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Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 12:42
by Phiver
Hello Debian community. Not sure if I am posting in the right subforum, but here goes.

I've recently decided to dual boot my system with Windows and Linux. A few years back, I experimented with Linux Mint, and really liked it, but encountered an unrelated problem on my pc, so had to remove it.

In the interim, I learned a few things about Ubuntu and it's derivatives that I am not crazy about, so opted to go with something else. I settled on Debian. I like it's philosophy and stability.

Got it installed with ease, but once I fired it up, I discovered it is beyond my skill level at this point, and I am going to have to go with something else at this time.

To summarize, I have not been able to get it to access my wifi. I can only connect to the internet wired. I have looked at and tried to follow a lot of the guides on the wiki here, and elsewhere on the internet, but have had no luck getting it to work. I find that the guides I have found seem to assume that a reader already has some basic Linux and terminal knowledge. Everything I have tried to do in the terminal it just says there is an error or some sort, or an unknown command.

At any rate, what I am looking for in this thread is some suggestions for a more user friendly beginner distro, that is not Ubuntu based. I'm considering Fedora or debians version on mint.

If it helps, what I liked about mint, was that it pretty much setup and installed all my hardware for me. I was able to go wireless right away with it. I liked the package manager, it was easy to navigate. Just about everything I did on the terminal was easy to understand and worked well.

Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:08
by eor2004
Hi, I think you have to learn how to edit your "/ect/apt/sources.list", because you have to add the "contrib" and "non-free" repositories, so you are able to get the drivers you need for your Wi-Fi card, that's the first thing you should do, second thing you should do is learn how to get info on your hardware, like using a command in the terminal like "inxi -Fxxx" or using a program like "hard info", hope this helps you get on your way.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:16
by GarryRicketson
what I am looking for in this thread is some suggestions for a more user friendly beginner distro, that is not Ubuntu based.

https://mxlinux.org/

Side note:
I experimented with Linux Mint,-----snip-----

I would not recommend that to my worst enemy, but any way some search foo, will show some sites, like distro watch, where you can get info on all sorts of Linux distributions, however , probably better asking here.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:27
by Phiver
eor2004 wrote:Hi, I think you have to learn how to edit your "/ect/apt/sources.list", because you have to add the "contrib" and "non-free" repositories, so you are able to get the drivers you need for your Wi-Fi card, that's the first thing you should do, second thing you should do is learn how to get info on your hardware, like using a command in the terminal like "inxi -Fxxx" or using a program like "hard info", hope this helps you get on your way.


Yeah I tried editing that according to a guide, but again, i felt like it assumed I already had some basic knowledge that I don't have. I found this list, but when I clicked on it, it said I didn't have the software to edit it. Kind of like in windows when you try to open a file that it doesn't recognize, and it asks what program you would like to use to open it. When I clicked this file in Debian, it asked me that, but the list of available programs was empty. So yeah, even making this adjustment to /ect/apt/sources.list felt beyond my skill level. I would need a very very laymans baby step by baby step guide on this I assume.

GarryRicketson wrote:
what I am looking for in this thread is some suggestions for a more user friendly beginner distro, that is not Ubuntu based.

https://mxlinux.org/

Side note:
I experimented with Linux Mint,-----snip-----

I would not recommend that to my worst enemy, but any way some search foo, will show some sites, like distro watch, where you can get info on all sorts of Linux distributions, however , probably better asking here.


Would not wish what on your worst enemy? Linux mint?

Yeah I check out distro watch, but it's meh... I don't feel like it really gives me a good idea of what will work for me and my purposes.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:34
by piperdan
I'd recommend you don't give up on Debian just yet..........You are so close, and as a fellow Newbie, Debian has been great for me!

A couple of options that has worked for me in getting the wireless to work right from installation:

Option 1 (a few more steps for the proprietary wireless driver which I used when I installed Stretch).
- Download a copy of the proprietary wireless driver that you have, hopefully one of those listed here: https://packages.debian.org/stretch/firmware-iwlwifiand store a download of the firmware-iwlwifi file on an SD card, and insert it into the SD slot of your computer.
- Reinstall your official debian iso. It should recognize and pull the firmware wireless driver it needs from the SD card during installation.
- Put the password for your network at the appropriate time, and you should be good to go.

Option 2 (easy - peasy, which I used when I installed Buster)
- Just download and install an unofficial non-free iso image from https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/.

Hope this helps 8)

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:39
by piperdan
GarryRicketson wrote:
what I am looking for in this thread is some suggestions for a more user friendly beginner distro, that is not Ubuntu based.

https://mxlinux.org/


I second MX Linux, unless you prefer a different DE than XFCE.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:54
by Phiver
piperdan wrote:
Option 1 (a few more steps for the proprietary wireless driver which I used when I installed Stretch).
- Download a copy of the proprietary wireless driver that you have, hopefully one of those listed here: https://packages.debian.org/stretch/firmware-iwlwifiand store a download of the firmware-iwlwifi file on an SD card, and insert it into the SD slot of your computer.
- Reinstall your official debian iso. It should recognize and pull the firmware wireless driver it needs from the SD card during installation.
- Put the password for your network at the appropriate time, and you should be good to go.


I actually tried that, but it didn't recognize it. It kept getting stuck on the "detect network hardware" install page. It asked if I wanted to load it from removable media, to which i said yes, but then it just looped back to the same page.

Do I need to unzip/decompress it first?
Does it need to be on a separate USB from the boot USB?

piperdan wrote:Option 2 (easy - peasy, which I used when I installed Buster)
- Just download and install an unofficial non-free iso image from https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/.

Hope this helps 8)


So instead of option 1, I could JUST do this second one?

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 13:57
by Phiver
piperdan wrote:
GarryRicketson wrote:
what I am looking for in this thread is some suggestions for a more user friendly beginner distro, that is not Ubuntu based.

https://mxlinux.org/


I second MX Linux, unless you prefer a different DE than XFCE.


Im checking it out, it does look kinda nice, not a huge fan of XFCE though...
How customizable, or rather, how easy is it to customize it? I like a windows feel.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:02
by piperdan
XFCE is extremely customizable.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:04
by piperdan
Phiver wrote:
piperdan wrote:
Option 1 (a few more steps for the proprietary wireless driver which I used when I installed Stretch).
- Download a copy of the proprietary wireless driver that you have, hopefully one of those listed here: https://packages.debian.org/stretch/firmware-iwlwifiand store a download of the firmware-iwlwifi file on an SD card, and insert it into the SD slot of your computer.
- Reinstall your official debian iso. It should recognize and pull the firmware wireless driver it needs from the SD card during installation.
- Put the password for your network at the appropriate time, and you should be good to go.


I actually tried that, but it didn't recognize it. It kept getting stuck on the "detect network hardware" install page. It asked if I wanted to load it from removable media, to which i said yes, but then it just looped back to the same page.

Do I need to unzip/decompress it first?
Does it need to be on a separate USB from the boot USB?

piperdan wrote:Option 2 (easy - peasy, which I used when I installed Buster)
- Just download and install an unofficial non-free iso image from https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/.

Hope this helps 8)


So instead of option 1, I could JUST do this second one?


Yes...
Yes...,
and Yup

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:41
by GarryRicketson
I second MX Linux, unless you prefer a different DE than XFCE.

You can install another DE or WM , if you want,...

I like a windows feel.
:( :evil:
Then why are you using Linux ?

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:43
by Phiver
Thanks for all the help so far. This has definitely been a friendlier and more helpful forum than others I have been to.

I think I will give it one more try when I get home tonight.

One more question though:

I watched 2 different guides on how to properly do the install. They were pretty much exactly the same with the exception that one of them suggested creating a root password, and one suggested not to. Neither of them really explained why they suggested it. What would you suggest? And why would or wouldn't you want to do this?

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:52
by Phiver
GarryRicketson wrote:
I second MX Linux, unless you prefer a different DE than XFCE.

You can install another DE or WM , if you want,...

I like a windows feel.
:( :evil:
Then why are you using Linux ?


Well I may have miss spoke... 'eh typed...

Im familiar with windows, cause its what I've always used. I cant stand MacOS!!!

And a lot of the other environments are difficult for me to navigate, just because of familiarity or lack thereof. So I prefer an environment that is similar to windows.
I like Cinnamon, and KDE. And actually, I was confusing XFCE for GNOME for some reason. I do like XFCE. Cant stand GNOME.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 14:57
by GarryRicketson
===edited===
Im familiar with windows, cause its what I've always used

I only tried it once, way back in 1988 or so, it was lousy, and never tried it again. But any way, if you are interested in Linux or a Unix like system, then :


I will suggest 2 things here, instead of:
I watched 2 different guides---

Try reading the install documentation, for what ever distro you decide on. Watching some random video, is really not the best way to learn anything.
I all ways set a root password, that was/is standard, on Unix, and unix like systems, and then it goes back to "watching videos", before they had all that, we read the documentation, and manuals, the documentation does explain more , and in great detail.
If you read some documentation, it might help you decide , in a nut shell, if you do not set a root password, later if there is problems with the "sudo" option, you can use "su" to become root, and possibly fix the situation, if you don't set a root password, and later there is problems with "sudo", it is somewhat more complicated get root access, all though still possible. Me, I do not even install and use "sudo", others do. I don't really care what others do though, I do things the way I like to, based on my experience.

Re: Suggestion for better beginner

PostPosted: 2019-07-18 15:22
by piperdan
What I do......during installation I just leave the root password blank and continue to put in a password for the user (I'm the only one). That allows me to have superuser access whenever I want through sudo. This is similar to what I've experienced with Linux Mint or other *buntu's, ......or MX Linux.

Not saying its the best practice, but it works for me.

see: https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch06s03.en.html#di-user-setup