Mandriva 2008.0
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Thread: Mandriva 2008.0

  1. #1
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Mandriva 2008.0

    Mandriva 2008.0

    Written by gore

    Introduction / Background -

    I've been using Mandrake Linux for a little while now. I know it is now called Mandriva, but when I started using it, it was known as Mandrake. 7.1 to be exact.

    Back then, Linux wasn't really much like it is now. The ease of installation depended heavily on what distro you had, and not all of them played nice with a new user.

    I've been using Linux now for over 7 years. In that time I've literally installed over 200 times. I've used quite a few different distros from time to time, and always had a small select few I keep for use.

    When I first used Linux I was very new to computing in general. I had gotten a tech yourself Linux book that came with Caldera Open Linux. This was around 2000. It was also before Caldera or Sco or whatever you want to call them forgot what they were doing in life and went nuts.

    Anyway... I started off by trying to install the thing myself without really doing what I should have done, which would be actually following the installation instructions line for line. I instead decided to try and figure out what this all was and ended up not getting to far because the how to didn't make sense at the time. I held off for a while and then when I went to school I installed it on a machine there.

    I followed the book this time and got an actual installation going. I was just glad it worked considering I had no permission to install an OS on a school computer for the very first time, and managed to set it up so that the POS machine I was using in there would load Windows by default, and I could use Linux in class. The teacher noticed of course and asked what it was and I told her. She was OK with it and I messed around a bit with that since I literally did an entire semester worth of work in about an hour.

    After this I was at Best Buy one day and saw Mandrake Linux 7.1 for sale and decided to buy it. I didn't install for a while, and this was back when Cable Modems weren't as easy or cheap to get as they are now.

    I had CRAPPY dial up, a modem that wasn't supported, and not much know how to go on. I still set up my machine to dual boot though, and ended up working with how Linux works, which, I admit, confused to crap out of me for some time afterwards when I started learning to use it.

    Anyway, not to give a life story instead of a review I think that's enough background info on me.

    So, how is Mandriva 2008.0 ? Well, for starters, I downloaded the CD, and booted from it to check out the Live System, and was amazed to see that my video card which wasn't very well supported in 2007.0 was now not only supported, but Compiz was set up and working right as it finished loading KDE.

    I was pretty impressed by the fact that it managed to do all this from a LiveCD with basically nothing but Keyboard and language being selected and nothing more.

    I messed around a bit, and decided to install. I had installed it on a Desktop machine not long before but the hardware in that one is starting to go and it needs a new video card so I couldn't really mess with it much. So on my laptop, which I'm cirrently typing this from, I installed it there. I had very few problems, and most were me messing with things that were more or less testing to see what it would handle.

    Right now, I'm typing this while in Enlightenment with a very nice theme I grabbed, and also messing with the MCC (Mandrake Control Center...Very YAST like but also different...)

    It's a nice little configuration tool. I still like YAST better, but it is a good one none the less.

    Setting up and installing are VERY easy to do. Basically, I booted from the CD, messed around a bit, and then selected the LiveInstall from the desktop Icon. After it set up a few things I wanted to resize my Windows XP Home Edition partition, not only to make it a little smaller, but to see if it COULD Resize NTFS.

    It did. Not only did it not complain, it just told me to make sure I had a back up because it was dangerous, which, it can be, but it did it in a little over 5 minutes or so, and once it was done, I used AutoAllocate to let it pick what partitions to make.

    After this was all finished, I wanted to make sure it was going to work.

    The installation was very easy and help is available if needed. I chose to just install and not use any manuals to see what it would be like and how easy it would be if someone were to do this without knowing much.

    It's a very nice set up tool and the installation is so easy I can literally go line by line what I had to do, and ran in to NO problems at all.

    Once the install is done there is one tricky bit:

    you had to reboot the machine, but for some reason my laptop wouldn't let the CD out until it had started to reboot. Not exactly something to complain about by any means, but something a new user may want to look out for none the less.

    Once the disk was out and the machine was powering up, it showed me a nice little Grub boot menu and Mandriva is selected by default to boot.

    Once it was starting up, I hit Escape because I hate silent booting. I like to know what it's doing, and if there are any problems at all. this is course something you can easily toggle in the MCC after you install.

    the machine started up and, to my joy, showed that lovely NVIDIA screen right bnefore X loaded, letting me know my video card was not only going to work, but that the drivers had been installed.

    I tested on an ATI machine as well, and the same thing happened:

    It loaded up the drivers so I could have 3D right after the install of the OS, and worked right as is out of the box so to speak.

    So after that I went to log in as root, but it said root log ins weren't allowed. I put this one down to a security setting, which it is, and thought "Nice, they actually thought of that after a fresh install, guess I won't have to by hand!".

    After I typed in the user name I set up during installation, and my password, I checked what desktops were installed. Not much, but a few. And considering it's the LiveCD installation, I can't really expect much right off the bat, so I went with the default KDE.

    One thing I've noticed after installing; Autologin in seems to want to work by default. I shut that off right away as should anyone else who's using the machine for more than a test box...

    I loaded up the MCC right away to set up my sources for online updates and so on, and found it to be quick and easy as well. I set a few up, and then set up the other option available to me for more. I loaded the update module of MCC and it asked me if it was OK to connect to the servers and I said OK, and not to ask again.

    It showed me all the updates, and the first time I selected them all and installed them all but had a weird problem, so on this install, I decided not to install the Kernel updates for now as I'm not entirely sure what happened and want to investigate further before messing with it.

    Just a heads up in case you run into a similar problem.

    Anyway, once the updates were installed, I wanted to look around some more. I loaded up the install and remove software module and started looking around. At first I wasn't really impressed with what was available, but then I remembered to set up a few more sources, like community repos. Once that was done, I had a LOT of stuff for use.

    I found LMMS and grabbed it, and started installing software from every type of category.

    I found a lot of the tools I use ready to go, and installed over a gig of stuff. After I had some things installed I decided to load some up and see how they looked. LMMS had one trick to it because there is more than one version available. The newer one doesn't seem to want to work well, so I uninstalled it and went back to the classic one I've used before which works just fine.

    I also grabbed a lot of internet and system tools to mess with, and noticed that some of it seems to load up by default after it's installed. If you grab a lot of services like ClamD and so on, check to see if they are loading by default, just in case your machine slows down a bit. I think this was more or less for ease of installation, but on a machine I'm doing work on, I don't want ALL of them turned on right after they're installed.

    MCC is your friend if you're using Mandriva. Literally almost everything you can do with installations can be done in this app. You can install software, remove software, upgrade it, find more, check info, set up hardware, switch which 3D desktop you're using, mess with your hardware, sound, firewall, everything.

    All around, I like this one. Mandriva 2008.0 gives a good desktop system, is easy enough for the person new to PCs in general, but also doesn't skip out on server related tasks.

    If you're getting bored with the Debian Paint Job Project (Ubuntu) I'd say for sure to try out Mandriva.

    I'm adding it back to my list, that's for sure. My list of OSs, if you're wondering, is the following:



    Windows XP


    Windows 2000 Professional




    I use those and love them. I generally have all of them installed unless I'm testing something out.

    I heard that Mandriva 2009 was just released, so even though I look forward to trying it out, I think for now I'm going to stick with 2008 until I have my other machines set up again. Then I'm of course going to grab it, install it, and test it out.

    So, Mandriva 2008.0, I'll give it 8/10. Nice and easy to use.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Thankyou for that................ most interesting............ I guess I started with stuff like AIX, Caldera and SCO then graduated into Solaris. All in business environments of course.

    At home it was SuSE and Red Hat, so I never really got into any of the others (being more of a systems and desktop guy).

    I will certainly give Mandriva a go, and bring SuSE up to speed. Trouble is, where I live, they find my FORTRAN and ALGOL more interesting (jk).......... but some days it really feels like that

    Yeah, they would have had to rename it 'cos the CDs didn't contain the required alkaloids of a true Mandrake?

    Apart from "recreational" use the Mandrake is grown commercially as a source for the ingredients of certain cancer suppressant medications It is a relative of the Magnolia and Nightshade families IIRC?

  3. #3
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Yes, it is a member of the Nightshade as I recall.

    SUSE has been something I've used since, well, you know lol. I keep SUSE installed on most machines as it is one of the best OSs on the market. I still install others though because some machines I have aren't exactly capable of using it. I have some older machines here so I generally use those with Slackware or FreeBSD as I can take a machine that's only got a 433 MHz processor and use it as an actual desktop system with Slackware and FreeBSD. I generally use either WindowMaker, Enlightenment, or FVWM as the desktop on those. Although I did have good results with AfterStep.

    Those allow me to not only use a machine that old, but also use it as an actual working system, not just a toy to test stuff.

    That machine only has 192 MBs of RAM and an 8 MB video card and a 15 inch monitor. And with the current installation, which is a dual boot scenario with Slackware 12.0 and Windows 2000 Professional on a little 4 gig partition, I have a working system.

    I can even use it as a real desktop doing web browsing, email, IMing, Chatting, Working on documents, and other stuff. I don't think it would work as well with Windows or a GUI intensive installation.

    Also, one of the machines I have has a dead video card for the most part. It won't display a GUI at all. Windows looks like crap, X windows looks like crap, and I literally can not use a GUI because it's so weird looking from the card dying.

    But, it loads Text only just fine. So I usually use those with Slackware or FreeBSD and use it as an extra FTP server or something else.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Like yourself I go for Windows 2000 Pro if I want Windows on an old box........ (or 98SE for some games boxes). It is pretty light on resources as it was designed for office desktops when they were very low spec compared with most SOHO or home entertainment systems.

    My cousin has some software that lets him play old games with XP. The problem of course, is that a lot of those older games want to directly address the hardware and NT based Windows won't allow that. Somehow this software gets round the problem. Unfortunately I can't remember what it is called.

    Slackware 12.0? I must have a look at that, as I have a PI/133 with 192Mb of RAM and a spare 14.4Gb drive in it. I felt sorry for it one day, and installed a 30Mb PCI video card, an audio card, and a 7,200rpm 60Gb HDD

    That machine only has 192 MBs of RAM and an 8 MB video card and a 15 inch monitor. And with the current installation, which is a dual boot scenario with Slackware 12.0 and Windows 2000 Professional on a little 4 gig partition, I have a working system.
    Exactly! I have always said that people scrap computers long before they have reached their useful EOL. If you look at what most office workers do (when they are actually doing what they should be doing) they don't need all this fancy hardware and bloatware.

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