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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
Easy to install
Only usable with KDE, poor package management, poor documentation
To install Mageia I chose the 32-bit version of the 4GB, customisable DVD. The bug tracker shows many people unable to run the disk (as opposed using a USB stick) but I had no trouble. The installer is excellent: simple to use but with lots of options. Unfortunately, the installer was the best part.
I tried three desktops. In Xfce, drop-down menus frequently failed to display any text. In Mate, many of the panel plugins were invisible, even the notification area and updates tool. Both these desktops also had many missing components. The default KDE was better, as one would expect, but very bloated compared with other distros. If you have less than 2GB, there may be swapping.
The package manager is set to use the DVD for the core repository and disable that for “tainted” (i.e. patented) software; setting the correct repositories has to be done from a different program. Media codecs are not installed and there is no guidance on which files are needed. I tried the instructions from an old Mandriva site, but without success. Finally I spotted that there were two versions of ffmpeg: one in core, one in tainted: I replaced the first with the second and it worked. The package manager still keeps trying to persuade you to delete “orphan programs”, most of which are actually vital components.
My USB speakers were unusable (a problem inherited from Mandriva) until I blacklisted the kernel plugin for motherboard sound; again, an undocumented solution.
I'd sum up Mageia as usable (if you stick to KDE) but shoddy: it certainly doesn’t make my top 20.