Debian Tuning

Raspberri-Pi Debian Tuning
speed up our RPi!
prerequisite: a bit of shell knowledge

Speedup CPU:
we can easily modify the cpu work frequency modifying the config.txt file. Just edit /boot/config.txt
i always use this hack and my rpi run without problem
Change scheduler/elevator at boot time:
we use more responsive/less disk io usage scheduler:
modify the /boot/cmdline.txt
dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 rootflags=commit=120,data=writeback elevator=deadline rootwait quiet
Tuning sysctl.conf:
as manual say, sysctl.conf is the “Configuration file for setting system variables”... well there are lot of variables you can put inside this file and for everyone we can write a book.
Our goal is to gain more speed and tell our system to use less io/ram. Let’s put in the /etc/sysctl.conf:
vm.dirty_background_ratio = 20
vm.dirty_expire_centisecs = 0
vm.dirty_ratio = 80
vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs = 1200
vm.overcommit_ratio = 2
vm.laptop_mode = 5
vm.swappiness = 10
Removing unused services:
Removing services is a must to do for every system or computer, i have see some linux server with 256Mb of RAM with bluetooth, pcmcia etc etc service enabled... or pc with 100% cpu busy to run some 3d tube screensaver installed by default... also in Debian RaspberryPi official distro...
Automatically startx on boot:
I didn't use session/desktop manager like gdm, xdm or slim, it’s take ram and slow down starting up. Simply way is to use inittab:
vi /etc/inittab
1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f root tty1 </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1 (default is 1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1)
and add this to .bash_profile on root home:
if [[ -z $DISPLAY ]] && [[ $(tty) = /dev/tty1 ]]; then
  exec startx >/dev/null 2>&1


  1. Hi,
    I get the following error, when i put the above codes at the start up,
    /bin/sh: -c: line 0: syntax error near unexpected token '('
    /bin/sh: -c: line 0: 'exec /bin/login -f root tty1 /dev/tty1 2>&1 (default is 1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1)

    1. yes, just put this line:
      1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f root tty1 /dev/tty1 2>&1

      instead of:
      1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1

  2. Hi, I 'm currently testing this thin client (Raspberry Pi) with our environment which is:
    Citrix VDI-In-a-Box. We use Iceweasel to browse Internet and the Citrix Receiver version is 12.2.3 for linux.
    1°) I setup the french keyboard with setxkbmap fr
    2°) to connect to a vm, we start the browser (still french keyboard)
    3°) I connect to VDI webPage and I logon (still frech keyboard)
    4°) I choose an available vm which is proposed to me (still french keyboard)
    5°) Once the connection has been established, the keyboard is still in French but I loose "A", "Q", "W" and "Space".

    If I close the connection, then I retrieve the full french keyboard.


    1°) If You have one piece of idea to help me to fix this issue, I take it!

    2°) How to setup at the boot the keyboard in french?

    Thanks in advance

    Jean-Philippe Delmas


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