[Wolves] Mandrake 10.1

Adam Sweet drinky76 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 26 04:08:57 GMT 2005

Hi Tim,

I'm going to try to tie up some stuff from your recent

The answers to your questions about Mandrake are on
their website http://www.mandrakelinux.com but for now
I will save you the trouble.

Mandrake 10.1 is the latest version, it was released
at the end of October as a paid for product. As most
Linux distributors do, they also offer a cash free
download which they made available at the beginning on
December. The cash free download is normally a cut
down version of the commercial products, with
proprietary extras removed and no support. This is
common from most vendors. You will be fine with a free
download version of most distros but updating your
Mandrake installation will be tricky if you don't know
what you're doing. Paid versions of Mandrake offer 30,
60 and 90 days 'web support' whatever that means for
the various versions and similar periods of 'easy
updates' via mandrakeonline. What you are supposed to
do for security updates using the free version or
after your paid updates run out (very quickly) is
anyones guess.

Personally I'm not a fan of Mandrake, I used it for
around 2 years before moving on. While it is fine for
absolute beginners, I found it frustrating to use due
to many small bugs that seem to plague Mandrake. Other
people may have had different experiences, but I have
posted about this several times.

I personally think you would be fine with Fedora Core
3, SuSE or Ubuntu. Certainly in Ubuntu and SuSE there
isn't a lot to make things complicated, unless you go
into specifics like setting up networks in which case
you will need to know about IP addresses, subnet
masks, default gateways etc, but that isn't really
that hard either.

Synaptic which is available in Ubuntu as a GUI front
end to apt is very easy to use and as Peter Cannon
pointed out, it is also available in Fedora for the
rpm packaging system.

Just remember, if you use a free download, I mean FC3
and Mandrake particularly here, things aren't going to
run smoothly all the time, particularly with end user
apps. Mandrake tend to leave some pretty noticeable
user interface flaws in their products. All though
this is uncommon, don't be put off, but understand
that unless you can fix it yourself in the source code
things most probably won't get fixed until the next
release. For which reason you should report bugs.

If you buy a boxed set of any Linux distribution, SuSE
particularly, you will get a nice big manual that
tells you how to do stuff. If you don't, you get
google, so learning how to use google well is a big
deal. Advice for this is on the google website, but as
before I'll save you some trouble by pointing you at
http://www.google.co.uk/help/basics.html and
http://www.google.co.uk/help/refinesearch.html the
second one is really cool. Normally you can resolve
configuration issues via google or find someone who
had the same problem.

Personally I would stay with Fedora Core if you have
it already, or try SuSE. If you stay with FC then as I
said before, 'yum install synaptic' will get synaptic
for you and will pull in apt as a dependency as it is
an apt front end. As James suggested, log out and in
again if it doesn't show up in the menu immediately,
or run synaptic from the command line (probably needs
to be run as root so use the su or sudo commands. Read
man sudo and man su for help).

I don't have the Mandrake CDs and I'm guessing that by
the lack of response, nobody else does. A non-response
means that nobody can help in Unix circles, it doesn't
mean nobody cares ;)

For more on this read
it's a great read.

I think FC3, SuSE or Ubuntu would be your best bets,
Mandrake would probably frustrate you with things you
cannot fix (ie buggy user interfaces) and the 'sort it
out yourself' security update process. FC may
frustrate you with things too as it is a development
distribution, but it has a wider support community
than most. Just be prepared for things not to work all
of the time.

If you really want to move away from FC, try SuSE or
Ubuntu or go the whole hog and buy a SuSE boxed set
with a nice big book in it.

Apologies if this sounds terse, I'm trying to help,
but it's 4am and I'm struggling to string sentences
together ;) 




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