Install Samba on Debian 9

HowtoForge offers excellent instructions on how to install applications, servers and tools on multiple Linux distributions. Instead of recreating what’s already done at HowtoForge, here’s the installation instructions to install Samba fileserver on Debian 9. It walks you through the installation, adding Samba shares, managing users, and accessing Samba from a Windows machine. Here’s the link.

Debian 8.7

There’s a new version of the Debian 8 Jessie series. The latest release is Debian version 8.7 which includes 87 miscellaneous bug fixes and 86 security updates. If you’re running version Debian 8 now, the updates are going to be automatic. If you’re new to Debian, you can install the fresh Debian version by downloading it directly from

Debian Turns 23

Debian is 23 years old. From Debian’s site:

Today is Debian’s 23rd anniversary. If you are close to any of the cities celebrating Debian Day 2016, you’re very welcome to join the party! If not, there’s still time for you to organize a little celebration or contribution to Debian. For example, you can have a look at the Debian timeline and learn about the history of the project. If you notice that some piece of information is still missing, feel free to add it to the timeline. Or you can scratch your creative itch and suggest a wallpaper to be part of the artwork for the next release. Our favorite operating system is the result of all the work we have done together. Thanks to everybody who has contributed in these 23 years, and happy birthday Debian!

Best Linux Distros Available

Several weeks ago, I wrote on this blog about the Linux distros that people should try. I wasn’t far off on my assessment when I read this article by Digital Trends. As you can see, I stuck with the tried-and-true distros that are popular, as well as distros which represented the major Linux branches, and distros which people generally consider as very solid. As you can see, you can’t go wrong with Debian, Fedora, Centos, and Ubuntu. You throw in Mint, one the most popular distros nowadays, and you have a very good list.

Linux Distros to Try has a list of Linux distros and ranks them based on popularity. Currently, Mint is the distro of choice for many Linux users followed by Ubuntu and Debian. There are hundreds of distros available and you can’t possibly use or play around with all of them. Most of these distros are just offshoots of the more popular distros. If I were to narrow it down to just a few distros, I would go with these magnificent seven.

  • Mint – since it’s popular desktop. It’s based on Ubuntu.
  • Ubuntu – it’s my current favorite Linux server.
  • Debian – since Ubuntu and numerous others are based on Debian.
  • Fedora – it’s based on Redhat.
  • Centos – it’s basically Redhat without the support.
  • FreeBSD – Unix-like OS based BSD.
  • Slackware – it’s been around for a very long time.

Linux Distros You Should Try

By now, you’ve heard of Linux. But, have you tried it? If you haven’t, you should give it a try. You might be missing out on something. If not, just do it for educational purposes. Most Linux distros today, come with a trial CD that you can test drive on your system without ever installing Linux in your hard drive.

Here’s a list of Linux distros that is worth a try.

1. Ubuntu – it’s by far the most popular Linux distribution in the planet. Tons of people use it. There’s good reason why it’s popular. It’s relatively easy to use. It has a solid and stable distribution with a vibrant user community to boot. Ubuntu release cycle is one reason why this distro is committed to innovation.

2. Fedora – You’ve heard of Redhat. Fedora is Redhat’s cousin or brother. In any case, the distro has come a long way since its inception. If you want to learn about Redhat, Fedora is a great stepping stone. Fedora is a distro you want, if you want to learn about  RPM packaging.

3. OpenSuse – If you want a polished desktop environment in both and KDE environment, you should try OpenSuse. It  consistently receives high marks in its desktop environments. Yast is an excellent graphical system administration utility that’s worth a look.

There are hundreds of distros worth mentioning. Debian, Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo and CentOS comes to mind.

Finally, here’s a list of the top 10 distributions from

WinFF A Free Video Converter

I spoke highly about FFMPEG in 3 separate occasions. Last night, I downloaded a program called WinFF, a Windows GUI for the command line video converter FFMPEG. The program will convert most any video file that FFmpeg will convert.

WinFF does multiple files in multiple formats at one time. You can for example convert mpeg’s, flv’s, and mov’s, all into avi’s all at once. WinFF is available for Windows 95, 98 , ME, NT, XP, VISTA, and Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat based GNU/Linux distributions.

This reason I was looking for a Windows GUI version of FFMPEG because I wanted to use Windows Movie Maker. I had a video in MPG4 format that was not supported by Windows Movie Maker. I figured I need to convert from MPG4 to WMV format.

So, I ended up downloading WinFF. The program is simple and intuitive. I was able to convert from MPG4 to WMV in no time. WinFF is an awesome program that anyone should have in their arsenal.

WinFF is published under the GNU public license. Download.

Changing Hostnames and Making it Stick

Nothing can be more frustrating in Linux than making hostname changes and learning after a reboot that your changes didn’t stick. Here’s just a few things that I did to make the hostname permanent while working in Ubuntu 10.04. This might work in other Debian-based distributions. Let’s assume the name of your system is ‘desktop.’

Edit your hosts file.

sudo vi /etc/hosts</code>

Add this. You can drop the domain if you don’t plan on using it.  desktop

Edit your hostname file.

sudo vi /etc/hostname</code>

Add your hostname. Domain is optional.

Finally, change your hostname.

sudo hostname desktop

Debian Based Linux Distributions

I am somewhat surprised with the number of Linux distributions with Debian roots. A total of 129. This list doesn’t even include all the Ubuntu variations like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc. I am using Linux Mint and it’s not even on the list. So here’s the list of 129 distributions courtesy of Distro Watch:

AbulÉduAdamantixAGNULA GNU/Linux Audio DistributionAmber LinuxANTEMIUM LinuxArabbixARMA aka Omoikane GNU/LinuxASLinuxAuditor Security LinuxAugustuxB2D LinuxBeatrIX LinuxBEERnixBiadixBIG LINUXBioknoppixBlackRhinoBluewall GNU/LinuxBonzai LinuxBrlSpeakCàtixCensorNetClusterixClusterKNOPPIXCondoruxDamn Small LinuxDanixDeadCDDebXPdeDizinha LinuxeduKnoppixERPOSSESwareEvinuxEuronodeFAMELIXFeather LinuxFlonixVital Data Forensic or Rescue Kit (FoRK)Freeduc-cdFreeduc-SupGEOLivre LinuxGibraltar FirewallGNIX-VivoGnoppix LinuxgnuLinExGNU/Linux KinneretGNUstep Live CDgrmlGuadalinexHelixHikarunixHiweed LinuxImpi LinuxIndLinuxJulexK-DEMarKaella • Knoppix Linux AzurKalango LinuxKANOTIXKlusTriXknopILSKnoppelKnoppixKnoppix 64Knoppix STDKnoppiXMAMEKnoppMythKnoSciencesKurumin LinuxLAMPPIXLibranet GNU/LinuxLIIS LinuxLinEspaLinspireLinux Live Game ProjectLinux LocoLinuxDefender Live! CDLinuxinLiVuxLocal Area Security Linux (L.A.S.)LuinuxLuit LinuxMAX: Madrid_LinuxMediainlinuxMEPIS LinuxMetadistro-PequelinMIKO GNYO/LinuxMoLinuxMorphixMunjoy LinuxNature’s LinuxNordisKnoppixOGo KnoppixOraluxOverclockixQuantianPaiPixParallelKnoppixParsix GNU/LinuxPenguin SleuthPHLAKPilotLinuxProgeny DebianRays LinuxROSLIMS Live CDSalvareSanta Fe LinuxSkolelinuxSlavixSlixSlo-Tech LinuxSoyombo Mongolian LinuxSphinxOSTablix on MorphixTilix LinuxTupiServer LinuxUbuntu LinuxUserLinuxWHoppiXX-evianXfldXandros Desktop OSXarnoppixZen LinuxZoneCDZopix

I just peeked at, 10.04 beta 1 looks really good!

Kahel Linux

Introducing Kahel Linux, another Philippine-based distro, the third one of its kind, behind AMA and Bayanihan. Kahel means orange in the local language as evident in the orange shirt in the distro’s mascot. Kahel is based on Arch Linux which is part of the Debian family of distros. Kahel runs in Gnome and powered by the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. The distro supports NILFS2 and BTRFS by default. It also utilizes the Pacman and Package Kit. Visit Kahel’s website.