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Old 09-29-2003, 12:33 AM   #1
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Sarge installation question

Hi, I'm a Mandrake Linux user and am interested in getting Debian, as I've heard good things about it. I want to try and install the Sarge version, so the packages I have are reasonably up-to-date. However, I've heard that you can't boot and install Debian from the Sarge CD's, and that you should instead install Woody first, then upgrade to Sarge. Is this true?
Old 09-29-2003, 01:42 AM   #2
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I'm not sure.

I just installed Woody, then changed my apt-sources to unstable, now my consoles say: "Unstable/Testing" before I log in. I think Sarge is "Unstable" isn't it?
Old 09-29-2003, 04:05 AM   #3
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Sarge is testing which basically means it's further out of date than unstable. The current codename for the unstable distribution is "Sid."

You don't have to install Woody before Sarge (or Sid), this is a myth. You can assemble complete disk images using the jigdo program or if you want to get right into it fairly quickly you can use the net_install CD. If you want, you can even use your Mandrake install to install Debian (something I only found out a week ago) but that's a PITA to get working right.
Old 09-29-2003, 08:13 AM   #4
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I am currently a couple of stages ahead of you, doing exactly the same thing.

I looked into doing this, and got a copy of "woody" on dvd - I seem to recall the debian site recommending this approach for first timers.

I used partition magic to make the space and then "tried" to install.

To start with, my graphics card is reasonably up to date, though not cutting edge (geforce 4 m420). This is not supported by woody, with the default 2.2.xx kernel. You would have to upgrade that to a 2.4.xx kernel - that's the default with sarge.

It meant, that the "x server" wouldn't start - luckily a friend from my LUG is connected with the developers list - he came round and configured it for me.

Another "major" (well, it was for me) was that even sarge didn't config my cdrw correctly. It took me a good while to work out that I did have to have the ide=scsi module for the scsi emulation needed with "burners".

When my friend sorted things out, it was him that managed to work out the graphics card snag and while it is possible to run a 2.4.xx kernel with woody - "he" worked out that it was easier to upgrade the whole distro to sarge.

If you like using a gui as opposed to command line, woody comes with kde 2.2 (default) and gnome 2.xx (sorry I don't use gnome). If you looked at upgrading that, you can find 3.1.x at kde, though if you use sarge, you have to modify your apt-get sources.list because I believe I'm correct in saying that with debian, the 3.1.xx packages are currently available in "sid", but if you sort your sources.list (there's 1 library that you have to search around a bit for as well) you can then run the 3.1.xx sid packages under sarge with out any problems.

While trying to sort out some of the problems, I have discovered what I feel is a better way of getting a debian system (provided you don't mind sticking mainly with kde - I haven't got as far as sussing out gnome yet) and that's to download and burn the latest version of Knoppix (3.3 is the latest), then do a hard disc install, as opposed to running the live CD all the time.

It's a relatively painless operation, and once you have issued the "knx-hdinstall" command, you get "walked through" the instalation pretty much like mandrake. And let me tell you, the knoppix hardware detection is excellent (though I don't know about very new graphics cards - the excuse that debian seem to use about later nvidia based cards is to do with that although the drivers are available, they aren't "gpl'd" - hence not part of the debian ethos, which is a nuisance if you can't get the bloody thing working).

I did the hdinstall of knoppix yesterday, and so far, the only thing that's caused me a sleepless night is trying to work out how to get it booting from my hard disc - though it boots from floppy perfectly. The basic set up looks better than any of the various preferences that I tried with sarge, it saw my cdrw straight away, and I only had to tell "kscd" what drive to look at and I had audio cd's playing.

Over all, I wish I had found out earlier that a hard disc install of knoppix is basically a "bog standard" debian install. I would go for that every time.

hope my "tales of woe" help you a little.



p.s. when/if you go for it, you should find that once the apt-get sources.list sorted to your satisfaction, apt-get is "one hell of a good application" - and if you get probs with that, then you can just download "the deb" and install it with dpkg, oh and while I remember, the debian version of dpkg that I had with sarge had to be used at command line - the graphic version didn't work, but now I've got the debian/knoppix (which is actually testing/unstable), it works a treat.

And if you search for posts/threads started by me, here at LQ, you can see pretty much a "blow by blow" account of how I've got on (if you try the knoppix route, then there's more info/instructions here

Last edited by bigjohn; 09-29-2003 at 08:15 AM.


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