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I'm a long time Fedora BFU and decided to switch to Debian for my new Dell XPS. Unfortunately, on a fresh install, I only get to work with a microscopic CLI and no internet connection, as both GPU and network card seem to need additional drivers to work. I found both drivers online, but I'm failing to install them.

GPU driver needs cc in $PATH, but I think I'm missing GCC alltogether:

gcc # command not found, 
man gcc # no manual entry for gcc

With Realtek, I cannot make the installer: make # make: command not found

I'm a bit surprised that I don't get gcc and make out of the box - is there an easy way to install some bundle multiple of these basic apps from a USB drive?

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In your situation, I would install using the unofficial, firmware-included full DVD (which can also be used on a USB stick). While labelled as “unofficial” this is still prepared by the same people who prepare the official installation images, and it has two advantages in your specific use-case:

  • it includes firmware and non-free drivers, possibly including those you need for your hardware;
  • it also includes GCC, Make etc., so you can install them directly.

GCC and Make aren’t installed by default; to install them from the installation image, ensure your /etc/apt/sources.list file still has the

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 10.10.0 _Buster_ - Unofficial amd64 DVD Binary-1 with firmware 20210619-16:16]/ buster contrib main non-free

entry (as set up by the installer — the exact timestamp might vary), mount the DVD image, and run

apt install gcc make

as root.

(If you want to give Debian 11 a shot, the equivalent image is also available, using RC2 of the installer. This has a newer kernel than the Debian 10 setup, and may work better on your new hardware.)

If you don’t need non-free firmware, but would like to be able to install GCC and Make from the installation media rather than from Internet mirrors, you can use the official DVD images instead (only the first DVD is needed).

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