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Re: Please help

On Mar 3, 2011, at 11:06 PM, Ryan Collins wrote:

> Someone for the love of GOD, help me. 
> I've installedDebian 6.0(squeeze) on my dell inspiron 6000. All I have to show for it is a shell. I've looked all over and read countless entries on ways to load a gnome desktop, but nothing I try works for me like it has others. Im brand spanking new to Linux, but im beginning to at least understand how things need to be typed in order to make the magic happen, but it hasn't happened for me yet. I think I may have installed a server version, but there is a way around that right? What can I do to get a desktop environment installed through my command line?

You've already received some good advice, but I'll add a couple points:

1) Server version vs. desktop: That's not a real issue with Linux, especially Debian.  On some operating systems it might be due to marketing and so on.  In order to sell more and to use a pricing structure that brings in the most income, they might have a home edition and a serve edition.  We don't have that on Debian.  Instead we use packages.  A package can be a font collection, or a program, or graphics, or some other collection of files.  If you want OpenOffice, you install that package and it's there.  If you want a web server, you install the right packages and you have a web server.  If you want a desktop computer, you install the right packages and you have a desktop computer that will work well with a graphical interface and your mouse.  But the really cool thing is that installing packages to make the computer a server does not force you to use it ONLY as a server.  So even if you've told it to be a server, it can still be a desktop system.  Or, if you prefer, you can always restart the install process, since there's nothing tracking how many times you install it or billing you for each install or restricting you to a certain number of installations.

2) Some have suggested using a different distro.  I like Debian, but it is designed for certain situations and you may find Linux Mint or some other distros, including Ubuntu, as easier to use when you start out than Debian.  I know when I started I used a distro called Mandrake (R.I.P.) that was VERY easy to use and it helped me learn a LOT about Linux.  It was a while before I was finally ready to start using Debian (but Debian was also harder to learn in those days).

I hope this helps.


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