Still need help w/ Debian install

Hans Fugal hans at
Thu Dec 15 18:17:40 MST 2005

Well, honestly your best bet is going to be to come to an install fest
where you can get linux installed with a broadband connection available,
and someone can help you get the important things like your modem and
cdrom working. Just as good would be taking your box to a willing guru
somewhere where there's broadband (yes, we're addicted).

Now for some brief thoughts/leads on what you mentioned. 

For modem connectivity, give wvdial a try. It should be on the CDs

If your CDROM doesn't work after installing, that would be a
misconfiguration or kernel issue. If you're sure you have a plain
vanilla ATAPI CDROM, I'd suspect ide-scsi being used where ide-cd was
being used by the installer, or vice versa. If another of the distros
you have there got it right (e.g. Ubuntu) I'd just say go with that one.

On Woody for a browser, did you look for mozilla or mozilla-firefox?

The nano editing troubles sound like they might be permissions.  Are you
editing as root?

I can't speak for the ubuntu installer, but I would bet there's an
advanced mode where you _could_ install it on hdb.

Ubuntu definitely has firefox and thunderbird, which should take care of
email. I would be surprised if it didn't have wvdial as well. It might
be easiest to load up ubuntu, get it online with wvdial, then go from

On Thu, 15 Dec 2005 at 16:04 -0700, david jensen wrote:
> Holiday Greetings to PLUGers everywhere.!
>     RE: my request for help in early NOV:  Thanks to responses from  
> M. Halcrow  and esp. Chris Carey.   Chris noted that:  'The original 
> poster said "no outside thing is connected to the box" which led me 
> to believe he was forced to use the CDs for install'.   ( I would 
> prefer to use my 7 disk ROM set for the install, but had trouble using "dselect".)
>      The thing about nothing being connect to outsided world was correct then,  but no longer.... changes have occurred. 
>      While reading a large number of posts and WEB info on modems, 
> over the weeks since NOV., it finally sank into my [ thick??] head that all "my" modems are of the WIN type. Even my new US Robotics unit I got for $1.00 as a yard sale... complete in the box  well, the box had been smashed, but all with in seemed to be physically OK.
>     While visiting my daughter in Pleasant Grove, I found a store
> "MAS Computers, Inc." in Orem, UT, with older hardware type modems. They have a 90 day warranty on used items. I got 3 identical Hayes "5674US" units @ $15 ea.. Figured it would be good insurance as well as I might want more than one running at a time as I build more Linux boxen.
>      An afternoon of futzing around w/ nano and some install sheets I had from a prior distro, I found that "pon" would actually make a 
> call to my ISP...  and I can hear the two modems trying to establish 
> a connection.  But, after about 10-20 seconds the line is dropped. It seems the EDP box does not know what to do next...   neither do I.! Something is still missing. My guess is that there is no browser 
> running for the "pon" to connect to.  And I can not find any browser 
> on the distro: Woody 3, as it is presently installed on my 20 GB hda.
>      I also notice that the CD-ROM quits working after Debian loads 
> from the HD. ?? I can use a distro CD-ROM disk and load up the 
> install program from it, but once the computer re-boots from the HD, 
> the CD-ROM drive stops working.??
>      I tried the command "apt-setup"  and I got "nano" with a 
> "commented out" line that is a URL:  " 
> stable/updates main".  When I tried to remove the "#" and did a nano 
> save, it would not take.? I then "cd /etc/apt"  followed by "nano -e 
> sources.list".    When I un-commented that line, I could not get out 
> of nano.?    So I put the "#" back in the line, did "^o"  saving 
> the line and was able to exit nano. There is only that one line in "sources.list".
>      I had been able to load Ubuntu, from CD-ROM & disk successfully 
> on this same HD a few weeks ago. But I ran in to frustration trying 
> to find my way around in it. Especially trying to do some of the 
> things that I have read about in install and distro books etc. about 
> Linux in general and Debian in particular.    So, I got the bright 
> idea [or so I thought] of installing Ubunto on the hdb 8 GB  drive 
> installed in this same box.  ( To clarify,  I put "Woody" on hda  
> where there had been Ubuntu.  and a few weeks later tired to put 
> Ubuntu on hdb. )
>      When I ran the Ubuntu install program, I found it expected to 
> put the distro on  hda .... not what I want at all.  I got part way 
> through the install and ran into a brick wall.  The install program 
> apparently is not set up to allow putting the distro on the HD of 
> operators choice.
>      The idea was that w/ both distros available to switch between, 
> I could look into Ubuntu and see what things might be missing from 
> the Debian distro and do some editing to get Debian to use the 
> CD-ROM.  Or if Ubuntu loaded a browser, I could do my internet stuff 
> on it while still trying to get Debian to work my way.   As it is 
> now, I am using my friends M$ [barff] box to do my Email, etc.   Very humiliating, especially when I keep bragging about how wonderful Linux will be ....  If I ever get it to work.
>      Seems no matter which way I turn, I am stymied.   I want to 
> very strongly to get into Linux as my main, and hopefully some day 
> only, OS.  Especially Debian ...  although I am willing to look at 
> other distros too.  The things that set Debian apart from other 
> distros are important issues to me, so I am willing to but my head 
> against the wall for a while .... which I have certainly be doing.
> I really enjoy the PLUG list atmosphere and some of the "flames" but 
> especially the camaraderie (sp).   Perhaps it is a matter of my funny bone being more in tune w/ you guys than other sites I frequent, but I experience a lot of laughs from various rebuttals and poking fun at misspellings, etc.  And I certainly have learned a lot about Linux over the months by reading your posts.
>      Thanks for all info received in the past and hope someone can 
> specifically help me now.
> Still hopeful Linux newbie,  Dwj.   73 W0RMV
> -- 
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Hans Fugal ;
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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