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IM-03: How do I get more software for Mandrake?

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IM-03: How do I get more software for Mandrake Linux?

::::Finding sources::::

Urpmi Sources are mirrors of the MandrakeLinux's ftp tree. To add extra sources to urpmi you have to find mirrors.

You can get a list of mirrors by going to the Easy Urpmi Webpage


::::Adding sources using the command-line::::

You can do all this using the command line and like most things done on the command-line/console it is usually faster.

The syntax for adding sources a la console is

urpmi.addmedia name_of_source url_of_source  with  hdlist_of_source

Using the Easy Urpmi Webpage makes adding sources from the command line really simple. All you have to do is:

1. Read the directions on the webpage. They are quite easy to follow and the information on this page will not always be up to date.

2. Select your operating system.

3. Select an architechture (the default is what most will use).

4. Select a mirror for each source which is close to you. Most people will want to add contrib and plf sources. Jpackage contains rpms of java programs.

5. Paste in the text which appears in the box below 3) Type this in a console as root


As an example I'll show you the sources I've added using the console method.

These are cooker sources which are unstable. I did this to make sure that no one just tries to copy this word for word. Using a little grey matter is a good thing sometimes :)

1. Log in as root by typing


in a console, then entering the root password


urpmi.addmedia jpackage ftp://mirror.cs.wisc.edu/pub/mirrors/linux/Mandrakelinux/devel/cooker/i586/media/jpackage with media_info/hdlist.cz

3. Now logout of root by typing


I've just added a source using the console. But wait... there's more :)



::::Adding sources using a GUI::::

It's a relatively easy task to get more free software for your Mandrake Linux box once you know what to do.

Unless you're in the Mandrake Club, there are 2 main rpm-based resources available to you for use:


3) Contrib RPMs


These two sources should give you the oppurtinity to add things like DVD players, DVD rippers, extra games and artwork to you Mandrake Linux box which for one reason or another could not be added to the official discs.


We will now look at how to add these sources using graphical utilities. The first thing you will need to do is open up the Mandrake Control Center. It will be in your menu under Configuration or on your menu panel. UPDATE ME


1. Once open, click on the Software Management icon.

2. Then click on Software Sources/Media Manager.

You will now have to find add urls to describe the path to you new rpm resources. I usually add http sources because I find them to be faster. You have the option of adding either http or ftp servers. I'll show you how to add both.

3. Click the Add...

The "URL" will be


and the "Relative path to synthesis/hdlist" will be


4. Click Ok and wait for the sources to be added to the urpmi database. If all goes well (check for typos) you will have just finished adding your first unofficial source. Next we will do ftp sources for plf and contrib packages.

5. Click on Add... For ftp servers a login and password can be added if necessary. We won't use any servers which require that here.

Let's do plf first so for the "Name" you can put



The "URL" will be


and the "Relative path to synthesis/hdlist" will be


*Note that there are two dots before the slash this time.*

Again click Ok and wait for the source to be added to the urpmi database.

6. Finally we will add our contrib source, again from ftp. The "Name" will be



The "URL" will be


and the "Relative path to synthesis/hdlist" will be


Click Ok one last time and wait for the source to be added to the urpmi database.

Congratulations, you are now able to download software from all these sites using Rpmdrake or the urpmi command.


::::Advanced Tricks::::


Here you'll learn a couple of tricks which are best and I think only possible with the command line. First is adding gpg keys.

Rpmdrake has a security feature which asks you if you want to install which does not have a recognized gpg signature.


On the main plf page is a neat little trick to import their gpg key into the root user's keyring. To download and install the plf gpg key go to this link for instructions : http://plf.zarb.org/packages.php


Another useful trick is trying to find out which mirrors are close to you so that you can get the best download speeds. The closeness of a mirror isn't the only factor influencing downloads (how many other people are downloading is also a factor) but it's a factor that is easily determined. To do this we will need the traceroute command.

If you don't have it installed:

1. Open up a console and login as root


urpmi traceroute

3. Once installed you use traceroute like so

traceroute url_without_http_or_ftp_prefix


traceroute plf.time4t.net

My rule of thumb is that, "the mirror which takes the least number of hops to get to you is the closest." The "hops" are numbered so it is pretty easy to figure them out.

Oh yeah, before you forget, log out of root :)

Want to know some mirrors so the you can find out how close they are?

Go to the Easy Urpmi Webpage and check out the different mirrors there or go to the Mandrake Linux download page http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3

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