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Old 07-12-2007, 06:23 PM   #1
mhg
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Is etch really that hard to install?


Hi All,

First, understand I am a real newbie to Linux.

So far I have installed four different distros, all from live CDs, and I am currently multi-booting with XP/Ubuntu/LinuxMint. All these installs were pretty easy, after I got instructions on how to set up partitions before the install.

After reading some rants about how much folks liked Etch, I ordered a 3 DVD set (maybe someday I will have to decide on one distro ). Then I decided to read the installation instructions on the Debian web-site. The instructions are very thorough, and consequently kind of intimidating.

Will the installation be that much different from what I have seen thus far? I did put the first DVD in, and my PC would boot from it.

I had hoped I would leave the "/swap" I have, install on a new "/", and then after installation mount my current "/home", which I am using for the other two distros also.

Am I thinking correctly about how to go about this?

Thanks for any help.
 
Old 07-12-2007, 06:46 PM   #2
war1025
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etch is pretty much straight forward as it gets. and I think that setup would work. The installer isn't graphical, but if you can read its not hard at all and it takes you through the install step by step... it really doesn't even ask you to do much. I think you can probably handle it.
 
Old 07-12-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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Uh, Etch I think is easiest to install from the first CD of your choice (KDE, Gnome, etc), and then do a base install. Makes it smaller and faster.

BTW, /swap is used as a memory resource for your OS besides your ram, /home is self-explanatory, and "/" is your root directory. Just letting you know since you seemed to be copying, but not fully understanding (which is ok).
 
Old 07-12-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
mhg
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Thank you for the information.

Do you have time to elaborate on what you describe as a base install? Will the installer lead me through different installations?

When I installed LinuxMint, I attempted to assign my old home for the new installation, but it gave me the message it was going to format the home partition, so I did not do that, and mounted the home later, though not without some difficulty. Is there a way for me to let Etch use my current home during the installation without it formatting, so I do not lose all the data on that partition?

Thanks.
 
Old 07-12-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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Etch does come with a graphical installer (you type "installgui" at the prompt, after booting from the first CD), but it's really the text-based installer dressed up with nice fonts and quite a bit of pink. Functionally, there's no difference between the two. You can see screenshots of the graphical installation process in OSDir.com's screenshot gallery.

(Installing Debian in text mode is pretty much the same as installing K/Ubuntu using an "alternate install" CD.)

Either way, if you've already partitioned your hard disk, are familiar with the naming conventions for Linux partitions, and created a swap partition, it's very, very easy.

If you just download the regular Debian installer CD(s), you'll end up with a GNOME desktop, and will have to install KDE by hand. So if you prefer KDE, phantom_cyph is right; download a "KDE CD 1" instead.

<edit> You probably do not want to share your home folder with Linux Mint. From what I've seen of Kubuntu, there are quite a few differences between their version of KDE, and the "stock" KDE that Etch would install.

A "base" install is the minimum necessary to get your computer to boot into Linux, and generally does not include a GUI.

Last edited by eco2geek; 07-12-2007 at 09:24 PM.
 
Old 07-12-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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Correction, installation of CD1 base install does have KDE, hence it being a KDE CD1 install. You can download this iso here...if you need any step-by-step help, let me know by going onto the chatroom in my sig or send me a message. I am willing to give you any help you may need, but you need to try some of it yourself.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 04:57 AM   #7
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Debian installation is the easiest and the cleanest, IMO.

The only problems you encounter is the "brains limitation"! , not bugs in the installer or strange stuffs.
But you get better after some re-installs and some digging.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 06:57 PM   #8
mhg
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Thanks for the help, and offers for more help, I very much appreciate that.

I am not sure if I gave the impression that I wanted KDE, in fact, I would prefer Gnome DE.

Now I am unsure what version it is that I have. When I went searching for downloads, they were all such large files that I ordered a 3 DVD set. The DVDs are labeled "Debian 4.0r0", one through
three. That was my first surprise when I went looking for Etch, after the other distros I tried only needing one CD.

My only reason for wanting to share a home directory was to save available drive space. If that is not a good idea, I can create a separate home for the Etch installation.

Any other suggestions, or warnings?

As an aside, I loved the Ubuntu DE, but for reasons no one seems to understand, I had several issues with Ubuntu, and had LinuxMint suggested to me. Even though I understand it is built on the same kernel as Ubuntu, it has run almost flawlessly for me to this point. (so why am I still looking at other distros?)

Thanks again for the help.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Well, you got yourself a full copy of the main Debian server in Sweden (iirc) when Etch was declared Stable. It's always useful to have, but your best bet is to use the Net-install CD. That is, unless the PC involved has no internet connection The Net-install CD installs a very bare and basic system, but is configured to allow you to install more software, directly downloaded from the nearest Debian mirror to you.

It's perfectly okay to re-use your swap partition, but as I understand the explanation from eco2geek on Linux Mint it's very wise to use a separate /home partition in Debian. Note that the Debian kernel is older then the one in Ubuntu, as are many applications. If you're after the latest and greatest, Debian may not be the distro for you. But if you want stability, the Debian Stable branch is the benchmark to beat
 
Old 07-13-2007, 08:34 PM   #10
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Testing is quite stable too, and the packages are newer. Definitely a fun distro to play around on...
 
Old 07-13-2007, 08:48 PM   #11
phantom_cyph
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I used the netinst cd 3 times. For some reason, I always came across hardware problems. I would recommend just using the base install, you never know what can happen when you are installing your whole OS from ground up from an internet connection. I have highspeed, and it took longer to do the netinstall then to download, burn, and install CD1 with KDE.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 10:14 PM   #12
mhg
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Now I am afraid I will really be testing your patience.

Darned if I can figure out what ISO to download. When I go to the Debian page, I always seem to end up with a link that leads to 20-some cd ISO's. A base system can certainly not need all that can it?

No matter how I try to phrase a google/linux search, I just can not seem to find a simple CD ISO.

What am I missing here?

Thanks for the help.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 10:55 PM   #13
war1025
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The first cd is all you need for a base install. It contains the most needed packages and will give you a completely functional base install. The cd won't contain every package and you will need to download other things, but there is no sense getting the other CDs when you can just get those packages from aptitude or apt-get.

I had the same question the first time I installed debian. And just another word of advice, when it asks if you want to use an internet mirror to get more recent packages, etc. Definitely say yes to that. I said no the first couple times I installed and it was a pain in the rear.
 
Old 07-14-2007, 03:15 AM   #14
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The reason there are 21 CD images (and 3 DVD images) available for download, is that Debian contains in excess of 18,000 packages. Collect them all!

As the others said, if you have a fast Internet connection, just get the first CD or DVD, and install whatever else you want from an online repository later.

I personally wouldn't recommend that a newbie install Etch, then upgrade to Sid (at least not without a good place to get help -- for that, try Sidux) -- but upgrading to testing (aka Lenny) is pretty low-risk, and testing is pretty up-to-date (right now, xorg 7.2, KDE 3.5.7, GNOME 2.18, and kernel 2.6.21).
 
Old 07-14-2007, 01:53 PM   #15
mhg
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Hi All,

Many thanks for all the help. I may try the testing - Lenny.

So a "package" would be what I might call an application? When I use synaptic to install something like "Gnome-baker", it is called a "package", correct?

So there is no reason to have many packages installed, as I can install what I want later if I have the repositories I need?

Thanks for all the replies.
 
  


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