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Re: Woody Installation

> You, rather I, unpack the CDs, notice that we no longer need sources,
> call the maker (Linuxland, Munich, Germany) and are told that they are
> setting up a list of those interested in sources and - by the end of
> next week - will actually start burning them for a small fee. Nice, but
> that means that I won't be able to create my own kernel afterwards.
> Weird to sell Linux without sources.


Sources for all programs are required to be available from your vendor, and
are also available online at http;//packages.debian.org/package-name (among

> Now, after inserting CD#1 into /dev/sr0 we are greeted by this charming
> and encouraging little message:
> (If it fails try the other CDs)

Do you have a suggested rewording? It seems to be succinct, accurate and 
to the point. A longer explanation would explain that we have tried hard
to accomodate as many different machine architectures as possible, by 
providing differently configured boot kernels on the different CDs,  
one of which should boot on most any machine. But, that's covered in
much more detail in


> ISOLINUX 1.67/debian-cd 2002-05-14 isolinux: Loading spec packet, trying
> to wing it...
> isolinux; Failed to locate CD-ROM device; boot failed
> So Debian is still unable to boot from a mixed system, i. e. starting
> from a scsi-device with ide-devices present. Will work the other way
> round. No problem with windoze, OS/2 et. al. in such a situation.
> (not a new bug, present since at least 2.0 (hamm? slink?)

I don't believe this is true; if it is, it should be added to the docs. 
What is more likely, is that it needs a kernel with the correct scsi drivers
(which you get by picking the appropriate boot flavor).

> So now we try CD #2
> Whow, now we get a welcome screen
> and - via F3 - are presented with a few options:
> linux, ramdisk{0,1}, floppy{0,1}, and rescue. Not much of a choice for
> kernels.

If isolinux had worked on your machine, you would have been given a 
choice of kernels. Since it didn't you have the backup plan: try
different CDs.

> I could go on here (and already did so in the first try) just to find
> out that lilo is still unable to write to the correct hard disk in a
> mixed system (see above).

Can't speak to that. Bug lilo?

> So, the old game again: diable ide ports AND set all hds to 'none'.
> Inserting CD#1 again and .... rebooting
> same result, very strange. (Debian based Knoppix e. g. would have no
> problem here).
> Yuck.
> So CD#2
> accepting default (linux)
> and we get:
> modprobe: modprobe: Can't open dependencies file
> /lib/modules/2.2.20/modules.dep
>  (No such file or directory)

No worry, you haven't installed yet.

> And now the first splash screen
> ... boot-floppies version 3.0.23
> ... built on 2002-05-15 by Adam Di Carlo

Where the debian website and Installation Instructions link is displayed.
I wish the paper manual you received was the instructions, as you assumed.

> As I had to disable all drives except /dev/hda I'll have to to without a
> swap drive.
> ...
> Mounting /dev/sda4
> Install Kernel and Driver Modules : pressed enter : skipped by install
> routine (not good)

What happened? I don't understand. It did nothing? This would be the next
> Select Installation Medium : CD-Rom chosen
> Install Kernel and Driver Modules
> changed CD for CD#1
> enter, skipped again by install routine

> Found a Debian CD-ROM
> Finally found drivers (what about telling users which CD to insert for
> modules?)

I don't think you need to insert a CD for modules; they are loaded at
boot AFAIK.

> So far I have always compiled my own kernel (just for this reason, but
> without any sources I can't but use modules)

In any case the limited installation system would not support compiling
a kernel.

>   So second attempt
>   Command-Line-Arguments
>   irq=5
>   Error message: I/O, IRQ, and DMA are mandatory... installation failed
>   How do I separate entries? Commata, spaces, semicola, cola ?????

I agree, the module installation process is cumbersome. The more advanced
detection tools being used in the new installer should help a lot.

>   Now, sb16 requires TWO DMA-adresses 1 AND 5), TWO ports (220 AND 330)
>   How to enter this?
>   /usr/doc/sb* /usr/cod/soundblaster* does not exist.

Since the installation system was designed to fit on a floppy, and
must work in a ramdisk, it has no documentation or manuals. I think a
good suggestion for CD builders would be to add a documentation CD; 
in fact I just submitted a bug asking for one.

> this out? Why not tell users how to enter parameters?

Thankfully, I use powerpc where all modules I know of can autodetect.
> usb-section : error-message for 0.0001 sec, please allow more time for
> the older (over 20) guys like me. Just wanted to see what usb might be
> offering.

If it was a true error message, I'm sure it would have stayed
visible. Probably just a progress type message.
> (where does it hide the parameters to sb????
>   Searching for files with almost the same datestamp as /etc/modules->
> /etc/modules/conf)
>   Couldn't the first line of /etc/modules be something like
>   ... all parameters are in /etc/modules.conf )

Well, modules.conf states at the top that it is controlled by the
system, not to be directly edited. So that would be inappropriate.

> Network
> Hostname           : dorei
> DHCP / BOOTP       : no              I only have a few PC's connected. 
>                                      So /etc/hosts should suffice.
> IP-Adress          :
> -> netmask         :
> Gateway            :
> Domain name        : <blank>         Do I need a domain name? 
> DNS Server address : <blank>         With several ISPs, how do I enter
> DNS addresses?

Just one needed for installation, you can add more later.

> ??? where are all those data written to, why don't the respective boxes
> mention this?

You can read about it later in the docs, if you're interested. The normal
user is not interested.
> Install base system.
> Select Installation Medium (didn't we have that before and before ...)

Yes, and you'll notice the default is what you picked before. But it
is very reasonable to use a different medium for base than for
> Archive path (only one available) : /instmnt

We tried to not ask questions where only one response was possible; 
apparently this one was missed.

> ??? af_packet: what's that, who installed that?

To answer that question (once your system is up),

dpkg -S af_packet

As someone else mentioned, it's needed by the installation system.
> What can I delete?

Are you really tight on disk space? With 20-40G disks, most users just
don't worry about disk space at this level any more. You would be
absolutely amazed how much of that M$ system you're leaving behind is
useless on a particular machine.
> Debian System Configutarion
> ...
> just run /usr/sbin/base-config
> Just imagine, all thoes usesful bits of information stored in a nice
> text file. If Possible with something like: You installed xxx, config
> files are yyyy config programs are zzzz format of config files (no man
> pages as usual) can be found at aaaaa, the following errors occured
> during install bbbb, to solve them run cccc or edit dddd. Wouldn't this
> be just great?

As others have suggested, dselect / aptitude will happily show you
what you have installed. It's proper for each package / program to
handle their own config files, and let you know about them in their
own docs. If errors occur during installation, you should in fact see
errors generated by that package's install routines similar to what
you envision. If not, it's the package that needs work.

And, actually, everything that appears and that you type during the
installation is logged. It's not usually needed until it's time to
hunt down bugs: /var/log/installer.log

We do have a doc-base system which collects some metadata about
the installed docs, but it needs work.

> Q: How secure are passwords like 'I1,just4.want4 in2 No_of_Chars11'. Can
> they easily be cracked too? (Meaningful sentence + special chars on the
> same key on all keyboards)

There is the _Securing Debian_ manual which will provide hours of 
reading pleasure for the budding paranoid and seriously responsible:

> Apt-Configuration
> /dev/cdrom : yuck : changed to /mnt/cd32 = /dev/sr0

not sure what your resistance here is; Assimilate! :-)

> fstab : /dev/sr0  /mnt/cd32  iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
> mount /mnt/cd32 works
> entering /mnt/cd32 in Ap-config causes error-message : /mnt/cd32 no
> block device
> mounting /mnt/cd32 solves this problem, but apt-config is skipped (very
> bad)
> No way back.

Please submit a detailed bug report on base-config. There should be a
way back. (BTW, reportbug is an excellent program to use to report bugs).

> How do I configure it now?
> So
> run tasksel -> no
> run dselect -> no
> mail : no configuration, not decided what will be necessary. Will ask in
> further posting.
> login
> man apt
> man apt-cache
> yucck, pager is more, no less installed (extremely bad)

If you had run tasksel, even without picking anything, the standard
programs such as less would have been installed. This is covered in 
the manual


> man apt.conf
> man apt-config
> apropos apt -> apt : nothing appropriate (that's ridiculous)

Again, this is part of the standard installation you skipped.

> Nothing tells me how to create apt.conf. As there was a graphical
> interface in the install program, it would be nice if it could be used
> outside the installation process.

It can. As you wrote on the paper, just run /usr/sbin/base-config

> cd  /usr/share/doc/apt
> cat guide.text.gz | gzip -d | more
> doesn't yield anything useful either. So, how do I now create apt.conf?
> The sample under /usr/share/doc/apt/examples/apt.conf however does not
> contain any references to any files. So what to to.


> General question:
> How do I find out how to find out how to find out any information on
> anything in Debian? I got the official handbook (by Linuxland) by
> Michael Bramer, John Goerzen, Ossama Othman, pried at 20 Euro,
> unfortunately in book form, should come on a roll, perforated and on
> softer paper. Of course, it doesn't tell you how to do anything, but at
> least, they could make some money, F buddy, sit down and don't you speak
> up again.

Well the website is the closest thing to an organized directory of
information. But, there's a lot there. There have been several
attempts, dhelp, dwww, doc-base to organize everything. One problem is
the herd-of-cats syndrome. Another is when programs constantly get
improved that also means their docs are constantly getting out of
date. The best solution, I think, is Google (with advanced search you
can search within Linux).

> So (thinking hard) I tried /usr/sbin/base-config (yep, I didn't lose
> that piece of paper)

> Apt Configuration : final question:
> security updates : How to do? Shall I connect as root ?????
> How to do this with a second PC set up as a gateway?
> So it's 'no' for the moment.

Right. More, many more, answers in the _Securing Debian_ manual.
> Well, apt seems to be happy now, so let's run tasksel.
> Aaargh
> X window system : 3.* ? 4.* ? Task info won't tell.

It'll get you the latest.

> Desktop environment : how to run anything except kde? Like fvwm,
> blackbox etc.

It doesn't install kde either. As it mentions in the info box, you
need a window manager. This is covered pretty well in the X
documentation, but it's still confusing as hell to me.  You can
apt-cache search x-window-manager for a screenful to pick from.

> Dialup : Why woffle? What do I need this for? I don't want to cache
> anything.
> Why is anacron in dialup, I would expect it in base.

cron is in base. anacron is only for those people who turn their
computers off. It's included in the dialup task since it seems like
it would be a good fit for a dialup user.
> So let's try X only. (And have fun afterwards lloking for all the apps
> one by one)
> Eh? X installs bc, biff, binutils, bison, cpp, ispell, cpp, gdb?
> Strange.

All these standard apps are now getting installed because it's your
first tasksel run.

> xdm? I don't want any graphical login.

Then you can delete it later. The idea of tasksel is to give you an
easy way to pick groups of popular packages. if you want to pick package
by package from the 11000 available, then aptitude or dselect is for you.

Covered in 


> Binutils: Kernel link failure info. Nice. Affects which kernels? 2.2.*,
> 2.4.*
> 2.2.17 in Potato (2.2.r0) did link OK). Info should be saved to disk, so
> scribbling down again.

I hate that scary box.

> less installs now? less part of X?????? Strange.

standard package.
> Locales: What does this do? Only prepare them? Changing anything? Change
> the way programs run???
> Do I need any ot them? When? What for?
> So no info -> skip?
> Configuring Locales?
> Leave alone ?  What does this mean. Why doesn't it tell me the current
> locale?
> What's none? Will my system run without a locale (if that's none's
> meaning)
> C?
> Chosing C? (Might be damn stupid)

Well, I understand your questions about internationalization. This is
a place we need more documentation. But you see you were led to the
correct conclusion.

> Tcpwrappers? What's that? What does it do? Documentation?
> Where are they. Man ?????
> SSH:
> Do I need ssh 1? Sometimes? Never?
> No idea, let's accept ssh 2 only.
> SSH SUID: Well yes. (No idea what I'm doing here)

That's OK, as it reassures you.

> Will I need sshd in a small peer-to-peer network?
> Let's say yes.

Back to _Securing Debian_. Good choice.

> Xserver-common
> Debconf
> man debconf : no manual entry for debconf
> So What is debconf, what does it do, what can it tell me, can I override
> it / change it, how can I invoke it?

Good point. It's the database of configuration questions you have
asked and answered. The debconf man page is installed with
debconf-doc, which is _not_ installed by default. Please write a bug
on debconf asking that it either install a man page, or prohibit any
other packages from using its name in vain.

> Only specific marked sections are handled by debconf...
> Man Xwrapper     : no manual entry for debconf
> Apropos Xwrapper : nothing appropriate
> Well, yes

Unfortunately, apropos doesn't work out of the box. You have 
to run mandb in order for it to build the apropos database,
this is done the first time cron runs, but on a system like 
mine where cron never runs, well it just doesn't happen. Just


> Configuring Xserver-xfree84 with debconf
> /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 : well, might really be X 4.x
> let's say yes. How can I change this afterwards?

To change any setting which a package has asked you about, use

dpkg-reconfigure package-name

Since you love details, try it with -plow .

On the other hand, you're talking about changing the config file name
to match the version. Don't, it'll just happily fail when it can't
find it. It is the packager's jobs to name config files.

> Select the server.
> Nice. What do I chose here?
> Whats nv, imstt, apm (power management???), sis?
> Will mga be OK for a millenium 400?

I don't have a clue, maybe a bug on xserver-xfree86 to please
clarify what those acronyms stand for in the dialog.

> Framebuffer ???
> Yes
> keyboard
> -> xfree86
> German keyboard -> pc105
> layout -> de
> keyboard variant?
> Gurus only. Must have memorized all variants. No help given.

Include this in that bug...

> keyboard options:
> See lots of files not yet installed.
> Mouse port
> com1: so /dev/ttyS0
> let's try auto (It's a Logitec mouse, but have you ever been able to use
> one of these using the logitec protocol?)

not even in Windoze :-)

> startx (I'm still root)
> (WW) Warning, couldn't open module mga_hal
> (EE) MGA: failed to load module "mga_hal" (module does not exist, 0)
> (II) MGA(0): Matrox HAL module not found - using builtin mode setup
> instead
> (--) MGA(0): Chipset: "mgag400"
> (==) MGA(0): Using AGP 1x mode
> (**) MGA(0): using framebuffer device
> ...
> (EE) Screen)s) found, but none have a usable configuration.
> Fatal server error:
> No screens found.
> Whow. What shall I do now, are there any setup programs?
> What about:
> Fatal server error:
> No screens found in file /..../.../filename.
> Use <this_program> to configure.
> or
> Sorry, there is no config program. Complete documentation of <filename>
> format can be found here.
> Enter / edit the following section.
> Wouldn't that be just marvelous?

These are great comments, which should be directed to xserver-xfree86. Be
gentle, though, the dialog you saw with those messages was itself a recent

> write configuration to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XF86Config ???
> shouldn't it write to /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 ???

That's probably a typo in the dialog, or else that program doesn't work
with version 4. Ask on debian-x?

> (Answering no writes XF86Cionfig.new to /root. Also very strange).
> Looks like xf86cfg cannot work on an existing config file. Always starts
> at nothing. Very bad.
> cp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
> server runs, but with a wide black frame. xvidtune : bigger one not
> supported by hardware. Strange, did work under 3.3.6.
> (II) XINPUT: adding extended input devide Mouse0 (type: MOUSE)
> (--) MOUSE0: PnP-detected protocol: MouseMan
> Could not list font path element /usr/X11R6/lib/fonts/speedo/ removing
> from list!
> Could not list font path element /usr/X11R6/lib/fonts/Type1/ removing
> from list!
> How do I find out the current resolution????? Fonts are way to small,
> how to change?
> And twm is way too ugly. So X is still unusable. And the wide black
> column to the left side is simply ugly. Whre do I provide the RAM size
> of my graphics adapter?

twm is the minimalist of minimal window managers.

The black column is probably from using a version 3 config with
version 4 code (which you installed).

> apt-get install discover
> creates symlink /cdrom/cdrom0 to /cdrom0 Why???? 
> No suddenly I have /cdrom, /cdrom{0,1,2,3}. Extremely weird. But no
> entries in /etc/fstab for /cdrom?, only /cdrom. rm /cdrom{0,1,2,3}
> Of course, there is also /floppy. Yucck


> Final question.
> I have only 8 years experience with Linux and a few with Debian (started
> with 2.0).

Thank you for the time it took to write this all up. In the future,
you'll be able to direct pieces appropriately within the bug system.
I think your input is extremely valuable, because your point of view
is unique. Many people installing Linux, or trying, are completely
clueless and don't even know what questions to ask. I hope you
continue to notice all the little things that don't go right, and let
the right people know about it. You seem to have a good attitude, hope
we don't frustrate you too much.

We would certainly appreciate your help in the testing and
documentation areas. There are all too few people in Debian who are
good documentors.  Most are programmers who associate writing
documentation with eating broccoli, and IMHO really appreciate having
docs built for them by the people that can figure out how to use their
programs. Most are willing to help you figure it out though.

> How shall I ever recommend Linux and especially Debian to anybody, if
> the installation is still so clumsy, and documentation (especially on
> how to configure something, the EXACT format with ALL options of config
> files etc.) is still either nonexistent or only to be found by a long
> time developer.

You would have been helped a lot by the install manual, I think. Some
of the details are properly hidden and defaulted until you investigate
how else that program can serve you. There are many documentation 

> Well, you could say, it's only for the guru or well informed initiated,

This distribution is really trying to become more user friendly.
It's a long, painful process though.

> but
> a) the time of gurudom in EDP should have stopped years ago.
> b) don't you ever speak badly about M$ (it's a piece of sh*t, unsecure,
> but at least it runs. Well their latest EULAs will take all of your
> civil / human / whatsoever rights but in most cases it somhow runs and
> can quickly be installed).

It doesn't run on a powerpc, sparc, or arm computer like debian
does. It helps when you're the 500-lb gorilla and can control the
hardware too.

> As much as I hate M$ I need a system to work with.
> When I started out on Linux; I tool a pack of white paper and filled
> most of them with questions, but despite reading all I could on Linux,
> not a single book, not a single article has ever been able to answer
> only one question. 

Well there are lots and lots of docs out there. What was the question?
Did you ask Google?

> When I started out on slackware it took me about half an hour to hae the
> first runing system (finding the right kernel wat the bigest problem).
> Then I wanted my modem to work and tried almost anything (Suse, Redhat,
> Caldera, DLD, up to Debian). As Debian 2.0 also installed quite
> smoothely, I continued using this. But the higher the version number,
> the worse it's installation routine became. 2.2 was a pain in the a* (at
> least if youn try to install X). And, as documented here, 3.0 is even
> worse.

Not really. More complex, maybe. But many people install it without a
hitch. 3.0 is a world ahead of 2.0.
> Same goes for documentation, how shall anybody (even me, I like
> documentation as stated above) do it, with nothing being provided (no I
> don't read source code).

There's no need to, generally. 

Welcome back!!

*------v--------- Installing Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 --------v------*
|      <http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual>     |
|        debian-imac: <http://debian-imac.sourceforge.net>       |
|            Chris Tillman        tillman@voicetrak.com          |
|                  To Have, Give All to All (ACIM)               |

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