Just Installed Kanotix Steelfire on one of my Boxes

For more than a week, I was worried about Kanotix, because their Web-site was down. But after just checking today, I found it was up again! :-)  It has been a habit of mine to install initial Debian systems, from Kanotix Live Disks.

I already posses a powerful computer which I name ‘Plato’, onto which I installed Debian / Stretch by way of an experimental Live Disk from Kanotix, but cannot fully say that that one is a Kanotix computer, because at the time, Kanotix didn’t have an official Debian / Stretch release yet. What I did have was two systems running the slightly older Debian / Jessie, and the official Kanotix release with that, is called “Kanotix Spitfire”.

But what I also had for some time, was a weaker PC that still had Debian / Lenny on it, which was an antique system, that required its own security measures, just not to pose a vulnerability to me.

My special security measure for that computer, was just never to turn it on. In fact, it had no eligible Web-browser. But like that, because the hardware was still good, this represented wasted hardware, just sitting in my computer room.

So, now that the Kanotix site is back up, what I did was to download a 32-bit, LXDE Disk Image, of “Kanotix Steelfire”, which is by now their official Debian / Stretch release. In principle many people, including Kanotix experts, would agree that it makes more sense to use as desktop manager, Plasma 5, but as it happens, the computer that just received a new O/S is so weak in terms of RAM and graphics chip-set, that I didn’t think it could handle Plasma 5.

The newly-set-up computer used to be named ‘Walnut’, but is now to be named ‘Klexel’. It has as graphics acceleration, an old Intel chip-set, which Kanotix distributions actually support, in the form of ‘i915 support’. This is neither an Nvidia, nor an AMD/ATI chip-set. But amazingly, I do have some level of direct-rendering with it, and, in addition, I have Compiz Fusion on that box now, and at least, the 3D desktop-switching belonging to Compiz works!

So now, with ‘Klexel’ wiped, I can take my time with it, and install what I think it should have. But what will slow me down a bit, is the fact that I’m not used to LXDE as a main window-manager. In the past I goofed around with LXDE a bit, but now, this is going to be Klexel’s window manager, under which the GUI is arranged differently, from what I’m used to.

(Update 09/09/2019, 15h50 … )

(As of 09/01/2018, 21h35 : )

I’ve come to discover, that the LXDE desktop manager now installed on the computer I name ‘Klexel’, is rather fun to play with – for its simplicity. And, I also made a discovery on how (poorly) the modern Linux kernel modules, support audio on an HP Compaq DC7100.

Under Debian / Lenny, the sound system was ‘ALSA’, and in addition to allowing sound to be played to the specific headphone jack in the front, of this “Small Form Factor” computer, I always had the ability to send sound to the (Monaural) front PC speaker, which was probably never meant to output ‘real sound’, but only beeps and other notifications, as far as the old Windows usage of the PC went.

Well now that I have “Kanotix Steelfire” installed on this old box, that uses the ‘PulseAudio’ sound system, but by default, will only send stereo sound to the phone jacks in the front – not to that old speaker. Yet, common usage of computers may dictate for some people, that sound is actually supposed to emanate from the computer, without the user having to plug in any headphones.

This problem is unlikely to have a workaround per se, because PulseAudio is only reporting sound outputs, that were made available by kernel modules, which have by now forgotten some of the tricks that once existed, and that were once known. But I nevertheless found a way to get sound that originated from this PC, to emanate in my computer room.

What I’ve chosen to do, is to allow the PulseAudio server on the other Debian / Stretch computer – which I name ‘Plato’ – to make itself available for networked sound to be played through it, and I’ve configured the sound server on ‘Klexel’, to act as a networked client.

To make this job easier, Debian / Stretch offers the following package:


When this package is installed on both the sound-server and the sound-client machines, it provides a GUI, which is easy to use like so:


On the computer I name ‘Klexel’ I needed to use the first tab, named ‘Network Access’, to discover sound servers on my LAN. After that, I needed to restart the PulseAudio server, on the client-computer named ‘klexel’. Next, using the GUI for volume control on ‘Klexel’, I was able to make ‘Plato’ my default sound sink. This way, when ‘Klexel’ has sound to play, it plays through the speakers on ‘Plato’.



(Update 09/01/2018, 23h10 : )

  • Actually, there is a correct way to get the Mono speaker to work.
  • Right-Click on the Volume Control Tray Icon
  • Left-Click on “Volume Control Settings”
  • Within the window that appears, select the correct Sound Device first:


  • And, discover that for some unknown reason, the “Master Mono” output was previously muted by default. Unmute, Adjust.


(Update 9/09/2019, 15h50 : )

Even though I was able to get the built-in, mono speaker to work on that box, out of principle, I also wanted to enable client-access to a networked, PulseAudio sound server – again. And what has happened with the latest update to Debian 9 / Stretch, to version 9.11, is that the steps described above will no longer be sufficient.

AFAICT, This is due to the latest sound server requiring authentication, and ignoring the setting in the ‘PAprefs’ GUI, to forego authentication. What this means is that in principle, users who want the security, can take the steps of copying PulseAudio cookies etc. But because I’m lazy, I still prefer to connect without any cookies. And so what I found was, that in addition to what I wrote above, I needed to append the following line to ‘/etc/pulse/default.pa’ (on the sound-providing server):


load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=true auth-cookie-enabled=false


Theoretically, having added this line would next require that we restart the PulseAudio server. However, on any of my KDE 4 or Plasma 5 devices, I’ve found that any attempt to do so from the command-line, leaves my ‘Phonon’ GUI disconnected from the new instance of the PulseAudio server. For me, to restart PulseAudio also means that I’d need to log out, and then log back in. Or, that I reboot. Therefore, as a shortcut around having to reboot, I can give the following commands instead:


$ pacmd load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=true auth-cookie-enabled=false
$ sudo systemctl restart avahi-daemon.service


And at this point, my networked sound works again.

Further, this module’s available parameters include ‘auth-ip-acl=’ which would be followed, without any spaces, by a semicolon-separated list of subnets, from which connections are to be allowed. And if this list is to be given from a ‘pacmd’ command-line, it must be delimited by single quotes.


There also exist recipes on the Web, that recommend using configuration-lines that name ‘zero-config’ modules, either to ‘publish’ or to ‘subscribe’. While those recipes may work, they are not compatible with using the ‘PAPrefs’ GUI, which goes through the ‘gconf’ module. The desired effect must either be obtained from ‘module-gconf’, or from one of the zero-config modules.



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