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Old 08-01-2004, 07:09 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 107

Rep: Reputation: 15
My first excursion to linux... It's hell, but I like a challenge.

Here is the deal, my Bro-In-Law is a real linux buff, currently using Red hat 8.0

I have decided to take the plunge myself. i am not scrapping Windows, because there are so many games that I like that I can only play on M$ (unless wine does them, but that is for later.

First, my box...

Abit IC7-MAX3
PIV Prescott 3.0E
1GB (2x512MB) DDR 400 (set as dual DDR)
GigaByte GeForce 5950 Ultra 520MHz
Soundblaster Audigy ZS
1x 14" and 1x 15" CRT Generic Monitors
200GB, 8MB cache Seagate IDE HDD

The story so far.

I downloaded a woody ISO...

successfully repartitioned the free space on my disk, placed LILO in HDA2 and used th ntdlr (or whatever it is called) as my primary bootloader. (manythanks to an artical on "aboutdebian" (sorry, I forget the url))

However, this version did not support my e1000 on board lan from intel.

Google to the rescue (either on my laptop or my wifes PC so I can browse and configure at the same time)

Find an ISO with a backported kernel and support for my chip.

Can't get X to work.

A little more reading of google, and I d/l Sarge as opposed to woody, using the installer I actually manage to install and get KDE running (after a couple of attempts)

But now I have screwed up XFree86 somehow. So here is the plan...

Please note that this plan incorporates some steps not taken in any of the other attempts.

1. Find and download the required .debs. I don't want to have to wait 4 hours everytime I want to reinstall X and KDE.

Q1. Where can I download these debs from. I only want the minimal X (pref 4.3 or higher) to run KDE. I do want the whole KDE (3.2.x) suite, but I don't want GNOME, OpenOffice or MOzilla atm. For now this is to be a pure DebianKDE machine.

2. Install Debian sarge from the netinstall disk using "linux26" to get the 2.6 kernel

3. Edit sources to include non-US, non-free and contrib then Update the kernel to the -i686 flavour

4. Reboot and install the nvidia drivers

5. Install and configure bare-bones X

6. Install and configure KDE

NB: I screwed up XFree86 by attempting to sort out my dual displays usng vesa/vga/nv drivers and a second card. I now realise that to get a proper twinview I need nvidias drivers.

For those that haven't guessed, my username here is derivd from my first opinions.

I chose Debian/KDE thanks to knoppix, but want a true Debian core.

We will move on to sound and fonts once I have my desktop back
Old 08-01-2004, 07:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
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Just a suggestion B.o.F,

Go back to the start and install knoppix to your hard drive. OK, that won't give you a true debian core to start with, but it's a hell of a lot easier on the brain cell's.

For instance, you'd then have a working copy of Xfree86, or Xorg (I don't recall what's being used at the moment), but in any rate, you'd be able to have backup copies of the various files so that while you are looking into/messing about with stuff, you can alway's get your system back to a usable GUI status without much difficulty.

Once you are "au-fait" with it, then you can always research changing all the sources in your apt-sources list, so you only get true debian stuff and then if you don't particulaly like anything it's just a case of "apt-get install whatever".

Or if you really like a challenge, then bollock's to debian. Try gentoo.

I've tried both (and failed, hence being back at mandrake at the moment), but I got more out of gentoo than debian. Plus, if you go to the gentoo forum's there's shit loads of assistance/help/guidance, not forgetting that the gentoo doc's are more readable/understandable than most that I've managed to come across!

It wouldn't necessarily be easy, hell I managed to screw up a "stage 3" install load's of times before I got it right (and before I managed to screw thing's up so badly that I just got pissed off and re-installed mandrake ).

It's fair to say that "thing's gentoo" can take a long time to accomplish, but I figure it's better to have stuff compiled for your system than have to modify what someone else want's to set up in the first place.

Just my worth


Old 08-01-2004, 09:18 PM   #3
Registered: May 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 45

Rep: Reputation: 15
Configuring X is not too difficult in Debian, you get menu-driven configuration when you run "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86".
Old 08-02-2004, 03:24 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 107

Original Poster
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cheers for the info guys, but I would like to stay with debian pure.
The reason for me avoiding teh knoppix route is ll the horror stories I hae read about upating it, plus at last look it, and morphix, shipped with KDE 3.1 not 3.2

As for configuring X I am gaining more and more info, and hopefully with the nvidia driver as opposed to vesa or nv I will get my twin display running. (Please note that I have had kDE running once, until I buggered with X. Got fed up trying to fix it and am now going for my nth install in a week - not that I mind, I am learning all the time)
Old 08-02-2004, 03:28 AM   #5
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Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
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Dunno about the nvidia driver sorting out a twin display problem, but if you look at the site and follow the link's for the linux nvidia driver there's a rather large readme/faq that may supply some of the answers that you're looking for.

Installing the driver itself is pretty straight forward, I've just alway's followed their instructions pretty much to the letter! and it's worked


Old 08-03-2004, 07:48 AM   #6
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Durham, England
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 1,565

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Easiest way is to not use Debian.

Seriously, you are saying "doctor if I do this it hurts". Answer? Don't do that.

So, use Fedora, SuSE, Mandrake or whatever is easiest.
Old 08-03-2004, 08:38 AM   #7
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Over the rainbow
Distribution: Mandrake 10 / Guadalinex
Posts: 290

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I think the same as mhearn try using another distro like mandrake or fedora.
Old 08-03-2004, 05:58 PM   #8
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 107

Original Poster
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thank you. but I m going to persevere. I am nothing if not stubborn, and I always jump in t the deep end.

Currently I am having problems with the nvidia driver install. when I get achance, I will ost all details I can. Need another day off. And at least I still have a windows box, so I will be able to take my frustration out on Doom 3 as soon as I get my copy


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