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Re: First Ever Debian Install: my notes

I too did my first install a few weeks ago. My first install failed
because I have an ATA100 drive and the default kernel wouldn't work.
After sucessfully loading the 2.4 kernel with Woody, I decided to
install everything, fart around see what stuff I liked. My 3rd and final
install only has stuff I want, except my Yamaha soundcard doesn't work.

As far as tasksel and deselect...WORTHLESS! I tried kpackage and
instantly began liking Debian.

I really don't see going back to Redhat (using it since 6.1).

On Wed, 2003-04-02 at 17:37, Bill Klintoe wrote:
> Hi. I took some personal notes in a message format
> during my first Debian install. I'm posting them here
> in case they might help someone else. If I've said
> anything horribly wrong then sorry. I've only been
> using Debian for 3 days now. All these notes are my
> experience and opinion only. If I've violated any
> sacred Debian laws then feel free to follow-up.
> ----------
> My Debian Install Notes:
> To start, I downloaded the following file and burned
> it to a CD:
> http://people.debian.org/~blade/boot-floppies/netinst-full-pre/bootbf2.4.iso
> There are tons of boot images, and in blade's
> directory (see URL above) the same ISO file exists
> under a few different directories. Finding the right
> boot image is a bit tricky because there are so many,
> and each is a bit different, however I think most of
> them are common enough to handle most install needs.
> There are "vanilla" flavors, and bf2.4 flavors, and
> each mean something a little different and you can
> read more about that on the Debian site. I chose the
> bf2.4 image because I read something about it
> supporting USB well, and I have a USB mouse.
> After I had the CD, i went into the BIOS and switched
> the boot order to run the CD before the hard drive,
> and the Debian installer loaded. This let me partition
> things. It was straightforward until I got into the
> somewhat intimidating "Configure Device Drivers"
> section. The first time i skipped it, and that was a
> mistake. It never loaded my network card driver, and
> so I couldn't do the network install. Basically,
> despite a very long and intimidating (to me) list, All
> i had to do was scroll down and find the network or
> ethernet section, and find my ethernet driver (which
> was tulip) and activate that so it was built or added
> to the kernel or whatever that does.  Someone on the
> #debian irc channel on irc.freenode.net said that I
> probably didn't need to worry about all the other
> hundred categories of device drivers, and they were
> right. Some people might need some extra ones though.
> I just didn't want to spend all day picking out tons
> of drivers, which was my initial (incorrect) assuption
> when i saw that screen.
> Next, it asked me to configure my network. I added my
> IP, netmask, DNS, etc, and after a few more options, I
> booted into a simple, basic no frills debian. The
> first time after it rebooted, i got to set my root
> password, and after doing that, it automatically ran
> two programs called "tasksel" and "dselect". Tasksel
> is basically a program that lets you grab a bunch of
> related packages at once, so if you check "X window
> system" and "Desktop Environment" it will go out and
> grab all the XFree stuff and KDE or something like
> that. It's meant to get you started so you don't have
> to boot into a command prompt and then fend for
> yourself. After trying to use tasksel once, it worked
> OK, but eventually I chose to reinstall and skip that
> step. After tasksel, it runs "dselect", a program
> which is supposed to allow you to pick all sorts of
> packages and it calculates dependencies and whatnot.
> The instructions tell you to use this and NOT use
> apt-get for big upgrades and installations and such,
> however I must make it clear:
> ** dselect was awful, seemed to mess up alot, and
> confused the hell out of me. When I told it to grab
> one thing, it would try to grab all the dependencies
> too, which theorhetically is good, but it was goofy
> and i felt like i had no control. Eventually, some
> kind of dependency messup happened and that was it, i
> was in dselect hell. I'll try to never use it again.
> Instead, I quit both tasksel and dselect WITHOUT DOING
> ANYTHING, and went into a bare, debian command prompt
> with only minimal stuff installed that came with the
> netinst CD. It was a clean system that couldn't do
> much at this point.
> Next, I wanted to get KDE 3.1 running. I decided that
> basically I wanted to run the latest and greatest of
> everything despite one of Debian's features being the
> stability of the present Woody release, so I edited
> /etc/apt/sources.list to look like this:
> deb http://mirror.csit.fsu.edu/debian/ unstable main
> non-free contrib
> deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US
> unstable/non-US main contrib non-free
> deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main
> contrib non-free
> What this did is told debian WHERE to go to get files.
> See where it says "unstable"? well you can also
> duplicate the first two lines, and duplicate them
> twice (so there are 6 total) and change two of them to
> "testing" and the other two to "stable" if you want
> more options. You can read about debian's
> stable/testing/unstable releases on the Debian main
> site. Next, I had to make an /etc/apt/preferences file
> that looked like this:
> Package: *
> Pin: release a=unstable
> Pin-Priority: 600
> once again, you can have a testing and stable version
> of these 3 lines also. And you can read about the PIN
> priority also, it's a pretty robust system of being
> able to upgrade, downgrade, etc with various stability
> levels of the programs. I just want the cutting edge
> stuff, and realize it may not all work great, so I
> just put in the unstable line. There are some links
> that talk about pinning at
> http://jaqque.sbih.org/kplug/apt-pinning.html  and 
> http://www.argon.org/~roderick/apt-pinning.html
> Next, sometimes when I would run "apt-get update" it
> would crash if there were too many package names it
> grabs to tell you whats available, so I made a file
> called /etc/apt/apt.conf (don't be confused by the
> already existing directory apt.conf.d) and in this new
> file I put the line:
> APT::Cache-Limit 25165824;
> and don't forget the semi-colon. Then I ran "apt-get
> update" and it fetched all the available packages I
> could install. I started with two bases, I wanted to
> get X Windows and KDE running, and I did with:
> apt-get install x-window-system
> apt-get install kde-base
> they installed great - but some standard X/KDE
> problems happened. First, my USB/Optical Logitech
> Wheel Mouse was acting downright weird. Occaisionally
> it would experience pointer jumping.  I solved this by
> doing an "apt-get install gpm" and changing the device
> to /dev/gpmdata in my XF86Config file. Also, sound
> seemed to be having a problem, and I went into a
> program (i think it was modconf or something?) and
> made sure that the following drivers were out there,
> kernel supported, etc, etc, and i also added the
> following into /etc/modules  : emu10k1, op13, sound,
> soundcore, ac97_codec -- and after doing that sound
> worked through the artsd program. You may have to
> restart artsd or even reboot to get the modules
> working unless you want to do a "modprobe
> <modulename>" on them all. Great, KDE, Mouse and Sound
> working. One final problem, although sound was
> working, my favorite player xmms wasn't playing
> anything. I needed to get a program "apt-get install
> xmmsarts" which is the xmms arts output plugin. After
> installing that, I went into xmms, preferences, and
> changed the output driver to artsd (before that it was
> at the default OSS)
> Then I grabbed some other programs too, like mozilla,
> xchat, gaim, etc
> Someone told me at this point that i might want to do
> an "apt-get dist-upgrade" and that was a good idea.
> Basically i still had some old packages from the
> original netinst CD, because I never bothered to
> update them. They were still in the "stable" version
> even though everything else I was using was from
> "unstable". I had trouble installing "apt-get install
> kuickshow" for example, until after i had done the
> dist-upgrade.
> Those were the problems I had trying to install Debian
> for the first time. As always, installing a new OS can
> be a bit tricky, but I really like Debian's feature of
> being able to start off with a clean, bare-bones OS
> and then being able to add things package by package.
> I also found the following commands useful:
> apt-get remove <package>	for when i messed up and
> wanted a package gone
> dpkg -i somefile.deb		for when i found a .deb that was
> not part of the debian sources that i had
> dpkg -l					gave me a list of packages on my system,
> similar to "rpm -qa" on redhat
> dpkg -L <package>			told me what files, and where,
> apt-get put things from recently installed packages
> Hope these notes are helpful to someone. Please
> remember that if you ask a question on the
> internet/mail lists and you find out how to fix
> something, it's always nice to post one final message
> and say how you got it working. I always find posts
> where people say "i figured it out" but don't tell how
> extremely annonying.
> __________________________________________________
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Brian Gonzales <gonzales@thuntek.net>

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