Here you want to type
root, then enter your root password. Now you're logged in as root with all the superpowers that comes with it. Don't let it go to your head, though. You'll only be the root user momentarily.
We logged in as root because in order to get administrative access through your user account, you have to install the
sudopackage first. So at the command prompt, type:
aptitude install sudo
Aptitude is the installer program we'll be using. Other people may use apt-get, but they're basically the same. Once it's done installing, type
visudoat the next prompt and you'll see a text file to edit. Navigate down to the line:
root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
and just below it add the line:
In Squeeze it may look slightly different, but the important thing is both lines except the usernames are made identical. Then save changes with ctrl + o (and name it "/etc/sudoers" not "/etc/sudoers.tmp") and exit with ctrl + x, and now you can logout of your root session by typing
At the next prompt, type your username and user password and you should be logged in with sudo capabilities. Incidentally, if you want to take a break here, enter:
sudo shutdown now -h
and this will shutdown your computer.
But if you're still here, now's the time to install your GUI. I said this would be an Openbox install which is lightweight, so the downloading shouldn't take too long. At a terminal prompt, type on one line:
sudo aptitude install xorg lightdm openbox obconf obmenu gnome-themes gnome-themes-extras gtk2-engines-murrine murrine-themes gtk3-engines-unico lxappearance nitrogen xscreensaver
Let's break this down. xorg is required as your X window server, LightDM is a brand new login manager for Wheezy (
slimis faster but lacks remote login, and if you go without a login manager and just use startx, expect to have problems automounting external devices), openbox, obconf, and obmenu are required for Openbox, the gnome, murrine, and unico packages install themes and also engines that some third party themes require, LXAppearance manages themes, icons, and fonts, Nitrogen manages wallpapers, and XScreensaver is, as incredible as it may seem, a screensaver.
Enter your password and watch the install happen. Once done, there are a few more things to install. But first you need to edit your apt-sources list by typing:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
This is your package source list. You want to add non-free repositories by adding
non-freeto each of the entries like this (single line):
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
Make sure they all end in
main contrib non-free. Also, if you want to stay on the Testing branch permanently even after Wheezy turns stable, replace all instances of "wheezy" with "testing". Then save changes and exit, and run:
sudo aptitude update
to update the repositories (don't forget that last step!).
Now if you have a first-generation Airport card or an ATI graphics card you can install nonfree firmware, and you also may want to add the Microsoft fonts installer for fonts many web pages use (single line):
sudo aptitude install firmware-linux-nonfree ttf-mscorefonts-installer
The mscorefonts installer will auto-launch and take a minute to install all the fonts.
Now let's install some applications. Since my laptop is going to be used for just web surfing, writing, and music/video playing, I'm going to install just a basic set by typing on one line:
sudo aptitude install iceweasel claws-mail sabnzbdplus transmission audacious vlc mplayer minitube leafpad libreoffice libreoffice-gtk fotoxx gpicview epdfview asunder xfburn thunar lxterminal default-jre icedtea-plugin synaptic
Iceweasel is Firefox rebranded, Claws Mail is similar to OS X's Mail.app, Sabnzbdplus and Transmission (execute command is transmission-gtk, FYI) are for Usenet and BitTorrent, Audacious is a really cool lightweight music player, VLC and mplayer are video players (G3 users will need to compile their own VLC and mplayer due to a bug - I'll have a brief HowTo in Part V), Minitube is like MacTubes for Linux (UPDATE: seems broken lately, I wrote about some alternatives here and here), Leafpad is a simple text editor, LibreOffice is for those of us who can't abide by Abiword,
libreoffice-gtkensures LibreOffice uses your GTK theme, Fotoxx is a lightweight image editor, GPicView and EpdfView are for viewing pics and pdfs, Asunder is a CD ripper and encoder, xfburn is for burning discs, Thunar is a light, stable file manager (choose PCManFM if you need to browse AFP shares as Thunar can't do this), LXTerminal is a close equivalent to OS X's Terminal.app, default-jre installs open-source java (replace jre with jdk if you intend to develop java applications), icedtea-plugin is a java web plug-in (some people report they need to disable this in Iceweasel because it causes the cpu to jump to 100%), and Synaptic is a package manager for those of you who prefer a GUI front end to the command line.
Here's as good a place as any to show you a little Aptitude trick. I also want to install an archive manager called File-roller, but when I do it wants to install Nautilus and a ton of other stuff, which I don't want. So to just install File-roller, do (on one line):
sudo aptitude install file-roller --without-recommends
and you won't get the whole repository with it. If you want a lean system, you can do this with every package. You can run aptitude in simulation mode with the argument "-s" and then compare between with-recommends and without to see what you're missing.
Once all the installing is done, there's one more thing you need to do before entering the GUI. If you're using a one button mouse or a one button laptop, using Openbox without middle and right click will be a highly unpleasant experience--as in you literally won't be able to do anything except stare at the screen and play with your cursor. So to enable middle and right click, run:
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
and add the following three lines at the end (and note there's no forward slash before "dev"):
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button_emulation = 1
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button2_keycode = 97
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button3_keycode = 100
This will make fn + ctrl and fn + alt your middle and right click keys. Or if you prefer the enter key (the one next to the spacebar on a laptop) to be right click, replace 100 with 96. Desktop users isolated in a frozen wilderness and unable to mail-order a three button mouse will want f11 and f12, so replace 97 with 87 and 100 with 88 (desktop users only because f12 may conflict with a laptop's eject key). If any of these keycodes differ on your keyboard, run
showkey(though not in a terminal emulator, it must be in a console) and then press your keys to display their keycodes. After you've saved changes to /etc/sysctl.conf, run:
sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.conf
and you should see confirmation of your new keycode. Just make sure you don't have
mouseemuinstalled because it may conflict with this. If you do, do a
sudo aptitude remove mouseemu. Unless you want to use mouseemu instead. But I'm not familiar with mouseemu, so I don't like it :-p)
Now you're all set to enter your GUI. Type
startxto launch X or
sudo shutdown now -rto reboot. I hope I didn't forget anything...
Coming up next, Part IV - Configuring Stuff. Be there or be square!
Part I - Pre-Installation
Part II - Installing the Base System
Part IV - Configuring Stuff
Part V - Bugs & Quirks