Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 10th Sep 2003 04:13 UTC, submitted by ladislav
Debian and its clones Debian GNU/Linux, the largest of Linux distros when measured in gigabytes, provides fertile ground for technical discussion. Last week, Robert Storey published Part I of his lengthy installation and configuration odyssey. This week, after having survived a typhoon and three power blackouts, he's back with the second and final part of the review.
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Mplayer
by Anonymous on Wed 10th Sep 2003 04:35 UTC

Mplayer will soon be making it into sid. In the meantime, you can download unofficial debs from Marillat's apt repository. See apt-get.org.

RE: Mplayer
by fearl on Wed 10th Sep 2003 06:34 UTC

Yes, a crippled version of mplayer will be in sid soon. I would recommend noone actaully use the mplayer in sid, it won't play many types of files that the mainstream version does - enless something changed recently, or they are getting the features some other way. It seriously seems like it will be a joke however, so just:

$ echo "deb http://marillat.free.fr [unstable:testing:stable] >> /etc/apt/sources.list"

Of course choose the version of Debian you are using. Most seem to know this, but please don't use the Debian version, would be better to just use xine-ui or something, at least that somewhat works...

Mplayer -- compile from source
by Anonymous on Wed 10th Sep 2003 06:38 UTC

I downloaded MPlayer and did ./configure --prefix=$HOME/mplayer and then made some symlinks to my person bin directory. It works well, it's easy to setup, you get the newest version of mplayer and you don't have to worry about it mucking about with the rest of your system files.

More observations
by Anonymous on Wed 10th Sep 2003 06:56 UTC

Here's a few tips I learned from poking around with Debian over the past few weeks:

- Installing (insert recent version of software X here) while running stable or testing

If you put

Apt::Default-Release "testing";

or

Apt::Default-Release "stable";

(depending on if you are using testing or stable) in a file at /etc/apt/apt.conf, you can add the sources for testing and unstable in your /etc/apt/sources.list and apt-get update, apt-get upgrade without fully upgrading your system to testing or unstable. Which means you can handpick which packages you want to install from testing or unstable while keeping your system at a more sane level. This is especially useful if you want to run KDE3 on testing. For example,

apt-get install foobar

will install the "stable" version of foobar if you have stable in your apt.conf file, but

apt-get -t testing install foobar

will install the "testing" version. Sometimes, however, if the package has tons of dependencies, you are going to have to upgrade tons of packages just to get the newer version of your app. In those cases, it might be a better idea to just go ahead and fully upgrade your system to testing or unstable.

- Binary security updates

This is my favorite feature, one I wish FreeBSD would duplicate. Keeping your system patched is much less of a pain since you don't have to recompile things every time a buffer overflow is discovered.

- Installation

Installation is usually not going to work perfectly the first time around. My advice is to plan to install at least twice. The first time, you might run into a problem. If you don't, just do something dumb. That way, learn what NOT to do, and if you're persistent you might be able to figure out how to fix it, so that if you run into a situation later on, you won't be SOL.

- Partitioning and backups

It's a good idea to put /home on it's own partition, and to keep regular backups of your important directories, especially your /etc directory. It makes system crashes/user stupidity much easier to deal with. Keeping /home separate can save you TONS of time if you accidentally get your system to a point where it isn't bootable.

Final advice: When all else fails, keep a copy of Knoppix around. It's saved my ass on more than one occassion.

RE: More observations
by Anonymous on Wed 10th Sep 2003 09:46 UTC

"
- Binary security updates

This is my favorite feature, one I wish FreeBSD would duplicate. Keeping your system patched is much less of a pain since you don't have to recompile things every time a buffer overflow is discovered.
"

There is a project called 'FreeBSD Update' (http://www.daemonology.net/freebsd-update/) which provides binary security updates for FreeBSD. Haven't tested it myself though.

Speaking of Debian...
by Kick the Donkey on Wed 10th Sep 2003 11:03 UTC

I've been looking for something that is not such a headache to install software. I like Mdk (URPMI), but just yesterday, I was trying to intsall the l/g Python and PyGTK, and it took me about 4 hours to finally get it done. I've always heard Debian's APT was unbeatable... Maybe its worth giving it a shot...

I was reading the jidgo page ( http://www.debian.org/CD/jigdo-cd/#which ), and one of the lines bothered me:

Booting/installing is currently not possible with "testing"/"unstable" CDs - only use for upgrades from stable.

Does this mean I have to install Woody, then upgrade it to [Sid|Sarge]?

Later...

RE: Mplayer
by Andreas S. on Wed 10th Sep 2003 11:27 UTC

Marillat's mplayer is very bad for KDE users, because it comes without arts support.

RE: Speaking of Debian...
by Andreas S. on Wed 10th Sep 2003 11:41 UTC

"Does this mean I have to install Woody, then upgrade it to [Sid|Sarge]?"

That is the way Debian people on IRC recommended me. Of course Woody's installer comes without LVM, reiserfs, and the older kernel doesn't support many modern hardware. I was not able to install Debian with woody's installer on my lvm volumes on my hardware at all. I had to install woody from within an other Linux distributions which I had installed before and then update to sid. Cool!

Re: Speaking of Debian...
by Víctor on Wed 10th Sep 2003 12:27 UTC

I recommend you to get an unofficial woody netinstall CD. It's very small and leaves you with a basic system from which you can upgrade to sid or testing by just selecting the right sources for the rest of the packages you need (i.e, nearly all of them) and upgrade the few you already have. It saves time since you don't have to download all woody (or the first cd) and then just dump it for sid.

RE: Speaking of Debian...
by JohnnyH on Wed 10th Sep 2003 12:28 UTC

Andreas S. - Debian-Woody has the option to install with a 2.4 Kernel. (BF24 on the boot-floppies install). It supports reiserFS and fairly new hardware...

There is also a sarge installer (though it is not 100% yet) ...

http://people.debian.org/~mckinstry/ports-status.html

why does MPlayer
by debman on Wed 10th Sep 2003 12:52 UTC

why does MPlayer require features to be compiled in and if they are not your SOL?

why can't they have a plugin interface?

that makes it more flexable and you can then distribute binaries and not worry about what some one might need.

Here's help
by isayweonlytobepolite on Wed 10th Sep 2003 13:07 UTC

debianhelp.org (with article on how to install with a lvm)

RE: why does MPlayer
by Andreas S. on Wed 10th Sep 2003 13:16 UTC

"why can't they have a plugin interface?"

Patches are welcome.

RE: Speaking of Debian...
by Andreas S. on Wed 10th Sep 2003 13:25 UTC

"Andreas S. - Debian-Woody has the option to install with a 2.4 Kernel. (BF24 on the boot-floppies install). It supports reiserFS and fairly new hardware...

I guess I missed this option. Anyway, I installed my last three distributions from within other distributions ... it's a habit by now ;-)

Noone had tested usb?
by Daniele on Wed 10th Sep 2003 13:32 UTC

About installation it's all rigth (difficult, not intuitive and so on). But passed this stage, would anyone review usb and pcmcia support, how hard it's to make it work and so on?

Personally I used only pcmcia and I've just nothing to configure for make my wireless card. I never tested usb gadget and I'm curious about how difficult it is. Also I'm using Debian since 1998 and I found it very simple, maybe someone who don't know Debian can point out what it's needed in this area.

search packages
by anarka on Wed 10th Sep 2003 16:10 UTC

sometimes apt-cache search term gives to many results since it searchs the term in the entire database if you know the package name you could restrict that search with
dpkg -l *package*
that will result in only packages with that name, not descriptions or anything else

mplayer, aptitude, usb
by johnG on Wed 10th Sep 2003 16:10 UTC

I've got xine installed (running Sid) and it works great.

Also, the article mentions aptitude. Personally, I find apt-cache and apt-get pretty easy to get along with.

Daniele, just make sure you compile your kernel with the usb and pcmcia modules you want, then run modconf and select the ones you need. You might run modconf right now and see if the modules are already there, just waiting to be loaded.

Very nice article.

re: mplayer
by Syntaxis on Wed 10th Sep 2003 16:11 UTC

"Yes, a crippled version of mplayer will be in sid soon. I would recommend noone actaully use the mplayer in sid, it won't play many types of files that the mainstream version does - enless something changed recently"

What's your source for this information? It seems a tad premature to criticise "the mplayer in sid" when there *is* no mplayer in sid (yet)...

mplayer
by anarka on Wed 10th Sep 2003 16:18 UTC

about mplayer compiling its quite easy
after you download mplayer and unarchive it you just need to cd the mplayer source dir and:
fakeroot debian/rules binary
then as root dpkg -i mplayerbinary.deb
as said in the manual
i love mplayer but including a non working version in debian shouldnt be an option :/

p.s. sorry for not including this post on my last post

Kernel Sources
by nns6561 on Wed 10th Sep 2003 20:43 UTC

Why does everyone miss that the kernel sources are provided as a package? Just install one of the kernel-source packages. You will still have to extract it and symlink it, but at least this way you don't have to search for it, nor do you have to apply the debian patches. Of course, the author forgot to apply the appropriate patches.

Re: Kernel Sources
by Robert Storey on Thu 11th Sep 2003 05:01 UTC

> Why does everyone miss that the kernel sources are provided
> as a package? Just install one of the kernel-source
> packages. You will still have to extract it and symlink it,
> but at least this way you don't have to search for it, nor
> do you have to apply the debian patches. Of course, the
> author forgot to apply the appropriate patches.

Good point - you are correct. I've gone back and made a correction. Feel free to Email me if you find something else.

-- Robert Storey

RE: Noone had tested usb?
by AMJ on Thu 11th Sep 2003 07:08 UTC

Daniele: "I never tested usb gadget and I'm curious about how difficult it is."

I've tested USB under Tomsrtbt, an 1 floppy linux distribution: http://www.toms.net/rb/

The device was a pen drive, but I think that any device will work in the same way. You only have to mount /dev/<something_like_scsi_drive_i_can't_remember> in the directory you want. It recognizes the filesystem and you can use it like any other directory.

Security in SID?
by OOO on Thu 11th Sep 2003 10:41 UTC

If you want security, you have to use Woddy? Or are there fast security-updates in Sid, too?

a script to download and install a fulle featured mplayer
by Yuri on Thu 11th Sep 2003 12:16 UTC

#!/bin/sh

# compilamplayer.sh by Benno Senoner (benno@linuxdesktop.it)
# modificata da krakz (krakz@spacelab.it)
# distributed under the GNU GPL License
# http://www.linuxdesktop.it/mplayer

# Questo script scarica dal sito i sorgenti di mplayer
# assieme a codecs video WIN32
#

# Per informazioni, domande o suggerimenti lasciare un messaggio sul forum di http://www.linuxdesktop.it
# o visitare http://www.linuxdesktop.it/mplayer

myversion=4

CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--enable-gui --enable-menu"

URL_WIN32_CODECS="http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/win32codecs.tar.bz...
URL_EXTRALITE_CODECS="http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/extralite.tar.bz2"
URL_MPLAYER="http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/MPlayer-1.0pre1.tar.bz2"
URL_DEFAULT_SKIN="http://www.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/Skin/default-1.7.tar.bz2"

URL_FONTS="http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/fonts/font-arial-iso-8859...
TARFILE_FONTS="font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2"
DIR_FONTS="font-arial-iso-8859-1"

TARFILE_MPLAYER="MPlayer-1.0pre1.tar.bz2"
DIR_MPLAYER="mplayer-1.0pre1"

TARFILE_DEFAULT_SKIN="default-1.7.tar.bz2"
DIR_DEFAULT_SKIN="default"


TARFILE_WIN32_CODECS="win32codecs.tar.bz2"
TARFILE_EXTRALITE_CODECS="extralite.tar.bz2"

DIR_WIN32_CODECS="win32codecs"
DIR_EXTRALITE_CODECS="extralite"


echo
echo "compilamplayer.sh by Benno Senoner (benno@linuxdesktop.it)"
echo "Modificato da Krakz (krakz@spacelab.it)"
echo "distributed under the GNU GPL License"
echo
echo "Per informazioni, domande o suggerimenti lasciare un messaggio sul forum di http://www.linuxdesktop.it"
echo

#rm -f $TARFILE_MPLAYER
#rm -f $TARFILE_WIN32_CODECS
#rm -f $TARFILE_QT_CODECS
#rm -f $TARFILE_QT_EXTRA_CODECS

rm -rf $DIR_WIN32_CODECS
rm -rf $DIR_EXTRALITE_CODECS
rm -rf $DIR_MPLAYER

which wget >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "non riesco a trovare il comando wget necessario per scaricare file.";
echo "installare il pacchetto wget e rieseguire questo script.";
echo
exit
fi

which gcc >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "non riesco a trovare il il compilatore gcc necessario per compilare mplayer.";
echo "installare il pacchetto gcc e rieseguire questo script.";
echo
exit
fi

rm -f versione-compilamplayer.txt
wget http://www.linuxdesktop.it/mplayer/versione-compilamplayer.txt
currversion=`cat versione-compilamplayer.txt`
rm -f versione-compilamplayer.txt

if [ $currversion -gt $myversion ] ; then
echo
echo "ATTENZIONE: stai usando una versione non aggiornata dello script che non potrebbe piu' funzionare"
echo
echo "Scarica una versione aggiornata da http://www.linuxdesktop.it/mplayer e riavvia questo script"
echo
exit
else
echo "Versione dello script OK";
fi

echo "Download WIN32 CODECS"
wget -c $URL_WIN32_CODECS
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "Fallito il download del file $URL_WIN32_CODECS";
echo "controllare se la connessione a Internet e' OK.";
echo
exit
fi

echo "Download extra (DMO,Indeo,QT,Real,3ivX) CODECS"
wget -c $URL_EXTRALITE_CODECS
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "Fallito il download del file $URL_EXTRALITE_CODECS";
echo "controllare se la connessione a Internet e' OK.";
echo
exit
fi

echo "Download MPlayer"
wget -c $URL_MPLAYER
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "Fallito il download del file $URL_MPLAYER";
echo "controllare se la connessione a Internet e' OK.";
echo
exit
fi

echo "Download MPlayer default Skin"
wget -c $URL_DEFAULT_SKIN
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "Fallito il download del file $URL_DEFAULT_SKIN";
echo "controllare se la connessione a Internet e' OK.";
echo
exit
fi

echo "Download MPlayer fonts"
wget -c $URL_FONTS
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE:";
echo "Fallito il download del file $URL_FONTS";
echo "controllare se la connessione a Internet e' OK.";
echo
exit
fi

tar jxvf $TARFILE_WIN32_CODECS
tar jxvf $TARFILE_EXTRALITE_CODECS

mkdir -p /usr/lib/win32

mv -f -v $DIR_WIN32_CODECS/* /usr/lib/win32
mv -f -v $DIR_EXTRALITE_CODECS/* /usr/lib/win32

tar jxvf $TARFILE_MPLAYER

cd $DIR_MPLAYER
./configure $CONFIGURE_OPTIONS
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE FATALE: ./configure fallito !";
echo "controllare se il compilatore, file include e i gli autotools sono installati correttamente.";
echo
exit
fi

make
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE FATALE: make fallito !";
echo "controllare se il compilatore, file include e i gli autotools sono installati correttamente.";
echo
exit
fi


make install
res=$?
if [ $res == "0" ] ; then
echo
else
echo
echo "ERRORE FATALE: make install fallito !";
echo "controllare se il compilatore, file include e i gli autotools sono installati correttamente.";
echo
exit
fi

cd ..

tar jxvf $TARFILE_DEFAULT_SKIN
rm -rf /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/$DIR_DEFAULT_SKIN
mkdir -p /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/
mv -f -v $DIR_DEFAULT_SKIN /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/

tar jxvf $TARFILE_FONTS
mkdir -p /usr/local/share/mplayer/font
cp -v -f $DIR_FONTS/font-arial-24-iso-8859-1/* /usr/local/share/mplayer/font/


#rm -rf $DIR_WIN32_CODECS
#rm -rf $DIR_EXTRALITE_CODECS
#rm -rf $DIR_MPLAYER
#rm -rf font-*


echo
echo "Compilazione e installazione di mplayer OK !"
echo
echo "Per testare se mplayer funziona correttamente lanciare"
echo
echo "/usr/local/bin/gmplayer"
echo
echo "all'interno di una shell."
echo
echo "Per domande o suggerimenti lasciare un messaggio sul forum di http://www.linuxdesktop.it"
echo "o visitare http://www.linuxdesktop.it/mplayer"

tasksel (not) installing X
by dionysus on Fri 12th Sep 2003 16:35 UTC

Liked the article, but following it through left me with an interesting problem - selecting the x window package from tasksel seemed to just install the 'x-windows-system' metapackage (the one mentioned in the article)...of course I didn't know this was a problem until I fired up X (after having using apt-get to install kde etc) and found I was faced with a blank X screen (X ignored my .xsession file etc)..eventually after asking around on #debian on freenode, I found out that the 'x-windows-system-core' package was also needed to have a properly functioning X installation....so maybe *that* metapackage's also worth a mention in any revisions....

anyhow, just my 2c worth....now I'm off to report the bug...

-d