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Re: Installation question

On Oct 10, 2007, at 6:57 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 09:41:06PM -0700, jekillen wrote:
Is apt-cdrom add a command line program? I did not see it in
menu, only Synaptic which when launched presented dialogs about
Debian site files being no existent. I am not sitting at the machine at
this moment so I cannot reproduce the exact lines and error messages.
i found aptitude also but am at a loss as to how to proceed.
This is stuff either I have missed or it is not part of what I have to
I presume there would be man pages for these programs(?)

I am strung between two worlds, gui ala Mac and command line Unix.

Therein lies part of the problem.  Linux has its roots in Unix.  To be
more "user friendly" it has packages that overlay the unix CLI with
front-end GUIs.  Yet, the basic documentation (e.g. debian-reference,
harden-doc, etc) is focused on the traditional CLI.
Yes, I started with classic Mac back in about '96. Then I got into Linux
with Mandrake around 2002. I started learning something about Unix
in general and some command line use. I took an extension course at
a local junior college on Linux installation and administration. Since then
I have used Mandrake, Yellow Dog (run on older Macs) and FreeBSD.
I have four AMD 64 machines with FreeBSD installations running as
servers (no GUI). I've built and installed software from source. Set up
DNS servers and such (I have static ip addresses and run my web sites
from home). I would not call myself a Unix Guru by any measure, but I
have enough working knowledge to get what I need done. Sometimes
one style of computing, GUI for instance, produces certain types of expectations.
When the other type is dealt with, there is a sort of gap that develops.
I learned to use a mouse like a sabre and have used GUI text editors.
when I have to edit a file with vi it is really awkward just because I am
not used to that approach. But I am not about to go hunt down
httpd.conf in a file system window and open it in a program like BBEdit
(that I do all my programming code in). I use the command line and open
it in vi and do what I need, as root, and be done with it.

Everything should have a man page (e.g. man synaptic) and each package
should have documentation either in e.g. /usr/share/doc/synaptic or in a
separate e.g. synaptic-doc package.  I don't know about synaptic itself
since I use aptitude.

Aptitude itself is a front-end enhancement of apt, and they all end up
using dpkg to actually install each package.
That is the gap that develops for me. It is an intellectual contortion for me
to conceive that command line scripts are installing GUI programs. But
eventually I want to do some GUI type programming. I would have to
come to grips with the idea that scripts and console programs are
installing GUI programs and just deal with the details.

I suggest that you read the debian-reference manual (available as a
package) and fire up a web browser and peruse the docs under

Debian is very powerful _and_ very flexible.  This means that you have
lots of choices but it also means that you have a lot of learning to do
to make informed choices.  Being debian, as long as you use the normal
tools you shouldn't mess up your system; your choices are reversable.

The best advice I can give you is to break projects down into small
attainable goals and do one at a time.  Don't try to predict what you
need to install to achive something. Find the package that you want and
apt will bring in whatever is needed to do it.  Do read up in the
reference the difference between depends, recommended, and suggest.  I
only have aptitude install depends; it presents me with a list of
recommended and suggested packages before I go ahead with an install.

I do web design and programming in Javascript and php. Have lots of experience with having to anticipate what is going to be needed for any particular project before hand. If I need or plan to use databases in a project, usually MySQL,
I need to know how to formulate queries in MySQL dialect of SQL before I
do the project, otherwise its a fruitless waste of trial and error with much frustration. Ironically, the learning process involves that, but at least I have a handle on what it is that I am supposed to learn. Javascript, being my first
computer language, useful to a web designer, nearly drove me around the
bend until I learned some things about it that no text or mailing list response could or would tell me about. Along with learning the language, I developed
my own approach to the development process and techniques that no text
mentions explicitly, if at all. I am getting weary of that though. I completely agree with what you are telling me, but I've been there and done that, for the most

You only need a full DTE (Gnome, KDE, Xfce) if you want all the bells
and whistles of the DTE.  If you just want to install a [Gnome | KDE |
Xfce] app, just install the app and it will pull in what you want.  For
example, on my smaller system, I run icewm but I really like the Xfce
terminal.  My big box runs Xfce but I run several KDE apps.  I've never
had much luck with gnome apps (I think they focus on new features and
less on tracking down bugs that cause them to crash).



Thanks for the long winded response, I like to write also, as you can see.
Jeff K
fine art, graphics, writing, music, web design/programming, commercial and industrial product design

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