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Old 09-14-2003, 07:41 PM   #1
LooseCanon
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Mandrake quarks - what's good/bad - things to know before install?


Hello,

I'm running Red Hat 9 at the moment and quite frankly it's a nice distro but it has its bewildering quarks which make it run funny. RH's KDE crippling is one matter - it seems strange to cripple a nice environment like KDE. Anycase, long story short RH is kinda finicky when running k-apps and I rely on those.

The installation was nice, but had a hard time installing a driver for my onboard NIC (so no internet access) which is fixed now, and the nice thing was that I didn't have to make scsi emulation for my cdrw - it was automatically done by RH... Multiple language input in RH KDE and gnome is a disaster and I really need that for work.

I'm thinking of installing Mandrake but since I've managed to get RH configured somewhat right I'm hesitant to switch to a different distro on the fly (don't have much time on my hands) without really knowing what I'm getting myself into...

So what's good/bad about Mandrake or what are some issues that make Mandrake what it is?

Looking forward to your replies.

**EDIT
btw, is there an "apt-get" version for Mandrake too?

Last edited by LooseCanon; 09-14-2003 at 08:03 PM.
 
Old 09-14-2003, 07:50 PM   #2
Proud
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Mandrake is the most similar to RedHat out that iirc, but without the screwing to KDE, glibc etc.
9.1 is great, and 9.2 should be but is not ready yet.

The Drak tools and wizards are really helpful with configuring and maintaining your system, and urpmi deals with dependancies great.
 
Old 09-14-2003, 08:27 PM   #3
Dawa
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is manny able to be installed w/o boot disks of any kind? like nto booting from cd?
 
Old 09-14-2003, 09:49 PM   #4
bigVoice
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I've used both RH9 and Mandrake. I prefer Mandrake. Everything "just worked" for me, including picking up and properly configuring hardware on installation that Red Hat didn't.

What I specifically liked about it. I wanted a KDE-centric distro, I like the RPM system, I thought Mandrake looked sexy, and I find it enables me to do anything I want in an intuitive way. Also, the bundled software was a big plus. I know that similar things could be said about most major distos, but for I have nothing but good things to say towards Mandrake. I've also successfully converted 3 people off MS, and I'm always working on more.

That said, you mentioned you didn't have much time to "tinker". I don't think the changes are substantial enough to warrent a change in the middle of a hectic time for you. You might find you're better off to wait until things settle down for you, but otherwise, I like to convenience of the drak tool set, and I've _never_ had a hard time finding RPMs for most software.

"is manny able to be installed w/o boot disks of any kind? like nto booting from cd?"

I'm not sure what you're asking. You can install Mandrake on most machines without a boot disk (ie: CD only), and once it is installed it automagically configures a boot-loader for you if appropriate. For example, it automatically picks up a Win partition and offers you the choice to boot into win or Mandrkae.

If I misunderstood your question, then ask again and I'll take another crack.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 01:03 AM   #5
tigerflag
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The good, the bad, and the pretty...

9.1 is the only distro I've tried that I got everything working. It's a keeper for me.

Good:

-Excellent disk-partitioning tool
-Excellent hardware detection
-The Mandrake Control Center, if you like/need a gui for configuring everything
-If you like doing things by hand in a console, you can do that, too.
-Very stable
-Fast for such a large distro... RH always seemed slow.
-URPMI is as easy as Debian's APT

Bad:

-The installer for v9.1 seemed buggy compared to earlier versions... only putting Grub in the MBR worked, sometimes it wouldn't let me check for bad blocks when formatting, wouldn't let me go back and forth to different points in the install
-Sound is a PITA to get working right, but it CAN be done.
-Shorewall, the default firewall, is screwy. Guarddog works great but I can't get it to start at boot.

Pretty:

Galaxy is beautiful, as are the desktop fonts

HTH,
Siri Amrit
 
Old 09-15-2003, 07:35 AM   #6
bigVoice
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Re: The good, the bad, and the pretty...

"Good: "

Agree with everything

"Bad... only putting Grub in the MBR worked"

Ironically, I wanted Grub but choose lilo by accident and it is working great.

"wouldn't let me go back and forth to different points in the install"

Yup. I noticed the same thing, but I didn't think too much of it.

"Sound is a PITA to get working right, but it CAN be done. "

Agree again. My so-called integrated sound was such a waste of time when I was a true newbie to Linux that I ended up running out and just buying a $20 sound card

I think I could probably get it right now, but at the time the idea of compiling from source, etc was foreign and scary to me.

"Galaxy is beautiful, as are the desktop fonts"

Yeah. Mandrake is sexy as hell! Other musts are Karamba, which can be found at KDE-look.

souce for Karamba



RPM for Karamba
 
Old 09-15-2003, 10:54 AM   #7
dgl
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Mandrake is a bit boring but almost competent. Use the mouse during installation as there's ambiguity in some options, especially the EULA. You get a medal for finding the location of KPPP in 9.1(not a problem in 9.0). 9.2 doesn't sound very exciting. If you haven't tried Knoppix yet you are missing a terrific experience. Hr. prof. dr. Knopper has sussed this Linux business - no constant demands for money, it's just so good that folk will be begging to use his consultancy service! This is how they all should behave?! Beats anything emanating from across the Atlantic.
DGL.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 11:23 AM   #8
tcaptain
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Mandrake is my favorite distro, I use it on all my user machines (I have RH on my old gateway...and that's gonna change soon enough), I find that its nice to have all the newbie-ized GUI tools even if you don't NEED them (I prefer the command-line, but when doing something for the first time, its nice to have a backup for when you can't seem to hack it the other way you know?).

I've only had 2 things that have been constant problems for me and I'm really eager to see if they fixed this in 9.2 (and I'm not holding my breath):

1 - Sound. If the PC I'm installing on isn't a standard SB, I KNOW sound WON'T work out of the box. It never has, not for 7.1,8.0,8.1,9.0,9.1...it just hasn't. MOST of the time, the fix is easy enough...but sometimes you need to dig (like for my laptop).

2 - The boot order, having network BEFORE Pcmcia. This isn't a big deal on my desktop, or on a laptop with an integrated network IC...but since both my laptop and my SO's laptop use PCMCIA cards for networking it GUARANTEES that 1st boot off of the install it locks up UNLESS I use the rescue CD and switch the boot order in /etc/init.d/rc#whatever ...its a gotcha I'm aware of now...but it shouldn't be there at all.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 04:00 PM   #9
bughunta
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Pro:
Recognised the alcatel squashed frog straight away.
Recognised my Radeon and installed 3D acceleration.
Looks just stunning.
Runs like a dream.
Never uses swap.
K3b is fast and - swear to God - produces better looking VCDs than Nero.
Mandrake Update and ADSL - the perfect combo.

Con:
I will NEVER use "Halt" again - it destroyed most of the root partition on rebooting - at least that's my story.
Cannot connect and disconnect from the web at will - manual connections only seem to last a few minutes, whereas on-boot connections are persistent.
K3b refused to recognise my drives until I put CDs in both of them during setup.
 
Old 09-16-2003, 01:45 AM   #10
tigerflag
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"You get a medal for finding the location of KPPP in 9.1"

Use the Menu configurator in the Mandrake Control Panel. For System menu and User menu, select "All Applications" (or something like that) and then KPPP will show up. I forgot to mention the Mandrake menus in the "Good" category. They're the most logical of any distro I've tried, IMHO.

"My so-called integrated sound was such a waste of time when I was a true newbie to Linux that I ended up running out and just buying a $20 sound card."

Same here :-) Only mine just cost about $8 and it sounds great. I loved the onboard sound that came with my old IWILL mobo, and this is the same chipset on a PCI card. Mandrake detected the PCI soundcard immediately.
 
Old 09-16-2003, 06:37 AM   #11
bigVoice
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"Same here :-) Only mine just cost about $8"

Well, I'm Canadaian, so I bet $8 to you is about $125 to me. In that light, seems like I got the better deal

Sometimes the best solutions are the ones that just plain work... and work now.
 
Old 09-16-2003, 09:20 AM   #12
WhiteChedda
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Re: Mandrake quarks - what's good/bad - things to know before install?

Quote:
Originally posted by LooseCanon
Hello,

I'm running Red Hat 9 at the moment and quite frankly it's a nice distro but it has its bewildering quarks which make it run funny. RH's KDE crippling is one matter - it seems strange to cripple a nice environment like KDE. Anycase, long story short RH is kinda finicky when running k-apps and I rely on those.

The installation was nice, but had a hard time installing a driver for my onboard NIC (so no internet access) which is fixed now, and the nice thing was that I didn't have to make scsi emulation for my cdrw - it was automatically done by RH... Multiple language input in RH KDE and gnome is a disaster and I really need that for work.

I'm thinking of installing Mandrake but since I've managed to get RH configured somewhat right I'm hesitant to switch to a different distro on the fly (don't have much time on my hands) without really knowing what I'm getting myself into...

So what's good/bad about Mandrake or what are some issues that make Mandrake what it is?

Looking forward to your replies.

**EDIT
btw, is there an "apt-get" version for Mandrake too?

Make sure Plug n play OS setting is disabled in BIOS if you have one. This can get you a NIC/sound error issue.

Apt-get http://apt-rpm.tuxfamily.org/
I do not like apt-get myself, but its available.

KDE runs well and so does gnome expcept for the mouse for me. Mine inceists on scrolling horizontally, so I reinstalled anfter making to many config changes to keep track of and wishing to start from scratch again, this morning after thie install the mouse did not work at all. :/

I only use linux occasionally becasue of goofy crap like this, but over all mandrake is the most CONVIENANT version I have seen.

Last edited by WhiteChedda; 09-16-2003 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 09-16-2003, 01:40 PM   #13
tcaptain
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why use apt-get when URPMI is available on Mandrake?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE apt-get and I use it on my debian partition, but URPMI on Mandrake works every bit as well once its set up properly.

(although I'd love to have synaptic for URPMI, the package manager GUI in Mdk doesn't seem to work as well so I use URPMI from the cmd line mostly)
 
Old 09-18-2003, 02:40 PM   #14
WhiteChedda
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Quote:
Originally posted by tcaptain
why use apt-get when URPMI is available on Mandrake?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE apt-get and I use it on my debian partition, but URPMI on Mandrake works every bit as well once its set up properly.

(although I'd love to have synaptic for URPMI, the package manager GUI in Mdk doesn't seem to work as well so I use URPMI from the cmd line mostly)
1. Because he already knows apt-get

2. Nothing wrong with standardizing how you get packages, let's you wory about half the number of quirks, poorly implemented features, or annoying ideas someone coded into the pkg manager.
 
Old 09-18-2003, 06:18 PM   #15
LooseCanon
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hmm. So there aren't any outstanding issues with Mandrake per se? I've already downloaded the iso's and I'm getting very close to replacing RH9 with Mdk9.1 at this point -- RH is really acting weird (takes 2 whole minutes to log out, k-apps shut down inexplicably, my cdrw - using k3b - works every 2nd boot). ... really bizarre stuff.

Thanks for all your insight folks - makes the switch so much easier to contend with.

BTW, does Mdk9.1 install GRUB or LILO as a default bootloader?

Also you guys mention there's apt-get, but when I checked that URL two posts up, there seems to be only apt-get for RH... or am I just reading all that wrong? Are RH rpm's good also for Mandrake?

thanks again! (hope to see y'all on the mdk side)
 
  


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