Debian cheatsheet

The Debian stable release branch is the most popular Debian edition for personal computers and network servers and has been used as a base for many other distributions.

While all Debian releases are derived from the GNU Operating System and use the GNU userland and the GNU C Library (glibc), other kernels aside from the Linux kernel are also available, such as those based on BSD kernels and the GNU Hurd microkernel.

Show installed packages

dpkg --get-selections

Show installed packages with mouse in name

dpkg --get-selections | grep mouse
dpkg -S xserver-xorg-input-kbd

Show locations of files within a package

dpkg -L xserver-xorg-input-mouse

Reconfigure a package

sudo dpkg-reconfigure slim

Search repository for package by name and description

apt-cache search xserver-xorg-input-kbd
aptitude search xserver-xorg-input-kbd

Search packages querying in the name only

apt-cache search --names-only xorg

Show detailed information about a package

apt-cache show xserver-xorg-input-mouse
apt-cache showpkg xserver-xorg-input-mouse

Install a package

apt-get install dwb

Add a user to the sudo group

User must logout and login to take effect

adduser zacanger sudo

Show type of video card system has

lspci -v | grep VGA

File to set background image if using gdm

vim /usr/share/gdm/dconf/10-desktop-base-settings

Remove background picture

vim /usr/share/gdm/dconf/10-desktop-base-settings

File to change the login screen for gdm3

vim /etc/gdm3/greeter.gsettings

Reload gdm3 configuration on logout/reboot

dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

Location of alternatives. Don’t cat these they are binaries.

Just use them to see what options you can throw at update-alternatives.


Shows the symlinks for the default and alternative window managers

update-alternatives --display x-window-manager

Shows alternatives and give choice of which to use

update-alternatives --config x-window-manager

Set which browser to use as default

update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

Add dwb to x-www-browser list and set it’s priority to 100

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/x-www-browser x-www-browser /usr/bin/dwb 100