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Old 07-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2009
Distribution: mint
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new install - blank desktop

Hi I've just completed my first debian install which went smoothly (netinst - graphical installer). In aplications I selected Desktop environment, ssh server, mysql & standard tools

Debian boots ok, I can log on as the user set up via install, but all I get is the debian desktop & a mouse pointer ... no panels, nothing from right clicking or left clicking. Nothing there. Even ctrl-alt-del doesn't do anything.

I can also use ctrl-alt-F2 to get a terminal

How can I get a working desktop environment in Debian?

some more data that might be useful...
64 bit system
nvidia Geforce 8400 Gs
Debian 6.0.5 netinst

could it be the graphics card that is giving the prob?
Old 07-01-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: S.E. Montana
Distribution: Debian Testing, Stable, Sid and Manjaro, Mageia 3, LMDE
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Know nothing about nvidia cards so can't help there.

I would recommend booting to recovery mode as this will do some extra things during the boot process and then give you the chance to give your root password and work from there.

I would run;
dpkg --configure -a
May find some things not completely installed and attempt to install them.

If it does nothing you could try;
apt-get install --reinstall gnome
I assume you are using gnome as that is the default for Squeeze. That command should at least give you messages about the state and condition of gnome which is the meta package for the Gnome DE.

After running those hit Ctrl+d which should take you to a user prompt ($) instead of the root prompt (#).

and see what happens.

If you get errors there try rebooting to the normal menu entry. Then let us know what happens.
Old 07-01-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: West (By God) Virginia
Distribution: Debian Squeeze - Sid
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Nvidia shouldn't be a problem as the nouveau driver works well with most Nvidia cards. Some of the better cards may need the 3.4 kernel to work with nouveau.
Old 07-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Registered: Dec 2009
Distribution: mint
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Hi thanks for your replies.

I never worked out what was wrong in the 1st place but via the terminal I firstly installed xfce to have a working desktop than I uninstalled & reinstalled gnome.

In the end I got Nvidia's own driver & used that & I'm trying a combination of xfce as my base desktop with compiz & elements of kde & gnome - very fast & sexy looking!


debian, desktop

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