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:
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 gtk2-engines-pixbuf 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 (Slim is faster but lacks remote login, also 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, pixbuf, 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 "contrib" and "non-free" to 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. Then save changes and exit, and run:
sudo aptitude update
to update your 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 gftp sabnzbdplus transmission audacious vlc mplayer minitube leafpad libreoffice libreoffice-gtk fotoxx shutter feh qpdfview asunder xfburn pcmanfm lxterminal default-jre icedtea-plugin synaptic
Iceweasel is Firefox rebranded, Claws Mail is similar to OS X's Mail.app, gFTP is for moving files between Macs on the network, 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-gtk ensures LibreOffice uses your GTK theme, Fotoxx is a lightweight image editor, Shutter is a Skitch replacement, feh and qpdfview are for viewing pics and pdfs, Asunder is a CD ripper and encoder, xfburn is for burning discs, PCManFM is a lightweight file manager (ROX-Filer is a great alternative, very fast and Finder-like, but automounting devices and desktop integration take some work), 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 Aptitude/Apt-get.
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 many other optional dependencies, 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.
Once all that's 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. Debian already has middle and right click by default with
mouseemu, but I haven't been entirely satisfied with it. So here's an alternative method:
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
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 (next to the spacebar on a laptop, or on the number pad on an extended keyboard) to be right click, replace 100 with 96. Other common choices are 87 and 88 for F11 and F12, respectively. If any of these keycodes differ on your keyboard, run
showkey(though not in a terminal emulator, it must be in a console) and press your keys to display their keycodes. Then after you've saved changes to /etc/sysctl.conf, run:
sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.conf
to confirm the output. I should note here I couldn't map the fn key as a modifier on an aluminum Powerbook, so I made F12 and Enter middle and right click. I don't know why it so epically failed on that model. Also, don't forget to uninstall mouseemu as that can conflict with your new settings:
sudo aptitude remove mouseemu
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