fingers in funny positions to select modified functions.

sudo apt-get install xkbset

Test to see if it works better for you a short term test:

xkbset sticky -twokey -latchlock

Make it permanent, by adding the following to ~/.xsessionrc (then logout/in):

# setting the expiry of the settings
xkbset exp -sticky -twokey -latchlock

# stickykey settings
xkbset sticky -twokey -latchlock

Update your kernel

We've started work on adding kernel updates via apt. So you can now:

sudo apt install gemini-kernel-image-3.18

Currently there is no way of knowing which kernel was used to boot the current boot so you have to manually install the kernel to the relevant partition (boot/boot2/boot3).

sudo dd if=/usr/share/kernel/linux-boot.img of=/dev/disk/by-partlabel/boot*


The packages in stretch are sometimes a bit old, so it can be handy to add backports repositories, see Debian Backports for full instructions.

For example to install telegram-desktop:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb stretch-backports main" >>/etc/apt/sources.list.d/multistrap-debian.list'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install telegram-desktop


Experimental cellular support: DebuggingMobile

Controlling Screen Locking

If you desire you can disable the idle timeout display off by doing the following:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

At the top of the file there is a ServerFlags section. Add/replace the following in the ServerFlags section:

    Option "OffTime" "0"
    Option "StandbyTime" "0"
    Option "SuspendTime" "0"
    Option "BlankTime" "0"

When finished your ServerFlags section should look like this:

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "OffTime" "0"
    Option "StandbyTime" "0"
    Option "SuspendTime" "0"
    Option "BlankTime" "0"

Save the file (ctrl+x) and reboot your Gemini. Following the reboot your screen will now only power off on lid close and turn on again when opened.

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