MandrivaThis Forum is for the discussion of Mandriva (Mandrake) Linux.
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I have recently been learning abouy linux, and wish to purchase a distro for my pc. I'm seriously looking at Mandrake and would like your opions on whether or not it would be a good choice. I am also looking at SuSE, so if you have any knowledge of that distro and how it might compare to Mandrake, I'd like to hear it. Please feel free to messge or e-mail me. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suse will have much better hardware support, and has many, many more packages. Go Pro if you can, but if not. Get the Personal Edition, and enter an FTP server as an install source after your done, and you can download the extra pro packages free.
> "Better yet, download and try Knoppix if you havent."
Knoppix is great to see how Linux works. It has several clones as
well, like "Cluster Knoppix" and "Quantian Knoppix" - both of them not only boot directly from CD without installation as all Knoppixes do, but also can form automagically by themselves mighty cluster of all local machines booted from e.g. Quantian Knoppixes and sitting on the same Ethernet segment. Zero configuration, it just works. Try and you will see! ;-)
BUT: Knoppixes are not Mandrake, unfortunately. Knoppixes are Debian, another big distribution. There is no "Mandrake Knoppix" of any kind, and it is very hard to get Mandrakes connected in OpenMosix cluster. That's unfortunate for me as long-time Mandrake user. Maybe Mandrake wasn't right choice of distribution after all...
From the other side, Mandrake still is the most advanced and user friendly regarding international language support. Mandrake has also many easy-to-use graphical "point and click" tools, AFAIK more than any other distribution.
If we are comparing apples to apples... SuSE's download version takes up, oh that's right, something we don't know because it's via FTP only.
Comparing something like PowerPack against SuSE personal might be more in order
The PowerPack is 7 CD's, or I believe you can cram it all into 1 DVD. Furthermore, package solutions are probably nearly equal, hardware solutions will also be nearly equal, the basics of the 2 will surely be nearly equal.
SO where is the difference?
The distro's own tools. diskdrake, Mandrake Control Center (MCC), urpmi and so on. Yast2, um, I need to fair and mention I haven't used SuSE since 8.0, so there may be more than just Yast2...
You just have to take a look at those tools that are put out exclusively by the distros themselves and determine which one suits your needs better.
However, back to the question at hand, should you buy a copy of Mandrake, my answer is a resounding Definitely.
It's by far the best distro I've come across, especially for a newbie. The hardware recognition is Superb, it's tools are the best I've seen that come from a distro to assist those unaware of how to setup things or continue working with certain tools. The PowerPack comes with those closed source drivers such as NVidia, as well as StarOffice and other solutions that make it an excellent bundle to someone without the desire to go out and run a command line as a newbie, or for someone looking to get a lot of the bigger packages in a great bundle without having to fish around the internet for the tools and then build them and pray they work.
The distro you should use, depends on the language you are able to read. I'm using Mandrake for more than a year now. In case of trouble, I often see a solution on the Internet (I think) which I cannot read, because Mandrake is very popular in France. Suse and Knoppix are mighty popular in Germany and Holland. This is however no big problem, you only have to look for a translation. I have installed Mandrake in various versions on several machines, without any problem but a speedtouch USB-modem.
I just wanted to add my two cents. I've used both suse and mandrake, and truthfully, I found them both excellent, but I've since settled on Mandrake and I can't say enough great things about it.
I took a similar route as it sounds you're taking right now. Windows pro, but always wanted out of their grasp. I downloaded Redhat (liked it btw), then downloaded mandrake (loved it, mainly due to it properly configuring ALL my hardware automagically), then tried out Suse and decided I wanted Mandrake back.
I then joined the Mandrake club to support them.
Don't worry about their "customer support" as a home user or hobbist. Your first stop should almost always be Google, and your second should almost always be these forums.
No matter which distro you decide on, I think the important things you should do are (1) Offer community support -- be active in the linux community to help others; (2) be an evangalist for linux in general - let people know that great options exist for them outside of MS; (3) consider financially supporting your distro, or an important project (KDE comes to mind).
I've used both suse and mandrake, and truthfully, I found them both excellent
It's a question of your hardware and your experiences.
You may want to confirm whichever you decide on supports the hardware that is important to you, or just get the cheaper boxed set and try it out.
I've bought SUSE before and just compared Mandrake 9.1 and SUSE 8.2 head to head and Mandrake came out on top. Hell, my video card has been supported since XFree86 4.1 and SUSE STILL couldn't enable 3d out of the box. Also, Yast is a garbled mess. The thing I liked most about Yast was the installation of the nVidia drivers but that didn't help me since I use an ATI.
I'll be buying Mandrake 9.2 when it comes out. SUSE 8.2 did not impress me. Add urpmi in the mix and there's no competition.