The following brief notes may be helpful when installing Debian 2.1 for the first time. Note: commands to be typed in on the command line are given in italics for clarity.
Up until Install Base System - which follows
Operating System Kernel - the installation is usually trouble free.
After that, there are some points to note.
After the PPP configuration files have been written, you exit, without going on-line when prompted, and proceed with the install from CD-ROM.
During the package installation, you will be asked several questions and prompted to install/configure some things.
1) Accept and keep the VGA16 server as the default X server.
2) Install gpm (console mouse support). For a PS2 mouse it is necessary to change the option to /dev/psaux.
These will enable you to use XF86Setup - the graphical configuration for X. You should also configure wvdial if a modem is installed or connected. Further, select a standard Window Manager such as fvwm2 as the default.
When dselect starts, leave the first Binary CD in the CD-ROM, choose
multi-CD from the Access list, then choose Update, then Install.
to configure the Xserver. If you have the default VGA16 server
and your mouse is configured, the XF86Setup will work. If not, you will
need to use xf86config.
After configuration, to connect to the X server, enter startx and the default window manager (which you choose during install) will load.
If, after configuration, you find the system cannot connect to the X server, try to configure it again using xf86config if you used XF86Setup. If you just have a blank screen, press Control-Alt-Backspace keys together to bring you back to the command line. If this fails - then try Control-Alt-F1. If the new configuration still does not work, then use xf86config to set the VGA16 server as the default using only 640x480 mode. This should give you a working X server.
If it does not, then it is usually necessary to update the X package
using apt-get. This is what you need to do also if you can only get the
X server working in VGA mode.
Then you will need to enter the source of the latest X .deb packages in the /etc/apt/sources.list file. Enter
which will open the file using the vi editor. Note that vi starts in command mode - to enter text, press the i key. To delete text, press the Esc key, pressing the x key deletes what is under the cursor. To return to edit mode, press the i key. To quit and save, press :wq (that is, colon followed by wq).
At the time of writing (November 1999) the latest deb for X are version 3.3.4 which is available at:
and version 3.3.5 which is available at:
http://www.debian.org/~vincent/ xfree-update main
It is usually better to get the latest version. Note the space before xfree.
This address (with deb before the http) is what you should enter as the source in the /etc/apt/sources.list file.
Then connect to the Net, and enter
This will begin the download of the .deb packages.
After the download is complete, the packages will be automatically unpacked
and installed (isn't Debian wonderful?). Then re-run xf86config,
re-boot, and the default X server you have chosen should be up and running.
The installation is then complete.