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Old 11-08-2004, 01:07 PM   #1
jonr
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Pls help me decide: Mandrake or Libranet?


OK, I installed Libranet on a spare hard drive because of rave reviews I read, and because it looked like my chance, at last, to try out a Debian distro that even I could understand.

I like many things about it, but here are a couple of items that, so far, make me think maybe I should stick to Mandrake:

(1) It appears that installing Firefox browser is going to be very difficult and iffy. Also, when I ran "apt-get install firefox" I got a response that no such package was found. So I did a Google search on "debian firefox" and the results were far from encouraging. I simply don't want to have to abandon Firefox, which is so much better than any of the half-dozen or so other browers I've used that there's no real comparison.

(2) I was dismayed to find that ntp was not a standard part of the Libranet distro I downloaded. I got it installed OK using apt-get (something I would have been totally unable to do with Mandrake, by the way, since it involved kernel modifications, which are beyond me and probably always will be), and it works! Nice. BUT I was unable to find any config file for ntp or its daemon (ntpd) or the list of time servers for it. I don't like that, because I want to be sure it's not using a tier-one server; I'd prefer to be using the ntp pool that was set up precisely in order that ordinary users wouldn't be overwhelming one server or another.

(3) I was also shocked at the absence of some commands I've grown used to using, such as slocate and a few others I tried only to be told "no such command." Is this an absence you have to get used to in Debian distros? Or something that can be fixed?

Changing systems will be quite a hassle, but I'm willing to do it if it's to my benefit. But I'm not convinced yet.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Last edited by jonr; 11-08-2004 at 01:10 PM.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 01:12 PM   #2
XavierP
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux-Distributions and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 01:18 PM   #3
jonr
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Thanks for moving it, XavierP! I felt unsure where to post. You're a helper.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 01:38 PM   #4
XavierP
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That's me, helpful helpful helpful!
 
Old 11-08-2004, 04:02 PM   #5
ferrix
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Usually given a choice between Mandrake and Libranet I would say Libranet - no contest! But at this time the most recent version of Libranet is pretty old, while Mandrake is very fresh. So at this point I'd say: Mandrake now, Libranet once version 3.0 comes out. Or, get Simply Mepis instead - it is quite comparable to Libranet, and quite recent as well. It does include Firefox. (Libranet might not have Firefox by default, but Firefox is included in Debian testing repository. It is also really easy to install binaries driectly from mozilla.org)

re: ntp ... it surely does not require any changes to the kernel? I've installed it a number of times and I just can't see why anything like that would be required. You'll find the settings in /etc/ntpd.conf - this is the file you need to edit to use the server of your choice.

Last edited by ferrix; 11-08-2004 at 04:16 PM.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 04:27 PM   #6
jonr
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferrix
Usually given a choice between Mandrake and Libranet I would say Libranet - no contest! But at this time the most recent version of Libranet is pretty old, while Mandrake is very fresh. So at this point I'd say: Mandrake now, Libranet once version 3.0 comes out. Or, get Simply Mepis instead - it is quite comparable to Libranet, and quite recent as well. It does include Firefox. (Libranet might not have Firefox by default, but Firefox is included in Debian testing repository. It is also really easy to install binaries driectly from mozilla.org)
I did finally find that "apt-get install mozilla-firefox" obtained the huge number of files to install it, and tried to install it, but it failed in the end. It was one of the easiest things to install in Mandrake. (I'm not criticizing Libranet or Debian in saying this, just seems to me that Firefox may be pretty hard to get going, at least with my level of knowledge.) Apt-get asked me to "suggest a solution" when it came up against its brick wall, and I was clueless, so I just gave up.

Quote:
re: ntp ... it surely does not require any changes to the kernel? I've installed it a number of times and I just can't see why anything like that would be required. You'll find the settings in /etc/ntpd.conf - this is the file you need to edit to use the server of your choice.
It did look to me like modifications were being made to the kernel, but maybe I just didn't understand what I was seeing. The process took quite a while, required a few responses from me, and then stopped and restarted various services that "might have been affected" by the changes in question. After that ntp was obviously working, because the time was exactly right, where it had not been before.

But I never could find any reference to "ntp" even with a search for files using Midnight Commander. Strange. I couldn't use my normal method of searching, because slocate doesn't exist on this distro! That seems strange, too.

Re: SimplyMEPIS--it looked appealing, but it failed to install correctly on my hard drive after two tries, so I wasn't really able to test it. I like that it comes with Firefox. Indeed, Libranet seems to come with any number of good things missing from the download edition of Mandrake. But seems to have some odd omissions, too.

Last edited by jonr; 11-08-2004 at 04:30 PM.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 04:34 PM   #7
jonr
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I just checked the /etc directory files on the Libranet drive, and sure enough there's no "ntpd.conf." That's what I expected to find, too, but it just isn't there. So where the server list is, is a mystery.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 04:44 PM   #8
ferrix
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uh sorry this was a typo. It should be /etc/ntp.conf
If that file doesn't exist either, I would say this means ntp did not install correctly for whatever reason.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 05:27 PM   #9
jonr
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferrix
uh sorry this was a typo. It should be /etc/ntp.conf
If that file doesn't exist either, I would say this means ntp did not install correctly for whatever reason.
I was guilty of the same typo (or actually thinking wrong file name). But /etc/ntp.conf is also absent. Ah, well...

Think I'm going to stick to Mandrake 9.2 until I'm forced to change: everything I want to do with my machine, I can do very easily and well with 9.2; it's just that I know someday I'll have to change because too many things will be obsolete.

Thanks for your help.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 05:37 PM   #10
ferrix
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Well, Mandrake 10.1 gets pretty good press from what I've read - why not just upgrade to that? This way you stick to the distro you know, but still get the latest and brightest
 
Old 11-08-2004, 07:17 PM   #11
jonr
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferrix
Well, Mandrake 10.1 gets pretty good press from what I've read - why not just upgrade to that? This way you stick to the distro you know, but still get the latest and brightest
I tried! Tried Community and mouse, CD-burner, and other things didn't work.
Tried Official and same results.

Went back to 9.2, where everything was properly recognized and configured with no intervention.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.
 
Old 11-09-2004, 08:19 AM   #12
cedar
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With Libranet use locate instead of slocate. I use it all the time to find files. As for the ntp problem, I don't know what to say. It should be at /etc/ntp.conf

As for firefox, use "apt-get -t testing install mozilla-firefox" and you'll be set.

Mandrake is good. When I first started using Linux, Mandrake was my go-to distro. I would try others, but still come back to Mandrake 9.2 then 10 Official. I tried Libranet and haven't gone back. It's become my go-to distro now. I can't wait for 3.0 to come out. I tried Mandrake 10.1 Official, but was unimpressed. Mandrake left me feeling like my hands were tied when I couldn't install software from source or when I couldn't even get something to install from RPMDrake because of unresolved dependancies. Libranet hasn't left me hanging like that yet with apt.
 
Old 11-09-2004, 09:18 AM   #13
jonr
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Quote:
Originally posted by cedar
With Libranet use locate instead of slocate. I use it all the time to find files. As for the ntp problem, I don't know what to say. It should be at /etc/ntp.conf

As for firefox, use "apt-get -t testing install mozilla-firefox" and you'll be set.

Mandrake is good. When I first started using Linux, Mandrake was my go-to distro. I would try others, but still come back to Mandrake 9.2 then 10 Official. I tried Libranet and haven't gone back. It's become my go-to distro now. I can't wait for 3.0 to come out. I tried Mandrake 10.1 Official, but was unimpressed. Mandrake left me feeling like my hands were tied when I couldn't install software from source or when I couldn't even get something to install from RPMDrake because of unresolved dependancies. Libranet hasn't left me hanging like that yet with apt.
I'll have to give that method of obtaining Firefox a try next time I experiment with Libranet (which I still have installed on the spare drive). Thanks for the tip.

I agree about Mandrake: it's good especially because it's probably introduced thousands of users to Linux who would have given up with other distros. Many of them probably went on to more elegant versions of Linux. I'm wholeheartedly in favor of ANY distro that will get more people away from MS Windows. Simple as that.

But the dependency problem--not fun. It's the one single "feature" that's made me say to myself time and again, "Why did I ever get into this?"

But then I remember why.
 
Old 11-10-2004, 03:46 PM   #14
jonr
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Tried above-suggested way to get firefox in Libranet, and it didn't work; I still got a list of possibly two hundred "unmet dependencies" with the notation that they were needed, "but will not be installed." (I quote from memory, but that was the sense of it.) And again it said try install -f "with no packages" and I tried various combinations with the switch -f but same result. Meanwhile the attempt at installing firefox yesterday apparently wiped out Mozilla on the Libranet system.

Then I tried doing "apt-get upgrade" and after over two hours' of upgrading, it stalled at 82% complete, DSL connection was lost and I just
came back home to Mandrake.

Looks like this Libranet installation isn't going to work for me. I really hoped it would.
 
  


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