Re: A long rant on Debian 9
On Sun, May 06, 2018 at 09:51:09PM +0100, John wrote:
> After rather a long time it said it was installed so I rebooted -- a
> big mistake! I was hoping for a computer where I could write
> programs, mainly with xterm, emacs (with elisp) and C. I had asked
> for no gnome no kde no xfce... I usually run fvwm on X but I got a
> screen with nothing obvious to do. I did get icons (spit!) offering
> games and firefox but no xterm -- I was expecting to install emacs
> myself as I use a very recent system -- but it was in effect not a
> computer but some kind of toy. I do not play computer games and
> thought I had said not to install any
It looks like other people have already covered the non-free firmware
issues. So I'll just focus on this part.
I forget the exact wording, but at the end of the installation, there
is a tasksel dialog, in which you are presented with a list of "Tasks"
that can be installed (Web server, SSH server, Debian desktop environment,
and so on).
It sounds like you un-checked the specific desktop environments (KDE,
GNOME, XFCE, etc.) but left "Debian desktop environment" selected.
I honestly have no idea what happens in that case. I always un-check
that one. The only Tasks I select during the install are Standard, and
In that configuration, when you reboot, you get a text console login
prompt. At that point, you can login and install the specific packages
you want. In your case, I would start with:
build-essential xorg fvwm xterm
That should get you quite close to what you described, minus the emacs
part, which I don't use and don't know how to install. I'm hoping you
will know that part.
This list does not include a Display Manager, so you'll still login
on the console and need to type "startx" to get into X. This is how
I use Debian, and also how many other people use Debian. If you want
a graphical login, you can install a Display Manager package (possibly
lightdm or xdm). But I'd wait until "startx" is known to work, just in
case you have issues with video drivers/firmware. Having a DM installed
and trying to start X at boot time and FAILING is a situtation you don't
want to be in. It's a whole lot easier to work on the problem if you
know you can boot to a console and login to fix things.