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ianw1974

My Mandriva 2007 rant

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I figured it was time to have a rant. Up until now, I've had no problems getting things to work on my hardware. I've used Mandrake 10.0 Official, 10.1 Official, LE2005 and 2006. All worked fine and I've used them on all my machines at home, and even two at work that I have (desktop and laptop).

 

Now, I upgraded both my work machines to 2007, and I also updated one of my machines at home. Out of the three I've upgraded, I have two with problems that I deem serious.

 

The first is my home machine, which I've had a thread on here about. It wouldn't power off when I shut it down. It would effectively do a hard reset and start to boot again through the BIOS, and what not. I couldn't understand why, and I tried all sorts of things. I disabled a service called "wltool" because it was to do with kernel userspace tools for sleep parameters. Well, my desktop doesn't have a battery, so I don't really need this, so figured it was safe to disable. It never existed in previous releases either. However, still my machine wouldn't power off.

 

I updated the BIOS from 7VTXE F7 to 7VTXE F9 which was the latest from about 3 years ago. Wow, it shuts down now, but wait, my sound card doesn't work. Now, this isn't Mandriva's fault, it's the BIOS. It did the same to me when I tried using this BIOS before. But I've no way to get the sound card working. I tried the F8 BIOS, the same. So, went back to F7, I get sound, but I can't power off. I'll wait for a bit, and maybe even write to Mandriva about it. I've already raised a bug report, but nothing has been replied to, so will update it with my findings and see if it actually does anything. If not, distro change I think.

 

Now, we go to my work desktop. This one works perfectly fine. The only problem I now have is that I cannot connect with my VMware Server Console to the machine as it's running VMware Server. It worked fine in 2006, but now it doesn't work, despite the machine is listening on the port, and there is no firewall stopping it. SSH incidently works perfectly fine. So seems I need another distro change here too.

 

My laptop however, is fine. I'm just using it for normal everyday stuff. It shuts down fine, it plays sound find. The rest, I'm disappointed with. That's 66% of my hardware not working for one thing or another.

 

Disappointment, oh yeah!

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Guest bcinteractive

Since it is my first Mandriva Free 2007 install - though not a success because of display problems...

 

I'm positive I could make it work

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It's mostly workable, just this thing with acpi that's causing me nothing but probs. I'm going to see if disabling acpi in lilo will solve anything tonight. Probably will at least just halt it, and at least I can manually turn it off, without having to wait for a safe moment during the next boot sequence. :P

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Mandy 2007 installed perfectly fine (from the One CD) to my puter, but after installation I had issues with urpmi (segfaults for no apparent reason) as well as messed repos.

I would gladly give it a second try, but since then my box has been upgraded to Core 2 Duo with an Intel i965 chipset, and I had to search a bit to find some distro with adequate support for it.

Mandriva 2007 quits installation on that system in a very early stage (kernel 2.6.18 required for i965 and JMicron controller support).

So- next try is Mandy 2008, or whenever there will be a 2.6.17 series mandy kernel with the necessary patches.

Edited by scarecrow

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Hi Ian,

 

you wrote:

 

I figured it was time to have a rant. Up until now, I've had no problems getting things to work on my hardware. I've used Mandrake 10.0 Official, 10.1 Official, LE2005 and 2006. All worked fine and I've used them on all my machines at home, and even two at work that I have (desktop and laptop).

 

Now, I upgraded both my work machines to 2007, and I also updated one of my machines at home. Out of the three I've upgraded, I have two with problems that I deem serious.

 

This is nearly the same with my Mandriva/Mandrake experiences - just with opposite sign! The more I go back in history/version numbers, the more problems and annoyances I had. So it may pose a small wonder why I sticked to Mandy at all - but after the Amiga system finally vanishing out of relevance for a major number of capable software creators, there was hardly an alternative. Windows really sucks to me, and no updated version is likely to change that - being bloatedly fat and rotten to the core compared to the slim, fast and easy to use OS I was used to. I was hardcore Amiga for a very long time and working on my old system from within WinUAE for some time. On top on modern hardware, AmigaOS is actually *flying* like no system I've never seen before or after. Booting time with the same HD I had used before was now below 10s, up to the point where you were able to use the desktop, some seconds of background work not anyone. With this config, Workbench from OS3.9, the graphical desktop outruns every KDE, Gnome, MacOS, Windows or whatever. I don't care about benchmarks. I care about how fast a system "feels" to me, and user responsivity has always been good with AmigaOS. (Preemptive multitasking with almost twenty years of development experience, now showing it's real power. - I'll never forget the constant astonischment from a friend of mine commited to Windows, how fast i could browse the Net with, at that time still using original hardware - software on a CPU with 50Mhz in the new millenium outrunnig Winblow machines using a processor of 500!)

 

But the need for a modern browser, office system and other stuff was pressing. Always and everywhere people stating Mickysoft data formats being "standard", take it for granted that everyone is content with them and using them. Trying to explain the Gates company does *not* do standards, but instead break them permanently, and use this method as one of their basics to financial success, most people don't care at all - if you were lucky enough they even believed the truth. Obviously none of these "normal" users could see how frustrating that was - a permanent fight against technical features which were actually bugs, only very few could understand what was going on. It was like talking to walls, persuading traffic signs. Who want's to work with data on a permanent basis which is not simply broken or corrupt from the structure by chance, but *designed* to be corrupt? Most advanced technical efficiency eaten up by greed and stupidity.

 

Sometime I couldn't stand it any more, plus the fact I couldn't afford recent Amiga hardware any more. A colleage of mine showed Mandrake to me at work, and I was impressed. With experiences in UNIX environments from college and the Amiga shell not that different from csh, tcsh, bash or others, I felt I had found the most similar system to my old one within the free world of software. The configuration tool from SuSE for hardware settings and software installation was simply bad. In RedHat, I could not even find a match to MCC. And man, my colleague even showed me how one could do kernel compilation, few steps to be taken, using even a graphical display by "make xconfig"! That was a combination of usability, flexibility and comfortable access to options I knew and understood.

 

Actually, it was learning to handle a new system, which is a new world on it's own. It was not so easy in the beginning, and earlier versions of Mandriva didn't behave the way I supposed them to. Now the reasons are obvious: 1. My knowledge was not so good. 2. The system was advancing and stabilizing itself. I found linux systems in general much more complex than AmigaOS, but the efforts were rewarding: The more knowledge grew the better I could control what was going on. Plus, I found out that folks who could work on flexible systems, say Amiga or Linux based, did not find it hard to work on Windows platforms (to the "cost" of sometimes getting "mentally sick"). On the other hand, many of those solely bound to Windows are like illiterate confronted with other systems. (Okay, Browsers tend to work for them if already started, the same goes to basic functions of a word processors, but most times that's it.) It's simply beginning with the names of applications. What would a program like "Trillian" do if you have to guess and never read Douglas Adams? Even Firefox could be anything. But that being really smart, handy and multi-platform, it was major breakthrough, same goes to OpenOffice.

 

For me, linux systems and applications have come to a point of good and reliable everyday usability, and still getting better. Problems are not being caused by Open Source systems developers, but hardware manufacturers and vendors too stupid to realise there's folks different from being content with what is called "standard". Hardware producers holding back information which is needed to create Open Source drivers and a good connection on low levels, at the most critical links of hardware and software, or those who simply don't care for OS bindings will experience they're shooting their own toe. I'm pretty sure of that. The ability of Linux to run on a broad variety of hardware lies in it's nature, somehow. For Windows, this has to be constructed, with Linux, people just do it if they feel the need. If hardware producers disgorge crap, just meant to fit well with Windows solutions and hold back important information for their gadgets to work properly, they should be pressed to a point marking support free solutions the same way. Those who firmly resist are best to be abandoned. One can buy from others who cooperate better. Money talking is a language they understand.

 

So enough of the long speech - short message:

 

Please don't blame Mandriva, Ian. I won't hold you back from using Gentoo (and I can't anyway), but a permanent search for the "best" distribution is not what brings progress - and at some point you'll probably be stuck with a different distro the same way. It does not change the bad conditions every distro has to live with.

 

A friend of mine bought a very fine, top modern soundcard, which is not supported, neither by Gentoo nor by Debian, any linux distro. He's tech addicted and would like to switch over to Gentoo completely, (but bound to use Windows for work). But he'd like to do everything with linux at home, if there were good hardware (and also game) support. What makes you sure another combination of <Your Hardware>/<Distro X version Y> does not pose a problem when changing to version Z? By now, there's no guarantee for linux users at all!

 

Being in your shoes, I'd be very angry, too. But I'd try to root down the problem to a point, from where I could decide: Is the BIOS and/or hardware so bad it gives you no sound even with Windows, and is there no decent firmware upgrade for your mainboard in acceptable time to make all functions work like thy should, no matter which OS is used? If you cannot change that condition, what is the value of that hardware, of it's producer's service to you then? Now, I'd sell the mainboard on Ebay and to h*** with Gigabyte! You can exchange to the board to another, whose manufacturer is more "linux friendly". (Maybe there should be a linux hardware certificate of quality anyway: "Penguin professional proof" or similar.)

 

Best regards,

 

scoonma

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The problem is, why should something stop working, when it was perfectly fine? What have they done to cause it to fail?

 

Please note, 2007 is a 2.6.17.5 kernel. I used a 2.6.17.8 kernel in Gentoo, works fine. It's between the kernel and acpi that I do know. So why should it work for one and not the other?

 

My hardware is not old either, sure, it's am AMD Athlon XP1800+, 1GB RAM, 128MB Nvidia TI 4400 video card. It's good hardware, it's not ancient!

 

That's the problem. I have Fedora Core 5 on DVD, Gentoo isn't on the machine was having too many problems and got fed up with it. For servers it's great in my eyes, desktops not practical with too much compiling.

 

I still have Mandriva on the machine, for how long we shall see. I've logged a bug report, I want to continue using Mandriva on this machine. But if it won't work, I'll find something else that does. I'm not changing my hardware, because the software doesn't work. Why should I? It should have worked in the first place. They've done something.

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The only reportable issues I've had with MDV2007:

 

Relates to a Creative SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 sound card, apparently the new version of ALSA that is included with MDV2007 didn't like the card, kept getting a hitch-pitched sound as soon as ALSA loaded in at bootup.

 

This problem was resolved when I took out the sound card and replaced it with a Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card. ALSA had no problems with this card, but KsCD did. KsCD wouldn't play CD's, it kept displaying errors to make sure I had permissions to access the CD drive in question. Eventually, disabling the digital playback, solved this issue and it's been very reliable.

 

Strangely enough, on the slower of the two systems (Intel 166 MHz Pentium/MMX)... not one problem. :)

 

I have to admit, since switching to Mandriva Linux (beginning with the 2006 release), I have had far fewer issues with Mandriva, all resolved - thanks to the wonderful people at MandrivaUsers.org, than I had when I used SuSE Linux.

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Well I've been reading posts on the board and I think I'll wait before I upgrade to 2007. I'd like to see them get some of the bugs worked out. Hopefully they will soon.

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I hereby name Mandriva2007-Official the greatest disaster and failure of all Mandrake and Mandriva versions.

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To think that they had 12 months to get this one ready instead of the usual 6 months, it is a total disgrace.

 

It will not even get into the install setup phase. Language ......License ...........Install SATA driver......install driver for hard drive USB... then pops up a message saying there is no medium to install to-------check hardware.

 

It did exactly the same with the previous beta version. My hardware has been the same for 12 months and Mandriva 2006 and 2005 had ZERO problems with it.

 

These guys have been asleep behind the wheel and Mandriva has come to rest with its engine blown up.

 

I have tried all sorts of things such as trying to install in Raid1 mode and also no Raid setup at all. I tried each of their install menu items but still no luck. Someone said that Mandriva have shot themselves in the foot. I disagree........They have blown off both legs and both arms.

 

I too am not going to try any further until something more positive emerges and if that means 2008 then so be it.

 

Imagine all the newbies migrating from Windblows who will be lost from LINUX. Mandriva...........hang your heads in shame.

Cheers. John

Edited by AussieJohn

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I'm sorry to hear about everyone's problems with 2007. Just for another point on the graph, the only trouble I have had so far has been with the USB keyboard not working until the kernel fires up, which made installation 'interesting' (I had to set the root password and set up users after installing). Having said that, I had the same trouble with 10.1, so I think it's this keyboard. Damn.*

 

I have to agree with ianw and AJ, though - it is pretty darn stupid that hardware that was supported in not one, but two previous versions is now suddenly unsupported, as if by magic. As they say in the classics, WTF?

 

 

* Caveat - I've not been using 2007 much because it is rather slow on the small amount of RAM I have at the moment. Be prepared for the potential of a swift change in tune once I get some more RAM in this old crate. ;)

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Alex,

Often the problem is when the keyboard itself is a hub. I had exactly the same probs and switching to a near idenitical keyboard but with no hub in the keyboard it worked...

 

Scooma:

Good points but I think what you miss is that linux seems to compete across distro's by throwing in unneeded bells and whistles. They throw stuff in so users discover it IMHO... because if its not installed by default they think another distro where it is will be better received?

 

Boot time is singualrly unimportant to me, its something I do 3-4 times a year max.... but there are plenty of ways to speed it up significantly. (On laptops it can obviously be a real pain)

 

 

First off you can if dual booting reduce the bootloader choice time... and stop any services you don't use.

This makes a fair difference especially on unatended boots (like getting a coffee)

Also inside the /etc/init.d many services many of the services have very log sleep times...

Obviously in some cases its for a good reason but

grep sleep /etc/init.d will show some have very long sleep times...

Many of these can be safely reduced also on laptops the DHCP timeout is often very long. If its not plugged into the network this can be a pain so setting this lower can help.

 

While we are on init.d you can also parallelise many of the tasks. There is an excellent IBM paper on this I'll find if your interested OR you can look at initNG

You can also start X earlier in the init process.

 

Onto X ... xdm isn't pretty but its lightning fast... and switching for a lightweight WM can save several seconds .. you can also if you use lots of KDE apps stick KDE init into the WM's startup script which will then make starting KDE apps much faster under a different WM at the expense of some memory.

 

If you can be bothered then pre-linking works wonders on app startups, especially KDE.

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AussieJohn, sorry to hear all that bad stuff. My install went fairly well except X wouldn't start but I got that fixed. Then I upgraded the Nvidia driver and trashed the whole thing so I just reinstalled and it went just fine that time because I knew the tricks from the first time.

 

Now with a new install Konqueror is hanging up at times which it didn't do the first time. Also I can't install software with the GUI becuase it will not search and list the packages.

 

A few quirks here and the hanging thing, well I wonder what is different this time? I was running 10.1 for the longest time then 2006 and they worked good for me. I love Mandriva (don't like the name change from Mandrake) and will hang in there for updates & bug fixes.

 

I have a Promise PCI IDE drive controller that has never worked with Mandrake or Mandriva. It screws up the drive assignment. The first drive is b and second is a, all backwards and the boot loader is lost in the mess. All I have to do is plug it in and out the window it goes. I'll try it with this version and see. Unplugging it fixes it, but installing is a nightmare with it plugged in.

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:huh: Sorry people but I can't understand what all the negative responses are about. I installed 2007 with little trouble at all. All my hardware works just fine, no hang ups in software honestly it just works! Yes there are a number of changes what with the new package interface and some apps I've never thought of using before. I even got my twinview monitors working with little effort. Guess I must be one of the lucky ones, either that or I don't expect great things. I love it.... :thumbs:

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I'm sorry to hear about everyone's problems with 2007. Just for another point on the graph, the only trouble I have had so far has been with the USB keyboard not working until the kernel fires up, which made installation 'interesting' (I had to set the root password and set up users after installing). Having said that, I had the same trouble with 10.1, so I think it's this keyboard. Damn.*

 

This is the same that I had experienced with Windows when using somewhat older hardware. Because the BIOS doesn't detect anything USB at startup, it has to wait for some software to load in before anything USB (keyboard, mouse, hub, memory card reader, etc.) will begin to work.

 

I have not used a USB keyboard with Linux though.

 

* Caveat - I've not been using 2007 much because it is rather slow on the small amount of RAM I have at the moment. Be prepared for the potential of a swift change in tune once I get some more RAM in this old crate. ;)

 

On the faster of my two systems (AMD K6-2 500 MHz with 512 Mb RAM), MDV2007 flies! On the slower (Intel Pentium/MMX 166 MHz with 196 Mb RAM), 2007 runs MUCH better than 2006 did. Unlike 2006, I didn't have to tweak anything in the 2007 release. :)

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:huh: Sorry people but I can't understand what all the negative responses are about. I installed 2007 with little trouble at all. All my hardware works just fine, no hang ups in software honestly it just works! Yes there are a number of changes what with the new package interface and some apps I've never thought of using before. I even got my twinview monitors working with little effort. Guess I must be one of the lucky ones, either that or I don't expect great things. I love it.... :thumbs:

 

The only hardware issues I had with MDV2007 were on my faster system (see above), where the new ALSA version didn't like the Creative sound card (which was replaced) and KsCD wouldn't play a CD until "direct digital playback" was disabled. Both are considered resolved.

 

I read somewhere that it was best not to install Linux on very old or very new hardware, due to potential incompatibility issues, but on the slower and older of my two systems: the motherboard and CPU date back to 1997 and the video/audio/USB cards are only three years old, but MDV2007 runs perfectly on it. :mandriva:

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