Tips from our Members

Share your own howto's etc. Not for support questions!

Re: Tips from our Members

Postby mdevour » 2009-11-28 19:27

Paulfocused wrote:I just wanted to clarify that M$/Mac shouldn't be used to compared with GNU/Linux. Simply because new users may misunderstand and expect an M$/Mac free-clone. Many of them miss the point of that famous "Linux is not Windows" article.

Indeed, you're right. Any "comparison" of Linux with Windows/Mac should emphasize that understanding.

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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby hazel » 2009-11-29 16:30

kman wrote:I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to linux but when i try to convince people to try a linux distro , i tell them that if they like mac then they would be more comfortable with gnome and if you are a windows familiar person you would be more comfortable with kde3 (xp like) and kde4 ( vista or windows 7 like).


I would rather tell beginners that, since the graphical side of Linux is an add-on to the basic system, they can choose what kind of desktop they want. The fundamental choice is between desktop environments (big, tightly integrated, resource-hungry, and coming with a full suite of applications with a common look and feel) or window managers (lean, mean, fast, but requiring you (or more positively encouraging you) to assemble your own personal collection of favourite apps). I think that corresponds to a basic temperamental difference in users.

If they decide to go the DE route, then there are big DEs (gnome, KDE), medium-size (xfce) and small ones (lxde). But even the smallest requires more resources than a simple window manager on its own. Only those who definitely want a big modern desktop environment with plenty of eye-candy need to choose between gnome and KDE.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby lurch » 2009-12-01 13:40

Hi
I was having great problems with Compiz and Squeeze.
I found the post craigevil and his Compiz wiki link cured my problem.
thank you craigevil
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby vrkalak » 2009-12-02 03:29

Tip:
1. Just because a distro is Debian-based, does not it compatible with Debian.
2. Don't try to load every repository you find into Debian (testing)

Makes your comp 'explode' :mrgreen:
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby refracta » 2009-12-02 17:53

I guess this is a tip

http://screenshots.debian.net/ - see what a program looks like before you install

Might be a good idea for these tips to be quoted in the first post so they can be easily found without having to go through the whole thread.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-10 02:16

First you walk, then you run.

Just do a simple, straightforward STABLE install, and you should be well on the way.

Please don't start issuing global root commands, or installing from unstable/experimental repositories w/o at least some basic understanding of how the thing works, and expect forum members to pull your butt out of the fire you lit! :twisted:

If you feel a bit adventurous, and have a basic understanding of Debian fundamentals, such as apt, and wish to install TESTING, be fully aware of why it is called 'testing'.

Post-installation, if you need/want to try something different, such as installing an out of repository package, make a post detailing your plan before executing it. Chances are someone here has experience or tips to help you avoid some pitfalls.

Debian documentation:
You can install from the repositories, or download PDF versions here


At the very least, please educate yourself about apt You'll be glad you did.



Oh, and RTFM :wink:
Last edited by bluesdog on 2009-12-31 20:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby Polaris96 » 2009-12-17 22:07

Couple of basics:

1. If you have a kind friend who's running debian, buy her a bottle of Grouse and let her do your initial setup.
A. WATCH the process and take a few notes if you're that kind of person.

2. You should spend your spare time poking around /etc
A. you also need to poke around in /dev, /proc and /home. The other stuff will come later

3. You should be using the 'man' command to the degree that your 'm' character wears out.

4. LEARN TO USE NANO

5. Aptitude, not synaptic
A. /etc/apt/sources.list

6. detachable HDDs are cheap. buy one and back your system. Use rsync (I spent 15 years using dd and made an ass of myself claiming it was better before I learned). remember: 'man rsync'

6. Crawl before you awk - don't try too many gizmos at once. You're best off dual booting and gradually fleshing out your Debian system than you are select $ALL from aptitude, trying to make it all work, failing, and becoming frustrated because you wanted to build Rome in a nanosecond.

7. Fly before you crawl: DO pick some kind of whacky gizmo that's really cool to play with. This shouldn't be something you REQUIRE, it should be silly stuff (I see no reason for the existence of compiz, but that's the kind of thing I'm talking about, here). Breaking things teaches best. It's better to break toys than tools.

8. You will be frustrated trying to find your disk drives. /etc/fstab, /etc/mtab and /proc/partitions will help you (eventually).

9. http://www.debian-multimedia.org. you want ffmpeg and libdvdcss2. The directions are easy.

10. Nvidia tries very hard to be linux friendly. bear it in mind when you buy hardware

11. Lenny. Do I stutter? L E N N Y. ok?

12. Buy a marble notebook - the kind with sewn in pages and a box of #2 pencils with the erasers broken off. Keep these items adjacent to your pc. When you break it, IMMEDIATELY write down everythign you can remember about what you did and what happened. After you fix it, write down how you fixed it. Within 6 months this book will become a treasured possession.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby sir fer » 2009-12-22 03:02

Don't take the whole exercise too seriously, but on the other hand don't do serious work with Debian until you have it sussed out.

Use a separate partition for the OS. Have another manually mounted partition and do regular backups of any custom configuration files and other precious data to it should things go south.

Try out tons of apps and catalogue your preferences.

Read this forum a lot.

Take risks.

Run sid at some stage.

That's all for now.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby emiliec15 » 2009-12-22 04:25

If you HAVE to have Ndiswrapper installed from the get-go with debian here is a simple how-to... However be warned that this is only for those that ACTUALLY NEED ndiswrapper (not for those that just think it's easier)

Create a seberate partition and download the first 10 cds.(for those that speak english, at minimum, I don't know what cd's you'll need for whatever language you speak. I'm American and can muddle my way through a few languages, but that doesn't mean I dare to install with it)

Ok... once those are downloaded burn the FIRST one, (I said the first one not any others).
Okay, now partition and install Debian with the base system... (you can install whatever else you want but I would suggest ONLY the base system OR Gnome from the first cd) AND make sure that you added MANUALLY a new mountpoint I'll call it /storage

Once the base system is installed. It is time to install ndiswrapper.
Step 1-10.
1. mount /storage/(whatever your second cd's iso is called including the extension .iso) /media/cdrom0 -oloop
2. apt-cdrom -m -d=/media/cdrom add
3. umount /media/cdrom
4. aptitude update
5. Repeat Steps 1-4 for discs 3-10
6. aptitude install module-assistant wireless-tools
7. m-a prepare
8. m-a a-i ndiswrapper
9. mount each and every iso (cd) that it asks for (when it asks for it, as you did in step 1. (to do this you will need to switch back and forth from a different terminal by using the combination of alt+F2 for the second terminal and alt+F1 for the first) (you may want to look here http://wiki.debian.org/NdisWrapper
10. Now install your drivers for ndiswrapper (whether it is on a cd or in the same partition as the isos.
11. After it is installed You will need to run the following commands.... to get aptitude able to go online
12. ifconfig
ifconfig wlan0 down
dhclient -r wlan0
iwconfig wlan0 essid "Internet"
iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed
ifconfig wlan0 up
************(Use the following command until connected)***********
dhclient wlan0
iwconfig
13. Now edit your fstab located at /etc/fstab and add the online repos, (whichever you want to use, I suggest lenny to begin with)
14. run aptitude update
15. aptitude safe-upgrade
16. Install whatever you want.

NOTE: As of this moment I do not know how to get step 12 to be ran each time you boot your computer and login, so you will have to run step 12 EVERY time you boot it up unless you don't want internet access.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby bluesdog » 2009-12-22 05:28

Hi emiliec15
Nice tip, however I think there's an ndiswrapper how-to around here somewhere....
:lol:

Network manager or wicd can be setup to automagically invoke wireless at boot time.

Code: Select all
man network-manager

or
Code: Select all
man wicd
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby Ook » 2009-12-29 08:41

Chapters 1 & 2 of the Debian Reference are first and second for a reason. Maintaining a Debian system without some level of comfort at the command prompt is asking for problems on top of problems.

1. If nothing else, gain some facility with chapters 1 & 2.

http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debia ... 01.en.html
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debia ... 02.en.html

Be sure to know the location /usr/share/doc and how to install document packages to it, such as Debian Reference & Debian FAQ; bookmark it in your browser or make the directory your home page.

Keep reference material at your fingertips. How-to's on the net can be good but more often equate to Don't-do's. Even a good forum (present company included of course) has a 'signal to noise' ratio.

The most common beginners' questions seem to be answered in the Debian Reference or closely related to it.

2. The Reference will not only answer questions, it will provide a basis for getting good information.

Good questions get good responses.

The second most common beginners' problem seems to be engaging the knowledgeable. Actually some wildly clueless and desperate pleas do attract attention while some deserving queries remain a voice in the dark. Nevertheless, an informed and engaging dialogue reaps higher quality benefits and paves the way to a stronger understanding.

3. Avoid drama. Never panic, even when the situation deserves it.

4. If you had learned Linux first, Windows or Macintosh, not Linux, would seem weird, incomplete and needlessly difficult. And they will. But give it some time. :)

5. Maintain good backups as you should on any system.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby milomak » 2009-12-29 10:53

Google can be your friend. It is highly unlikely that you are the first to experience the problem that currently has you shuddering in a corner.

eg - How do I access my ntfs drives?

It also helps to show that you have tried to put some effort into finding a solution to your problem. You'll find that generally goes a long way towards people helping you.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby dbbolton » 2010-01-17 04:25

penpen wrote:debian != ubuntu


I think you should express it verbally. Some symbolically uninitiated party is bound to think you are just really excited about Debian and do in fact find it equal to Ubuntu.
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby mechanic » 2010-02-28 10:59

dbbolton wrote:
penpen wrote:debian != ubuntu


I think you should express it verbally. Some symbolically uninitiated party is bound to think you are just really excited about Debian and do in fact find it equal to Ubuntu.


Debian not the same as Ubuntu? Shock! It's not the same as Mandriva either, so what?
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Re: Tips from our Members

Postby dbbolton » 2010-02-28 11:16

mechanic wrote:
dbbolton wrote:
penpen wrote:debian != ubuntu


I think you should express it verbally. Some symbolically uninitiated party is bound to think you are just really excited about Debian and do in fact find it equal to Ubuntu.


Debian not the same as Ubuntu? Shock! It's not the same as Mandriva either, so what?


You might be shocked once you've stuck around a bit longer.
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