A day of failure with DebianPosted: August 30, 2010
Today, I tried installing Debian on my HP ProBook 4510S. Three times.
Obviously, I failed. On the first try, I got the wrong CD image (Lenny instead of Squeeze) and only realized that after I installed it. On the second try, I assigned the 500MB /dev/sda1 to / instead of /boot, which resulted in a cataclysmic Debian-style out-of-space dpkg error. Something I got about four times with Ubuntu on my Eee PC, but that’s another story. And on the third try, I almost got it done and even did an offline install of the Broadcom STA driver using Keryx, dpkg and module-assistant. However, it failed to detect any networks, citing a read error :(
Then I gave up and decided to install Linux Mint 9 LXDE. I just burnt it on a CD-RW and I’ll install it as soon as I finish this post :D
Anyway, here’s my “detailed report” on installing Debian Squeeze:
- You don’t get an Internet connection during the install, so you have to download the 600+ MB CD1 image instead of the 180 MB netinst one.
- The first CD image for Squeeze doesn’t even come with wireless-tools packaged.
- You absolutely need Keryx to do any kind of offline Debian install. And the guide here.
- It’s probably easier to do all this if you install GNOME. But it’s a pain to remove in my experience, so I didn’t even try that.
- The framebuffer made my eyes bleed. 800×600 on a widescreen display? No thank you.
- Doing an offline install of the Broadcom STA driver on Debian-based distros is mostly impossible.
The Broadcom driver has been annoying me since I got the ProBook. The only distro on which I managed to manually install it is Fedora. On Ubuntu, I now connect to the Internet using my ZTE MF110 modem and use Hardware Drivers (jockey?) to automatically install it. On a side note, I couldn’t do that with Kubuntu, because KNetworkManager is too buggy to let me connect to networks that do not support 2G data (which Digi Mobil Romania is).
The conclusion? I probably won’t install Debian on this machine again too soon.