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Old 03-10-2004, 09:53 PM   #1
Rotwang
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Is it supposed to be this hard to install debian?


The debian site suggests that I install debian via network download, starting from bootable CD. This page lists "Unofficial cd's for the stable version", but no "official" net install cd's for the stable version! So I picked an unofficial net install (David Kimdon's ... I also tried the LordSutch which was much worse) and what followed was the most primitive, absurd, ridulously bad installation of an linux distro I've tried so far. So far over the years I've tried various versions of mandrake, redhat, fedora, and mepis. Oh, and knoppix if you count that.

I mean, wow. Just horrible, shocking. I'm supposed to tell it each and every device I have? And then tell it the line command, even for like AGP support? And it failed to install my 3com etherlink ii... And then when I restart it sets me up with dselect which is similarly awful. This is like stone-aged computing, something I'd expect from the early 80s.

So- is the network install not a fair representation of debian, are the cd's the way to go?
 
Old 03-10-2004, 09:54 PM   #2
synaptical
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i used Libranet 2.7 -- it set up debian like a dream, detecting everything. then i just upgraded with apt-get. piece of cake.
 
Old 03-10-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
Nu-Bee
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Do yourself a favor and install Gentoo if you want a good distro.

I would say Mandrake but I sense that you want a more 'basic' kind of install.

Gentoo is a dream, and their docs are topnotch.

I refer to Debian as "The CULT distro."

You have to be in the Debian cult to like it from A to B....it is that horrible to install, and to work with.

...highly overrated.

Last edited by Nu-Bee; 03-10-2004 at 10:05 PM.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 12:02 AM   #4
slakmagik
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Yes, it is supposed to be that hard. To make it easier, do not read the Deb install docs, do not try a netinstall, do not use jigdo, do not use dselect. It'll still suck, but it'll be better. Surf the net for some third-party 'easy Deb install' docs and follow those - or, I suppose, as many people do, buy proprietary stuff based on Debian or do a Knoppix hard drive install.

I mercifully avoided netinstall but fell into the doc trap and the jigdo trap before I gave up and downloaded ISOs and then fell into the dselect trap which I got out of by sheer dumb luck. Debian has the worst installer in the universe - this coming from a Slackware user who had fun with Gentoo. I'd rather install Core again.

Plus, you'll need to switch to Sid and do some heavy upgrading if you want to get into this millenium. Debian is an ideal thing for some arcane piece of hardware intended to be a server, but isn't really ideal for a PC desktop and it is indeed a bit heavy on the 'social philosophy' when most people want to run some excellently put-together ones and zeros. I worry about how many newbies have run screaming back to Windows after trying a Debian install, never to return.

Still, once you get the thing going, it's okay. I prefer Slack or Gentoo, myself, but to each their own.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 02:56 AM   #5
TigerOC
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I used the Lordsuch iso for a net install and while I didn't find it easy I did get a full installation in a day over a dial-up connection. I found the official installation guide fairly good and by following default options it went fairly well. I had only done two installs of Linux before that, Mandrake 8 (which I hated because it was slow and I couldn't really get to grips with their systems) and CorelLinux which made me want to go to Debian. I do have a hardware background and have used a unix based system for 10 years. I even got into dselect and having figured it out found it quite good. I still use dselect for new installs as I have most of the packages stored on a cd. Debian is not for the faint hearted but anyone using it will learn a lot. I find the average Debian user far more aware of the system and structure than users from other distros.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 03:09 AM   #6
Rotwang
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Quote:
Originally posted by TigerOC
I used the Lordsuch iso for a net install and while I didn't find it easy I did get a full installation in a day over a dial-up connection.
The Lordsuch cd uses ancient kernel 2.2. So it couldn't read my adaptec scsi card, even though it's 5 years old!
 
Old 03-11-2004, 04:40 AM   #7
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotwang
The Lordsuch cd uses ancient kernel 2.2. So it couldn't read my adaptec scsi card, even though it's 5 years old!
That's not quite correct because you have the option of bf24 install which has the 2.4.16 kernel which includes support for adaptic scsi.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 05:52 AM   #8
MichaelHall
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I gave up trying to install Debian several times. So much trouble, and not such a great distro after all the effort (way behind in almost everything).

I tried Slackware 9.1 after years of RedHat, and am very impressed. It is another 'tech' distro reputedly but it is very easy to work with. Best distro I've tried yet ... I've tried RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, Debian so far.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 06:58 AM   #9
augamecock
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Why don't you use the beta installer that does better hardware detection? It's a 100M net install iso of testing. I used it and had a working system in under 30 minutes (including a dist-upgrade to unstable). I found debian just as easy to install as any other distro. That's not intended to be gloating in any way because I'm about as far as it gets from being a "linux guru"

Debian daily build iso
 
Old 03-11-2004, 09:15 AM   #10
macondo
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Rotwang:

read this article, it's the easiest way, you just need CD1 and adsl. Of if you
have CD5, you got it made, no net install for you.

The Very Verbose Debian 3.0 Installation Walkthrough
http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016

Insert the cd1, at the boot prompt write:

bf24

If you have CD5, inser it, no need to write anything.

Assuming you have CD1 and not 5:

configure the language and keyboard, when asked if you want to use the CD to install modules, base system, say NO. A menu will appear, choose Network.

A dialog will appear, to configure the network, if you have DHCP, it will be done in less than a minute. Install the modules, partition the disk with cfdisk.
Configure the booting, reboot.

When you come back do the passwords, accept the use of debconf, configure APT (it's self-explanatory) Refuse Tasksel and Deselect (you're gonna use APT).
With APT, as Root:

apt-get install x-window-system

Configure X:
Choose "Advanced" if possible.
Choose video card and write down its memory amount
Monitor horizontal frequency (something like 30-70)
Monitor Vertical freq (something like 50-160)
Choose resolution you like (mine is 1024x768)
Mouse: PS2 and later IMPs2 (scroll mouse)

Install wm:
#apt-get install fluxbox or whatever, don't do KDE or Gnome yet.

you are done.

I recommend moving to Testing aka Sarge
as root in the terminal:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

now Woody/Stable is up-to-date, this step is a must if you want to change versions.

as Root edit /etc/apt/sources.list

change the word Stable or Woody to Testing or Sarge or if you want: unstable or Sid
SAVE and EXIT

Back to the console, as root:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

it will take a while, answer some questions, take the default if you don't know
and voilá you are in Sarge or Sid. Read the APT HOWTO, very important. Check the package list in the same site www.debian.org

To install packages:
#apt-get install <packages>
(you can install several packages at the same time, separate them by a space)

To remove packages:
#apt-get remove --purge <packages>

Personally, i install additional packages like:

apt-get install localepurge deborphan artwiz-cursor

Localepurge will save you tons of real estate.

I'm not sure about the order of the installation but, READ the article, is the best i've read for newcomers.


salud,
mac
 
Old 03-11-2004, 11:03 AM   #11
liquigel
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Yeah Rotwang, installing Debian is a pain.

This isn't because of lack of hardware dectection, since you should know what's in your box, shouldn't you? :)

Jigdo is a nice piece of software with a pretty good howto.

The problem is that dselect needs to be dumped (or made available only to users who want it and know how to use it) and tasksel could stand to be enhanced (for example -- it should tell you that you don't need that ppp stuff, including that wwwolfe thing, just to use dialup with pon and poff).

I tried learning dselect a while back -- it's really a nightmare. The docs are awful (yes, including that dselect beginners howto -- sorry, but it's the truth :( ).

Though, I guess this discussion is moot since I hear that a new installer is in the works.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 12:16 PM   #12
Rotwang
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Quote:
Originally posted by TigerOC
That's not quite correct because you have the option of bf24 install which has the 2.4.16 kernel which includes support for adaptic scsi.
No I don't think so. The lordsuch doesn't have the bf24 install, you're thinking of the David Kimdom install cd's. Look:

http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/
 
Old 03-11-2004, 02:27 PM   #13
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotwang
No I don't think so. The lordsuch doesn't have the bf24 install, you're thinking of the David Kimdom install cd's. Look:

http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/
I have taken the following extracts from my Lordsuch CD;

1. Extracted from the README.txt;

About This CD
=============

This CD-ROM is labeled

Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 "Woody" - LordSutch.com MiniCD i386 Binary-1

which means that this CD is number 1 of totally 1 CDs containing
programs ("binaries") for `i386' computers.

The programs on the Binary CDs are ordered by popularity. The Binary-1
CD contains the most popular programs and the installation tools; it
is possible to install and run Debian with only the Binary-1 CD. The
other CDs, up to Binary-1, contain mostly special-interest programs.

Extracted from the install.en.txt;

4.2.2. Choosing the Right Installation Set
------------------------------------------

Installation files include kernel images, which are available in
various ``flavors''. Each flavor supports a different set of
hardware. The flavors available for Intel x86 are:

`vanilla'
The standard kernel package available in Debian. This includes
almost all drivers supported by Linux built as modules, which
includes drivers for network devices, SCSI devices, sound cards,
Video4Linux devices, etc. The `vanilla' flavor includes one
rescue floppy, one root and four driver floppies.

`compact'
Like `vanilla', but with many of the less-frequently-use drivers
removed (sound, v4l, etc). In addition, it has built in support
for several popular PCI Ethernet devices --- NE2000, 3com 3c905,
Tulip, Via-Rhine and Intel EtherExpress Pro100. These built in
drivers allow you to take full advantage of the Debian
installer's net install feature to install the driver floppies
over the network so that only the root and rescue floppy disks
need to be made. Finally, `compact' also supports several common
RAID controllers: DAC960, and Compaq's SMART2 RAID controllers.
The `compact' flavor includes one rescue floppy, one root and two
driver disks.

`idepci'
Kernel that supports only IDE and PCI devices (and a very small
number of ISA devices). This kernel should be used if the SCSI
drivers in the other flavors cause your system to hang on startup
(probably because of resource conflicts, or a misbehaving
driver/card in your system.) The `idepci' flavor also has a
built-in ide-floppy driver so that you can install from LS120 or
ZIP devices.

`bf2.4'
This is an experimental flavor which uses a special version of
the kernel-image-2.4 package. It provides support for newer
hardware components which is absent in the other (more stable)
flavors. It supports more USB hardware, USB keyboards/mice,
modern IDE controllers, some new network cards, and Ext3 and
Reiser file systems. Compared to the driver set of our main
kernel-image-2.4.x-yz packages, some non-essential drivers have
been removed in order to keep the number of needed floppy disks
in a sane range. If you have unexplainable problems with kernel
2.4, you should use other flavors. If you need more new drivers
or optimisations for your CPU type, feel free to install an
"official" kernel-image-2.4.x-yz package. This flavor comes with
one rescue floppy, one root and four driver floppies.

Although we have described above how many 1.44MB diskettes the
different sets occupy, you may still choose different methods of
installation.

The kernel config files for these flavors can be found in their
respective directories in a file named `kernel-config'.

extract of the install sub-directory of the cd;

file:/cdrom/install/doc
file:/cdrom/install/bf24.bin
file:/cdrom/install/boot.bat
file:/cdrom/install/compact.bin
file:/cdrom/install/idepci.bin
file:/cdrom/install/lin24
file:/cdrom/install/lincompt
file:/cdrom/install/linpci
file:/cdrom/install/linux
file:/cdrom/install/loadlin.exe
file:/cdrom/install/rawrite2.exe
file:/cdrom/install/rawrite2.txt
file:/cdrom/install/README.sbm
file:/cdrom/install/rescue.bin
file:/cdrom/install/root.bin
file:/cdrom/install/sbm.bin
file:/cdrom/install/setlang.bat
file:/cdrom/install/TRANS.TBL

file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/bf2.4
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/compact
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/doc
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/dosutils
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/idepci
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/images-1.20
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/images-1.44
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/images-2.88
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/lang
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/drivers.tgz
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/install.bat
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/kernel-config
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/linux.bin
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/md5sum.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-ca.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-da.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-es.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-fr.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-gl.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-it.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/READ-pl.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/README.txt
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/TRANS.TBL
file:/cdrom/dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3.0.23-2002-05-21/xlp.tgz

I hope this puts an end to this dispute - the 2.4.16 kernel is present on the cd and is selected by using the option bf24 for install. I have done it enough times to know.
Thank you!
 
Old 03-11-2004, 03:57 PM   #14
comp12345
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The various install methods from debian are not for everyone and compared to other distributions, all of them suck. Part of the reason is that it is old and outdated. Another reason is that not a lot of development goes on in the debian install software. If you do not wish to go through the pain of trying to find out which drivers you need to load, try a distribution based on debian(libranet, knoppix, gnoppix, etc...) then upgrade or try a different distribution.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 04:06 PM   #15
Rotwang
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Quote:
Originally posted by liquigel
Yeah Rotwang, installing Debian is a pain.

This isn't because of lack of hardware dectection, since you should know what's in your box, shouldn't you?
No!

And I didn't have to know with the other 5 linux flavors I tried.

But thanks I'll take a look at jigdo. I think I'm ready to just give up on debian at this point tho.

thanks
 
  


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