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Old 10-20-2004, 05:14 AM   #1
amnesty_puppy
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New Debian user (ex-Slack)


Well after downloading the mini net-inst cd because the other one I downloaded didn't work:

I'm not hugely impressed so far, I heard debian was h4rDc0r3 but the installtion procedure didn't allow me to choose the filesystem to use (I used ReiserFS) and I had to wait to use my fav user name because you couldn't use underscores without specifiying --force-badname from a root prompt, after installation.

Also, this is more because I don't know enough about Linux, the boot screen is low res and there's some badly backgrounded Tux pic holding what looks like a pint of lager. How do I change the settings for console res? As a side note, is there some sort of roadmap to the different config files and what they contain?

Finally, not being overly familiar with debian package management I tried to install xfld-dekstop, then xfce4. Neither worked because of broken packages or dependencies or something. I'm not really sure what this means, but it may have something to do with not installing all the basic X files (which is now done but I'm not at home to check).

Kinda ranting, but don't mean any offence. After using debian for a while I might try gentoo (if only slackware had better package management...)

Thanks, Dom.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 05:23 AM   #2
darthtux
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I was able to choose reiserfs with no problem. That is what I am using. When your on the screen for a particular partition you have to arrow the cursor over the filesystem type and hit enter. Then it brings up a screen to change it.

How did you install xfce4. I had no problems. First you have to setup apt
apt-setup
to get your mirrors configured
Then
apt-get update
apt-cache search package
apt-get insatll package(s)

To install X
apt-get install x-window-system

It takes a little bit of reading to do something. I wouldn't dismiss something because when you stick in the cd it doesn't do everything for you.

Here is a fair walkthrough of the install
http://osdir.com/shots/slideshows/sl...se=135&slide=1

Last edited by darthtux; 10-20-2004 at 05:24 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 08:33 AM   #3
amnesty_puppy
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I'm not really dissing debian, I changed after using knopppix and messing around with remastering, liking the debianess of it. It just annoys me when things don't work at a very basic level (lack of patience sometimes).

I installed from net install btw, probably an important note (sorry). apt-get install xfld-desktop or xfce4 gives the same error:
Some package has unmet depencies
xfce-tackbar-plugin: but it is not going to be installed.

(this is for a few other things like xterminal and rox)
E: Sorry, broken packages.

This is after install the x server (overnight) and configuring. Now when the xserver tries to start it comes up with Fatal Error: no screens found. And just before that something about no screens having a usable config. So i tried xf86config, made sure monitor settings were correct - no help. The help for the x-server not starting was weird: "X-server couldn't start" > look at error file > "Run config again?" > "X-server could not start" and so on in a loop.

Sorry about this post being a mess. I'm using lynx while jigdoing a full cd of debian.

Thanks, DOm.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:12 AM   #4
drawhla
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I had a similar experience moving from slack to deb, the frst couple of times I tried it I ended up hating it, but once you get the hold of it and start doing things the "debian way" you end up loving it
I had the same "no screens found" problem, what happens is that debian uses its own x configurator that uses XF86Config-4 instead of XF86Config, what I always do is just delete XF86Config-4 because the debian X configuration tool never worked for me and do a clasic text based xf86config
I install through the woody iso and then update to sarge, for choosing reiserfs I have to type bf24 when I boot the cd and I have the choice
for the xfce4 problem apt-get install xfce4 should work, if not try changing your sources with apt-setup if it still doesnt work post your /etc/apt/sources.list so we can see whats wrong
I can suspect that youre using the woody mini cd and thats why you cant find xfce4 and cant use reiserfs, try opnening your sources.list and replacing "stable" with "testing" then run a apt-get update and it should work
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:23 AM   #5
darthtux
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No problem amnesty_puppy. I will say, I have had to do tweaking on every distro of Linux I've used to get X going. For Debian there is a better way:
Code:
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86
At first try the Simple config. And you might try the vesa driver if asked. Just to get it going. If you end up not succeeding then post your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file. I may be able to help you later but I won't be able to be back for at least 12 hours from now. Or maybe someone else can assist.

BTW, if you have X going in Knoppix save the above file to the debian partition and try it.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:35 AM   #6
amnesty_puppy
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arr mini-cd I did use. Tried deleting the xf86config-4 file, and changed some things in the standard one, when the driver is vga I have to change my bit depth to 16, and then it has the error: addscreen/screeninit failed for driver 0. If I change it to vesa, which is what used to work with, ah.. it's just worked with 16bit depth. Thanks for the great help, lets see if I can get xfce working now...
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:47 AM   #7
darthtux
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I am assuming you set up apt to get the Debian mirrors. Do a
Code:
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
This will update your entire system with the latest Sarge packages. Then try to install xfce4
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:51 AM   #8
wellmt
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I've literally just made the switch from Slackware too. Not sure if I'll stay, it's early days.

One thing that got me out a few times was the Debian Installer. Basically it's quite often broken where it is still under developement. I downloaded two set's of Sarge ISO's two weeks apart only to find that the installer was broken in both and wouldn't let you select the ReiserFS file system.

Then I downloaded seperate installers:
- The RC-1 installer works but installs a slightly older kernel 2.6
- The Pre-RC2 installer won't install from CD-ROM

I was very frustrated.

In the end I used the Pre-RC2 installer and installed the basics from the net and the rest from the CD-ROM. Used Apt-cdrom (I think) to configure. Now got a 2.68 kernel with X, KDE and Nvidia drivers.

The bottom line is that Debian is a complete pain to install but once it's up and running it's seems pretty good so far. APT seems especially cool.

The start-up scripts, runlevels and routines seem to be competely different from the way Slackware works (trying to figure it them out at the moment!) and compiling a kernel is a very different from slack, but clever as a package is created which you then install (and uninstall when you upgrade the kernel)

It's a pity there isn't a decent R3 Debian book in print yet, it'd probably really help.

Last edited by wellmt; 10-20-2004 at 09:55 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:59 AM   #9
darthtux
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wellmt,

What do you mean by older kernel. I used RC-1 and it installed 2.6.7.

I wouldn't install everthing from cdrom since Sarge is constantly updated, your already using outdated packages especially since Sarge is going stable. Better to apt-get from the net.

The runlevels 2-5 are user configurable. All the same when you start out.
apt-get sysv-rc-conf
It will assist in runlevel configuration. If you want to do it the old fashion way I can assist. But right now it's off to bed.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 10:05 AM   #10
drawhla
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this is what I do to install the system and it always works:

-use the woody cd and type bf24 at the boot propt to be able to choose reiserfs
-install the base system and avoid tasksel and dselect
-change form stable to testing in the sources.list
-apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade
then install the x window system and when asked if I want to let debconf manage the configuration say no and the run xf86config
and he install the window manager I need

it doesnt take me more than an hour and i have the base working
hope it helps

Last edited by drawhla; 10-20-2004 at 10:07 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 10:10 AM   #11
utanja
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i have been using debian for almost a year after several years with redhat and slackware....

use the debian businescard iso.....the latest version works fine and give you the latest sarge files...

after the install do the following at root

apt-get install x-window-system

the you can apt-get what ever window manger system you wish to use....(gnome, kde, etc)
 
Old 10-20-2004, 12:23 PM   #12
wellmt
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Hi again darthtux

I think it was just a minor kernel version update 2.6.6 vs 2.6.8 IIRC, nothing spectacular. I did a half net, half CD install in the end. The CDs were from a weekly ISO build which was a two days old 16-Nov-2004. It was just a lot quicker to install X and the desktop environment from CD that was all - and as far as I know these packages are still current on Debian (X 4.3 and KDE 3.2.1 IIRC)

I just read up on the init scripts and runlevels, it's becoming quite a bit clearer. I'll customise a couple of runlevels for my own purposes (no X, or with X)

Thanks for all your help. I'm enjoying myself again now instead of pulling my hair out!
 
Old 10-20-2004, 03:57 PM   #13
macondo
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amnesty_puppy:

1. do not treat Debian as you do Slackware, do not hack. Everything in Debian has a system.

2. X Configuration: follow Darthtux advice:

#dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

Take the 'Advanced' option:

know your monitor's horiz and vertical frequencies, video card module's name (ex: nv = nVidia), if your mouse is ps2, choose PS/2 from the first screen, and IMPS/2 on the second screen for your scroll button, etc
Choose your resolution.
Choose your color depth.

Allow debconf to do its thing. Skip the framebuffer.

and your picture will be perfect

Sections 9 and 10
The Very Verbose Debian Installation Walkthrough
http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016

nobody likes to read this, and later on, come back bellyaching that "Debian is a bitch to install". Follow instructions.

The Sarge net-installer pre-rc2 (100 MB ISO) is superb eventhough, it is still beta, i just installed it over the weekend. It defaults to ext3, as Darthtux said, hilite it press Enter, press Enter again in the next screen, and choose Reiserfs, get out, make sure the boot flag says 'on' and continue.

APT-HOWTO
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/ap.../index.en.html

Debian Reference Manual
debian.org > documentation > manuals

There is a lot of reading to do and very little hacking. If you don't like to read, move on, skip Gentoo also (more reading).

If you stay, read the sticky at the top of this page:

Debian Configuration Post-Install

it will save you a lot of time.

Last edited by macondo; 10-20-2004 at 04:09 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 11:03 PM   #14
darthtux
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Configuring Debian runlevels

You can install sysv-rc-conf to configure runlevles:
apt-get install sysv-rc-conf

or it is simple to do it the command line way. In Debian runlevels 2-5 are configurable. The directories are in /etc and are named rc2.d - rc5.d. The directories contain links to the services in /etc/init.d/. And S in front of the name means to start a service and a K means to stop it. If you are using runlevel 2 and want to stop a service such as xdm, just change the name:
Code:
mv S99xdm K99xdm
There are a couple of reasons you don't delete it:
1) You might want to start the service again and it is simple to move it back.
2) If you upgrade the system, when it upgrades the service it will put the link back in the directory and activate it. So, by putting a K in front of the name, when it is upgraded it will remain in the state it is in.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 10-21-2004, 12:32 PM   #15
jwn7
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i had the exact same problem when i first tried debian. i screwed around for hours trying to get it to work, and then i read that you have to type bf24 at the boot prompt. i did that, skipped tasksel and dselect, and everything worked great. it was like installing mandrake after i found that out. debian is pretty cool btw.

Quote:
Originally posted by drawhla -use the woody cd and type bf24 at the boot propt to be able to choose reiserfs
-install the base system and avoid tasksel and dselect
-apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade
then install the x window system and when asked if I want to let debconf manage the configuration say no and the run xf86config
and he install the window manager I need
 
  


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