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Re: Help needed setting up Debian

Hi Glenn,

If you are using the sarge installer CD, it should bring you to several
options for package selection after rebooting (part of the base-config
dialog).  If you choose tasksel, one option is to install a task (such
as desktop environment) which will then download a variety of packages,
such as XFree86, GDM, etc.  Simply pressing enter or space bar next to
each task will allow you to select these tasks.

However, if you are past the install stage (I presume you are) then
don't despair!  There are a number of ways of installing packages and
tasks in debian, which has an excellent package management system.  I
suggest using aptitude, which can be launched with '# aptitude' (note
that to install you'll have to switch to root).  Information on aptitude
is extensive (for example:
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/ch-package.en.html) and best
of all it's easy to use, solves dependencies automatically for you, and
can handle recommended suggested packages automatically for you as
well.  It's graphical, and you can select packages simply by pressing
'+' next to the package (or task - note that there are tasks at the
bottom of the list, including a desktop environment).  After you press
'+' next to your desired packages or tasks, pressing 'g' will take you
to a confirmation page listing which packages (dependencies, recommended
packages to accompany your package selection) aptitude will install. 
Pressing 'g' again will proceed with package installation.  If you get
stuck, or can't remember the keys, simply pressing F10 will take you to
the drop-down menus, which can be navigated using the arrow keys.

Several useful keys are the '^' key, which will take you to the head
subject of a particular expanded package list, '-' which will remove a
package, and '=' which will disallow aptitude from installing /
upgrading a package.

aptitude uses the same sources file (/etc/apt/sources.list) that apt
uses.  If you desire contrib, non-free, etc. packages you can simply add
a source listing to this simple text file.  Take a look at the
sources.list file; it's easy to interpret.

Hope this helps, and welcome to Debian!  I am a recent convert from RH9
and, like me, I think you'll find that using Debian makes linux fun


Michael Janis
UCLA graduate student, bioinformatics

On Thu, 2004-08-19 at 14:34, Glenn Keenan wrote:
> I am a complete newbie to Debian and just installed it using sarge. 
> Install went fine, machine rebooted without a problem, continued
> install over network via http and then got to the package
> installation.  Here is my problem.  I canʼt figure out how to actually
> select the package I want (desktop environment).  Iʼve tried all the
> keys and only the arrow keys and the enter key seem to do anything, so
> I canʼt select a package.  Can someone tell me what Iʼm doing wrong? 
> Thanks for the help.

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