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Setting Up Debian - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

My Debian disks came, seven of them. I managed to get it installed, but it's a very minimal system. At some point during the process it gave me the option of installing additional packages from CD, but couldn't find the CD (although it seemed to boot and run from the CD just fine...), and asked for a device file that I didn't know. Now I can't seem to get back to that point. The installation software is rather stupid, it doesn't seem to have an option for skipping stuff I've already done. So I boot into a text screen, apparantly ...

  1. #1

    Default Setting Up Debian


    My Debian disks came, seven of them. I managed to get it installed, but
    it's a very minimal system. At some point during the process it gave me
    the option of installing additional packages from CD, but couldn't find
    the CD (although it seemed to boot and run from the CD just fine...), and
    asked for a device file that I didn't know. Now I can't seem to get back
    to that point. The installation software is rather stupid, it doesn't
    seem to have an option for skipping stuff I've already done.

    So I boot into a text screen, apparantly don't have any window managers
    (no /usr/bin/X11), and I can't seem to mount the CD-ROM to get anything
    from the six disks I haven't looked at yet. When configuring the network
    it never gave me the option of entering a phone number for my ISP, it just
    failed to use Bootp or DHCP and then asked what my IP address is, which I
    entered as the blurb it gave me because I don't have one.

    So now what?

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

     [/ref][/ref]
    Gregory>
    Gregory> My Debian disks came, seven of them. I managed to get it
    Gregory> installed, but it's a very minimal system. At some point
    Gregory> during the process it gave me the option of installing
    Gregory> additional packages from CD, but couldn't find the CD
    Gregory> (although it seemed to boot and run from the CD just
    Gregory> fine...), and asked for a device file that I didn't know.
    Gregory> Now I can't seem to get back to that point. The installation
    Gregory> software is rather stupid, it doesn't seem to have an option
    Gregory> for skipping stuff I've already done.
    Gregory>
    Gregory> So I boot into a text screen, apparantly don't have any
    Gregory> window managers (no /usr/bin/X11), and I can't seem to mount
    Gregory> the CD-ROM to get anything from the six disks I haven't
    Gregory> looked at yet. When configuring the network it never gave me
    Gregory> the option of entering a phone number for my ISP, it just
    Gregory> failed to use Bootp or DHCP and then asked what my IP address
    Gregory> is, which I entered as the blurb it gave me because I don't
    Gregory> have one.
    Gregory>
    Gregory> So now what?

    I am not sure exactly how to get back to installing more packages,
    because I am not sure at what state your system is. It is likely you
    can fix a lot of things by running the command "tasksel" as root. If
    that doesn't work, you probably need to put the right lines in
    /etc/apt/sources.list. Use the command "apt-cdrom add" to put the
    right cdroms in there. Then you can use tasksel or just plain apt-get
    to install things.

    To configure your dialup, run the command pppconfig. After it is
    configured, you will dial in using the command "pon" and hang up the
    modem with the command "poff".

    Please don't be discouraged and ask questions here or in other forums
    when you can't make things work as they should.

    Good luck,

    --Rob



    Rob Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    01 Nov 2003 03:45 UTC, Gregory L. Hansen typed: 

    Try 'dselect' as root. It will have a list of installed/available software
    so you can pick and choose as appropriate. Don't forget to ensure all the
    CDs are in the source list (via [A]ccess in dselect).

    --
    Keep Concorde flying - sign the petition.

    http://www.saveconcorde.co.uk/sign
    Chiefy Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <bnva8m$u5o$uits.indiana.edu>,
    Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 

    [rant]

    And to top it off, when I ran top and then quit, the top five lines of the
    screen froze, but none of the rest of the software knew it, so e.g. five
    lines per screenfull of man pages were hidden. vi still used the full
    screen, and then the top remnants of vi were frozen in. What's up with
    that?

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 
    > And to top it off, when I ran top and then quit, the top five lines of the
    > screen froze, but none of the rest of the software knew it, so e.g. five
    > lines per screenfull of man pages were hidden. vi still used the full
    > screen, and then the top remnants of vi were frozen in. What's up with
    > that?[/ref]

    Your video card or mode is broken. Fix it. It can't do VGA!

    Probably you need not to run a framebuffer for your card. Choose a
    better video mode at startup (i.e. vga=0 or normal). What's up with
    you? When you see something doesn't work right you fix the thing that
    doesn't work right, by changing it until it works right. Elementary.

    Peter
    Peter Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    Gregory L. Hansen wrote:
     
    >
    > [rant]
    >
    > And to top it off, when I ran top and then quit, the top five lines of the
    > screen froze, but none of the rest of the software knew it, so e.g. five
    > lines per screenfull of man pages were hidden. vi still used the full
    > screen, and then the top remnants of vi were frozen in. What's up with
    > that?
    >[/ref]
    Obviously something is ed up. Try again and this time . . . well, just
    try again. It might help to take a few notes so, if it s up again,
    we'll have half a chance of figuring it out.
    Jim Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <eclipse>,
    Chiefy <flyer.co.uk> wrote: 
    >
    >Try 'dselect' as root. It will have a list of installed/available software
    >so you can pick and choose as appropriate. Don't forget to ensure all the
    >CDs are in the source list (via [A]ccess in dselect).[/ref]

    Okay, I've selected CD-ROM and it's asking me for the block device name.
    "cdrom" is not a block device. What's a block device?

    It's not that I'm some goober that doesn't know how to RTFM. Not really,
    anyway. I have two friggin' Linux books, and I cruised through their
    indices and it doesn't look like either of them have anything helpful
    about block devices or telling Linux how to find the CD-ROM.

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <ath.cx>,
    Rob Ristroph <lonestar.org> wrote: [/ref]
    >Gregory>
    >Gregory> My Debian disks came, seven of them. I managed to get it
    >Gregory> installed, but it's a very minimal system. At some point
    >Gregory> during the process it gave me the option of installing
    >Gregory> additional packages from CD, but couldn't find the CD
    >Gregory> (although it seemed to boot and run from the CD just
    >Gregory> fine...), and asked for a device file that I didn't know.
    >Gregory> Now I can't seem to get back to that point. The installation
    >Gregory> software is rather stupid, it doesn't seem to have an option
    >Gregory> for skipping stuff I've already done.
    >Gregory>
    >Gregory> So I boot into a text screen, apparantly don't have any
    >Gregory> window managers (no /usr/bin/X11), and I can't seem to mount
    >Gregory> the CD-ROM to get anything from the six disks I haven't
    >Gregory> looked at yet. When configuring the network it never gave me
    >Gregory> the option of entering a phone number for my ISP, it just
    >Gregory> failed to use Bootp or DHCP and then asked what my IP address
    >Gregory> is, which I entered as the blurb it gave me because I don't
    >Gregory> have one.
    >Gregory>
    >Gregory> So now what?
    >
    >I am not sure exactly how to get back to installing more packages,
    >because I am not sure at what state your system is. It is likely you
    >can fix a lot of things by running the command "tasksel" as root. If
    >that doesn't work, you probably need to put the right lines in
    >/etc/apt/sources.list. Use the command "apt-cdrom add" to put the
    >right cdroms in there. Then you can use tasksel or just plain apt-get
    >to install things.[/ref]

    Well, it doesn't like apt-cdrom add.

    Type 'apt-cdrom' is not known in on line 3 in source list
    /etc/apt/sources.list
    update available list script returned error exit status 1.

    It isn't very good with sentence construction, either.
     

    Almost there. It dials and seems to connect to my ISP, but telnet doesn't
    seem to do anything, it just sits there without a prompt.
     


    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <bo1h29$jm0$uits.indiana.edu>,
    Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 
     
    >
    >Well, it doesn't like apt-cdrom add.
    >
    >Type 'apt-cdrom' is not known in on line 3 in source list
    >/etc/apt/sources.list
    >update available list script returned error exit status 1.
    >
    >It isn't very good with sentence construction, either.[/ref]

    Okay, there's a bunch of b files in my /dev directory owned by the group
    cdrom, including a cdrom -> /dev/cdr, which I suppose must be a link, but
    there's no /dev/cdr in the directory. There's a bunch of other cdrom
    files like aztcd0, cdu535, bpcd, mcd, mcdx0, sbpcd0, sjcd... but none of
    them seem to satisfy dselect as a block device name.
    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

     [/ref][/ref]
    Gregory>
    Gregory> Okay, there's a bunch of b files in my /dev directory owned
    Gregory> by the group cdrom, including a cdrom -> /dev/cdr, which I
    Gregory> suppose must be a link, but there's no /dev/cdr in the
    Gregory> directory. There's a bunch of other cdrom files like aztcd0,
    Gregory> cdu535, bpcd, mcd, mcdx0, sbpcd0, sjcd... but none of them
    Gregory> seem to satisfy dselect as a block device name.

    If your cdrom is the master device on the first IDE cable, it will be
    /dev/hda; slave on first IDE cable, /dev/hdb; master on second IDE
    cable (most common setup) will be /dev/hdc; slave on second IDE cable
    is /dev/hdd.

    If your cdrom is a cd writer, a scsi emulation driver may be emulating
    it as a scsi device. If that is the case, the device name is most
    likely /dev/scd0.

    --Rob
    Rob Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 02:35:23 GMT, Rob Ristroph <lonestar.org> wrote: [/ref]
    >Gregory>
    >Gregory> Okay, there's a bunch of b files in my /dev directory owned
    >Gregory> by the group cdrom, including a cdrom -> /dev/cdr, which I
    >Gregory> suppose must be a link, but there's no /dev/cdr in the
    >Gregory> directory. There's a bunch of other cdrom files like aztcd0,
    >Gregory> cdu535, bpcd, mcd, mcdx0, sbpcd0, sjcd... but none of them
    >Gregory> seem to satisfy dselect as a block device name.
    >
    > If your cdrom is the master device on the first IDE cable, it will be
    > /dev/hda; slave on first IDE cable, /dev/hdb; master on second IDE
    > cable (most common setup) will be /dev/hdc; slave on second IDE cable
    > is /dev/hdd.
    >
    > If your cdrom is a cd writer, a scsi emulation driver may be emulating
    > it as a scsi device. If that is the case, the device name is most
    > likely /dev/scd0.[/ref]

    Linking things is big hurdle to get over in any setup. There'll be
    generic devices like "/dev/cdrom", "/dev/mouse", "/dev/modem", etc.
    These don't go anywhere. You need to make a link to the actual bit of
    hardware involved.

    Hard drives are as Rob described. Mice can be at a serial port, or
    /dev/psaux for a PS2 type. Modems go to a serial port.

    There is a pretty steep learning curve for this stuff. Getting the
    precise terminology is the hardest part. Linux books rarely help with
    this, because they're aimed at users, whereas you have just become an
    administrator. I'll get some resources together and post them separately.

    (I have tried to figure out if there's some way to tell which of the the
    near-endless /dev entries your machine actually *has*, but if there is
    some way, I don't know it.)


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 03:45:26 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 

    Stay calm. :) You'll get it all set up soon. The problems you're having
    all sound pretty typical to me.

    IIRC (it's been a while) you can select any item in the installation menu
    at any time, and booting off the cd will always get you the installation
    system.

    Some sources of help:

    http://www.debian.org/doc/ddp All the official Debian doents.

    http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/
    To join the Debian user mailing list, and read the archives. You'll
    want to do this. While people here are helpful, the people on the user
    mailing list are much more used to helping new users doing setup. There
    is a usenet feed of the user mailing list at linux.debian.user (at least
    on my server there is) but posts to the group don't go to the mailing
    list. Or, they didn't a few years ago. Don't know if that's changed.

    There's also debianHELP at http://www.debianhelp.org/ but I can't tell you
    how useful it might be. Looks okay.



    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    01 Nov 2003 23:48 UTC, Gregory L. Hansen typed: 

    I think it defaults to /dev/cdrom which is sometimes a symlink pointing to
    the appropriate device.

    Where is your cdrom, pri/sec master/slave?

    --
    Keep Concorde flying - sign the petition.

    http://www.saveconcorde.co.uk/sign
    Chiefy Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 23:48:08 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 
    >>
    >>Try 'dselect' as root. It will have a list of installed/available software
    >>so you can pick and choose as appropriate. Don't forget to ensure all the
    >>CDs are in the source list (via [A]ccess in dselect).[/ref]
    >
    > Okay, I've selected CD-ROM and it's asking me for the block device name.
    > "cdrom" is not a block device. What's a block device?[/ref]


    While lots of people told you what you need to know, here's trivia.

    A block device is something that handles data in blocks, like a hard
    drive, a cdrom drive, a flash card, etc. As opposed to a character
    device, which deals with characters, like a tty (a terminal) or a serial
    port.


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com
    Laurel Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <bo3akb$17bmff$news.uni-berlin.de>,
    Laurel Amberdine <com> wrote: 
    >>Gregory>
    >>Gregory> Okay, there's a bunch of b files in my /dev directory owned
    >>Gregory> by the group cdrom, including a cdrom -> /dev/cdr, which I
    >>Gregory> suppose must be a link, but there's no /dev/cdr in the
    >>Gregory> directory. There's a bunch of other cdrom files like aztcd0,
    >>Gregory> cdu535, bpcd, mcd, mcdx0, sbpcd0, sjcd... but none of them
    >>Gregory> seem to satisfy dselect as a block device name.
    >>
    >> If your cdrom is the master device on the first IDE cable, it will be
    >> /dev/hda; slave on first IDE cable, /dev/hdb; master on second IDE
    >> cable (most common setup) will be /dev/hdc; slave on second IDE cable
    >> is /dev/hdd.
    >>
    >> If your cdrom is a cd writer, a scsi emulation driver may be emulating
    >> it as a scsi device. If that is the case, the device name is most
    >> likely /dev/scd0.[/ref]
    >
    >Linking things is big hurdle to get over in any setup. There'll be
    >generic devices like "/dev/cdrom", "/dev/mouse", "/dev/modem", etc.
    >These don't go anywhere. You need to make a link to the actual bit of
    >hardware involved.
    >
    >Hard drives are as Rob described. Mice can be at a serial port, or
    >/dev/psaux for a PS2 type. Modems go to a serial port.
    >
    >There is a pretty steep learning curve for this stuff. Getting the
    >precise terminology is the hardest part. Linux books rarely help with
    >this, because they're aimed at users, whereas you have just become an
    >administrator. I'll get some resources together and post them separately.[/ref]

    I was just reflecting on that. My plan was to get a nice, working
    install, and do useful or interesting things while I learn the internals
    of the system at my leisure. But that's not how it's turning out.

    I tried Mandrake again after a suggestion that it might not work if some
    of the partitions are too small, but my / and /home are gigabytes and swap
    is 494 MB. It's still stuck on the XML-Twig module for Perl that it
    started hours ago, and looks like it gave up since the CD-ROM light isn't
    glowing any more.

    Okay, I rebooted and now it's saying "01 01 01 01 01" endlessly. This
    time I just let it run until it hung, last time I skipped out of all but
    the first disk and seemed to have a broken system, but at least a system
    that could read the CD-ROM.

    Tomorrow, at work, I'll see if I can figure out how to burn disk images to
    CD. Barring spectacular success that way, maybe I'll go back to broken
    Mandrake, learn how to install/make/whatever a package, and ferry them
    over as needed on burned CDs from work.
    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 19:59:18 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 
    >
    > I was just reflecting on that. My plan was to get a nice, working
    > install, and do useful or interesting things while I learn the internals
    > of the system at my leisure. But that's not how it's turning out.[/ref]

    Oh, well. If you want to do *that*...

    My method was to completely nuke my only system, then learn at a
    panicked, feverish pace, everything I needed to get it working again.
    Took about two weeks of solid work, and by then I was dreaming about
    configuration files.

    Okay, maybe it's not the most practical approach.
     

    :( So lame. Pretty sure that's not essential. Is there any option for a
    "minimal" install?
     

    Not good.
     

    What are you going to try to download? Mandrake?

    You might consider contacting a local linux users group and have someone
    come over and install and configure things for you. Then you'd have a
    working setup that you could learn on.


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Setting Up Debian

    In article <bo4l35$180inm$news.uni-berlin.de>,
    Laurel Amberdine <com> wrote: 
    >>
    >> I was just reflecting on that. My plan was to get a nice, working
    >> install, and do useful or interesting things while I learn the internals
    >> of the system at my leisure. But that's not how it's turning out.[/ref]
    >
    >Oh, well. If you want to do *that*...
    >
    >My method was to completely nuke my only system, then learn at a
    >panicked, feverish pace, everything I needed to get it working again.
    >Took about two weeks of solid work, and by then I was dreaming about
    >configuration files.
    >
    >Okay, maybe it's not the most practical approach.[/ref]

    I still have my eight year old Mac. In fact, when I wrote that message
    last night I had my Mac keyboard on my desk, my HP keyboard in my lap,
    and I was switching the monitor back and forth between one computer and
    the other. And sometimes I'd start typing on the wrong keyboard and
    wonder why nothing was happening. Wish I could switch the keyboard and
    mouse through the switchbox, but one's PS/2 and the other is ADB.
     
    >
    >:( So lame. Pretty sure that's not essential. Is there any option for a
    >"minimal" install?[/ref]

    That's exactly what I've done. I tried intalling Mandrake with nothing.
    This time the second disk seemed to work a bit. It still gave me a few
    error messages and I said continue anyway, until it gave up again and said
    "01 01 01" again when I rebooted. But when I just opted out at the first
    error message I got a bootable text system that could read the cdrom.
    That, the ZIP, and the floppy all showed up in /mount. And it has a C
    compiler, which is something I couldn't get on my Debian attempt. This is
    something I can work with.
     

    Hmm...

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

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