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Installed Debian 7.3


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I installed Debian 7.3 to night, the gnome version. I was pleasantly surprised at how it has improved from earlier versions. it was fast and the install went without a hitch. it did go into fallback mode when I booted up after the install. Thanks to sunrat I knew what to do and solved the problem with

firmware-linux-nonfree.

I like it but like siduction better. I will use both.

Mel

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raymac46

I have installed Debian Wheezy in VBox but there you don't have to worry about the video card as there is vboxvideo. Wheezy works well with the VBox guest additions. Later versions like Jessie have given me some problems if I try to install the guest additions.

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Debian 7.3 is great! I use it with KDE and Xfce, and LXDE depending on the computer's CPU and memory.

I will stick with Gnome desktop for now as that is what I have used for the past 10 plus years. I will learn more about KDE with siduction. I like cinnamon real well and use it with mint 16 as my primary distro. I feel Debian is much improved from earlier years and is fast I may just use it as my primary distro because of stability.

Mel

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raymac46

Well I have just tried an install of Debian Jessie on VBox on my Windows 7 desktop and installed the guest additions and it works like a charm. Posting from it now and I have the wide screen and all the eye candy. Don't know what my problem was before but I made sure to have all the dkms and build essential packages.

I'll have to retry an install on my Linux based desktop. Before when I installed the guest additions the VM froze solid.

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raymac46

My favorite KDE based distros are Mageia and the recently released Open Mandriva which has a beautiful KDE desktop. For Debian I've stuck with Gnome 3 shell.

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saturnian

I've got three Wheezy installations: GNOME Shell, KDE, and Xfce. Also, CrunchBang 11 ("Waldorf") with Openbox, I guess that kinda counts as Debian Wheezy.

 

My intention was to go with Wheezy Xfce on one computer and Wheezy GNOME on another, but I was curious to see how they were doing with KDE, so I installed that one, too. Seemed to me that Debian didn't give KDE as much attention as they could have, but after getting it set up, and after tweaking a few things, the KDE spin seems great to me.

 

Then another (used, beat-up) computer fell into my hands so I put CrunchBang on that one. Again, curiosity, but also I was looking for something close to Debian Stable that was quick and easy to install. Mepis has been my go-to distro in the past for that type of situation, but I think I like CrunchBang better now.

 

All that to say: Debian FTW (for me), regardless of the chosen desktop! :clap:

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Guest LilBambi

I will stick with Gnome desktop for now as that is what I have used for the past 10 plus years. I will learn more about KDE with siduction. I like cinnamon real well and use it with mint 16 as my primary distro. I feel Debian is much improved from earlier years and is fast I may just use it as my primary distro because of stability.

Mel

 

Not trying to switch ya. ;) Just noting what I use. The thing I love about Linux is that we have a choice!

 

Well I have just tried an install of Debian Jessie on VBox on my Windows 7 desktop and installed the guest additions and it works like a charm. Posting from it now and I have the wide screen and all the eye candy. Don't know what my problem was before but I made sure to have all the dkms and build essential packages.

I'll have to retry an install on my Linux based desktop. Before when I installed the guest additions the VM froze solid.

 

They may yet break it again before it's all said and done or it could continue to be totally stable forever and into Stable when that time comes. It's a crapshoot. That's why it's still in testing. Much testing going on. :yes:

 

All that to say: Debian FTW (for me), regardless of the chosen desktop! :clap:

 

Oh, yeah! :yes:

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raymac46

Well guess what. I have Debian Jessie running in VirtualBox on my Linux machine - full screen and with all the bells and whistles. Turns out it was the same issue that was plaguing Mel all this time. With an AMD video solution you need to install that fabulous package firmware-linux-nonfree in the guest.

It was a matter of adding the nonfree repository to the sources list and then after installing firmware-linux-nonfree and building the guest additions you are good to go. Amazing what you can learn around here.

As far as using Debian full time - only if I can do so with Xfce or Cinnamon. I still have not grown to love KDE after all these years and Gnome 3 shell seems like it's from another planet as far as I am concerned. It's fun to play around with Debian in VBox though.

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raymac46

I think I figured out why you need this firmware-linux-nonfree package on one computer and not the other. On the Windows 7 machine I have an Nvidia graphics card and on the Linux machine it's an AMD APU handling the video.

The firmware-linux-nonfree package provides additional support that Radeon graphics cards need to work properly. If you have a VBox guest on a Linux machine with no Guest Additions and no firmware it works OK because the VBox software handles the video (that is like VESA - you get limited display capability.)

Once you install the Guest Additions the Linux guest relies on the host's video to display stuff and if the firmware for the host's video is missing in the guest install the whole VM will crash or work badly. It doesn't matter whether the host is running Windows 7 or Linux - what's important is:

(1) Do you have an AMD video solution in the host?

(2) If yes than you need the nonfree firmware in the guest to use the Guest Additions.

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saturnian

As for Jessie/Testing, my approach with Debian Testing is to wait until after the so-called Testing freeze. With both Squeeze and Wheezy, I installed them several weeks after the freeze, and that worked out pretty well -- my current Wheezy installations were all done before the final Debian 7 release. Before the freeze, seems to me that at that point it's best mainly for... testing.

 

http://www.debian.or...leases/testing/

 

http://www.debian.org/devel/testing

 

http://www.debian.or...chives#s-frozen

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raymac46

Any reason why you couldn't?

 

I suppose I could but Linux Mint gives me a good version of Cinnamon and Xubuntu is fine for Xfce. I don't usually stray far from the default DE in any given distro, because in most cases I just install in VBox anyway.

I found that RPM based Mageia and Open Mandriva have great KDE desktops out of the box.

If you want to experience a relatively "pure" version of Gnome Shell, Debian is perfect.Testing is fine in a Virtual Box because I don't use it for anything vital. If it breaks, it breaks.

Edited by raymac46
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saturnian
Testing is fine in a Virtual Box because I don't use it for anything vital. If it breaks, it breaks.

 

Yeah. One could make the same statement even without the words "in a Virtual Box". People often say that Debian Testing and Debian Sid are more "stable" than the next distro's final release.

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raymac46
People often say that Debian Testing and Debian Sid are more "stable" than the next distro's final release.

 

Probably an accurate statement. Debian stable would be my distro of choice if I were running a business based on a Linux O/S. Certainly I've had no troubles at all with the "testing" version once I figured out what I needed to do with AMD video cards. A number of popular distros are based on Sid and they wouldn't be if it were *that* unstable.

This is a good example of how Linux customization can work well. You can choose a solid base like Wheezy and graft on as much or as little eye candy as you want. You can build from Debian itself or go with one of the many distros that customize for you.

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raymac46

Well just for fun I've installed Debian Wheezy on an old Thinkpad T42 laptop I have around here. Very nice but it required the usual geeking it up to get what I wanted. The T42 has a wifi card that's dead so I use a little ASUS N10 USB dongle to connect usually. Also the laptop has an ancient AMD video solution.

  • The install CD could not see the wifi dongle so I plugged in a wire to net install.
  • I added the contrib and non-free sources.
  • Installed the famous firmware-linux-nonfree but it didn't matter as Gnome Shell went to its fallback display anyway.
  • Installed the firmware-realtek package and the dongle sprang to life. Disconnected the wire.
  • Decided to install the Xfce desktop and use it as my default DE.
  • When I did this I couldn't see any text in the Terminal as the default XFCE theme results in a black on black text display. I switched to the Adwaita theme and everything is fine.

I really like the look and feel of Debian Xfce.

Edited by raymac46
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Glad you got Xfce working. I have not installed it yet. I did install Cinnamon, Gnome, and KDE on my debian 7.3 and all are working fine. When I installed debian 7.3 I gave it a 300 GB partition and let it partition auto with root, home, var, usr, Ect Ect. so I have plenty of room for all desktops.

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raymac46

No point in trying the fancy eye candy on this old T42 as I think its video card (Mobility Radeon 7500) is blacklisted for Gnome 3 Shell. However Xfce works and looks just fine. I had LM 13 MATE on it at one time, never tried the Cinnamon desktop. We are talking older 2005 mobile video here.

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No point in trying the fancy eye candy on this old T42 as I think its video card (Mobility Radeon 7500) is blacklisted for Gnome 3 Shell. However Xfce works and looks just fine. I had LM 13 MATE on it at one time, never tried the Cinnamon desktop. We are talking older 2005 mobile video here.

I am running into the same sort of problems on a laptop with ati radeon 9000 igp video card. cinnamon won't work and several of the newer distros or upgraded ones no longer work on it. I am checking out some of the minimal distros. Xfce does work, but I want something else. I do have 2 gb of ram, but the cpu is a pentium 4 on a toshiba p35

Mel

Edited by mhbell
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raymac46

I think you'll have the same problem with a Radeon 9000 card. If on a desktop you can upgrade to something else usually. Maybe try a KDE desktop as that seems to have fewer problems than GNOME based distros in rendering 3D on these old cards.

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I downloaded LXLE which is based on Lubuntu, but with lots of goodies. I am installing it now. So far so good. It has the LXDE desktop.

Mel

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raymac46

Xfce is great for that unit ... glad you got it working well. :yes:

Yep, a good example of take what the old hardware gives you. Sometimes I forget that when using VBox on a powerful system. I had to remember to go with the 32 bit version of Debian Wheezy (I usually work with 64 bit distros nowadays.)

 

I downloaded LXLE which is based on Lubuntu, but with lots of goodies. I am installing it now. So far so good. It has the LXDE desktop.

Mel

Maybe Enlightenment would also be OK as an alternative.

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Yep, a good example of take what the old hardware gives you. Sometimes I forget that when using VBox on a powerful system. I had to remember to go with the 32 bit version of Debian Wheezy (I usually work with 64 bit distros nowadays.)

 

 

Maybe Enlightenment would also be OK as an alternative.

I got it installed and I am impressed. It is fast sleek and the graphics are stunning. It gave a new life to this old laptop. a lot better than windows XP Pro.
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raymac46

I got it installed and I am impressed. It is fast sleek and the graphics are stunning. It gave a new life to this old laptop. a lot better than windows XP Pro.

 

Might give it a spin on a netbook I have here.

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Hedon James

I downloaded LXLE which is based on Lubuntu, but with lots of goodies. I am installing it now. So far so good. It has the LXDE desktop.

Mel

 

I'm glad to see someone else found this little jewel of a distro. I had a newer 3-4 year old dual-core Toshiba laptop that came with OEM Windows 7; it was a dog from the minute I unboxed it and booted up and the wife got so frustrated that we just bought her a different machine. I'm an Ubuntu fan, but I knew the specs wouldn't truly satisfy Ubuntu either, so I started looking for an LXDE distro with an Ubuntu base. There are quite a few LXDE distros that are interesting, but I'm one of the Ubuntu phreaks who has grown to actually LIKE the Unity desktop, and LXLE was the ONLY distro I could find that mimicked Unity! Of course it also mimics WinXP, Gnome2, and Mac OSX (LXLE calls them "Paradigm" desktops), so it should have a broad base of appeal for just about every user. LXLE runs fantastic on that Toshiba laptop...much better than Windows ever did, even when brand new! The system monitor indicates that the default state uses about 285MB RAM on that machine! Wow?!!! An added bonus was the graphics and wallpapers...I don't know what makes them so special, but the wallpapers are the most visually stunning I have ever seen on ANY machine! :w00t:

 

My only disappointment is that the ISO is quite large, hovering around 1.3GB, as the developer has tried to anticipate nearly every users software needs. As a result, there are some packages that duplicate functions, such as 3 different terminal programs, 2 different photo editors, etc... Conversely, it's a lot easier for a new linux user to remove a program that he knows is there but doesn't want, than to add a program that he doesn't know he needs or where to get it from. All in all, I think LXLE is the best all around LXDE desktop available...plus it's an LTS version with 5 year support from Ubuntu. It will mimic WinXP, Gnome2/XFCE, OS X, and Unity in appearance, so it's perfect for migrators looking for visual familiarity; it's lightweight LXDE, so it's perfect for low resource machines; it's packed to the brim with software choices, so it's perfect for new users who don't yet know/understand there is a software store available for their needs. I heartily recommend it for practically everyone!

 

Back to you though...what are your thoughts & impressions?

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I just downloaded it and tried in Vbox gaving it only 512 MB of RAM to see how well it would do on my wife's computer ( She's got only 600 some MB of RAM and a ! Ghz processor. It did quite well!

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raymac46

Speaking of dog laptops I have a real woofer here as well. It's an Acer Aspire One A101. It has an Intel Atom N270 processor, Intel GMA 950 graphics, and 512 MB of RAM. To put additional RAM in this netbook you basically have to tear it down.

Something as memory challenged and underpowered as this could only have run Linux, given that it's from 2008 or so. To its credit it is very Linux friendly with Atheros based wifi. It has an 8 GB SSD and room for an SD expansion card.

This machine came with the 2nd worse version of Linux I've ever seen - Linpus Lite. To get past the cartoonish interface you had to basically jailbreak it - and it turned out to be clumsy version of Xfce.

 

Linpus_zpsc7a7e9cf.png

 

Anyway I got rid of Linpus Lite as soon as possible. I have tried a number of distros on the Aspire One - from Ubuntu to Xubuntu to Bodhi Linux to Linux Mint MATE. Bodhi ran very well and MATE wasn't bad. I just couldn't get to like E17 though. It seemed to have a lot of rough edges. Recently I've been running LM13 MATE, but always open to something better. I was thinking about Xubuntu again, but I decided to try LXLE.

The netbook doesn't have a CD-ROM so I made a USB key and installed from there. I had trouble initially as the installer wanted to put Grub2 on the SD card not the SSD drive. So I took out the SD card and ran the install again. With only one drive to choose from, the installer got it right this time.

Looks like quite a nice desktop and the wallpapers are sensational. Since it's an LTS release I think I"ll give it a good look and maybe keep it.

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