Debian Stretch

Debian is a software libre operating system for personal computers. The new Debian Stretch (9) distribution of GNU/Linux is the first Debian release to include the new KDE Plasma 5 desktop.

Debian Stretch (9) with KDE Plasma 5.8

  • Download the ISO image from the non-free section of the Debian file server. The non-free installation medium contains proprietary firmware and drivers for WiFi adapters and graphics cards where the manufacturer has not released a free software driver.
  • Write the big ISO file to a USB stick using a tool for creating bootable USB sticks and boot from it. You might have to enable booting from USB in the BIOS settings before booting.
  • Install Debian with KDE Plasma as desktop and reboot. Make sure that software updates are working.
  • Install required proprietary firmware and drivers to get WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3D graphics working. In my case I had to install firmware for the Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter and drivers for the AMD/ATI Kabini Radeon HD 8330 graphics card. Note that I currently have unsolved connectivity and low signal issues with the Qualcomm Atheros WiFi adapter. Instead I am accessing WiFi using USB tethering with an Android phone.
sudo apt-get install firmware-atheros firmware-amd-graphics
sudo apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree libgl1-mesa-dri xserver-xorg-video-ati
echo deb stretch main non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/deb-multimedia.list
sudo dpkg -i deb-multimedia-keyring_2016.8.1_all.deb
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  • Install gstreamer1.0-libav to get the JuK music player to work:
sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-libav
  • Install qml-module-qtquick-xmllistmodel to get the network traffic display to work:
sudo apt-get install qml-module-qtquick-xmllistmodel
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pavucontrol bluez-firmware
  • After rebooting you can pair a Bluetooth headset and use pavucontrol to redirect the output of a running media player to it.

More software I recommend:

I'll try to keep this up to date as I discover more useful things to install and setup.


See also:


First Use=false
  • Had to reenable Baloo file indexing using balooctl enable

Rally Trophy rally driving game

Rally Trophy

Getting Rally Trophy to run on Windows 8

Rally Trophy by BugBear Entertainment and JoWooD Productions is the best rally driving simulation I have ever played. These days it is available as a free download on You can run the game in Windows XP compatibility mode.

Note that in order to be able to configure the joystick and keyboard controls, you need to install Microsoft DirectInput Mapper.

There is a code to unlock all cars, tracks, and modes. Just enter KALJAKOPPA as your name in the game menu. It will clear the name and then you can enter your normal player name.

I didn't manage to get it to work under GNU/Linux using Wine. Also I haven't looked into the modifications available for it.



One can get the modifications running using the RTBZFManager.exe tool. Note that you need to configure the program to run in Windows XP compatibility mode otherwise it will silently fail to install game modifications. Also you need to change the settings so that it will export modifications to the data folder. For example:

C:\Program Files (x86)\JoWooD\Rally Trophy\Data

Now if you for example install the VW Käfer RTP file, it should create a folder named car_3 next to the car_3.bzf file in the Data\Cars folder.

VW Käfer

Another distinct looking car is the Citroën DS3.

Citroën DS3

In terms of handling the Peugeot 206 is great fun.

Peugeot 206

Another really responsive car to drive is the Porsche 911.

Porsche 911 SC RS

See also:

Masters of Orion II

Masters of Orion II

Running Masters of Orion II with Wine

Just want to point out this great game which is available free of charge this days.

You can download Master Of Orion II from

And it runs unter GNU/Linux thanks to Wine:

7z x masteroforion2_dos_win.7z
cd MasterOfOrion2/mastori2
winetricks ddr=gdi
wine ORION95.EXE



Wine 1.8.7 under Debian Stretch displayed a blank screen when starting the game. Using winetricks ddr=gdi as shown above seems to resolve that issue.

TIE Fighter flight simulator

TIE Fighter

Installing TIE Fighter on DOSBox

The Internet Archive hosts among other vintage PC games a copy of Star Wars TIE Fighter. I got the game to run under GNU/Linux using DOSBox. I only got it to run using a Joystick. The mouse controls didn't seem to work properly.

Download TIE Fighter from here and place the files SWTieCD/cd/SWTIECD.cue and SWTieCD/cd/SWTIECD.BIN in a directory of your choice. Also rename them to lower case (i.e. swtiecd.cue and swtiecd.bin).

Edit your DOSBox configuration file (in my case $HOME/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf and set the Joystick type to two axis (it is set to ch by default).


Change to the directory where the CD image is and run DOSBox as follows:

dosbox .

In the DOSBox window mount the CD image as follows:

imgmount d c:\swtiecd.cue -t iso

Now you can install and run the game:



See also:

MEncoder options

MPlayer and MEncoder

Encoding DVDs with MEncoder

Here is an example on how to encode a DVD using MEncoder.

mencoder dvd://1 -o test.avi -ss 120 -endpos 10 -alang en -slang en -aid 130 -psprobe 1000000 -vf crop=720:446:0:66 -aspect 1.78 -af volume=15 -ovc x264 -x264encopts crf=21:threads=2 -oac mp3lame -lameopts q=2

You can get hints for the audio id, supported languages, aspect ratio, and other values by playing the DVD with mplayer dvd://1 and inspecting the resulting console output.

  • dvd://1: read the main track of the DVD. Sometimes the main video is on another track (e.g. dvd://3, dvd://5, dvd://81, ...).
  • -o test.avi: selects the output file and AVI as container format. You could also specify an MP4 file here.
  • -ss 120 -endpos 10: this tells the encoder to skip the first 120 seconds and then stop after encoding 10 seconds of video. This is used initially to test on a small representative part of the video that the encoding options are correct. Afterwards you can drop these options.
  • -alang en: choose the English audio track.
  • -slang en: add the English subtitles to the video.
  • -aid 130: choose the audio track with id 130. Specifying this is not necessary in most cases.
  • -psprobe 1000000: use this option to force MEncoder to extend the search for the audio stream. Only necessary if MEncoder says no audio stream found.
  • -vf crop=720:446:0:66: you can use this to crop of black borders.
  • -aspect 1.78: often it is necessary to set the pixel aspect ratio of the output video.
  • -af volume=15: with many DVDs it is necessary to boost the audio volume.
  • -ovc x264 -x264encopts crf=21:threads=2: this selects the H.264 video encoder and configures it.
  • -oac mp3lame -lameopts q=2: this selects the MP3 audio encoder and configures it. You can also use -oac faac -faacopts quality=300 if you prefer to use the AAC codec.

Once you have found the right options, rerun the command without the -ss and -endpos option to encode the full video.

See also: