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Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1
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Thread: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

  1. #1
    x0xCRIZx0x
    Guest

    Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Hello all,

    Well, it's been around a week since I've installed Mandrake 8.1. Just to share with everyone my thoughts:

    Positives:
    o Installation was, of course, a breeze (except for one thing, more on this later). I don't know how easy it is for other distros, but hopefully they're as easy as Mandrake's installation.

    o Not a big kernel guru, so I am not aware of any special changes. I do know that apps load faster now. Mozilla runs faster, KDE apps don't take a millenium, and my gkrellm is not always busy (a good thing ).This is possibly app specific (new KDE, upgrades), but nonetheless a positive

    o Some changes to Control Center makes it a bit more useful (Autoinstall for example), but nothing big. Software manager has also changed, but it's not a total revamp.

    That is all i can think of (that is Mandrake specific) rite now. What's really on my mind is the negatives:

    o Holy crap, what happened to Iomega USB Zip drives? It seems that Mandrake 8.1 (actually, the new kernel) makes symlinks on the fly now. Now even if I manually try to get my zip drive to work, all efforts are gone at reboot. Well, I didn't even get it to work, so I guess that doesn't matter :-/ If anyone has had success, please post! Thank you

    o Beware of HardDrake! I don't know what they did to it, but my computer froze (silly me, i thought it was just slow and let it freeze for half an hour) after using it in Control Center. I was shocked! I mean, i couldn't even kill the process if I wanted to, nor reboot. A cold reboot is what happened..oh the humanity! :P It actually worked fine afterwards, so never found out what was wrong with it.

    o As if picking packages individually wasn't hard enough, they had to extend the list even further! For example, expanding the "Other Window Managers" tree reveals packages that is required for all window managers. Basically, double-listing the darn things..sheesh, take goodness for auto-installs..if i ever need to do another install, i'll go crazy picking the packages.

    And now Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy:

    After fiddling around a bit, I got to thinking: What is it I like about Mandrake that I like so much? I guess because it is my first distro and introduction to the Linux world, I may have an affinity to it. Yet I find myself thinking what is it that other distros have that Mandrake doesn't? If I'm not a newbie anymore (just agree with me on this), then should the logical step be to use another distro? What makes a distro unique in contrast to other distros?

    Isn't the most important factor are the applications you use? Then at that point, it is no longer distro specific, but rather application specific. So why all the distros?

    I have to admit, I've been considering other distro's (shoud this be in the Distro wars section? haha), but don't see a significant reason to change and have to install all over again.

    Hmm..this could be in the Rants section too. Ah well.

    -Criz

  2. #2

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    I love Mandrake, I don't think it is the best distro out there, but it is still a good one. My heart holds dearly Progeny Debian, it is a lot like mandrake, VERY smooth install with a hardware detection, but all the stability, speed, configurability that comes with Debian. I have yet to try 8.1 because I am still without high speed, and I have really gotten to where I hate downloading distros on a modem...REALLY hate it...but oh well....maybe some time soon. Thanks for the review though, I'll see what I can find on the USB zip drive...I saw an issue with that somewhere else, I'll see if I can find it again.

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  3. #3
    x0xCRIZx0x
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Hey Aragorn. Hmm..you advocate Progeny Debian alot here. Hehe, I think I will give it a try. Problem is, the only other partition I have other than Mankrake is my Windows..should I do it?

    Anyway, I found a "semi-solution" to my zip drive problem. It seems that supermount in Mandrake 8.1 is working improperly (or so I've read everywhere), which might have explained some of the issues I was having with the /etc/fstab file. (Pure speculation here :P)

  4. #4

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Oh yes...Progeny was heaven all except the issue I had with the cd's loading incorrectly...but after a lot of pounding my head I think it actually is an issue with my cd rom and not Progeny....Dell gave me a very very crappy CD-R/DVD drive....oh well....live and learn.

    Mandrake is pretty good about fixes...I'd expect some kinda fix within a month.....so I'd keep looking at their website. I'd say give Progeny a try while you wait for the fix then you can decide between the two..just overwrite your mandrake partition!

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  5. #5
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Well, I decided to install Mandrake 8.1 on my extra partition I use for testing purposes. I did an ftp install just to try it out. I haven't played with it much yet. The installer is pretty nice, but I do have a few complaints. When partitioning a disk they should provide a way to type in the size of the partition. Getting the exact size you want using the slider is impossible. I had to discover myself you could use the left and right arrows keys to adjust the size. This could be very confusing to the newbie's trying to install. If you change your mind when partitioning the drive and delete the partitions you created the partitioner doesn't restart at 1. I would prefer not having the first partition on the drive start as hdx5. The installer didn't allow me to set a hostname during the install. This is a minor annoyance. The installer didn't ask me if and where I wanted to install Lilo. I had to go back and fix Lilo so I could access my RedHat install. It didn't ask if I had any boot options I wanted to add to lilo.conf. This is a pain. For some reason it didn't prompt me to make a bootdisk. I would have prefered it ask me what run level I wanted to boot. I don't use run level 5. I would have preferred an option to manually configure X instead of it automatically using it's own setting. When it tests the settings it doesn't provide any feedback on the resolution it sets as default. I had to go back and change this after the install.

    Biggest complaint, it didn't install Maelstrom. > I just don't know about some distributions. ;D

    Jim H

  6. #6

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Wow, Mandrake is really starting to take the configurability away from the user...that I don't like....Mandrake better watch itself, it could get a very bad name very quick for doing such things.

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  7. #7
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    If you are using Mandrake 8.1 I just saw on LinuxToday about a security problem with devfs. I never noticed the other day when I installed 8.1 that they had devfs enabled. Mandrake is getting daring, devfs should definitely be considered "bleeding edge". I wouldn't recommend it be used on a production machine yet. As the post says you can disable devfs by adding append devfs=nomount to your boot options in lilo.conf.

    http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php...9-004-20-SC-MD

    In case you don't know about devfs.

    http://www.atnf.csiro.au/~rgooch/linux/docs/devfs.html


    Jim H

  8. #8
    x0xCRIZx0x
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    Yeah, I got that email from Mandrake and changed my lilo.conf file promptly. Did you go throught the expert install or recommend? Recommend install definitely does alot of things automatically, so I wouldn't recommend it (um..just read that sentence..hehe ) ;D

  9. #9
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    I ran the recommended install. This is WAY TO MUCH automation for an install. It is definitely not an install method for a experienced user.

  10. #10
    x0xCRIZx0x
    Guest

    Re: Thoughts on Mandrake 8.1

    I ran the recommended install. This is WAY TO MUCH automation for an install. It is definitely not an install method for a experienced user.
    In fact, they shouldn't call it "recommend install"..it should be more like "you won't know what you get install"

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