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Re: Newbie Questions


Harry Palmer wrote:
> I'm new to Linux/Unix - still trying to decide which distribution to
> go for in fact.
> I've downloaded and installed the Debian base system (boot, drivers
> and five base disks) to a laptop with no problems. I'd think that
> installing the MAN pages would be a logical next step in my learning
> curve, but how? Do they need to be installed as a package? Correct me
> if I'm wrong but they _seem_ to be already there as part of the base
> system, gzipped in /usr/man/man1 thru /usr/man/man8. If this is so,
> how do I use them? I could easily gunzip the files in these
> directories, but I can't find an actual 'man' executable file.

Man pages directly associated with a program are distributed with the
program.  So
you have the man pages for the programs in the base system.  What you do
not have yet
are the other man pages and the man programs.  You need to install the
manpages package.
This should result (if you use dselect) in finding the other packages
needed via the
package dependencies.  You should also get either the info package or
emacs.  GNU, the
source of much of the linux software, prefers their "info" format to the
man page format.

> I'd also appreciate a brief explanation of the Debian releases. The
> ftp site I used, sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk, has directories 'stable',
> '1.3.1', '1.3.1.r6', and 'bo', which with my scant understanding of
> Unix all appear to be pointing to the same place. Furthermore the
> 'disks-i386' directory contains both 'current' and '1997-10-13'.
> What's this mess all about, and what does 'bo' mean anyway? A brief
> explanatory readme in these directories would be reasonable wouldn't
> it, given that ftp is often ones first encounter with a Linux release?

Once upon a time a CD vendor sold the highest version number of debian
before it was
ready for use.  Since then code names have been used for the version in
progress and
a version number (via the link you saw) only assigned after release for
general use.

> Trivial questions at this early stage, but I'd greatly appreciate any
> help. I should also say that this is probably the most helpful mailing
> list I've ever read (which could be down to Debian's reluctance to
> provide 'absolute beginner' help).
> Many thanks in advance,
> Harry

Hope this helps

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