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Re: WHAT the Eff is this???

 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

> ok so i tried method one but it said permission denied even though i was in
> the root login. i was wondering what might cause that. i was also wondering
> if i could install those through /usr/sbin/base-sonfig. also i was
> wondering if the gui isnt working because im booting the system from a
> floppy. thanks for your help. and patience with a newbie like me    Trevor,

What step fails? If it is the first part of step b. that fails, skip it and go 
to the second part of step b. (apt-get update && apt-get install aptitude)

Is this the error?
bash: /etc/apt/sources.list: Permission denied

If that is the error, maybe you are mysteriously not root.
Type this to check:

If it asks for a password, enter it. If not, you are in root already. (If you 
are asked for a password, Method 1 should work again, but base-config would 
iron out most other quirks that might exist.)
If it does not ask for a password, you can run base-config
Simply type:

(I certainly didn't think about that, though I have run it to fix install 
problems--just like this situation calls for.)

If there are problems after base-config, and you want to continue this 
adventure, here are some things that will help:
Post (reply) to debian-user@lists.debian.org (I think I brought it off-list by 
Include these in the email to the list:
Permissions error
How you made the boot floppy (did you make before the install, after the 
install, during the install, and were you asked by the Debian to make it?)
Type this command and include the results (Filesystem is the most important 
df -h
Does Debian share the hard disk with another OS (dual-boot)?
Do you remember anything about lilo/grub/bootloader during the install?
What happens when you type 'su'? (password, no password, Authentication 

That should be enough to help. In the worst case, I'm guessing the boot disk 
actually loads its own Debian, and the Debian on your hard disk isn't loaded. 
If 'df -h' only shows something like /dev/fd0, but has no /dev/hd?? 
or /dev/sd?? listings (??=anyletter, any number), then this is likely the 
case, and the list can help you with the rest. (I haven't used floppies in a 
long time, and have forgotten what's avail. on the Debian boot floppy. The 
fix would then be a chroot /dev/hd?? and doing things to make the Linux 
partition bootable.)

I recommend thinking about Ubuntu if you find yourself spending more time than 
you want getting Debian running. (It's practically Debian with most user-end 
quirks ironed out--quirks like this.) If you still want to take time fixing 
this, then welcome!

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