10 things to do after installing Debian 11

Are you unable to get a list of updates?

Using the Software application, you may run into the following error message when checking for updates:

Unable to get list of updates:
Failed to update metadata for lvfs: checksum failure: failed to verify data, expected yJcztsgVmmvtkn9na5YyQVdyqFNIXlzYUgrACKX

Run the following command to fix the issue:

$ fwupdmgr --force refresh

Enable Network Manager to manage all interfaces

Network manager detects and configures network interfaces to automatically connect your system to available networks. By default, however, it will only recognise network interfaces not declared in /etc/network/interfaces.

Use the following command to open /etc/network/interfaces and delete or comment out any configuration details for the primary network interface.

$ sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Use the following command to open /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf and set managed=true.

$ sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

Restart NetworkManager with the following command:

$ sudo service NetworkManager restart

Re-enable network interfaces now managed by NetworkManager.

Settings > Network

Install TLP

If you have installed Debian 11 on a laptop, consider installing TLP to further optimise battery life.

$ sudo apt-get install --yes tlp && sudo tlp start

Use the following command to check that TLP is enabled and active:

tlp-stat -s

Enable unattended upgrades

If you would like to enable the unattended installation of important upgrades, run the follwoing command:

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure unattended-upgrades
Configuring unattended-upgrades

Automatically download and install stable updates? Yes

Install neofetch

Neofetch is a command-line tool that displays information about your system next to an operating system logo.

$ sudo apt-get install --yes neofetch

If you would like neofetch to display every time you open a new terminal, open .bashrc with the following command:

$ nano ~/.bashrc

Append the following text:

# use Neofetch to display information about the system
if [ -f /usr/bin/neofetch ]; then
    clear && neofetch;

Apply the changes with the following command:

$ source ~/.bashrc

Enable Plymouth to display a splash screen during boot

Plymouth can be used to replace the text output with a graphical splash screen during system boot. Install Plymouth with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install -yes plymouth plymouth-themes

Edit the file /etc/default/grub with the following command:

$ sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Set the value for GRUB_TIMEOUT to the number of seconds the grub menu is displayed before booting the default entry.


Add the splash option to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT:


Set the resolution for the graphical terminal. If supported, you can set it to match the resolution of your monitor.


Apply the changes with the following command:

$ sudo update-grub2

During boot, you can press the [Esc] key to view the messages.

Hide the snap directory

The snap directory in your home folder is not supposed to be accessed manually. Use the following command to hide it from view:

$ echo snap >> ~/.hidden

Hide the Desktop directory

The Desktop feature was disabled in GNOME 3.28. While this decision was not universally popular, developers pointed to the fact that, as an unmaintained feature, it stood in the way of other improvements. Use the following command to hide the associated Desktop folder from view:

$ echo Desktop >> ~/.hidden

Install Syncthing for continuous file synchronisation

Syncthing reliably synchronises files between two or more computers. Its usefulness cannot be overstated. Add the release key with the following command:

$ sudo curl -s -o /usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg https://syncthing.net/release-key.gpg

Add the syncthing repository with the following command:

$ sudo echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg] https://apt.syncthing.net/ syncthing stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncthing.list

Install syncthing on your system with the following command:

$ sudo -- bash -c 'apt update && apt install --yes syncthing'

Enable syncthing for the local user bullseye:

$ sudo -- bash -c 'systemctl enable syncthing@bullseye.service && systemctl start syncthing@bullseye.service && systemctl status syncthing@bullseye.service'

Access the Syncthing configuration page by using your browser to navigate to the following address:


Use the following command to enable port forwarding on your local machine:

$ sudo ufw limit syncthing

Install Virtual Machine Manager

If you would like run virtual machines from your desktop, start with the following command:

$ grep -E --color 'svm|vmx' /proc/cpuinfo

If the output shows svm or vmx in red, then virtualisation extensions are enabled and you are good to go. If not, then you need to enable virtualisation extensions before moving on the the next step.

Enable Debian Backports with the following command:

$ sudo -- bash -c 'echo deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-backports main >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list && apt-get update'

Proceed to install virt-manager with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install --yes virt-manager libguestfs-tools swtpm-tools python3-guestfs

With only members of the group libvirt allowed to run virt-manager, add the local user bullseye to the group:

$ sudo adduser bullseye libvirt

If you would like to obtain near native performance, there are important considerations to be aware of when configuring a virtual machine.

Install Google Chrome

An official build of Google Chrome is available neither as a snap nor flatpak. This ties in with what Martin Wimpress had to say in a recent episode of the LINUX Unplugged podcast.

If, after listening to Martin, you would still like to use Google Chrome, download the official Google Chrome for Linux installer with the following command:

$ wget -P ~/Downloads --show-progress https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

Install Google Chrome with the following command:

$ sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

When you launch Google Chrome for the first time, it will ask you to:

[ ] make Google Chrome the default browser
[ ] Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google


Disable both these options. If required, you can always re-enable them later.

With thanks to Joey Sneddon and OMG!Ubuntu!