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Installation report


I have just finished my first ever debian install using the Feb 2nd snapshot
of debian-installer. Prior to this I have used and installed Gentoo (more
failed attempts than successful), SuSE, Redhat and Mandrake. I would like to
report my finding to the list.

My system specifications are as follows:

VIA EPIA M Motherboard
1GHz C3 processor
512MB Memory
Onboard sound and onboard graphics
GeForce 5200 128MB PCI

1st Stage Install

This part where I booted off CD to install Debian was a walk in the park.
This has improved since the last time I tried installing using Beta 1. It no
longer screams ERROR! at me after failing to find a DHCP server. After that
it was just a matter of sticking in network settings, partitioning and it
seemed to do the rest.

2nd stage of install

This was where I had problems. The first thing I noticed was that although
lilo was installed my Windows partition was added to it automatically. It's
a small thing but it would have been nice to have to do it manually.
Thankfully my previous experience with Gentoo meant that it was easy to do.

My next problem was that neither my USB keyboard or mouse was working. At
this point I got some help off Philip (pb_) in the #debian-boot IRC channel.
One suggestion was to install hotplug. I did a standard apt-get install
hotplug. This didn't seem to resolve the problem so I just gave up and used
my old noisy PS/2 keyboard.

X configuration - this was the problem I had the most trouble with. After
discussing this with Philip he pointed out it was just a simple matter of
setting the video mode to 16bpp instead of 24bpp. Considering I have a
fairly up to date graphics card I'm surprised it couldn't cope with this. I
guess because I'm just using the standard vesa driver.

Gnome - I had assumed Gnome would be installed by default. When booting into
GDM one of the session choices was Gnome so I just assumed it was installed.
A few minutes later after discussing this on IRC again, installing it with
aptitude was fairly straight forward. The only unresolved issue I have is
that for some reason I cannot change metacity themes using the gnome theme

Alsa - I don't seem to have sound working straight off. This is something I
have yet to look into. May be fairly easy to correct.

Overall - I have found that installing Debian is a lot quicker than with
Gentoo and once installed I have found apt package management to be a
godsend. I wouldn't really say that installation is as easy as it could be
just yet but it certainly is getting there.

All the best,

Simon Porter

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