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Re: Can't install networking.

On Sat, 01 Nov 2003 at 02:17 GMT, Mark Healey penned:
> On Fri, 31 Oct 2003 18:03:59 -0700, Monique Y. Herman wrote:
>>Which books have you tried?
> I didn't even go past the reverse of the title page.  The most recent
> copyright date was july 2000.

Fair enough.  A lot of the core material would probably still be
relevant, but certainly the most up-to-date information is available
online and through groups such as this one.

>>More pertinently, what part of the general advice given to you several
>>posts ago frustrated the bejeezus out of you?  Was it the
>>recommendation to use `uname -a` to find your kernel version?  The
>>fact that you have to care about kernel versions at all?  The deal
>>about the modules?
> It said Linux utonium 2.4.18-bf2.4 [some greek]

That simply means that you're running the linux kernel, version
2.4.18-bf2.4, and your machine name is utonium (is this related to the
powerpuff girls?).  I can't interpret the greek part since you haven't
included it, but I'm guessing it probably involved the date, time zone,
and the architecture of your machine.

One very handy tool is "man", the built-in help system for unix-type
systems.  Running `man uname` will give you an explanation of the
command, and it also gives explicit descriptions of each of the "greek"

> The post then said to run "apt-cache search kernel-image-2.4 | more"
> and then select the apprpriate kernel.
> There was no output when I ran that.

I've never used apt-cache, but a quick look at the man page suggests
that perhaps you hadn't yet generated the cache, so searching on it
probably wasn't very helpful.  Looks like the original poster assumed
the cache was already generated.

> I read further anyway and it says to install the broadcom module which
> is impossible since there isn't one there.

Where is "there"?  The interpretation that springs to mind is that you
searched through the kernel configuration screen using 'make xconfig' or
similar, but I suspect that's not what you mean.

> I am not invested in anything on this machine yet.  I'm ready wipe the
> drive and start again.
> Which CD should I boot from?

I haven't installed a debian machine from scratch in quite a while, and
even when I did, I used what I can only with charity call "obsolete"
install CDs.  So I'm afraid I can't answer this question for you.  I can
tell you that when I used these obsolete CDs, they did not have drivers
for my on-board NIC, so I ended up using a spare $15 (if that) NIC to
give myself access to the net.  I used that network access to upgrade
my system to modern components, including a far more recent kernel that
"knew" about my built-in network card.

One great thing about debian is ease of upgrade -- it is quite easy to
use several-year-old installation CDs to gain network access, then
upgrade to unstable and suck down the latest and greatest.  As far as I
know (and I could be wrong), RH is much more problematic on upgrades.

>>I do not believe that you have to be a hacker to install debian.  I do
>>believe that at least a basic understanding of how kernels, modules,
>>etc work can greatly facilitate the installation process as well as
> That's like saying you don't need to be a mechainc to drive a
> volkswagen.  You just need a basic understanding of valve gaps,
> timing, spark advance, etc.

Driving a volkswagon is like using an operating system.  Maintaining a
volkswagon is like installing/adminning an operating system.

It would be unreasonable to expect a driver to have to understand all
that stuff you mention; it would not be unreasonable to expect a person
to have a rudimentary understanding of what's going on under the hood
before attempting to give the car a tune-up.

When I showed up at work the first day, they didn't hand me a Win2k CD
and say "good luck."  They handed me an already-functioning system,
complete with the apps I was expected to use.  That's because I was
expected to use the system, not admin it.

>>It all comes down to specific hardware configuration.  Every system
>>has some hardware that it won't be prepared to use right out of the
> The Broadcom 4400 is hardly rare.

Who said anything about rare?  The windows example I gave involved a
widely-available 3com card.  Various linux systems simply recognized it
as tulip-compatible and marched on; windows got hung up on the specifics
and gave up.

>>I do believe that the debian package manager is the best out there --
> So I've been told.  It may very well be, when one has a functining
> network connection.

I hope we can get you there.   Please consider throwing an external NIC
into that machine, just to make the process of getting to a useable
package manager that much easier on yourself.

PLEASE don't CC me.  Please.  Pretty please with sugar on top.
Whatever it takes, just don't CC me!  I'm already subscribed!!

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