Mandrake Linux 10.0-preview edition pretty much defines the shape of things to come in Linux land in 2004. With Kernel 2.6, KDE 3.2 beta and XFree86 4.4 beta, it doesn’t leave much to be desired. This article refers to cooker snapshot as of December 31, 2003. Please note that this release is not a beta release. This is not even an alpha release. Its just something put together to show what we can expect from Mandrake 10.0. This release comes on only two CDs so some of the packages are missing. And as there are bound to be lot of bugs in this kind of release, I’ll be concentrating more on the usability aspect. So let’s see if it is worth drooling over.
I did not want burn the iso images to the CDs so I chose to install directly from the harddisk. First thing I did was to bust the iso files using winrar. Then inserted a floppy and double clicked on ‘rawwritewin.exe’ in directory ‘dosutils’. Pointed it to the directory called ‘image’ and chose ‘hdcdrom_usb.img’ . The boot floppy was ready in 4 minutes. All this was done from within Windows. Booted using the boot floppy just created. Chose ‘harddisk install’ method and pointed the installer to the place where the packages were lying. Note that the installer expects names like hda5 while asking for the package location. It won’t understand what C:\ means. and while busting second iso, make sure that the rpms from this image are extracted in a folder called RPMS2 under ‘Mandrake’ directory. Otherwise the installer won’t be able to find them. The install process itself is essentially same as before. I chose Hindi as one additional language and the installer offered to install ‘Devanagiri’ keyboard layout. Very helpful. While installing individual packages, the installer does not show the package version number. Not a big deal though but I am used to it from my Redhat days.
I had chosen ext3 as the filesystem and the whole install process took about half an hour. No third party ads were displayed during the install. Even though there is a folder called ‘advertising”, it just contains Mandrake’s own promotional ads.
One of the first thing that hits you when you login is the responsiveness of the system. The system seems really fast. Even though lot of RAM (640 MB DDR) and new Kernel/KDE/XFree86 helps but it certainly is much much faster than Redhat 9 and Windows XP on the same hardware. Sometime I got the creepy feeling that the system was anticipating my mouse movements and bringing up the screens even before I could click! The directory listing of same shared drives (songs etc) was coming up much faster than it was in Windows XP. and these shared drives are FAT32, something Windows is supposed to specialize in. I wonder how would it be when pre-linking is enabled. Hope they add that to the final release.
I have two harddisks, first one containing just the OSes and the second one containing songs, docs, videos etc. The second harddisk has four partitions with volume
labels songs, docs, videos and junk. Not only the system automatically mounted all of them under /mnt but get this, it created all the mount points by reading the volume labels of the partitions! I was awesome. No other distro has ever done that. Infact I keep a copy of fstab in a separate partition which I use after installing a new distro. Guess I won’t be needing that anymore. Though it mounted my USB harddisk also by itself, it did not read the volume information from that and instead named it as win_c3.
I had created one normal user account ‘manish’ during install. When I booted for the first time, the system automatically logged me in as ‘manish’. But I wanted to login as root to do some onetime settings. I thought I’ll just logout and maybe I’ll get to see the login prompt. On logging out, it showed the login prompt but there was no place where I could enter username. I had to click on the name ‘manish’ but this time it did ask for the password. I Changed some settngs in the login manager and made it show ‘root’ on the login prompt. I know its not a good idea to display ‘root’ as one of the users, atleast a text field should have been supplied where I could type username ‘root’.
It turned out that the package ‘Wine’ got left out during the install. Actually I don’t remember seeing it anywhere during the package selection. Anyway, I launched rpmdrake but it ended up in dependency hell. Launched urpmi and gave ‘urpmi.addmedia local’ and gave it the path for ‘Mandrake’ directory where the rpm packages were stored. It could not load the rpm package list. Gave an error message saying that the files hdlist and synthesis.hdlist could not be parsed/located even though they were peresent. Mucked around a bit more with urpmi but could not make it access local rpm files. Then stumbled upon the GUI tool called ‘Software Media
Manager’. The same thing that I was trying to do by command line worked flawlessly in GUI. The local rpm files list got created and finally I was able to install ‘Wine’. Well, all I can say is I am yet to find software install nirvana. And I also wonder if it is so tough to put every object file needed in the same rpm package.
This is the first Mandrake release that has got a beep out of my onboard AC97 audio controller. I had to fiddle with audio mixer a bit but it worked in the end.
Clicking on a mp3 file brought up totem player. I was hoping to see xmms but nothing a few mouse clicks can’t fix. I guess the default should have been xmms in
the first place. Xmms here is highly unstable though. It froze up on the first mp3 itself and took the entire system down. But I guess thats ok in this kind of release. And it still does not contain extra skins and equalizer presets.
There are only two media players included, Mplayer and Totem. Xine is not present and neither is libdvdcss even though there is a package present called xine-plugins. Wonder what that does. Video files play by default in totem. I changed the settings to make Mplayer the default for such files. It showed a progress bar saying ‘changing system settings’. Clicking on a video file now brought up totem again. Also I had associated dat files (VCD clippings) with Mplayer but it had no effect. It still brings up the dialog box asking me to choose a program. These seem to the problems with KDE rather than with the distro but since KDE itself is beta, you can never be sure.
There are lot of programs installed to deal with image files. Infact, there are too many of them, may be 8 or 9. And all of them do more or less the same thing. Though it is good to have choice, this just seems like overkill to me. Good old Gimp is also present but it is quite old 1.2.5 version. With this kind of release, they could
have included 1.3 beta and nobody would have complained. It contains much better menu layout and CYMK support.
OO.org 1.1 is present along with KOffice 1.3 beta. Loading time of OO.org has improved a lot since 1.0 but it is still not fast enough. And I think whatever speed gain
I saw was because of the new kernel and new XFree86 etc. Filters have also improved for MS Office documents but a lot remains to be done. I opened a simple word document with a few bullet points and all the bullets (in this case, small round dark circles) had big square grey boxes around them. It looked plain ugly. It can ofcourse be fixed but defaults should make sense. KOffice is still very buggy. KWord froze up 2-3 times on opening the same file and just won’t get refreshed. Personally, I think these guys should merge with OO.org. There are 7 text editors present, one for each day of the week I guess. Incidentally, I am typing this review in KWrite while playing around with this release.
The menu layout is pretty intuitive for office applications atleast. Instead of grouping them by brand, they are now grouped by functionality. So all the word processors go under ‘Wordprocessors’. GNOME dictionary turned out to be very helpful in checking some word meanings but it needs internet connection. It would be much better
if there is an offline dictionary included, somethink like Wordweb for Windows.
Plenty of stuff here. Galeon is also present in addition to Mozilla and Konqueror. And Mozilla still retains its ugly classic theme as default. This point has been talked about so much in online communities but nothing seems to convince the package developers to change it. Flash plugin is not present and neither is Java. What is the point in putting ton of new features in each version if it can’t do the basic stuff right? Konqueror was horrible at reproducing the fonts as intended by the web page. I went to www.osnews.com and the page looked terrible in Konqueror. But the same web page looks gorgeous in Mozilla. Maybe there are some font settings that can be changed but default in Konqueror is just hit or miss.
I used gaim to connect to Yahoo chat server and everything worked right the first time. There is an application called ‘Screem’ to build web sites. Its something
similar to Yahoo site builder though not that powerful or that intuitive. I could not find site templates which is the first thing it should have had.
In terms of internet security, the system has a firewall called Shorewall. I chose the standard level of security accepting the default settings. The Zone alarm firewall test on Windows XP shows all the ports to be in stealth mode. Means that it eats up all the incoming ICMP packets and it appears that there is no PC at this IP address.
I decided to see how does Shorewall fare. Went to the site ‘http://scan.sygate.com’ and gave a port scan. It showed all the ports to be in ‘closed’ state only. That means that someone could still see that there is a PC at this IP address. It is secure but I won’t have worried had it been in ‘stealth’ mode. I then changed the security level to ‘paranoid’ and sure enough, the port were shown to be ‘Blocked’ which means they are in stealth mode. I felt better but now I could not access my shared drives mounted under /mnt. Oh well..
Did a Nmap scan also on the PC and it showed only port 6000 to be open which was being used by X11.
One of my pet peeves is the default application bindings in Linux distros for the common type of files and Mandrake doesn’t fare any better than others. eg double-clicking on an iso image file brings up an application selection dialog. Now the most common use of an iso file is to burn it on to a CD and K3b should have been configured to do so by default. Xandros does this right. Another example is .dat files. There are used in VCDs. Now the only thing I can do with a dat file is to view it. So Mplayer should have got fired up and played the movie. Since this is just a preview release, maybe the things will change in future. Moreover with all the distros having more or less the same standard set of packages, these are the only areas where a distro can differentiate itself from others. I am sure we’ll be seeing a lot of usability enhancements in 2004.
The system seems stable enough for daily use. The only two things that were acting up were xmms and KOffice. Everything else seems to be working fine. I would like to say here that the speed of the system reduced a bit after using it for 2-3 days. Maybe because of all those log files getting written.
This is going to be a big release for Mandrake especially considering their financial situation. It won’t be wrong to say that this is the release that can make them or break them. Hope they get this one right. Enough has been written about KDE 3.2 beta and how it still needs a lot of polish. As for me, I’ll be giving Fedora core 2 a spin and then decide for myself. If Fedora offers same levels of performance, I don’t mind installing a few multimedia packages and getting on with my work.
About the author
My daytime job is of a mainframe programmer, working on OS/390 in real text mode, 80×25. And funnily enough, I don’t miss the GUI there. I’ve been tinkering with Linux since Redhat 6.1 and have installed and tried most of the distros. I use Redhat 9.0 for my daily chores though.
Well I might try this just for the beta content!
when can i download mandrake 10 ?
Traditionally, end of March. For now, download the Cooker-preview.
You can do so now…
Sorry!! I thought you wanted to download cooker preview.
Great review. Much better than the standard reviews on this site. XMMS worked fine for me on this Cooker release. Getting my alsa soundcard to work was an PITA though.
Keep up the good work.
Unless something drastically changes before the next release, its unlikely you’ll ever find things like Flash or Java packaged into the download edition or cooker tree of Mandrake. It has to do with their licensing structures. However you can find them in PowerPacks or in MandrakeClub subscriptions. On the other hand, it’s not likely you’ll ever find anything like libdvddcss outside of http://plf.zarb.org
As far as dependency hell is concerned, I hardly ever use RpmDrake command line urpmi is where it’s at, just like apt-get. If you simply added cooker sources from the get go you would have had no problem. There are plf trees for cooker as well, and plf offers a nice pretty little wizard to add soruces: http://urpmi.org/easyurpmi/
Traditionally there is a screen in the install that serves as an opt-in feature for Autologin, if you didn’t want it to auto login then perhaps you should have checked that. Had you not selected autologin its likeyl mdkkdm wouldn’t have been installed. And what exactly did you need to do as root on the first boot that “su -” couldn’t do?
I’m glad you like MDK 10, but I think some reviewers are spread too thing trying everything that they don’t spend enough time reading everything and just start clicking through everything and then expect everything to work.
Does your WinXP installation come with Java and Flash plugin??? I don’t think so why do people continue complaining about this lack in most of the distros!!!
“su -” works fine but when you want to use the GUI tools, you have to enter the root password each time. When I logged in as a normal user, I had to supply the root password about 10 times before I decided to login as root itself. And selecting the option of ‘remember password’ didn’t do anything even on repeated attempts.
Windows XP does not come with Flash or Java but it gives you a one-click option to install it when you visit a webpage that needs them.
Note that the installer expects names like hda5 while asking for the package location. It won’t understand what C: means.
Why would the installer understand C:? You are installing Linux not Windows. Do you expect the Windows XP installer to understand /dev/hda2?
Being devil’s advocate: It would probably be good to support the C: type notation, that way newbees could use C: if they were more confortable with this notation.
The reason I mentioned this specifically was that the Mandrake rpms were lying in a Windows drive and someone just might think of using a name like C: for their path. Since we created the boot floppy and busted the iso files in Windows, there is a chance of above happening.
The review was a good preview for Mandrake10:) but there were some misunderstandings with OOo and KOffice:
* the Office-filters work very well already (at work, our big WORD-file would crash with MSOffice when updating the index but this worked under OOo!)
* the “ugly” grey square around the bullet point is actually an indication that this is a *field*, not normal text – this is infact very good because as a user you instantly know that this is a special field which you cannot directly edit because it was inserted by OOo.
Try page-preview-mode and you’ll see the bullet points coming out nicely.
* OOo will be split up into individual components by 2.0 IIRC, so loading time should greatly improve then
* KOffice is an *entirely* different beast, more like Gobe Productive for BeOS – it’s all about efficient and productive work with components that integrate nicely with each other – a great concept IMO, but it needs still some of OOo’s features, so some code/information-exchange would surely be a good thing there, but of course *merging* these two separate worlds would be impossible, at least for quite some time.
* I am very keen on the BeOS-port, as an addition to the wonderful (but ATM outdated) Gobe Office-suite (comparable to KOffice regarding the concept)
Thanks for the clarification on the “ugly” grey square around the bullet points. Being somewhat accustomed to MS Word till now (I HAVE to use it at office), I never thought about this.
File associations work well in Mandy 9.2,, and I guess Mandrake soft will make sure it works in Mandy 10.
Have you used earlier, stable Mandrake releases? If not, I recommed it you
Great review of the most bleeding edge OS bundle
I think you have a point about using Windows volume names when accessing Windows volumes (the user should be fine with /dev/hda1 for their Linux partition, but how should they know that /dev/hda3 is what Windows considers c: to be?)
However, it might be difficult to support. As far as I can see, Windows assigns volume letters at random. My Windows partition is /dev/hda3, but it gets assigned to F: If we go in order, that should be the E: drive (which, on one Windows installation, it was).
I have been using Mandrake since 6.5 in 1998. I use Mandrake 9.2 on a AMD Athlon 3000+ with 512mb ram and it runs good. I put the 12/31/03 Mandrake Cooker on a Pentium III 600mhz with 384mb of ram. It ran good and I was very suprised with its quickness. There was a very noticeable difference in speed. The future looks bright with 2.6 kernel. I have tried most of the major distributions but always came back to Mandrake because of my soft spot with it since it was the first one I tried out in 1998.
Windows assigns volume letters at random .
I am not quite sure what you mean here. The above might happen in case you have many partitions and your MBR is not in a standard order. Other than that I don’t know how can this happen.
So hope on 10 to see if it works. When I boot up 9.2 with my laptop, it hangs when it shows “starting pcmcia…”, stupid probing, I would rather install driver myself than having buggy hardrake.
The directory listing of same shared drives (songs etc) was coming up much faster than it was in Windows XP. and these shared drives are FAT32, something Windows is supposed to specialize in.
Are you talking about shared drives across a network? If so, how is the speed on local files/directories? With WinXP’s Explorer in classic mode (where it should be), file/directory listing has always been instantaneous for me .. even on my slowest machine (P3-450). I have always had issues with the speed (or lack thereof) it takes the default KDE/Gnome file managers to render file/directory listings.
See if you can boot up in another mode with out pcmcia enabled. Try interactive mode where you can tell what services to startup. I had a PCMCIA problem with my IBM G40, but once I disabled it everything acted fine. Of course you loose the pcmcia capability, but eh…I could live with out it.
Windows assigns volume letters at random .
I am not quite sure what you mean here. The above might happen in case you have many partitions and your MBR is not in a standard order. Other than that I don’t know how can this happen.
With Windows 98/95, it’s fairly easy to predict drive letters, but with XP & 2000 (and I believe NT, but I’m not sure), the user can arbitrarily choose his or her own drive letters.
This works nice for people who have a lot of drivespace and who want it organized in a particular manner (Such as keeping the same name for a particular drive after adding a new drive, which normally would possibly change the default drive/letter assignments), but it also will make it almost impossible to have Linux keep drive/letter pairings in sync.
Unless of course the drive/letter pairings are held in XML, or some other format which could be utilized by Linux for such an endeavor. I’ve never had a reason to research how such information’s stored, but my 1st guess would be in the registry.
In the article the author is talking about taking Volume labels for mount points. So if your c partition is called windows it will be mounted under /mnt/windows. He is not talking about c: or d: (volume letters) but about volumes names! My d: is called data, and will be mounted under /mnt/data if I understand it correctly. I think this is a cool thing…
I believe Totem is just an alternative GUI to the xine libraries. Meaning, for all practical purposes, Totem is xine. I never liked the original xine gui anyway. And mplayer can wipe the floor with xine anyday anyhoo.
Windows assigns drive letters in the order that they are created/detected. Normally, this is in order – as when you are partitioning a fresh hard drive it creates each partition sequentially. If you are to do any repartitioning, iirc, in win2k the original partition is removed, subsequently lettered partitions are lettered down, and new partitions are given new letters. In XP lettering is static to the installation and doesn’t adjust to repartitioning (but don’t quote me on any of that, I’m just pretty sure, but I haven’t checked it recently). All that’s by default though – you can change any of it. Doesn’t make much difference though, not even windows adopts the lettering of another windows installation – it just reads them in in order:P
Really a screwy setup though. Linux (and just about every other os I’ve tried for that matter) has a much more informative and static way of handling drives imho – even if it’s not so user friendly at it’s core, hda1 is always hda1 (not to mention all the other bits of information you can draw from hda1 that you cant from C:)
No, once I turned into interactive mode, it hangs in some other point.
I’m sorry to say but your review has newbie written all over it, and most of your points are moot.
> I wonder how would it be when pre-linking is enabled.
try it out
prelink -afmR should do it.
>I know its not a good idea to display ‘root’ as one of the users, atleast a text field should have been supplied where I could type username ‘root’.
you shouldn’t run as root, especially not a gui, and there shouldn’t have been a text field.
you should try su or kdesu to start an app as root and do what you want, but NEVER login kde with root.
> And I also wonder if it is so tough to put every object file needed in the same rpm package.
because it wastes bandwith, and is simply unneeded. if a package you got from a shady rpm site overwrites a library tested and compiled by mandrake. you have the equivalent of dll hell in windows. I very much prefer dependency hell, resolved by a good package manager.
> Personally, I think these guys should merge with OO.org.
NOT gonna happen, though there will be some cooperation with a kde gui for openoffice and the like
> GNOME dictionary turned out to be very helpful in checking some word meanings but it needs internet connection
Off course it does, it looks up your word LIVE on MULTIPLE online dictionaries.
> Flash plugin is not present and neither is Java. What is the point in putting ton of new features in each version if it can’t do the basic stuff right?
You should complain with macromedia (flash) and sun (java) for distributing under a license, that allows neither redhat mandrake microsoft or anyone to include their stuff.
> I felt better but now I could not access my shared drives mounted under /mnt. Oh well..
Haven’t used mdk for a while, but IIRC the security settings when set to paranoid uncovered a tab where you could unset different settings like mounting stuff, or automatically resetting permissions on some files. (did you even look around to see if you could fix it? The solution was pretty much under your nose)
> Another example is .dat files.
.dat files can be pretty much anything .
a data text-file is the most likely, and a video file is only on the 5th or so position
You sound very much like what you say: someone who’s tried and installed everydistro, but hasn’t used any for over 5 minutes because something didn’t work the way they’re used to.
Maybe you should start with a boxed set and a manual. (which DO include browser plugins IIRC)
Actaully I also thought totem was different than xine too. Reason? Well I have my mplayer codecs installed in /usr/lib/codecs/ which I configured xine to reconginze. If I use, gxine, kaffiene, xine-ui,etc I am able to play for example quicktime video. But with totem it would just spit out codec errors. Maybe totem is based on xine but it acts independently.
My point was that it would be nice if Mandrake would show the Windows drive letters when getting install images from an existing partition (if the user put the ISOs in drive D:, Mandrake would show it as D:). However, it would be nearly impossible for them to do that, since Windows’s assignment of drive letters cannot be reliably predicted.
I would consider Mandrake out of the race until they can get apt or yum working with their distro and build a big repository. This is the next natural step.
Don’t they have urpmi by default? As well as a huge repository? Where’s the race? Did I miss it?
Where can I download MandrakeMove?
Try comparing apt and urpmi side by side and you’ll see that apt is easier to use and does a much better job at resolving dependencies. I use Mandrake 9.2 (I bought it) and Libranet and there’s just no comparison between the two although it may stem from Debian eye towards stability vs Mandrake’s bleeding edge packages.
The difference between ‘closed’ and ‘stealth’ is whether the PC drops packets without replying, or replies that the port is closed. ICMP is often also dropped in the latter case; it’s the family of protocols that has tools such as ‘ping’ in it. In general, ‘closed’ is actually better than stealth; your computer is marginally easier to find, but as long as all your ports are closed, it shouldn’t be an issue. If you block ICMP, some stuff will break, most obviously ping. scan.sygate.com really overstates the difference to security. It also seems to now be hawking privacy/security programs; I’m sure they’re well-intentioned, but it begins to remind me of grc.com – a site with some mildly useful things, but which is also full of meaningless->harmful hype.
Not listening on port 6000 is good. Edit your startx file to have the option -nolisten tcp when it calls xinit, and this will stop being a problem.
As mentioned above, prelinking is just a matter of prelink -afmR.
For dependancies, I hear mandrake/fedora are improving; my personal preference would still be to use gentoo, bsd, or debian.
I agree with you. The review looks like it has been written by a newbie.
The Windows naming scheme (like C:, D:) is going to be deprecated in the future, so why should Mandrake hang on to this ? Mandrake 9.2 and Cooker both mount my Windows partitions under /mnt/, what’s wrong with that ?
> When I booted for the first time, the system automatically > logged me in as ‘manish’.
Yes, because you chose to do so! You could have turned that off in the installer. Please read carefully when you install. The installer is very user friendly, I can’t really see why you missed it.
Also, it is quite easy to change this behaviour. Just start the GDM configurator.
> There are lot of programs installed to deal with image >files. Infact, there are too many of them
Just uninstall them, what’s the big deal ?
> Flash plugin is not present and neither is Java
Go to macromedia.com and java.sun.com.
> That means that someone could still see that there is a PC > at this IP address
Yes, so what ? Your firewall will reject the packets (since the ports are closed) and people cannot hack into your PC. It is not necessary to use “stealth” mode. It seems to me, that you should read about firewall tecniques. Try searching for “iptables howto” in google. It will teach how a firewall works, what is necessary to block etc.
The “ugly dark squares” around the bullets of the Word document are a very special OOo feature known as fields. They signify variables like if you insert the time or date. In Word, bullets etc. are static but in OOo, you may notice that you are able to delete the bullets but still keep the formating of the paragragh.
Same with numbered lists, which are even better than the bulleted lists because nested (oh yes, you can nest them too!) number lists look REALLY impressive to Word users. ;]
As a Debian user, I can say that urpmi is very good and second to apt mostly because of the number of packages that Debian has available by default. If you do a google search, you’ll find a lot of urpmi repositories.
I have not had urpmi break a package or fail to resolve a dependency (I was able to convince my boss to allow me to use Mandrake at work because it can be officially supported…funny, since I am the network admin and support my own box, but hey – it allowed me to have a *nix workstation at work).
Mandrake is a really good desktop distribution (and you can still use the power under the hood, no matter what the naysayers will tell you) which got a bit buggy with the downloadable release of 9.2. However, I haven’t had any problems to speak of with my Powerpack (purchased version), so perhaps they did a bit more work on it; can’t say as I blame them for focusing a bit more on the product that people actually pay for.
I have a test bed machine which is made up of 2 hardrives and 4 partitions. I am currently running SuSE9.0, Redhat9 and a hdinstall of Knoppix 11/19/03. All distros boot from floppy’s and I thought I would give Mandrake a shot at this machine. Alas I downloaded and burned the 2 cd’s and checked the md5 checksums so the media was fine. After 4 attempts at installation I had no success. The cd’s would partially load then hang. Each time in a different spot. I conclude that this is a half baked attempt by Mandrake to scoop the field by being out with a version 10 and the new core before anyone else. If so it was short sighted at best. It will be a cold day in July before I use Mandrake again after the fiasco with 9.2 and this coaster maker.
This is the first ditro that I enjoy using on my 3 years old laptop (Dell P3-500,256MB).
Even though this is an alpha, I update it daily with Cooker and enjoy working with it.
No more problems with alsa, snappy interface. Great new tools in KDE 3.2.
I just hope that MDK won’t screw up like they did with 9.2 which was a disaster at launch. Very poor quality control.
Anyone tried it on a recent laptop? I’m interested to know how the kernel 2.6 behaves on newer laptops which support only acpi. Are standby, suspend and hibernation working?
Well, it _is_ an alpha release, with the very first 2.6 kernel. Of course some things will not work as well as with stable releases, especially for hardware the lkml developers do not have.
The point is to show what will come, as well as shake as many bugs as possible before the actual release. Just try and send a bug report to qa.mandrakesoft.com.
You could probably still test the install: Mandrake usually puts more conservative kernels on the second CD, also bootable. Try it, you never know.
Well, mine does still not suspend to RAM. It does at least not wake up right; it hangs.
I have an Acer Aspire 1300, but I run gentoo (development-sources-2.6.0) on it, not mandrake.
I will upgrade to 2.6.1-rc1 tonight, as it is supposed to have some (OK, 3 at all) improvements concerning ACPI.
Does anybody have any information on whether BIOS upgrading (as suggested on KernelTrap) helps?
RedHatter, this is NOT a distro release. It is a pre-alpha of 10.0. As such, it will be buggy; it has installed for me, though, so maybe there is a specific issue with either your iso’s or your hardware (there was a past bug in the installer which made it have problems if you had over a GB of RAM, for example).
Hopefully, KDE 3.2 will be mature enough for 10.0
Yes, be careful. There have even been instances of people’s hardware being ruined. Fortunately, there was a firmware rescue that saved some people’s hardware.
I must have some magical ability to make Mandrake puke, because no matter what mahine I run it on, it always crashes badly, and often. I should add that no other Linux distribution, BSD or even Windows has ever given me anywhere near as much trouble. I hate Mandrake.
People talk about how wonderful Mandrake is, and I wonder if they’re on crack and thinking about something completely different. In my experience, this distribution is nothing short of being monumentally bad, and I’ll not recomend it to anyone who’s hobbies do not include fixing broken things.
Perhaps this is how some people get a negative impression of Linux.
Drives in Unix or any OS with a Unix-based file structure occupy a directory hierarchy that begins at “/”. No matter how many storage devices you add, there’s still only one “/”.
Windows, DOS, etc., require that each drive be mapped to a unique letter identifying that drive. Although DOS, and Windows, mimic the hierarchical structure of a Unix filesystem, there’s nothing to stop you from havinh multiple roots on multiple dirves.
I’ve been gving MDK 9.2 a try for a few weeks and I’m rather impressed (surprised?). I won’t disagree with the points you raise, except…
1) There’s nothing wrong with a review from a newbie point of view. Reviews that assume the reader’s expertise are, by definition, only useful to experts. Linux is an OS, not a teaching tool.
2) Many of the points you raise, as well as a lot of confusion surrounding Linux, would be moot if distributions would include adequate documentation. E.g., if Gnome wants to checks online dictionaries, tell the user. (No, putting it in a help file isn’t as good as putting it in a hard-copy manual.) Sure, lots of “documentation” is on the net, but referring your paying customers to the web instaed of paying someone to write decent documentation is just a copout. The web is full of nonsense. (I bought Mandrake’s PowerPack box, and I’m dismayed by the lack of decent detailed documentation. The hardcopy manual included in the box is a glorified install manual (altho well done), and the “reference manual” that us installed hardly seems Mandrake specific.)
As a cooker, it’s not bad. Few packages wouldn’t install from the 2nd cd; it somehow delayed the installation. Despite ignoring those packages (I did default installation), installation completed. There’s still a bug that’s following Mandrake since version 8.0; if you move mouse during partitioning (or other tasks), mouse freezes, and you have to complete installation with keyboard (or restart installation). Kde 3.2 shows much improvement and simplification. The system with kernel 2.6 shows some responsiveness.
Are there screenshots availlable anywhere? 🙂
I don’t think you need screenshots…
I just installed the 2.6.1-rc2-mm kernel on my gentoo boxes and boy is it snappy.
The 2.6 kernel is really going to kick butt as it matures.
” “su -” works fine but when you want to use the GUI tools, you have to enter the root password each time. When I logged in as a normal user, I had to supply the root password about 10 times before I decided to login as root itself. ”
If you’re an ordinary user, you should be able to find everything you need to configure in the Mandrake Control Centre. You only need to load it once, entering your root password only once. All the system configuration modules are there.
If you want to do more than this, open a terminal and run “su -“. To load a GUI application, type its exec name followed by an ampersand (“&”). This frees the terminal for further use while the GUI app is still loaded. Fo example, to load the Mandrake Control Centre, type “DrakConf &”.
In short, you should never log in directly as root. It can be a security risk. Besides, it’s much more convenient to be able to run root-mode apps alongside your ordinary user-mode apps like a Web browser. Why log out just for a few system administration tasks?
Perhaps this is how some people get a negative impression of Linux.
Well, cooker is an experimental distribution. It’s not meant to be used on a primary computer, but rather to be tested for bugs. I mean, if I was to say that I though Longhorn sucked because I tried the public alpha and apps kept crashing, and there were plenty of stuff missing, and so on, you’d say that I was unfairly judging a pre-pre-release. This is the same thing.
I don’t understand that this cooker is the first one with working sound for you. I started using linux with mandrake 9.1 and there it works exactly the same as in the cooker, just choose the i810 driver during installation.
I haven’t read it, but it has a big advantage to 9.2. You can test your screen resolution during install!
You just have to take the effort to check everything during install (one of the last steps).
I’ve 10.00 cooker running on my desktop and feel very happy using it for day to day tasks. Much improved KDE and overall responsiveness is very good. It didn’t install that easily – seemed to miss bits of KDE (Kmail for instance), but it didn’t take long to figure out what was missing and put it back. I have also managed to install a couple of my fav apps such as Madman and KickPIM. These installed without a hitch. I’ve no complaints, just praise. I look forward to the final release and am enjoying the prospect of testing 10.00 to final release.
As mentioned by others – there is no reason to login as root. Mandrake and SuSE are similar in approach. 99% of what a user needs to do can be done through your user login. If you need to use root then “su” away…………
>I believe Totem is just an alternative GUI to the xine >libraries. Meaning, for all practical purposes, Totem is >xine. I never liked the original xine gui anyway. And mplayer >can wipe the floor with xine anyday anyhoo.
Mplayer doesn’t even have menu support for DVDs. And it’s use of processor resources leaves a lot to be desired… like 50% of processor use when watching a DVD while xine uses just 28-31%.
Anyway I have the 2 of them installed. To have only one multimedia application would be like having windows ME installed…and WMP suck..
TheGIMP 1.2.5 is not an old version, it’s the current stable, including 1.3.23 wouldn’t be a good move if the idea of this release is to demo software which will be included in 10.0, GIMP2.0’s release may be delayed, and what’s this about CMYK support? it has a colour proof display filter, but other than that it doesn’t do colour management as such, and CMYK support isn’t implemented much(if any) better than in 1.2.x, AFAIK.
as for Mozilla with default themes, is it compiled against GTK2? if so, using the clasic theme should use GTK2 themed widgets, should it not? i guess since you’re using KDE that doesn’t help you.
The fact that Java and Flash doesn’t come with Linux is nothing new. The only distros that come with Java are Slackware and JDS( Java Desktop System ). Other than that, no others up to now have had it as a default. Hell, even Windows never came with Java or Flash. And it’s not going to come with it in the near future.
Totem probably uses Xine as its backend,
(which explains xine-plugins).
one seems to make mandrake puke all the time while the other replies that’s spreading FUD,
well i use linux all the time and am a very avid fan and advocate, still i also think mandrake crashes a lot
“one seems to make mandrake puke all the time while the other replies that’s spreading FUD,
well i use linux all the time and am a very avid fan and advocate, still i also think mandrake crashes a lot”
I have no major issues with Linux. I do have minor ones that together I find terribly irritating, but nothing that would cause me to tell people to avoid Linux in general. To be clear, I am mainly a FreeBSD guy that likes DragonFly and Mac OS X, but to most people looking for an alternative OS, I generally recomend Linux because it’s (IMO) easier for newbies to install (though I myself find FreeBSD’s installer stupid simple).
I just can’t recomend Mandrake. What some simple, weak willed folks around here think, is that by ‘bad mouthing’ Mandrake, which IN MY EXPERIENCE is a horrible excuse for a Linux distribution, that I am spereading (ugh, I HATE this phrase) FUD, to which I must now reply “Bullshit.” “Grow up.” “Get a life outside of Linux” (computers, operating systems whatever). Some people are WAY too touchy about these things. I’m a computer nut for sure, but damn, some people here are real wankers.
Stop trolling. Kingston was not talking about Cooker.
Mandrake was my first distro and I loved it for it’s slick installer if nothing else, compared to slack and deb it was enthralling. I’ve used 8.0 – 9.2, and I can tell you my everyday desktop is *still* Slackware. Mandrake does things that make no sense, please hear me out, here’s an example: I own something like 8 wireless devices, mostly because I bought them before I knew enough to get any of them working with Linux, so I would simply give up, consult the list of supported devices and buy yet another device, unfortunately the list is not updated as often as I visit online vendors , eventually I learned and they now all work on any distro currently installed on my notebook, (Mandrake 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, Slack 9.0, 9.1, Redhat 9.0, Fedora 1, and Knoppix 3.3 on the hd, FreeBSD 5.2 is not quite working).
To get to the point: Mandrake, beginning with 9.1 began to provide modules for some of these devices in the 3rdparty directory, namely the atmel based pcmcia cards, however their gui config tool was not fully updated to reflect this, so even though the module was there, it could not be configured without ifconfig/iwconfig/route/and an edit of some system files at the console. Why supply the module, but leave it out of drakconnect? With 9.2 came additional atmel support with 2 different open source modules available for the atmel usb wireless devices in addition to the earlier module for the pcmcia wireless devices, and as an added bonus an early version of the TI Acx100 open source driver also made it into the 3rdparty directory, I was starting to give kudos, and then realize that still nothing was done to fully integrate these modules into drakconnect. For instance, you can select the acx100 module, but are not allowed to supply load-time params for it, which are required for it to load, so of course, it errors out and leaves you on a drakconnect merry-go-round. The atmel modules lack proper device id support and so without certain system file edits, are also unusable out-of-the-box. Mind you, these gui tools are really perl scripts, they don’t even need compiling for goodness sake, so I stay with Slackware, who don’t provide modules and then leave them dangling and don’t plaster “mdk” at the end of every program they compile for their distro, and who *do* put very useful comments in the scripts.
If you make comments on things based on a quick first impression you will have to be very careful, since you can easily make a fool of yourself…
In the article there seem to be some lack of understanding for how OO handles and shows various fields:
“I opened a simple word document with a few bullet points and all the bullets (in this case, small round dark circles) had big square grey boxes around them. It looked plain ugly. It can ofcourse be fixed but defaults should make sense.”
This seems rather amusing as the ugly gray bullet boxes simply indicates fields (as for a table of contents etc.) and if you print the document the gray colour wont show.
To me it is a very good feature to visually separate a field from ordinary text in this way.
Looking forward to the next Mandrake releases.
That’s strange to read such review. The writter enable some feature without knowing what he does and complain that it didn’t work as expected. Paranoïd mode is for strong server security and refer to firewall setting only. The user can’t go outside there /home directory… All server are down, it use the grsecurity patch for the kernel, use strong pam policy etc…
How can he complain about the none-presence of non free software (java, flash) or in software illegal in the US (libdvdcss) in a full free (in the FSF sense) distro ?
If some package miss why didn’t he set urpmi to use web repository ?
Why does he try to run a gui on root mode ?
If we want to teste something for newbe, he should try to review the “discovery” version of the 9.2.
The author even says it himself at some point : clicking an *.iso launches the appropriate app in Xandros – and the attention to detail is maintainted pretty much (perfection is not of this world) throughout the distro.
I still marvel that some people “need/require” more than 1 tool to do a simple job : OpenOffice AND K-Office, Mozilla AND Konqueror/Galeon/Opera … etc, etc….
I much prefer a distro that bundles the most common/well-made ones, creates all links/filetypes and puts the best of breed in a logical location. And the again, Linux being an environment of choice, (say you dont’ like Mozilla) you can always install the one YOU prefer. This way you get a neatly packaged distro one ONE CD, why would you need more ?!
On my servers I will continue to use server-type distros (with or without GUIs)RH/Slackware/Debian/ ….but on my desktop : on high-end units will still go with : Lindows, Lycoris or king-of-the-hill Xandros 2.0 (or 1.0) and on lesser hdw Corel 1.2/Storm2000.
-> They are all ultra-simple to install and use, true Windows_replacement OSes.
PS: Another thing XMMS unstable ?! Have never seen it crash – even once, and this on whatever distro I have used. That was a most puzzling statement.
I’m directing especially towards Lucket (Soundcard), Andy (laptop PCMCIA), anonymous and Gabriel (ACPI), and x (don’t move the mouse during repartitioning):
Please help Mandrake solve these problems by (1) checking their bugzilla to see if your problem has already been reported, and (if not!)…
Open a bug and help them to solve your problem by being a tester! MDK Packagers/Developers with whom I have worked have consistently been responsive and grateful for end-user input and testing on configurations which they have no access to.
the intention of this snapshot, which is definitely pre-alpha, is to get more people into testing. So, if you’re not going to send back feedback and bugreports, either via the cooker mailinglist or qa.mandrakesoft.com, DON’T download/install/use this snapshot!!
Or, on the other hand, if you do download and install, send feedback. Don’t waste your and other people’s time by writing what’s bad about it here and elsewhere on the web, but in some place where developers can use your info to improve. This is the whole point of joint FLOSS development.
Next, I second those who commented on the logging in as root (under an unstable kde as well..)
or just fire up mcc as user, give your root password once, that is all.
IMHO, someone who doesn’t know that can and should expect to get burnt on a cooker snapshot. There’s a reason to call it cooker, for most it is too hot to handle.
To say that the improved speed of OOo 1.1 compared to older versions is due to kernel 2.6 is not giving credit where credit is due, and IMHO plain respectless to OOo developers. When 1.1 betas first showed up, everyone was extremely impressed with the improved startup times, on my system is was more or less halved. So with kernel 2.4 (same system), just only updated from OOo 1.0.3 to 1.1. If this is still too slow for you, maybe you should consider a faster system; it has made OOo only slightly slower to startup than most other apps, instead of having the giant gap between all the other apps and OOo in the startup-time race.
Kudo’s to the OOo team! Well done, and thank you!
To those who seem to think that distros should make choices for them in terms of which editor, browser, multimedia player to bundle: well, look at the average Mandrake clubmember/customer, they get to call the shots on what goes on the three cd’s — you don’t have to install all that is offered, and maybe Mandrake discovery (and similar simplified distros) is for you. On the other hand, paying clubmembers (such as I) would really be upset if our favourite app is not there. So yes there is a point to this and it’s called customer satisfaction. Taking away choices is very bad for the development too. (Maybe you just have to think about it some more– diversity is good, having kde AND gnome is good, having multiple webbrowsers is good — when IE became all around in terms of marketshare it stopped being developed; FLOSS products may also slow down in development without competition for lack of ‘push’, comparison, inspiration, motivation etc..)
And last but not least, in a pre-alpha snapshot, they do need to include as much as they can of whatever will go into the final, because the purpose is to get it debugged.
So complaining about this whole bundling thing is just not understanding what’s what.
To those who have had bad luck with Mandrake in the past: show me one distro/OS that no one has (had) bad luck with,
and I may just go for it — it must run on my system, and be free (as in speech, I wouldn’t even mind paying for it).
To say that you cannot recommend Mandrake is fine with me, but I do doubt your situation is very standard; I have gotten plenty of friends and colleagues to switch to Mandrake (windows users, I don’t care if people who are on linux don’t use mandrake; some linux users I know personally have moved to mandrake too, to great satisfaction, but that’s just to make the point that it does happen.)
Very few of the people that I got to try Mandrake actually ran into weird problems. I myself did run into the LG drive problem, and yes, it was not nice and I wouldn’t have been able to get past that without another pc to download the necessary stuff: patches and instructions. Luckily, all my friends and colleagues (who expect help/support from me) didn’t have any big problems.
I am running my 4th installation of Mandrake, this time 9.2.
I like Mandrake, BUT only after I got used to an untypical way of installation. It goes like this:
0) wait for at least a month since “final” release of your desired version (9.2 being the most horrific example)
1) install this version of Mandrake and do not change any system options after first boot (not even add software etc., just to be sure)
2) download the whole mandrake update for this version (it is about 700 MB now for Mandrake 9.2) somewhere to your harddisk
3) include this directory among your “software sources”
4) run “add new software” and update EVERYTHING you can, maybe except adding new versions of kernel
5) now you should have a good stable Linux system with convenient look-and-feel even for former Windows users.
I am running pretty big mathematical programming project on my MDK 9.2, and have not experienced any problems. But I blame MDKsoft gravely for releasing unfinished distros, and thus making people install it in the way I just described, or suffering with unpredictable errors.
XMMS was also unstable when I tried it. Included in the new kernel is ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), but the XMMS output was set to an OSS (Open Sound System)driver. Changing the output driver helped me out.