MandrakeUser.Org - Your Mandrake-Linux Knowledge Base!


*DocIndex - Resources

FAQ for alt.os. linux. mandrake

Related Resources:

aolm on Google Groups

Revision / Modified: v.2.07, Nov. 11, 01
Author: Alex Bache


Copyright notice:

This document may be freely distributed as long as this note is left intact.  Neither authors nor distributors assume any kind of warranty for the contents of this document.

Alex Bache
alex.bache@ntlworld.GOAWAYSPAMMERScom(Spam blocker - you know what to do!)
Maintainer (dogsbody?)


1 General questions

a) What is Linux-Mandrake?
b) Why might I choose Linux-Mandrake?
c) What is the latest version of Linux-Mandrake?
d) Will Linux-Mandrake work with my hardware?
e) Where can I get Linux-Mandrake?
f) Why should I buy the boxed version (PowerPack) when I can download the distribution for free?
g) How do I install Linux-Mandrake?
h) What is alt.os.linux.mandrake?
i) What do we discuss in alt.os.linux.mandrake?
j) Are there any posting guidelines?
k) What are the upsides and downsides of switching to Linux?
l) Is there any way to search old messages from alt.os.linux.mandrake?

2 Installation questions

a) How do I start the installation off?
b) The install freezes/fails at the second stage
c) After install LILO prints LILILILILI...
d) X server doesn't work after fresh install
e) Modem doesn't work

3 Running Mandrake

a) Script doesn't run from the command line
b) Newbie Unix/Linux commands
c) Running Windows programs in Linux
d) Are there any good alternatives to Netscape V4.x on Linux?

4 Upgrading / updates

a) Upgrading via rpm doesn't work
b) nvidia drivers
c) Upgrading X
d) compiling kernel
e) Upgrading kernel
f) Supermount is broken
g) Checking authentic Mandrake RPMS
h) Software Manager shows no security update sites

5 Where is the missing stuff

a) OpenGL library not found
b) Pico editor
c) Java Development Kit (JDK)
d) Java for Mozilla

6 Multimedia

a) DivX/Mpeg player
b) Compiling mplayer

7 Misc

a) CD writing
b) Creating a CD from downloaded ISO images
c) What is the "md5sums" file in the download ISO image directories?
d) Firewall (Bastille)
e) Firewall (Simple setup)
f) Webmin isn't there



1 General questions

a) What is Linux-Mandrake?

Linux-Mandrake is a Linux distribution created by MandrakeSoft, S.A. of Paris, France.  Their web site is at Linux is the free 32-bit UNIX-like operating system kernel created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Ongoing development of the kernel is carried out by numerous kernel hackers worldwide and coordinated via the global Internet.

By itself, however, the Linux kernel isn't of much use to most people -- it needs system libraries, utilities, compilers, and other software to provide a rich computing environment.  Although it is possible to surf the Internet and collect all of the necessary software to build a complete system, the amount of time and effort required to assemble the source code, compile it, and configure it all to work together makes this impractical for most people.  A Linux distribution is just such a collection of pre-configured software ready to install and run on your computer. Some distributors, like MandrakeSoft, go beyond simply collecting and distributing the software available via the Internet--they add their own custom software to enhance the functionality and usability of a complete Linux installation. There are dozens of Linux distributions, but this FAQ will concentrate on Linux-Mandrake.


b) Why might I choose Linux-Mandrake?

Linux-Mandrake has some nifty features which make it stand out among Linux distributions:

  • It is compiled with Pentium-class optimizations for improved speed
  • DrakX, the open-source graphical installation program, makes installation easier for beginners
  • DiskDrake allows easier re-partitioning of hard drives during installation
  • DrakConf, a graphical desktop configuration program which makes it easier to configure hardware and peripherals
  • Pre-configured desktop environment with many enhancements and customizations ("The Mandrake Touch")
  • Lnx4Win allows the user to try out Linux by installing directly to a Windows disk partition
  • MandrakeUpdate makes it easy to install the latest security patches and bug fixes
  • The msec utility allows easy configuration of many security settings


c) What is the latest version of Linux-Mandrake?

The current stable release is Linux-Mandrake 8.1. The latest beta version of Linux-Mandrake, called "Cooker", is avaliable at .  Note that beta versions are still under development and not yet ready for everyday use.  When installing Linux-Mandrake on critical or 0 systems, you should install the latest stable release.


d) Will Linux-Mandrake work with my hardware?

The answer is "most likely".  A complete list of supported hardware can be found at and more hardware information can be found at .

Note: Hardware that is designated as a "WinModem" or "WinPrinter" (sometimes called a "GDI" printer) will usually not work with Linux-Mandrake or any other Linux distribution. This is because some of the hardware (like signal processors) have been removed from these devices and replaced with software emulation via Windows-specific device drivers.  There is currently an effort underway to provide support for these devices.  See for more information and links to other resources.


e) Where can I get Linux-Mandrake?

There are a number of ways to obtain a copy of Linux-Mandrake:

It is available as a free download via the Internet.  You can download all of the files individually or you can download an ISO image suitable for burning to a CD. A complete list of mirror sites is at .

Many online resellers offer very inexpensive CDs of Linux-Mandrake which save you the trouble of downloading the whole distribution. Some popular sites are:

CheapBytes [USA]
LinuxMall [USA]
LinuxEmporium [UK]
Everything Linux [AUSTRALIA]

The Mandrake PowerPack includes the latest version of Linux-Mandrake as well as several CDs of additional software and commercial demos. To find a reseller near you check the reseller list at .  Note that as of version 7.1, Linux-Mandrake boxed sets sold in North America are distributed by Macmillan Publishing. There is a "Complete" and "Deluxe" version -- for details see .


f) Why should I buy the boxed version (PowerPack) when I can download the distribution for free?

There are several things included in the PowerPack boxed set that are not included with the free or third party versions of the distribution.  The PowerPack includes a full CD of extra applications and utilities which saves you the trouble of searching and downloading. Also included are two CDs with demo versions of commercial software, printed user manuals, and 100 days of free technical support via e-mail. (You must register your software at to be eligible for the technical support.) Purchasing the PowerPack also helps support MandrakeSoft's efforts to improve the distribution.


g) How do I install Linux-Mandrake?

Detailed installation instructions for Linux-Mandrake are found in the Installation and User Guide. A printed copy is included in the PowerPack. If you downloaded the distribution via one of the mirror sites or purchased an inexpensive CD, you can find an HTML version of the Installation Guide in doc/en/mdkinstallguide/index.html. It is also available on the Internet at There is an excellent graphical tutorial on Mandrake installation at


h) What is alt.os.linux.mandrake?

alt.os.linux.mandrake is a Usenet group created in March 1999 for the purpose of providing a common meeting place where users of Linux-Mandrake can discuss problems, share tips, ask questions, hang out, and have fun. For help on accessing the group and a list of posting guidelines, see


i) What do we discuss in alt.os.linux.mandrake?

Err..Linux Mandrake, of course. And things in the Linux world in general.


j) Are there any posting guidelines?

In addition to basic netiquette, it's helpful to know which version of Mandrake you're using. Try to describe the problem as fully as you are able.

Check the group first to see if someone has posted a similar question.


k) what are the upsides and downsides of switching to Linux?

The good part is you no longer have to pay for software unless you want to :-) You're not one of "Bill's boys" (or girls) any more.

Generally Linux is more stable and secure than Microsoft operating systems, although there are people who would hotly contest that point.

From a server point of view, you can switch a Windows or Novell file/print server for Linux and your users won't know the difference.

The problem with switching to Linux is that it is not as widely supported as Windows so you find yourself having to "roll your own" more often. A good example is with your ISP. Ring them up with a Linux question and you're likely to get an abrupt "we don't support that <click>" response.

You must also realise that your Windows programs won't work in Linux without additional software (see the emulation section).


Is there any way to search old messages from alt.os.linux.mandrake?

You can search for previous posts. Alternatively, you can search using in the "groups" section.

* section index * top

2 Installation questions

a) How do I start the installation off?

On modern motherboards, you're best off temporarily setting your system to boot from the CDROM. You can do this by going into the BIOS settings, usually accessible by pressing "Delete" immediately after a reset. You then find the "boot sequence" section and make sure that CDROM appears before the hard drive. Once you've completed the installation, you should return the settings to their original values because it's a pain having to eject CD's every time you reboot to avoid errors.

If your CD does not boot or you don't have the option to do this on your motherboard, you need to create an installation boot disk, which you can do by checking the documentation on the Mandrake Installation CD from Windows. You basically create a bootable floppy disk that passes control over to the CD and kicks off the whole process.


b) The install freezes/fails at the second stage

According to Guillaume Cottenceau:

AFAIK it's related to hardware problems.

Since 8.0 we provide alternate kernels (from /images/alternatives on your installation medium) so that you can try one of them if you have any hardware-related problem during the install (complete freeze, misdetection of peripherals, segfault/sigbus, etc).

You can get introductory info from


c) after install LILO prints LILILILILI...

Most problems with LILO can be traced to /etc/lilo.conf

A common error is to install a partition that goes above the 1023rd cylinder on the hard disk.  On some (usually older) motherboards LILO does not like this.  During install, it's best to create a small partition (20 meg or so) at the start of the disk and arrange to have it mounted under /boot. Here's a snippet of my /etc/fstab

        /dev/hda4 / reiserfs defaults 1 1
/dev/hda1 /boot ext2 defaults 1 2

And my disk is partitioned like this:

        Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 3736 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 2 16033+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 3 2613 20972857+ c Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda3 2614 2630 136552+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda4 2631 3736 8883945 83 Linux

So my /etc/lilo.conf looks like this:

append=" failsafe"

This gives me a dual-boot system that automatically loads windows after a 20 second boot delay at the lilo options screen.


d) X server doesn't work after fresh install

Also translated as "you only get text and no graphical interface".

This can happen on some graphics cards. It's usually best to make sure that your card is identified correctly during the detection phase of the installation. If it isn't you have the option to select your card from a list. You should also choose a few low-resolution display modes as fallbacks, since these seem to work on a wider range of devices than the super-duper modes you'll want to aim for.

Sometimes you'll end up with the wrong X server being installed for your card. In my case, I had the XF86_FBDev driver installed for my Matrox G450. A little research and I soon found out I should have been using the Matrox module of the XF86-server RPM.

So your first piece of detective work involves finding what X server should be used for your card. Try going to the web site or doing a search on your manufacturer's site to see what should be used.

Next up, find out what is actually being used. Boot into Linux and go to a virtual terminal by hitting Ctrl+Alt+F1 and log in. Check out where /etc/X11/X is pointing to using

        ls -l /etc/X11/X

I get

        /etc/X11/X -> ../../usr/X11R6/bin/XFree86*

Next I check which X server that file belongs to with

       rpm -qf /usr/X11R6/bin/XFree86

Which gives


Which is the right X server for me.

The other common suspect is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4. Have a look at it and you should find a section something like

        Section "Device"
Identifier "Matrox Millennium G450"
VendorName "Unknown"
BoardName "Unknown"
Driver "mga"
# VideoRam 32768

This passes options to the X server. The important part for me is the

        Driver "mga"

part. It tells the X server to use the Matrox Graphics Adapter module. The settings you should use should be gleaned off the web site.

Although this is an FAQ, it's difficult to cater for every case, so you're unlikely to get flamed if you post a request for help to the group for something like this.


e) Modem doesn't work

You've probably got a Winmodem. Linux has a problem with what are known as "Winmodems". Winmodems look like a normal modem, but rely upon crucial Windows-specific drivers to work. They let your CPU do all the hard work of making the sounds down the phone line.

Without the driver, a Winmodem is little more than a square green card with a plug in it.

If you own an internal PCI modem, chances are it's a Winmodem. If you're lucky it MIGHT be supported in Linux. Check out for further details.

If you're sure you have a hardware modem (a REAL modem!), Mandrake should detect it and automatically enable it during install.

* section index * top

3 Running Mandrake

a) Script doesn't run from the command line

Check that it's executable by doing an ll.  Look at the result.  It should look something like this

        -rw-r--r--    1 alex     alex         2107 Sep 15 22:22 myscript

Note the absence of the "x" attribute.  Execute

        $ chmod ugo+x myscript

And do ll again

        -rwxr-xr-x    1 alex     alex         2107 Sep 15 22:22 myscript

The script is now executable.  Also check the first line of the script. It should begin with #! followed by a command. For shell scripts this is usually


Finally to execute the script, you simply run



b) Newbie Unix/Linux commands

There's an informative web page containing tips for Unix/Linux commands at

It's basically a newbie's guide to using the Linux command line, which can be necessary from time to time.


c) Running Windows programs in Linux

You will need an emulator. Try looking at (Wine - Windows Emulator) (Free) (Wine, but with easier install) (Preview free, but will be commercial when released) (VMWare) (Commercial, free trial version)


d) Are there any good alternatives to Netscape V4.x on Linux?

Since we're heading into flame territory here, I'm going to step very carefully. The V4.x series of Netscape is rather old. It is missing support for modern web publishing features which web designers have been using when they design their sites for Internet Explorer.

Having said that, good web designers still try to make their sites work reasonably well with Netscape V4.x.

First off, Internet Explorer is NOT available for Linux unless you use the Windows version and run it under an emulator.

Several popular alternatives include

Comes with KDE. Can use Netscape plugins.
Open source version of Netscape V6, usually a few steps ahead of the Netscape V6.x series, since Netscape is based on the Mozilla project. Can use Netscape plugins.
Netscape V6.x
Updated version of Netscape. Can use Netscape plugins.
Apparently very quick and compact. Some folk swear by it. Can use Netscape plugins.

Mandrake 8 comes with several others. Try looking at your menu under Networking / WWW

* section index * top

4 Upgrading / updates

a) Upgrading via rpm doesn't work

Where did you get the RPM? If you got it from another Linux distribution's web site, or if it's for the wrong version of Mandrake, you will run into dependency problems.

Try to aim for RPMs specifically for Mandrake, or failing that you can usually get away with RedHat ones.

Dependency problems mean that package A requires package B to first be installed for it to work properly. If you're upgrading a single program split into many RPMs, you'll need to upgrade them all at the same time.

For example, Mozilla is divided into the following RPMs


If you wanted to upgrade your version of Mozilla, you must first download all updated RPMs, then issue the following command as root from the directory you downloaded the RPMs to

       rpm -U mozilla*.rpm

Never use the --force option of rpm unless you really know what you're doing! This option overrides the safeguards rpm has built into it.  If rpm is not letting you do something, there's usually a good reason for it that involves stopping you messing your system up.

Another DO NOT.  As I found out rather painfully, you don't upgrade by uninstalling the existing package and then installing the new one afterwards because you might be removing something vital to the running of your system. This is another reason you should NOT use --force.

A rather neat trick to upgrading is to pull all updated RPMs into a single directory, change into it, then do

       rpm -Fvh *.rpm

Which will upgrade your system to every RPM in the current directory that is newer than the ones currently installed. It will ignore the ones you haven't installed.

b) compiling nvidia drivers

This tip from mschultz:

    I finally figured out how to successfully install the Nvidia 1512 linux
video drivers :<) . I gleaned the information I needed from three different

When I first tried to install the drivers I used the two rpm files for
Mandrake 8.0 that I downloaded from the nvidia site and figured this would
be a snap. It didn't work for me. The GLX rpm had some problems with the
following files, "libglx.a"
,"libGLcore.a", "" (I know now that I could have got it working
by editing my XF86Config-4 file)

Still being fairly new to the linux OS, I was lost. I did all the newbie
moves next. Format and reinstall my Mandrake 8.0.

I downloaded the drivers again, but this time I got the tar.gz files this
time instead of the rpms. I followed the directions from the littlewhitedog
site listed above. I learned a lot by using the info from this site.

Before I did the "make install"
on the GLX part I found the "libglx.a" ,"libGLcore.a", and ""
files and moved them to the trash. This time everything installed fine. I
edited the XF86Config-4 file just like the info from littlewhitedog said.
Rebooted and bingo, I got the Nvidia splash screen when I started x. Tried
out Tuxracer and it worked! That game locked up my computer a couple of
times. I had another game I bought from Loki called "Soldier of Fortune" I
installed that and played it all day. Worked great!! I'm liking this Linux
gig, even a thick headed guy like me can make it work:<) Remember kids, the
command line is your friend.


c) upgrading X

Nothing here as yet


d) compiling kernel

On most modern distributions like Mandrake, most of the kernel drivers are already compiled as modules and ready for use. So there is less reason now to recompile the kernel than there used to be. Messing with the kernel is something you should do only if absolutely necessary. So take the attitude of "if it 'ain't broken, don't fix it".

However, if you DO feel the need to tinker, or if you have special hardware that requires kernel options not in the default distribution, here's what you will need to do to compile the kernel.

Before you even attempt this, make ABSOLUTELY SURE you have the right packages installed. For me, this is

        $ rpm -qa | grep kernel

You'll also need the gcc compiler installed, amongst other things.

There is a README file at /usr/src/linux/README that contains instructions on compiling the kernel and is worth a read. It's the definitive resource on the matter. If anything in it conflicts with what I say here, you're safer sticking to what it says.

The next steps are

        <become super-user>
cd /usr/src/linux
make mrproper

Which puts you in the right directory and clears up any mess from previous attempts to compile the kernel. Next up, type ONE of the following

        make menuconfig
make xconfig
make config

The "menuconfig" option is a text-based menu system, "xconfig" is a GUI and "config" is the original long series of questions that has been there from the early days. Personally I use "make config" because it seems more reliable. However, your mileage may vary.

The next steps are

        make dep
make bzImage

Which will start the compile process going. It's been known to bomb halfway through due to wierd choices of kernel options, so you might need to repeat the process again.

If you've selected anything as "modules", you'll need to do this:

        make modules
make modules_install

This will mess up all the modules for your existing kernel, which is another reason not to fiddle with the kernel.

If everything went okay, you'll have a file called bzImage at /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage. Copy this to /boot as a different name. So I would do

        cp /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-test

Finally, you have created a new kernel that might not work, so you will want a fallback option in your /etc/lilo.conf

You can do this by duplicating your existing linux kernel entry and pointing it to boot a different kernel image file than /boot/vmlinuz.

For example,


So I've compiled a kernel image and copied it to /boot/vmlinuz-test and I'm installing it as a test option to run from the LILO prompt as "linuxnew". This way if it all goes horribly wrong, I can run the existing kernel and at least get to a place where I can correct errors.

Finally, you'll need to run "lilo" to set it all up. You can now reboot and hope it all goes well. If it fails, boot using the existing linux option. The modules will probably be a little messed up, but you should get to a command prompt at least.


e) Upgrading the kernel

There's plenty of Kernel howto's at

Or for Mandrake

WARNING: Do NOT upgrade the kernel using Software Manager. It doesn't work very well.

First up, you need to upgrade the Kernel. So get the kernel updates from the security upgrades site. The kernel upgrade is necessary because of the recent security flaws found in the 2.4.3 kernel.

So download the RPMS, shut down to console mode, log in as root, do a

        $ rpm -Fvh *.rpm

from the downloaded directory. Then check /boot and notice some broken links. Correct these to the new 2.4.7 kernel and rerun LILO.

Note that this will break supermount. To use an alternative, see the next section.


f) Supermount is broken!

Supermount was removed from the Kernel after the 2.4.3 version in Mandrake 8.  If you upgrade to the security patched 2.4.7, supermount is no longer available.

Mandrake 8.1 comes with supermount, but it is hidden because it's not supposed to be working very well in Kernel 2.4.8.

Why is supermount so important?  It allows you to simply insert a CD or a floppy and use files from e.g. /mnt/cdrom or /mnt/floppy without having to "mount" (i.e. initialise) the volumes.  So it basically makes things a lot easier for users.

You have three options: live with the mount/umount of removeable media, usesupermount or use autofs.  I'll discuss just the last two options here.

Supermount: If you want to enable supermount (which has been a subject of much discussion in the group as of late), here are the incantations to do so.

First up, you'll need a kernel that supports it.  The stock 2.4.3 kernel from Mandrak 8 supports supermount, but has security flaws and so is not recommended.  The stock 2.4.8 from Mandrake 8.1 sort of supportssupermount, but there is some debate about how well.  You could get the latest kernel (2.4.12 or better) from a Cooker site and install it, as described in Upgrading the Kernel for peace of mind.

Once you are running with a Kernel supporting supermount, you'll modify your /etc/fstab to add the supermount entries.

So existing /etc/fstab entries looking like this

   /dev/hdc /mnt/cdrom auto user,iocharset=iso8859-1,exec,codepage=850,ro,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto user,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,exec,codepage=850,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdd4 /mnt/zip auto user,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,exec,codepage=850,noauto 0 0

Get changed to look like this

   /mnt/cdrom /mnt/cdrom supermount dev=/dev/hdc,fs=iso9660,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-1 0 0
/mnt/floppy /mnt/floppy supermount dev=/dev/fd0,fs=vfat,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,exec,codepage=850 0 0
/mnt/zip /mnt/cdrom supermount dev=/dev/hdd4,fs=vfat,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,execcodepage=850 0 0

The above should be just three lines beginning with /mnt.  Finally run

   supermount -i enable

To set up supermount.  When you reboot, supermount should now be enabled.

Alternatively: As an alternative, I installed autofs, which does what supermount does, but seems to work for a wider variety of Kernels.  It does require you to wait for a short period before ejecting CDs and floppies, though.  I created the following two files

Name: /etc/auto.master

    # Format of this file:
# mountpoint map options
# For details of the format look at autofs(8).
/auto /etc/auto.misc --timeout 20

Name: /etc/auto.misc

    cdrom           -fstype=iso9660,ro      :/dev/cdrom
zip -fstype=auto :/dev/zip
floppy -fstype=vfat :/dev/fd0

After this, it's just a matter of changing the URL of the CDROM, ZIP and FLOPPY icons on the desktop to point to (eg.) /auto/cdrom instead of /mnt/cdrom and voila! One automounted set of icons. The only bummer with autofs is you can't actually see anything inside the /auto directory - you have to change to /auto/cdrom to see the contents of the CDROM. This isn't so bad with the altered desktop icons, though.

There is an extended discussion of installing autofs at (Thanks to Guido Draheim)


g) Checking authentic Mandrake RPMS

If you use the rpm command line utility, you can check if an RPM is authentic using the --checksig feature.

Download the RPM-GPG-KEYS file from


        $ gpg --import RPM-GPG-KEYS

Once this is installed, you can use following to confirm an RPM is authentic.

        $ rpm --checksig <rpmname>

BTW: If you use Software Manager, it does this for you autometically


h) Software Manager shows no security update sites

Its pulling the list from but the list changes from time to time. Sometimes no security mirror sites are available.

You can find a list of mirrors/security update sites from

* section index * top

5 Where is the missing stuff

a) OpenGL library not found

You should install the Mesa RPMS found on your Mandrake CDs

b) Pico editor

pico is the PIne COmposer, and it is included when you install pine. Just use the software manager and install pine.

c) Java Development Kit (JDK)

You can use kaffe, which comes with Mandrake 8, but it's not very up-to-date regarding the latest Java support.

Sun's JDK from is the definitive implementation.  You might also look at Blackdown or IBM's JDK.

For the IBMJava2-SDK for Java, you need to export the path to your java installation.  Here is a line from my /etc/profile


There should be a line already "export PATH PS1 blah blah"-- if not you should make it:

        export PATH="$PATH:/whatever_your _path_to_the_java_bin_is"

You could find out where your installation is by doing whereis java (probably below /usr/local somewhere)

Then log out and back in or do source /etc/profile

Type which java to make sure the path is there.  Should work now.


d) Java for Mozilla

Robert_L writes:

    If you have a java sdk or jre installed its easiest to just link to
the plugin.

[robert@phebehouse plugins]$ pwd
[robert@phebehouse plugins]$ ls -l ->

So you need to:
cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
ln -s

I am using sun's 1.3.0_01 java and it works well.


* section index * top

6 Multimedia

a) DivX/Mpeg player

Mplayer works just fine for DivX and Mpeg. You'll need to download and compile it from

For Mpeg alone, you might want to try gtv or mtv. Gtv comes with Mandrake 8, mtv doesn't.


b) Compiling mplayer

Mplayer will complain if you try to compile it with GCC 2.96 and currently (as of 28th October 2001) will fail to compile with GCC 3.0.  The GCC 2.96 bug for Mplayer applies to RED HAT versions.  We are MANDRAKE.  This does not affect us. So you can compile mplayer using

        ./configure --disable-gcc-checking

and it should work.  If this does not work for you, please post to the group with your experiences stating which GCC you are using.

Additional help for ./configure is available by typing

        ./configure --help

from the directory you unpacked the mplayer source to.

* section index * top

7 Misc.

a) CD writing

CD Writing is relatively straighforward on Mandrake, as with most versions of Linux.  Unless you don't have a SCSI CD writer (a lot of people have IDE).  If you're one of these, then

Uncle Theodore says:

        Hm, hrm-hm-hm... You need SCSI emulation to burn CDs... On my machine
/dev/cdrom is linked to /dev/scd0 Also, there must be an
append=" hdb=ide-scsi" in /etc/lilo.conf

This assumes your CD drive lives on the primary slave IDE interface /dev/hdb. You will also need to run LILO after editing /etc/lilo.conf

Once you have your CD writer set up to use the SCSI interface, you can do a

        $cdrecord --scanbus

This will give you output something like

0.3.0 3) 'Yamaha' 'CRW4416S' '1.0j' Removable CD-ROM

1.6.0 106) 'Iomega' 'ZIP100' 'J.03' Removable Disk

2.0.0 200)'HP' 'SCANJET5300' '6.00' Removable Scanner

In this case, the CD writer device number is 0,3,0 (it's a Yamaha CDRW)

You need to build the ISO file system for the CD before writing it. Do this in the following way:

        mkisofs -r -o cd_image private_collection/

Here I'm creating an ISO image called cd_image from the files in the private_collection/ directory.

Once you have the ISO image, you can burn it using cdrecord:

        cdrecord -v speed=2 dev=0,3,0  -data  cd_image

There are frontends available for cdrecord:

xcdroast is available via Mandrake cooker.  It supports DAO, TAO (incl. optional zero-pregap), multisession, burn-proof, image verification, cddb queries for audio etc.

Some other frontends available are:


Check them out to see which one meets your needs.


b) Creating a CD from downloaded ISO images

The following is basically the README file (with a few spelling mistakes corrected) that should be in the same directory as the ISO images on your local FTP server.

    You will need to download the following files

Important note: take care to download the ISO in binary mode (FTP). By
default Netscape downloads the file in ASCII mode which corrupts the
image. You can check the integrity of the ISO file with the md5 key
(md5sum mandrake.iso under Linux), go to to get the md5sum.exe version if you
are using Windows)

Please avoid downloading the ISO with a 56K modem line. If the download
fails you can use "Resume" which allows you to continue the download. It
works with ftp (reget), ncftp, CuteFTP, Getright, ...

All the following CD-Writing software can use ISO image to burn directly a CD-Rom.

With Easy CD Creator

    Open Easy CD Creator
Go to "File"
then to "Create CD from disc image"
make sure to change the bottom drop down menu ("Files of type:") to say
"ISO image files"

It will do the rest after you browse to the *.iso file
(Thanks to zacheyer)

With WinOnCD:

    You can select a "track-image" project when you click the New button.  So
long as you are in track mode, not file-system mode (how that looks depends
on whether you have 3.0 or 3.5) then dragging a track image file onto the
CD window should accept it as a raw track. WinOnCD uses .RAW as its own
(Thanks Rick Jones)

With Nero Burning Rom:

    Open Nero.
Close the wizard if it is started automatically.
Go to "File"
then to "Burn Image...".
In the next dialog, click on "Image Files (*.nrg)" and select "All files
Choose the .iso file and accept.
In the following dialog make sure:
- Type of Image is: Data Mode 1
- Block size: 2048
- Image header: 0
- Image trailer: 0
- All the checkboxes are unactive.
Click "OK".
In the next dialog check that the "write" and "finalize" option are active.
Click on "Write".
(Thanks Antonio Asensi Esteve)

With CD-Record:

    CD-Writing HowTo:

For example:
cdrecord -v speed=4 dev=4,0 mandrake.iso
You get the number on the SCSI bus number with "cdrecord --scanbus"

Using Toast Ti 5.0.2:

    Simply choose "Disk Image" mode, drop the iso image and burn.


c) What is the "md5sums" file in the download ISO image directories?

It is a file containing checksums for the .iso files. It allows you to verify that the file was downloaded without errors. For this you will need the md5sum program, available for both Linux and Windows.

You then run the md5sum program on the md5sums file.

In Linux and Windows

        md5sum <downloaded-md5sums-filename>

For this to work, you must save the ISO images under the same name they are on the server. You should then be told whether the files are valid or not.


d) Firewall (Bastille)

Install iptables, preferably the latest version from the security updates site (which will need the upgraded kernel upgrade to work properly). One reboot later and you're ready to do some other stuff.

Make sure you've got all the relevant Bastille packages installed. For me, that is


So log in as normal user, do a xhost +localhost, su to root, then run


To get to the security thing. Go through all the options carefully. I have Apache running as a server, but I firewall it off from everyone but localhost. Expose no daemons to the general internet and do some other stuff.

Notice that some stuff is broken after doing this: specifically changed /etc/hosts.deny to ALL:ALL and /etc/hosts.allow to ALL:LOCAL. Then it all works hunky-dory.

More info here:


e) Firewall (Simple setup)

In Mandrake Control Center, click Security, then Firewalling, then Configure and answer the questions. If you're not running any public servers then you can probably answer "Firewall this off from the Internet" to every question.


f) Webmin isn't there

You'll need Apache installed, plus the webmin packages. Assuming you've done this, point your browser to


Note the https:// - the documentation wrongly tries to make you look using http://, which doesn't work.  Obviously, if you were trying to administer a machine across a network, you'd replace localhost with the relevant machine name.

table of contents

* section index * top

Legal: All texts on this site are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Standard disclaimers of warranty apply. Copyright LSTB (Tom Berger) and Mandrakesoft 1999-2002.