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My experience with Mandriva Install

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Hi there,


I'm a newbie here. So nice to meet you all.



Since yesterday I have Mandriva on my USB stick,but there is the story behind it, which I'd like to share with you.


Having some experience with Linux a couple of days ago I've decided to install something on my spare USB stick to check out a proper distro for my new PC.


Still having Gentoo on one PC and Kubuntu on another one I was not really satisfied with them. Gentoo due to the long compilation time and always increasing number of issues the developers put into portage to make life harder. Kubuntu due the very slow boot time which is much longer then on Gentoo machine although the last one is already 7 years old... (At the beginning it was OK, but getting worse and worse all the time)


Update manager on Kubuntu is something that nobody will use. So people use Symantec from Ubuntu, which also far from perfect.


Due to all these reasons I've started my marathon with many of distros I would never install otherwise.


At the beginning I thought, that I would check one or two distros and would decide which one is better.


Actually I've had no special requirements. It should work. That was the only one!


Now I'm really astonished how hard my requirement actually was...


Coming from Gentoo I wanted always some flexibility that why the first one was Archlinux.


The main problem I've had with all of them I can't got install it from USB stick. I hate CDROMs and will never buy one anymore. And wish to be able install everything if not from network then from USB. My USB won't boot whatever I tried.


Once I made it work by using the grub installed on my Kubuntu machine and providing the boot string in menu.lst All other cases I was too lazy to do so.


I've installed Arch on USB and was almost happy. The problem came at the end! I can't boot from USB. The system told me it can't find the root partition with a given UUID number. That was strange, cause I could install Kubuntu on the same drive without problem.


I've googled and found a number of messages regarding this problem and advices from developers, that one has to use rootdelay of rootfstype in the boot string... Nothing brought me to the success.


I've said to myself - what the matter... who needs this Arch Linux? - I can live without.


The next one was Debian. I was stupid to download a full DVD image and spent 5 hours by installing all the programs which I would never use in my life. At the end the error message came from the grub install. The system told me, that it can't be installed on my drive. Some packages was missing, but instead of that I've had evolution server installed... Of course it was much more important then grub... I was really angry...

Don't ask me what I've done with that DVD....


The next one was... openSUSE. All people say it is a mature and stable Linux distro. So why not I thought to myself burning the next liveCD image.


As always as it came to installing the grub the system decided that my USB drive is the first one (hd0) and failed to install it. Looking on menu.lst and device.map I've saw what has been wrong, but could not do anything to change the situation.


OK. Never mind. There are a couple of distros around I've never tried yet...


Then I came to a question what I should try next. Fedora or Mandriva. Oh my God... how wrong I was... You've definitely understood that my answer was Fedora...


But! My pain was not that long as it was with all others distros. After partitioning the drive the install program gave me only 3 choices what file system i could use. Right there were ext2 ext3 and... ext4 absolutely unstable fs which gave me a lot of problems when I used it on my USB stick. So people be careful with ext4 it's not the fastest fs around as many tests tell you. The tests was faked. They don't take a full time to write the data on the drive into account. Remember if any of fs give you improvements of 2x 3x or even 50% it's a fake. It couldn't be the true. Check the write time to the raw partition. The write time on fs just can't be lower! Only in the case you work with text files on compressed fs the write time can be lower. That is the only case!


My choice was ext2, cause I wanted to convert it later to reiserfs anyway. The install program told me - you can use only ext4 for the root.... I was speechless.... Are they crazy..? that thought flew through my head...


Only cause I wanted to see what comes next I've changed the root into ext4. But that was not the end...


They told me that 2Gb is not enough for the root partition and I need at least 3Gb... I have no clue how they calculated this capacity, but having var, home and usr on separate partitions I was always happy with 2Gb for the root.


So that was not enough for Fedora, but that was really enough for me!


I can't let use my drive people which don't understand a thing in Linux! Since then Fedora is NOGO for me.


In all these tests I've forgot to tell you one thing.


Like very few people around I've got a DSL connection to the Internet. So may be you even you don't know what DSL is. The please read the wiki page about it if you are interested...



All the time different installation programs of all those distros, I was talking about, could not detect my Internet connection or at least give me an option to set it up. They always claimed - my computer has no connection to the Internet... What can I do? DSL seems to be quite an unusual way to use Internet in our world... Only 3 days ago I've had a different opinion on that...


You see, I went through the most of well known distros. And I was always failed to accomplish a simple thing - to install Linux on my USB stick.


You still wonder why people don't use Linux at home? Nobody without a strong motivation would go the same way I went. They all will stop on the first one. And as you can see the probability they can get lucky is very low! - But! It's not zero!


The right answer is... all right! - Mandriva !


My congratulation!


The install program gave me an option to setup DSL connection. It could install working! grub on USB drive and let me format the partitions with reiserfs!!! I would prefer reiser4, but that I would do by myself a bit later.


At the end I've got well optimized version of KDE.


What can I say else? - I'm happy!


Developers you've done a good job! Thanks to all of you!



P.S. Of course, there were some points where Mandriva needs improvement, but I'll come to this later on.


bye bye


[moved from Installing Mandriva by spinynorman - welcome aboard :) ]

  • Upvote 1

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I agree with your experience, I have guided some friends, living in different countries than me, over the phone (complete noobs with regards to computers, they just about knew how to use Windows) installing Mandriva (from CD/DVD) as dual-boot with their existing Windows install and it went smoothly without any real problems, I would never dare do that with any other Linux distro.


One now uses Mandriva almost exclusively and the other one about 50% of the time (mostly for Internet browsing, as he had bad virus/malware experiences with Windows).

Edited by tux99

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Welcome aboard. :)


Your experience is very similar to my experience with other distros. I tried many but was almost always disappointed here or there. In my case, e.g. Arch refused to install grub, Gentoo refused to update its repos, Debian refused to install grub and detect the screen of my laptop, Suse was unable to detect the screen AND graphic-card of my laptop, Fedora was unable to detect the WLAN stick and had trouble with my external Harddrives, Ubuntu was unable to detect my screen on the laptop (but did in previous releases!). Mandriva just works with my hardware and it still has the - hands down - best installer of all linux distros I have used in my life (some 40 distros... :rolleyes: ). It's weird, but whatever distro I try - I always come back to Mandriva sooner or later. :)


Oh, btw: I am using Linux since at least seven years, so no newb, either. ;)

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Thanks to you guys for all welcome messages.


Today I was shocked once again by Mandriva.


After the success update to 2010.0 Alpha 2 I decided to install Sketchup from Google.


I've spent many hours under Kubuntu to make it work. Read tons of messages how to trick

it out and got an answer that is not supported by my graphic card. I've got a Intel Chip

on my laptop.


Today I did nothing, but just install it as usual. And... it works...

Everything went smoothly and nobody claimed my graphic card is wrong.

Of course it's not that fast and responsive like on Nvidia or ATI cards, but it works!


Now I'm curious whether it will be the same fun, if I would install 64-bit version

on my new PC?


Are there some issues you already know about?



P.S. The only thing I dislike from Mandriva besides the default design and KDE skin which one can change

is the system update mechanism. I've to go to http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/ to download a list of new

medias..(what the hell is that?) and only then I could update something.

A lot of standard programs are absent there. Starting from Adobe Reader, Skype, Picasa etc.

The way I can update system in Kubuntu I like better.


In press release of 2010.0 Alpha 2 they gave the links only to ISO folders.

And there was no explanation how to get there from the working system.

One should be really mad to make a new install every time he need to update/upgrade the system...


I had to went through all forums to find out how it works. There is nothing plain and stupid on

Mandriva Control Center.


OK. Once one knows it, then one has one problem less.


bye bye

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Adobe Reader, Skype, Picasa etc. are all proprietary software and not GPL'd, thus they are not included in the main repos for legal reasons. I guess that you can understand that Mandriva is not keen on being subject of a trial.


I don't know what the problem really is. Two clicks on easyurpmi will give you what you want to have - it's really extremely easy to add the repos and cannot be much easier. Try the same with Suse or Arch or Slackware. Way more "complicated". ;)

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Actually it is not easy at all to use Cooker/Mandriva alpha with PLF. Same goes for any release which has "stable" and "development" branches.

Many binaries that are present in the regular PLF repos are missing from the cooker PLF ones, and in general the whole cooker PLF is a mess- you can find in there packages 4+ years old, which are unlikely to work. Anyway, this is natural: PLF is an unofficial repo, and rather unlikely to be maintained properly- more so for the "unstable" branch.


And, in any case, don't expect Mandriva Alpha to last for long. the reason is... it's alpha. Sooner or later something will break, and you got to know how to fix it.

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Everything Linux is suitable for sharing your experiences, but if you want to know how to work with a Cooker release, please post in the Cooker forum.


The reason for keeping Cooker releases seperate is that they are for testing purposes only, and are not supported by Mandriva or this board. :)

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