A few newbie questions

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A few newbie questions

Postby agentsmith23 » 2006-01-26 20:57

I am new to linux and i have been trying out different distros. I used fedora4 mostly the others never stayed on my system long i just didn't like them. debian seems pretty nice so far but I have a few questions about the way it works:

1.Is there a way to log in as root through the main login screen? I am the only one who uses the comp and i prefer to be under root.

2.aptitude seems to be alot like the yum command in fedora but with aptitude i am almost always asked to put in one of the two DVDs when i install software. Is there a way around that?

3.Why am i stuck at 800x600? When i installed debian i configured it for my monitor, 17"LCD with a native res of 1280x1024.

4.Is there a way to switch between Gnome and KDE from the command prompt? In fedora "switchdesk" would allow me switch from the command prompt. Is there a similar command in debian?

I am sure i will have more questions later. Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
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debian newbie questions

Postby lestoil » 2006-01-26 23:51

1)debian by default allows user to login to desktop but you can edit gdm setup or kdm setup to allow root to login. Read man gdm aand man kdm.
2)You have /etc/apt/sources.list file that has dvds as sources then the web would be used if apt can't find pkg on dvds. you can always comment out the dvd entries and only use the web sources. This assumes you have other debian sites in this file.
3)800x600 may be all the driver in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 can handle-e.g vesa,vga. With knowledge of what video card you have you can install correct driver and reconfigure the display settings.
4)When you login to gdm or kdm you can change which desktop you want from menu options for kde,gnome,xfce,etc. and descide which one will be default desktop. So look around gdm or kdm options beside login.
Take a look at www.togaware.com/linux/survivor/ for desktop survival guide and http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/ to orient yourself with debian. Have fun.
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Postby Jeroen » 2006-01-27 01:09

It's really strongly discouraged to login as root by default, that makes it so easy to make a small mistake and screw up your system.

You can use 'su' from a terminal to gain root in that terminal, or from the menu select certain commands that will simply ask for your root password if you want to perform system administration tasks. Quite some programs also simply will refuse to work as root.

If you'd run into some bad program, or simply a bug (rm -rf /$var is easily done with $var being unset by accident... thus removing your whole harddisk if you happen to be root), you lose.
Debian Developer, Site Admin
Debian Developer, Site Admin
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Postby cyan » 2006-01-27 04:33

I agree with other, it's a bad idea to run as root all the time. You rarely need root privileges for normal usage.

2. Agree with Lestoil, you should have debian repository URL and add that to your /etc/apt/sources.list

3. If you have information about your monitor horizontal and vertical frequencies and your video card, then you can reconfigure your Xserver with this code, as root

#dpkg-reconfigre xserver-xfree86

and go through the configuration again, when asked about your monitor setting , choose "advance" and when given option to choose your resolutions preference, choose what you want.

4. During GDM login screen, you will see "session" option, click on it and choose the Desktop Environment of your choice, you can make it a default or just for one session.

enjoy Debian !
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Joined: 2005-10-30 06:28

very good website references

Postby sachi » 2006-01-29 12:59

nice reference websites for debian tutorials thanks for this

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