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Old 08-06-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
anniew555
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Question How to get GUI without internet?


I just installed Debian Etch from a CD. It is just the very basic install, and we did it with no internet connection. Silly me, I thought the GUI was part of the basic. Uh. No.

This is my daughter's PC. We have a Netgear wireless router and her PC connects through a wireless PC card. My aim here is to install Debian, then install Firefox, and let her use the PC to surf the internet. That is it. The PC had Windows ME on it previously.

Should I:
a) hook her PC up to the internet directly (as my PC is now) and then install the GUI that way? If so... how do I do that?
b) hook her PC up to the internet and reinstall Etch from the CD, but use the internet connection to get the GUI?
c) burn the 20+ CD's and reinstall Etch?
d) install the GUI from a CD? Where can I get it on a CD?

I'm not really a techie. She is a wannabe techie and thought it'd be cool to have a Microsoft-free box. So, any help is appreciated!!
 
Old 08-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #2
fara78
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I'm not a debian user, but I think that there should be some GUI available on the installation CD, look for KDE or Gnome on installation options. Something else, why don't you try Ubuntu, it's a debian base distro and works as a live cd too, it can boot and run directly from the CD, you can install it on your computer with the same CD though. Check out ubuntu web site and you can download the image of live installation CD from here. Try Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop Edition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anniew555
I just installed Debian Etch from a CD. It is just the very basic install, and we did it with no internet connection. Silly me, I thought the GUI was part of the basic. Uh. No.

This is my daughter's PC. We have a Netgear wireless router and her PC connects through a wireless PC card. My aim here is to install Debian, then install Firefox, and let her use the PC to surf the internet. That is it. The PC had Windows ME on it previously.

Should I:
a) hook her PC up to the internet directly (as my PC is now) and then install the GUI that way? If so... how do I do that?
b) hook her PC up to the internet and reinstall Etch from the CD, but use the internet connection to get the GUI?
c) burn the 20+ CD's and reinstall Etch?
d) install the GUI from a CD? Where can I get it on a CD?

I'm not really a techie. She is a wannabe techie and thought it'd be cool to have a Microsoft-free box. So, any help is appreciated!!

Last edited by fara78; 08-06-2007 at 01:21 PM.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 01:31 PM   #3
Dutch Master
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What a smart girl you have! Congrats! IMO option b is the easiest, assuming you used the net-install cd. Option c is silly, you don't need 20+ cd's to install Etch. However, you can use option a, provided you adjust the file /etc/apt/sources.list by adding new repositories. Find the mirror nearest to your location here: http://www.debian.org/mirror/list Then use a texteditor to change the forenamed file to look like this:
Code:
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux testing _Etch_ - Official Snapshot i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070315-20:52]/ etch contrib main

deb http://ftp.debian.nl/debian/ etch main contrib non-free  
deb-src http://ftp.debian.nl/debian/ etch main contrib non-free 

deb http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib 
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib  

deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org etch main   
deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org etch main
This is my sources.list and as you can see I use a Dutch mirror. Change the http part to your local mirror.

Tip for your daughter: if she wants to try new distro's or experiment in general, use a virtual machine. That way she can experiment with software w/o compromising her existing system VMWare and Qemu are the best solutions for beginners.

<edit> @fara78: the Debian net-install cd doesn't have any GUI packages available, that's why it's only 160 MB orso large.</edit>

Last edited by Dutch Master; 08-06-2007 at 01:33 PM.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
fara78
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@Dutch Master

Thanks for enlighting me.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
anniew555
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Thank you all so much! She is a smart girl, and she wants to be a programmer one day. She loves the open source stuff and just thinks that Microsoft is the bane of the computer world. She has a list of stuff she wants to install (open office, The Gimp, etc). I was going to be the cool mom and have Debian on her PC when she got home from her dad's this weekend, but I screwed up pretty good! We'll check into Unbuntu and the option b). I have to tell her about this site. She'd love chatting with you guys! When she gets a "real" computer, not just this $20 hand-me down one, I'll tell her to for sure use a VM environment!!!

Thanks again!
 
Old 08-06-2007, 02:23 PM   #6
Dutch Master
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We'd love to have her in, and you are also welcome! In general Debian runs easier on older hardware then Ubuntu. Dunno what specs her 'new' machine has, but I've made the current Debian Stable work on a Pentium II (from the late '80s) with only 64 MB of RAM. Yes, it had a GUI: XFCE. If you girls (I understand it's an all-girl household? ) want to upgrade her computer, add more RAM.

I really hope she persues her interest in Open Source and get herself a good education in computing, as there are way too few women in this industry Btw, let her have a look here: http://www.userfriendly.org/ Yes, it's suitable for minors
 
Old 08-06-2007, 02:48 PM   #7
farslayer
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During install if you use CD1 you simply need to choose the Desktop Environment as part of your package selection when prompted. If you use the netinstall CD you will need it to grab the necessary packages from the internet.

Although this screenshot is from sarge, it's the same in Etch..
 
Old 08-19-2007, 12:14 PM   #8
anniew555
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OK, nothing is working. I can't get back into the disk, I can only login and then get to the command lines and I don't know any commands or how to use them. I want to wipe this OFF and start over. Anyone know how I can just ininstall the whole mess? I tried setting my BIOS to "boot from CD" but it doesn't. It just takes me straight into the Debian. There is not another OS on the machine. Thx.
 
Old 08-19-2007, 01:06 PM   #9
Dutch Master
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Okay, no problem. That's why we're here: help you out

First thing you can try is:
Code:
dpkg-reconfigure -a
This reconfigures all packages you installed with apt and derivatives. May take a while...

Can you post the contents of the file /etc/apt/sources.list? It has to resemble something like the list I gave earlier. You can use nano to read and change the file:
Code:
nano /etc/apt/sources.list
Make sure you're logged in as root.

The best thing about nano is that it tells you which keyboard combinations you'll need to press to get the required action. Note: the ^ character is the Ctrl key So ^X (for closing nano) is Ctrl+x simultanously.

Last edited by Dutch Master; 08-19-2007 at 01:12 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
hitest
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To save in nano it is Ctrl+o
 
Old 08-19-2007, 09:52 PM   #11
Dutch Master
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It is, but if you close nano w/o saving it asks if you want to save it. Smart eh?
 
Old 08-20-2007, 01:29 AM   #12
unixnovice
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the simplest is to download the disk named "debian-40r0-i386-xfce-CD-1"

from the official website.

and install it you needn't to use any commmand when install the x system!

but I used command_line interface for most of time!
 
Old 08-20-2007, 10:08 AM   #13
anniew555
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Thanks for all of your help guys. Can you taste my frustration? It is oozing out of me!

So. I downloaded Ubuntu and have it on a CD. I can't get to it. I put the CD in, but the PC won't boot to it. I told BIOS to boot from CD first, harddrive second, but no dice. I still go straight into the "Pick your Debian version or in 20 seconds the highlighted one will start" screen and then login and blah blah blah. So it is liked I'm trapped in this crazy non GUI debian hell!
 
Old 08-20-2007, 11:17 AM   #14
tredegar
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Quote:
I put the CD in, but the PC won't boot to it.
How did you burn the CD? Look at it from windows (or linux). If it has just one file called something.iso then you burned it wrong. You need to burn the file you downloaded as an iso image I think all burning programs have this as an option (but it may not be obvious).
 
Old 08-21-2007, 09:02 AM   #15
anniew555
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It is the same CD that I used to install Debian. I cannot get into that CD.
 
  


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