New to Debian

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New to Debian

Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-02 17:49

I've been a Linux user for some time now, but I'm still learning. I've tried several Distros in the past year or so, but Fedora and Ubuntu were the two that I stuck with.

Ubuntu is very different than any other distros that I tried. It was very easy to get comfortable using, but I never really "liked" it.

Right now I'm trying out Debian Etch, but I'm having a hard time adapting to the new surroundings. I managed to get my drivers installed, and compiz-fusion working, but there are still a lot of things I was able to do very easily on ubuntu, that I can't seem to get the hang of in Debian.

I'll go ahead and list the issues I'm having:
Pidgin - I was finally able to get it installed with backports, but AIM doesn't work
Firefox - I was able to install it from the site, but is there a repo I can use?
Second Life - Streaming video worked pretty good in Ubuntu, but not in Debian.
G15 - the multimedia buttons on my keyboard don't work on Debian.
Look and Feel - Finally, the way Debian looks with my gtk2.0 theme looks very different from Ubuntu. Some icons are much to large, while others are to small. My menu icon doesn't change. I'm not very fond of the "Debian Menu", or the Menu Editor.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm just complaining, but try to understand I've been trying to get everything perfect for 2 days, when it usually takes me a couple hours in Ubuntu. I really do like Debian, and I don't plan on switching back to Ubuntu. To me, it feels better when you have a system you had to work at to get perfect.

I'll keep looking around, and try to fix the problems myself, however it never hurts to ask people that actually know what they're doing.

One final question, Would it be better if I used Lenny instead of Etch, or should I try the Daily Build?
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Postby Lurker » 2008-04-02 18:49

I'll comment on what I can. There's not much info to work with.

Iceweasel is Firefox. Debian had to change name and logo, otherwise same.

Just began using IM a few weeks ago. Pidgin connects to Aim, Yahoo and Jabber fine.
Only had to enter name and password for Aim. Password wrong??
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Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-02 18:52

Lurker wrote:I'll comment on what I can. There's not much info to work with.

Iceweasel is Firefox. Debian had to change name and logo, otherwise same.

Just began using IM a few weeks ago. Pidgin connects to Aim, Yahoo and Jabber fine.
Only had to enter name and password for Aim. Password wrong??



I know Iceweasel is Firefox, but still rather use Firefox 3.

Password was fine, I keep the same .purple file in every distro.

I just upgraded to Lenny, and Pidgin works fine now. In fact, I think I like Lenny much more than Etch.

I like learning about Linux, and I'm a Home user. Would using the Daily Build be a bad idea? Is it only for people who know what they're doing, or could it be for someone who only reports the bugs?
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Postby industrialpunk » 2008-04-02 18:53

Pidgin - sorry, it works for me with AIM, you can try Kopete
Firefox - is rebranded to iceweasel in debian for DFSG reasons. Its NOT a fork of firefox, just the name and icons are changed.

Lenny is good for desktops and laptops when you can kind of babysit it, meaning that sometimes there are big changes in updates. The stable release only gets security updates -which is great for a fire and forget server. The daily build will probably be very buggy at times. Whereas Lenny is most likely more stable than Ubuntu at any given time.

I don't use Gnome, so I can't help much with the look and feel of it. Have you ever tried KDE?
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Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-02 19:03

industrialpunk wrote:Pidgin - sorry, it works for me with AIM, you can try Kopete
Firefox - is rebranded to iceweasel in debian for DFSG reasons. Its NOT a fork of firefox, just the name and icons are changed.

Lenny is good for desktops and laptops when you can kind of babysit it, meaning that sometimes there are big changes in updates. The stable release only gets security updates -which is great for a fire and forget server. The daily build will probably be very buggy at times. Whereas Lenny is most likely more stable than Ubuntu at any given time.

I don't use Gnome, so I can't help much with the look and feel of it. Have you ever tried KDE?


I've used KDE in the past and enjoyed it, but I'm very fond of Gnome now.

Thanks for reminding me of Kopete, I completely forgot about it. It use to be my favorite messenger, but I had some problems with it and ended up switching to Pidgin.
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Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-02 20:33

I decided to go for it and installed the Daily Build, and it's fantastic!

I have a thing about keeping up with the latest versions, even if they are broken. In fact, I think that's my problem with Pidgin. Older versions seem to work, but 2.4.0 only lets me sign into AIM sometimes. It gives me the error "Lost connection with server. Connection reset by peer" most of the time.


I'll stick with IceWeasel, since I can still use all my plug-ins.

As for the look and feel, everything looks great now.

All that's left is to install my nvidia drivers and find some more repos.

Thanks for the help, and sorry for troubling you guys.
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Postby craigevil » 2008-04-02 21:58

Not sure what repos you may want, but take a look at my signature for a big list of debian repos.
Debian Sid KDE 4.8 Kernel 3.7 Thinkpad R40 Intel M 1.3 CPU 2GB RAM Radeon Mobility 7500
Debian - "If you can't apt-get something, it isn't useful or doesn't exist"
Giant Debian sources.list | Debian upgrade script smxi | sysinfo script inxi
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Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-02 23:00

craigevil wrote:Not sure what repos you may want, but take a look at my signature for a big list of debian repos.


Thanks. So all I have to do to get sid, is replace lenny's repos with the following?

# Unstable Sid
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
# Unstable Sources
deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free


and are there any advantages in using sid over lenny?


Also, in Lenny, gdebi doesn't install .deb files by default. How would I change this?
Last edited by Jinx-Wolf on 2008-04-02 23:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-04-02 23:17

Jinx-Wolf wrote:
craigevil wrote:Not sure what repos you may want, but take a look at my signature for a big list of debian repos.


Thanks. So all I have to do to get sid, is replace lenny's repos with the following?

<snip>

You need to change your repos to point to unstable, and then you need to do this:
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Or if you've been using aptitude
aptitude update
aptitude full-upgrade


and are there any advantages in using sid over lenny?

In my mind, no, but lots of folks here prefer Sid. The software is somewhat newer, but Sid is also more likely to have an upgrade that really fucks your system up. (A Sid slogan you often hear is, "If it breaks, you get to keep both parts.") If you know your way around a Linux system and you don't mind tinkering when things go wrong, then you may love Sid. Personally, I find that Lenny is a good middle ground: newer software than Etch, but not so much excitement.
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Postby Jackiebrown » 2008-04-03 00:23

Also, iceweasel 3.0 beta 4 is in the experimental repos (you can install it without upgrading to sid or experimental.)
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Postby Jinx-Wolf » 2008-04-03 14:21

Jackiebrown wrote:Also, iceweasel 3.0 beta 4 is in the experimental repos (you can install it without upgrading to sid or experimental.)


Thanks a lot!

One last question. Is there a way to get gdebi working in lenny again? or do I have to use the dpkg command till it's fixed?
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Postby rickh » 2008-04-03 19:20

Is there a way to get gdebi working in lenny again?

Consider gdebi, synaptic, and equivalent unnecessary GUI tools to be training wheels from your Ubuntu "child's play" introduction to Linux. When you were a child, childish tools and attitudes were normal. You are now using Debian, a distro for grown-ups. It's time to put away childish things.

Learn Aptitude.
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Laptop: Generic Intel SIS/AC97
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Postby tuxr99 » 2008-04-06 01:30

rickh wrote:
Is there a way to get gdebi working in lenny again?

Consider gdebi, synaptic, and equivalent unnecessary GUI tools to be training wheels from your Ubuntu "child's play" introduction to Linux. When you were a child, childish tools and attitudes were normal. You are now using Debian, a distro for grown-ups. It's time to put away childish things.

Learn Aptitude.


attitudes like yours arent needed. not everyone lives and breathes computers like you. (i do too, but that's beside the point) some people want it to just work. and there's nothing wrong with that. you talk about "childish tools", but you have a childish attitude. take off the tin foil hat , grow up already and get some fresh air for a change. the linux community doesnt need people like you. it needs people who are supportive no matter which distro is being used.
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Postby Vorian Grey » 2008-04-06 02:12

While rickh comes across as a bit harsh he is actually giving some good advice, at least I think so. The tool of choice in Debian is Aptitude and it works brilliantly. CLI is prefered over GUI. As they say, when it Rome.....
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Postby Lavene » 2008-04-06 02:17

Jinx-Wolf wrote:One last question. Is there a way to get gdebi working in lenny again? or do I have to use the dpkg command till it's fixed?

You could try getting it from unstable. Mixing testing and unstable is usually quite painless. Mind you, the reason it's not in Lenny yet is because it still have grave bugs.

Jinx-Wolf wrote:attitudes like yours arent needed

The best thing you can do is ignore Rick. He'll be all over anyone asking questions about the graphical package managers for some reason. You'll get used to it. And there are plenty here that does not subscribe to his view so you'll get the help you need despite Rick firing off a broadside every time ;)
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