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Re: new debian user questions

Hello Stuart!

On Sun, Oct 19, 1997 at 08:11:33AM -0400, Stuart Krivis wrote:
> I'm currently thinking about making the move to debian.

Ok, let's talk about debian :)

> I've been using Caldera Network Desktop, and now Caldera Open Linux, for a
> while now. It has shielded me from many of the nitty-gritty tasks that are
> necessary to keep a unix system healthy. However, it has also let me get my
> work done with a minimum of hassle.

Debian has no newbie friendly interface, yet :(  On the other hand, it has
*excellent* support through this mailing list. The package maintainers
themself are subscribed and try to help and improve their packages.
> I'm getting tired of how difficult it is to upgrade most Linux
> distributions. RedHat-based products like Caldera are better than some, but
> it still is not an easy task for me.

Here Debian is superb. You can install and upgrade 99% of the packages
without rebooting (exceptions are kernels and other critical stuff).
Debians package managment is excellent, it handles dependencies and
> FreeBSD has an excellent package management system and it would be right up
> my alley. The problem is that it's BSD and that's not the direction I want
> to go in. So, I'm looking at the debian distribution. I've tried debian
> before and now I have a 1.3.1 CD. Dselect is very impressive.

If you have no problems with dselect (a lot of people are complaining about
its non-standard interface), then Debian is yours.
> Now for the tough part. :-)
> I want to be able to use some of the things I've grown used to with
> Caldera. In particular, LISA (Linux Installation and System Adminstration)
> is a life-saver. It allows me to easily change hardware and network
> settings. I'm not unix savvy enough at this point to know where to do this
> without LISA. (I'm also lazy and like being able to do everything from one
> utility.)

Mmmh. I never heard of anyone on this list wanting to use LISA. I can
imagine that it is impossible, because of different conf-file location etc.
> I also use Star Office and Applixware. How well will those work with
> debian? They're distributed as rpm packages. How about Netscape Fastrack
> Server? 

A lot of people use Star Office and Applixware. You can convert rpm packages
to deb packages with the "alien" program, although there are some caveeats
you have to be aware of. We have installer packages for netscape and star
office. If you want to use this software with debian, I would suggest that
you ask on this list first. There are people subscribed that have done it
before, and they can tell you about the problems that may occure.
> Another area that seems to be troublesome is Accelerated-X. I use it
> because it is more stable for me than XFree86. I couldn't even get Xsetup
> to run, but then read about the termcap-compatibility package and installed
> that. That let Xsetup run, but the X-server quits with a connection error
> or it complains that it can't find the "fixed" font. Has anyone had any
> luck with Accelerated-X and debian?

The way fonts are stored has changed. Now all fonts are gz-zipped. The
commercial X servers expect them Z-zipped, if I remember right. The solution
was to unpack the fonts and rerun makefontdir, IIRC. Check the mailing list
archive for that (on www.debian.org).
> I'd basically like to run a debian system, yet use selected pieces from
> Caldera. Can anyone offer any tips on how best to do this?

As I said before, you can use alien to convert rpm packages to deb. But I
jhave doubt that it works for critical software as LISA, that is designed
esp. for Red Hat.

> Thanks in advance.

You're welcome!


"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."
Marcus Brinkmann

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