Ubuntu Server w/ FOG now running Debian? I didn't install Debian...

  • I’m a Windows helpdesk support guy. I have minimal knowledge of Linux. I’ve played with Debian. I’ve played with Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server.

    Through trial and error, I’ve set up FOG on Ubuntu Server 10.04 and have been happily building my image collection and capturing/deploying images for the last ~month. I usually shut it down after the task I need it for is finished, but last night I left it running.

    This morning I went to ssh in and the connection was refused. I checked the web interface and the page wasn’t found. Weird. I plugged in directly and got no video output so I did a hard reboot.

    It brought me to a Debian login screen with my FOG users listed. I logged in. My fog file structure is there. Everything works now. …but how is Debian all of a sudden installed? Does Debian come with an Ubuntu Server install and some kind of dual boot config? Did a boot option somehow get switched? This seems really strange to me, and I was recently thinking about my limited knowledge of linux security, so even though I’m inside a pretty secure network and not really connected to anything, I’m freaking out a little.

    What happened?

    EDIT: I don’t even have Debian install media, at the moment.

  • Hi,

    As has been said above, Ubuntu is Debian with newer versions of some stuff, a different install program and a pretty desktop.

    I’ve had what you experienced happen on one of my machines when I installed a different desktop. I installed something that hadn’t been Ubuntu-customised and that caused the boot screen to revert to the original one it had before Ubuntu applied their look. Is it the boot screen that has changed (the one that shows up when you turn the machine on) or the login screen (the one you type your password into)?

    There’s almost certainly nothing to worry about. Nobody has compromised your box.

  • Developer

    No problem, hopefully you learned some things in your adventure so it’s not a loss 🙂

  • Ok, thanks for clearing that up, and thanks for the link. Sorry for being off topic.

  • Developer

    Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian, that means the main core files are the same.

    Linux normally comes in Five flavors:
    Debian (widely used includes Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and a few others)
    RPM (wideley used mainly noted as Fedora Core or RedHat, SUSE just to name a few)
    Gentoo (Supposed to be updated frequently and suppose to be highly optimized for use, If you are familiar with ChromiumOS it is Gentoo based)
    Slackware (Slax Based, not cutting edge but stable and highly customizable)
    Arch Linux (High points: elegance, minimalism, and simplicity)

    These are the linux BASE operating systems. With each base comes many different distributions.

    Lets take Debian for example, has ~ 50 different distributions, ubuntu being one of them.

    EVERY distribution based off Debain use the SAME core files, and NORMALLY the same package handler.

    Every flavor of LINUX has the OPTION of running a GUI… but is not required to. there are many different “desktop types” that linux uses.

    Ubuntu breaks the use of the desktop environment down into further distributions such as:
    Ubuntu (use to be Gnome until 12.00 they switched to Unity which many users coming from Windows find easy to use.)
    Kubuntu (Flashy eye candy and uses KDE environment)
    Xubuntu ( is intended for use on less-powerful computers, uses XFCE)
    Lubuntu (lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient, uses LXDE)
    Edubuntu ( eductation based I think it uses gnome)
    Mythbuntu (based off of MythTV mainly for media centers)
    and the list goes on

    As you can see for each Derivative there are Distributions.

    You are using Ubuntu, a distribution of Debian, any Debian base files are ALREADY installed on your system.

    That being said… Every version of linux has a login page that greets the users for ease of log in, be it a text only log in or a graphical log in. The splash page, also called the greeter, is able to be customized, but in doing so none of the core OS files change, only the LOOK of the log in page, and it can’t actually tell which OS you have installed, it just passes the information to the OS.

    With the LTS versions of the Linux OS there is no desktop environment included, you have to install your own, including the graphical login page.

    It sounds to me that during the installation or set up of some files (if you were using a guide it probably told you to run commands and that is probably how the graphical interface got installed) that a graphical interface was installed.

    I can’t tell you why or how it got installed, as Tom expressed, this Forum is based on helping users with FOG, and the issue you are describing is NOT something that FOG has done. I have installed FOG many times on Ubuntu LTS (the one without a graphical interface) and it has NEVER installed the desktop environment or the graphical log in on its own, only if I issue commands specific to adding an environment or login.

    NOTE When you install a graphical log in page you can install one specific to Ubuntu, or any other flavor of linux, it is probable that when the command was typed it had an appendage that told it to install the “debian” back ground on the graphical log in, this can be changed when logged in.

    I hope this helps any confusion, if you would like some assistance in understanding how the error occurred or where the graphical interface came from, you really need to visit the Ubuntu forums, I am an Ubuntu nut, but I don’t know everything sadly 😞

    If you would like to revert back to a text only login environment you will need to visit a page such as this:


  • Hmm… Ok, I’ll look into doing that, but my concern is “How am I running Debian all of a sudden?”

    I’m the only one with the credentials for this server. I built it. It has only been, and should only be, touched by me. These are not reused credentials. I created them specifically for this and use them only on this server.

    I was running Ubuntu Server 10.04. I don’t know if there is a GUI option for US, but it was strictly command line. I see you pointed out that Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian. Does that mean a Debian desktop UI comes with an Ubuntu Server install and I just never knew?

    I just find it weird that I’ve been booting into the command line US environment, and now all of a sudden it boots to a GUI Debian environment. If that is a normal option, I didn’t do it explicitely, and nobody else should be able to log into this server.

    I checked the command history and I only see the commands I explicitly entered recently.

  • Developer

    He’s talking about the splash login page.

    Tom is right Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian, so there isn’t much of a concern if you are still able to log in to your users.

    You should search an Ubuntu forum on how to re-install the Ubuntu splash page.

  • Ubuntu is essentially, Debian. So I don’t know what you mean it was a “Debian” login screen.

    You’re not running ubuntu, or are you? Did somebody else mess with the server?

    This isn’t exactly a FOG issue. Maybe somebody changed the Login to look like debian?