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petrus4's Journal: Needed information if I'm going to retry Debian 3

Journal by petrus4

I'm aware I've been a fairly savage troll where Debian is concerned in the past, however, I am also willing to concede that it is possible that I have been narrow minded and prematurely dismissive, and I am willing to have another look at the system.

However, in order to do that, I am going to need some documentation on two key areas, which I would appreciate being given links to in response to this article.

The area is apt-get. With both Ubuntu and Debian proper, I have had problems where, in trying to uninstall packages that I truly do not need, (such as cups, because I don't have a printer) I have ended up with literally half the operating system going with it, because Open Office got uninstalled as a result, and then many other optional dependencies as a consequence of that.

So if anyone could show me where I can read about how to cleanly uninstall optional dependencies (like cups) without taking the rest of the system with it, I would appreciate it.

The second area is Debian's configuration for installed applications. Apparently with things like vim, I can't simply write a ~/.vimrc and have it work, because Debian's system-wide vim configuration is not only designed to override that, but to also specify that vim configuration needs to be put somewhere else. I need to read about where I can consistently expect to be able to put my own customisations for applications, if I can't make dotfiles in the home directory.

The third area is kernel compilation. I will admit that I didn't try this in Debian proper, but when I tried to recompile a kernel under Ubuntu with DKMS, it failed on three consecutive occasions, and on trying to figure out the problem, it was apparently due to errors in the perl scripts which are supposed to automate the process. I used to find non-automated (in terms of DKMS) recompilation on Slackware to actually be fairly easy, but with DKMS there seems to be a lot more potential points of failure. I'm going to need to thoroughly understand DKMS if I'm going to be able to successfully navigate past those.

If people can give me some info about these points, I will reinstall Debian on a spare machine I have here, and attempt to give it a genuinely fair hearing. I truthfully haven't found the system to be very discoverable in the past, but if I'm armed with the information that I've outlined above, I think it would get to the point where I could use it in a productive way.

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Needed information if I'm going to retry Debian

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  • by Qzukk (229616)

    My ~/.vimrc works... make sure you're getting the "real" vim and not elvis or vi (or the light version of vim which was built with just about everything disabled)?

    As for kernels, I've never really trusted distribution kernels anyway and just configured, built and installed them by hand.

    Uninstalling is still a pain in the ass. Use deborphan to find everything that's not required anymore, for everything else dselect is a pain in the ass to learn but at least it explains why it thinks something should be done

    • by petrus4 (213815)

      My ~/.vimrc works... make sure you're getting the "real" vim and not elvis or vi (or the light version of vim which was built with just about everything disabled)?

      Ah. Thanks for that. I think from memory that Ubuntu did have vim-light as the default, which was pretty nasty.

      Manual kernel building works, eh? I was paranoid about breaking something if I tried that; will have to have another look at it. Ubuntu has a truly voodoo module loading system; I can't remember whether that of raw Debian is the same, however.

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        I'm fairly certain that Debian picks elvis by default. elvis has some pretty cool features that I wish vim would absorb (like its interactive hex editor mode as opposed to 0,$!xxd and back) but it's not quite vim enough for me to not go crazy in it.

        Manual kernels work well enough as long as you don't have any need for nvidia or ati drivers. The problem with them is that application packages depends on the userspace 3d libraries (opengl), which depends on the kernel module package, which depends on the ker

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg