The stuff I always install on a Debian box

Sitting here installing a brand new box, I look through what I use on other machines and figure out a list of things I want to have installed on any box I’m on. Here’s the list so far, in no particular order:

  • vim – my favorite text editor
  • ssh – the secure shell server and client – a must.
  • realpath – gets the full pathname of a given file. very useful in scripts
  • autossh – keeps ssh connections open on its own. very useful for ssh tunnels.
  • sysstat – various performance tools, like mpstat to see the individual cpu usage in an smp setup
  • sudo – allows normal users to execute things as root. mind-bogglingly useful
  • preload – tracks which applications are frequently used and tries to keep them in memory to improve startup times
  • lshw – prints way more information about your machine than you really need
  • sysv-rc-conf – a nice tool to set at which runlevels the machine should start and stop services
  • console-setup – pretty, pretty console fonts (terminus)
  • pastebinit – lets you pipe output to most pastebins from the console. EXTREMELY USEFUL
  • ccze – pipe stuff to this program to colorize the output. “sudo tail -f /var/log/messages | ccze” = bliss
  • hdparm – sets various drive parameters for IDE drives, such as spindown time etc. also performs speed tests
  • logwatch – sends you a nice log summary every day
  • build-essential – compilers, kernel headers and other stuff which is damn useful
  • deborphan – finds autoinstalled packages which are no longer necessary
  • module-assistant – compiles and inserts modules on the fly with a running debian kernel. brilliant. remember to execute “m-a prepare” to get additional stuff it needs, including the kernel headers for your currently running debian kernel, which is always useful to have around
  • kernel-package – stuff needed to compile new kernels the debian way.
  • psmisc – contains the all important “killall” command
  • beep – makes a pc speaker beep. very useful to put at the end of a long series of commands
  • yafc – yet another ftp client, but my favorite one
  • lftp – easily scriptable ftp client – use this for all synchronization (which doesn’t support encryption)
  • rsync – for remote file synchronization
  • realpath – finds the real path of a file. useful in scripts
  • screen – allows several virtual consoles in one
  • p7zip-full – for those pesky 7z-archives which have suddenly started to appear everywhere
  • wget – if it’s not there, it damn well should be!
  • unace – file extraction
  • unrar – file extraction
  • unzip – file extraction
  • watchdog – keeps an eye on the computer and restarts it if it hangs (hopefully)
  • irssi – irc chat. it’s always useful to be able to reach #debian on
  • sshfs – utilities to allow remote mounting of directories through ssh. insanely useful. also installs fuse
  • smbclient – utilities to allow remote mounting of samba shares (windows shared directories)
  • smbfs – utilities to allow remote mounting of samba shares (windows shared directories)
  • nmap – simple portmapping utility. very useful.
  • nbtscan – scans for machines with windows shares. also useful sometimes.
  • rungetty – allows for autologin to consoles and, for instance, displaying the system log in a tty without having to log in. woo.
  • mutt – console-based email client
  • ntp – clock synchronization
  • ntpdate – manually query time servers
  • nload – displays network traffic graphs in the console
  • file – identifies filetypes by content
  • autofs – automatically mounts and unmounts preset filesystems when they are needed
  • fakeroot – useful for compiling stuff

And a one-liner to install them all and beep afterwards, for my own copy-pasting delight:

apt-get install ssh vim sudo ccze ntp lshw watchdog realpath sysstat nload \
sysv-rc-conf preload autofs pastebinit fakeroot file console-setup lftp \
autossh p7zip-full deborphan ntpdate nmap hdparm logwatch mutt nbtscan \
rungetty build-essential screen module-assistant kernel-package psmisc beep \
yafc rsync wget unzip unrar unace irssi sshfs smbclient smbfs &&
m-a prepare &&
update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic &&

more to come, probably…

anything to add to the list of incredibly useful stuff? comment!

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