Home > Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris > Mandrake 10 RC Review Mandrake 10 RC Review Eugenia Loli 2004-03-01 Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris 33 Comments Luis Alves put together a review of Mandrake Linux’s 10-RC with a handful of screenshots. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 33 Comments 2004-03-01 9:23 am Just do a check on that address if you could Please Eugenia. Thanks. dave. 2004-03-01 9:27 am Before you can persuade me to buy Mandrake the reliability problems in 9.2 will have to be ironed out. It caused my system to crash several times and the only escape was to reboot. The fonts were not very good (maybe because I used the download version?), their DSL connection wizard is faulty and I wasn’t impressed with their build of Emacs either. 2004-03-01 9:35 am He says MDK RC1 uses XFree 4.4pre. I thought this was the case in the beta versions, but RC1 reverted back to 4.3 for licensing reasons. 2004-03-01 9:41 am OK, I see he both used the beta version and the release candidate. I for one am looking forward to RC2. It should have been out some days ago, but apparently there’s some delay. Never mind, I think this will be a splendid release. 2004-03-01 10:00 am I just get ‘unable to create second stage ramdisk’… 2004-03-01 11:56 am I installed mandrake 10 Rc 1 on my thinkpad T30 as well. I have tried mandrake 9.1, 9.2, FC1, Mepis and now I am back to Mdk. The fonts are great, the menus are awesome, the software works very well. I have promised myself I won’t install anything else over it 🙂 Somehow (as the article mentions briefly), there always seems to be a problem with the PCMCIA as far as Mandrake goes (since 9.0). In my case, it detected the slot and the Lucent Orinoco card in it, but would not activate the card. I had to type in a few lines manually in rc.local and resolv.conf and now these are static bindings. Does anyone know whether this is a Mandrake bug and there is a fix for it outside of the ugly way in which I have accomplished it? 2004-03-01 1:33 pm I got it to install and boot, but after it started none of the apps would start up. The KDE Control Center would not work, konquerer would not open, and it was very ugly looking. I know this is a release candidate, but it is even more unpolished than Fedora Core 2 test which is basically an alpha. It also partitioned my hard disk in some wierd way that Suse 9, Mepis, and Libranet could not undo as they would not install afterward. I finally solved the problem with a format utility called partition commander. I hadn’t used it in over 2 years, but it solved the problem. In the past on this forum I have criticised Linux users for using 3rd party utilities to partition thier disks, but I take it back, because without Partition Commander I would have thought the disk was trashed. I’ve had issues with the interface. I’ve always thought Mandrake had an ugly default desktop. All in all I think I would not fool with this one right now as it seems to be trouble. 2004-03-01 2:13 pm If Mdrake 10 is anything like 9.2 … forget it. My Soyo Athlon XP 2800 system *never* worked with 9.1 or 9.2 … despite hours of configuring. Mdrake couldn’t find good PCI BUS Bridge drivers — and without those, networking is dead. Slackware, OTOH, installed with no problems. And, of course, Windows XP was the easiest/fastest install of them all. 2004-03-01 2:47 pm And, of course, Windows XP was the easiest/fastest install of them all. I prefer Debian, and Gentoo is really nice(but time consuming)…but I would put Xandros against your Windows XP for ease of install any day. It is also much more flexible. Though Xandros is fairly inflexible by Linux standards, compared to XP it is ultimately flexible and configurable, and it only takes about 15 minutes to do a complete install (with nvidia drivers installed and running) and Java, Flash, and MP3 codecs as well as Xine complete and whole with all the codecs intact. It also has unified CD burning and preconfigures your network, and integrates it into the file manager as another folder on the list view. Several times when I needed a machine up quick it never let me down. I have it installed on my wife’s machine and now she can get by without Windows at all and she ain’t no systems administrator. It only cost $45 to get all of the features I just mentioned. Compare that to XP at over $150 and there is no contest. It is easier to use than windows and cheaper to boot. 2004-03-01 3:26 pm When I saw the change from MDK 9.0 to 9.1, I thought that MDK was moving in the right direction, but 9.1 to 9.2 seemed to me just an upgrade (and not a very good one IMHO). Everyone said the second digit version changes are supposed to be like that, just upgrades, and that the 9.0->9.1 was an exception due MDK financial situation. Right now, I use the cooker version of MDK, so I guess my current build is newer than MDK 10 RC1, and all I can say is that I’m a little dissapointed. Besides the kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2 speed gains, I think that MDK 10 offers so little new. The good 1. New versions of almost everything. Kernel 2.6, KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.4.something (sorry, not GNOME useer currently, but project looks nice) 2.Additional good looking Window decorations/Styles, although I hope the work a little more the Galaxy Square, somehow those buttons don’t look quite right for me. 3.Stability is improved in many ways (not all of them ) 4.Start Menu has a better categorization (although I know this subject is totally subjective as everyone always fight over it). The Bad 1. Mandrake Control Center changed its layout but I don’t find it more functional (in fact, it is annoying that I can’t jump between major tool categories as in 9.xx version with the side tabs). The use of a “Previous” button to move between categories is a step back (not even a toolbar with good icons!). Navigation is not intuitive nor consistant as once you get inside a tool, you may have to use “Close” (f.ex. Fonts) or “Cancel” (f. ex. Clock) to get back, or worse, like the “MenuDrake ” which opens as an stand-alone window and not as a internal panel. Some tools use “Save”, others “OK” and others “Apply” to commit changes. Totally inconsistant considering that Mandrake itself develop this tool. 2. MDK Config Tools are the not much improved or worse. For example, they removed the “Get Windows Fonts” from the Font Tool, it was probably due legal reasons, but it was a great loss for me. The “Import” button functionality is totally un-intuitive and it always crashes (ok, blame me for using Cooker!) 3. URPMI MDK still misses a Systray applet to notify about updates, and it still sometimes can’t properly resolve package dependencies. or takes a lot of time to do it in certain occasions. For example, after installing MDK 9.2, adding the Cooker/PLF repositories, urpmi –auto –auto-select w’ont finish solving dependecies in 8hrs (I stopped the process after that). The funny thing is that if I d/l a couple of packages, like XMMS, OpenOffice and something else by urpmi’ing them manually, then urpmi takes just minutes to do it (for all of you thiking of apt is better, remember that MDK uses urpmi as its default main package manager. BTW, something that most people complains over and over again, is why URPMI related tools (the GUI ones) are 4 standalone applications and not a single one? 4. I know art is subjective and as some will say, not performance related, but my very subjective opinion is that artwork for version 10 is dull and lacks inspiration (the 10 being written in “calc” fonts reminds me of the 8.xx artwork). I mean, they only need the Lilo/Bootsplash and the wallpaper images, can’t they just hire someone to do them with a professional look? I mean, I know that the “Press ‘Esc’ to see messages …” message in the bootsplash could be required, but couldn’t them put an smaller message and use a good looking MDK logo to fill the top side of the progress bar? Conclusion After weighting changes, gains a losses, I can say the MDK seems more like a very good 9.3 than a full 10 version. May be is that I expected a distro much more polished form the artwork/consistency POV, or just because I found that most tools just had different layouts with no real gains. And please, don’t get me wrong, I like MDK, but it dissapoints me the small improvement in this version. 2004-03-01 3:57 pm I skimmed your response and noticed you complaining about the fonts installer….Did you ever think to look in KControl for KDE’s font installer? 2004-03-01 4:30 pm Well, that one is always an option, but my comment was towards the MDK tools. KDE’s Font installer is not a MDK distintive feature. 2004-03-01 4:53 pm Back in 1999 when I had enough I bought Mandrake 6.5 for $30. I have tried many distros since then. The only ones I would consider to replace Mandrake from the ones I have tried are Debian, Slackware, Libranet and Mephis (based on Debian). I have a MSI KT6 Delta-LSR motherboard and Mandrake 9.1 had some problems with real player crashing in Mozilla but when I upgraded to 9.2 those problems were gone. I havent tried out RC1 because I am waiting for RC2 of Mandrake 10 which like someone said is days over due. I did try out cooker about 4 months or so ago on my laptop and was amazed at the speed increase of the new kernel. If I were to ever leave Mandrake a Debian distro would be my first choice. However I have been loyal to Mandrake since it was my first distro to give me my look into a world without you know who and that is reason enough for me to support Mandrake. 2004-03-01 5:25 pm And, of course, Windows XP was the easiest/fastest install of them all. I think you are way off here. Every Linux distrobution I’ve ever installed on my computers here has been faster, easier, and more powerful than XP. XP’s install is pretty lacking in advanced options. On my current machine, for example, MDK installs in about 20 minutes w/ about 2 gigs of extra software chosen, where as XP installs in about 35 minutes with just XP installed. For MDK, that includes drivers and everything. XP just counts XP. Suse and RH were similar. When you get into problems with XP installing, its much harder to fix than linux too, because it doesn’t really ever tell you an error. It just hangs there. 2004-03-01 5:52 pm And, of course, Windows XP was the easiest/fastest install of them all. Right on the spot. XP might be faster and easier than Gentoo or Debian, but it doesn’t have near the power or features. Other than this exception, every other linux distro made beats XP on fast and easy installs. XP has a seriuosly outdated installer. As far as installers go I still have a preference to Xandros because it is dead simple, but the advanced options are there if you want them. A blind 2 year old on acid could do it. 2004-03-01 5:54 pm is galeon still there in Mandrake? Red Hat/Fedora has removed it and Suse does not include it at all. I miss it in installtions:-) 2004-03-01 6:02 pm I’ve read some complaints here, but I’d like to say that it’s Mandrake 9.2 that has made my transition to Linux possible. I have it running flawlessly on three machines now, including a Thinkpad laptop. These are computers that required endless tinkering for Windows 2000 to work. Suse 9.0 (my original first choice) also failed to work as advertised on any of those machines. Mandrake has made computing fun for me again, while letting me stay productive. I haven’t been able to say that since the days of Windows 3.1. Windows-free in 2004 2004-03-01 6:21 pm > 9.2 caused my system to crash several > times and the only escape was to reboot… I had the same problem. Two computers ran 9.1 rock solid but 9.2 crashed almost daily. Turned out to be acpi kernel module, booting with “acpi=off” now, no crashes on either machine in the past two weeks. 2004-03-01 6:33 pm For the record. I was not complaining. I was discussing the effect that a release candidate level system had on my computer. I know that there are many Mandrake fans, but it is not my favorite by any means. Any Linux user is on the true path. 2004-03-01 10:12 pm //On my current machine, for example, MDK installs in about 20 minutes w/ about 2 gigs of extra software chosen, where as XP installs in about 35 minutes with just XP installed. For MDK, that includes drivers and everything.// Well, YMMV. My particular setup (SOYO KT400 Dragon Ultra Black Edition, Athlon XP 2800, 512 MB 233mhz RAM,7200 RPM 40 Gig WD HD, Radeon 8500) runs the XP install in about 30 minutes. The (ultimately unusable) MDrake install took about the same amount of time: 25 minutes. Okay, so I was off 5 minutes, in my original post. Mea culpa. The point: After the XP install, I had a fully functioning system. After the MDrake install, I couldn’t do anything network-related. After the Slackware install, I _did_ have a functioning system, but with not much installed, desktop-wise. As always, it depends on your config, but my box specs (above) aren’t the crappiest around, by far … 2004-03-01 11:51 pm When I saw the change from MDK 9.0 to 9.1, I thought that MDK was moving in the right direction, but 9.1 to 9.2 seemed to me just an upgrade (and not a very good one IMHO). Everyone said the second digit version changes are supposed to be like that, just upgrades, and that the 9.0->9.1 was an exception Well, everyone is wrong here. Mandrake’s release nummer have really no meaning, they just increment them with each release and never go up to .2 Btw, it’s a good thing that Linux have catch up with Mac OS X, but we are still far away from Windows 2000 😉 3. URPMI MDK still misses a Systray applet to notify about updates, Good idea, I second that. and it still sometimes can’t properly resolve package dependencies. or takes a lot of time to do it in certain occasions. For example, after installing MDK 9.2, adding the Cooker/PLF repositories, urpmi –auto –auto-select w’ont finish solving dependecies in 8hrs (I stopped the process after that). I had 2 or 3 time this problem of urpmi being extremly slow, and each time, it was a mirror which was dead (the bad thing is that urpmi doesn’t gave me a hint about that). Fortunately, you can change them very easily with edit-urpm-sources.pl and http://urpmi.org/easyurpmi/index.php 2004-03-02 12:59 am It is true that Linux is starting to catch up to OS X, but OS X is way ahead of windows in usability. I have a Mac as one of my 3 machines and it beats windows hands down. In comparison windows is a crude piece of shareware. OS X is the most elegant and powerful interface around. I love Linux as well, but there is less continuity because of all the different versions. windows xp with it’s activation requirements and bloated code base is a mess. It is unreliable and unstable. It is obvious you are not an OS X user. Oh yeah number is spelled N U M B E R not nummer. 2004-03-02 1:00 am The point: After the XP install, I had a fully functioning system Come on, did you have all of those tools absolutely needed for day-to day work : * A decent web browser ( http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ ) * A easy-to-use not-easy-to-crack email client ( http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/ ). Sorry, Outlook Express is not a solution here. * A complete and mature office suite that make you save $344.99 ( http://download.openoffice.org/index.html ) * A decent archive tool http://www.7-zip.org/ : I mean, it’s not unbelievable that one day you will have to open an archive in aanother format than .zip * SSH http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html Thanks Mr Gates for your included telnet tool, but telnet is quite outdated. What can I do if I want to read my mails remotely with pine ? * An instant messaging Jabber client ( http://psi.affinix.com/?page=download ). Again, thanks very much Mr Gates for your proprietary and closed instant messaging protocol, but it’s not for me. Imagine a world where people with a @yahoo.com mail address could only talk to other people with a @yahoo.com mail address, the same for @hotmail.com and so on… People would be upset, don’t you think ? That was the situation of Instant Messaging (ie. pretty useless) before Jabber Conclusion : if you install Windows XP yourself (as opposed as to buy it in the supermarker), you will have to do all that. Sure it’s possible, but no intuitive (how does one know what are the right software to install ? only a long experience can save you here), less user-friendly and more time consuming than to install Mandrake or another Linux Distro. 2004-03-02 2:05 am Some people have complained about issues with URPMI but those issues have more to do with the repositories you use. I myself use Cooker repository from rpmfind.net which has not failed me yet. There have been a few quirks here and there but overall it has been a pretty good site to pick-up cooker packages. As far as the new layout of the MDK control center goes…well let’s say I have gotten used to it and it’s not that bad but I liked the previous design they had before. Overall the MDK 10 cooker system I have has been pretty stable and rock solid. Of course results may vary on other systems. I used a 9.2 install to get a base install and then updated the whole system via the cooker repository from rpmfind.net. Of course you can download an RC ISO and save yourself some time and then keep updated via the cooker link below. urpmi.addmedia Cooker BEWARE THE BUGS ftp://rpmfind.net/linux/MandrakeCooker/cooker/cooker/Mandrake/RPMS… with ../base/hdlist.cz P.S. Add /RPMS.cooker/ to the end of the address because this site has a limit on the length of a url adress when you post. Have fun ! 2004-03-02 2:18 am 3. URPMI MDK still misses a Systray applet to notify about updates, and it still sometimes can’t properly resolve package dependencies. or takes a lot of time to do it in certain occasions. For example, after installing MDK 9.2, adding the Cooker/PLF repositories, urpmi –auto –auto-select w’ont finish solving dependecies in 8hrs (I stopped the process after that). The funny thing is that if I d/l a couple of packages, like XMMS, OpenOffice and something else by urpmi’ing them manually, then urpmi takes just minutes to do it (for all of you thiking of apt is better, remember that MDK uses urpmi as its default main package manager. BTW, something that most people complains over and over again, is why URPMI related tools (the GUI ones) are 4 standalone applications and not a single one?” Dude use the repository from rpmfind.net I provided above it works better and is very up to date. Also if a repository takes longer then 15 minutes to download the hdlist.cz file then odds are it’s not around anymore or it’s a very slow connection. Also urpmi ( both gui and terminal ) will crap out and tell you if a site is not there or if there is a error with the hdlist.cz file. It will do this in a few minutes after checking the site to see if it’s not there. If you don’t believe me then I can post pics as proof by giving urpmi a fake ftp site and then taking a screenshot. Also it does give you download speeds in the terminal and in the gui. As far as the tools being urpmi broken down into 4 areas ( install, remove, media management, and updates ) that is more of a small gripe IMHO. I like not having on large beast of an app like synaptic’s gui to deal with IMHO. This way I won’t accidently remove stuff and it makes it easier to manage what I am doing. You can also have multiple instances of MDK-Control Center running if you want too. 2004-03-02 3:47 am Some people is confusing the process of d/l from repositories with the process of dependecy solving that URPMI does in your machine. With all the packages lists, URPMI should solve the dependencies BEFORE trying to d/l anything, so my observation stands because it is not a problem with repositories, it is with URPMI itself. My complain (maybe a bug I guess) is that somehow if you already have the lists (using urpmi.update -a) and then you try to upgrade everything (in my case urpmi –auto –auto-select –noclean), the damn thing will get stuck. To be fair, I have to say again that this only happens to me the first time after for example installing MDK9.2, adding cooker repositories and then trying to do a full upgrade. ——————————————————- BTW if you use synthesis.hdlist.cz instead of hdlist.cz, the list is A LOT smaller, but you miss the full descriptions of the packages. ——————————————————- 2004-03-02 7:01 am “Some people is confusing the process of d/l from repositories with the process of dependecy solving that URPMI does in your machine. With all the packages lists, URPMI should solve the dependencies BEFORE trying to d/l anything, so my observation stands because it is not a problem with repositories, it is with URPMI itself.” Ummmmmm……IT DOES ! I have used urpmi for a long time and it does not download package unless dependencies have been meet on your system for the package requested. Anyone who has used urpmi knows this as a fact. The only problem I have seen with urpmi is rpm-database lock but that happens only on a few occasions when you are downloading 250+ meg’s of packages on up ! ————————————————————– “BTW if you use synthesis.hdlist.cz instead of hdlist.cz, the list is A LOT smaller, but you miss the full descriptions of the packages.” ————————————————————– No thanks I got broadband and I like having the packagers and developers notes along with the package descriptions, package dependency lists, and file installation locations information as well. Besides it’s recommend that you use the hdlist.cz files by the folks at MDK as well. 2004-03-02 10:16 am I have used REDHAT from 6.2 to 9.0, and MDK 8, 9, 9.1, 9.2, I found that MDK 9.2 is the best! The Best Chinese Font support ( enen in Terminal ) I have experienced! The Best internet support! The best package intallation! I use it as my SCADA product platform, take a look and see how nice it is at http://www.leiosoft.com/power/powerShots.htm ! 2004-03-02 3:21 pm I am a Suse user and want to try 10RC1. It failed at the first hurdle as it couldn’t load the SCSI driver (Adaptec 19160). I’m not an expert, so just gave up. Is this how things are in the linux world with a release candidate that won’t even install? Even MS betas at least install, irrespective of how long they take. 2004-03-02 4:31 pm May be that 250MB lock is what is happening to me. As I said, that happens only when I try to do the full upgrade to Cooker, which the first time generally involves more than 250MB at one… Do you have any bug reference for such bug? 2004-03-02 7:21 pm You also have to realize that you are much more likely to have problems when you are working with Cooker. By definition, Cooker is a bleeding-edge pre-beta. Occasionally the hdlists are a day or two out of date and you’ll get a dependency issue. 2004-03-02 9:04 pm Sorry to burst your bubble, but even WinXp Final has refused to install on lots of machines, and mine was one of them, had to do a lot of tinkering to get it to install. Getting back to Mandrake, I installed 9.2 a month ago, my first experience with Linux & I am having a ball, sure it has a few problems, but not as many as WinXP when it first came out, especially the Security Issues. I have Mandrake 9.2 running very smooth, I know I am a Newbie & know very little about Linux but Mandrake gives me a smooth transition between Windows and Linux & the chance to dump Microsoft. For that I am Thankful 2004-03-02 9:11 pm Maybe i’ll give it another try when RC2 comes out. But rest assured i’ll never go back to Windows.