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How to use Debian for a HTPC/Gaming combination?


Currently, I'm using libreelec as distribution for the HTPC in my home
cinema. It does its job very good, but is inflexible. For example, I
would like to use the same computer as a steam machine or to play other
games using wine or, of course, native linux games which is not possible
witch libreelec.

To do that, I would like to use Debian. I know, use and administer
Debian machines since potato and I think its flexibility is great. In
fact, I only used libreelec because it had a driver for the quite new
nvidia graphics card and Debian didn't - at least not in last summer.

Now I've seen that Debian supports my graphics card and I would like to
start my HTPC/Gaming PC from scratch. What I would like to have:

- Very quick (and maybe beautiful, for the WAF ;) ) start up.
- No surplus services.
- Some minimal window manager
- Boot to Kodi (or Steam) and easy switch to the other.

I know that Linux is not the optimal gaming OS. Never mind. There is a
good bit idealism involved :)

Now, I could get this running, but I never installed a Debian machine
with focus on the first two items. I hope to get your help and advice
especially on the quick and lean start up. Any further Ideas are greatly
appreciated ;)

As I said, some amount of Idealism is involved. So advice like "use
windows" or maybe "use another Linux distribution" will not be very helpful.

Oh, by the way: the hardware is more or less fixed for now, and it is
old (except for the SSD and the Graphics card). So no monster
performance for the games, but it does the HTPC job excellently. But I
will upgrade the machine in the future. Yet, I think the exact hardware
spec is not so important for this topic...

Let's see, how far we get and thanks for your input!

Markus Grunwald