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Old 05-22-2007, 11:54 AM   #1
fc6_user
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Wanted: Step-by-step installation guide for Debian with screenshots


I tried installing Debian and abandoned the installation process. I had already partitioned and formatted my HD to facilitate installation (I have two other OSs installed on it, Windows and Mandriva). At the 'Partition' part of the installation, I'm asked if I want to install on the entire disc or 'manual'. I therefore chose 'manual'. Okay. Now this is what I get:

Quote:
The installer can guide you through partitioning a disk (using different standard schemes) or, if you prefer, you can do it manually. With guided partitioning you will still have a chance later to review and customise the results. ...
I suppose this means that with manual you're screwed if you mess things up!

Quote:
... If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk, you will next be asked which disk should be used.
Let's see... "If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk (so, singular, singular=one disk), you will be asked which disk (Hmm...? Singular again.) should be used. (So, of the one disk, it's going to ask you which one you want!) "

Quote:
Partitioning method:

Guided - use entire disk
Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM
Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM
Manual

<Go Back>
Okay, I guess I want "Manual"... (Hope it works! If not, based on what was said earlier, I'm screwed!)

NEXT SCREEN:

Quote:
This is an overview of your currently configured partitions and mount points. Select a partition to modify its settings (file system, mount point, etc.), a free space to create partitions, or a device to initialise its partition table.

Guided partitioning
Help on partitioning

IDE1 master (hda) - 120.0 GB
#1 primary 62.9 ...
#2 primary 3.2 GB
#5 logical
#6 etc...
#7
#8
#9

Undo changes to partitions
Finish partitioning and write changes to disk

<Go Back>
Okay, yes indeed, this is my configuration, and I'd like to install Debian on "#7 15.6 GB already formatted ext3..."

The 'help' option doesn't tell me exactly what I need to do... I guess I have to choose "#7 logical 15.6 GB ext3" Here we go...

Quote:
You are editing partition #7 of IDE1 master (hda). This partition is formatted with Ext3 journaling file system.

Partition settings:

Use as: do not use
Bootable flag: off
Resize the partition (currently 15.6 GB)

Done setting up the partition
Copy data from another partition
Erase data on this partition
Delete the partition
Okay, let's see now... "Use as: do not use" ... Hmmm... that's about as clear as "If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk, you will next be asked which disk should be used." (Okay, mea culpa, I understand now that you could have two HDs on your computer, alright! However the sentence could have been written: "If you have several HDs, you will be asked...")... "Bootable flag: off" (Okay, this is my fault, I need to do some more reading, alright, true...). "Resize the partition...?" I tried this: impossible to resize this partition... "Done setting up the partition?" I haven't done anything yet! "Copy data from another partition?" No! I've prepared it for Debian. "Erase data on this partition?" There is no data on this partition! "Delete the partition?" No! I've prepared it for this very reason!

And this is what we call an unending loop in programming... <Go Back>

IF THERE'S ANYONE WORKING FOR DEBIAN OUT THERE AND YOU FEEL IT MIGHT BE IN YOUR INTEREST TO HIRE SOME GOOD WRITERS (OR AT LEAST WRITERS WHO CAN CONSTRUCT SENTENCES WHICH ARE CLEAR AND LOGICAL...), JUST SEND ME A PRIVATE MESSAGE...

IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A GOOD STEP-BY-STEP INSTALLATION GUIDE WHICH INCLUDES THIS STEP AND THIS VERY SITUATION, PLEASE SEND ME THE LINK.

Many thanks to anyone who has read this entire post.

Frustrated Debian Newbie-to-be

Last edited by fc6_user; 05-22-2007 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
fitzov
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your criticism is unwarranted

Looking at your first comment makes me skeptical about whether the rest of your post is worth reading:

Quote:
Let's see... "If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk (so, singular, singular=one disk), you will be asked which disk (Hmm...? Singular again.) should be used. (So, of the one disk, it's going to ask you which one you want!) "
So if I say, "If you want insurance for a car, I need to know which car you want insurance for." this entails you do not have more than one car?
 
Old 05-22-2007, 12:33 PM   #3
rickh
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You should run Debian if:
- You are an experienced user and know what you want.
- You are looking to select an OS for a controlled environment with a finite set of requirements.
- You prefer stability to the bleeding edge.
- You need a secure system rather than one with the latest bells and whistles.
- You want to get down to the core of Linux.
- You have many friends running Debian.
- You are willing to invest some time and work now for later ease of maintenance.
- You are a perfectionist and a purist.
- You are socially sensitive with respect to freedom of software.
- You are curious to know about Debian, and do not mind climbing the Debian learning curve.
- You are curious about the Debian community, and what joins thousands of people to a common goal.
- You want to use Debian for whatever reason, and you are self-confident about that desire.

You should probably choose something else if:
- You are new to Unix.
- You need to use top-of-the-line hardware.
- You want to run Debian because "it is cool."
- You want a working system and are unwilling to figure out how it works.
(If you are looking for something that "just works," try one of the Debian derivatives.)
**********

That is from the book, The Debian System by Martin F. Krafft. You decide where you fit into it. If you can't get past the partitioner, you may not be ready yet.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
weibullguy
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If you've already partitioned the drive, why are you trying to do it again? The next step should be to create and activate swap, then assign mount points to those existing partitions. Just move on, there's nothing to do.

So I'll add to rickh's response, if you don't know that you don't need to partition, you may not be ready for Debian yet.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
fc6_user
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fitzov,

From Post #1:

Quote:
Okay, let's see now... "Use as: do not use" ... Hmmm... that's about as clear as "If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk, you will next be asked which disk should be used." (Okay, mea culpa, I understand now that you could have two HDs on your computer, alright! However the sentence could have been written: "If you have several HDs, you will be asked...")... "B
I agree with you, however, the instructions are far from clear. When you install an OS and you risk messing up your entire system, I think it's important that the instructions be clear, even if you are an experienced user (which I am not!). I think having two cars is more common than having two HDs on one's computer though.


weibullguy,

Okay, fair enough, however, on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is "instructions extremely clear, person installing OS knows exactly what he's doing every step of the way and feels 100% secure and sure about what he is doing" and 1 is "complete guesswork", how would you rate it? Of course, I'm talking about someone who has never installed Debian before and who is not using a guide or instructions at the same time. If it's the second or third time you've installed Debian, there's no problem!

How about putting in a word something like "The changes will not be made until step X before which you can abandon the installation process completely without making any changes", and perhaps a list of steps on the left of the screen so that you know where you are in the installation process (with the step you are doing highlighted).

On the other hand, it is a free OS and this is normal with this type of OS. I suppose I should just calm down, do some reading... and rather than complaining, rewrite my post as constructive criticism addressed directly to Debian or even offer to write for the documentation project...

As for the actual installation problem, when I go beyond this step, nothing tells me that the OS is going to be installed on partition #7! Is that after the swap partition thing (I remember seeing it)? Can you give me a little more information?


To all,

You are right, I tend to get stressed out when performing such an operation.

I do want to learn more. Can anybody suggest a good step-by-step guide with screenshots?
 
Old 05-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
Alien_Hominid
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But you can't negate that this sentence about entire disk isn't confusing. I'll explain (this can seem confusing only for non natives like me). When somebody installs Linux for the first time, he most probably has an already made partition for Linux in Windows. Installation is dangerous journey for him, because he fears to ruin his Windows and when he hears such sentence as
guided partitioning for an entire disk he becomes afraid that his whole disk could be partitioned. There is no info, which says: you can choose which partition(s) to use after you select the disk. What's the point of choosing the disk after it has been partitioned. I hope you got my rambling right.

Most PC users are not professionals. Don't make a myth about Debian like another Slackware.

The same sentence is used on Ubuntu installation too.

Last edited by Alien_Hominid; 05-22-2007 at 03:37 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 03:39 PM   #7
mdg
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I don't know which version you're installing, but there shouldn't be too much difference. Lots of screenshots on this Sarge tutorial

http://www.debiantutorials.org/content/view/5/57/
 
Old 05-22-2007, 03:45 PM   #8
IsaacKuo
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Hmm...the first time I ever installed Debian it was with the Sarge installer--very similar to today's installer. I didn't have any problems with it, and I did choose "manual" partitioning. I just sort of fiddled around using the arrow keys/space/enter and went for it.

Before that, I only ever installed an ancient version of Mandrake (had no idea what in the world I was doing), as well as Knoppix (which had no partitioning options to speak of).

I had about as much experience with partitioning as you have. Obviously, you used SOMETHING to partition your drive(s), and you apparently know your hda1 from your hda7. Like me, you've used some sort of partitioner before (probably a graphical one), but never anything quite like Debian's partitioner.

I don't really remember thinking anything strange about "Use as: Do not use". It seems entirely obvious what that means, to me. It means that the new Debian install isn't going to use that partition.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 04:00 PM   #9
Alien_Hominid
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I believe he was talking not about specifical partition but about whole hdd.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 04:13 PM   #10
fc6_user
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mdg,

Thanks for the link. I still don't see where it indicates the partition where Debian is going to be installed. There's nothing between these steps:

-Arrow to "yes", you have to write what you just made. The installer gives you this warning page as a last warning - it wants to make sure you really want to make these partitions. Of course you do.
AND
-Now Debian starts to install. Woohoo!

My partitions are already set up. How do I tell the installer: "Install Debian on #7"? (#6 is Mandriva, #7 is for Debian and I'm saving #8 for a third Linux OS).
 
Old 05-22-2007, 04:16 PM   #11
fc6_user
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IsaacKuo,

I used Knoppix to prepare the partitions. Knoppix, the Live CD. I forget what the program is called QTParted or something like that.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
IsaacKuo
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The steps are:

1) Get up to the partitioner. Select "manual" partitioning.

2) Select the desired hda7 partition to "set it up".

3) Notice that the default is "Use as: Do not use". Obviously, you want to change this because you want to use it. Select this, and it will give you a choice of what filesystem to use.

4) Select "ext3" for the filesystem.

5) Notice that the options are now a bit expanded, and that by default the Debian partitioner will plug in "/" as the mount point. This will make this partition the root file system.

6) Select "Done setting up partition".

If you just want to put the entire Debian OS in that one partition, then you're done setting up partitions. If you want, you can create and/or use other partitions also.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #13
fc6_user
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IssacKuo,

Thanks for your reply. Just one more question before I actually go through the process. I read something in the 'help' section about booting either from the MBR or from "/" or root (I think that's what it said). I've already installed Mandriva and GRUB. When I boot, GRUB opens up and I have the choice between Mandriva and Windows. What should I do here? Overwrite the MBR with Debian and GRUB and then edit /boot/grub/menu.lst? Simply add what was in the Mandriva menu.lst file to the Debian menu.lst file? Will that do the job? I've already saved the Mandriva menu.lst file.

Many thanks.

And many thanks to all for your patience!
 
Old 05-22-2007, 05:39 PM   #14
Alien_Hominid
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You don't need to overwrite mbr. Just add to the mandriva's menu.lst Debian info.
 
Old 05-22-2007, 05:41 PM   #15
IsaacKuo
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The Debian installer will most likely detect all three of your operating systems and would put all three in GRUB's menu.lst--if you want it to do so.

In all cases, the Debian installer will ask you first before installing Grub. It will say which OS's it detected, and note that if these are the only operating systems then it's safe for it to install grub. (Otherwise, you can install it anyway if you know how to add the other needed entries.)

The easiest thing is to simply let the Debian installer install Grub. Then, after Debian is set up, do the following:

1) Boot up Mandriva

2) mount /dev/hda7 and open up /media/hda7/boot/grub/menu.lst

3) copy the Debian entries from that menu.lst

4) Open up /boot/grub/menu.lst (the Mandriva menu.lst).

5) paste the Debian boot entries to the bottom of the Mandriva menu.lst.

6) Run grub-install to make the grub bootloader point to your Mandriva partition instead of Debian's hda7 partition.

Why go through all these steps? Because I'm supposing that Mandriva is your "main" OS and you're just experimenting around with Debian. You might decide to experiment with some other OS on hda7, or delete hda7 for more space. Or whatever. By reinstalling the grub bootloader from Mandriva, you won't accidentally zap your grub menu if/when you do something to hda7.
 
  


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