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Old 01-25-2004, 06:19 AM   #1
Vlad_M
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I want to try Debian and I have a few questions


Hi,

I am going to try a new distro, because of the RH/Fedora debacle and I am very keen on trying Debian. I have some questions that maybe someone can help me with:

1.) I am quite confused about the "stable" and the "testing" versions. I understand that sarge is the current testing version and that it will be released soon(ish). I have read the differences between the two versions and my question is this : If I install the stable version (woody) and then include the testing packages in the sources.conf, and perform the update of the whole distro, will I effectively end up with sarge? Or is there something I am missing.

2.) I know that the installation of Debian is not as dumbed down as, say, Red Hat. I am fine with that, however what is the hardware detection like? Is it all manual or does the installer detect the hardware present. It will not be too much of a hassle if it doesn't, but I'd just like to know in advance.

3.) I am on 56k so installing over the net is a no-no. I need to install of the CDs, which I think I get get through one of the *LUGs in my country (hopefully). However, reading some FAQs I am under the impression that there are no bootable ISOs for installing the testing version, and that one must first install the stable release, and then upgrade that to testing. True or False?

Thanks, and I think that I'll be posting much more in these forums from now on, when I take t he plunge....

Cheers,

Vlad.
 
Old 01-25-2004, 08:30 AM   #2
llamakc
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1.) Yes. the file is /etc/apt/sources.list and by replacing "stable" with "testing" (or "woody" with "sarge") and doing [as root] apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade you DO upgrade to the next release. Other than kernel changes, you will never have to reinstall (caveat: unless you b0rK something up).

2.) With Woody (current Stable) there is not advanced hardware detection like Knoppix or RH have. The biggest concern will be your NIC. However, there is a point in the install where it prompts you to add extra kernel modules and has a pretty ncurses frontend for it (called modconf). The real question to ask yourself is "DO I know what hardware I have?"

3.) That's my understanding of it. You could always purchase Knoppix and use their knx-hdinstall method. They have hardware detection also.

You may want to try jigdo to build iso's of Sarge or Sid. It works great. I did that for a friend of mine who also was on a modem so he could upgrade to Sid.

Good luck.
 
Old 01-25-2004, 09:37 AM   #3
Vlad_M
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Thanks for such a quick reply, mate!

So one more question - if I want to skip the notorious (although I am sure that it can't be that bad) Debian install - I can actually use Knoppix (or some other livecd distro, I read a thread to that effect) to install the base setup, then set up the sources.list, update and I have me a Debian system? Am I right?

i know most of my hardware, and there is nothing overly exotic there, so I hope I won't have much difficulty.
 
Old 01-25-2004, 09:45 AM   #4
llamakc
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Yep. Exactly. boot into Knoppix, and open an xterm and type "knx-hdinstall". That's all there is. It'll prompt you through the rest of the way.

Frankly, the Debian Installer (named "boot-floppies" on Woody) isn't that difficult IMO. I can do netinstalls w/in 30 minutes.

Good luck!
 
Old 01-25-2004, 10:40 PM   #5
OmegaBlac
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Cool

Quote:
Originally posted by Vlad_M
Thanks for such a quick reply, mate!

So one more question - if I want to skip the notorious (although I am sure that it can't be that bad) Debian install - I can actually use Knoppix (or some other livecd distro, I read a thread to that effect) to install the base setup, then set up the sources.list, update and I have me a Debian system? Am I right?

i know most of my hardware, and there is nothing overly exotic there, so I hope I won't have much difficulty.
Try using this walkthrough to help you breeze through the Debian install with no-hassle -->> http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016
 
Old 01-29-2004, 09:20 AM   #6
nbn792
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don't use hdinstall

don't use hdinstall, do this instead... works better and lets you configure install more while still detecting everything (well whatever it normally would detect.)

at boot type:

Knoppix 2 lang=us

after it loads kernel and whatnot and your at prompt, type:

knoppix-installer

thats it. O and if you select "debian like system" while configuring, it will ask for and configure you a real use name and stuff which will save you some trouble from the normal hdinstall! hdinstall gives you the user "knoppix" which you end up deleting anyway.

Then you can "apt-get update", and "apt-get upgrade", after install to get the latest software versions. I've done it with 3 pcs and it's installed with no hitches on any of them.. nvidia cards, NICs, X.... all installed fine.

The only thing I don't liek about knoppix is that it automatically installs like 2gigs of software that I don't nessecarilly want... anyone know how to select what software to use in knoppix?.. or do a minimal install?

I had problems with installing regular woody.... X would never work right after install.... knoppix was the answere. My goal w/ pcs is to be able to correctly install woody lol.
 
Old 01-29-2004, 10:40 AM   #7
Vlad_M
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great, thanks for the tip! that's exactly what I am going to do, a friend is burning me a copy of knoppix tomorrow
 
  


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