Upgrading to Debian 7 wheezy

So I have upgraded my main workstation at last, but there are a few things I wanted to figure out. Some of these I found an answer to, but others I haven’t and some answers open more questions:

Where did debian-menu.menu go and why doesn’t lxlauncher have the Debian menu by default anyway? Answer: It seems this is a combination of debian bug 333848 and bug 722563 which I reported yesterday in that lxlauncher doesn’t use the debian menus. Workaround for now: install menu-xdg and hack the lxlauncher menu file.

Why don’t my xterm shells load .profile any more? Did I bodge that before without making a note?

How do I stop kernel or initrd or whatever it is configuring the network with the dhcp settings at boot time instead of the better wicd ones that are available once the system is up?

Continuing with networking, how did network-manager (which doesn’t cope with my network configuration) get installed again? Answer: debian bug 645656 explains that debian is simply following a silly decision taken upstream and refers to attempts to make network-manager optional as “the Crusade”. Workaround: remove gnome and install its dependencies like gnome-core directly instead. Drawback: any new dependencies of gnome will have to be installed manually.

Why is the audio capture volume at 10% by default and what’s the best way to change that? I suspect this might be 682731 but that bug is untouched in over a year. I’m tempted to remove pulseaudio, but “gnome-core Depends pulseaudio” so this is yet more hardware-breaking caused by gnome dependency changes and the only way out of this one would be to remove gnome-core and install its dependencies. Or maybe I should just give up and finally remove gnome because its packages have jumped the shark. I installed gnome to make the system easier to use and it’s broken it in at least two ways now.

One question that makes me hesitate is: why is gdm3 faster to start than lightdm?

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