Questions about setting up a new computer

Sam Hartman hartmans at
Mon Jul 18 19:26:23 UTC 2016

>>>>> "John" == John G Heim <jheim at> writes:

    John> If you are going to install debian yourself, basically what
    John> you want to do is to unselect the graphical user interface
    John> when it gets to the page where you select software to
    John> install. And then after you are finished with the install, use
    John> apt to install the graphical user interface as a separate
    John> step. I've done this many times myself but not for a year or
    John> so and my memory is a little fuzzy. I think the gui (or it
    John> might be called the desktop) is item 10 or 11 and it is
    John> selected by default. You have to unselect it and then continue

This sounds rightish.
Also, Note that if you do the install with speech enabled, you are very
likely to have speech after the reboot.

    John>     John> with the install. After it finishes and you reboot, it will be
    John> in character mode.  I think you can then install the gui by
    John> simply typing "apt-get install gnome-orca". That will install
    John> orca, gnome, and all of their dependencies. You can then start
    John> the gui by typing "startx".

That will sort of work, but you will get a remarkably broken gnome.
It turns out it's kind of challenging these days to get a desktop
without a display manager.
I might install and then disable the display display manager:

apt-get install gnome
systemctl disable gdm3

alternatively you can get some significant chunks of gnome with

apt-get install gnome-session libreoffice firefox libreoffice-gnome


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