I’ve been there before with Gentoo, as a developer, but times and situations have changed. Over the years I’ve been deeply involved with Ubuntu for my work and at its heart, Debian. I’ve become a Debian Developer to help get closer to the development process, package management and maintenance to do my share of the heavy lifting.
The first thing I did was sign up at Alioth, a software ‘forge’ used by Debian for collaboration. Create a ‘New Account’ and just be aware that whatever login name you use, it will be appended with ‘-guest’. This will go away once you’ve officially joined Debian. At this point, it is also a good idea join a Debian mailing list and/or join IRC at irc.debian.org and have a nice chat with the folks in #Debian or their various sub-channels where you would like to help. It is important to have a sponsor/mentor that can help you out if you a problem. You will need them when getting accepted into the Debian community in order to start working.
So tried my hand at getting Linux up and running on a hand me down laptop that I’ll be doing a lot of work on. It is a Dell Latitude D505 with 1.2 Gigs of DDR ram, 1024×768 15in LCD, Pentium-M 1.5Ghz, Intel based wireless (802.11b), 120Gig Drive, and Intel based video card.
Started off wired to the Internet, Debian 3.1 install CD, linux26 install and everything was smooth sailing during install process. I selected http for getting my apt sources, wrapped up the install, rebooted. Once logged in, I immediately added testing and performed a aptitude dist-upgrade. This bumped me up to Debian 4.0. I installed the latest kernel 2.6.22 as it comes with the ipw2100 driver automatically. The earlier kernels do not and require you to compile yet more source code.
I found myself at a loss on how to enable ssl on apache2, it seemed so simple. Make sure ssl.conf and ssl.load where both in mods-enabled and restart apache2, and done. Not so fast, the damn thing needs a self-signed certificate and the normal scripts are no where to be found on Debian 4.0 Etch. After a bit of searching I’ve come across this little gem that I hope will help all of you too.