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Re: New to Debian

On Thu, Dec 03, 2009 at 09:29 -0700, debian@toursbymexico.com wrote:
> I'm new to Debian, have used Slackware for years but latest release was a
> mess so I decided to move to Debian and give it a try, 

> 1) How can I disable the graphical login and/or avoid X11 to start
> automatically? I can't install the nVidia driver since it tells me to stop
> X11 before. And, is it possible to leave it that way, just with the simple
> text consoles, and start X11 manually when required?

You just need to disable whatever service starts xorg in the applicable
runlevels. You can do this easily with rcconf or sysv-rc-conf. the
service you are looking for is probably gdm, xdm or kdm.

> 2) How can I install KDE? Currently it is running with Gnome... I've just
> download all 5 DVDs plus the updates one... the gnome (un)install shows

You usually don't need all 5 DVDs and from the rest of your mail I can
see that using them was definitely the wrong choice for you. I would
suggest to use the netinstall CD next time and just install the base
system. You can then download and install everything you want and built
exactly the system that you want/need without all the cruft that is
installed if you select one of the tasks.

I would also recommend using the 'expert' mode during installation as I
have the impression that you pretty much know what you want to install
and how to configure your system.

> most KDE applications to install, but not the full window manager... and,
> once installed, is it safe to remove Gnome to free disk space? Just the
> window manager, not its libraries that should break some dependencies if
> deleted.

You can safely remove all of GNOME if you don't need it. Some packages
might remain as dependencies of programs you installed though.

> 3) There are some programs/drivers that independently of the distro, I
> prefer to install them by hand from sources. Does it affect in some way if
> I do this? The most common ones are kernel, MySQL, msn, irc, some
> multimedia stuff, etc. but at least the kernel and MySQL that I don't like
> to use packages for them...

I don't quite understand why you would want to do so, but it is
certainly possible. You might run into problems with other packages that
depend on these packages ... but that has already been mentioned.

Note that this will also deprive you from security updates by Debian and
that the packages shipped with Debian are specifically tailored towards
the Debian platform (and the ones you compile are not).

A better way might be to download the source package of a binary package
that is configured in a way you dislike, tailor it to your needs and
install "your" package.

I would really suggest that you try "The Debian Way" for some time and
learn about the advantages and (maybe) disadvantages ... This means that
you have to adapt your administration style a little - but it is always
fun to learn something new, or?

If you have further questions do not hesitate to write another mail or
join #debian at the freenode or oftc network.

  .''`.     Wolodja Wentland    <wentland@cl.uni-heidelberg.de> 
 : :'  :    
 `. `'`     4096R/CAF14EFC 
   `-       081C B7CD FF04 2BA9 94EA  36B2 8B7F 7D30 CAF1 4EFC

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