Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Debian Pre-Seed Project Release 0.1

  Summary: This is the initlal announce ment for the Debian Leeny Pre-seed Project which sets up desktops for Gnome, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE complete with extra repositories, codecs, and plugins.

What is a Pre-seed File?

A pre-seed file is simply a file which gives answers to the questions offered by the Debian installer. It also offers the ability to add additional repositories, install additional packages, and run post-install commands.

That means we can use a pre-seed file and a net install iso to create the perfect Debian desktop.

Because the .iso is only 7MB and does a network install, you will need a broadband connection which is unmetered. The system has been tested on a couple of pieces of hardware and in a VM, but I could use a lot more help testing and making recommendations about missing functionality.

The install is completely destructive, using the entire disk with LVM and a separate /home partition. Beware!!!

Edit: There were some errors created when I cleaned up the pre-seed files. After a couple of tests, I think I've got them all.

Gnome Desktop

The Gnome desktop installs a standard Debian Gnome desktop, including:
  • Evolution (PIM)
  • Epiphany (browser)
  • Totem (Movie player)
  • Rhythmbox (Music manager)
  • GThumb (Photo manager)
  • Serpentine (CD ripper)
  • Synaptic (Package manager)
  • Tomboy (Notes)
  • Deskbar (Search applet)
  • Liferea (Feed reader)
  • Ekiga (SIP client)
  • Cheese (Webcam viewer)
  • Games
  • Gnome Office
  • Too much other stuff to list.
To this, I've added the Debian Multimedia repository and installed the following:
  • Really Bad codecs
  • Flash
  • Sun Java
  • w32codecs
  • Non-free archive formats
  • Iceweasel
Test it and see if it works for you. If you have any suggestion, please let me know.

KDE Desktop

The KDE desktop installs a normal Debian KDE 3.5 desktop, including:
  • Networking
  • Graphics
  • PIM
  • Games
  • Educational
  • Toys
  • Web development stuff
  • and much more
To this base, I've added, Flash, Java, codecs, and more. I don't use KDE, so let me know if it's missing something important.


The XFCE desktop installs a normal Debian XFCE4.4 desktop, including:
  • Orage (Calendar)
  • Thunar (File manager)
  • Panel
  • Themes
  • and more.
To this, I've added
  • XFMedia, (Movie player)
  • Quod Libet and plugins (Music player)
  • Codecs
  • Flash
  • Java
  • Kazehakase (Light browser)
  • Iceweasel (Full browser)
  • Non-free archives
I don't use XFCE much, so let me know if there's a problem.


LXDE is a new light-weight desktop based on the  Openbox WM and PCManFM file manager. LXDE desktop installs the lxde package, which includes these plus Leafpad, GPicview, and XArchiver.
In addition, I've installed:
  • Kazehakase (Light browser)
  • Iceweasel (Full browser)
  • MPlayer (Movie player)
  • Audacious and plugins (Music player)
  • Pidgin (IM)
  • Flash
  • Java
  • Codecs
  • Non-free archives
Let me know about missing fuctionality, but remember that this is a light-weight desktop.

Download and Try It Now!

Dowload the file.

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