Martin Cooper's Linux Blog

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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Minimal XFCE Debian Install

I finally decided it was time to move away from Ubuntu due to the gradual move towards a MAC style Desktop with Unity as the final straw. I had a go with Xubuntu and a short period of the Linux Mint XFCE Debian edition then decided to move to Debian with an XFCE Desktop. So this is my own minimal XFCE Debian Install.

Install Debian squeeze from the netinst CD image which can be downloaded from I used the larger of the 2 which was approx 200MB in size.

Insert CD then select install, English, UK, British English.
Enter Hostname, Domain name and root password twice
Full name, username for account and user password.
Select Partitioning method as manual
I usually allow
20GB for Root partition /
50GB for /opt as I store programs there I download source for and don’t re format it every time I install.
2GB swap
and the rest as /home I don’t re format it every time I install to keep my documents safe.

once the install is done and the PC is rebooted you get a console screen asking you to login, so login using your username and password then at the prompt enter;

$ su
and then the root password, then

$ apt-get install xorg xfce4 synaptic gdebi wicd slim iceweasel dmz-cursor-theme gnome-wise-icon-theme shiki-brave-theme leafpad

This gets you
an X server to run your desktop on
the XFCE desktop
a package manager
a package installer
a network manager
a GDM graphical desktop manager [login screen]
the iceweasel web browser
my favorite theme/icons/cursor
and the leafpad text editor

after these are installed, log out and back in again to your Graphical Desktop.

This is the basic install it just needs a selection of programs and a bit of manual configuration..

[Edit Jan 2012 : the Slim Desktop Manager does not currently work in Debian Wheezy [still in testing] but the new lightdm does]



Brother Drivers for a DCP 7055 on Xubuntu

Adding the Propitiatory Brother Drivers for a DCP 7055

Tested on Xubunto 11.04, this printer is a combined Printer/copier and scanner and the drivers cannot be found in the Ubuntu repos not at least in the 10.04 version of Xubuntu.

So we tried the brother Driver installer found here

which seemed to work at first but did not install the correct driver for this Printer and it therefore failed to print. We then decided to start from scratch form here

and started with the Before the Installation link and in a Terminal running the following commands;

$ sudo apt-get install -y cups
[just in case it’s not installed]

$ sudo aa-complain cupsd

$ sudo mkdir /usr/share/cups/model
[don’t change this line it should say model at the end]

$ sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/cups /etc/init.d/lpd

$ sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd

## if your using 64 bit ##
# $ sudo apt-get install -y ia32-libs

$ sudo apt-get install -y csh

$ sudo apt-get install -y sane-utils

$ sudo apt-get install -y psutils

The under Download on the above page we selected Printer Driver then the link for the name of the printer and downloaded the LPR driver and the cupswrapper driver. You need to select each in turn then right click the “I Accept” button and use “Save Link As” option to download the DEB. Both DEB’s are i386 so if you are using 64 bit you need to install them using a Terminal using the following;

$ sudo dpkg -i --force-all /home/user/Downloads/dcp7055lpr-2.1.0-1.i386.deb


$ sudo dpkg -i --force-all /home/user/Downloads/cupswrapperDCP7055-2.0.4-2.i386.deb

check the naming of the files as they may be change and also adjust the path to the directory your files are stored in.

If you are using a 32 bit system just double click on the files to install them.

Once the drivers are installed are installed you can use your Printing config option to add the printer, if the driver does not show in the list, try a reboot.

Next the scanning drivers.
Back at the above page under Download we now select Scanner Driver / Scan-Key-Tool link and search for the print model, in our case this leads us to the brscan4 driver and here you can download both 32 and 64 bit drivers and you need the brscan4 and scan-key-tool DEB’s which once downloaded can be installed by double clicking on them.

You may find that the Package Manager complains that the DEB’s are faulty but it seems to be just because the package maintainer has not included his or her email address in the package. I just continued on and they installed ok.

Update for Ubuntu 12.04

You need to copy 3 files into the /usr/lib/sane directory as follows.
$ sudo cp /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane

$ sudo cp /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane

$ sudo cp /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane
You will also probably find that your scanner software will still not open the scanner hardware. I installed the xsane software;

$ sudo apt-get install -y xsane

then ran it as user from a Terminal;

$ xsane
with no result, so then I ran it as root with;

$ sudo xsane
and all was well.

I’m not sure why this should be the case but it seems to be a /dev access problem, my quick and dirty option was to open the launder [the XFCE launder] command is;

and changed it to
Exec gksudo xsane
When the launcher is clicked it then asks the user for the root/sudo password.

Another option is to run the program as root without the system asking for a password [be warned you do this at your own risk as it’s a security risk]

open the /etc/sudoers file with;

$ sudo visudo

add this line below these lines

# User privilege specification
root ALL=(ALL) ALL

username ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/xsane

then amend the launcher from;



exec=sudo xsane

you need to substitute username for your own system name and the path and name of the program if different and you may need to reboot