Linux Debian install help.......for a noob

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09-02-2007 20:27:15

So I would like to dual boot Windows XP and Debian

I got a win32installer from


I get everything starting to install reboot the machine and go through the first few step as shown here


but when I get to the automatic network setup part

the installer can't recognize my network information ie DHCP

which I have Charter ISP running through a router and then wireless to the computer installing Debian

There is a manual network config option but I am not knowledgeable enough to set that up

So if anyone could help me with this or recommend a better(easier) way to install Debian on my computer that would rock



10-02-2007 12:07:11

If you're new to Linux, and want to try Debian, I strongly recommend Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, if you prefer the KDE desktop). Or you could start with Ubuntu and then install the kubuntu_desktop package if you want to run KDE.

Ubuntu is probably THE most popular Debian distribution, and is ideal for Linux beginners or really anybody who wants a working, full-featured Linux desktop out of the box with little to no configuration.

Wireless has always been tricky to get setup on Linux, but once you do it works well. Ubuntu has a wireless "wizard" type tool that is quite easy to use.

I just about to post that I bought a new laptop last weekend, and wiped Vista Home Premium off the HD entirely. I installed Ubuntu on it, and it found and worked with ALL hardware, including WiFi. I'm a long time RedHat/Fedora fan, but have to give Ubuntu props for probably the easiest out-of-box experience I've ever had, especially on brand-new laptop hardware.


10-02-2007 12:31:23

David - I assume since it came with a laptop, it didn't come with a plain Vista install CD.. but if it did, would you consider parting with it? I'd be interested, if you are..


10-02-2007 14:24:19

[quote8ace45cc94="CollidgeGraduit"]David - I assume since it came with a laptop, it didn't come with a plain Vista install CD.. but if it did, would you consider parting with it? I'd be interested, if you are..[/quote8ace45cc94]
Sorry, it only came with a Toshiba system restore disc, not a plain Vista install disc. And OEM versions are not transferable anyway. Besides, I'd want to hang on to it since I'll probably give this laptop to my daughter in a year or so when she goes off to school, and buy me another. She does use my Linux machines at times (including this laptop), but would probably prefer to keep Windows on her own.


10-02-2007 20:08:06

thanks for the help dmorris, you rock

I didn't know about the other options I had

My CS classes are all on Linux boxes running Debian, so I figured I would give it a shot

I'll let you know if I run into any more problems



20-02-2007 00:24:20

well I got it installed, enjoy playing around with Linux, the one thing that troubles me is the wireless internet setup.

If anyone knows how / good tutorial on how to get this setup with a Linksys wireless router and the on-board wireless card

help me out please


20-02-2007 00:40:44

The Wifi standard for linux is NDiswrapper.
It can be a little more work to setup, but it's compatible with a lot of wifi cards.


20-02-2007 14:33:53

[quote7374322821="ajasax"]The Wifi standard for linux is NDiswrapper.
It can be a little more work to setup, but it's compatible with a lot of wifi cards.[/quote7374322821]
Not exactly. ndiswrapper is a Linux wrapper around Windows NIC drivers that do not have native support under Linux. Fortunately, most modern WiFi NICs have native Linux support and do not require the hack that is ndiswrapper.

WiFi licanli be troubling to setup, depending on the requirements. If all you need is WEP encryption, for example, Ubuntu works with WiFi out of the box assuming the hardware is supported, as it was with my new Intel-based laptop. However if you require advanced WPA encryption, whether PSK or EAP, then you typically have to work a little harding and use something like wpa_supplicant or network-manager.

First, if you're running a GUI (Gnome, KDE, etc.) as opposed to a command line, try network-manager. Use whatever your package manager is (apt-get, Synaptic, etc.) and install network-manager. If you're running Gnome as your WM, install network-manager-gnome which will install network-manager plus a Gnome applet. This allows for most WPA configurations without messing with config files and running scripts. wpa_supplicant is a little more flexible and advanced, but is more effort to use and would only be necessary if network-manager's basic features were not enough for you.

My experience with Debian is limited to Ubuntu/Kubuntu and I get nearly all my tech-help information from the Ubuntu support forums, wiki, and HowTo site. I'm sure much of what they discuss relates to vanilla Debian as well, so you might check them out




20-02-2007 20:03:07

thanks dmorris, checking out those sites now, I did install the "vanilla" Debian


21-02-2007 20:29:10

Hey dmorris....I have tried partitioning my hard drive on my gateway laptop using Partition Magic, and it freezes up, and bricks the thing until I do a restore.

I tried it twice, and just assumed that it's b/c of the restore partition on the drive. That being said, I want to try installing Ubuntu on here as a dual boot, but I'm not sure if I Ubuntu's formating will be successful either.

I realize this is a pretty specific problem, and probably specific to Gateway, but I was just wondering what suggestions you might have for me?

My only thought was to take a clean install of XP (that I have a original XP disc and license for) and format the entire drive (removing the restore partition), and going from there, but that's not an option I really like either. I'm just looking for your thoughts. Thanks a lot.


21-02-2007 21:07:25

Don't know why it has a problem with a restore partition. I'm running Ubuntu on my new Toshiba laptop with it's Vista restore partition still intact. I'm not dual-booting though (I wiped Vista completely), but by leaving the restore partition alone I can easily revert it to Vista if I sold it or gave it to my daughter or something.

You might try the latest version of GParted[=http//]GParted (a free tool like PartitionMagic but updated to support even the latest Vista NTFS flavor). You can burn a bootable CD from the downloaded LiveCD ISO, I'll bet it will work better than PM for repartitioning.

If you're going to dual-boot with XP, I strongly recommend installing XP first then Ubuntu. Ubuntu will recognize and automatically configure its boot manager to support XP, but XP will not recognize Ubuntu, causing you to jump through some hoops to get back into Linux.


22-02-2007 04:11:53

the installer I mentioned above partitioned my Gateway tablet PC with no problem, It gave me the option to chose how big the Debian partition would be and what kind of filesystem to use, maybe you should give it a try