Tag: Linux LMDE

LMDE 5 beta loaded on mirrors

Download links for LMDE 5 Beta:

If the links do not open, then go to http://ftp.crifo.org/mint-cd/testing/ and select the version you need.

The LMDE project is ongoing. LMDE stands for Linux Mint Debian Edition and is about creating a distribution that is almost identical to Linux Mint but based on Debian and not Ubuntu. This is an interesting exercise because it forces the developers of Linux Mint to test the compatibility of a software stack written specifically for Linux Mint with Debian and shows how much of it is specific to Ubuntu and how much is generic to Debian.

The Ubuntu distribution has many of its own developments and is quite different from Debian. And not all features of Ubuntu users perceive positively. Many users like classic Debian without the forced services.

Work on LMDE 5 began in early January. LMDE 4 was already on par with the Mint, Xapp and Cinnamon stacks introduced in 20.2. LMDE 5 has been updated to Linux Mint 20.3.

Although in general LMDE is very similar to Linux Mint, there are differences too. Debian features newer software compared to Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu in general. This is why LMDE provides users with more recent packages and gives Linux Mint developers the opportunity to test their software on the next generation of Linux. This gives an idea of some of the issues developers will face in Linux Mint 21. It helps them prepare for the next release.

On the presented BETA, all backports and packages are ready. The LMDE 5 ISO downloads and installs fine. There are no obvious critical issues.

How to Install the Latest Linux Kernels on Debian and Debian Based Distributions

Recent versions of the Linux kernel have drivers for new devices and other innovations. Unfortunately, many popular Linux distributions are in no rush to update their kernel. This tutorial will show you how easy it is, without compiling, to install any version of the Linux kernel on Debian and derived distributions, for example, Kali Linux and LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). You can choose to install either a newer kernel or an older one than your distribution's repository suggests.

If you wish, you can easily remove the installed Linux kernels and return to the kernel from the repository.

Note that there are separate instructions for Ubuntu and derivatives, as the process for updating kernels is different: “How to Install the Latest Linux Kernels on Ubuntu and Linux Mint”.

Kernel update warning

It should be remembered that due to the incompatibility of the kernel with programs (first of all, with proprietary GPU drivers), you may encounter problems, including a black screen during boot.

In most cases, the problems encountered can be resolved without reinstalling the distribution. Start by going to the advanced options in the boot menu and boot with the previous version of the kernel. When the computer boots up, remove the problematic kernel.

Proprietary graphics card drivers can cause problems, as older versions may not be compatible with the latest kernels without a patch. If you have proprietary video drivers installed, then seriously consider before following the instructions below. Also get ready, look for instructions on how to solve the problem when loading the distribution into a black screen.

Owners of old distributions should be especially careful – it is strongly recommended to update the kernel only on the latest OS versions.

Another very likely problem that you may encounter if you install the latest kernel is the problem with unresolved dependencies and, as a result, the inability to use the apt package manager to update and install programs. If you are faced with a situation where, after successfully installing a new kernel, you cannot update packages using apt, then try installing older versions of the kernel that suit you, and uninstall the versions that cause dependency problems. Remember that it is impossible to remove the kernel you booted with – boot your computer with any other version of the kernel before uninstalling.

Upgrading the Kernel to the Latest Version on Debian

This section should be suitable for all variations and derivatives of Debian, for example:

  • Debian stable
  • Debian testing
  • Kali Linux
  • Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE)
  • MX Linux
  • other

Let's check the current kernel version:

uname -a

In order not to compile the kernel from scratch, we will use the kernels of the XanMod Kernel project.

To install the latest kernel version, just run the following commands:

echo 'deb http://deb.xanmod.org releases main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xanmod-kernel.list
wget -qO - https://dl.xanmod.org/gpg.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/xanmod-kernel.gpg add -
sudo apt update && sudo apt install linux-xanmod

After the program has exited, a computer restart is required for the changes to take effect.

Let's check the kernel version again:

uname -a

Output example:

Linux HackWare-Kali 5.13.19-xanmod1 #0~git20210919.7960459 SMP PREEMPT Sun Sep 19 13:46:36 UTC 2021 x86_64 GNU/Linux

If for some reason the GRUB menu has not been updated, then run the command:

sudo update-grub

How to choose the XanMod kernel version

In total, the following metapackages are available – the kernel version at the time of writing is indicated in square brackets:

  • linux-xanmod [5.13]
  • linux-xanmod-edge [5.14]
  • linux-xanmod-lts [5.10]
  • linux-xanmod-cacule [5.14-cacule]
  • linux-xanmod-rt [5.10-rt]

You can check the kernel version in the linux-xanmod package with the following command:

apt show linux-xanmod

As you can see, this metapackage has in its dependencies (that is, it will actually install) the linux-image-5.13.19-xanmod1 and linux-headers-5.13.19-xanmod1 packages, hence the kernel version is currently 5.13.19.

Let's check the linux-xanmod-edge kernel version:

apt show linux-xanmod-edge

The current Linux kernel version in this package is 5.14.6.

The XanMod repository contains not only kernels that can be installed using metapackages, but also many other versions, you can find them with the command:

apt search linux-image-[0-9.]+-xanmod[0-9]+

When installing the kernel of the selected version, you need to install the corresponding headers files, both packages must have the name of the form linux-image-VERSION-xanmod1 and linux-headers-VERSION-xanmod1, and the VERSION number must be the same, for example:

sudo apt install linux-image-5.12.19-xanmod1 linux-headers-5.12.19-xanmod1

How to remove XanMod core

If you installed the kernel using the linux-xanmod metapackage, you can remove this metapackage with the command:

sudo apt remove linux-xanmod

However, this will not change anything, the installed kernels will remain on the system! To remove the kernels themselves, use a command like:

sudo apt remove `sudo apt show linux-xanmod | grep Depends | sed 's/,//' | awk '{print $2,$3}'`

If you installed the kernel without using the metapackage, then remove the kernel and the headers file specifying the names of the packages and their versions, for example:

sudo apt remove linux-image-5.12.19-xanmod1 linux-headers-5.12.19-xanmod1

How to recover Linux after installing the kernel

If your computer boots with a black screen, freezes, or something doesn't work after updating the kernel, reboot and select Advanced options for your distribution from the GRUB menu:

Then select the previous kernel version and press Enter:

Regardless of the reason, you need to boot with the previous version of the kernel if you want to remove the latest kernel. This is because you cannot remove the kernel that is currently in use.

If you do not see the GRUB2 menu, press and hold the Shift key or press the Esc key repeatedly (this may vary depending on BIOS or UEFI boot and the version of Ubuntu/Linux Mint you are using) while booting GRUB. The Grub menu should appear allowing you to select a previous kernel version.

After booting the previous kernel, you can remove the faulty kernel.

To remove the XanMod kernel in Debian and derivatives run the commands:

sudo apt remove linux-xanmod
sudo apt remove `sudo apt show linux-xanmod | grep Depends | sed 's/,//' | awk '{print $2,$3}'`

If this was not done automatically, then update your GRUB settings:

sudo update-grub

Error in LMDE “cryptsetup: WARNING: The initramfs image may not contain cryptsetup binaries nor crypto modules” (SOLVED)

When updating the system, if it was necessary to rebuild initramfs (usually necessary after every Linux kernel update), a warning appeared in LMDE and other Linux distributions. This is not a critical warning and not an error – in fact, this is information about incorrect system configuration. Example of this notification:

cryptsetup: WARNING: The initramfs image may not contain cryptsetup binaries
    nor crypto modules. If that's on purpose, you may want to uninstall the
    'cryptsetup-initramfs' package in order to disable the cryptsetup initramfs
    integration and avoid this warning.

The message in the screenshot says, “that the initramfs image may not contain cryptsetup executables, nor crypto modules. If this is intended, then you can remove the cryptsetup-initramfs package to disable the integration of cryptsetup and initramfs and so that this warning disappears. "

Now cryptsetup and its dependencies are added to the initramfs image only when a device is found that needs to be unlocked at the initramfs stage.

Depending on your plans, there are two options:

  • if you don’t know if in the future you will create encrypted partitions or partitions that should be unlocked at the initramfs stage, then just do nothing and do not change – ignore this informational message, it is harmless
  • if you definitely won’t create encrypted partitions, then delete cryptsetup-initramfs package

So, if you would not create encrypted partitions and do not plan to do this, then you can remove the cryptsetup-initramfs package:

sudo apt remove cryptsetup-initramfs
sudo apt autoremove

By the way, you can reinstall the cryptsetup-initramfs package later if you need it.

How to configure Linux LMDE login without entering a password

LMDE is the Linux Mint Debian Edition. As with all Linux Mint, during installation, you can select the option “automatic login”, that is, login to Linux without entering a user and password.

If during installation you did not select this option, and then changed your mind and decided to configure login without a password in LMDE, then this instruction will step-by-step explain how to enable automatic login to the system. If you are the only user of your computer, then automatic login (as is done on Windows) will make using the OS a little more convenient.

LMDE uses the LightDM display manager. To automatically enter LightDM, open the configuration text file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf:

sudo xed /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Find the [Seat:*] section there, and in this section two commented lines:

#autologin-user=
#autologin-user-timeout=0

Uncomment them (remove the # character at the beginning of the line), and after autologin-user, enter the name of the user to be automatically logged in, for example, if this is the root user, then the lines look like this:

autologin-user=root
autologin-user-timeout=0

If you don’t know or forgot your Linux system username, you can find out by executing the command in the terminal:

whoami

If the lightdm.conf file is completely absent, then create it:

sudo xed /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Copy to this file:

[Seat:*]
autologin-guest=false
autologin-user=mial
autologin-user-timeout=0

Pay attention to the autologin-user directive and the username that comes after it is mial. Of course, you need to replace this name with your own system username.

Now open the file /etc/pam.d/lightdm-autologin:

sudo xed /etc/pam.d/lightdm-autologin

Find the line there:

auth      required pam_succeed_if.so user != root quiet_success

and replace it with:

auth      required pam_succeed_if.so user != anything quiet_success

Reboot – after this, an automatic login should be performed without entering a password.

If it doesn’t work, to check whether the settings from the configuration file lightdm.conf are applied, run the command:

/usr/sbin/lightdm --show-config

How to install VirtualBox Guest Additions in Linux LMDE

LMDE is the Linux Mint Debian Edition, i.e. Linux Mint based on Debian.

VirtualBox Guest Additions are kernel modules (drivers) that are needed if you run Linux LMDE in a VirtualBox virtual machine.

Thanks to guest additions it is possible:

  • enable a shared clipboard between the real operating system and the guest OS
  • enable file drag and drop between host and guest OS
  • expand the guest OS screen to a larger size or use the guest OS in full screen mode, as well as enable display integration.

Guest Additions are not available in the standard Linux LMDE repositories (Linux Mint Debian Edition).

There are two installation options:

  • install Guest Additions from the disk that comes with VirtualBox
  • add a third-party repository

I prefer the first option, so let’s consider it.

Start by fully upgrading and rebooting the system:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y
reboot

Install the dependencies needed to compile the kernel module:

sudo apt install build-essential module-assistant

Configure the system to build kernel modules:

sudo m-a prepare

Connect the disk with Guest Add-ons, for this, in the VirtualBox menu of the virtual machine, select «Devices» → «Insert Guest Additions CD image»:

Return to the system again and do type in console:

cd /media/*/VBox*
sudo sh VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

Wait for the installation to finish, pay attention that everything goes without errors.

After the installation is complete, reboot again for the changes to take effect:

reboot

In the VirtualBox menu, turn on “Shared Clipboard” and other functions that you need:

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