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A long rant on Debian 9




I have been a user of debian for many years on a number of computers
as well as other GNU/Linux systems.  Recently I discovered that my
i686 32bit machine was out of support and they were not supporting
32bit machines any longer.  After some bad experiences with Tumbleweed I
decided that I would install stretch so I could get experience of it
when I am forced to upgrade my firewall (running jessie with a whezzy
kernel).

So today I d/loaded the net-install iso for debian 9.4 and wrote it to
a usb stick. Then tried to install on the target (Thinkpad x40).
Nice idea but it refused to use the wifi, so I proceeded via wired
ethernet hoping I could resolve the issue later.  In the process I
think I determined the wifi problem was the need for firmware for the
Intel ipw2200 hardware.

After rather a long time it said it was installed so I rebooted -- a
big mistake!  I was hoping for a computer where I could write
programs, mainly with xterm, emacs (with elisp) and C.  I had asked
for no gnome no kde no xfce...  I usually run fvwm on X but I got a
screen with nothing obvious to do.  I did get icons (spit!) offering
games and firefox but no xterm -- I was expecting to install emacs
myself as I use a very recent system -- but it was in effect not a
computer but some kind of toy. I do not play computer games and
thought I had said not to install any

Since then I have failed to get wifi although I have got the firmware
-- but no instructions on how to install.  Got aptitude installed and
discovered load of gnome stuff cluttering up the disk (which is
limited) and memory (ditto).

How do I get a working computer?  I can ssh in from elsewhere but that
is not what I need.  And I need wifi.

I have never had this problem in 35 years on unix and linux, and am
very disappointed.  I suppose I can install things like csh and
possibly xdm, exim from source etc but without an xterm.....

I also noticed eventually that the duff screen came from tty2 rather
that tty7 that I was expecting.

Sorry for the rant but I really was expecting simplicity as before.

==John ffitch