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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2011
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Debian APT-Get. Can't retrieve/install any programs.


I am on Debian/Tor/Vidalia environment and I am thoroughly confused as to what the Apt-get engine does.
To put it simply, I landed on Debian because I heard that Torrent-downloading stuff via an external application such as U Torrents does no longer guarantee anonymity, even with a Tor proxy server. So I got into the Amnesia CD stuff, after burning the ISO image on CD.
I was hoping then to be able to install U Torrents on Debian and carry out the U Torrents downloads from within the Debian shield.

I did download U Torrents but I was unable to install it from the .exe file.
Then I heard that programs can be installed in Debian only via a special APT-get engine. My understanding was that by running the" APT-get" engine in the CMD( Terminal) screen, I'd be able to access the softwares I wanted to install, such as U Torrents..

Unfortunately, when I run the " Apt-get" engine with the script " Apt-get Install + software name, " I get a " no packages found" answer. I searched for Bit Torrents, Azureus, U Torrents and a host of other common softwares, to no avail.. None is there. I even got to the site. THere I did find hundreds of repositories and packages , but I haven't the slightest clue as to what they contain. This database is not searchable by software name, so I don't know if and where my software is there.

Bottom line, can somebody walk me through this maze? Perhaps I misunderstand what is the purpose of Apt-get or I am using the wrong syntax. I don't know!

Thank you

Old 01-13-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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to use "apt-get install" you need to know the exact package name. To find out the available packages you can use "apt-cache search".

For example
apt-cache search torrent
should provide a large list of torrent clients that you can install with "apt-get install". To get more information on a given package you can use:
apt-cache show <exact-name-of-package>

Old 01-13-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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Generally, the way that Linux distributions handle software is quite different from the Windows way. Most distros (not all) have repositories where installation files designed for that distribution are kept. There are official repositories maintained by the distro and unofficial repositories maintained by third-parties.

In addition, you can download individual programs in the package format for your distro from some sites. For example, the Opera browser offers programs in *.deb (Debian format), *.rpm (Red Had format), and *.tar.gz (generic compressed file). You can also "compile from sources," which means you download the source code, usually in a *.tar.gz file, and instruct your system to compile it into installable format, then make an installable file, then install the program (the command sequence is usually

make install
but sometimes ./configure is not needed.)

"No packages found" means that there are no packages in the software repositories in the software repository list on your computer.

A *.exe file would be a Windows executable. Windows executables will not run on Linux.

In most cases, there are Linux equivalents to Windows programs--Linux programs that to pretty much the same thing, such as GIMP for Photoshop or Paintshop Pro, Open Office or KOffice for MS Office, more media players than you can count, and so on.

In some cases, a Windows program may be so specialized that a comparable Linux equivalent doesn't exist; this applies primarily to highly complex and specialized programs with very narrow audiences, such as AutoCAD or medical records programs.

Many Windows programs can be made to run under WINE, a program that enables Windows system calls to be translated to Linux-ese and answered by Linux utilities and libraries.

Instead of using apt-get, I would suggest you start the Synaptic Package Manager. It has a GUI and a search function, plus an easy way to change the repository list through the GUI. You could enter "torrent" in the search window and it will list programs, libraries, and utilities related to torrents. You likely already have at least one torrent client included in your Debian installation.

My Debian Lenny came with the Transmission Bit Torrent Client--at least, I think it came with it, since I don't remember installing it.

Here's an earlier LQ thread about Debian repositories:

Linux is not hard, but it is different. There will be a learning curve, but it's worth it.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-15-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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Thank you all for the hints.

After experimenting with WINE and APT-get and still finding a few problems, I finally took frankbell's suggestion to go Synaptic and I was able to install Azureus from there. However I am not out of the thicket yet, far from it !

1st, after shutting down and re-booting Debian, I found that the previously installed software, namely Azureus , had been wiped out and had to re-install it. Big draw-back! Is it normal that I have to reinstall software every time I reboot on Debian? Or am I doing something wrong?

2nd.When about to search Isohunt on Debian for a few torrents, I got a security warning that I was about to send information over an unencrypted connection and this is supposedly not safe. I had already got this warning when I was not on Debian , along with the warning that using "external" applications ( U Torrents) is not safe. I understood that Debian/Amnesia Cd environment would ensure a better anonymity and this is why I made the move. Now, it seems I am back to square 1! How to encrypt the connection in Debian and how get the most out of it, in terms of anonymity?

3rd. On Debian/Vidalia , I keep getting disconnected from the Network and the Internet. The connection doesn't last more than half an hour. I keep getting a prompt that " Authentication is required by wireless network ". I try to reconnect by re-entering my network name and my WEP Key, but still I can't get reconnected. To do this, have to shut down Debian and reboot from the CD.Then the network kicks in, to go off shortly after. Also, when trying to connect to a web-site, I get a message " socks error :TTL expired." What does this all mean? How can I avoid being disconnected all the time?

Thank you again for your help



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