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I have recently installed Debian 3.1, after using Slackware 11.0 for some time. The reason I decided to migrate to Debian was mainly apt.
Anyway, I started the installer and chose "desktop environment" as the only package option, since I don't use my computer as a server in any way. Everything went fine and I finally got to the prompt, but when I typed: 'startx' I got the message that X doesn't exist.
Since I did a beginner install and everything went fine I believe that I am just accustomed to using Slackware, should I type something else than 'startx'?
Did you hit the spacebar so that there was a[*] in front of the Desktop option? If not, you installed just a base system with no X.
The nice thing about apt/aptitude is that you don't need to reinstall (although you can if you want). Instead, you can do aptitude install x-window-system-core kdebase I think kdebase is a stripped down version of KDE without games, koffice, etc. If you want full kde, you would use "kde" instead.
Or you can use apt-cache search string to find the package name of the desktop environment you want.
I personally like to build my systems from the ground so that they're lean and mean. I can always add what I want later w/ aptitude.
Most likely you need to type "aptitude install gnome-core gdm" ... assuming you want Gnome. You'd have been way better off to install Etch instead of Sarge.
He's right. You can do a dist-upgrade before adding your desktop with minimal pain. Just edit /etc/apt/sources.list and change every "stable" or "sarge" to "etch". Then type aptitude update && aptitude dist-upgrade as root.
"Anyway, I started the installer and chose "desktop environment" as the only package option, since I don't use my computer as a server in any way."
I did this on one of my laptops and got exactly what you describe. I reinstalled with both the top (server) and bottom(desktop) options enabled and it came out OK. I don't know what's going on, other than to note that those two are the default options in the installer.
It is also posible that aptitude didn't install. Aptitude is a modified version of the command apt-get. First, you should not be running stable. That is not for desktops, stable is ancient, and is designed for servers that you never want to change. For a desktop system, the choices are testing or unstable. I use unstable exclsively on my desktop and laptop. In any case, change every sarge or stable in your /etc/apt/sources.list file to testing. Then you should run:
apt-get install kde (or gnome, or xfce, or whatever you like)
Hello everybody, thanks for all the help.
Since I cannot install my NIC using the Debian installer (onboard NIC), it is impossible for me to add Etch content at the moment. I am downloading Etch through jigdo and burning it to dvd now.
I see now that Sarge doesn't have X or Gnome, so I guess problem is solved after I've installed Etch. ;-)
I just went with Sarge because "stable" sounded better than "testing".
The 14 CD set of Sarge has X, but the single CD does not. That is also true of testing. Debian installs with the asumption that you have an ethernet connectionl and grabs all the updates you ask for online.
Testing (Etch) comes with a 2.6.17 kernel now I believe, so it should detect your NIC without a problem. Of course you say DVD install, they might pack all of the 14 CDs onto 2 Dvds, but it is much easier just to get the 150 Mb net install image, and let that rock.