Joined: Sep. 2004
||Posted: June 18 2005,13:38
This thread's probably dead, nevertheless...
I just installed my first Debian (new stable release) from the net-install cd over a slow connection. (EDIT: Apparently this is a brand new installation method for Debian). The net-install cd is ~ 108MB download, and it apt-gets another ~40MB I think for the base system (or did for mine). I chose the "desktop" system. So far so good -- a really easy install process, I was particularly impressed by how it installs and sets up Grub for dual boot all by itself.
BUT "base system" is just that - actually no more than basic. After boot up you have the commandline blinking at you. There's no x-windows, no xserver-xfree86, and NO windows manager - not even fluxbox or similar - and no dillo or mozilla. And no instructions about setting any of that up. You have to apt-get all that and then configure xfree86 - hardly newbie-friendly.
When xfree86 refused to recognise my weird keyboard (everything else, including the ATI Rage video card, was ok) no matter what settings I put in, I booted Knoppix and overwrote the Debian xfree86 conf file with the one that Knoppix had autogenerated, and bingo! - all was fixed and Fluxbox, Firefox etc were up and running.
Now I'm downloading 2 or 3 of the full installation cds on a broadband connection so as to avoid any more painfully slow apt-getting at 5kb/s.
While I'm enjoying my new Debian system it would have to be asked - just WHAT the hell are the Debian developers thinking? To any newbie, a "desktop" install comes with a "desktop" ie a windows manager and at least a basic web browser. Most won't know what xfree86 is, let alone be able to configure it, GUI or no.
Given dsl can pack all it does into 50MB, you really have to wonder why the deb folks don't pinch the knoppix autoconfigure scripts for xfree86 and at least put dillo, emelfm and scite into their "desktop system" net install... I mean, you have to wonder what exactly takes up 109MB in the net-install cd ...
Nonetheless Debian's really great, and dsl wouldn't be here without it.
EDIT: For those interested, there's a good review of this new installation process for the new Debian 3.1 here. According to this, x-server IS supposed to be downloaded and some video cards "unreliably" autodetected - that download didn't happen with mine, maybe I selected a wrong option somewhere.
"We don't need no stinkin' Windows"