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I've been trying to install programs in general on Debian and have been meeting with significant trouble. Specifically, I'm trying to install an HTML editor, and there are none at all in Synaptic. I tried to install Nvu, but I have no idea what to do once I download the data and unpackage it. I tried running the config script, but it didn't do anything that I could observe. Basically, I need either a reference to a download repository for Synaptic (and instructions on how to set it up) or instructions on how to get downloaded programs to install.
Man! is that ever ugly. If you run Debian, it is expected that you should have at least a clue of what you are doing. I'm guessing that you installed from an Etch installer when Etch was Testing. Before even thinking about installing any programs, try to get a basic up to date system.
Make your /etc/apt/sources.list file look like this:
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux testing _Etch_ - Official Snapshot i386 Binary-1 (20061111)]/ etch main
I would use aptitude instead of synaptic. Since you are running Etch (Stable) ... a weekly "# aptitude update" will load in any security updates, which is the only kind of updates Stable gets.
Go to www.backports.org, and follow their instructions to get other important applications updated in Etch.
Since you have added a program, NVU, that aptitude doesn't know about, another "# aptitude keep-all" is in order.
I am not a fan of NVU. I think you can do exactly the same things with a current program... Seamonkey. That is a complete internet suite including browser, email, WYSIWYG HTML editor, etc ... In Debian the application is known as Iceape ... # aptitude install iceape