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Re: WHAT the Eff is this???

On Monday 04 July 2005 04:23, trevor hamel wrote:
> i recently installed linux. when i finished the installer i as hoped to be
> gretted with an OS with a display like windows.... what i gto was more like
> a display of dos. can someone tell me how to get it to not be in command
> prompt... because i didnt think that was what linux was.... thank you for
> te help
>                 Trevor,

SUMMARY (each typed on one line as user root):
# echo "deb ftp://ftp.egr.msu.edu/debian stable contrib main non-free" 
>> /etc/apt/sources.list
# apt-get update && apt-get install aptitude
# aptitude install x-window-system kdm kde synaptic openoffice.org 

Install something like Ubuntu < http://ubuntu.com >

- - -
Methods 1, 2, 3
- - -

There are several ways to resolve this. Each command given is for 'root' (SEE 
1.a), is meant to be typed at the command prompt (terminal, console, virtual 
terminal--whatever you want to call the dos-like screen you see), and is 
meant to be typed on a single line (even though email magic makes some 
commands look like they are for two lines).

- - -
- - -

METHOD 1. Fairly Involved, but worth a try

a. Log in as 'root' (You probably entered a password for 'root' during the 
install, as well as a user and password)[4]
b. Run commands to make sure the system is partly up to date:
echo "deb ftp://ftp.egr.msu.edu/debian stable contrib main non-free" 
>> /etc/apt/sources.list

apt-get update && apt-get install aptitude

c. Run a command to install something pretty
aptitude install x-window-system kdm kde synaptic openoffice.org 

aptitude install x-window-system gdm gnome synaptic openoffice.org 

d. Wait a bit, and try to answer any questions--some will appear. The default 
answers are usually pretty good (unless it's obvious they are wrong).

METHOD 2. Minimal interaction from you, and may be quicker than Method 1 if 
something in Method 1 goes wrong

a. Install a Debian-based distribution, e.g. Ubuntu < http://ubuntu.com >
b. Follow the install. If you installed Debian, you can easily finish this 

METHOD 3. The command line is a goddess.
apt-get install grep sed ed vim emacs links
(Yeah, I am joking.)

- - -
- - -
Method 1: GNOME versus KDE turns into a debate. If you do not know what they 
are, or do not recognize any pictures at < http://gnome.org > or 
<http://kde.org >, use this advice: KDE can be more familiar to a Windows 
user, but GNOME can also be easily used. There are several substitutes for 
the programs you install with the commands I give. Looking at the 'aptitude 
install' lines, openoffice.org, mozilla-firefox, and synaptic are optional. 
Synaptic is a graphical program (package in Debian terms) installer, and can 
be very useful when beginning. (I'm assuming you've heard of OpenOffice.org 
and Fireox.) If you are eager to learn the command line and experiment, 
kde/gnome can be replaced with kde-base/gnome-core, and x-window-system with 
x-window-system-core. What I list are commands that will install a lot of 
software--insurance to reduce any mysteriously missing programs. The 
substitutes will install less (nd save disk space), but may take your time 
later when you read instructions for things, and are mysteriously missing 
applications you need. To see descriptions of any of these programs 
(packages), type:
apt-cache show nameofpackagehere
To find what something is called (e.g. Firefox is named mozilla-firefox, and 
Instant Message is named gaim or kopete), type:
apt-cache search searchwordshere
Several Package Management Guides (Simple -> Complex):


Method 2: This is a Debian list, so I see the people already cringing at this 
method. But, if you don't want to spend time learning small things every so 
often, or Method 1 is a no-go, installing something like Ubuntu may save you 
time. Debian lets you learn at a good pace--problems usually only occur when 
you can take time to change something.

Method 3: This does not install a Graphical User Interface (like you are 
thinking about). This is a joke, but may actually be useful one day if you 
want to use the command-line (and can be done in addition to Method 1).

Why You Saw a DOS-Like Screen: Another poster was more complete and verbose 
than I will be. GNU/Linux has several core layers, akin to the layers OS X 
uses.[1][2][3] Debian (and other distributions) allow for fine-grained 
control of what layers you install. Somehow (through installer bug, installer 
interface weakness, or, much less likely, user error), your install of 
GNU/Linux (Debian?) did not install the Graphical Layer (or, what the Apple 
site labels as "Aqua" Layer or "User Experience" Layer). Essentially, core 
(bottom) layers are essentially required, while abstract (top) layers become 
less required and more interchangable (i.e., changing from Firefox to 
Konqueror is easier than from GNOME to KDE--all top layers--and much easier 
than from Linux Kernel to WindowsXP Kernel--fundamental bottom layers that 
top layers are dependant upon.)


* * * * * * * * * * * 
User Applications (what you use) (e.g. OpenOffice.org, Konqueror, or Synaptic)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
User Interface anager (what you see) (e.g. KDE, GNOME, Fluxbox)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Graphical Consistency Environments (e.g. QT, GTK, kdelibs, gnomelibs)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Graphics Hardware Communication (i.e. X.org X11--like Apple's Quartz)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
HAL (more hardware abstraction) / Core Media (e.g. jack, arts, gstreamer)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
System Utilities and Management (e.g. cron, postfix/exim, init/boot scripts)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Kernel (named Linux; hardware abstraction and management)
* * * * * * * * * * * *

- - -
- - - 

Log In:
[4] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/users-guide/ch-sastsagi.en.html#s-lifacl

Using Packages:

(Overly) Verbose Advanced User Guide (updated in 2003?):

Mentioned Things:

Pretty pictures of the layered system concept:
[1] http://www.asia.apple.com/macosx/technologies/
[3] http://developer.apple.com/audio/coreaudio.html

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