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Linux Help Please?
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ghporter
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May 15, 2021, 07:20 PM
 
I have a very nice little Linux machine. It’s a Dell Optiplex 780 with a 500 GB SSD. It’s currently running Debian 9, and for some reason, the way I have it installed is so locked down that I have to sudo this and sudo that just to do simple software management.

I tried upgrading to 10, but the “online” upgrade just didn’t really work, and I couldn’t use the system.

Funny thing: I set this up originally to be an AirPrint server. It does fine at that, but this little machine can do so much more. Except the security setup (which it installed by itself) won’t let me set it up as a file server, or do a lot of other things.

So should I just bite the proverbial bullet and do a fresh install with Debian 10, and do it step-by-step so I can un-lock down what I want? Or is there a better option?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
shifuimam
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May 17, 2021, 10:42 AM
 
When's the last time you updated? If it's been a long time (many months or years), you're probably better off just reinstalling.

What are you seeing when you try to do stuff (like set up the file server)?
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ghporter  (op)
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May 17, 2021, 11:10 AM
 
I’ve tried to set up SAMBA, and wile I can get the basic system installed, I can’t get it to work. Whether I spend a lot of time tinkering with configuration files or use a GUI configuration tool, there’s some glitch that keeps it from working.

Since Debian makes it really hard to just log in as Root, I’m not sure if I’m simply not getting everything connected, or if there’s something else going on.

I’m strongly leaning toward reinstalling. Last time I installed, I set up one partition for the system so I could reinstall without having to backup my documents and other files. I’m still going to do that, but I hope that the process will make that backup insurance rather than something necessary.

And at this point I’m thinking of installing the latest version, which is Debian 10 “Buster.” But I’ll set aside plenty of time to do it so I can go step by step and maybe not feel like I’m locked out of my own machine….

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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May 21, 2021, 05:52 PM
 
After some major distractions in the last couple of days, I was able to get at this computer.

First, I updated the BIOS of the machine. It had version “A03”, and the latest version was at least “A15,” so that’s what I installed.

Then I installed Debian 10 (Buster). That actually went pretty smoothly, except I couldn’t find a way to keep the installer from formatting my user/home partition. Nothing really lost, but it wasn’t how I wanted it to go.

I’ve gotten the AirPrint server running, and even have Samba running. Now I’m struggling with getting RealVNC’s software installed. It’s not necessary, but it is handy.

It looks like when I had originally installed Debian 9, I’d done it with a 32 bit version. This time I installed the 64 bit version, and I can see quite a lot of improvement with that. Except for network and disk access, it “feels” quite a lot quicker.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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May 22, 2021, 04:30 PM
 
I’ve configured Samba sharing for my user folders, and tested it pretty thoroughly, so I think I have it working well.

Now I need a USB 2 drive enclosure that will handle the 1TB desktop drive I have sitting around idle, so I can build shared spaces on it. I have some old enclosures, but I don’t know if they can handle drives of this size…

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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May 24, 2021, 09:31 PM
 
And now I have the RealVNC stuff working.

Turns out that X11 isn’t the default windows server in Debian 10. Unfortunately nothing was graceful enough to tell me “X11 services not found” or something like that. I sort of stumbled on the issue, but that let me stumble over the fix, too.

Now I need to set up file serving. And maybe local web serving as well. It comes with Apache all set up, so what the heck.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
shifuimam
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Jun 17, 2021, 10:57 AM
 
Glad to hear you figured it out!!

If you still use any old hardware, you can also run an AppleTalk zone over TCP/IP, and host an AppleShare for older Macs to connect to. We use one of our Linux servers for both of these, and it's made working in OS 9 so nice.
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