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Not sure about Mandrake

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Old 02-20-03, 09:21 AM Thread Starter   #1
Hayduke
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Question Not sure about Mandrake


Well I finally got Mandrake 9 PowerPack edition installed on my system as a dual boot with Windows98. Installation went ok except neither my onboard AC97 or Phillips Thunderbird sound sets are supported so I have no sound. Otherwise the install went ok except for several programs that appear on the menu but weren't really installed!

Issues I've having so far:

1. Mandrake seems to be a half-assed collection that's not very well thought out. Or is it just me? I can't seem to do the simplest things like install programs without major difficulty. The documentation is nearly non-existant as far as DETAILS. For example WHERE am I suposed to install new programs like Opera or Seti? Where do they go? What's the correct installation procedure? I got it to work by creating an "apps" directory in my user directory then modifying the menu (like I would with Windows) but I don't think that's "correct" and it took about an hour to do that much. And do I install as root or as any user? I've never done anything with Linux before so I need to start from scratch and learn the file structure and how the system actually works - but again that's NOT documented. Where can I find this info?? All the websites I've been to seem to assume the user knows all this so they aren't helpful.

2. HOW do I stop Open Office from starting every time KDE loads? I can't find it in the services and there's no menu item for auto start that I can find. It's a KDE problem only because this doesn't happen with any other shell I use.

3. I can't make my mounted hard drive partitions appear in KDE. They are on the desktop in Gnome and accesssible but I can't use them in KDE. Why?

4. The GUI shells are VERY slow on my AMD XP 1700+ with a Geforce MX200 video board. In fact it appears to run as slow as Windows on my old 500 PIII! I even turned off all the special effects. Black Box is fast though. Is this a video driver problem?

5. The screen fonts appear ragged looking. I adjusted the fonts but it didn't help any that I can see. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

6. The command in the book to make an mbr backup floppy does NOT work:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0/mbr.bin bs=512 count=1
How do I do this? What is this line actually trying to do?

Last edited by Hayduke; 02-20-03 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 02-20-03, 09:48 AM   #2
moorcito
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I can answer a few of those questions for you.

1. Here is a good link that explains the filesystem hierarchy. It is a more abstract explination based on IEEE standards that could be applied to any *NIX based system.
http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.2.pdf

As far as installation, most programs should install themselves, in the /usr/local directory, or someother directory in /usr. The danger of installing programs in your home directory (/home) is that other users won't be able to run those programs. Anyway, most programs should come with documentation telling you where to install them, either in the tarball or on their web site.

4. For the most part windowmanagers run very slowly, at least Gnome & KDE, and that's because they are linux's equivalent of windows. I only use Window Maker because for me it's, by far, the fastest, plus I compiled it with KDE & GNOME support, so I can run any app for KDE or GNOME under it. And just so you know, it is not a video problem, but more of a bloatware problem.

The AC97 is supported in the kernel, and I'm suprised that Mandrake didn't automatically detect it during the install. You might have to load the AC97 sound module by hand, or compile a new kernel to get it working. It would be a good idea to install the kernel source, if you haven't done so already.

You mentioned that the documentation wasn't very good. From what I have read on them in the past, they should do a pretty good job helping you get started.
http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/fdoc.php3
http://www.linux-2000.co.uk/doc/en/mdkuserguide/

And you might want to take a look at this site, it's the mother of all Linux Documentation. Actually, it's The Linux Documentation Project site, you should be able to find docs/man pages/HOWTOs on just about anything that you want to do.
www.tldp.org

All in all, welcome to Linux. I experienced some of your same questions/frustrations the first time I installed & ran Linux (Red Hat) , but the more you experiment around with Linux the more you will learn.
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Old 02-20-03, 09:54 AM   #3
Titan386
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Re: Not sure about Mandrake


Quote:
Originally posted by Hayduke


1. Mandrake seems to be a half-assed collection that's not very well thought out. Or is it just me? I can't seem to do the simplest things like install programs without major difficulty. The documentation is nearly non-existant as far as DETAILS. For example WHERE am I suposed to install new programs like Opera or Seti? Where do they go? What's the correct installation procedure? I got it to work by creating an "apps" directory in my user directory then modifying the menu (like I would with Windows) but I don't think that's "correct" and it took about an hour to do that much. And do I install as root or as any user? I've never done anything with Linux before so I need to start from scratch and learn the file structure and how the system actually works - but again that's NOT documented. Where can I find this info?? All the websites I've been to seem to assume the user knows all this so they aren't helpful.
You will usually need to be root to install a program. Linux programs are installed in varying ways. Most are distributed as tarbals, which is a compressed format (similar to .zip in windows). To untar something, you do this at a command promt:
tar zxvf package_name.tar.gz
That usually creates a directory where all the install files are located:
cd ./package_name
ls
Now you should see a list of the files that were in the package. Usually linux programs come withe a readme file. Its a good idea to read it thoroughly, as it explains how to install a particular program.
Generally, once a program is installed, it copies itself to the proper system directories. The files that you decompressed are not usually needed anymore.

Quote:
2. HOW do I stop Open Office from starting every time KDE loads? I can't find it in the services and there's no menu item for auto start that I can find. It's a KDE problem only because this doesn't happen with any other shell I use.
Go in the KDE control panel, and under KDE componets, click on Session Manager. Then turn on the option for "Start with empty session".
Quote:
3. I can't make my mounted hard drive partitions appear in KDE. They are on the desktop in Gnome and accesssible but I can't use them in KDE. Why?
In the KDe Control Panel, look under Desktop, Behavior. Near the bottom of the dialog box, there are options for displaying mounted drives.
Quote:
4. The GUI shells are VERY slow on my AMD XP 1700+ with a Geforce MX200 video board. In fact it appears to run as slow as Windows on my old 500 PIII! I even turned off all the special effects. Black Box is fast though. Is this a video driver problem?
KDE and Gnome are large programs. Mandrake tends to be rahter bloated as well. If you need speed, I would work with Blackbox. You could also try installing the NVidia drivers for your graphics card.

Quote:
5. The screen fonts appear ragged looking. I adjusted the fonts but it didn't help any that I can see. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.
You could try turning on anitaliasing. I don't recall where its located though.

Quote:
6. The command in the book to make an mbr backup floppy does NOT work. How do I do this?
You should have had the option of making one during the installation. Are you using LILO or GRUB?
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Old 02-20-03, 06:18 PM   #4
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After "tar zxvf name" cd to that directory and always read the README file and the INSTALL file.

Most of the time to install the package start off as the local user and

./configure
make
/su (become root)
make install

This way the program will be available to you as the user, and root. If you make it as root, then you need root permissions to access it. That is no good.....

Also, i run Slackware and Gnome as my gui. I never have any speed problems. I'd look into that...

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Old 02-21-03, 12:12 AM Thread Starter   #5
Hayduke
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Thanks for all the info! That tldp.org is just what I was looking for. I'm going to study up a little and tackle it again and try some more tweaking. If I can get Seti up and running with cache and all just like I have it in Windows I'll be happy.
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