Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

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Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:16 pm

While all of the following applies to Debian some things may not apply to LMDE.

Everyone should read the Debian Installation Guide, or if you already have either Debian or LMDE installed, the Debian Reference.
There is also a manual for Mint, although a lot of the information applies to Ubuntu and not to Debian.
The Mint manual can be found at http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/20

Please read "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" - http://catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html before posting any questions.The more you know the better you can explain your problem(s), which in turn makes it easier for everyone to help you.

The Debian Installation Guide for Lenny (5.0.5) can be found at http://www.debian.org/releases/lenny/installmanual
Can also be installed, the package name uses the architecture, i.e. installation-guide-i386, installation-guide-amd64 , etc
Code: Select all
aptitude install installation-guide-i386


You'll get more out of Debian and *nix if you learn some of the fundamentals.
Read the "Unix and Internet Fundamentals" HOWTO at http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Unix-and-Internet-Fundamentals-HOWTO/
Then, read the Debian Reference at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/ Or install it.
Code: Select all
aptitude install debian-reference-en


Newbiedoc is Debian documentation FOR newbies BY newbies (and not-so-newbies). Can be found online at http://newbiedoc.berlios.de/ -- newbies check it out! Veterans too, so you can contribute!
Code: Select all
aptitude install newbiedoc


The Debian Wiki covers many questions. It can be found at http://wiki.debian.org/

The Debian reference card is a cheat sheet of Debian commands - quite useful for someone new to Debian - can be found at
http://www.debian.org/doc/user-manuals#refcard and packaged for Debian as debian-refcard.
Code: Select all
aptitude install debian-refcard


Frequently Asked Questions. The #debian FAQ is at http://wiki.debian.org/DebianIRC .
The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ is at http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ . Can also be install.
Code: Select all
aptitude install debian-faq


Basics of the Debian package management system
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/ch-pkg_basics.en.html

The Debian package management tools
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/ch-pkgtools.en.html

Debian package management shows aptitude/apt-get commands and differences
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/ch02.en.html#_basic_package_management_operations

Debian survival commands
http://qref.sourceforge.net/Debian/reference/ch-package.en.html#s-survival

Aptitude is the recommended package management tool in Debian.
Documentation for aptitude can be found in the aptitude-doc package (to see the languages in which it is available, apt-cache showpkg aptitude-doc) or at http://people.debian.org/~dburrows/aptitude-doc/en/index.html
Code: Select all
aptitude install aptitude-doc-en

The Aptitude On-Line Help is in /usr/share/aptitude/help.txt

The APT, Dpkg Quick Reference sheet has a list of APT and dpkg commands. It can be installed, also online at http://www.cyberciti.biz/ref/apt-dpkg-ref.html
Code: Select all
aptitude install apt-dpkg-ref



See Aptitude - Debian Wiki http://wiki.debian.org/Aptitude for a comparison between aptitude and apt-get commands. As well as http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/ch02.en.html#_basic_package_management_operations

Synaptic - Graphical package manager - http://wiki.debian.org/Synaptic
Code: Select all
aptitude install synaptic


gdebi is tool to install manually downloaded .deb packages. It is useful as it automatically resolves dependencies for you.
https://launchpad.net/gdebi
Code: Select all
aptitude install gdebi

If you are running KDE
Code: Select all
aptitude install gdebi-kde

for the command-line utility
Code: Select all
aptitude install gdebi-core


More general Linux information:
The Linux Documentation Project: Guides http://www.tldp.org/guides.html

The Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition. A fantastic book that is available at http://rute.2038bug.com/, or install the rutebook package from <non-free>. It covers Linux in a very non-distribution specific method.
The start of the book is "Binary and Octal" and ends with "Security Auditing".
Code: Select all
aptitude install rutebook


General Command Line info:
http://linuxcommand.org
http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/html_node/
http://tldp.org/LDP/GNU-Linux-Tools-Summary/html/index.html
Debian packages that will help you learn how to use bash:
bash-doc - Documentation and examples for the The GNU Bourne Again SHell
abs-guide - The Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide

Linux lessons:
(1) Don't change the permissions
(2) back up your data
(3) KISS - keep it simple, stupid
(4) read the fscking manual
(5) don't fsck with package management
(6) don't type anything you don't understand
(7) always have a boot floppy or CD
(8) read your log files
(9) the FIRST error is the one that counts
(10) don't leave your root shell until you TEST your changes
(11) don't be root when you don't have to be

last but not least this comes up often " How do I install packages on a system that isn't connected to the internet?".

There are a few ways to install packages on a computer that isn't connected to the internet.

Keryx Project « Updates for offline Linux users
Keryx is a portable, cross-platform package manager for APT-based (Ubuntu, Debian) systems. It provides a graphical interface for gathering updates, packages, and dependencies for offline computers. Keryx is free and open source.


apt-zip
Description: Update a non-networked computer using apt and removable media
These scripts simplify the process of using dselect and apt on a
non-networked Debian box, using removable media like ZIP floppies and
USB keys.
One generates a `fetch' script (supporting backends such as wget and
lftp, in a modular, extensible way) to be run on a host with better
connectivity, check space constraints of your removable media, and
then install the package on your Debian box.
Homepage: http://alioth.debian.org/projects/apt-zip

APT HOWTO Basic Configuration
Adding a CD-ROM to the sources.list file

If you'd rather use your CD-ROM for installing packages or updating your system automatically with APT, you can put it in your sources.list. To do so, you can use the apt-cdrom program like this:

# apt-cdrom add

with the Debian CD-ROM in the drive. It will mount the CD-ROM, and if it's a valid Debian CD it will look for package information on the disk. If your CD-ROM configuration is a little unusual, you can also use the following options:

-h - program help
-d directory - CD-ROM mount point
-r - Rename a recognized CD-ROM
-m - No mounting
-f - Fast mode, don't check package files
-a - Thorough scan mode

For example:

# apt-cdrom -d /home/kov/mycdrom add

You can also identify a CD-ROM, without adding it to your list:

# apt-cdrom ident


apt-cdrom(8): APT CDROM management utility - Linux man page - http://linux.die.net/man/8/apt-cdrom
Last edited by craigevil on Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby richyrich on Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:23 pm

Hope they make this a sticky ! Thx !

While many are waiting for the Hardware Drivers GUI app (jockey) to get ported to LMDE, this is a great resource for the interim :

http://smxi.org/site/about.htm
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby thx1138 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:20 am

Thank you.
Nice introduction for strangers in a strange land.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby tdockery97 on Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:40 am

Thanks Craig, I bookmarked it.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:47 am

richyrich wrote:Hope they make this a sticky ! Thx !

While many are waiting for the Hardware Drivers GUI app (jockey) to get ported to LMDE, this is a great resource for the interim :

http://smxi.org/site/about.htm



Yes smxi/sgfxi/inxi all rock,

guidance-power-manager is a nifty app as well.
http://www.simonzone.com/software/guidance/#screenshots

Too bad it pulls in a ton of kde packages,

One of these days some super genius like Wiley Coyote will copy PCLinuxOS control center to Debian.
Last edited by craigevil on Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby rufong on Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:15 pm

bump for sticky!
thx craigevil for leading me to smxi, your sig.

reading the history of smxi, learnt for the first time
dist-upgrade should not be run while X is running! good info, hehe
seems others are learning of it as well..

tdockery97: O.K., I installed smxi, but to run it, it makes me drop out of X, and when I do that I lose wireless.
So what good is smxi if you can't use it? Can wireless be started from command line without X being open?
craigevil: Get rid of the GUI network manager that you are using.
http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi/HowToUse#wpasupplicant or use ceni.
vincent: i recommend wicd


[love wicd]
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:57 am

Always check the Debian BTS when you find a app not working the way it should.

Also make sure you have reportbug or reportbug-ng so you can report any bugs with packages. Bugs only get fixed if the Debian Devs know about them.

"Debian has a bug tracking system (BTS) in which we file details of bugs reported by users and developers. Each bug is given a number, and is kept on file until it is marked as having been dealt with."

Debian -- Debian BTS - reporting bugs
How to report a bug in Debian using reportbug

We strongly recommend that you report bugs in Debian using the reportbug program. To install and start it, simply run:

aptitude install reportbug; reportbug

It will guide you through the bug reporting process step by step.


Check out http://www.debian.org/support for more in-depth support, including forums, mailing-lists, documentation, Usenet groups, IRC.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:43 pm

For those not familiar with smxi:
About Scripts :: Brief Introduction to smxi, sgfxi, svmi, inxi, and rbxi
What is smxi?

smxi is an interactive script designed to help people maintain their systems. It supports Debian (Stable, Testing, and Sid) and true Debian based distros (such as, but not limited to, AntiX, Aptosid, Epidemic, Linux Mint Debian [LMDE], Mepis). It does not support Ubuntu based distros because there are too many differences between Debian and Ubuntu.
Smxi manual

There is an online smxi manual that might answer any further questions you have.
Smxi script features

Smxi is a feature rich, powerful script, and has the following primary features and options:

* System Upgrades (dist-upgrade / upgrade)
* Kernel upgrades / kernel module upgrades
* Automatated video card driver installation (plus any needed patches), especially non-free drivers like nVidia and AMD/ATI fglrx
* Installing extra software (including building a desktop/server from scratch, starting with just the base Debian system)
* Removing certain software
* Cleaning up your system (cleaning up apt archives, removing kernels/ kernel modules, cleaning system cruft, etc)
* Tweaking your system, mozilla configurations, installing some small graphics tweaks, etc.

smxi also launches, with the proper start information, 2 stand-alone script modules, sgfxi (the Video Driver Installer script), and svmi (the Virtual Machine Installer script), if you select the options to do that. Both of these scripts can also be run alone.

For a more expansive list of what it does, including the order the features appear in smxi, and a full listing of the script navigation, see the smxi navigation page. For a shorter version of its features, and the basic story behind smxi, see the smxi story page.

Always check out the script help menu option -h (eg: sxmi -h) to see what options are available, with further explanations.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby vicshrike on Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:28 am

very valuable info, a must read for newbies, thanks craigevil, stickyit so it don`t get buried deep in the forum vaults
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby jeffreyC on Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:34 pm

This is such a wealth of information for using Debian it needs to be a sticky.
Or just post on it to keep it near the top.
Get Dropbox and an extra 250 mb http://db.tt/wAizqw0
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby asymmetros on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:27 pm

There is also a manual for Mint, although a lot of the information applies to Ubuntu and not to Debian.


That is the case. We have to learn from Debian, not from Ubuntu. Thanks craigevil . All this staff in a link :D
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby anzan on Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:20 pm

Thanks very much, craigevil.
Thanks to all developers.
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby Gramps50 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:02 pm

Great information, thnx craigevil for starting this and others for adding to it.

I also vote for making this a sticky, way to much good information for it to get lost.
LMDE ROCKS!!!
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:28 pm

Updated the original post at Linuxquestions.org in order to update it for Squeeze.
Grokking Debian GNU/Linux - LinuxQuestions.org : http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... inux-3073/
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Re: Grokking Debian GNU/Linux

Postby craigevil on Sat May 28, 2011 6:51 pm

Other useful links:
# Apt-Pinning for Beginners - http://jaqque.sbih.org/kplug/apt-pinning.html
# Search Debian -- Packages - http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages
# apt-get.org: Unofficial APT repositories - http://www.apt-get.org/
# My Giant Debian sources.list : http://sites.google.com/site/mydebiansourceslist/Home
# Debian-Database.ORG - Unofficial Debian Repositories Collected - http://www.debian-database.org/?s=repos
# Debian Sources List Generator - http://debgen.simplylinux.ch/
# smxi - unofficial Debian maintenance script http://smxi.org/site/install.htm
# Exoodles multimedia installer script http://tinyurl.com/2vjj3lp
Newer versions of Iceweasel Debian Mozilla team APT archive - http://mozilla.debian.net/
Java - Debian Wiki - http://wiki.debian.org/Java
FlashPlayer - Debian Wiki - http://wiki.debian.org/FlashPlayer
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