Using a Debian ISO instead of a CD-ROM in your sources.list

I recently purchased a home server (Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 with Intel Xeon E3-1225). My goal with this purchase is to learn a little bit more about Linux, play around with Xen a bit, and eventually create a home-base for all my media and files.

I’ve been documenting every single step of the process in my personal wiki, but I want to take select pieces from that and turn them into mini tutorials. This is one of those pieces.

The sources.list file

Linux is designed to be installed from a CD-ROM, which feels so old-school to me. I haven’t owned a CD or DVD player or burner in years — none of my laptops have them, I have no gaming systems, and I stream all my media to an Amazon Fire TV running Kodi. So installing Linux from a CD just felt wrong.

I chose to work with Debian, specifically because that’s one of the Linux flavors we use at work. I downloaded the ISO (or CD image file) from the official website, “burned” it onto a USB stick, and installed.

However, when I tried to use the apt-get command to install some software, specifically lvm2, I got this error:

Media change: please insert the disc labeled
 'Debian GNU/Linux 8.2.0 _Jessie_ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20150906-10:02'
 in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter

Even though I installed Debian from a USB stick, it was still looking for a CD in the CD drive. I needed some way to tell the system to look somewhere else. Continue reading

Programming, Rubik’s Cubes, and unconscious incompetence

Rubik's Cube

The “conscious competence” learning model describes four stages of competence. The first stage is “unconscious incompetence,” which is the state of not even knowing what you don’t know. Not even Google can help because you don’t even know what to type into the search bar. Last year, when I made the decision to learn how to code, this is how I felt. I was an English major in college and had used it to rack up retail experience. My knowledge of computers, while passionate, came strictly from recreational experience. Continue reading