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Debian “Squeeze” on a 64bit machine

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Note: Command with $ means as user. # means as root.

Waited a long time for the latest release of Debian. This distribution grew on me and after trying many different this is the one I’ve used the most.

This is the first time tho, that I install any distribution on an amd64 architecture. I was really looking forward to this but unluckily I haven’t had the best experience.

Installation

I used the net installer from Debian. A small ~150Mb ISO image with the core system only. As you select your packages it will download them as needed,  which is really good, since you will only download and install the packages you actually need.

My first issue was that my Thinkpad uses non-free firmware for the WLAN adapter. because of this the installer could not connect over WiFi. I had to connect my Ethernet cable to have connectivity.

With that sorted out I finished the installation. Reboot and everything went ok. Gnome Desktop started.

Now to the real problems

WLAN Adapter

This wasn’t too much of a problem. I just ran:

$lspci
to find out what adapter my laptop has. It showed:
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Wireless-N 100
quick google to see what driver is needed and:
# apt-get install name of driver
in my case was firmware-iwlwifi. Follow this simple instructions to get this done.

If you do an
# ifconfig wlan0 up
and get some error about SCIOCSIFFLAG, just reload the module of your driver or reboot :P.

The Flash and Chrome issue

It turns out that Flash 10.2 “square” supports native 64 bit systems. Sounds great!

I downloaded the 64 bit version of Chrome. The integrated flash version was kinda outdated so I decided to go for the 10.2 (for the native 64 bit support). For some reason I couldn’t find the 64 bit version of flash from the adobe website. I looked everywhere!! I started Google-ing until I found some nice guy that pointed to a 64 bit version of libflashplayer.so. 32 bit versions won’t be found by Chrome.

Find here the plugin I installed.

to install:

$ tar xzvf flashplayer_square_p2_64bit_linux_092710.tar.gz
# mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

Start Chrome. Should work. In Chrome’s address bar type about:plugins to see what flash plugins is enabled.

With this sorted out there where 3 more issues I wanted to solve right away.

Dropbox

For this one, Download the source, not the .deb since this one is i386.

Unpack the source and go to the folder.

Run:
$./configure
This will show you all dependencies you might be missing.
Use Synaptic to download all these dependencies. If configure is successfull go ahead and
$ make
$ make check (optional)
# make install

Worked for me.

Skype
This one was also tricky. Skype’s support is really poor. I followed the instructions given by a guy in a forum:

Devian says:
April 30, 2009 at 8:01 pm
dont “force” ur debian amd64 to install a 32bit package
What we need to do is get this file http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-static
Now we move the contents of the file to let’s say /opt/Skype
Create a script to launch skype
vi /usr/bin/skype
and put this into the script:

#!/bin/bash
cd /opt/Skype
./skype

then give permissions
chmod +x /usr/bin/skype
Now we need to copy the launcher from skype directory to the apps directoy
cp /opt/Skype/skype.desktop /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
and modify the file
vi /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
and change from this

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Skype
Comment=Skype Internet Telephony
Exec=skype
Icon=skype.png
Terminal=0
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Categories=Network;Application;

to this

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Skype
Comment=Skype Internet Telephony
Exec=skype
Icon=/opt/Skype/icons/SkypeBlue_48x48.png
Terminal=0
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Categories=Network;Application;

now we need to install some packages
apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk
and thats it u can have skype working
i’ve install skype in my Debian Lenny amd64 it works perfect

It does work great :).

Last but not least… Thunderbird
This one I did on my own. After the previous experiences with the other applications. Still tried to use the i386 available from http://www.mozilla.org with no luck.
So I started browsing their ftp server and came across this. It is called Miramar. I guess it is the name of the project of thunderbird 64 bits.

UPDATE: I am using Ice Dove, Thunderbird’s open source version since Miramar didn’t allow me to install Enigmail. Ice Dove works perfectly.

 

 

I hope i helped a little. I like Debian. But this search for 64bit packages is getting kinda annoying. hope it is just now when i still have some dependencies missing.