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Old 05-21-2006, 02:22 AM   #31
ehawk
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There is nothing wrong with using Mepis. The install is trivial. You can get all the nice apps from Debian repositories using synaptic. You can go to the command line, open editors, and configure things to your heart's content...get "under the hood" as much or as little as you want.

On a side note, PCLinuxOS seems even easier to me...has over 5000 packages in its main repository, uses synaptic...its mutlimedia setup is even more complete out of the box than Mepis. It also has GUI hardware config tools lined up...you may never need to go to the command line...though you certainly can if you want. It also has a good online community lined up.
 
Old 05-21-2006, 05:08 AM   #32
Dead Parrot
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Quote:
But I've had the hardest times as a noobie two months ago & even now, to go to debian's site and do the following:

1. Figure out which distro is for me.
2. Find the download page for said distro.
3. Find an md5 checksum for said distro.
4. Find a cohesive install page.
5. Get past the black screen of death asking me how and what I want to install once I got this net-install cd.
6. Then after I get in to debian, it crashes?


I'll be honest guys, I've heard fantastic things about debian.

I've seen debian at work in Mepis (and loved it) & the small raw power it shows in DSL Linux

But I'll be darned if I can figure out how to install it.
Mepis is fine but it's currently switching to using Kubuntu instead of Debian. Kubuntu is also fine but if you want Debian proper, type "debian-installer" in Google search. The first link in search results should point you this page:
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

If you want to use Debian as a server, you'll want Debian stable. Just follow the link to the official Debian 3.1r2 installation media and information page.

If you want to use Debian as a desktop (and I'm here assuming that this is what you want), try Debian testing. The netinst CD image and the md5 checksum for i386 are available here:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/et...2/i386/iso-cd/

The above mentioned debian-installer page has links to the Installation Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.

There are also some screenshots of the installer available. These screenshots are from the stable version of the installer and since then it has changed a little bit, but you should still find these screenshots useful.
http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/sl...se=395&slide=1

When you get to the point where the installer asks you to choose what you want to install ( http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/sl...e=395&slide=25 ), use the space bar to unmark all entries. You'll want to install just the base Debian system for now and nothing else.

After the installer has finished and you've booted into Debian, log in with your user name and password. Then type "su" and give the root user's password, like this:
Code:
$ su
Password:
#
Now you've become the root user and you can start doing system administrator's tasks, like installing new software. Type these commands:
Code:
# aptitude update
# aptitude dist-upgrade
# aptitude install x-window-system-core menu mc fluxbox aterm firefox
After you've finished updating your system and installing new software, you should check that your X.org configuration is OK. You can rerun the Xserver post-installation script with this command:
Code:
# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
You can also view and edit the Xserver configuration file using the nano text editor, like this:
Code:
# nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Once you've made sure that your X.org configuration is OK (this shouldn't be too difficult for a Slackware user), you can become a normal user again, create .xinitrc file and start fluxbox, like this:
Code:
# exit
$ echo "exec fluxbox" > .xinitrc
$ startx
Now you should find yourself from fluxbox window manager, where you can right-click the desktop to get a menu of all installed programs.

If you followed the above instructions, you have installed a terminal program called aterm, where you can type "mc" to start a file manager. In aterm you can also "su" to root and type "aptitude", which opens a program where you can browse all available packages and install the ones you want. You have also installed the firefox web browser that you can use to find more information about Debian.

Notice: This is definitely not the only way to install Debian. It's just how I would do it if I was you. You Slackware guys & gals like to Keep It Simple, I've heard.
 
Old 05-21-2006, 05:30 AM   #33
mjolnir
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Another great response from Dead Parrot. Good work!
 
Old 05-21-2006, 06:06 AM   #34
Old_Fogie
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Registered: Mar 2006
Distribution: SLACKWARE 4TW! =D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Parrot
Mepis is fine but it's currently switching to using Kubuntu instead of Debian. Kubuntu is also fine but if you want Debian proper, type "debian-installer" in Google search. The first link in search results should point you this page:
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

If you want to use Debian as a server, you'll want Debian stable. Just follow the link to the official Debian 3.1r2 installation media and information page.

If you want to use Debian as a desktop (and I'm here assuming that this is what you want), try Debian testing. The netinst CD image and the md5 checksum for i386 are available here:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/et...2/i386/iso-cd/

The above mentioned debian-installer page has links to the Installation Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.

There are also some screenshots of the installer available. These screenshots are from the stable version of the installer and since then it has changed a little bit, but you should still find these screenshots useful.
http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/sl...se=395&slide=1

When you get to the point where the installer asks you to choose what you want to install ( http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/sl...e=395&slide=25 ), use the space bar to unmark all entries. You'll want to install just the base Debian system for now and nothing else.

After the installer has finished and you've booted into Debian, log in with your user name and password. Then type "su" and give the root user's password, like this:
Code:
$ su
Password:
#
Now you've become the root user and you can start doing system administrator's tasks, like installing new software. Type these commands:
Code:
# aptitude update
# aptitude dist-upgrade
# aptitude install x-window-system-core menu mc fluxbox aterm firefox
After you've finished updating your system and installing new software, you should check that your X.org configuration is OK. You can rerun the Xserver post-installation script with this command:
Code:
# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
You can also view and edit the Xserver configuration file using the nano text editor, like this:
Code:
# nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Once you've made sure that your X.org configuration is OK (this shouldn't be too difficult for a Slackware user), you can become a normal user again, create .xinitrc file and start fluxbox, like this:
Code:
# exit
$ echo "exec fluxbox" > .xinitrc
$ startx
Now you should find yourself from fluxbox window manager, where you can right-click the desktop to get a menu of all installed programs.

If you followed the above instructions, you have installed a terminal program called aterm, where you can type "mc" to start a file manager. In aterm you can also "su" to root and type "aptitude", which opens a program where you can browse all available packages and install the ones you want. You have also installed the firefox web browser that you can use to find more information about Debian.

Notice: This is definitely not the only way to install Debian. It's just how I would do it if I was you. You Slackware guys & gals like to Keep It Simple, I've heard.

WOW awesome write up. YES! I definitely like to keep it simple, and the fact that it goes stragith to fluxbox and has midnight commander is great. I heard that Debian is really good for old hardware, as the claim is for slackware. Thanks again.

Last edited by Old_Fogie; 06-10-2006 at 05:03 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 12:50 PM   #35
Cronjob
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Registered: May 2004
Posts: 20

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You forgot one thing:

If you want to be able to reboot your system, make sure to manually upgrade udev as "apt-get upgrade" won't do it for you, resulting in a machine that complains about not finding the boot device when you restart it.

That's why they call it TESTING. And that's why people should remember STABLE is called that for a reason.

I would also state that NOBODY should be running UNSTABLE - hobby users or otherwise. Anyone who reccommends unstable for anything other than a debian developer or package maintainer may not actually be familiar with the way unstable/testing/stable processes work.

Last edited by Cronjob; 05-22-2006 at 12:52 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #36
craigevil
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Registered: Apr 2005
Location: OZ
Distribution: Debian Sid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronjob
You forgot one thing:

If you want to be able to reboot your system, make sure to manually upgrade udev as "apt-get upgrade" won't do it for you, resulting in a machine that complains about not finding the boot device when you restart it.

That's why they call it TESTING. And that's why people should remember STABLE is called that for a reason.

I would also state that NOBODY should be running UNSTABLE - hobby users or otherwise. Anyone who reccommends unstable for anything other than a debian developer or package maintainer may not actually be familiar with the way unstable/testing/stable processes work.

Unstable works just fine. The trick is to install apt-listbugs and keep and eye on "Grave" bugs. Alot of the bugs are for different hadrware or processors so as long as you know whats on your system your OK. SOme of the bugs say things like not installable but the package will almost always install.

I have ran Sid for over two years now with very few problems.

I am not a prgrammer or a Linux guru, Debian Sid was my first Linux system and it is still my main system even though I mess around with other distros.

What is wrong with apt-get upgrade udev? Worked fine for me, running the current version in Sid.

Ubunutu is based on SID or at least it was , so are Knoppix and Kanotix they all work just fine.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:28 PM   #37
Dutch Master
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Registered: Dec 2005
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IMHO new users (new to Debian that is) should *always* start with Debian Stable (i.e. Sarge at present) It's no use to get some newbee on Testing if he doesn't know what he's doing, but Testing just happens to be your favorite branch...

If you don't know what hardware you're on, take the i386 version. Take the i686 version if you have a Pentium processor or better, or you had Win-XP on that machine

Regards, Dutch Master
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:35 PM   #38
Cronjob
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Registered: May 2004
Posts: 20

Rep: Reputation: 0
"What is wrong with apt-get upgrade udev? Worked fine for me, running the current version in Sid."

Right. You need to manually do an "apt-get upgrade udev". Go download the current etch beta 2 netinst image and install it. Then reboot. It won't find /hda1.

The workaround is to boot up with knoppix, mount the device and then apt-get upgrade udev. Or, of course, install/upgrade udev _before_ you reboot for the first time. But your average "hobby user" won't be aware of that.

Hell, I've been using debian for five years and linux for almost eight and it took me a long time to figure out what was wrong.

As for apt-listbugs... my problem with people using anything beyond stable or testing (and sometimes even testing) is that even people who claim to "like figuring things out" often don't really. So then you end up with really frustrated people put off of a distro not because of inherent distro problems, but with them expecting a miracle out of something that is "beta" or "alpha".

The requirements for a package to get moved to testing are very minimal enough as it is. But that's just me. I spend enough of my time dealing with problems for a living. Last thing I want to do is spend all of my personal time fixing more problems when I can just wait a few extra weeks and get my packages after everyone else has already tested them for me.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:42 PM   #39
Cronjob
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Registered: May 2004
Posts: 20

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Master
IMHO new users (new to Debian that is) should *always* start with Debian Stable (i.e. Sarge at present) It's no use to get some newbee on Testing if he doesn't know what he's doing, but Testing just happens to be your favorite branch...
You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. An experienced linux user will come to Debian and use Stable and think "this distro sucks - everything is so OLD!" or use unstable and think "this distro sucks - so many things have serious bugs and glitches".

At least, that seems to be what I've seen from most people. Debian is largely the only distro I've ever used, so it just makes sense to me by nature (I started off with Red Hat in about 97 and for whatever reason just found it awful. Then played with slackware. Then found Debian which was "just right".).

I think something people need to remember is that you do not NEED to be bleeding edge. Do you really need Postgresql 8.1 or is 7.5 in Stable just fine for you? Do you really need the latest and greatest passwd?! Probably not.

I really like being able to just apt-get things, but if I really needed something that was bleeding edge while on a stable, I'd just compile it myself. That's what's great about it. You can stay stable and still run the latest versions of the software you specifically need in your individual deployment with no problem. I think that's a good solution for most people.

I suppose it's different on the desktop though. I can imagine that there are a lot of things that people don't want to run two years behind on when it comes to KDE/GNOME. Desktop use makes up about one tenth of one percent of my linux time and most of my boxes don't even have a window manager installed, so I might not "get it" from that angle.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 01:48 PM   #40
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
Posts: 4,250

Original Poster
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Quote:
You forgot one thing: If you want to be able to reboot your system, make sure to manually upgrade udev...
I recently installed Etch (32-bit) on my daughter's brand new laptop ... no such problem.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 02:38 PM   #41
Dead Parrot
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Quote:
Cronjob wrote:
You need to manually do an "apt-get upgrade udev".
I've used the netinst cd (etch beta2) for installing Debian on two computers and I didn't need to do "apt-get upgrade udev".
Quote:
Cronjob wrote:
Go download the current etch beta 2 netinst image and install it. Then reboot. It won't find /hda1.
I haven't noticed any problems of this kind.

Also, I don't think anyone else has yet reported these problems to the bug-tracking system.

You could try the netinst etch beta2 again and if you can reproduce the problems you described, you should consider reporting these bugs. This would give Debian developers a chance to fix the bugs before Etch is released.

EDIT:
Hold on, I think I just discovered where the problem lies.
Quote:
Cronjob wrote:
If you want to be able to reboot your system, make sure to manually upgrade udev as "apt-get upgrade" won't do it for you, resulting in a machine that complains about not finding the boot device when you restart it.
"apt-get dist-upgrade" (and "aptitude dist-upgrade") can often fix dependencies that have changed while "apt-get upgrade" cannot. "apt-get upgrade" is fine if you use Debian stable. But in Debian testing and unstable the dependencies for packages can change from one version to another -- and so it's better to use "apt-get dist-upgrade" (or "aptitude dist-upgrade").

Last edited by Dead Parrot; 05-22-2006 at 02:55 PM.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 12:07 AM   #42
noranthon
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I've decided to try Debian Etch, rather than Sarge, because I want a reasonable chance of my hardware being supported.

I want to make sure all my ducks are in a row before I download because Debian seems to require a lot of technical knowledge. I'm reading the current (I hope) version of the installation guide. It's 115 pages (and always reopens at the first page regardless of my Adobe settings). I'm beginning to discount my chances of finishing the guide before Etch becomes stable and there's a new testing version.

Last edited by noranthon; 05-23-2006 at 12:17 AM.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 12:31 AM   #43
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
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Quote:
I'm reading the current (I hope) version of the installation guide
Mighty commendable of you, but almost certainly not necessary. Just get the netinstal disk, if you have broadband, or the official Debian set of cds. The first two or three ought to be plenty to get you going.

Last edited by rickh; 05-23-2006 at 12:33 AM.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 07:25 AM   #44
Michael_aust
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i contemplating going to stable or unstable, etch is annoying me now, iv been running etch for two months now but loads of applications seem to be disapearing from the repositories, the nvidia-glx packages have (one of the most used packages in the repos i would have thought), kaffeign has gone, all vlc files have gone, however all these still exist in unstable and stable.

I dont personally think debian requires that much technical knowledge (on the dekstop egleast), I mean quite literally debian worked out of the box, i cant use the nv drivers in xorg because it crashes my system after a while (i dont mean crashes x org i mean crashes the entire system), so i have to use mesa or the nvidia drivers (then i have to use the nvidia installer because the glx package is not in the etch repos pffft).

II installed the base ystem packages then added what II antred to make m desktop udev, hal, kdebase, xorg x-window-system etc etc alsa-base and besides the driver problem debain was ready out oft he box, it even is if i just tell it to install the desktop selection of packages. I also ha the same problem with the nv drivers on kubuntu and mandriva 06 so its not just a debian problem.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 10:00 AM   #45
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
Posts: 4,250

Original Poster
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Quote:
i contemplating going to stable or unstable, etch is annoying me now, iv been running etch for two months now but loads of applications seem to be disapearing from the repositories, the nvidia-glx packages have (one of the most used packages in the repos i would have thought), kaffeign has gone, all vlc files have gone, however all these still exist in unstable and stable.
I think I would hesitate about going to Sid right now. The recent conversion of Xorg seems to be still shaking out, and it tends to break suddenly. The reason packages disappear from testing is usually because there are serious problems. I've been playing around with apt-listbugs, and it's pretty interesting.
Code:
debian:~# apt-listbugs list nvidia-glx kaffeine vlc
Reading package fields... Done
Reading package status... Done
Retrieving bug reports... Done
grave bugs of vlc (-> ) <done>
 #319292 - vlc is not sid installable because libwxgtk2.4 isn't.
   Merged with: 319598 321461 322166
 #347598 - vlc: vlc can't be installed on sid with kde 3.5 because of dbus
   Merged with: 347847
 #355534 - vlc: package uninstalable in sid: depends on libsysfs1
grave bugs of kaffeine (-> ) <done>
 #325074 - kaffeine: Kaffeine is not installable
   Merged with: 327965
 #328738 - kaffeine: Kaffeine not loading Kaffeine Part
grave bugs of vlc (-> ) <open>
 #343978 - vlc: segfault on launch/fopen
 #361732 - vlc does not start
Summary:
 vlc(5 bugs), kaffeine(2 bugs)
debian:~#
I appears to me that you won't be able to install kaffeine and vlc even from Sid. There are no open bugs against nvidia-glx right now, but looking at Debian.Packages, it appears to me that those packages are only for Xfree86. Assuming you are using Xorg ... ???

My advice ... Find a project to hold your interest for a few weeks, and things should start improving. Evidently Townes (the new Debian head guy) is pushing hard to maintain a schedule of late 2006 for Etch to be Stable, and I wouldn't be surprised if that has a significant affect on priorities for development and bug-fixes.
 
  


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