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LaTeX question?

I have a feeling that this question is very off-topic here, but in that
case I would appreciate if I am told where it is not. I installed Debian
on a computer mainly to run LaTeX, but I don't understand really what I
need to do. I installed almost everything on the TeX disks.
When I try to run latex it just complains that it can't find the default
format files (or something). I found out from reading the man-pages over
and over again that if I run amstex instead, it doesn't complain about
that. But it still doesn't work. It doesn't recognize most of my commands,
for example \documentclass or \usepackage. Why is this and how does this
work? There is some information in the doc directory but I can't typeset
it! Any help is appreciated..

   // Jonas

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