14 Apr 2005 beto   » (Journeyer)

Installing Debian Sarge

I've always been atracted by the Debian Project, because besides being an excellent operating system, there is an admirable philosophy of support to the Free Software Movement. Debian is not a distribution, it is a way of life.

I started using Debian on December 2002, when I got the eight discs of version 3.0 (Woody). I switched to Slackware on May 2003, because the Woody packages were a little bit obsolete then and I couldn't upgrade to Sarge due to the pretty bad Internet phone connection I had. I remember myself trying to upgrade tho whole system; I thought it would take around fifteen hours to download all the needed packages, so I left my computer turned on the whole night. When I woke up next morning, only about 5% of the packages had been downloaded, and the conexion had ended many hours before. So I used Slackware versions 9.0 and 10.0 until past February, when I decided to give Ubuntu a try.

Several months ago I got a more or less decent cablemodem connection that lets me download files faster and without the disconnection problem, so I decided to install Debian Sarge.

The first thing I did was making a backup of all my personal data:

$ mkisofs -l -L -r -o backup.iso /home/beto
$ cdrecord -v speed=40 dev=/dev/hdc backup.iso

Then I downloaded d-i:

$ wget http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/sarge_d-i/i386/rc3/sarge-i386-businesscard.iso
$ cdrecord -v speed=40 dev=/dev/hdc sarge-i386-businesscard.iso

The next thing was to put the CD in the drive and reboot the machine. I typed 'expert26' on the prompt to get an expert-mode instalation and a 2.6 kernel. After that, it was pretty simple: it asked me for the language to use, the time zone, the keyboard layout, whether I wanted extra components, whether I wanted to specify special parameters for the modules being loaded, the host name, whether I wanted the installer to auto-configure DHCP, the country of the mirror to use, the mirror itself (I used 'ftp.lcs.mit.edu' because, amazingly, 'ftp.us.debian.org' didn't work!), the hard drive partitioning, the base system installation, the kernel to use ('kernel-image-2.6.8-2-686'), the GRUB installation, reboot, to create a normal user account, APT configuration, to install extra packages (I picked up "Manual package selection"), the end.

At this point, I had a working but minimal system, so I installed some more packages:

# apt-get install emacs21
# apt-get install x-window-system
# apt-get install gnome
# apt-get install gdm

Then, everything was OK: Emacs, GNOME 2.8, Evolution, Epiphany. But a little problem came up: when I halted the computer, the "Power down" was shown, but the computer didn't turned off! I searched a little on the Debian mailing lists and found the answer:

  1. Install 'apmd' (<kbd>apt-get install apmd</kbd>).
  2. Edit '/etc/modules' and add 'apm' on a line itself, to get such module loaded at boot time.

Voilá! At the end, only one thing remained to do; to clean the cache:

# apt-get clean

And that was all. I'm actually writing this from my brand-new Debian Sarge installation. :-)

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