I attempted to report a problem with my video resolution following the
outlined protocol I found in the support files as best I could. Given a
space for commentary, and a stomach full of suppressed frustration I
couldn't resist the urge to do some venting. It all went for nothing
however because I made an error in protocol that prevented my complaint from
ever being viewed by a human being.
The official "Debian Bug Tracking System" notified me that "Message with no
Package: tag cannot be processed!". So, it turns out that even complaining
about Debian is an unnecessarily complicated process. I suppose I should
have expected that. This post will, no doubt, also be lost in cyberspace
due to some error on my part but I feel better for having at least
complained to an uncaring machine. That is in keeping with "the way things
are" much of the time these days and it's not nearly so important that
anyone "hear" me whining as it is for me to get it out of my system.
Still, given the remote possibility that this will be viewed by someone who
will chuckle aloud and quickly jot down detailed instructions for resolving
my principal problem, I will reproduce my "defective" bug report here.
Boot method: Net install. I've done four of them so far.
Image version: 31R2i386netinst
Date: The last was today (6-18) and the others over the last week or so.
1. IBM, Aptiva, 266 MHz, AMD-K6tm with 128 MB RAM
2. Dell, OptiPlex G1, 333 MHz, Intel, Celeron, 192 MB RAM
3. Generic (white box), 500 MHz, P3, 192 MB RAM
4. Generic (white box) 500 MHz, P3, 256 MB RAM
These computers have either a 4.0 or 4.3 GB hard drive with two partitions,
swap and hda1
Output of lspci and lspci -n: I don't understand this question.
Base System Installation Checklist:
[O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it
Initial boot worked: [o]
Configure network HW: [o]
Config network: [o]
Detect CD: [o]
Load installer modules: [o]
Detect hard drives: [o]
Partition hard drives: [o]
Create file systems: [o]
Mount partitions: [o]
Install base system: [o]
Install boot loader: [o]
Three of them booted into Gnome after installation and one booted into KDE.
Why is that?
Each of these computers was able to operate with a screen resolution of 1024
by 768 with DSL installed (or, for that matter, with their original Windows
operating systems). The first three will now do no better than 800 by 600
and the fourth is 640 by 480. All were installed and tested using the same
17" monitor. Additionally, none of them seem to have any sound.
<Description of the install, in prose, and any thoughts, comments and ideas
you had during the initial install.>
I was astonished and pleased that a pure Debian install has such an
incredible amount of software. I am frustrated and disappointed that while
there's a wealth of documentation it is so incredibly difficult to find any
specific information. Before I finally resolved a problem with the bios
recognizing the CD drive on one of these units I decided to try using a boot
floppy. I learned how to create the boot floppy from documentation I found
on the RedHat site (I am highly skilled in the use of google) and learned by
inference, from the available files, that it takes three floppies (instead
of one), and spent most of a frustrating hour learning that Windows XP will
not (repeat not) create a floppy from a file named "cd-drivers.img", nor
will XP create a floppy if the file is renamed "cddrivers.img" but it
created the file with no problems if it was named "cddr.img" and, happily
enough, the Linux installer wasn't picky about the name assigned to the
Forgive me a momentary loss of "cool", but....
Why the hell wasn't there a readme text file in the /install/floppy/ folder
with some basic instructions for creating the boot floppies? That would
have made the CD less than one (1) KB larger. Adding a copy of
rawrite.exe would only add an additional 14 KB.
Why is the oldest and most respected Linux distro so incredibly difficult to
install? Honestly, I would be thrilled to write the installation manual
myself if I could just find the answers to my questions somewhere.
When I decided to learn Linux I spent months scrounging to get four
computers to use for learning tools. Along with the first three computers
listed above, I have an HP Pavilion, Model 503W, 1.7 GHz, 512 MB RAM.
Using these four computers I've experimented with live CDs and in some
cases, installed versions of Beatrix, caos, DSL, DSL-N, elive, feather,
Kanotix, Knoppix, Kubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Puppy, Slax, STX, Ubuntu,
Vectorlinux, and Xubuntu. Insofar as I can recall, all of these were less
complicated to install than Debian; all of them were able to produce 1024
by 768 monitor resolution with no special effort on my part and none of
them had anything remotely like the sheer volume of software I found in
Debian. On our "flagship" Linux box (the HP) Gnome and KDE both ran
slowly on 128 MB of RAM so we expanded it to 512 MB but i386 Debian
runs very nicely on our Aptiva with only 128 MB of RAM. This is an
amazing distro. Having seen it, I don't know how I could even consider
using anything else.
My friend Bill Chambers, who's a very skilled programmer and web developer,
asked me to install Linux on his old computer (the fourth one I initially
listed) and I showed him several distros. He took one look at Debian and
said "Well, that's what I want!".
I'm still knocked out by how awesome Debian is but I really wish it weren't
quite so difficult and frustrating to install.