[techtalk] Debian

Michelle Murrain mpm at norwottuck.com
Sat Mar 10 17:37:16 EST 2001

On Friday 09 March 2001 04:10 pm, Rachel Andrew wrote:

> >deb http://kde.tdyc.com potato main crypto kde2 qt1apps optional
> I tried this, I had tried this to different locations last night and it
> just says file not found, my connection to the net is fine

Can you say exactly what it says? My sources.list for KDE for potato has 
"main crypto optional"
My apt can't find qt1apps, actually.

> >      Once you've gotten all the packages, add startkde to your
> >.xsession and remove any other window managers (assuming you're not
> >doing that funky WindowMaker/KDE mix thing) if you're using xdm to
> >start X.  Otherwise, just invoke KDE manually when you start X.
> now you have lost me... i have always just installed kde with my redhat
> install and it has just worked... I don't even know that I have x installed
> on this or anything, the NT disk looks more tempting by the minute it has
> to be said!!

In a Debian install, GNOME is the default window manager ('cause it meets 
Stallman's criterea for free software). The easiest way to get KDE to start 
is to place 'exec kde2' (no quotes) to your .xsession file (it's a file in 
your home directory, then use the command 'startx'. Like was mentioned, if 
xdm is going, you get automatically dropped into an X session (that's when 
you get a nice graphical login screen asking for name and password.) I don't 
remember whether or not xdm on debian gives you a choice of window manangers, 
because I always turn off xdm on servers. Many distros do give you choices. 

I never worry about removing the other window managers, because once in a 
while I want to play with them. If you are slim on hard drive space, that 
might be a thing to do. 

X is simply the part of the Linux/Unix system that allows you to use a GUI 
interface. It runs between the system and KDE or GNOME. It's the thing you 
have to configure usually, and test with stuff like screen resolution, video 
card type, etc.

I have real mixed feelings about debian. I had been running RH, Mandrake and 
SUSe for years (actually started with Slackware back in '94). About a year 
ago, I decided to take the plunge and install Debian on my server at home. It 
was a major pain in the ass to set up. But once it's set up, it's a dream. I 
upgraded from potato to woody one evening, and it was almost flawless, and 
incredibly easy. I mean can one even ponder upgrading Windows using two 
lines: "apt-get update, apt-get dist-upgrade"???

I also find the fact that debian falls so far behind in version numbers for 
software frustrating. But the one thing that's true - whatever version of 
debian is called stable is rock-solid, and apt-get does rule.  

That said, I think my favorite distro is Mandrake. (So if someone finally 
gets something like apt-get to work with RH/Mandrake I'll be in heaven)

Michelle Murrain, Ph.D.
Norwottuck Technology Resources
mpm at norwottuck.com

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