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First Mandrake 9.1 Review Out

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the slickness-and-light dept.

Mandriva 313

icantblvitsnotbutter writes "With Mandrake Linux 9.1 right around the corner, it's OSNews first out of the gates with a review of this desktop-oriented distro's latest release. The review is actually pretty bland, skimming the surface to linger on some of Eugenia's pet peeves. Having used 9.1 in a production environment since beta 3, I can say that the improvements to the installation and the signature Mandrake tools are much-appreciated. Don't forget that Mandrake Club members get their own set of mirrors, as well as being eligible for extras like the voting process that selected the packages for the 9.1 release." Update: 03/25 18:29 GMT by T : anyweb also points out a review of Red Hat Linux 9 on the same site, writing "an informative article -- well I had to say that, I wrote it ;-)"

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The Linux Animal (Part I) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592047)

The Linux as Phallus In an increasingly technological world, the male has a narrowing outlet for typical masculine activities. Social groupings arise to replace these necessary behavoirs. One need not look further than the chest-beating testosterone laden world of the Linux Community to see instinctual hunting behavoirs played out daily. Linux can be seen as a return to the primordal. An arcane OS that is largely inefficient yet terribly attractive to anyone with a small penis, looking to wield a large extension to their lacking sexual prowess. The Linux becomes a phallus, or an extension thereof, and stroking it ("hacking") is the means in which to control it. It is the sword in the stone; tugged by many seeking the fortune and glory of it's mastery. All night coding runs The hunt has long been the integral part of masculine society. It is a right of passage to manhood in many tribal societies and it's importance is paramount to ones social standings within a group. The best hunters are revered; much like the linux guru who shines in the "all night coding run" he organizes with his pack-mates Of course modern man hunts with an M16, but GNU Hippies are wll-known for their blatant inefficiency. Which of course leads one to the conclusion: GNU Hippies represent a de-evolution of man. It is urged to avoid these flute wielding primates at all costs.

Troll 96 of 210 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Re:The Linux Animal (Part I) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592080)

Well spoken

Re:The Linux Animal (Part I) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592123)

"Kathleen Fent"

Re:The Linux Animal (Part I) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592135)

Um, sorry, that's not a troll. Try again.

Mandrake? (-1, Troll)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592058)

I thought Mandrake went bankrupt? What's happening to them now?

Re:Mandrake? (3, Informative)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592069)

They are in bankruptcy court. Bankrupt != out of business.

Re:Mandrake? (3, Insightful)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592100)

They are going through the French equivalent of bankruptcy IIRC. They are restructuring themselves and ridding themselves of unprofitable ventures. I can't remember if they have emerged from bankruptcy or not, but development on Mandrake Linux never really stopped.

Re:Mandrake? (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592134)

no they didn't go bankrupt, they went in liquidation!

it's not the same thing.

in liquidation, the company is protected 'temporarily' from bankrupt for some time in order to find cash to keep its head above the water.

currently, Mandrake runs somewhat well and should keep off from liquidation soon.

Re:Mandrake? (1)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592156)

I'm not trolling. Its a genuine question. Flamebait would be more appropriate ;-)

Re:Mandrake? (1)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592166)

I replied in the wrong place. I'm having a good day here :-(

This Just in (5, Funny)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592061)

Redhat announced tday it would skip the 9.0 release and go right to 9.1

Re:This Just in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592104)

Oh come on this was not flamebait, I use Redhat...

+5 funny (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592105)

Redhat announced tday it would skip the 9.0 release and go right to 9.1

he's referencing this article. [slashdot.org] I think it's funny and ontopic...

Re:+5 funny (2, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592130)

Too many people are distro-biggots so they assume everybody is, thanks for the comment..

Re:This Just in (1)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592267)

Have you noticed that there's also a "review" of RH9 on the front page of OSnews?

Re:This Just in (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592329)

This just in... Linux SUCKS!!!

Re:Redhat up for an AWARD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592375)

Who knows maybe RedHat could win a UCOSA [geocities.com] award for it's new version!! Being the most popular distro, I would think they had a chance!

I used Debian 1.3 (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592064)

Of course, I prefer FreeBSD ... but that might just be me.

Last time I tried Mandrake was many years ago, and it was actually pretty decent, though I didn't use it for much. Hopefully with this new release ... they've overcome the fugliness that the X11 protocol seems to force upon UNIX.

Good point... (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592151)

however, it's doubtful that X will be dropped.

Which is a shame, because the more I use linux, the less I like X.

GAH! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592180)

Shut the fuck up... God damn framebuffer troll.

I'm so sick of these "X Sucks" comments.

Don't use it if you can't configure your system.

Re:Good point... (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592350)

The only things I've encountered that I ever liked about X ... were Fluxbox and Mozilla. And they provide the exact dichotomy that I am complaining about (although Mozilla has an excuse for it with XUL or whatever it is).

The design of X11, and its current implementation, allows for too many different dialog styles and interfaces - it's not standardized, and I've encountered situations where no two applications have the same visual style, in regard to dialogs and such. It makes me want to cry.

So, yes, currently I'm a crybaby Windows XP user with a headless, X-less FreeBSD server.

Re:Good point... (2, Insightful)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592405)

The design of X11, and its current implementation, allows for too many different dialog styles and interfaces - it's not standardized

What in the world does this have to do with X? That's the job of the various Desktop Enviroments / Window Managers, not X.

If you're complaining that there are several different ways of doing things *and have the choice between them* and are also finding that freedom a problem, go back to Windows. BillyG will be glad to have you back.

Re:I used Debian 1.3 (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592199)

You hear all the time about how bad X is, but when you ask what exactly is wrong with X, you get nothing but - silence.

But maybe you are different and can actually name something specific that is wrong about the X protocol.

(Note that we are both talking about the protocol, not the implementation - although XFree4.3 also took care of much of the implementation problems - so I don't really see any problems with the implementation either.)

Re:I used Debian 1.3 (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592300)

It is not designed for desktop usage, it is designed to bring multiple machines together over a network - in my opinion, while being a useful feature for network administrators and process-sharing, it is a fundamental flaw for the home user.

The inherent "fugliness" I mentioned had more to do with X11's practice of farming out the widget display to sub-libraries, so you end up with four or five different ways that certain applications display themselves. This leads to a great deal of disunity in dialogs and applications, and it simply doesn't appeal to me. I'm sure other people are OK with it.

Re:I used Debian 1.3 (5, Funny)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592321)

You hear all the time about how bad X is, but when you ask what exactly is wrong with X, you get nothing but - silence.

X11 is old and therefore needs to be replaced - much like the wheel.

Mouse buttons... (-1, Redundant)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592065)

One of the problems I've always had with Mandrake is setting up imwheel to use the side buttons on my mouse. Is this implemented in 9.1 final? becuase it didn't automatically set up extra mouse buttons on my 9.1RC2. Sure this can be fixed by someone with some know how, but shouldn't be included so "it just works?"

Re:Mouse buttons... (2, Interesting)

xtremex (130532) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592219)

Mandrake has been the ONLY distribution that will run on my wife's IBM Netvista Flatpanel PC. The others distros wouldnt even boot up the Install screen. I tried Debian, but spent maybe 30 minutes n finding the right monitor, but no joy. Nothing else can detect that stupid monitor.

Re:Mouse buttons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592378)

Not to be a troll, but slackware doesn't care what monitor you use to install. That's one of the benefits of having a non-gui install.

I switched back when RH6 wouldn't play nice with my video card.

Re:Mouse buttons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592225)

How is that redundant? Does a mod need a link to www.dictionary.com or www.dict.org?

Re:Mouse buttons... (1)

bmj (230572) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592270)

I can't say anything about side buttons, but I got my Logitech WheelMouse to work without imwheel. In fact, I fought with my .imwheelrc for quite some time to get the scroll wheel working, then one day I just happened to look in the Mandrake control center, and found I could get the scroll wheel working there. The control is quite as fine grained as I could get with imwheel, but the one step configuration was nice...

A Time-Saving Hint (5, Funny)

jimhill (7277) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592070)

If it's a Eugenia Loli-Queru review it can be boiled down to this: "It's not BeOS. It sucks."

Re:A Time-Saving Hint (1)

13Echo (209846) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592202)

The honest truth is that a trip to her homepage, or any other of her reviews, will indicate that this is indeed the case. As a matter of fact, I was specifically looking for a BeOS reference in this Mandrake review. I was quite surprised when I didn't find one.

Exclusive my ass! (1, Funny)

Linux-based-robots (660980) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592077)

I bet Eugenia just donloaded the latest Cooker release and reviewed that! :)

Re:Exclusive my ass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592327)

Nice try. She has the actual release version.

Re:Exclusive my ass! (0)

PhiberOptix (182584) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592374)

No, it seems that Mandrake sent the cds for her, as she reviewed the closed apps (opera, java, realplayer) too.

I still think SuSE is better (5, Informative)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592086)

Mandrake may be "user friendly" but I think that compared to SuSE 8.0, it is much less robust in features and hardware support. SuSE has much better support for most of the hardware that I use than Mandrake 9.0, which actually took me a while to configure my ISA sound card. I hope that this distribution will change that.

Re:I still think SuSE is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592170)

SuSE may be a more powerful implementation but it's installer is sadly not quite as flexible if your drive has a non-standard partitioning scheme. Mandrake installer has had no problems, at least since I've been trying it (8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 9.0)

Re:I still think SuSE is better (2, Interesting)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592234)

SuSE8.0? You're kidding, right?

I bought the Pro-Pack. Yup, I dropped $80 bucks (US) on it only to find out that when I went to update it, it totally b0rked itself. Nice. Oh, I had to DL the new RPM manually, and install that. OK, not that big a deal, I was used to RPM hell at that point. Oh, well there were 20 or so dependencies for that dependency. Err... well, 30 or so to get those dependencies of the dependencies installed cleanly. Oh, well, I still had to hack at some config files. Well, but that really wasn't enough since I still had to re-update somethings. I'd love to watch "Joe Six-Pack (tm)" do that.

I switched to Gentoo.

Perhaps SuSE 8.1 is better. I honestly don't know, and to be quite frank, I don't intend on finding out. Portage is FAR superior to YAST.

This is just my opinion.

Re:I still think SuSE is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592313)

Are you kidding? SuSE's latest release has to be the most thrown-together piece of trash I've ever used. They'll never be getting my money again. At least SOMEONE out there is taking the time to do things right (three public betas and two RCs).

Slashdotted already - here is the text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592088)


REVIEW: Mandrake 9.1

"It still uses Linux and therefore is sucks ass. I mean, it sucks the shit right outta my rectum and down it's throat. Go use a real OS, not some hippy bullshit piece of crap that every loser in the world has had thier fingers in. It's like the world's public condom. It's as filthy as a port-a-john, and not as well documented. Go get a job, and take a bath you filthy fucking hippy."

You sir, are an idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592110)

MOD PARENT DOWN HOMO

Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592091)

Who are these people to review anything, if their review consists of skimming the surface and focusing on their pet peeves? Thats how flamewars start - bickering over window managers. Let's talk REAL functionality, things like auto-detection of hardware, capabilities of the install kernel, etc.

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592160)

WIND0W MANAGERS ARE REAL FUNCTI0NALITY... EVERYTHING ELSE IS AN ILLUSI0N

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592191)

Eugenia used to write reviews on BeOS. Since it was such a small community, she rose to the top quickly. Then she started installing a bunch of different OS's (btw, none are as good as the BeOS), and started OSNews. She got some help with the noninstall stuff, and got a popular site up.

Then, when she was in charge, she'd lash out at her readers (look at her webpage). She was the editor, but didn't speak good english, so she had many spelling and grammar mistakes. But don't correct her, that'd just make her superpissed.

Basically, Eugenia is a self absorbed angry woman that got popular through the BeOS community, and now we can't get rid of her.

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592236)

Actually, Eugenia's reviews are usually "this is a journal of what happened when I installed this non-BeOS OS." Its just a collection of thoughts. I'd call it a journal entry more than any objective review (but that's what OSNews boils down to).
Yes, I don't read anything from OSNews, because I want objective reviews, not a livejournal dedicated to operating systems.

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592239)

Seriously. I hadn't heard of GothMolly till about 1 minute ago, but I value there opinion more than Eugenia's.

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592328)

I hadn't heard of GothMolly till about 1 minute ago, but I value there opinion more than Eugenia's.

"Anonymous Coward" seems to have solid opinions, too!
How can I add him to my "friends" list?

Re:Who is Eugenia, and why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592401)

To me Eugenia is just another user, and we know users have requests, needs and wants. unfortunately in the GNU world we forgot to ask the users what they want. you know as much as I hate the "Next, Next, Done" installation wizard it seems that users like it. and they don't like the, ./configure, make, make install. try explaining what a kernel is and how stable it is, to the people who call help desk and ask "what's a right click".

In the open source development, usually we either "reverse Engineer" other apps from M$ or apple or we do what we, "the developers", think the user wants. why? becuz we don't have the budget. Do you see my point? so atleast the little tips that people write in their articles (even if it is to their benefit and not for the slashdotters) take it. there might be some good points about usability.

My 1-item wishlist (4, Interesting)

aridhol (112307) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592093)

When updating from 7.2 to 8.0, I had the fun of not having enough disk space. So I went through the package list, and tried to remove some stuff. However, it could not be removed because it was already installed. What I'd like to see is the ability for the installer to remove already-installed packages. Instead, I had to boot into the old system, remove packages, and re-install the update.

I sent this request to the Mandrake developers at 8.0. As of 9.0, this feature was still not available. Probably won't be there for 9.1, but I can hope.

Re:My 1-item wishlist (2, Interesting)

pvcf (150815) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592340)

Having myself gone through every Mandrake version since 7.0 I can appreciate this. However, I think you may find that ultimately, it would be better in the long run to plan for upgradability.

I think that several upgrades using a tool like you mention, no matter how well designed, would still leave a bunch of OS lint lying about.

I personally format /, /usr and /var every upgrade. Put all my personal stuff in /home and /usr/local and copy every file I modify into /usr/local right after I do it. i.e. if I hack up /etc/sysconfig/... or /etc/ppp/... I copy it and save it away, I can then easily figure out what I did later and re-apply changes as required. This only applies to manual changes I make with vi, not to things that I configure with tools.

It usually only takes a few hours post-install to get back to everything humming the way it was.

Of course, this assumes that you have enough disk space to create all these partitions in the first place...

....Paul

Re:My 1-item wishlist (1)

destiney (149922) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592359)


This is an idiotic feature request, no wonder they have no implemented it.

You should have already removed unwanted packages months before a upgrade. Ever hear of rpm -e ?

I love Linux 9.0! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592103)

All my friends and family use Linux 9.0, and now, Linux 9.1 is even better!

That's MANDRAKE Linux 9.0 (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592139)

A common mistake people make is that they call it "Linux version x.x", however, this isn't accruate. The Linux(kernel) that it uses is 2.4, and the version number is what the distributor gives to it. Unlike Microsoft, there are many distributors of Linux, all of them using their own numbering schemes, so it's wrong to call it Linux 9.0, as it is called Mandrake Linux 9.0 Glad you like it though.

Re:That's MANDRAKE Linux 9.0 (1)

jdoff (95905) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592176)

You're new to the sarcasm thing, right?

Re:That's MANDRAKE Linux 9.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592217)

Some RedHat user kept calling his OS "Linux 8" when he was searching for help on a videocard message board. I kept asking him... "Linux 8? Who distributes it?" He didn't seem to get it.

Re:That's MANDRAKE Linux 9.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592366)

Wow, you're totally clueless.

Re:I love Linux 9.0! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592187)

"You've got Linux!" (tm) (sm) (r) (c) (patent pending)

Re:I love Linux 9.0! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592331)

All my friends and family use Windozs 2000. If Linux is only at 9 it has to do a Slackware double time and jump up a 1000 versions or so.

Good for them... (1)

BlueShades (646315) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592106)

Mandrake was one of the first distros I used to learn *nix. I hope they can focus just on the distro and once again start making dough. I just wished LFS was around when I first jumped into the *nix world. Peace.

Re:Good for them... (3, Funny)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592297)

Well, I like Mandrake a lot and I wish them all the luck in the world in making an excellent office / home distribution. But using Mandrake to learn Linux? I don't think so.

When you finish the installation of Mandrake (or Redhat or SuSe), you usually have a fully working system. You might want to tweak here or there, or install a newer X driver but, generally, it works. Now compare this with debian, or even better, Slackware. Debian and Slackware force you to fix things, they force you to know what is happening in your computer and they force you to look around man pages to fix it. Don't get me wrong, I think it is excellent that people don't have to manually select modules from a never ending list or try to guess what options in the module might do, but where is the fun in that?

If you want a system that just works, just install Redhat, Suse or Mandrake. If you want to learn, just dive in and use Slackware for the raw *nix experience or Debian if you think you canno live without dependency checking.

review? production environment? (1)

eheheheheheheheh (650531) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592115)

How can a review be out for an unreleased version?

Who would consider putting a beta product into a production environment?

Re:review? production environment? (2, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592306)

One of the reasons that release candidates and beta releases exist are to get copies of the software that a company will release into the hands of reporters and reviewers. The expectation is that there will not be significant changes between the softare being reviewed and what ends up in customer's hands.

Strange as it may seem, a lot of people put beta software into production environments. Then again, I understand there are people who use "Windows", knowing that the software is considered to have some rather well known holes, and the company that maintains it has been known to re-introduce holes when patching others.

While the software developers recomend against using beta, or even release candidate software in a production environment, if your production environment needs something that is in that release, you may decide to run with it, and work around the bugs.

One example of a feature that may be enough to move to RC3 of Mandrake 9.1 is the fact that 9.0 would not properly support some tablets, yet 9.1 RC3 does. In my case 9.0 would not support a Wacom Graphire 2, but both rc2 and rc3 of 9.1 have.

If you are a graphic artist, I suspect that this would be a deciding point.

Then again, that's just my opinion. I may be wrong.

-Rusty

Re:review? production environment? (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592347)

It depends on how beta everything really is. If your FAVE_LINUX_DISTRO beta 3 doesn't crash, doesn't have security problems...why *not* use it in production? Besides, most of what we consider production tools like Apache, MySQL, etc. are updated fairly regularly anyway. If Mandrake 9.1 final has the same version of Apache as the betas, why not use it now?

I've been looking for... (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592126)

a freshly polished desktop for a while. Right now I've got blue curve action on my Redhat8 desktop but it doesn't seem as cool as my linux desktops of long ago. Sure things work nicely but eye-candy is yummy.

I'm suprised that with a RedHat 9 release less than a month away we haven't seen one of those reviewed.

The other option is SuSE, and from what I hear, has a nicely tuned desktop as well.

Re:I've been looking for... (1)

hexix (9514) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592330)

So you're going to ditch a distrubition because of the default theme setting? You do realize you can easily go get new themes for KDE/GNOME, right?

OSNews... the last bastion of objective journalism (0, Redundant)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592131)

The review is actually pretty bland, skimming the surface to linger on some of Eugenia's pet peeves.

I take it that the poster hasn't read any of Eugenia's reviews before. My friend, the review isn't about Mandrake 9.1, it's about EUGENIA! I've never read an objective review of ANYTHING on OSnews... unless you count Eugenia herself, in which case...

Seriously, Mandrake is probably just trying to play the number game, now that Redhat is upgrading to Linux 9 too.

(I've got karma to burn... -1 troll, bring it on... although I'm kinda hoping for a +5 informative...)

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592133)

How good is this distro going to be with say... an nforce mobo?

Whats the deal with "audigy()" and "emu101k()" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592137)

Does the reveiwer know that those are the names of kernel modules, not C functions? Or did they just want to sound "hip" and put parentheses where they don't belong to show off what they've learned after perusing some 13 year old's online C tutorial for five minutes.

Seriously, what the fuck. Are they trying to sound intelligent, like they're all down with C and Unix and shit? Were they trying to refer to man pages, but failed? There is no need for those parentheses!

thanks
localroger

Re:Whats the deal with "audigy()" and "emu101k()" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592238)

Don't bash the idiots... they have a right to their stupidity... the Mad HARHAR

Upgrade path? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592154)

I just installed Mandrake 9.0 the other day. I realise that there's an upgrade option on the install disks, but was wondering: is there an apt-get dist-upgrade type way to upgrade a running system?

Slashdotted, here's the text (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592155)

Installation
The installation has been completely revamped. It looks good and its interface is cleaner with fewer steps required by the user (however, the power is still there if you need it, hidden under some 'advanced' buttons on in the 'Summary' screen). I also liked the little 4-option menu asking you how to proceed with the installation regarding partitions, I found it intuitive, clean and better than the competition's. The only things the user needs to do is pick the language, keyboard, mouse, hard drive/partition and the package family and fire away the package installation. After the packages are installed, the user is asked to add a new user and choose the root password. Before the rebooting there is a summary screen, very similar to the one found in SuSE's installation where the user there can do some more advanced configuration (e.g. configure the ethernet card, printer, sound card and monitor) or leave it as-is (autodetect) and reboot the machine to enjoy Mandrake 9.1. I don't have major complaints about the installation procedure, except maybe a single bug I encountered: the installation would pick the audigy() driver for my first generation SBLive! instead of the emu10k() driver, and it would not turn on ALSA on boot by default. I installed Mandrake 9.1 twice and both times the same problem happened, I had no sound at all, until I turned on ALSA and picked the emu10k() driver manually (older versions of Mandrake didn't have problem with this card).

Using the System
Mandrake's kind of slow to boot as it loads a large number of services by default, but that's configurable via Mandrake's control center. KDE 3.1.0 is the main desktop environment, as always. But this time, we get a Mandrake with a... twist. The default widget theme and window manager theme is now original and applies to both Gnome and KDE (in the same way Red Hat did with BlueCurve). The new theme set is called "Galaxy" and it is indeed very cute, especially its widget set. While I still personally like better the BlueCurve window manager theme for its clearly defined buttons (something that Galaxy lacks and can be a problem to users who need more accessibility), Mandrake's widget-set theme is probably the best found today on any Linux. Detailed, clean, with soft on-mouse-over effects that don't distract. Additionally, new icons made their appearance in this release. I do feel that MandrakeSoft has put a real effort in this release in both the usability and looks of their product.

The "What to Do->" menu is not there anymore, but the annoying "Terminals" menu in the root Kmenu which lists 5-6 different... terminals is still there (that's obsolete and geeky, in my humble opinion). KOffice, OpenOffice 1.02 and Gnumeric are also there, but there is no AbiWord (sometimes I get .doc files that one word processor can read, but the other can't, so I need to have all three installed to check out which one does each time). Mozilla 1.3 and Gaim 0.59.8 come pre-installed along with a large number of other applications, including mySQL, PostgreSQL, Apache, Samba, a large number of 2D/3D games, XFree86 4.3, XMMS, Xine, Quanta, BlueFish 0.9 etc. In the third CD I found "closed" applications included, like Java, Opera, RealPlay 8, AcroRead and more. Java applets work perfectly on Mozilla, but they would load and then not run on the distro's main browser, Konqueror (yes, Java was activated on Konq's prefs). As for Opera 6.12, it would crash on every page that it had java in it.

Using the System II, Conclusion

It was a positive surprise to see Gnome 'taken care of' by MandrakeSoft, as now its default setup is not the Gnome default, but a panel that resembles KDE's (and the other way around of course). The menus are the same as in KDE, and MandrakeSoft has included a utility to edit the menus of Gnome, KDE and WindowMaker. Enlightenment, IceWM and Blackbox also come with Mandrake Linux 9.1 (I would like to see a stable version of XFCE 4.x included in the next Mandrake as well).
The Mandrake Control Center has seen an overhaul once again, and most of the tools now use GTK+ 2.x which enables them to at least look prettier. You will find tools for partitioning and NTFS/FAT32 resizing, ZeroConf (called 'Rendezvous' by Apple), printing, internationalization, networking, firewalling, internet connection sharing, monitor and gfx card configuration and a bunch more tools. All the tools I had the need to use all worked fine and as expected except the "Fonts" tool in the advanced mode, where it wouldn't accept a directory as input (I had to select/load/select/load more than 30 fonts 'by hand' to make it install my fonts from a non-Windows Fat32 directory). In my review of Mandrake Linux 9.0 back in October I spoke of a problem where the CD-rom would spin forever [http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=1954&page =2] when trying to load almost any of the Mandrake Control Center tools. I know that MandrakeSoft found and worked on the problem and tried to minimize its occurance on some machines (I received a number of emails from people who were experiencing the same behavior back then) and indeed, the problem is now minimized, but not completely fixed. Now, only three tools (ScannerDrake, XFDrake and Mandrake-Update) create that "spin empty CD-ROM forever" effect in this machine.

3D worked fine and I was able to run a number of 3D games with my 3Dfx Voodoo5 (I read that the new Red Hat Linux won't support Glide3, so that's a plus for MandrakeSoft and the 3Dfx users). Stability with Mandrake Linux is good; however, I was able to completely lock up the machine (SSH wouldn't respond) by running the JESS visualization plugin of XMMS, in addition to 2-3 more 3D plugins at the screen at the same time with the Voodoo5.

Another positive surprise with MandrakeSoft is the speed. This installation just feels faster than its predecessor, with apps launching faster, window movement better, etc. The kernel used, 2.4.21-pre, includes special Mandrake patches applied for extra stability. The default filesystem that was suggested by Mandrake Linux via installation was ReiserFS. Developers will find a number of dev tools, IDEs, and languages installed.

Conclusion:
With this release I see a very serious and very respectable effort from MandrakeSoft to create a better Mandrake Linux. It is just obvious that this is not 'just another release', it really feels that it had extra care. A lot of things remain unresolved in the desktop area though, like the inconsistency found in the main desktop environment (KDE); notably, the context menus on the desktop and Konqueror and the bugs encountered and detailed above. This is part of the Linux platform evolution of course, so future Mandrake Linux versions are destined to become better with time.

I would urge everyone to download Mandrake 9.1 and give it a go [http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3] when it is released. It is a worthy distribution and especially this version is a sincere effort from MandrakeSoft to create something better and competitive. And if you decide to keep it, make sure you buy it [http://www.mandrakestore.com/] in order to help MandrakeSoft to continue developing their product in the future. I hate Eugenia. An editor that can't even spell or speak good english?

Installation: 9.5/10
Hardware Support: 7.5/10
Ease of use: 7/10
Features: 7/10
Credibility: 7/10 (stability, bugs, security)
Speed: 8/10 (UI responsiveness, latency, throughput)

Overall: 7.66 / 10

Do you really want to mod that up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592165)

He didn't write any of it. Anyone could have done it. I encourage you people with mod points to REFRAIN from modding parent up. That's free karma. We can't allow that, can we?

Re:Do you really want to mod that up? (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592261)

He didn't write any of it. Anyone could have done it. I encourage you people with mod points to REFRAIN from modding parent up. That's free karma. We can't allow that, can we?

Yeah, cause we can't have the AC's using up all our precious karma, can we? What kind of Karma whore are you!?

Damn you all to hell (1)

-douggy (316782) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592177)

I was downloading this at 1.3MB/sec in the UK soon as it hit the front page on slashdot it dropped to 30KB/sec

Oh well

Re:Damn you all to hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592223)

harhar... the MAD HARRER strikes AGAIN!!!!!!!!

Mandrake 9.1 : an incredible release! (2, Informative)

joestar (225875) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592178)

I have tested it today and it's *the greatest Mandrake release ever*. The new installation procedure is impressing, very simple to use, and the whole thing is so great on the desktop, very good looking, very natural to use. A usual it includes many many features. But the best is as usual Mandrake unique features such as supermount and the device dynamic desktop, which aren't in any other Linux distribution.

On their website there is now a link to all the 9.1 features, it's on http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/9.1/features/ [mandrakelinux.com]


The best of all with this new release, in my opinion, is that the level of quality is very high. I couldn't find any bug yet - Mandrake improved much in the debuging area as well!


Great to see such a great product - it's really _the_ event in the Linux world...

but does it work? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592302)

8.2 is a great release, installed well etc....
But things were setup badly. It takes at least a couple of months of use, compiling lots of stuff from source and manually configuring to realise that the distribution was broken not the software.

Things were slow, kde crashed alot, no kamera KIO slave, kduz kept screwing up my printer.

I now use gentoo, which has been far less problematic than Mandrake.
(things are quick, KDE(and everything else) is stable, and no problems with anything)

9.1 is out! (2, Informative)

jackjumper (307961) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592179)

It's announced on their web site! [linux-mandrake.com]

Start downloading...

CD Writing support? (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592182)

I would have no qualms about upgrading my Parent's computer to this distro, except for one thing: CD writing. They are not particularly technical, and would probably have trouble using X-CD-Roast. Is there a really user-friendly CDR program for Linux?

Re:CD Writing support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592211)

k3b

Re:CD Writing support? (1)

13Echo (209846) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592247)

I really like Arson, a KDE app.

http://arson.sourceforge.net/

It's a lot like Nero, if you think that is easy enough for them to use.

Re:CD Writing support? (1)

TKinias (455818) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592257)

scripsit FuzzyBad-Mofo:

Is there a really user-friendly CDR program for Linux?

You mean to say mkisofs + cdrecord isn't user-friendly?!

Truth be told, I've found I'm more comfortable with them than GUI stuff, but you might want to check out gcombust...

Come to think of it, the best thing for you to do might be to whip up a bash script for them, which would take the contents of $HOME/burn or whatever and make a CD (using the CLI tools). Give it an icon and they can use their GUI file-manager of choice to move the files there, then double-click your icon and presto!

Re:CD Writing support? (1)

Mainframer (530235) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592292)

Mandrake also comes with Gnome Toaster which is really easy. I suggest you give it a try.

Re:CD Writing support? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592342)

I discovered Arson just a few weeks ago and I have been very pleased with it. It is a KDE app and its interface is much more user friendly than that of X-CD-Roast. It handles data, audio, and video cd's. Check out http://arson.sourceforge.net

gnometoaster is very nice (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592355)

When I friend of mine looked at the gnometoaster interface, he said "Ah, yeah -- that looks just like the [CWindows D burning program] interface."

Brackets there, because I can't remember the one he named, and it was one I'd never used. Since I have seen Nero's interface, I don't think it was that ...

the point is, GnomeToaster is a nice application, and I think pretty friendly.

timothy

Re:CD Writing support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5592379)

The most nero-like burner i've found -- and one that's really polished -- is K3b (with mandrake, just do 'urpmi k3b')

really nice.

Ooooooo... (-1, Offtopic)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592192)

The review is actually pretty bland, skimming the surface to linger on some of Eugenia's pet peeves.

Spank that bad girl, Timothy! You know you want to, show her whose in charge!

The phrase that could define OSNews (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592201)

"The review is actually pretty bland, skimming the surface to linger on some of Eugenia's pet peeves."
You could change that to, "OSNews is actually pretty bland, skimming the surface to linger on some of Eugenia's pet peeves." and it would still be a 100% valid statement.

9.1 review ?? (0, Redundant)

makapuf (412290) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592230)

So, you made a quick, shallow review of MDK 9.1 ? WOW ! psst : I had access to BETA 9.1 MDK !!
Or the FIRSY REVEIW OF THE 9.1 COOKER OF

Soon we'll see 0-DAY WAREZ LINKS AVAILABLE mandrake 9.1 GPL ISOs downloadable from OSNews !!

still running a voodoo 5? (1)

kochsr (144988) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592233)

does it bother anyone that a reviewer is actually running this antiquated and obsolete piece of junk?

KDE and GNOME "Galaxy" theme (4, Interesting)

tyrann98 (161653) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592241)

I'm glad that a common theme between KDE and GNOME was also implemented by Mandrake. Competing and incompatible desktops is going to really hurt Linux for a while, especially if a user cannot switch between computers and get work done easily. Things such as the Start Menu, Control Panel, background, screensaver, and System Properties have been somewhat standardized in the Windows world. Even newbie users can get these things done on a Windows 95/98/ME/2000 and even XP desktop easily. They are different by close enough to make it a smooth transition. Linux is still not there with competing Bluecurve/Galaxy + KDE/GNOME camps. While the core should still be as configurable like the hacker wants, work should be done to have a standard interface (which can be changed) and standard "desktop configuration" utilities across the major distributions/desktop environments. We have the GNOME control panel, KDE control panel, Red Hat utilites, Mandrake utilities, etc... (include almost every major distribution out there) for everything! Everything is different and everything has a slightly different interface for the same tasks. I even get annoyed sometimes when it takes me a couple extra tens of seconds to find an app due to different menu layouts. And I know lots of other users that really get messed up even with simple things like changing the background or GDM/KDE icons on Linux.

Re:KDE and GNOME "Galaxy" theme (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592299)

I even get annoyed sometimes when it takes me a couple extra tens of seconds to find an app due to different menu layouts.

You might want to start taking anger management classes...
Also, lay off the computers for a while, they're a known stress inducers. Try to redirect your hacking energies into cooking or fish or something...
We just don't need any more frustrated angry linux geeks...

Re:KDE and GNOME "Galaxy" theme (2)

TKinias (455818) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592307)

scripsit tyrann98:

We have the GNOME control panel, KDE control panel, Red Hat utilites, Mandrake utilities, etc... (include almost every major distribution out there) for everything! Everything is different and everything has a slightly different interface for the same tasks.

Just use Debian, it's the universal OS! ;)

Seriously, though, the commercial distros have to have something that distinguishes their offering from the rest if they're going to get noticed. I don't care for that, myself, but I'm not sure you can convince them to give up what it is that they've cooked up to make themselves stand out.

mirrors (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592245)

> Club members get their own set of mirrors.

I am interested in how do I get to those? I am a club member, and all they want is a click-through agreement that says A) I plan to join or b) I am a member. Then it sends them to the same list of mirrors available to everyone else, with no logins (beyond anymouse), and no mirrors served by mandrake.

0-day 9.1 review ? (1, Redundant)

makapuf (412290) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592255)

So, you made a quick, shallow review of MDK 9.1 ? WOW ! psst : I had access to BETA 9.1 MDK !!
Or the FIRSY REVEIW OF THE 9.1 COOKER OF (insert last urpmi --auto-select date)

Soon we'll see 0-DAY WAREZ LINKS AVAILABLE mandrake 9.1 GPL ISOs downloadable from OSNews !!

Perhaps in the future... (1)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592265)

Quote the artilce:
...but the annoying "Terminals" menu in the root Kmenu which lists 5-6 different... terminals is still there (that's obsolete and geeky, in my humble opinion).

Now, GNU/Linux(dammit) isn't mainstream yet, but I'm sure we have find a happy medium between a geeky set up and what we'd set up for grandma. Could this be an option in future releases? I know you can configure mandrake to death, but how about some pre-configured set ups?

mandrake includes java? (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592310)

"In the third CD I found "closed" applications included, like Java, Opera, RealPlay 8, AcroRead and more. Java applets work perfectly on Mozilla...."

something i've noticed lately is a couple of distros are including java by default, it was on the last knoppix cd, and i got the 1.4.1 blackdown version from unstable last time i apt-upgraded debian woody (so maybe its gonna be in sid). I think i read somewhere redhat are going to default include suns java in the upcoming 9 (but perhaps not in the free personal edition)...

anyway my question is what has changed? It used to be that suns java wasn't distributed with linux because suns licensing restrictions forbode it. Is this the sactioned open source blackdown project version (with presumably looser distribution liscence) or are sun turning a blind eye these days?

frankly i'm surprised theres enough demand for java on linux for it to be included in these bandwidth constrained iso downloads.

the only time i use java is to play my favourite motorcycle game [dnainternet.fi] applet

plus: whats up with making KDE the default desktop :^)

i can get Jwigits to work in Konqueror with alised italic fonts because i am the master of configuring desktops

shyeah ! (2, Insightful)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592311)

You use betas in your production environment and we're supposed to listen to you? :)

LTSP support (1)

Brian Blessed (258910) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592339)

I'm currently running Mandrake 9.0 as the server for my LTSP thin clients, and a peeve I have at the moment is that KDE's "artsd" sound server wasn't compiled to enable output to the "nas" sound server running on my thin clients.
NAS running on the clients should play sounds from the remote applications that are running on the server.

Does anyone know if this has changed in 9.1?

- Brian.

Network install? (1)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 10 years ago | (#5592371)

Is it possible to install Mandrake over the network, bootstrapping it with a floppy then downloading the packages from an ftp or http site like Debian can do? I looked on the Mandrake site but all I see are CD images. The laptop I want to try Mandrake on has a busted CD drive.

Also, doing a floppy-based network install (if possible), how good is Mandrake at autodetecting and autoconfiguring hardware? My biggest problem with Debian was that I had to configure video, audio, network, PCMCIA, etc. all by hand. I still haven't gotten audio to work properly with KDE.
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