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Old 09-24-2004, 03:10 PM   #16
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Zürich
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 537

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Folks, I am very grateful for the help. I am at the moment downloading sarge via jigdo, but I am going to fool with the cdrom thing (for learning experience) and then possibly reinstall with the bf24 kernel option. Partitioning and reinstalling is in the immediate future anyway, since I have what is obviously a forgotten SUSE distribution sitting on a 12GB partition.

I am debating between the 3.0r2/2.4 installation and the sarge distribution though. I don't understand enough about the difference between kernels and the old and new releases. I understand the bit about "testing," so far as it is explainable to someone at my level, but it is still gives pause for thought for a first-time go to use a non-standard version.

What is likely to change in the testing version before release in a few weeks? I'm sure some of the bugs in the packages that have been worked out will be included.

Ah, why don't I just go ahead and try the sarge install, it's not like I'm running a server. I'll stick with the 2.4 kernel though, 2.6 seems like newer than I need. My newest piece of equipment is an ATI 9800 Pro, and I'm sure it'll be taken care of one way or another.

Is the 2.4 kernel default on sarge?

Cheers all,
Old 09-25-2004, 07:50 AM   #17
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Zürich
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 537

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Well, Sarge is installed with the 2.6 kernel. I burned a full CD (disk 1), and it was almost too easy, too. It auto-configured my Internet connection (cablemodem), the USB mouse with scrollwheel, and so on. I haven't checked sound yet. I must not have chosen the right keyboard options, but that's not too surprising given the Euro thingy I have. (I selected Swiss German and pc105, but the option enabling the AltGr function must not be present.) I only had trouble in two spots:

1. The boot process. Since I use Win2k's boot manager, I wanted the installer to write a floppy for booting and leave the MBR alone, but it wouldn't write to the floppy. I tried reinstalling, since only the base was installed so far -- I just had to remark the partitions. This time I left the floppy in, supposing it hadn't been mounted the last time. No joy. So I just gulped and trusted to let GRUB handle things, since it auto-detected my other systems. That worked pretty well -- I just have to choose NTFS and then I get the normal selection scheme of boot.ini (showing the three other installations). I'll have to juggle this later.

2. The ATI card has two outputs, so the installer didn't know which one to select, giving me room to specify among the "multiple-heads." This required me to know the pci address of the agp card. I read the instructions and switched to a different terminal, logged in and ran lspci, and guessed from there. Once I had apt-gotten x-window-system and wmaker, I tried running startx as a normal user. It failed, and the last message was something about no screen found. I also saw the PCI address I had specified. So I went to /var/log and looked at XFree86.0.log. Scrolling through it I found what I believed to be the correct address, which was "PCI:1:0:0". I edited /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 to change the PCI address, switched back to the other terminal and re-tried startx. Whammo!

I went ahead and installed Synaptic (?) and installed Firefox, and now I'm typing from this from sarge in Window Maker or whatever it's called, and feeling pretty happy. I didn't fool with the CD-ROM problem after all, I just wasn't in the mood any more so late last night. I'll have to get Gnome and KDE installed and fool with the rest of the configuration.

Thanks again for all the advice. I just didn't realize earlier in the thread what the various kernel versions do, that they integrate support for newer hardware.

Probably a reason I didn't know is that I've been a Windows user for so long, and there it is fairly hidden from you what's going on. All you're told is that you have to "install a driver." This essentially always requires a reboot. So I'm wondering, does Windows require that reboot so that it can recompile its kernel?

Happy to be getting started now. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the Internet hardware and connection all automatically configured, and absolutely astonished to see the words "Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar" flash across the screen during the install!

Old 09-25-2004, 08:23 AM   #18
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Debian Post-Install Configuration

For your euro/altgr (i use it too),and other topics, read:

Debian Post-Install Configuration

make sure you know the APT-HOWTO like the back of your hand, after 2 years, i still go back to it.

Last edited by macondo; 09-25-2004 at 08:31 AM.


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