Installing OpenJDK 8 on Debian Jessie

Since OpenJDK 8 is out there since march 2014 I wanted to install it on my freshly setup Debian Jessie. But trying to, I was surprised that the OpenJDK is only available in version 7. To successfully install version 8 you need to perform the following steps:

Prepare your system

The desired version of OpenJDK is not available in out-of-the-box Debian Jessie. So you have to rely on Debian Backports repository and add the following lines to the end of your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

# jessie backports
deb jessie-backports main

Install OpenJDK 8

The installation of version 8 is then straight forward:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports openjdk-8-jdk

Make version 8 your default Java

This step is optional. Debian provides a neat Tool to change default Java on your system.

  1. To check which JDK-Versions are available on your system perform:
    sudo update-java-alternatives --list

    On my system (64-bit) the output is:

    java-1.7.0-openjdk-amd64 1071 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.7.0-openjdk-amd64
    java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64 1069 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64
  2. To update your all relevant symlinks at once use:
    sudo update-java-alternatives --set java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64

    (in a 32-bit environment use -i386 postfix instead of -amd64)

You can ignore the errors about to a missing java plugin as you probably just did not install the java browser plugin.

Installing Guitar Pro 6 on Debian Jessie 64-bit

I wanted to use Arobas Music’s
Guitar Pro 6 on Debian Jessie 64-bit as they also provide a Linux version. However it can be rather difficult to install the software under certain circumstances for a number of reasons, so I decided to share my approach of the problem.

Download Guitar Pro files

Download Version 6 32-bit for Linux and standard sound banks. In my case I got two files:


Prepare your system

  1. Since the software just comes 32-bit-only you have to enable multi-arch on your system:
    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
  2. Unfortunately Guitar Pro depends on two libraries which are not available for Debian Jessie, but are for Debian Wheezy (libportaudio0) and Debian Squeeze-LTS (libssl0.9.8). So you have to add those lines to the end of your
    /etc/apt/sources.list file:

    # necessary for guitar pro 6 dependency libssl0.9.8	
    deb [arch=i386] squeeze-lts main	 	 
    # necessary for guitar pro 6 dependency libportaudio0	 
    deb [arch=i386] wheezy main

    (You should able to build those libraries for your current system but this is beyond the scope of this tutorial)

  3. Install the necessary dependencies (32-bit versions):
    sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libasound2:i386 libc6:i386 libglu1-mesa:i386 libportaudio0:i386 libportaudio2:i386 libssl0.9.8:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libxml2:i386 libxslt1.1:i386 zlib1g:i386 libpulse0:i386 libxrender1:i386 libglib2.0-0:i386 libpng12-0:i386 libfreetype6:i386 libfontconfig1:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386

Remove unnecessary dependencies

The software also depends on
gksu which I didn’t manage to install, so I removed the dependency from the package because it also works without it.

  1. Extract data and control information:
    dpkg-deb -x gp6-full-linux-r11621.deb gp6-full-linux-r11621
    dpkg-deb --control gp6-full-linux-r11621.deb gp6-full-linux-r11621/DEBIAN
  2. Remove gksu dependency: Open the control file in an editor …
    nano gp6-full-linux-r11621/DEBIAN/control

    and change the line

    Depends: gksu, libasound2, ...


    Depends: libasound2, ...
  3. Repack and clean up:
    dpkg -b gp6-full-linux-r11621 gp6-full-linux-r11621-modified.deb
    rm gp6-full-linux-r11621.deb gp6-full-linux-r11621/ -rf

Install the software

  1. First Guitar Pro 6:
    sudo dpkg -i --force-architecture gp6-full-linux-r11621-modified.deb
  2. Then the standard sound banks:
    /opt/GuitarPro6/GPBankInstaller Banks-r370.gpbank /opt/GuitarPro6
  3. You should be able to run Guitar Pro 6 now. After first start you’ll probably see the activation-dialogue, where you have to enter your licensing information.

Let me know if this tutorial was able to help you or if you experienced difficulties on the way. Also if you can provide some insight why I could not install gksu in 32-bit version, feel free to leave a comment…

Fixing ‘Read Error’ in Grub after switching to AHCI

I switched the SATA Control mode from IDE to AHCI after installing my new Samsung Evo 850 SSD on my Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 board.
This resulted in an unrecoverable halt of the system prior to grub execution and the following error message:

Loading Operating Systems
Read Error

My Setup

SSD: Samsung Evo 850 SSD, firmware: EMT02B6Q (latest)
Board: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3, BIOS: F8 (latest)

Possible workaround for the read error

I did some research and found other people to experience the same problem. They came up with a small workaround.

  1. Remove any medium from your CD/DVD drive
  2. During boot open the Boot Menu where you are able to select a different start option such as boot from CD/DVD, USB etc.
  3. Choose booting from CD/DVD
  4. Your system might be able to boot now

Unfortunately this did not work in my case.

First possible solution

The same person later came up with a solution that worked for him/her.

  1. Enter BIOS
  2. Go to Integrated Peripherals
  3. Change Onboard Serial Port 1 from 3F8/IRQ4 to auto
  4. Reboot
  5. Your system might be able to boot now

This did not work for me either.

Second possible solution

I did some additional digging and found another person with a problem that might be the same as mine or at least similar. However the solution they figured out was the one that solved the problem in my case.

  1. Enter BIOS
  2. Go to Advanced BIOS Features
  3. Change Quick Boot from enabled to disabled
  4. Reboot
  5. Your system might be able to boot now

I have yet to figure out what’s the exact source of the problem and if there’s a better solution which does not involve disabling quick boot. On the other hand, I couldn’t notice any major delay due to this change. My guess would be that the SSD takes too long to initialize during startup. A firmware update via Samsung Magician could not help. If you can provide some insight feel free to leave a comment.

Installing proprietary nvidia graphics driver on debian wheezy amd64

When I first tried to manually install the proprietary nvidia driver I encountered the following error:

The CC version check failed:

The compiler used to compile the kernel (gcc 4.6) does not exactly match the current compiler (gcc 4.7). The Linux 2.6 kernel module loader rejects kernel modules built with a version of gcc that does not exactly match that of the compiler used to build the running kernel.

After some digging I found a nice solution for this problem:

Download proprietary nvidia driver

Download the latest 64-bit version of the proprietary nvidia driver. I got the following file:

Prepare your system

  1. Install the desired version of gcc:
    sudo apt-get install gcc-4.6
  2. Enable gcc to be switched between versions via update-alternatives
    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.6 10
    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.7 20
  3. Switch to gcc version 4.6
    sudo update-alternatives --config gcc

Install the driver

You should be able to install the proprietary nvidia driver now without a warning about a wrong gcc version

sudo ./

Clean up

Switch back to the original version of gcc:

sudo update-alternatives --config gcc