Things to do after installing Debian 9

Hello my fellow readers, here some things to do after installing Debian on your desktop or laptop computer. All steps are optional and you’re not required to do anything of them. These are the ones that I personally do after a fresh installation.

Update The Source List

Note: I would like to let you know that in this guide, we are going to install software from the “contrib” and “non-free” repositories too.

Also we are going to add “contrib” & “non-free” repositories that are not 100% FOSS as per the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

  • contrib” – repositories include packages which do comply with the DFSG, but may fail other requirements. For instance, they may depend on packages which are in non-free or requires such for building them.
  • non-free” – repositories include packages which do not comply with the DFSG

If you want to use a installation that is 100% FOSS as per the Debian Free Software Guidelines then just don’t add “contrib” & “non-free” to the source list.

First, you need to be root

After that, open /etc/apt/sources.list with your desktop environments text editor, on Gnome it is gedit.
gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Then, after every line that says “main” you need to add “contrib non-free” right after “main”. Then you should save and close.

After you have finished editing the source file, you should run
apt-get update

as root.

Install wireless firmware if necessary

apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi

Now you should have a working WLAN.

Install Firmware Package

sudo apt-get install firmware-linux

Extra Fonts

Install Microsoft fonts, then run the following command,

sudo apt-get install ttf-freefont ttf-mscorefonts-installer

In this guide, we are going to install noto fonts and use it as the default font.

Note: If you are using KDE desktop environment then skip this step (i.e. don’t install noto fonts because the default font that is bundled with KDE is good enough).

To install noto fonts, run the following command,

sudo apt-get install fonts-noto

It may take some time to install the fonts and regenerate the fonts cache. After the installation is complete, we have to change the font settings. I’m going to show the process for Xfce desktop environment and you can find similar settings for other desktop environments too.

Xfce Font Settings

Go to Settings -> Appearance

  • Change Default Font to Noto Sans
  • Tick the checkbox to Enable anti-aliasing
  • Set Sub-pixel order to RGB
  • Set Hinting to Slight


Logout & login back to see the new font rendering.

To improve the font rendering across both Qt & GTK+ applications, we need to install Qt4 Settings tool and change the font settings.

sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig

After that, open Qt4 Settings and change the settings as shown below,

Qt4 Config

Qt4 ConfigNow save the settings & close it.

Note: The style setting should be Regular but in my installation, it automatically changes back to Bold Italic after I close the Qt4 configuration settings & open it again.

Multimedia codecs

We are going to install only ffmpeg and some extra packages for libavcodec.

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra ffmpeg


Ufw stands for Uncomplicated Firewall, and is program for managing a netfilter firewall. It provides a command line interface and aims to be uncomplicated and easy to use.

sudo apt-get install ufw


Add the default deny rule and we are good to go with a basic firewall.
sudo ufw default deny


The following single command is enough to enable the firewall and add it to startup.
sudo ufw enable


You can check the status by running the following commands
sudo ufw status
sudo ufw status verbose


If you want a gui to manage it then you may install gufw.
sudo apt-get install gufw

Customize your OS and desktop

Then you should customize your desktop environment or add boot animation or whatever you would like to do.
You can check out this article to customize GNOME desktop – Customize your GNOME 3 desktop looks

Summary for Things to do after installing Debian 9 “Stretch”

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