Re: Install Debian for desktop
On Sun, 19 May 2002 14:33:21 +0200
"Robert Ian Smit" <email@example.com> wrote:
> I know Debian is more difficult to install, but I hope I will benefit by
> learning a lot.
As you've no doubt already experienced, the Debian install is text based.
No fancy GUI. But other than that I can't say that the install was trully
any more difficult than any of the other distros that I've tried.
> I might as well try Debian and only install things I really need to
> avoid bloat.
I've found a minimal install of Debian is considerably smaller than the
minimal installation of most other major distros.
> I have downloaded a Woody-iso, and managed to install a minimal system
> with internet-access. All is well.
Good to hear.
> I do have a few questions about package-management.
> Once Woody becomes stable, do the packages (even if unchanged) require
> Where do I go for packages that are not yet part of one of the dists?
I've only come across one or two packages that I've wanted to use that I
didn't see a Debian supplied package for (bbconf comes to mind). However,
if you do need an application that does not have a Debian supplied
package, you still have all the normal options available (grab source and
compile, grab pre-compiled binaries, etc).
> Basically I want to know if it's possible to have a system that respects
> the Debian guidelines, but is more up to date in regards to
> desktop/application software?
I've managed to do this through a combination of "testing" and "unstable".
The newer versions of apt support "pinning". Which is (as I understand)
simply a means of indicating a preference on either an individual package
or release. I configure most of my workstations with both "testing" and
"unstable" entries in my "sources.list" and then set my default release to
"testing". So, all packages are pulled from "testing" whenever possible.
However, I have "unstable" available if I so desire. I can deliberately
pull a package from "unstable" by specifying:
apt-get install <package>/unstable
> I want to avoid format disks and install again every three months, but
> rather have a stable, open-ended system that I can adapt to my needs.
This too is why I came to Debian. I was a previous RH user, and found
that keeping the RH systems up to date was too time consuming. Sure,
there are some tools such as "up2date" and what not. However, I found
that if I had more than 1 system (I now have nearly 20 in the house), I
would need to pay a subscription fee to RH. I also tried several free
tools. However, these almost all had trouble with package dependancies.
With Debian I have eliminated all of these problems. I run a local mirror
for my systems and periodically run:
This keeps my system up to date with their installed release. Beautiful
in it's simplicity.
> I hope I have made clear what I want to do and would like to know about
> experiences from other people. Please tell me if I am wrong in choosing
> Debian for my needs. I want to and have time to learn, but would like to
> have an indication whether my goals are reachable.
I think you'll find Debian more than suitable to your goals.
Jamin W. Collins
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