Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 27th Mar 2003 00:16 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews OSNews features today a mini-interview with GaŽl Duval, co-founder of MandrakeSoft. These days, GaŽl serves in the Communications department of MandrakeSoft and he shares his insight with us about the recent release of Mandrake Linux 9.1 (review).
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Good Interview
by Alex (The Original) on Thu 27th Mar 2003 00:45 UTC

Very good interview. I hope MandrakeSoft continues to develop Mandrake Linux and they find a way out of the financial mess they are in at the moment.

Impressed with Mandrake 9.1
by Alberto on Thu 27th Mar 2003 01:11 UTC

I just downloaded RC3 suspecting it would be final froma tip at PCLinuxOnline and I have to say I am extremely pleased. Mandrake has out done the other major distros by a lng shot. Not even RH 9 seems to be able to stand up to this release or its number.

Mandrake has also greately improved its look and feel. Galaxy is beautiful, proffesional, cheerful, usable, and works with both GTK and Qt applications. I actually prefer Galaxy to Bluecurve, they both have clean easy to read widgets, but Galaxy looks more modern and fits in better with crystal. (BTW: I AM VERY HAPPY Mandrake did not neutralize the icons like Redhat did). They also crystalized their own icons making it fit in far better with KDE.

It seems pretty speedy too and it has yet to crash. (Though Konqueror did crash a few times when adding buttons on a toolbar already present in another and whn I had many tabs open and split views . (Split views are very nice when one is locked and than you just see th links open in the other) I like Konqueror, but eugenia is right, far too many options. I ahve exactly 20 options when clicking empty space in file manager mode (not counting expanding menus). no menus hould have more than 10 options when clicking empty space! There are 3 different ways to zip even an open terminal otion. For example the zips sould be combined into one called just "Zip" and a wizard needs to pop up when teh user clicks it. Open background tab is alsoa waste of space, there should be an option to always do this not in every menu. Terminal should nt be in the menu. Add to bookmarks and find file also shoul not be there. There are jsut so many ways in which KDE could improve usability! It is the best damn desktop regarding everything else IMO, but it needs a usability overhaul, especially Konqueror.

Anyway, Mandrake is the ebst distribution I have seen so far. But, you wouldn't of heard that from me for their 9.0 release, taht was very bad, ugly, inconsistent, you name it =p I would ahve recmmendeed RH 8 or SuSE back than. Very pleased with the phenonemal improvements.

What still needs work:

Shadows on menus should be made default, icons on desktop should eb 48x48, zoom icons should e enabled in taskbar (it would be a small zom since default size for zoom is small), menus still need a lot of work! I found karbon 14 in office -> Wordprocessors. I really have to give it up to redhat, their menus are excellent in RH 9! They picked the best applications for the job even though I think they missed some K apps in a few menus and programs like blender. Mandrake also imo needs to remove half the apps on the taskbar by default, and include only a few such as Konqueror browser, file manager, terminal, help, and show desktop at the end. (Show desktop should always be at the end), traverse windows on desktops should be dsiabled, defeis the point of multiple desktops, there should not be any other bookmarks in Konqueror and Mozilla except Mandrakesoft ones. programming, News, Window managers etc. are for the suer to add not mandrake. The black mouse should be replaced with white or red glass or some of the nice ones on KDE-LOok. I personally like Golden X cursors the best, great reflectiona nd shadow effects!
Wallpaper could use improvement, even the default_Gears wallpaper in the default wallpapers directory fits in far better.
I don't really have anything lese to complain about. Even the above is easy to fix.

GREAT JOB Mandrake!

I still find

Re: Alberto
by John Galt on Thu 27th Mar 2003 01:59 UTC

Jumping Jeesus on a pogo-stick, man. SUMARIZE!

Please prove a one paragraph executive summary.

French ?
by Ludovic hirlimann on Thu 27th Mar 2003 05:54 UTC

Eugenia did you took the oportunity to do the interview in french ?


RE: French?
by Eugenia on Thu 27th Mar 2003 06:01 UTC

I am not as advanced in french yet... I just had 9 lessons so far, but I am lazy to study, so I can't speak fluently yet...

Good job
by Maciek on Thu 27th Mar 2003 08:26 UTC

Personally I use Slackware, but whenever I convert somebody to Linux, and this person is not a BSD fan, I use Mandrake.

Mandrake is one of the easiest to understand distro for the beginers. It's also great for people who don't want to waste their time on configuring things, everybody configures in the same way.

by Wing on Thu 27th Mar 2003 09:04 UTC

I would use Mandrake 9.1 if it had an apt-rpm repository like redhat 8.0 does

Who needs apt, we have urpmi
by ranger on Thu 27th Mar 2003 09:22 UTC

On Mandrake you don't need 3rd-party tools to easily install software.

Do the following:

# urpmi urpmi.setup
# urpmi.setup
(works in X or console, choose a few urpmi sources)
# urpmi samba-server-ldap xine-win32
(If you chose the samba-ldap and urpmi repositories)

Plus, most of the 3rd-party RPMs for Redhat (and many more) are available in Mandrake contribs, those that aren't are in PLF.

RE: apt
by Anders on Thu 27th Mar 2003 09:22 UTC

Doesn't urpmi do more or less the same as apt-get?


by Algol on Thu 27th Mar 2003 09:50 UTC

Urpmi does provide the same functionality as apt (and I have yet to have any problems with it), even though I havn't seen a find-fastest-mirror tool yet, however apt (and synaptic) has been available for mandrake for a long time, repository here:
(with the apt-rpm in RPMS.texstar)

by elmo on Thu 27th Mar 2003 10:09 UTC

but even apt-rpm is not as powerful as apt in debian! Anyway, do you think that the galaxy theme is going to be available for download for other distros - it seems very slick

On second thoughts...
by Wing on Thu 27th Mar 2003 12:04 UTC

I like the simplistic look of RedHat, so I will wait for 9.0.

by Cyrano on Thu 27th Mar 2003 13:57 UTC

urpmi.addmedia for adding ftp/http server as plf or disk location ( to generate commande line for urpmi.addmedia.

"urpmi foo", to install foo.
urpmf foo, to find the package that contain the file "foo"
urpmq foo, to find the package with the name contain "foo" (urpmi try also to guess what you want, and ask if there are many options)

Some graphical tools existe also (rpmdrake ?) but i don't like loosing time with the mouse ;)

by Cheapskate on Thu 27th Mar 2003 16:57 UTC

RE: Direct Link for this comment apt
By Wing (IP: - Posted on 2003-03-27 09:04:04
I would use Mandrake 9.1 if it had an apt-rpm repository like redhat 8.0 does
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

have you tryed Alt Linux Junior-2.2 it is basicly mandrake that has had the fat trimmed off of it, i am using it now as i type , it includes KDE-3.1 & Gnome-2.x (havent used it yet) as i prefer ICEwm there are two ISOs of it but you only need the first ISO to install it. it uses Mandrake's installer, it is easy to install & get configured, i reccomend it to anyone that wants a eaasy to use distro like mandrake, includes apt-get & Synaptic for package management...

you can read about the details at

Package GUI hell?
by insignia! on Thu 27th Mar 2003 17:13 UTC

Am I the only one who finds it wierd that there are FOUR seperate programs to manage packages in mdk 9.1? And the fact that I have to enter my password EVERY TIME?

four programs
by AdamW on Thu 27th Mar 2003 17:40 UTC

Four programs do four different things. It's the basic linux philosophy, small simple tools for small simple jobs. A tool to add, a tool to remove, a tool to manage sources, and a tool for Mandrake-pushed updates. They're all doing different jobs. The combined add/remove rpmdrake was changed because it's a usability nightmare - all too easy for n00bs to get confused as to whether they're adding or removing a program. This way there can't be any confusion.

by wing on Thu 27th Mar 2003 17:47 UTC

more like the UNIX philosophy, not sure about linux yet ;)

4 times password?
by anopenscroll on Thu 27th Mar 2003 21:08 UTC

So what about mandrake's philosopy of keeping things simple, and not having to put the password 4 times for each program? Why not follow Redhat's time-lock system?

by Andy Cheung on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:23 UTC

Does mk 9.1 read NTFS partitions out-the-box?
And can anyone feedback on the the NTFS partition resizing?

Re : NTFS?
by Med on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:36 UTC

Mdk has been able to read NTFS partitions out of the box for a very long time. I can't say for 9.1 since i don't have windows anymore but previous versions worked perfectly.
About NTFS partition resizing, i've heard good feedback. I've not heard anyone losing data from resizing.

Re: Package GUI hell?
by Paul Misner on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:51 UTC

If you are going to be bouncing between the 4 programs, why don't you go into the Mandrake Control Center. Then you don't have to re-enter your password when moving between the programs.

Now be honest about it, you set up your sources (probably once), and spend the rest of your time in the install program. I have been running through this whole cooker cycle, and haven't found this to be an issue, even though I initially wanted the old interface back.

In answer to Andy Cheung's question, it reads NTFS fine for me, and imports the fonts from Windows very nicely. I didn't use the NFTS partition resizing, so someone else will have to answer that.

by Alberto on Thu 27th Mar 2003 22:56 UTC

It can read NTFS out of the box.

NTFS Resizing
by anopenscroll on Thu 27th Mar 2003 23:12 UTC

Yes, it does resize well.

Re: NTFS Resizing
by emagius on Thu 27th Mar 2003 23:59 UTC

Hmm... DiskDrake told me that by resizing my NTFS (Win2K) partition I would lose all data (no, not just the "this is risky, back up your data" warning). This is running it from an installed partition, however -- maybe it's better off the CD. I dunno.

I will say that I really, really like Mandrake 9.1. It's good enough for me to switch permanently away from Win2K to GNU/Linux (apart from gaming). Nice job!

(Although KDE seems a tad buggy...)

I've just done a fresh install of Mandrake Linux 9.1 and everytime I reboot, it takes about 5 minutes to get the login window. It just sits there with the wristwatch on the fancy blue background. I had RC2 installed with no such problem. I took a hint from Eugenia's review and deleted about 7 services from starting on boot, but still experienced the same wait. This is an Athlon XP 1800+ with 1GB of memory and a 100GB 7200rpm harddrive on a Soyo KT333 Ultra-Platinum mainboard - no slouch.

Are others seeing this? Any hints on how to correct it?

Change your init and boot your Mandrake into text mode and then see there WHAT exactly takes so much time to boot.

I am not convinced by MDK marketing!
by topos on Fri 28th Mar 2003 02:21 UTC

I was about to try and get a subscription to the Mandrake Club tonight before I noticed two things:
-First, the subscription is not "Sign in and you can access the site". No, you have to wait 24 hours! Why that? I was about to try tonight, not tomorrow! What a poor marketing decision!
-"You will receive an e-mail from our Club wembaster.."
Blatant typo. Sorry, it does not look like a serious professional site!
Maybe my remarks will look picky but having try MDK in the past, I always found that the software was not very robust and overall had the impression of a "good potential" wasted by a lack of "finish".

by bistot on Fri 28th Mar 2003 03:24 UTC

.. so far, kudos to mandrake-soft, this new release is absolutely a sheer joy to use

i can't believe the installation went fast so quickly (20-25 minutes), the installer didn't bother me with the ton of screens redhat 7.3 and 8.0 had, to-the-point, and amazing.. a "skip cd" option for when i misplace of those thingies (the base install is on cd #1)

the net.conf panel was a bit weird, it detected my dsl connection for a lan connection and wouldnt let me connect to the net right away, but i re-adjusted my aim and bingo

i know this is still kde 3.1 with bluecurve, but the menu is FAR more organised than with redhat (i know, they 'prefer' gnome, whatever, i dont).

i cant compare it to a lot of linux distros unlike some people around here, mainly because i'm a noobie who got fed up of trying to make php/mysql/apache/perl work normally on win2k for some web dev stuff, my attempts with redhat left me confused for some things and i gave up, but this is looking awesomely promising!

What language is this in?
by Joe on Fri 28th Mar 2003 05:58 UTC

Could we decide on a common language? Perhaps, English?
"Why did MandrakeSoft decided to the creation of a new common KDE/Gnome theme, named Galaxy? "

Holy hell. "decided to the creation"?????

He must have thought you were an idiot.

by Mikhail on Fri 28th Mar 2003 06:51 UTC

Slackware released 9.0 about a week ago, now everyone (redhat, mdk) is trying to get close to that version num?

Well, I prefer to use LFS..

re: french "did you took"
by Robbie on Fri 28th Mar 2003 17:18 UTC

Eugenia "did you took" the oportunity to do the interview in french ? Shouldn't this be "did you take"? No offense intended.

RE: french "did you took"
by Eugenia on Fri 28th Mar 2003 18:24 UTC

Yes, it should have been "did you take". It wasn't me the one who wrote that anyway...

by AdamW on Sat 29th Mar 2003 00:48 UTC

erm, yes. of COURSE mandrake design their release cycles expressly in order to stay .1 of a version ahead of slackware. jesus, buy a clue.

Wait a minute. Who said that they do provide the ISOs of the 9.1 for non-Club-members from their "Download" page? Well, there are two buttons down there: the "become a club member" and the "I already am or will register soon, send me to the downloading page" ones. When you click the first one, it promptly takes you to the Club membership registration. But when you press the "let me download" button, it takes you to... the same page, itself. The page source also shows that the same ftp.php3 page is being called by pressing the download button. What is it, the way to get more people to click the first button?..