Setting up a computer for computing research

The steps are described in using a standard Debian Linux distribution and tailoring it to fulfil the objective of having the latest software on a computer. The result is a Mac Pro 'trash can' which can dual boot into either MacOS or Linux.

The process starts by using a network install 'testing' distribution of Debian Linux. This standard installation is then adapted to the situation of the computer before dual booting software is installed. C compilers are installed from the Debian package system. Then X Window is installed from Debian. A window manager is installed from source and X Window made operational.

R and vim are then installed from source together with their dependencies, which are also installed from source.

Finally, the TeX system is installed from CTAN.

Although this procedure was done for a particular computer situation, the description in the downloadable paper should be readily adapted to different situation details.

Document version: Original -- August 2019