Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 25th Mar 2003 03:25 UTC
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris OSNews was privileged to an early access to the final version of Mandrake Linux 9.1 Standard Edition and we were able to test it for almost a week now. Here is our review. Update: Added four screenshots. Update 2: Mandrake Linux 9.1 is out, read the PR, get it from mirrors, buy it or join the Club, from links found here.
Order by: Score:
Encouraging
by Bakari on Tue 25th Mar 2003 03:52 UTC

Seems an encouraging version; it's fast (8/10) and relatively stable (7/10). Can't wait to download the isos. If I am correct, the isos will be available for download before March 31.

Good review; it's brief and well detailed.

Screen Shots?
by Brandon Philips on Tue 25th Mar 2003 03:57 UTC

Where are the screen shots?

RE: Screen Shots?
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 03:58 UTC

Read the article, third sentense.

w00t!
by insignia! on Tue 25th Mar 2003 03:59 UTC

Did I hear(read) NTFS resizing???

Oops
by Brandon Philips on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:00 UTC

Doh! I missed that.

screenshots
by oki on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:17 UTC

these screenshots are terrible . post some new one please !

Good work Mandrake
by lastninja on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:18 UTC

I have to agree with Eugenia, while I'm using RC2 and not final I must say that its much better than their previous efforts. The Galaxy theme is much nicer than Keramik, other than KDE 3.1 is really nice and one of the core reasons why I like Mandrake 9.1. Now if only they would supply a precompiled version of Kdevelop3-Gideon, I might consider joining their club.

Re: w00t!
by Jim on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:19 UTC

Yeah NTFS resizing is a biggie, I used it in one of the betas. DiskDrake is almost unmatched. You can just move windows over to create some free space, click Auto allocate, install and it will add windows to the boot loader. Mandrake definitely gets my vote for most dual boot friendly. In Red Hat 8.0 I still had to tell the installer to use / for root. Not much of a big deal now, but I remember not knowing what to type there the first time I installed RH 6.1.

OS or UI?
by Steve on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:27 UTC

Why is this site branded as "OS News" when all Eugenia cares about is the UI? There's nothing wrong with "UI News" - uinews.com is taken, but uinews.org is available.

50% of the stuff I read hear is about fonts - any mention of how Mandrake 9.x would work as a server? Well, a mention of "thrash it as a desktop and I gave up on an ssh session", but do I know anything about this OS after reading this review? Not unless I'm a multimedia-intensive desktop user.

If this site was rebranded, I'd quite enjoy reading it; while it pretends to deal with OSes I find it totally frustrating!

Steve

Terminals...
by The Wandering Dru on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:29 UTC

"...but the annoying "Terminals" menu in the root Kmenu which lists 5-6 different... terminals is still there (that's obsolete and geeky, in my humble opinion)."

I thought a terminal, by definition, WAS geeky. A geek is surely going to know which term s/he wants and it's easier to just drag the icon from the menu to the quickbar than create a launcher from scratch.

This, of course, is just my (humble) opinion.

...
by chicobaud on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:34 UTC

Anyone can tell if the automount isn not broken ?

I like Mandrake but some things just shouldn't be included for stability improvement.

Tough Choices
by ximian10 on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:47 UTC

Wonderful review but also one that makes my choice tougher. As a new linux user, I've used Suse 8 and currently Mandrake 9.0. I like both of these distros but I'm curious as to a concensous. Which distro should I try next, Suse8.2 or Mandrake 9.1....Opinions welcome of course.

in a word
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:48 UTC

>>>Why is this site branded as "OS News" when all Eugenia cares about is the UI? There's nothing wrong with "UI News" - uinews.com is taken, but uinews.org is available.


deal

9.1
by Adam Scheinberg on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:50 UTC

I haven't been much of a Mandrake fan...pretty much ever. I've always felt it was subpar and not so professional looking. Having seen 9.1, I can tell you this: that all changes here.

Download this and install it as soon as you can. The installer, the OS, the Galaxy theme, the new control center - it's amazing.

Re: HTML
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:54 UTC

It's not legal to use formatting tags in a page's title!

Agreed
by Alex on Tue 25th Mar 2003 04:54 UTC

I too found Mandrake greately improved in look n feel, usability, installation, friendliness and just about everything.

Before when all the major distributions released last year, i would have clearly sai Mandrake is behind SuSE and Redhat, and that it looks absolutly stunning!

Now I find this distribution ahead of Redhat and probably SuSE as well although I have not tried 8.2. This release is an overhaul as large as Redhat did with 8.0, minus the crippled KDE of course. http://mosfet.org/noredhat.html

This does not mean there are no problems, There definetely are, just no huge bugs whicha ffect me anyway. There is still a lot of room for improvement, I really hope teh mandrake team will make as much aof an effort for their next release.

BTW, I run RC3, practically final.

v french
by johnG on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:04 UTC
ACPI
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:11 UTC

I must agree with some of the posters that the review focuses too much on User Interface. How about mentioning the inclusion of ACPI, which is needed for power management on nearly all newer laptops, and which won´t be included with RH for example in their next version. Also, it would be instructive to loose a few words about urpmi. Debian users always tout apt, and this is the RPM equivalent.

RE: ACPI
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:15 UTC

I have no use for ACPI sorry, as the distro was installed on my desktop machine and not on a laptop. I don't have a laptop that can run Mandrake or any other modern Linux dsitro (all my 3 laptops are either old-ish, or Macs).

I did ran Apache, PHP and MySQL and they all ran fine. But for more server-intensive jobs (e.g. running a DNS or a print server), I have absolutely no need for (our FreeBSD home server works just fine, thanks), so I can't say I tested the server side of Mandrake.

v Re: french
by Yama on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:18 UTC
Re: Tough Choices (Mandrake/SuSE)
by Jim on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:36 UTC

I hate to get into distro vs distro but having used the recent Mandrake 9.1 beta and SuSE 8.1 you are probably better off with Mandrake. The two distros are pretty similar but even though SuSE is not free is does not really offer you anything mandrake does not provide for free. I would pick the free download edition of Mandrake over SuSE, I think the KDE menu is the only thing that SuSE did better than Mandrake. I prefer the Mandrake installer and Mandrake’s Control Center to SuSE’s YaST. In order to sell SuSe professional SuSE personal does not ship with many development tools you may need, Apache, and various other useful things. If you are going to buy Mandrake I would recommend using the free download version and subscribing to the Mandrake Club ($60/y). The main thing the club has to offer is additional built/tested rpm’s. You can request and vote for packages to be built by the club. Working with RPM’s for me is the most frustrating thing about Linux, the Mandrake Club partly solves this. Mandrake’s user-base is also much larger so finding support and packages is often less difficult, upgrading Mandrake is also cheaper (free). Some people disagree with me, but I think overall the general consensus between the two is Mandrake.

-:)
by tom on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:38 UTC

All what I can say is LINUX ROCKS

Re: RE: Screen Shots?
by rajan r on Tue 25th Mar 2003 05:45 UTC

I much prefer normally sized screenshots with detail rather than screenshots resized to be smaller, loosing detail of it. But then agaim, it wouldn't matter to me anyway, I'm gonna to install it anyway :-)

Eugenia had a RC or Cooker for a week.
by DraKonX on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:06 UTC

I seriously doubt you have "privileged" access to the final version of Mandrake Linux 9.1 a week early. Unless you have a time machine I am not aware of. The current status is 9.1rc3 as of this time of me writing this comment. And you have stated you have had it a week. Now you may have downloaded the cooker "hot off the press tweaked and poked last night" version but certainly not the final release. Plus, there is no special privilege to download this, anyone can do this. Besides this I do think you wrote a fairly good review and I do like the things you had to say. The one thing that woudl amuse me a good amount though is if they change something or fix something in the REAL final release that by the remote possibility breaks compatability with the version you downloaded. As for everyone else that wishes to test the same version she did, you do not have to be privileged. To all others I would suggest you all stick to offical releases though unless you would like to help in its development or send in bug reports for Cooker, RCs, and betas.

I must say, I like the review though, I hope the best for this release of Mandrake as from what I see it seems to look as if though it is a very promising release. I do think when they offically release this version it will be something I will enjoy using. Thank you for the review, sorry about my minor complaint if it offended you.

Umm.....no.
by Adam Scheinberg on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:10 UTC

Eugenia had a RC or Cooker for a week.

Ummm...no. It's not an RC. It's not Cooker. It's final.

How did you fix your soundcard again?
by G2Hoodz on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:12 UTC

I have the same problem. I have a soundblaster Live and mandrake always chooses audigy. What are the steps to enabling ALSA and choosing emu10k?

RE: Eugenia had a RC or Cooker for a week.
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:13 UTC

Indeed, it is the final. Who knows, maybe I know a bit more than I can actually tell publicly. ;-)

RE: How did you fix your soundcard again?
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:16 UTC

You have two options:
1. Reinstall and in the "Summary" page you should tell it to use the emu10k driver from the Sound Card option and then go to the "services" and check the "Alsa" to be loaded by default when the machine boots.
2. The second option is more easy, just go to the Mandrake Control Center, go to "Hardware" option where it shows you ALL the hardware your machine has, then click the SBLive option and then on the buttons there again, choose the emu10k() driver instead of the audigy.

Umm, a new dog this time!
by bsdrocks on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:38 UTC

I guess, I can't call Mandrake an old dog any more. It's good to see Mandrake team finally light their blubs and work harder as they can.

Bravo to Mandrake team!

Thanks for review, Eugenia!

v Mandrake is all about love
by Jimmy Keyton on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:46 UTC
Thanks for the screenshots!
by Another matthew on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:51 UTC

I know your thing about pngs and jpegs for screenshots, is there any chance of getting a png of just a small part of the screen showing font rendering. Regardless, thanks for the review.

RE: screenshots
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 06:59 UTC

Sorry, I have already deleted the PNGs... ;)

From the screenshots
by rajan r on Tue 25th Mar 2003 07:05 UTC

The titlebar fonts is really out - It is too bold. It really looks out of place. Plus, the rest of the icons look rather big is comparison with Red Hat, Windows XP and Mac OS default. The fonts in Konqueror really looks out of place and ugly.

RE: From the screenshots
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 07:07 UTC

The fonts in the shots are mine (I use Arial). I bolded the titlebar on purpose.
The icons are the default.

Eugenia, mostly right after all and a little wrong
by DraKonX on Tue 25th Mar 2003 07:23 UTC

and I will leave it at that. I stand corrected. You will see "offical" releases on mirrors shortly of my writing this I am pretty sure though. There has been alot of confusion about this subject. Sorry, although I still would not call it privilaged. They definitly are still having problems with alsa though.

don't buy a copy....
by Gromit on Tue 25th Mar 2003 07:44 UTC

buy a membership. That's what Mandrake prefer, AFAIK

About the kernel
by me on Tue 25th Mar 2003 07:55 UTC

As far as i know, it's the first Mandrake release i see coming with a -pre kernel...Mandrake was really in a hurry. It is said in the review that it is stable, i hope it really is. Anyway, i'm going to support Mandrakesoft and buy a box...
And to the writer, good article. I found the info i was looking for.

Pretentious title
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 08:30 UTC

When you say "World Exclusive... OSnews was privileged to an early access to the final version" you mean you could test the latest frozen cooker distribution, or download the "RC3" like any other people could do ? This sensationalism is not really justified IMO...

Anyway, nice review.

SBLive card
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 08:32 UTC

That's strange your problem with the SBLive card. I have a SB Live, and I have also installed latest cooker, by FTP and HD image. emu10k1 has been correctly used for my card. Are there different kind of SBLive cards ?

Re: Eugenia
by Alex (The Original) on Tue 25th Mar 2003 08:47 UTC

The fonts in the shots are mine (I use Arial).

Eugenia, as far as I am aware, Arial looks like Helvetica and vice versa but the fonts from your screen shots look nothing like Arial/Helvetica.

With all respect to you and I don't mean to offend you, I am just confused, thats all. Are you sure the fonts from the screen shots are Arial?

Mandrake 9.1
by Alex (The Original) on Tue 25th Mar 2003 08:53 UTC

This review is awsome, well detailed and I am glad it has screen shots. I hardly read reviews without screen shots. Also some comments about Mandrake 9.1. From what I've read so far and what I've seen, I really think *this time* the Mandrake people did a great job. Why didn't they do this before? To Mandrake: Don't you think it's a bit too late? But as they say...better ever then never.

Graphics/fonts notes
by WattsM on Tue 25th Mar 2003 09:28 UTC

While Helvetica and Arial are almost the same font, X11 has three or four different font rendering engines in it, depending on configuration, if I'm remembering right (bitmap, an early outline font variant, TrueType, and PostScript Type 1). Similar fonts generated by different engines--or even the same font generated by different engines--can look radically different. I remember having a FreeBSD 4.x installation that came with Lucida and Lucidux fonts; even though Lucidux was the cheap knockoff font (really), it looked better on X. (This was before any attempts at anti-aliasing under X had gone mainstream.)

(Yes, almost the same font, but not quite. Helvetica is a classic font from Linotype; Arial was developed by the Monotype foundry by taking an earlier font of theirs and modifying the letter proportions to match Helvetica's.)

On a geek note, I'd second or third the suggestion to not use JPEGs for screenshots. I remember Eugenia's defense of this due to file sizes, and I understand, but the degredation in quality can get really noticeable--and that's bad mojo for a site whose reviews focus so much on interfaces. I think you'd honestly be better off using a PNG or an adaptive palette GIF, even if the file size increases.

What to do Menu?
by testerus on Tue 25th Mar 2003 09:32 UTC

Is the "What to do" Menu really gone? I am running Cooker and the Menu is still there.

RC3
by Mat on Tue 25th Mar 2003 09:44 UTC

Well, there are a lot of rumours about rc3 actually being the final... anyway we'll know beofre the end of the week, for sure ;)

@ Eugenia and Re: don't buy a copy....
by aRTee on Tue 25th Mar 2003 09:58 UTC

"buy a membership. That's what Mandrake prefer, AFAIK"

I think they would prefer you to buy both. ;-)

Nice review Eugenia (you only bashed kde a little bit at the end :^)
Could you please comment on the startup time after tweaking (turning off all unneeded/unwanted services via mcc->services)?

And can you comment on zeroconf?
What beast is that, what is it good for, etc. I have a home network with just linux machines, do I have to convert all of them to mdk9.1 to be able to use zeroconf? Can I do more with zeroconf than with my normal setup where I attribute ip addresses?

Does ntfs resizing need any preparation? As far as I understand, ntfs partitions can be resized but data cannot be moved, meaning if you have data at the end, the partition cannot be resized without loss of data.
Is this correct?
What defragmenter should one use to avoid any such problem?
Some tend to put data at the end of the partition, AFAIK...
Or should it just work without using a defragmenter?

Can you make any comments on the autodevice desktop stuff, such as having an icon appear the moment you connect some usb device like a scanner or webcam?
To me this seems a big plus, especially for new users.

Also, some more info about urpmi and related comments would be nice for people who don't know Mandrake.

Finally, can you comment on the special 'desktop user, low latency (preempt or whatever) multimedia kernel' which is supposed to make mdk9.1 the right distro for multimedia users? (gives high priority to stuff like recording audio IIUC)

Default Installs
by William Ray Barker on Tue 25th Mar 2003 11:01 UTC

I wonder how much stuff it installs in the default sections. You named off a lot of applications, one the biggest things I hated about Mandrake 9.0 was I had a hard time trying to customize it down. Mandrake always wanted to install 4 web browsers, 4 instant messenger programs, etc. That was the great thing about RedHat 8.0 right when it came out, it was very easy to pick what you want installed and what you didn't want installed.

Very nice...but..
by Ez on Tue 25th Mar 2003 11:55 UTC

Yeah, it's looking good. Mandrake seemed to get better with each release. Didn't see anything in the review about the package manager - which was awful in mandrake 8.0 - the last version I tried. But, and this is a big "but", all I keep seeing everywhere, is reviews of new Linux distros, new versions of distros etc - but never hear of any new software. None of the big boys, macromedia, Adobe, Mickeysoft etc seem to be targetting Linux as a platform. When i install Linux, i then find it pretty useless except for bumming around in, much as i like it.

RC3
by nonamenobody on Tue 25th Mar 2003 12:52 UTC

>> Well, there are a lot of rumours about rc3 actually being the final... anyway we'll know beofre the end of the week, for sure ;)

Yes RC3, is (almost certainly) final. That is how release candidates work, you put out a number release candidates, when you reach a candidate is as bug free as can be reasonably be expected it is promoted to final (that's the way it's supposed to work, it doesn't always happen like that).

WRT to all those who doubt that Eugina got the software a week early, because RC3 has only just been shipped, there is a lot more involved in making release than just bunging the software on an ftp server; web pages need to be written, internal tests need to be performed, lots of things I don't know about need to be done. It is very possible Eugina got the software a week early.

uhmmm nice screenshot
by bahamot on Tue 25th Mar 2003 12:55 UTC

i'll give it a try, it seems 9.1 have significant change over 9.0, the screenshots are nice. IMO better than suse 8.1

It's good to see Mandrake's back on town
by Cesar Cardoso on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:08 UTC

For a company said to be on the rope, it's great to see activity on Mandrake.

Hm... now I want to see if the KDE trolls will complain because Mandrake has 'galaxyfied' KDE and GNOME ;-)

YOPER
by zhopon on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:27 UTC

When will you review Yoper Eugenia?!

Still lots of bugs though...=(
by mobileuser on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:35 UTC

I've tried RC3.
There probably won't be another RC (since the updates/9.1 folder is in place and already filling up) and that's a shame.

I've tested it on a Dell Latitude laptop.

Alsa wouldn't start at boot time. Starting it from the config manager fixed the problem (now it starts fine from boot).
KDE hangs when trying to browse the /mnt folder. There is only a couple of Windows folders there. Gnome has no problem with this.
The windows graphics are corrupted (Leaving dotted trails, top of the window has streaks)

I hope those are just KDE 3.1 issues that are fixed with 3.1.1

Galaxy...
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:38 UTC

... is looking good. ;)

My only complaints so far is I got no sound, and have no clue how to get it working (I have an audigy2, which was detected as an audigy, I tried both the audigy and the emu10k1 drivers, I get no error messages, but no sound) and it didnt recognize my wacom tablet, and I can't seem to find any place to add it to my configuration options...

Also it seems gcc wasn't properly registered by default (command not found).

Everything else went very good... Galaxy looks great, I can run gnome apps without them looking awful inside kde... My cd writer was properly detected, my usb printer too.

Antialiased fonts look good, by default I get all the packages I need, and then some...

So far so good, if anyone has a clue how to get sound working I would like to hear! ;)

Great Release
by vsw on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:41 UTC

I dl'd 9.1r3 (final?) last night... Gotta say, fantastic release. I use Slackware all day in a non-gui web hosting environment, but on workstations or home I've always liked Mandrake or Redhat or Suse. I've been using the RH 8.1 beta, but I gotta say with integration nowadays with the 'galaxybluecurve' environmewnts, the convincing points for me for Mandrake is this: Speed. This thing is a LOT faster for me than RH on a P3 1ghz machine...and out of the box multimedia.

Nice Job!!
They'll get my money ;)

And for everyday use ?
by bb_matt on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:46 UTC

So, how does it run for everyday use ?

If you've been using it for a week, surely you can tell us a bit more ?

Is it worth switching from RedHat 8.0 ?
Should we wait for RedHat 9.0 ?

I moved over from Mandrake 9.0 to RedHat 8.0 and am extremely happy with the change, however, I want to know beforehand whether it's worth switching back to Mandrake before I download 3 700 meg ISO files.

Multimedia support - everything runs "out the box" ?
Configuring it on a windows network ?

From the review, it looks like the speed has improved over 9.0 (which imho was a step backwards), which can only be good - I was very dissapointed with 9.0

no yoper
by smoketoomuch on Tue 25th Mar 2003 13:47 UTC

"When will you review Yoper Eugenia?!"
There will be no Yoper review, coze it pissed of web-developer/linux-convert/distribution-tester Marcus Vorwaller (contributing editor of this site.) When he tried to install it, and was presented with a bash promt, he got angry, for apparently he had no clue that he was supposed to type in Yoper, and had to google up the info. (moral: never take a look, not even a short one to the installation instructions!)

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2865

nonamenobody
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 14:35 UTC

nonamenobody : I did not write I doubt she tried the final version, on the contrary. As a beta tester, I agree this IS the final version and also that the RC3 is the final version. cooker has been frozen 7 days ago. cooker is the beta testing depository. We received a mail saying cooker had been sent to production as the 9.1. So if you have installed the frozen cooker, since 7 days, you HAVE actually the final.

What I meant is that Eugenia used a sensationalist title like in tabloids "World exclusive" "first time" when EVERYONE is able to download and try this release. It is FREE software, there is nothing EXCLUSIVE here...

How does the OS execute?
by Shuichi on Tue 25th Mar 2003 14:37 UTC

Nice review and screenshots, but...
You didn't mention anything about how it all worked: I have heard about some DrakUpdate utility or something of the sort being slow and not working... have they fixed that? I wonder if the installation faults with wheeled mice and Mandrake Linux 9's WindowMaker issue (at least it was detailed in your review) have been carried over.

About the title and the distro
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 15:00 UTC

Eugenia has a nice site and nice reviews, but the title is pretentious and she should be grateful and emphasize the fact that Mandrake is not Lindows or Xandros, and that they give free access to their 100% GPL or free licenced development distribution (which becomes final when they freeze it). That would be more accurate than to claim there was a kind of special agreement.

Overall, this distribution is really excellent, tools are fantastic (urpmi to download and install softwares), networking and file sharing is very easy to set up. PLF packages give anything which cannot be distributed, especially the DVD decryption for xine or mplayer.

Here are docs to set up urpmi after installing Mandrake and than install easily softwares, DVD playing and other stuff :
http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon/index.php
http://rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33668481
http://urpmi.org/
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/jwrobinson/docs.html

bullsh*t os
by john on Tue 25th Mar 2003 15:38 UTC

Mandrake has officially pissed of a long time devoted user. They no longer provide 'offical updates' for previously free downloadable versions (9.0). Tell me that is right, so the server I have must now be redone with DEBIAN, I guess the free community has sold out to the landlords who need the rent money.

@john
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 15:41 UTC

There are official updates for 9.0. The kernel has just been updated for correcting the ptrace vulnerability. They just slowed down during 9.1 development, but now they still support 9.0 very well.

More problems with laptop
by mobileuser on Tue 25th Mar 2003 15:49 UTC

Some more about that laptop fiasco...The other visual bugs described earlier don't show up with Knoppix 3.2 so those are definetely Mandrake issues with KDE.

Impossible to detect and run a mouse when pluged once in KDE.
Impossible to access the cdrom if I plug it once in KDE. CD spins, but rpmdrake or the CD icon cannot access it.

This means that everything has to be plugged before booting. It's a shame =(

The thing about Mandrake is
by None on Tue 25th Mar 2003 15:52 UTC

That they have always from the beginning made and effort to "normal" users who want help configuring their system. This is a most laudable goal and in fact certainly shows an understandign of what modern computing is all about. Distros like Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo simply aren't interested in ease of use and it shows. User of those distros 10 years from now will still be convinced that text installers command lines are the way to go. I don't begrudge them the ability to tweak all they want, but they are as a group fudementally out of touch with 95% of society when it comes to usuability.

The only issue I have with Mandrake is its bugginess. Every releaes ships with programs that don't launch when clicked, tools that just hang when you run them etc. If one thing has been proven since Mandrake started, its that their QA is pretty bad. If they could just get their QA to a reasonable level they'd really take over the desktop linux market. They also have the fear of going out of business hanging over them. I wish them the best of luck, because they'll need it.

@ Ez and @ William Ray Barker
by aRTee on Tue 25th Mar 2003 16:11 UTC

"None of the big boys, macromedia, Adobe, Mickeysoft etc seem to be targetting Linux as a platform."

Maybe you should stick with MS and all proprietary software; what you mention is not really needed for linux.

MS will not port anything for the time being, or at all.
MSoffice, if OOo is really not good enough for you, can be used with CrossoverOffice from codeweavers.
Adobe -- what do you need? There is Acrobat reader, and most linux programs can print to ps, then you only have to use ps2pdf to get a nice pdf. Alternatively, you can directly print to pdf from OOo.
Macromedia makes flash and real players for linux.

The point is, for all those programs there are OSS solutions ready or on their way. Sure some things are missing, so either stay with MS until they are there, or try to get some people started on some software you need, or get more people to convert to linux; critical mass is what's needed to convince software makers to port their stuff to linux.

I'll tell you about big boys: Cadence is porting all their design software over to linux. I can imagine Mentor is doing the same.

William Ray Barker, Mandrake is for people who want lots of choice. Just look on the mandrakeclub lists, they want all of it. If there are 5 browsers they will install all five of them, by default.
You don't like it -- either go through the whole menu and (de)select by hand, or switch to RH.
I hated the RH way, you can select extra stuff (not nearly as precise as with MDK) but there was no description on the menu, just said 'webbrowser'. If that's your piece of pie, go for it.
Problem is: everyone has different favorites, so the basic install includes loads of everything. By leaving some out, these people would/will complain, more so than those who are overwhelmed with choice.

You can also take a membership and tell them to change this; see how many people agree; if enough do, they will change it, and put less stuff in by default.

BTW I'll be voting against you ;-)

competition is good
by Roy on Tue 25th Mar 2003 16:23 UTC

It is good to see that competition is alive and well in the Linux world. I sure hope Mandrake survives their current financial difficulties. The competition between Mandrake, SUSE, and RedHat is providing great benefits.

I really like the Galaxy theme. I can't say now whether or not I like it better than BlueCurve (my current favorite), but it is definitely a GOOD looking theme. (Sorry, but I don't like the look of Kermakik sp?).

I currently have RedHat installed, but its kinda borked now (I'm in RPM hell). I think I'm going to give Libranet 2.8 a try next (apt is cool). 2.7 was good, but was kinda behind the curve on a few things (gcc in particular). From looking at distrowatch, it looks like 2.8 will be VERY up-to-date when it finally arrives.

re: None
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Mar 2003 16:26 UTC

I don't begrudge them the ability to tweak all they want, but they are as a group fudementally out of touch with 95% of society when it comes to usuability.

This is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard in my life. You have no clue what you are talking about.

You don't go buy a quantum physics text book and complain that it doesn't apply 95% of society. You don't take a graduate level math course and say "Well most people would think this is too hard!". And you sure as hell don't compare a newbie distro with one aimed at advanced users and then claim the latter knows nothing about usability. The people who use those distros enjoy them. Chances are they do the things they do far quicker and more efficiently than you do. Sometimes the easy way is NOT the best way. If you have to spend the majority of your day staring at a terminal the machine you are connected to had better be as configurable and automatable as possible to make your job EASIER. Just because most people fear the command-line doesn't mean it should disappear. Microsoft has been trying to get rid of it for years, but now what are they adding to windows? Shell scripting (MS style of course).

Re: The thing about Mandrake is
by aRTee on Tue 25th Mar 2003 16:27 UTC

Well, about bugginess, did you tell them?

I used their qa.mandrakesoft.com and it worked pretty well; I got replies about the status etc and saw when my problems got fixed.

What you mention, btw, is one of the reasons I like Mandrake: I'm a desktop user, and they have put in an effort for the desktop user from day one....
Now that they are coming up on the radar of RH and the likes (well, 1 year ago or so), RH for instance decided that suddenly, linux on the desktop was not such a bad idea (contrary to what they had been saying while Mdk was getting marketshare and making tools to facilitate the normal desktop user's life).

So I agree, a lot of credit goes to Mandrake for that.
I too wish them luck, it seems they are off for a potentially nice future with this release.

BTW to all those who have problems/bugs in Mdk 9.1: tell them, let them know what your problems are so they can fix them. Each bug fixed means a better distro, which is good for you and for them. Even if you are not a paying member of the club, it doesn't matter. You may become a member once you realise they are there to fix your problems/their bugs, and others may become members if there are less bugs.

ver.9.1 is available for downloads
by joteirx on Tue 25th Mar 2003 17:57 UTC

look at this.
ver.9.1 is available for download

http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3#iso

re: Poorly worded
by Mr. Banned on Tue 25th Mar 2003 18:01 UTC

Read the article, third sentense.

Don't go changing Eugenia -I'd hate to have to eat my words about you and your reviews!

8)=

bb matt said
by patrick_darcy on Tue 25th Mar 2003 18:20 UTC

So, how does it run for everyday use ?

If you've been using it for a week, surely you can tell us a bit more ?

Is it worth switching from RedHat 8.0 ?
Should we wait for RedHat 9.0 ?

I moved over from Mandrake 9.0 to RedHat 8.0 and am extremely happy with the change, however, I want to know beforehand whether it's worth switching back to Mandrake before I download 3 700 meg ISO files.

Multimedia support - everything runs "out the box" ?
Configuring it on a windows network ?

From the review, it looks like the speed has improved over 9.0 (which imho was a step backwards), which can only be good - I was very dissapointed with 9.0



i have used 9.0 and it was definately faster than 8.2 which
was faster than 8.1

after reading your comments i would suggest that u
stay with red hat. i think u might be happier there.

as for the rest of u. 9.1 rocks



XFCE
by DraKonX on Tue 25th Mar 2003 18:37 UTC

You are incorrect Eugenia, Mandrake 9.1 does include it. Also the version you used was technically Cooker, although cooker did freeze ad the 14th of this month.

Mandrake 9.1
by Mr. Banned on Tue 25th Mar 2003 18:43 UTC

My usual comments about how Eugenias reviews are handled still stands. They're over-personalized, poorly worded, and generally don't tell us what we want to know (The UI is typically the focus and the self congratulating starts soon thereafter).

With that out of the way, I thought I'd share my thoughts on Mandrake 9.1 vs. Redhat Phoebe (the next major version of Redhat in it's current beta form). I've dealt with both recently in my quest for my perfect Linux distro.

I touched upon some of this elsewhere already today, but both go out of there way to tweak programs defaults in a method which (they hope) will convey the sense of a well integrated OS, as opposed to a Linux kernel with a bunch of stand-alone apps thrown on top.

On one level this works: Non-Linux users don't have to realize they're running a KDE app under Gnome, or vice-versa. Similarly, most of the users these distributions are aimed at (ie, 'Corporate America') wil never have to install additional programs as they simply want to "get the job done". As long as they can type, surf, send email, IM, and possibly get some real work done such as Word Processing and Spreadsheets, they're happy.

If you want to compile and/or install some 3rd party KDE apps though (which is as good of example as any), these tweaks frequently cause problems because programs aren't installed in their default locations. Similarly, menus aren't designed as they're expected to be, so shortcuts don't get added a lot of the time when installing new items.

In general Redhat and Mandrake are about the same here: Both "break the rules", and come up with their own vision, neither of which is particularly bad, but again, neither really stands out as a winner. You just don't find yourself saying "Wow! Why doesn't everyone do this?".

Redhat and Mandrake also include the latest glibc library (2.3.2), which breaks a number of common applications. Wine in particular will not run at all on Redhat, and will only run certain items under Mandrake. This is already a fairly common complaint heard among the beta testers also.

While fixes will certainly be coming for many of the programs broken by these newer objects, it is something to consider if you plan on upgrading to either anytime soon.

Redhat and Mandrake are also similar performance-wise. Redhat however tended to be a little quicker at most operations. I didn't sit there with a stop-watch, but Mandrake was slightly slower than Redhat with a number of operations when using the same system. It's nothing that would cause any real issues, but it is something worth noting.

I did find a work around for this incidently: If you start Mandrakes install, choose "Custom" wherein you can pick all of the items to be installed manually, and then de-select every item before picking your choices, you end up with a perceptably faster system.

I haven't investigated the specifics of this, but my guess is that Mandrake's starting a large number of services when doing a default install, and quite honestly, the average desktop user doesn't need all of these. If you handle the install as per the above, you can let the package manager pick depencies and such based on what you select to install, and you end up with a lot leaner, faster system.

Redhat funny enough was fast to start with. I remember older versions of Redhat lagging behind Mandrake, but not with this baby.

Another issue worth noting is that Redhat's more of a legacy distribution in that they're i386 compatible. Mandrake on the other hand is optimized for a 586 or higher CPU. I would have thought that this would result in a "tighter", more optimized base (kernel + libs), but since Redhat's just as fast, and in general faster than a default Mandrake install, I have to wonder what, if any real benefit this provides. Not that you aren't free to recompile everything on your own, if you so desire, but I would have thought one would perceive more of a benefit from this than realized.

One last item worth noting is that both systems end up with a beutiful anti-aliased desktop. I use KDE for most things, but I did investigate the Gnome side of the apps (and I can't wait until XFCE 4's released and included with some of these distributions!). Redhat, as is their habit, has really tweaked Gnome out to look... Well... "Redhat-ish". It's nice, but was quite a bit slower than KDE 3.1 in virtually every operation. And let's face it, it's just not as configurable.

Mandrake Gnome was pretty boring and standard, and I quickly found myself going back to KDE.

I recently also installed Dropline Gnome on a Vector Linux (slackware) install, and Dropline was both faster, and sharper, at least in my eyes, than either Redhat or Mandrakes versions. Go figure... Since Redhat's been pushing Gnome for so long now, you'd think they'd be the best Gnome out there, but they're not. Their version works, it looks ok, and that's about it. Cutting edge it aint (And no, this has nothing to do with the controversial BlueCurve theming they've applied to everything).

My reccomendations: Well... After playing with both, my slimmed down Mandrake distribution has won space on my PC's hard drive. And while it's fast and reliable, and it makes a nice "Linux Base" which I can return to for real work, I find my time in Vector Linux is much more "fun" (Vector Soho 3.2 -Let me clarify!), and unless some unexpected issues popup, I expect Vector will become my "distro of choice" soon. At least until more apps (Wine!) are updated to work with the aforementioned glibc lib's.

Still a lot of problems
by blackhat on Tue 25th Mar 2003 19:00 UTC

Mandrake 9.1 resume:

1. Fails to connect to internet (I had to edit some files manually to get my ADSL working)

2. Fails to recognize my HP 750 PSC printer (works out of the box with RedHat)

3. Fails to recognize my USB Logitech wheel mouse (I had to edit XFree-4 file to get it work)

4. Gimp has been unusable in last two Mandrake releases (pixels smears), and busy cursor is always on.

Well, without internet, printing, wheel mouse and Gimp I must admit I am lost.

blackhat

did they fix.....
by nic on Tue 25th Mar 2003 19:23 UTC

some bugs from 9.0 that really get on my nerves:
MySQL not starting upon boot(even though the control center says it is suppossed to start upon boot).
the whole Shorewall/net connection sharing taking at least 3 attempts before it finally passes a correct IP to clients?

were these fixed in 9.1?
please say yes.

Mandrake has hit a home run!
by GrayGeek on Tue 25th Mar 2003 19:25 UTC

My box here at work is a Dell GX260 2.2 GHz, 1GB RAM and 60GB HD. Mandrake 9.0 couldn't do squat on this box. It was totally unusable. RH 8.0 barely worked. I tried MDK 9.1rc1 and saw improvement. When rc2 came out I did a fresh install. RC2 is awesome! Now I dual boot W2K and MDK 9.1rc2.
Within the last week I have gotten a Novell Client to give me an connection to Novell 5.x. Yesterday I got the samba client going and now my box sees every windows share on our 300+ workstation intranet.

About an hour ago I completed the installation of the latest WINE tarball and I fired it at Visual FoxPro 6.0, which ran without complaints. The "WAIT" syntax doesn't show text, but I used "MESSAGEBOX" anyway, so that is no loss. (See the March 2003 issue of FoxTalk.) My Mandrake desktop is poised to take over all tasks previous done on my W2K side.

Mandrake 9.1 is the best version of Linux I've ever run, and that goes back 6 years!

patrick darcy
by zeb on Tue 25th Mar 2003 19:42 UTC

@patrick : yes multimedia runs out of the box. Except decrypting DVDs, but for legal reasons.
Anyway, it is very easy to install the needed stuff (5 minutes after installation).

Go to http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon
Configure sources contrib and PLF
Type : 'urpmi xine-dvdnav libdvdcss2'
and xine decodes DVDs.
'urpmi mplayer' for decrypting mplayer.

I wrote a howto here :
http://rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33668481
and you might want to consult this :
http://urpmi.org/

huh ?
by Leo on Tue 25th Mar 2003 19:56 UTC

OSnews has had the mandrake 9.1 final since a week ? it means that the mdk 9.1rc3 gone out yesterday is more recent than the release of the osnews's mdk.

Or you haven't had the final 9.1 release, or they have done an rc3 just for fun...

RE: huh ?
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Mar 2003 20:00 UTC

RC3==Final.
And yes, I had the golden master for a week. What I reviewed is the Mdk 9.1-Standard version (commercial), NOT the download edition.

v Fess up & Quit Teasing, Eugenia.
by pnghd on Tue 25th Mar 2003 20:32 UTC
how is that off topic anymore than the thread itself?
by pnghd on Tue 25th Mar 2003 20:50 UTC

you are the one who posted
"Indeed, it is the final. Who knows, maybe I know a bit more than I can actually tell publicly. ;-)"
or was I a little too close to the mark ?
If you are working for Mandrake you should note that
in your review.

I DO NOT work for Mandrake!
Neither Red Hat. Neither SuSE. Neither Apple. Neither MS. Neither QNX.

A few months ago, for the 9.0 review, people were claiming that I hate Mandrake for some reason and this is why I write what I write. When MandrakeSoft released a better product with 9.1 and my review was naturally more possitive, now people are saying that... I am working for MandrakeSoft! This is getting really silly!

I'm going to wait...
by Erwos on Tue 25th Mar 2003 21:08 UTC

Until RedHat 9 and reviewed is out before deciding what, if anything, I want to upgrade to from RedHat 8.0. For all the crap it's taken from some people (*cough* Mosfet *cough*), I've found RH8 to be a really nice Linux distro, especially if you're not a KDE user like myself. I really see no reason to jump off the RedHat train unless they give me a reason to.

I found it interesting that Mandrake, which I believe is a KDE-oriented distribution, is putting more time into GNOME. That's a Good Thing (tm). I want a clean interface that just works, and GNOME always seems to come through more than KDE for some reason.

Hopefully the addition of the Galaxy theme will finally silence the idiots complaining about Bluecurve. The future is here, everyone, and it is desktop integration.

Finally, I'm a little concerned with Mandrake's current financial status, and that's a bit of a turn-off. RedHat ain't going out of business tomorrow, but I've seen no indications that this isn't Mandrake's last gasp.

-Erwos

Offtopic: forgot my smiley
by pnghd on Tue 25th Mar 2003 21:23 UTC

Thankyou.
I never said you worked for Mandrake.
I asked if you did. I guess I should have put a smiley
in there somewhere.
It was a just a guess in response to your hint of privy
knowledge.
I did not mean to convey that I was convinced of it.
(They could do a lot worse, tho.)

Nice review.

How about development stuffs
by Anirban biswas on Tue 25th Mar 2003 21:58 UTC

MDK 9.0 has major problems with development stuffs like QT & GTK . You have to tweak a little to get QT & GTK applications compiled.

Is this thing taken care off.

re: How about development stuffs
by Bonega on Tue 25th Mar 2003 22:02 UTC

It is all good, I have been using the 9.1 beta for some time.

I only uses qt though.....

Rumors of improved rpm?
by DaveW on Tue 25th Mar 2003 23:09 UTC

Mdk 8.2's handling of rpms and dependencies had me deciding that my next big change would be a debian (maybe Libranet?) or Gentoo or maybe some user-friendlier version os Slackware.

But now some folks have claimed that Mdk 9.1 has fixed rpm handling bigtime, and now the dependency problems are solved. Anybody know how much truth, if any, is in this?

I never did get the sound working right, either, and it sounds like people are still encountering this. So, the review mostly just confuses me more.

No sound :-(
by justme on Wed 26th Mar 2003 01:06 UTC

Too bad, my VIA Soundchip on Board won't work. Bus it have worked with the RC1 :-(

SCSI Problems fixed?
by RODEE on Wed 26th Mar 2003 02:32 UTC

I had a hard time with my SCSI on 2.4 Kernel Mandrake 9.1RC, it wouldnt detect the drive.

Anyone know if it has been fixed?

Mandrake using GTK2 for it's tools
by mintSlice on Wed 26th Mar 2003 04:09 UTC

I was a little surprised to read that Mandrake is using GTK2 for it's Control Center tools. I'd always thought of them as a bit of a KDE shop (in the same way that RH is a bit of a Gnome shop).

I wonder if this is an indication of the future of Mandrake?

RE: Mandrake using GTK2 for it's tools
by Eugenia on Wed 26th Mar 2003 04:56 UTC

No, it is just because the tools are actually written in Perl, not pure GTK+. And because the Perl-GTK+ bindings are working well, they used that as their base for the graphical tools. But the base of the preferences are all written in Perl.

Re: Very nice...but..
by Tom Nemo on Wed 26th Mar 2003 05:02 UTC

Earlier "Ez" wrote:
<snip>
>.... the package manager - which was awful in mandrake 8.0 - the >last version I tried.
<snip>
>...never hear of any new software. None of the big boys, >macromedia, Adobe, Mickeysoft etc seem to be targetting Linux as a >platform. When i install Linux, i then find it pretty useless except for >bumming around in, much as i like it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Ez, you're right, few large commerical software houses have started to write for Linux. But that's not the same thing as saying there is no new software for Linux! Since the days of Mandrake 8.0, we have had quite a few commonly needed open-source Linux apps go from marginal to very good or even fantastic. For instance, Mozilla, Galeon, Konqueror, Phoenix,Gaim, Open Office.org, Evolution, Kmail, K3b cd burning software - all of these are either new or newly improved beyond all recognition. These are no longer "second rate" apps, they are as good or better than the commercial equivalents for Windows, even if you ignore the relative costs. And let's not forget KDE 3.1 itself, and all the wonderful new features it brings with it.

For the moment, it seems to be hard for commerical software houses to make money with Linux software. This may change someday, but in the meantime, thousands of open-source Linux developers are developing or improving new software for Linux every day. A few of years ago you had to make a personal sacrifice if you wanted to use Linux on your desktop. Today I find Linux the best choice for my own desktop, and I have been using nothing but Linux and FreeBSD on my personal computers for a year or two. I think Linux now has, for instance, better web browsers than Windows does, and not just one of them, but three or four!

Just to make this clear, I'm not a Windows fan, but I also don't feel the need to fight a holy war with those who choose Windows. My wife uses both Mac's and Windows machines at home, and I have no quarrel whatsoever with her choice.

And one more thing. Linux is mutating to fill other software needs, faster than you can say "Holy smoke!". Take, for instance, Smoothwall, which is a Linux distribution whose only job is to turn your old cast-off computer into a firewall/router/NAT/dhcp box to protect your home or small office network. Or Movix, which aims to turn your computer into a multimedia box. Or the various flavours of embedded Linux, like the ones running Sharp's Zaurus or TiVo's set-top boxes. So Linux is doing what no commerical OS has done, to my knowledge - it's mutating and expanding, finding new ecological niches to fill, and creating new software apps in the process.

To get back to your original statement: I believe you when you say you do not find Linux useful to you yet. But I am pretty confident that this situation will change, and sooner than you'd expect. Linus Torvald's says Linux will be ready for the desktop in 2006; he's a man with far more knowledge and far more intelligience than I'll ever have, and I see no reason to doubt his estimate. And that's only three years away...

I dare anyone here to find me windows equivalents of the following apps for linux. Chances are you wont, because none exist. Apps like Mastercam, Virtual Gibbs, Pro Engineer, Solidworks, SolidEdge are not available for Linux. Considering that companies like GM and Boeing using Pro Engineer.

NGPT - threading model
by Crazygrape on Wed 26th Mar 2003 08:33 UTC

Hi All,

I understand that the new posix threading model is being introduced into RH9.0. Is it also being made available in Mandrake 9.1?

Would appreciate an email as well in response to this post. Thanks in advance.

SG

Mandrake on Macs
by Christian Walther on Wed 26th Mar 2003 11:58 UTC

> I don't have a laptop that can run Mandrake or any other modern Linux dsitro (all my 3 laptops are either old-ish, or Macs)

The 12" Powerbook should run Mandrake 9.1 fine. At least, Cooker runs fine on my Ti Powerbook, and as far as I remember reading on the Cooker mailing list, it should also work on the new 12" by now.

emu10k1 comments are not correct
by cooker on Wed 26th Mar 2003 12:10 UTC

Hmm..there is something strange about the sblive problem.
It may be a problem on your system (it is not here) but your interpretation of the problem must be wrong:
the audigy driver has exactly the same code-base as the OSS emu10k1 driver. It is actually just a newer version (but compiled as a separate module not to introduce possible errors in the working emu10k1 module).

And, if you enable alsa, you should not use emu10k1 but snd-emu10k1, which AFAIK is the default for sblive anyway.

Perhaps let an expert look at it, because the description you gave cannot be correct.

Using it - Its very slow....
by DingoFish on Wed 26th Mar 2003 14:26 UTC

... on my laptop. Celeron 1.2 ghz, 256 MB RAM, ran hdparm and scores are good - according to the Oreilly article I was reading. Video was detected and used properly (the infamous i830, stolen ram chipset).

Anyone have some ideas why it is so incredibly slow? Mozilla takes about 15-20 seconds to load as does Konquerer. Don't get me started on OOo!

Please help, I like the look and feel and polish, but the performance alone will keep it off.

Never Mind....
by DingoFish on Wed 26th Mar 2003 14:47 UTC

After a reboot, my system is quite snappy. I have no idea why, but I don't care - I would say it is just as fast as XP on the same machine. One glitch though, the battery meter says it is plugged in, but it isn't and I don't know how to change it yet.

here's the lowdown on the release.
by AdamW on Wed 26th Mar 2003 15:33 UTC

OK, this is how it goes, folks. On March 18, Frederic Lepied from Mandrakesoft posted this message to the Cooker mailing list:

Subject: 9.1 final

"9.1 is gone to production. In the name of MandrakeSoft engineering team, I would like to thank all the cookers for the great help you provided to build this release. Thank you very much !
--
Fred - May the source be with you"

The last package update in the main branch was on March 14th (it was Mozilla). So, effectively, Mandrake 9.1 has been finished since then, although I believe the kernel was surreptitiously patched after that date to fix the recently published vulnerability (which has been known, but unpublished, for a while). Anyone who ran a Cooker updated after 14th March had Mandrake 9.1 final. The .ISOs were created some time between 14th and 18th, and sent to production, as Fred's message says. There was a delay before they were released to FTP, presumably to allow things like this review to be organised. The images were then uploaded to FTP sites named "rc3", so the sites wouldn't get overloaded while they were still sync'ing the images, and then when enough servers had the files, they were renamed to the final image name. There NEVER WAS AN RC3.

So, yes, Mandrake 9.1 HAS been finished for a week (rather longer in fact), and Eugenia HAS had the 9.1 final images for a week. It's not quite exclusive, since everyone running Cooker has also had 9.1 final for a while, but it certainly is exclusive in terms of reviewing it.

Hope that clears things up for everyone.

Anyone who's posted on this list complaining about bugs and were actually using 9.1RC1 or 9.1RC2 might want to try final - there was a *lot* of bug squishing between RC2 and final. Particularly in the area of networking.

For the guy with the Audigy 2, neither the official ALSA drivers or the official OSS/Free drivers support it yet, so it would have been hard to support it in MDK 9.1. Someone on the Mandrake Bugzilla says that you can get it working by using the CVS version of the emu10k1 driver from http://sourceforge.net/projects/emu10k1 , you'd best try that.

DrakUpdate didn't work in the betas, because there were no updates ;) . Drakupdate is basically another urpmi front end that relies on the availability of an urpmi source for updates, and during the beta phase there were no urpmi sources for 9.1 updates. This ought to work better in final.

RPM handling: yes, it certainly is better now. One of the best features of Mandrake is urpmi, which reviewers never seem to mention. It does a very similar job for Mandrake RPMs to what the apt tools do for Debian users. The graphical package management tool, rpmdrake, is effectively an urpmi front end. urpmi is extremely powerful and generally works very well; I updated my dad's Mandrake 9.0 system to Mandrake 9.1 simply by defining an urpmi source for Cooker (which was frozen in 9.1 state at the time) and using urpmi --auto-select. Sadly, this didn't quite work flawlessly due to a packaging problem between openssl 0.96 and 0.97 which meant the one wouldn't upgrade to the other automatically and I had to do it manually, but other than that it was flawless. This is an area where Mandrake is by far ahead of all other RPM based distributions now, though not Debian ;) .

One thing Eugenia's review should make clear is that the non-free stuff she found on one of the CDs *WON'T* be on the freely downloadable CDs, only the version you can buy from Mandrake. Mandrake's policy is for the downloadable versions of Mandrake to be 100% free.

Eugenia, I'd bet the problems with Konqueror and Opera using Java plugins come down to compiler versions. The IBM and Sun JRE RPMs are compiled with GCC 2.9x. Most of Mandrake is compiled with GCC 3.2.2. This is probably what causes the problem. Mozilla and Galeon work because they are compiled with GCC 2.96, purely for this reason. To get it working with Konq and Opera you might try installing the Blackdown JRE compiled with GCC 3, and see if that works. Of course, if you do that, it won't work with Mozilla or Galeon =). Damn proprietary software.

To DaveW - regarding rpm dependecies
by Peder on Wed 26th Mar 2003 16:29 UTC

Mandrake has (since at least 8.0) had urpmi which
automagically handles dependencies. If you run
'urpmi jed' it'll tell you that jed-common is needed and
will ask if you want it installed as well.

Check out http://urpmi.org

Re:  LINUX SUCKS and here is the main reason....
by Peder on Wed 26th Mar 2003 16:36 UTC

Hmmm... ProEngineer and SolidWorks...
So you're saying that since linux lacks a couple of
specialized programs, it sucks?

I can't imagine that _everyone_ at GM or Boeing runs
ProEngineer, so for at least some folks over there Linux
could be a choice.

And I can claim that Linux ROCKS, since many movie studios
migrate from IRIX and others to linux (ILM, Pixar) for designing and rendering.

BTW, you are just trolling, right?

Peder

Sound Card problem
by zager on Wed 26th Mar 2003 22:35 UTC

I had the same problem with SbLive when installing Mandrake 9.0 few days ago. But when I switched the driver, everything was ok. Now I am waiting to get Mandrake 9.1 into my snake-mailbox ;)

NTFS partitioniong?
by Michal Hrtko on Thu 27th Mar 2003 13:54 UTC

MDK91 can resize NTFS. Can also write in NTFS. Is my assumption correct? If so, this is GREAT!

Pleasantly suprised
by Edwaurdo Carochio on Thu 27th Mar 2003 14:03 UTC

Having read the first page of the review, I felt as though I was being set up. Recalling her "definitive" review of KDE, I felt sure Eugenia would come out swinging on the second page. Didn't happen. Nice review

mandrake 9.1 rc2 beta fatal BUGS!
by creston on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:09 UTC

I have tried mandrake 9.1 rc2 beta on my machine a
800 mhz amd duron 800 with 256 mb pc133 sdrarm, 3 gig hd,ms
wheel mouse, lg 40x cdwriter and a manli third patry 64meg
radeon ve agp 4x card. It runs fast but has a serious cdwriter bug mandrake has broken gcombust, the only buring
program that works is xcdroast (i was able to burn a cd), but dont try to blank a rewriteable disk with this beta of
9.1 rc2 this resulted in a kernal panic (whole computer locks up and two leds on keyboard flash). Another serious
bug i have found is the controll panel settings in the mandrake control center do not work (i was unable to change
video resulution from 800x600 to 1024x768), changeing video
modes worked in mandrake 8.2 .

At least they fixed the gcc complier so source code complies now , mandrake 8.2 could not complie anything!!

Does anyone know how to fix the complier in mandrake 8.2
so that c and c++ source code will complile ?

RE: mandrake 9.1 rc2 beta fatal BUGS!
by Eugenia on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:22 UTC

Download the final, and then come back here and complain.

C and C++ in Mandrake 8.2
by Peder on Fri 28th Mar 2003 08:08 UTC

Creston:
If you install the egcs packages (egcs, egcs-c++ and
egcs-cpp) you get the "kernelgcc", kgcc and kg++, in
/usr/bin. Make symlinks to gcc and g++ and you should
be able to compile most programs.
I really recomend that the first thing you compile is
gcc-3.2 though ;)

Peder

NTFS
by Peder on Fri 28th Mar 2003 08:13 UTC

No Michal, you still can't write to an NTFS partition
safely, only resize.

Check out the official Linux-NTFS site at
http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/ and especially
http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/info/ntfs.html#3.2

Peder

Excellent but one or two minor glitches
by jools on Fri 28th Mar 2003 15:21 UTC

Easiest install of everything (ever) including autoconfig of USB webcam which has always been a bitch to get going in the past. Haven't found CD-Roms chugging when empty which happened in the past. Automount so far works perfectly but eth0 failed to come up at boot time even though it had been told too. Apparently caused by APIC settings in Bios.

Apart from that though "top distro" award to Mandrake. Also noticed that with all services running, e.g. samba, postfix, Bind,nfs etc. it actually boots in slightly less time than win2k Pro on the same machine.

jools: eth0
by AdamW on Sat 29th Mar 2003 03:11 UTC

jools: another competitor for the problem could be ifplugd. try adding this line to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 :

MII_NOT_SUPPORTED=1

if it helps, great, if it doesn't, take it out again ;)

Gimp woes
by Arcadian Matt on Sat 29th Mar 2003 23:17 UTC

I've just installed Final, and

1) Galeon 1.3.3 is missing everything that makes Galeon Galeon. Had to go back to the old Moz and Galeon from 9.0, easy enough I guess but annoying.

2) Most decorative fonts don't work in Gimp, which is the only program in which I use them, and in which I use them a lot. Gimp 1.3 sees the fonts has bugs I dont like.

2 strikes, but the second is a big one for me, any solutions other than 9.0 or is it time to try Red Hat again?

RE: Gimp woes
by Eugenia on Sun 30th Mar 2003 03:39 UTC

You should edit your .gtkrc file and add these fonts manually in order the GTK+ 1.x aplications like Gimp to be able to see these ttf fonts. So yes, there is a way to fix the problem.

As for Galeon 1.3.3, I think it is ways better than the GTK+ 1.x Galeon.

Slow to open apps! Maybe this would help.
by tjaun on Sun 30th Mar 2003 05:25 UTC


Slow to open applications or windows. Problem comes from DMA which I found that DMA is disable during boot-up.

So you need to do some tweak to enable it. Go to /etc/sysconfig then open harddisks with an editor and remove the comment "#" on ENABLE_DMA=1.

It helps for my condition, now my applications and windows open much faster then before.

Mandrake 9.1 is good to go
by Eric Bishop on Tue 1st Apr 2003 23:47 UTC

I think this review did not give Mandrake the rating score it deserved.
As far as the sound problem the reviewer describes, it had no problem detecting his sound card, all he had to do is UN-MUTE his audio mixer (KMIX or AUMIX) as it is muted by default when installed. And the "What to do" menu is still there. Mandrake 9.0 deserves a 9 or 10 out of 10.

DMA mistake
by tjaun on Wed 2nd Apr 2003 15:21 UTC


Sorry of the mistake on the DMA! "ENABLE_DMA=1" is suppose to be USE_DMA=1.

Regarding the rating, I would put Mandrake in the range of 7.5-8.5 out of 10.

9.1 Review
by Alex on Wed 2nd Apr 2003 16:33 UTC

Decent review, I liked it. I tried 9.1 out last week. I liked the installation, especially the fact that I did not have to select PostGreSQL any more. I had only 3 problems - with Zip drive (I have a 250 MB IDE/ATAPI), Open Office, and KDE.

At boot time, the Zip drive gets detected correctly, at /dev/hdd. However, once I finish booting into KDE, MCC reads the drive as /dev/sda4, and there's no way to fix that that I know of (editing /etc/fstab and /etc/mtab does not help, and /dev is organized differently than in 8.0).

As far as Open Office goes - I had a bad RPM (wrong MD5 sum).

Also, KDE really overdid on colors, a la winXP. Too much color, not enough contrast. I suppose that can be fixed, but as a busy student, I don't have the time to play with all the config features. I prefer the cleaner look of KDE 3.0.

All in all, I'm sticking with 9.0 for now, because 9.1 did not offer any real advantage to me over the former.