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Debian Jr. Quick Guide
Chapter 5 - Installation

5.1 Choosing the installation method

You need to choose whether to use the Debian Jr. Task Installer, which installs the majority of Debian Jr. components in one step, or whether to select and install individual components. If you use the Task Installer, review the installed components afterwards to see if there are others you would like to add to the ones installed by default.

5.2 Installing with the Task Installer

  1. To start the install, use the Task Installer (tasksel). If you are installing Debian Jr. as part of a fresh Debian install, then this is the Simple Package Selection step after you have booted your new Debian system for the first time. Otherwise, as root, run tasksel from the command-line.
  1. Select "Debian Jr." from the "End User" section. (If you don't see this entry in the list of available tasks, you may have the problem addressed by Tasksel issues, Section 8.1.)
  1. Next, select the "X Window System" task.
  1. You may want to select a desktop environment task (Gnome or KDE). However, these each take up a fair amount of disk space and tend to be more resource intensive. For example, if you have a 486 with 32M of memory or less, you would probably be better off running a lightweight window manager instead.
  1. When you exit tasksel, the Debian Jr. task will be installed, along with any other task selections you made.
  1. Unless you use the KDE or Gnome tasks, which include a window manager, you will need to install a window manager after tasksel is done. For example, Window Maker can be installed with this command:
           apt-get install wmaker
  1. Please note that optional Jr. packages need to be installed separately, as described in the following section.

5.3 Installing components individually

5.3.1 Choosing a package installer

Debian Jr. components have names starting with "junior-". These packages may be installed individually with dselect, aptitude or apt-get. Which one you use is rather a matter of taste.

If installing Debian Jr. as part of a fresh Debian install, dselect is run for you if you choose the Advanced Package Selection method after your first boot. Otherwise, as root, you can run dselect from the command line. The principal merit of this method is that it is the officially sanctioned one in the Installation Manual.

The new aptitude package installer is an increasingly popular alternative to dselect. Although the author does not use this installer, it appears to have a better user interface than dselect and provides similar functionality. This method is not an option during the Debian installation process, and is not installed on your system by default. So if you want to use it, you need to install it first with apt-get install aptitude.

The author's bias is to use apt-get, due to the elegance of managing the package installation process via simple commands. So if you prefer a command-line interface, you may find this is your best choice. It is not as self-explanatory as dselect and aptitude are supposed to be, but the APT HOWTO will give you a good start with it.

5.3.2 Using dselect

If you are using dselect, simply locate all packages with names beginning 'junior-', select the desired components, and install them. (For beginner help, see dselect Documentation for Beginners included in the Debian installation documentation.)

5.3.3 Using aptitude

Aptitude groups packages that are in tasks under the "Tasks" heading. However, if you wish to install the extra 'junior-' packages not included in the task, you will find these by pressing '/' and then typing 'junior-'. After finding the first match, press '\' to find the next. (In this respect, finding a package is similar to dselect which uses the same keys for searching.)

5.3.4 Using apt-get

If you are using apt-get, list all the installed components, check this list against the available components, and then select and install each one in this way:

       dpkg -l 'junior-*'
       apt-cache pkgnames junior-
       apt-get install junior-gnome junior-kde

In the example above, first dpkg is used to show the status of all junior- package. Then apt-cache is used to show all available components. Finally, apt-get install is used to install junior-gnome and junior-kde. These are extra components not present in the core Junior task.

5.3.5 Using list-junior

This is not really an installation option in and of itself. We have provided an example script in junior-doc to generate a list of installed and available Debian Jr. components as an HTML page. This list can then be viewed with your preferred web browser to help explore Debian Jr. and decide which components you wish to install, using one of the above methods. The list contains links to packages.debian.org so you can browse the latest versions and see what they contain.

The list-junior.sh script needs two packages to be installed before it can be run, so first apt-get install grep-dctrl wdiff. Then, in a directory where you want the HTML page to be generated, type:

       sh /usr/share/doc/junior-doc/examples/list-junior.sh

When the script completes, with any luck there will be a list-junior.html page in the current directory which you can browse with your favourite web browser.

Caveat user: This script is really a quick-and-dirty kludge and needs to be redone more robustly, so if it doesn't work for you, please be patient, we will make it into a proper program, complete with arguments, switches, man page and all those niceties in a future release.

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Debian Jr. Quick Guide

23 March 2003

Derek Neighbors derek@gnu.org
Ben Armstrong synrg@debian.org