Need help setting up Debian


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Thread: Need help setting up Debian

  1. #1
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    Need help setting up Debian

    Well I got Debian installed and all I can say is that it is really sweet. I am still playing with Gentoo but the time commitment is a bit much for me having a full time job. Though I will say that I already learned a lot in Gentoo and their forums are great. Anyways back to Debian...

    I installed the latest Debian etch 4.0 using the Full CD(tried the business card ISO but my internet connection sucks at the moment). I wanted as streamlined of an install as possible where I didn't install any unneeded packages. Therefore I only installed the base package and unchecked all the other packages. Then I edited my /etc/sources.list file to include the references to the unstable repos. I then upgraded to Debian Sid(unstable). So far so good, my install seems to run very nicely and is fast. I installed xorg and gnome-core to give me as lean a version of gnome as possible.


    I have a few questions....

    1.) Did I do the gnome install properly? Meaning, is installing xorg and gnome-core the most streamlined way to install gnome or could I have left out even more packages? What is the minimum stuff to install to get gnome up and running?

    2.) Can someone please help me set up my sources.list file? I don't know what to put in this file. I have one line for the deb and another for the deb-source for the unstable debian repos. I also have one line for security updates. There are couple of line pointing to the CD rom drive put in my the installer and thats it. Don't know what other repos I need to point to for a basic sources.list file. I know that for some specific packages I need to point to a specific repos just to get that program, like Wicd for example, but what do most poeple have? Why are there so many repos? I find this very confusing. Should my security line also point to unstable or etch? I have seen samples of others sources.list file but I don't know what is applicable to me and what isn't.

    3.) Can someone help me setup my Intel 4965AGN Wifi card? I am running kernel 2.6.26 and it sees the card fine and loads the iwl4965 module just fine. If I run ifconfig it sees my etho and lo interfaces but no mention is made of wlan0. When I run ifconfig wlan0 then an entry shows up. I edited the /etc/network interfaces file and added my wifi card. I then rebooted and the kernel says something about the connection being down.
    My Systems:
    Custom Desktop: Kubuntu 8.04.1 x86 + 2.6.24 kernel
    Thinkpad T61p: Debian SID x64 + 2.6.26 kernel

  2. #2
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    You need to have:

    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org unstable main

    It has lots of good stuff

    Good Luck,

  3. #3
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    1.) Did I do the gnome install properly? Meaning, is installing xorg and gnome-core the most streamlined way to install gnome or could I have left out even more packages? What is the minimum stuff to install to get gnome up and running?
    You could have left out more packages, but that would have required delving deep into APT and knowing which packages are safe to leave out. The way you did it the the best combination of convenience and minimal footprint. Learn the system first. Once you know what's required and what's not, then delete away.
    2.) Can someone please help me set up my sources.list file? I don't know what to put in this file. I have one line for the deb and another for the deb-source for the unstable debian repos. I also have one line for security updates. There are couple of line pointing to the CD rom drive put in my the installer and thats it. Don't know what other repos I need to point to for a basic sources.list file. I know that for some specific packages I need to point to a specific repos just to get that program, like Wicd for example, but what do most poeple have? Why are there so many repos? I find this very confusing. Should my security line also point to unstable or etch? I have seen samples of others sources.list file but I don't know what is applicable to me and what isn't.
    I would second the recommendation for debian-multimedia.org. Also, if you're running unstable, the security line in your sources.list file is redundant. Unstable does not receive support from the Debian security team. All security patches in unstable come from upstream.
    3.) Can someone help me setup my Intel 4965AGN Wifi card? I am running kernel 2.6.26 and it sees the card fine and loads the iwl4965 module just fine. If I run ifconfig it sees my etho and lo interfaces but no mention is made of wlan0. When I run ifconfig wlan0 then an entry shows up. I edited the /etc/network interfaces file and added my wifi card. I then rebooted and the kernel says something about the connection being down.
    It may be easier to delete the entry from /etc/network/interfaces and install Network Manager to take care of your wireless card.

    UPDATE: It's also worth mentioning that there are three ways to install GNOME in debian. Installing the "gnome-core" metapakage has the smallest footprint. Installing the "gnome-desktop-environment" metapacakge is the same as checking "Dekstop Environment" during installation. The "gnome" metapackage is by far the biggest. It installs all of GNOME, and I mean all of it.
    Last edited by paj12; 09-25-2008 at 07:23 PM.
    Registered Linux User No. 321,742

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  4. #4
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    Check my signature. See the link. There you'll get all the info you'd want.

    But, if I may, with Lenny so close to being official, why not go to the trouble and reinstall. This time use Lenny.

    Better yet, dist-upgrade to Lenny.
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by loopback48
    Check my signature. See the link. There you'll get all the info you'd want.

    But, if I may, with Lenny so close to being official, why not go to the trouble and reinstall. This time use Lenny.

    Better yet, dist-upgrade to Lenny.
    Why do you recommend Lenny and not stay with Sid like I have now?
    My Systems:
    Custom Desktop: Kubuntu 8.04.1 x86 + 2.6.24 kernel
    Thinkpad T61p: Debian SID x64 + 2.6.26 kernel

  6. #6
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    Because he didn't read your post carefully enough and thought you were running Etch.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  7. #7
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    I have a suggestion in addition to the good comments already here...

    I usually keep two repositories in my list and just keep one commented out. On rare occasions, one mirror seems to either be slow or down. I comment that one out and uncomment the other and I'm running full speed downloads again. Maybe a fluke on my end, but not a lot of work to have as a backup.

    For example, this is my /etc/apt/sources.list

    Code:
    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org unstable main
    
    deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
    deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
    
    #deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ sid main non-free contrib
    #deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian sid main non-free contrib
    Notice I removed the CD line. My Internet connection is sufficient so I didn't see a need to keep the CD/DVD around for packages (and they become outdated very fast when running Sid). The lines with # are commented out and not used. So if I start up my normal update or package download and if I either get errors or slow speeds - I hit ctrl-c to stop the action. Then I swap the comment lines and try again (make sure to run apt-get update again if you do this since it is a different repository - even though in theory they should all be the same).

    EDIT => Also, some good things to keep in mind since you are running Sid. In the off chance you get an error where dpkg fails to install something - here are some general fixes.

    When apt-get upgrade fails, try "apt-get -f install" which just tries to resolve any dependencies for currently installed programs or a failed install. Sometimes if you wait a long time to do an update, there are so many files updating that you run into the situation where one package depends on another, but that other is further down the list and hasn't been installed yet. Apt-get likes to install packages in alphabetical order which can cause that issue from time to time.

    Another thing to try out, is "apt-get update --fix-missing". This will do a more thorough update of your repository list and can sometimes correct errors.

    And finally, if you do an "apt-get upgrade" and get errors that the above doesn't fix, try "apt-get dist-upgrade". Even though you are not doing a full distro upgrade - that has fixed problems for me in the past.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Debian and Apt-get!!
    Last edited by trilarian; 09-26-2008 at 04:54 PM.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    -Mark Twain

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo
    Because he didn't read your post carefully enough and thought you were running Etch.
    Your absolutely right. Didn't read it carefully. But I'd still recommend Lenny. Sid is OK. If you don't mind the quirks and hiccups that come with it. And don't kid yourself, you'll get some. It's too unstable for me. But after all they did tell you that didn't they?

    Sid is just fine if you don't have to depend on it. Go with Testing (Lenny). After all, it's soon to be release. And I can tell you from first hand experience, it's damn stable. It's ready for everyday work.

    If you, at a later time - 6 mos or so - want to try Debain Testing (what ever it might be called) dist-upgrade to it. It should be stable enough. Something I'll be thinking about. Did the same thing six months after Etch was released.

    This Testing/Lenny is not the way Etch was; old when it was released. They've done a better job with Lenny. Very nice. I've got it on my desktop and on my laptop - wireless! Wow!

    You'd be happier with Lenny.

    P.S. What's too unstable? Well, some things work sometimes. And sometimes they don't. It can be a pain. And all one can to is wait for a patch to come along. How long will that be? Sometimes a day...sometimes several days. It's a crap shoot. I don't like it. Don't have that problem with Stable nor Testing. With testing - not that much.
    Last edited by loopback48; 09-27-2008 at 02:57 PM.
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  10. #10
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    My Lenny sources list:

    ### Lenny Sources List Repositories

    #lenny
    deb http://ftp.utexas.edu/debian/ lenny main
    deb-src http://ftp.utexas.edu/debian/ lenny main

    #lenny security
    deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main

    #lenny main contrib non-free
    deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free

    # debian multimedia
    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ lenny main
    deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ lenny main


    # If you get errors about missing keys, lookup the key in this file
    # and run these commands (replace KEY with the key number):
    # gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv KEY
    # gpg --export --armor KEY | apt-key add -
    #
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  11. #11
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    "testing" is a good fit for me. I don't get caught up in the pet names of the different trees. I always use "testing" in my sources list. I never have to change it.

    My entries:

    deb http://debian.slimdevices.com testing main

    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main

    deb http://debian.osuosl.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://debian.osuosl.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free

    deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free

  12. #12
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    Thanks everybody for your suggestions.

    Trilarian you were right, Debian is just beautiful, I love it. I have already learned/remembered so much. I see a noticeable speed increase over Kubuntu, but to be fair I had a lot more packages and things installed in
    Kubuntu. Debian is allowing me to learn and setup new stuff, while not eating up all my time.

    - I added the multimedia repos, thanks for that.

    - I have my wireless card up and running now and it works great. My main problem was that I had the iwl4965 driver installed and the module was loaded but I did not have the firmware. I downloaded that. I played with the /etc/network/interfaces file for hours. I read many how-to's but nothing worked. I ideally wanted to use the ifup and ifdown commands to bring my wif up and down without having to install a network manager, but no luck. I did install network-manager, as suggested, and that did work but the connection was very unreliable. It was very slow to connect to my network and my connection to my network dropped intermittently. I had to reconnect quite often. I decided to uninstall that and install Wicd. Wicd is great, works really well for me.

    - From paj's comments, I removed the lines in the /etc/apt/sources.list file refereeing to the security repos, is that ok?

    - I have had no problems with SID so far so I will stay with that unless I experience a lot of problems. If I do, then I will consider moving to testing.

    - One problem I am having is that I can't install firefox. I try using apt but I get a message saying I can't install it due to there not being an essential package I need. I will get the exact message later and will post it. Anybody have any idea why?
    My Systems:
    Custom Desktop: Kubuntu 8.04.1 x86 + 2.6.24 kernel
    Thinkpad T61p: Debian SID x64 + 2.6.26 kernel

  13. #13
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    You can't install Firefox with apt-get. Debian has a modified version of Firefox that is named "iceweasel".

    You can install Firefox on it's own. I maintain a Firefox installation in my home directory and let apt maintain Iceweasel system wide.

    A brief summary of the Firefox vs Iceweasel issue

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by teeitup
    You can't install Firefox with apt-get. Debian has a modified version of Firefox that is named "iceweasel".

    You can install Firefox on it's own. I maintain a Firefox installation in my home directory and let apt maintain Iceweasel system wide.

    A brief summary of the Firefox vs Iceweasel issue

    Thanks. After I posted my last post I did some reading and read all about the firefox/iceweasel/icecat issues and the whole disagreement between Debian and Mozilla. For now I have decided to go for Iceweasel and so far it is working great. I will mostly stick with this but I might try using the firefox tarball at a later time.

    What about the security repos. I removed them since I am running SID, is that ok?
    My Systems:
    Custom Desktop: Kubuntu 8.04.1 x86 + 2.6.24 kernel
    Thinkpad T61p: Debian SID x64 + 2.6.26 kernel

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Coder
    What about the security repos. I removed them since I am running SID, is that ok?
    Yes, go ahead and take them out. In the unstable release, security is treated differently. First off, their disclaimer will of course be no guarantee since you are getting updates as the programmers finish them (so they have not passed the test of time that goes into say the stable's security releases). Honestly though, as long as you are not running unstable on say a firewall, the security risk or minimal to none. I had a few cases of people trying to spam my SSH port, so setup DenyHosts and haven't had any more issues. Of course, you would have that same threat on any distro, so it is a good idea to set your SSH to deny root login (you can always sudo or su after you login) and setup a program like DenyHosts. I have mine set to auto-ban anyone trying to login with the user root and give a 3 strikes your out policy. Correct password resets that counter.

    Anyway, I got a bit off topic. There are no security repos for the unstable version as they are included in the main updates. New packages are released so fast, that there is no need for a separate security update. The reason (at least the way it was told to me - I could be wrong) for having a separate line for security in the stable and testing releases, was if you want to lock all version numbers of programs on a system with the exception of patching security holes, you can comment out all lines but the security line. Then throw a "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" into your cron.daily and you have a secure server that auto-updates security patches but doesn't require you to worry about version conflicts with existing config files. This is what I do with my firewall.

    EDIT => One more plug for DenyHosts... They have an awesome feature SYNC_MODE which basically every time your system blocks a hacker from spamming your SSH port for access, it sends that IP to the DenyHosts central server. You (and everyone else using the program) can then download this IP and add to your list of blocked IPs. I love this feature because I can setup the sync mode on all my machines (at work, if I ever get a laptop, friend's comp, etc.) and we all share a ban list so you don't have to be the physical target to start blocking potential attacks (and I don't have to maintain multiple list). And for the worried, you can always white list IPs in /etc/hosts.allow. So if you run a business you don't have to worry about possibly blocking a client from a bad login to someone running DenyHost.
    Last edited by trilarian; 09-30-2008 at 02:15 PM.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    -Mark Twain

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