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I apologize in advance for how basic this question is going to be. I'm super-new to Linux, and I know Debian is an odd choice for a newbie. But I ...
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  1. #1
    hj7
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    Unhappy can't get a GUI


    I apologize in advance for how basic this question is going to be. I'm super-new to Linux, and I know Debian is an odd choice for a newbie. But I did a research essay on different distros for my Linux+ class, and I'm just drawn to Debian. So I'm going to have lots of questions (sorry about that).

    Anyway...I burned an ISO image of Debian to CD and I used it to make Debian the sole OS on our "spare" computer.

    Now I've got the command prompt, which is awesome, but I'd also like to get to a GUI and I don't know how. So, based on looking around online for advice, I tried

    apt-get install x-window-system

    and then it responds E: couldn't find package x-window-system.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Most times, to get to a GUI you can type: startx

    If you have any errors, post them here. I'm not a Debian pro, but help will be had.
    Jay

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  3. #3
    hj7
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    Jay,

    Thanks -- I did try that, but it just responds

    startx: command not found


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    Which GUI do you prefer?
    KDE, GNOME? ...

    I'm useing KDE ... you can get it with apt-get install kde
    kio-apt (Application - install - uninstall - etc. software for KDE)

    I just looked ... gnome would be apt-get install gnome-core
    gnome-apt (Application - install - uninstall - etc. software for gnome)

    Hope that helps you...
    You may need:
    apt-get update
    and
    apt-cache search

  5. #5
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    You said you have root access. Try executing
    Code:
    dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
    and then startx

    If you have any errors along the line, post them here... along with the output of
    Code:
    lspci
    lsmod
    dmesg
    When you post, please put them in [code] tags (looks like a pound sign on the panel)

    *EDIT*

    Afterthought... did you actually install a GUI, or did you only do a netinstall?
    Jay

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  6. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    I think given that the OP was trying to install X, and startx returned command not found, he/she does not yet have X installed.

    Check this tutorial.
    TuxArena: How-To: Debian Lenny Minimal Installation

    If you want to install the full blown desktop, change gnome-core to gnome-desktop-environment.

    This is also good and more in depth.
    The Perfect Desktop - Debian Lenny | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

    The main gripe I have with that it recommends installing an obnoxiously redundant number of software packages.

    But, the author's rational is to introduce a person to lots of different programs, and they can pick and choose what they want to use later on.
    Last edited by devils casper; 03-11-2010 at 12:56 AM. Reason: posts merged

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    hj7
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    Hey, reed9...

    Thanks for the info. I was just looking through the tutorial site you suggested, and I did have a problem during my installation of Debian when I got to the mirror sites part. It just kept telling me that it couldn't access ANY of the mirror sites (I tried one after another after another), so then it said I could just do a "base" install and get everything else later. So I did that, and when I rebooted the computer I had the CLI.

    This is perhaps information I should have included in my first post...how embarrassing.

    I'm guessing this changes what-all I'll have to do next...?

  8. #8
    hj7
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    Jay--

    netinstall. Do you still want me to give you the response to dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg? The short version is that it says the package isn't installed and no info is available.

    I have a feeling, based on that tutorial reed9 linked and your question about netinstall, that I excluded some rather important information in my original post...so perhaps that changes things significantly. lol.

    Yikes. Sorry about that.

  9. #9
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    so then it said I could just do a "base" install and get everything else later.
    There ya go... that there is your problem

    Like I said earlier... not a Debian expert. But a base install is just that. No extra nothin!

    Do you happen to know what you want to look and GUI wise when you fire up your computer?You could install KDE, Gnime, IceWM or others.
    Let us know.
    Jay

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  10. #10
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I have a couple of suggestions ...
    1. do not try to run X as root ... it will cause all sorts of problems.
    2. you can use apt-get or aptitude to install/remove software, I suggest you use aptitude rather than apt-get.
    3. setup a regular user account for running X and surfing the net etc rather than using your system administrator account.

    You should be able to run aptitude and browse available software packages, x-window-system should be listed in Virtual Packages. You will find kde group of software in either installed or not installed packages.

    You can install most of the software you are likely to want from the first 2 Debian DVDs. If you install from the CD I think you need to download packages so sources need to be setup correctly - during install you should have been asked about using network mirrors to download software.

    Ed: just read the last couple of posts ... if you have a good net connection that works for a net install then you can use that method ... otherwise download the DVD and install from that - that gives you the option of installing a GUI using packages on the DVD.

    Have you got a working net connection in Debian with your current install?
    Check what sources you have setup.
    Last edited by Jonathan183; 03-10-2010 at 10:50 PM.

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