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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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Inci Install Log


The beta release of the Debian Installer, identified as Sarge i386 Netinst and dated 26 Feb 2004, was downloaded as an ISO image from wget http://gluck.debian.org/cdimage/testing/daily/i386/current/sarge-i386-netinst.iso. This failed to install GRUB - it simply froze. Reverting to the beta2 release from wget http://gluck.debian.org/cdimage/testing/netinst/i386/beta2/sarge-i386-netinst.isosucceeded.

Boot from the CD-ROM. For the Debian install choose English (Australian). There is no DHCP on the local network so a static network was configured.

Configure the time zone as Australia/ACT. Add Root and User accounts. For apt choose CDROM. Don't do any task selection for now. No specific exim4 options need be selected - set up as a local system.

Note that to reconfigure, run the base-config program.

Install ssh and then copy a master sources.list file, follwoed by apt-get update and then apt-get install wajig to get things going:

  # mv /etc/apt-get/sources.list /etc/apt-get/sources.list.orig
  # scp athens:/etc/apt-get/sources.list /etc/apt-get/sources.list
  $ apt-get update
  $ apt-get install wajig
  $ wajig update
  $ wajig dist-upgrade

Now the setup begins. Install emacs21 less most zile python-glade2 python-gnome2.

The /etc/resolv.conf didn't include my usual search line so it was added:

  search togaware.com

Set up, for the user account, ssh for access to remote accounts if you like, to avoid repeatedly typing a password:

  $ mkdir .ssh
  $ scp athens:.ssh/id_dsa .ssh/
  $ scp athens:.ssh/authorized_keys2 .ssh/authorized_keys
  $ ssh-agent bash
  $ ssh-add
  Enter passphrase for /home/kayon/.ssh/id_dsa: 
  Identity added: /home/kayon/.ssh/id_dsa (/home/kayon/.ssh/id_dsa)

Now copy setup files from remote hosts:

  $ scp athens:{.bashrc,.bash_profile} . 
  $ scp athens:{.emacs,.emacs-custom,.emacs-kayon} . 
  $ scp athens:{.xsession,.Xresources} .

Copy the same files for root.

Use visudo to set up wajig usage for a user. Install grub:

  $ wajig install grub
  $ wajig remove lilo
  $ sudo grub-install /dev/hda
  $ sudo update-grub

Apart from adding a Windows2000 boot option to /boot/grub/menu.lst, the configuration should be fine (finding /dev/hda3 as the Linux boot). For convenience, add the following to /etc/kernel-img.conf:

  postinst_hook = /sbin/update-grub
  postrm_hook = /sbin/update-grub

Install kernel-image-2.4.24-1-686.

Install ntpdate to set the system clock accurately from a reliable server (e.g., ntp.togaware.com).

Get X Windows working with the Rage card by installing x-window-system gnome gdm gdm-themes cinepaint xine-ui.

Install openoffice.org xmms apache

Run tasksel to install groups of packages.

Install vrms.

I've chosen a 1024x768 resolution. This is not so nice since it can handle 1400x1050, but it does make plugging into data projectors easier. However, the screen goes into a funny mode which can be fixed by Fn-F7 (compress/uncompress). The chosen ranges are 30-100 kHz for hsync and 50-160 Hz for vsync. Simply use wajig reconfigure xserver-xfree86 to force choice of 1024x768 when required.

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