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I'm going through http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...paring.en.html , and I wanted to work out the information I need here before I go into installing. Basically, I know all the hardware stuff (Hard drives, ...
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  1. #1
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    Pre-Installing Debian


    I'm going through http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...paring.en.html, and I wanted to work out the information I need here before I go into installing.

    Basically, I know all the hardware stuff (Hard drives, monitor, mouse, printer, and video card), but I am confused about the network card. I'm on Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2.

    I already installed Debian v. 1.1 by mistake. So is installing Debian 2.2 going to be any more difficult? I am just confused about getting the network card to work, but I believe that I'll ask my dad that (he got the network card running, so he should know).

    I'm a Developer, so should I choose that option when I'm installing? I was told that you shouldn't choose any of the options under the Red Hat installer and do it manually - does the same apply to all other installers including Debian?

    I just wanted to repeat that I already have an ancient version of Debian installed on my partition (somewhere). Another problem - I don't know how to boot into it! Once I went into my lilo.conf file in Linux, I edited it and booted into Windows. But I don't know how to add Linux as one of my boot options, and I'm afraid that I won't be able to boot back into Windows when I restart.

    I'm asking all these questions because I don't want to mess up my computer. As the Debian Installer Documentation says, "Two minutes of thinking can save hours of unnecessary work."

    Also, is there anything else I should know before I go and install Debian? Preferably everything about dual-booting, but I don't know what to learn.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    I think you are looking at old info. The stable form of debian is 3.0!

    well, first unless your running a server I would not choose stable(woody). I would install testing(sarge) or unstable(sid).
    http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

    I don't know about not choosing options under RH but choosing developer would save you time in debian. However, if you want to just pick desktop user, you can always apt-get anything you need.

    Debian will install grub for you and it *should* set it up for dual boot. However, if you ever install GNU/Linux and you can't boot into windows, you can always just reinstall the windows boot loader, so don't worry about that.

    You network card *should* be fine.
    Brilliant Mediocrity - Making Failure Look Good

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vergil83
    I think you are looking at old info. The stable form of debian is 3.0!

    well, first unless your running a server I would not choose stable(woody). I would install testing(sarge) or unstable(sid).
    http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

    I don't know about not choosing options under RH but choosing developer would save you time in debian. However, if you want to just pick desktop user, you can always apt-get anything you need.

    Debian will install grub for you and it *should* set it up for dual boot. However, if you ever install GNU/Linux and you can't boot into windows, you can always just reinstall the windows boot loader, so don't worry about that.

    You network card *should* be fine.
    How can I "just reinstall the boot loader"?

    There's no way that I can get the sarge or sid. I have cd's for woody only, and I don't intend on downloading another version.

    I lied - it's 3.0 rev 5

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Erm, Woody itself may be half the problem. It's running the 2.2 kernel. My box is running 2.6.11. I would highly recommend switching to a different version of Debian.

    However, that said, here's my lilo.conf:

    Code:
    boot=/dev/hda             # Install LILO in the MBR
    prompt                    # Give the user the chance to select another section
    timeout=10                # Wait 10 (ten) seconds before booting the default section
    default=Gentoo-2.6.11     # When the timeout has passed, boot the "gentoo" section
    
    # SAMPLE
    # image=/boot/kernel-2.6.11-gentoo-r3
    # label=gentoo          # Name we give to this section
    # read-only             # Start with a read-only root. Do not alter!
    # root=/dev/hda3        # Location of the root filesystem
    
    image=/boot/kernel-2.6.11-gentoo-r6
    label=Gentoo-2.6.11
    root=/dev/hdb4
    append="video=vesafb:mtrr,ywrap,1024x768-32@85"
    read-only
    
    # The next two lines are only if you dualboot with a Windows system.
    # In this case, Windows is hosted on /dev/hda1.
    other=/dev/hda1
    label=Windows
    You could probably hop into a LiveCD such as Knoppix in order to edit your lilo.conf. As long as you leave those last two lines in the file, you will have access to Windows. And if for some reason you can't select it, you can always run:

    Code:
    lilo -R Windows
    And then reboot.

    Now then, to boot into Linux. You need to add this section:

    Code:
    image=<Location of the Kernel Image>
    label=<Whatever You Want to See in LILO>
    root=<Wherever Your Root Is>
    read-only
    If you don't know all that stuff off the bat, just hop into Knoppix and see what their fstab tells you.

    Anyway, if you can get into your old Debian system, you can probably just apt-get to the latest revision. I assume. I've not done it, but I'm sure there's a way.

  5. #5
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    I assumed that there was a way to automatically update the kernel or something - am I incorrect in assuming this? Otherwise, it wouldn't make much sense for me to use Linux - upgrading would be so difficult!

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Well, to quote Distrowatch:

    Many Debian users joke that their installer is so bad, because they only need it once - as soon as Debian is up and running, all future updates of any scale can be accomplished via the apt-get utility.
    According to the Debian site, this command will update to the latest revision:

    Code:
    apt-get -u dist-upgrade
    If you have the CD (as you do), you can apparently do this:

    Code:
    apt-cdrom
    apt-get dist-upgrade
    Again, I've not really used Debian, so I don't know exactly how all this works. I'd recommend you take a look at the apt-get documentation:

    http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/ap.../index.en.html

    The full Debian manual list can be seen at:

    http://www.debian.org/doc/#manuals

    So you might wanna give that all a shot...

  7. #7
    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade
    I assumed that there was a way to automatically update the kernel or something - am I incorrect in assuming this? Otherwise, it wouldn't make much sense for me to use Linux - upgrading would be so difficult!

    How can I "just reinstall the boot loader"?
    yes you can, you will have to download the new kernel
    Code:
    apt-get install kernel-image-# kernel-headers-# kernel-source-#
    if you have the windows cd, you can just re-install bootloader
    Brilliant Mediocrity - Making Failure Look Good

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vergil83
    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade
    I assumed that there was a way to automatically update the kernel or something - am I incorrect in assuming this? Otherwise, it wouldn't make much sense for me to use Linux - upgrading would be so difficult!

    How can I "just reinstall the boot loader"?
    yes you can, you will have to download the new kernel
    Code:
    apt-get install kernel-image-# kernel-headers-# kernel-source-#
    if you have the windows cd, you can just re-install bootloader
    I think I'll take a look at the Debian docs.

    I don't have the boot loader on a CD - my computer distributor put it in a separate FAT32 partition on my computer.

    I'm confused about the bootloader, and upgrading the version of Linux.

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade
    Quote Originally Posted by Vergil83
    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade
    I assumed that there was a way to automatically update the kernel or something - am I incorrect in assuming this? Otherwise, it wouldn't make much sense for me to use Linux - upgrading would be so difficult!

    How can I "just reinstall the boot loader"?
    yes you can, you will have to download the new kernel
    Code:
    apt-get install kernel-image-# kernel-headers-# kernel-source-#
    if you have the windows cd, you can just re-install bootloader
    I think I'll take a look at the Debian docs.

    I don't have the boot loader on a CD - my computer distributor put it in a separate FAT32 partition on my computer.

    I'm confused about the bootloader, and upgrading the version of Linux.
    Well debian has three different releases at any time. Stable, testing, unstable. When you install each it comes with a particular kernel and particular software. Unstable is for people living on the edge, and the programs are updated very quickly after the orginal program is updated. Testing is updated after the unstable users have "tested" the software for a little while for errors. Stable is software and a kernel that have been very very much tested and is as stable as possible. However, this means that the programs/kernel are old by most GNU/Linux distro standards. Debian stable is still using an old kernel, which doens't have the greatest hardware support (stable is going to be updated at the end May/ early June). However, if you wanted to try the new kernel, you could install it yourself by apt-get a new kernel. You can change your entire install to a different releases (so from stable-->testing for example) by changing your apt-get download sites and doing an apt-get dist-upgrade
    Brilliant Mediocrity - Making Failure Look Good

  10. #10
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    I quote the Debian Installer Manual:

    Debian can be upgraded after installation very easily. The installation procedure will help set up the system so that you can make those upgrades once installation is complete, if need be.

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