Re: now what syndrome
Jon Olsen wrote:
hi. I'm a debian newbie in a pretty big way.
I installed potato from CD (the $9.95 price for the potato build
was easier for me to swing than the $21 for woody)
If you want to upgrade to woody and have a decent net connection, edit
/etc/apt/sources to point to an ftp or http source for stable, and then
do two commands:
So there's a sort of "now what" feeling in me. I was able to use
lynx to hunt around some of the file system
If you have a network connection, you can browse the web as well as the
local file system with lynx. Just press "g" and type in the web site you
wish to visit.
and I feel comfortable
with things like changing directories and so forth. I logged on as
me (instead of root) and I feel good about that.
Excellent! Keep this habit. If you need to do "root things", you can "su
-" to become root temporarily, but remember to "exit" when you're
finished so that you don't later accidentally do something bad, like "rm
-rf /" (which will wipe the drive clean). Better yet, install sudo
("apt-get install sudo") and then use "visudo" to give yourself the
ability to use the "sudo" command, which will let you do "root things"
on a command-by-command basis. This command is handy if you need to give
another user some elevated privileges without giving them full root
access, like for doing backups, etc.
I guess what I'm asking is, does anyone have suggestions vis a vis
a good starting place?
Finish getting X configured, so that you can be in a more familiar GUI
environment. Then install mozilla ("apt-get install mozilla") and maybe
KDE and/or Gnome, and games, and and and . . . .
I mean, I can read man files all day--
although I could use a tip for generating additional workspace so I
can bounce between a man file and trying out the instructions
I'm not at a Mac at the moment, but it's one of the special keys (Apple?
Control?) combined with the F-keys to switch between virtual terminals
(VTs). You're almost certainly logged into VT1 currently; switch to VT2
with Ctrl-F2 (or Apple-F2, or something similar), log in there, and then
hotkey back and forth between your VTs all day long (and part of the
night, if you're the adventurous type).
*which* man files should I look to first?
man pages are pretty much useless to a newbie. They're quite valuable
after you've learned how to read them. For now, you're probably better
off using lynx to google for information.
I'm such a GUI victim I
don't know what to do-- I miss having a help window open while I
The first time I did the install I think I screwed up X because
when I entered startx after logging it, it greyed the screen and
did nothing ever again.
Aw, excellent. It sounds like you have a working X server. You just need
to install some clients (or invoke them). One of the most useful X
clients is a window manager. I'd start with something similar but
familiar, like icewm ("apt-get install icewm"). You might need to
specifically tell X to start icewm when you startx; you can do this by
creating a file in your home directory named ".xinitrc" (or is it
".xsession"? I forget; create them both; it won't hurt anything) and put
the single line in the file:
If you can't get out of X, you should be able to press
"Ctrl-Alt-Backspace" to immediately kill the X server. It's not very
graceful, but it's better than hitting the reset button. Alternatively,
you can hotkey to a VT (but when you're in X, you have to add the other
special key to the mix, so that it becomes Ctrl-Apple-F1, or F2 in this
case, since F1 is where you started X from and it'll be "busy"). If you
wanted, you could even start a second X session from the 2nd VT with a
command like "startx -- :1" (this command starts an X server on the
display numbered 1; the first startx started an X server on the display
numbered 0). Then you can hotkey between Ctrl-Apple-F8 and ..F7 and ..F2
and ..F4 and and and . . . .
Once you have icewm running on top of the X server, you'll see an ICEWM
button at the bottom left corner of the screen, akin to the "Start"
button in Windows.
So now I'm a little gun shy and I've
decided I'd like to navigate and use the command line.
It's really good to be familiar with the command line.
Also, I use my other macs and wintels for you know, the usual--
word processing, checking mail, research, spreadsheet work, and
fun n' games. I just went with a "standard" install-- of course
maybe I should have documented by hand what packages I loaded. So
far I can't get online,
Oops; there goes a lot of my suggestions above.
Why can't you get online? Are you on a LAN? dial-up? Cable connection?
don't know how to print
Arghghgh! Printing. Arghghgh! Arghghg!
and I don't know
what work I can do.
For example, if this were a mac, I could go to my tcp/ip control
panel and make sure I'm seeing my firewall and I could go to a
browser to test if I'm getting beyond my firewall, etc.
Ah, if I'd only read. . . . Looks like you're on a LAN. Here's some
things to look at:
ping <some IP address, preferably on your local LAN>
ping <some IP name>
edit /etc/network/interfaces (see "man interfaces") and set up your
connection as static or DHCP
lsmod (to see what modules are installed)
modprobe <the driver for your NIC> to add your NIC drivers to the list
of loaded modules
modconf (to pick and choose modules to install)
dmesg | more to see the messages that scrolled by on startup, which
might help you see if the system
"saw" your NIC, sound card, etc
And I can
go see other macs on the network. If this were a wintel machine,
I could go to the start menu and open up the help files and pore
over them in a window on the left while jumping from application to
application in a window on the right. And in either case I could
be typing poetry and stories and printing or emailing them to
friends. Or retouching my photos to give myself a third eye while
holding a spear of fire. That kind of thing.
So I'm at that point where I'm realizing the trade off of user
friendliness for *power* is backfiring a bit. Because now I
supposedly have all this power and I'm uncertain as to what to do
with it. I now have enough knowledge to be dangerous. I think.
You have a system that's only minimally set up. Once you've done some
more tweaking (getting your network working, getting X configured and
getting some familar apps working, like email, etc) you'll find things a
lot more comfortable.
I hope someone can gently prod me in the right direction. I'm glad
to be here in the sense that it was easier than I thought it would
be, but now I'm scared and the wolves are after me.
No worries. It's a different landscape, but you'll soon grow to love it.