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Home » , , » Aptosid is a desktop-oriented operating system based on the "unstable" branch of Debian.

Aptosid is a desktop-oriented operating system based on the "unstable" branch of Debian.

The Aptosid distribution is a desktop-oriented operating system and live CD based on the unstable branch of Debian GNU/Linux. Besides full compatibility with its parent, the distribution also offers a custom kernel with support for a wide variety of modern hardware devices, KDE as the default desktop environment, a rolling release cycle, and compliance with Debian's Free Software guidelines.

i It was known as sidux until September 2010. The distribution consists of a Live CD (bootable CD-ROM) for the x86 architecture installable to a hard drive through a graphical installer. The goal of the distribution is to provide a stable, easy-to-use and cutting-edge free and open source operating system.

sidux was maintained by a team of developers including former Kanotix developer Stefan Lippers-Hollmann (slh). Initial administration was managed by The sidux Foundation, Inc. located in the United States. The Berlin, Germany based non-profit organization sidux e.V. was administering and supporting the project.

Due to disagreement between sidux e.V. and the sidux developers, all development of sidux has been halted in summer 2010 until September 2010. The entire project has been renamed as aptosid, announced on 2010-09-11. aptosid is a direct upgrade from sidux. The first time a user runs an apt-get dist-upgrade in sidux, they are asked if they want their repositories changed to the new aptosid site and the system will be seamlessly upgraded to aptosid.

aptosid Stefan Lippers-Hollmann has announced the release of aptosid 2011-01, a desktop distribution (with KDE or Xfce) based on Debian's unstable branch: "Now that kernel 2.6.37 has entered the archive and Debian 6.0 'Squeeze' is in the process of being released, we have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of the final aptosid 2011-01 'Geras'. New features are in particular kernel 2.6.37 and numerous integration and stabilization fixes after completing the transition to aptosid. Kernel 2.6.37 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also improves ext4 performance (lazy inode table initialization), implements the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) for USB 3.0 storage and adds support for Intel's new Sandy Bridge graphics cards." The detailed release notes provide comprehensive information about the release.

Download: aptosid-2011-01-kde-full-i386-amd64.iso (1,878MB, SHA256), aptosid-2011-01-geras-xfce-i386-201102052006.iso (430MB, SHA256), aptosid-2011-01-xfce-amd64.iso (435MB, SHA256).

Recent releases:

• 2011-02-06: Distribution Release: aptosid 2011-01
• 2010-12-27: Distribution Release: aptosid 2010-03
• 2010-09-14: Distribution Release: aptosid 2010-02
• 2010-06-14: Distribution Release: sidux 2010-01
• 2010-05-28: Development Release: sidux 2010-01 Preview 1
• 2009-12-31: Distribution Release: sidux 2009-04

Aptosid Quick Start Guide
Debian sid/unstable stability

sid is a name tag for the unstable repositories of Debian. Debian sid is a frequently updated repository that is quick to stay in sync with latest and greatest upstream versions of software maintained. Because of the frequency of updates, less overall testing on packages is possible from the shortened period of time between upstream and distributed Debian packages.

aptosid kernel

The kernel is aptosid optimised to help offset issues, add new functionality, or configured for faster performance and better stability and tweaked from latest kernel from http://www.kernel.org/. .

The kernel is mirrored here: Upgrading the kernel

Package Management

aptosid is compliant with Debian packaging and uses apt and dpkg for software package management with debian and other repositories identified by the files in /etc/sources.list.d/*

Debian sid has over 30,000 packages, so you should be able to find the one you would like to use with Package searching with apt-cache or with Debian Package Search GUI application.

To install the package apt-get install Installing a new package

Debian sid's repositories can be updated as much as four times a day so running apt-get update apt-get dist-upgrade to keep up-to-date with the server's list of packages. is essential before installing any new packages or before running

Using other Debian based distributions' repositories, Source and RPMs

Source installs are not supported. If you really need to compile your application, do it as user, and put it under your home directory without installing it to the system. Using checkinstall and converting RPMs with alien, (and others like it), to make a deb, is not supported.

Other well known, (and lesser known), Debian based distributions' which repackage Debians' packages for their own repositories, often use different file locations for various applications which differ from Debian and could cause system instability and some packages won't install due to unresolvable dependencies from different package naming schemes or odd version numbers. For instance a different version of glibc could cause the application to not even run.

Use Debian repositories to install your required software packages, as other repositories will most likely not be able to be supported.

Upgrading the system - dist-upgrade

apt-get dist-upgrade is the supported way of upgrading aptosid. Using any graphical front end to update aptosid is not supported. Please read carefully: Upgrade of an Installed System - dist-upgrade

A dist-upgrade is supported only outside of X. Running init 3 from your window manager (KDE, XFCE, etc) or in a virtual terminal (ctrl+alt+f1, ctrl+alt+f2, etc) will stop X from running and allows you to upgrade safely.

Network Configuration

Ceni is a network configuration tool to quickly configure your network or wireless card with little fuss. The wireless function can scan for networks, use wep and wpa for encryption, and use wireless-tools or wpa_supplicant for wireless configuration. Ethernet is straight forward if using dhcp (automatic ip address assigning) or you can manually set it from netmasks to nameservers.

Ceni is run with the command Ceni or ceni . If not installed, you can install it with the command apt-get install ceni.

Getting Online - Ceni

Runlevels - init

aptosid run levels are different to debian see: aptosid runlevels - init

Other Window Managers

KDE, XFCE and fluxbox are the aptosid defaults. Gnome is not supported by aptosid to date. Some users in the aptosid forums /wiki and IRC chat may have experience and be willing to help you, otherwise you are on your own.

IRC and Forum help

Don't be afraid to ask for help through IRC or the forum:

HD Install Preparation

For normal use we recommend ext4; it is the default file system for aptosid and is well maintained.

Before installation please remove all usb-sticks, cameras, etc. Installation to USB Devices requires additional steps. You can edit the installer file: ~/.sidconf, and thereby use a different filesystem or spread your installation over different partitions. For example a separate /home.

It is highly recommended that you have a separate data partition. The benefits in terms of disaster recovery, stability of your data are unmeasurable.

Therefore your $HOME becomes a place where basic application configurations are kept. or to put it another way, a container for applications to store their settings.

Re-installing applications to rebuild or duplicate to another computer

To make a list of your installed applications so you can duplicate the installed base on another machine, or perhaps you are for some reason, reinstalling on your current PC, in a konsole

dpkg -l|awk '/^ii/{ print $2 }'|grep -v -e ^lib -e -dev -e $(uname -r) >/home/username/installed.txt

Then copy the text file to a usb key or any other removable media of your choice.

On the new machine copy the text file to $HOME and use the list as a reference to install your required applications.

RAM and Swap

On PC's with less than 512 MB RAM you must have a swap-partition. The size should not be less than 128 mb (cfdisk-output should not be trusted either as it calculates with a 10-base), more than 1 GB swap is seldom reasonable, except if you are copying large data files, like copying CD/DVD data on-the-fly, and/or you need suspend-to-disk/hibernate and server systems. If this is your case, allocate 2 GIG swap, as a minimum.

Please see: Partitioning your HD

ALWAYS BACK-UP YOUR DATA including your bookmarks and emails! See Back-Up with rdiffBack-Up with rsync. Another option is sbackup (needs installing). and

Installation to the hard drive is much more comfortable and lots faster than running a system off a live-CD.

First, you need to set your boot order in the BIOS to CD-ROM. With most computers you can get to the Bios-setup by pressing [del] key while booting (with some BIOS-Versions you can simply choose the boot device while booting, with AMI-BIOS, e.g., with F11 or F8).

aptosid should boot up now in most cases. If that's not the case, you can use Boot-options, (called cheatcodes) which can be issued in the boot manager. Using boot parameters (e.g. for screen resolution or language selection) can save a lot of time with the post-install configuration. Also see Cheatcodes and VGA Resolutions

Choosing the language for your installation

Language Installs with KDE-full

Select your main language from the grub menu (F4) in the kde-full release, to install the localisations for the desktop and many applications while booting.

This ensures they are also present after installing aptosid, while only installing the required languages for the given system. The amount of memory required for this feature depends on the language and aptosid may refuse to install the given language packs automatically with insufficient RAM and the boot sequence will be continued in English language but with the desired locales settings (currency, date and time format, keyboard charsets). 512 MB memory or more should be safe for all supported languages, which are:

Default - Deutsch (German)
Default - English (English-US)
*Ellīniká (Greek)
*Español (Spanish)
*English (GB)
*Français (French)
*Italiano (Italian)
*Nihongo (Japanese)
*Português (Portuguese BR and PT)
*Română (Romanian)
*Русский (Russian)

The language selection depends on the availability of aptosid-manual translations, get involved to add your language.

Other Language installs with KDE-lite
  1. Select your main language from the gfxboot menu (F4). (See also aptosid specific Live-CD Cheatcodes). The Language files themselves are not on the Live-CD so the system will fall back to default English. However, this will make the correct language configuration needed for your preferred language and therefore no need to make any changes into the system, aside from the installation of the missing language files.
  2. Start the installation.
  3. Install to HD and reboot.
  4. After HD install, install the language of your choice and applications via apt-get.
First Time boot up to the HD

After booting up for the first time you will discover that aptosid has forgotten its network configuration. The network can be comfortably set up from Kmenu > Internet > Ceni. For additional WIFI/WLAN roaming please read this.

The aptosid-Installer

1. The Installer is started from the Desktop icon, the KMenu> System>aptosid-installer, or via the konsole using:


2. After reading (and understanding) the warning text we move on to choosing a partition.


Now choose where the installation is supposed to go to and we establish the mount points. Partitions which you do not establish mount points for, will be auto mounted (the swap partition will always be automatically mounted, when the system starts).

NOTE: If you have your root partition ('/") formatted with your preferred file system, you can uncheck the "format with" checkbox, provided that the drop box reflects the file system of your choice.

All other partitions will be placed as a /media/ partition. Here you have to select the root partition ("/") for your aptosid installation. However, it is at this moment you can also choose to create a data partition. A 'left-click' will activate your choices for each partition.

Have you backed up your data?

If you haven't partitioned your hard drive yet, do it in the Start Part.-manager and have a look at Partitioning your HD using Gparted or, if you want to use the shell, read Partitioning your HD

You may also start them from the konsole/terminal




3. As a boot manager aptosid uses GRUB, therefore install Grub to MBR! If you make a different choice here, you should know what you are doing. You would have to edit other bootmanagers manually, if you want to keep them.

Grub recognizes other installed OS's (e.g. Windows) and adds them to the boot menu.

Moreover you are able to change the timezone in this window.


4. On we go with user, his/her password and the root-password (remember those!). Please don't choose too easily-guessed passwords. To add additional users, do so after installation via the terminal with adduser..


5. Now choose the name of the Installation (you can name it anything you wish, provided that the 'Hostname: The hostname should consist of letters (and numbers) only and it must not begin with a number'.

After that you can choose whether ssh shall start automatically or not.


6. This query is the last chance to check the adjustments you made. Read through it again carefully, then click Save Config and Next..


At this point it is possible to change/edit the config file and then start the install procedure with the changed configuration. The installer does not make any checks and you must not click the 'back' on the installer otherwise the changes entered manually will be lost.

Editing (~/.sidconf) is for experienced linux-users, who want to write their special changes to the config-file or have a special partitioning scheme on their hard drive that would be rejected by the automatic check of the installer.

Should the installer detect that you are trying to install over an old $HOME it will warn you and will not let you proceed with the installation until you choose another user name.

Begin Installtion

To commence the installation click on Begin Installation The whole process takes, depending on your system, between 5 - 15 minutes, on older PCs it may take as long as 60 minutes..

If the progress bar hangs in one place for a while, don't abort, just give it some time.

Finished! Take the CD out of the tray. Now reboot to your new HD Install.

First Bootup

After booting up for the first time you will discover that aptosid has forgotten its network-configuration. So you have to reconfigure your network (Wlan, Modem, ISDN,...).

Whomever previously had their network address automatically (DHCP) detected by using a DSL-Router must reactivate it with:


The appropriate tools are still to be found in the Kmenu >Internet> ceni. Also refer to: Internet and Networking

To add an existing aptosid $home partition to new installation fstab needs to be altered, refer to Moving /home.

Do not use or share an existing $home from another distribution as the $home configuration files in a home directory will conflict if you share the same username between differing distributions.

To add users to your installation

To add a new user with automatic group permissions granted, as root:


Just press enter, it should take care of the complexities. You will get asked to type in the password twice.

aptosid specific icons (like the manual and IRC icons) need adding manually.

To delete a user



man adduser
man deluser

kuser can create new user as well, however you will need to manually adjust the group permissions for that user.

About sux

Numerous commands need to be run with root privileges. To achieve this you type:


While the common command for becoming root is 'su' using sux instead will allow you run GUI / X11 applications from the command line and allow root to start graphical applications, as sux is a wrapper around the standard su command which will transfer your X credentials to the target user.

Some KDE applications require dbus-launch in front of the application:


An example of running an X11 app via sux is to use a text editor to edit a root file like kwrite or kate, to do partitioning with gparted or an Xapp file manager like konqueror. You can also alter root files by right clicking the file and choosing 'edit-as-root', and entering your root password, this will call kdesu in the background.

Unlike 'sudo', it means that someone can't just come along and type 'sudo' and make potentially damaging changes to your system.

WARNING: While you are logged in as root, the system will not stop you from doing potentially dangerous things like deleting important files etc., you have to be absolutely sure about what you are doing, because it's very possible to seriously harm your system.

Under no circumstances should you be as root in the console/terminal to run applications that a standard user uses to go about being productive on a day to day basis, like sending emails, creating spreadsheets or surfing the internet and so forth.

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