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Re: Reinstalling debian on n2100

Tobias Frost wrote:
Hi Andrew,

everyone started at one point with linux, so keep up, as the learning
curve is quite steep.
As a suggestion, look into "aptitude". aptitude has the advantage, that
it will show you what it does, and especially for a beginner it might be
helpful to see the consquences / dependencies of some packages. Aptitude
is a little slow on arm, at least with its default configuration.

Agreed wholeheartedly. Do use aptitude, Andrew: it takes a bit of learning, but then it's a wonderfully flexible tool that works well even if your system is minimal or gets quite broken. And it's a mainstay workhorse in everyday situations like wanting to install a new package or two, or see what will happen if you update things.

On Thu, 2008-04-17 at 14:12 +0100, Barry Tennison wrote:

Xming is quiet superb (once you install xorg on the debian side) and gives you access to almost all the gui stuff in debian from your windows desktop.

I wonder how the performance is. The Thecus is a big one for a ARM, but ...

I oversimplified, so as not to frighten the less experienced, while I hope enabling useful experiment and progress. Perhaps I was a BIT over enthusiastic, but in fact the performance issues are quite controllable as long as you're not over-ambitious (see below). I had this vision of Andrew at his Windows box, with only a single (ssh/PuTTY) command line as his interface to the Thecus, while a much more flexible environment was only a few clicks away...

Xming is an X server that runs on Windows (XP certainly, I haven't tried other versions). It facilitates letting X apps on a linux (or other..) system use it as their X server. So on the Thecus box, you don't need the whole of xorg to run (and it won't, if you come in via Xming) nor installed (but that's not a huge disk penalty to pay for simplifying from what I'm about to describe). In fact, on the Thecus box, you need only install the packages xterm and xauth (they drag in x11-common and some libraries). Then, using Xming, you can fire up as many xterms on your windows desktop as you like; or install on the Thecus a multi-tab terminal like xfce4-terminal or even gnome-terminal and enjoy a much better command line experience.

From there it's not far to installing and using useful but lightweight gui apps like claws-mail or rapidsvn. You'd be unwise to try to run say firefox or thunderbird (and they are less good at respecting X networking) but it's perfectly feasible to install gdm or xdm and get a complete lightweight desktop like fvwm or even xfce4.

I know this because I do it on a slug (NSLU2). It has 32M ram and a pretty slow processor, so I'm sure the Thecus can beat it into a cocked hat. I bet it would run epiphany-browser quite adequately, for example, in the Xming context as above.

I hope. with his questing attitude, Andrew will explore some of this.


PS For honesty (and self-esteem!), I should clarify. Personally, I very seldom run Windows. I do most of the above with the Windows end replaced by a good debian desktop or laptop. But my two daughters have been wedded to Windows while equipped with debianised slugs, so my (very positive) experience with Xming comes from helping them into a position where they can do useful things on their slugs from their Windows machines.

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