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Encrypted Debian Install

1- Create the bootable media

Note: To avoid any issue, always use the non-free firmware iso. For Debian 11 it's firmware-11.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso from Here.

Make the bootable media:

Use Ventoy or dd:

dd bs=4M if=path/to/debian.iso of=/dev/sdx status=progress oflag=sync

2- Installation

Locale and keyboard layout

  • Language: English
  • Location: Your location (in my case: other/Europe/France)
  • Locale: en_US.UTF-8
  • Keymap: Your keymap (in my case: French)

Hostname and users

  • Hostname: debian
  • Domain name: [Blank Value] (remove home)
  • Root: Give it a strong password
  • Full name of the user account: [Blank Value]
  • Username of the user account: Choose an username
  • Password: Give it a strong password


(If asked: Force UEFI installation: YES)

  • Partition method: Manual

  • Choose a your drive

  • Create partition table

  • Choose "FREE SPACE" of this drive

  • Create a new partition
  • Size: 500 MB
  • Begining
  • Name: [Empty Value]
  • Use as EXT4 jounrnaling file system"
  • Mount as /boot
  • Click "Done setting up the partition"

  • Choose "FREE SPACE" of this drive

  • Create a new partition
  • Size: 500 MB
  • Begining
  • Name: [Empty Value]
  • Use as "EFI System Partition"
  • Click "Done setting up the partition"

  • Choose "FREE SPACE" of this drive

  • Create a new partition
  • Size: all available (default value)
  • Name: [Empty Value]
  • Use as "Physical volume for encryption"
  • Erase data: no
  • Click "Done setting up the partition"


  • Configure encrypted volumes
  • Write the changes: YES
  • Create encrypted volumes
  • Choose the crypto partition
  • Finish
  • Encryption passphrase: Choose one
  • Done

  • Choose the encrypted volume

  • Mount point /
  • Click "Done setting up the partition"
  • Done

- Click "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk"

  • When asked to setup swap, choose "No" (we'll setup a swapfile later, that way our swap will be encrypted)
  • Write the changes to disk


  • Mirror country: Choose a country with good internet near you
  • Choose
  • Proxy: [blank]
  • Participate in the package usage survey: No

Software to install:

  • KDE Plasma
  • standard system utilities
  • Untick everything else (including "Debian desktop environment")

3- Post-Install

Sudo setup

su - root
  • Scroll down until "User privilege specification"
  • Add your user with the same privilege as root
  • Save

Locale fix

It's possible that because this setup uses 2 locales, only one is properly setup. This will cause various issues, from warnings to software crashing, to fix this:

sudo nano /etc/locale.gen

Uncomment the secondary locale (UTF-8), in my case, I need to uncomment: fr_FR.UTF-8 UTF-8.

Save and regenerate the locale:

sudo locale-gen

4- KDE Plasma Configuration

System Settings


Global theme

Choose "Breeze Dark"


Adjust all fonts:

Font: DejaVu Sans


Workspace behavior
General behavior:
  • Animation speed: Instant
  • Click behavior: "Double-click to open files and folders"
Screen locking:
  • Untick: "After X minutes"
Startup and Shutdown:
sudo apt install sddm-theme-breeze
Login Screen (SDDM):
  • Theme: Breeze


Regionnal Settings

Tick "Detailed Settings"

  • Time: Set to your locale (in my case fr_FR)
  • Measurment Units: Set to your locale (in my case fr_FR)
  • Your username: Set picture (in my case to a Konqi)
Default Applications
  • Web browser: Firefox ESR
  • E-mail client: Thunderbird


Display and Monitor

Desktop with multiple monitor only: re-arrange the screens in the right order

Power Management
Energy Saving

Laptop Only:

Disable (for "On AC power" and "On Battery"): - Dim screen - Screen Energy saving - Suspend session

Desktop Only:

Disable: - Screen energy saving

Dolphin configuration

Configure Dolphin


Show on startup: /home/[USERNAME]

System tray

Clipboard: Clear history (tick "never ask again")

Clipboard - Configure Clipboard: Under "Selection and Clipboard" tick "Ignore Selection"

Application launcher (the "Windows" button)

  • Show alternative
  • Choose "Application menu"
  • Click "Switch"

Remove every favorite (above the shutdown button)

Task manager (the task bar)

  • Show alternative
  • Choose "Task Manager"
  • Click "Switch"

Configure task manager: Maximum row: 1

5- Software installation

General tools:

To install everything:

apt install krita nfoview qbittorrent mpv smplayer mumble peek thunderbird birdtray micro keepassxc

Software list:

  • krita: Photoshop but not by Adobe
  • nfoview: Render NFO files the right way
  • qbittorrent: Torrent stuff the right way
  • mpv: The best media player
  • smplayer: The best frontend to mpv, the best media player
  • mumble: Voice chat but good
  • peek: The best way to record short GIF/WEBM/MP4 to share on the internet
  • thunderbird: The best e-mail client
  • birdtray: Allow Thunderbird to go into the tray
  • micro: nano but better, without going to vim
  • keepassxc: The best password manager

Advanced tools:

To install everything:

apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth gsmartcontrol whois hardinfo htop neofetch rclone aegisub curl electrum monero filezilla mediainfo-gui mkvtoolnix-gui torbrowser-launcher innoextract neovim audacity

Software list:

  • pulseaudio-module-bluetooth: Audio speaker support for Bluetooth
  • gsmartcontrol: GUI SMART data monitor
  • whois: Get informations on domain name
  • hardinfo: Get informations on your hardware
  • htop: Everyone's favorites system monitor
  • neofetch: /r/unixporn favorite tool
  • rclone: Interact with cloud storage provider the right way
  • aegisub: The best subtitle editor
  • curl: It's cURL
  • electrum: The best Bitcoin wallet
  • monero: The best Monero wallet
  • filezilla: SFTP the right way
  • mediainfo-gui: Get information about media files
  • mkvtoolnix-gui: The best way to work with video files
  • torbrowser-launcher: It's the TOR Browser
  • innoextract: Extract files from Inno setup installer (mainly for GOG games installers)
  • neovim: vim but better, because it's always useful to have
  • audacity: Note: Audacity has been taken over, Debian still ship a "clean" version but a move to Tenacity or Sneedcity will be required soon.

Software that aren't in Debian's repos:

Get a good installer for .deb files:

sudo apt install gdebi
  • [Insert name of your VPN provider]

Install instruction: Refer to your provider website

  • Librewolf: Firefox but not spyware

Get the AppImage from:

Move it to ~/.AppImage

Make it executable and run it

  • Ungoogled-Chromium: Chromium but not spyware

Install instruction:

Also install: to enable extension support

Go into Settings/Appearance: Theme: Use GTK+

  • Syncthing: The best way to sync files between machines

Install instruction:

Also install a GUI for Syncthing (configure it to start on boot, and to run syncthing when it's started):

sudo apt install syncthing-gtk
  • Element Desktop: The best Matrix client

Install instruction:

  • VSCodium: VSCode but not spyware

Install instruction:

TODO: Find an Audacity alternative that is in Debian's repos, document the installation of yt-dlp, jdownloader2, rclone-brower, spek-alternative, torrent-file-editor, cdemu/kde-cdemu-manager