posted by Clinton De Young on Sun 27th Oct 2002 18:15 UTC

"System Configuration - Part II"
Step 3 (Removing PCMCIA packages)
You should now be on one of the "Debian System Configuration" screens again. This one is asking if you would like to remove PCMCIA packages. For those who don't know, PCMCIA packages are used to support PCMCIA devices, such as modem cards and network cards, which are most common on laptops. If you are using a desktop system, or don't know what PCMCIA cards are, you probably don't need support for them. If such is the case, please select "Yes" and press Enter.

Step 4 (Configuring your system to use PPP to access the internet)
The next configuration screen is asking if you use a modem to dial up to the internet. If you have a high-speed internet connection, chances are you don't need this. You may safely select "No" and go to the next step.

If, on the other hand, you do have a modem and use it to dial up, you will need to select "Yes" here and follow the steps to use your modem to access apt sources (which are where Debian packages are located on the internet). Unfortunately, I do not own a modem, so I cannot be as verbose for this section as I would like to be. I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all the modem users out there. Not only because I can't walk you through this part, but also because you are using modems.

Step 5 (Apt Configuration)
Once you are finished setting up your dialup settings, or skipping that section if you are connecting to the internet via a network card or local LAN, you should be at the "Apt Configuration" screen.

You can use your installation CDs as apt sources (if you have all of the Debian CDs) but I don't prefer this method because you won't have access to updates, patches, etc. You also wont be able to upgrade to Debian's testing branch either (which some may wish to do in order to get more up-to-date packages).

Therefore, I would suggest you select either FTP or HTTP from this screen and then press Enter.

The next Apt Configuration screen is asking if you want to use NON-US apt sources. You will want to say yes here as some software is not available on US apt mirrors. Select "Yes" and press Enter to continue.

The next Apt Configuration screen is asking if you want to use apt sources that point to non-free software. As is explained on the screen, some programs that are not free (meaning you can't have, share, or modify the code) have been made to work on Debian. If you would like access to these programs, you should select "Yes" here. Personally, I always choose "Yes" on this screen. Once you have made your selection, press Enter to continue.

The next Apt Configuration screen is similar to the last. However, contrib. software is free software that relies on non-free software to work. I would suggest selecting "Yes" here as well. Press Enter to continue.

Next, in order to find a mirror close to you for downloading Debian packages, select the country you are living in from the list. Once you have made your selection, press Enter.

Next, you will be shown a list of mirrors, or servers, to choose from. In theory, it doesn't really matter which one you choose; however, in reality, some of them don't work. If you select one that doesn't work, you will be given the opportunity to make the selection over and over again until you find one that does work. A safe bet is the debian.org servers, although they are not as fast as some of the other servers, since they tend to always work. Please make your selection and then press Enter.

The next screen asks if you would like to access apt sources for security updates. You want to select "Yes" here.

Step 6 (Tasksel)
Now you have a choice to make. One of the things I like about Debian is that it is very easy to get an absolutely clean system and then to build it the way you like. That said, I never run the next option, which is Tasksel. Tasksel allows you to go through a big list of program groups, and even individual packages, selecting things that are of interest to you; or selecting everything if you don't know what you want. If you would like to take that step, and install things this way, then feel free to do so. However, I like my systems as clean as possible, and I like to know that the only things on them are what I have intentionally put on them. Therefore, for this tutorial, I am going to say "No" here and not install any packages at this time. Select "No" and press Enter to continue. I will show you how to easily install whatever software you want at the end of this tutorial.

Step 7 (Dselect)
The next screen you see will ask if you want to run Dselect to install packages. While you may choose to do so, I am not going to cover it in this article. To make a clean system, I recommend skipping this section as well. Select "No" and press Enter.

Step 8 (Using apt to remove the PCMCIA packages)
If you will recall, unless you chose to keep them for some reason, we removed the PCMCIA packages earlier. These packages are actually going to be removed by apt in this step. If you look at the command line section at the very bottom of the screen, you will see that we are removing the pcmcia-cs* packages. We are asked at the very bottom of the screen if we want to continue (y/n). Type the letter 'y' and press Enter.

If you chose to install packages during the Tasksel or Dselect steps, these will be installed by apt at this point, so this step could take a while. If you didn't install anything using Tasksel or Dselect, this step will be over quickly since you are only removing one package.

Also, please don't be concerned about the few warnings you receive. They are not important.

Step 9 (Removing previously downloaded .deb files)
The next prompt at the command line is to remove any previously downloaded .deb files. We haven't downloaded any files, unless you chose to do so during the Tasksel or Dselect step, but you can say yes here anyway. Type 'y' at the prompt and press Enter.

Press Enter again to continue.

Step 10 (Exim)
Exim is a mail program like Sendmail, Qmail, etc. The next prompt you will see is a brief explanation that Debian can autoconfigure exim for you, based on your answers to the next section. Press any key to continue.

You should now see a list of five different configuration choices for exim on the screen. Type '5' at the prompt for "No Configuration" and press Enter. Most people won't need this anyway, but if you do want to run your own mail server, documentation for setting it up can be found in the /usr/share/doc directory. Please choose '5' for now. If you want to use exim, you can set it up later.

Step 11 (Finished)
The final configuration screen is simply telling you that you have installed Debian successfully. You may press Enter to exit the configuration screen and go to a login prompt. At the prompt, type in your regular user name (not root) and press Enter. Then, when prompted, enter your password and press Enter.

You will now be at the command line prompt. However, you probably are thinking that Debian is pretty lame at this point since you don't have a graphical interface yet. We will take care of this in the next, and last, section of this article.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction and how to get hold of Debian"
  2. "Getting to the main installation"
  3. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part I"
  4. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part II"
  5. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part III"
  6. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part IV"
  7. "System Configuration - Part I"
  8. "System Configuration - Part II"
  9. "Installing XFree86 - Part I"
  10. "Installing XFree86 - Part II"
  11. "Synaptic, Mozilla, Conclusion"
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