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Re: Just got Mandriva

__/ [Kier] on Sunday 01 January 2006 13:20 \__

> On Sun, 01 Jan 2006 04:29:26 -0800, Bob wrote:
>> Well, well, local newsstand had an issue of Linux Magazine (which I
>> never buy) but inside...was a...Mandriva CD! Whoa! Lo and behold. I
>> know, you guys here go on and on about why don't you just d/l one and
>> burn it, but most ppl, even advanced users, are just *not going to do
>> that*. The price was about $12. Another Linux mag had Suse inside, but
>> the Suse disks had all been ripped out of the 3 copies of the mag. I
>> cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is for mags like this
>> to bundle disks and then charge $12-13 a copy. A lot of us who have
>> never run Linux are just going to buy the mag to get the disk, just for
>> the Hell of it.
> I got most of my distros in exactly that way (over here they cost six or
> seven quid with a DVD or CDs). Linux Format is my magazine of choice.

Try /not/ to go for the distribution that is cheapest or is most easily
obtainable. I once installed Ubuntu for exactly that reason. I came in to
work and wanted to set up my new machine as soon as possible, so I borrowed
a copy from a colleague's Ubuntu stack. Ubuntu is almost perfect, but it is
no SuSE (see below). Wiping, migrating or re-installing once Ubuntu has been
installed is time-consuming. I have stayed with Ubuntu for nearly a year.
Happy, but could be happier. It's actually very stable:

 16:40:41 up 82 days,  8:30,  5 users,  load average: 0.02, 0.04, 0.00

>> Looking thru the mag, I see that installation of Linux apps is still
>> needlessly user-hostile (the (l)user wants one of those Windows packages
>> that you double-click and away it goes) and mucking around inside of
>> ordinary apps like Nero Linux seemed frighteningly complex (as in for
>> programmers only). I can only say that there simply must be Linux
>> distros that are just as (l)user friendly as Windows and Mac OS.
>> Otherwise, desktop Linux is headed nowhere in a hurry.
> Whoa there, boy! User-hostile? I don't think so If any user is
> sufficiently savvy to want to install a new OS, he's likely to be able to
> cope with the installation of Mandriva, which has to be one of the most
> user-friendly installs around. Even dual-booting isn't that complex,
> particularly if you have more than one hard drive, or a hard drive
> partitioned in two or three sections.

Installations are not user hostile. Initial installation is very simple in
SuSE and Mandriva. In Ubuntu, it is almost purely automatic and maybe even
easier than Windows or Mac OS 9 installations (never actually installed 10).

Kier was referring to initial installation of the O/S, but the OP mentions
package management. In SuSE, YaST takes care of everything. In Ubuntu,
Synaptic does likewise. You needn't know anything about dependencies. The
distro knows them all and almost hides these nasty details from you (unless
of course you wish to review them). Just tick the box next to the
application which you desire to install, press accept and *Kaboom*; New icon
in the launcher/kicker (AKA "Start menu"). No need to restart either.

I suspect that you chose the wrong distro. I see people in the Mandrake
newsgroup who migrate to SuSE or say something like "Mandriva is OK, but
it's nowhere compared to SuSE". Mandrake/driva has history, a community,
sentimental values, expertise, and emotional attachment. [I hope I offend
nobody here]

I used Mandrake for a for a while, but it was not reliable. I used it on two
machines in fact. Never by choice.

>> Reading more, it seems sad that Mandriva is still on rpm, which
>> apparently involves some Linux version of dependency hell.
> Not really, no. Ever heard of urpmi? Well, Mandriva has this nice easy way
> to set it up, and from then on, it's generally without problems in the
> dependancy department. Leastways, I have rarely encountered any that were
> insoluable by the application of simple common-sense.

YaSY makes use of RPM's too, but provided you have all the installation CD's,
there is no dependency hell, let alone any warnings.

>> BTW, is there a Linux distro out there as (l)user friendly as Windows
>> and Mac OS? You know, like clicky-clicky, GUI-GUI, applet-applet,
>> what-the-hell-is-a-command line?
> Most of the major distros. Mandriva, SUSE, and others less well-known but
> equally good (Mepis is one that comes to mind). Hell, you can even go for
> Linspire, which is nearly bullet-proof as far as the newbie is concerned.
> Not so many hard-core advocates like it, but that's neither here nor
> there; it's still Linux, and it works.

I would recommend SuSE if you intend to use many different applications, but
(K)Ubuntu otherwise.

> To my mind, the real 'luser' if such a person exists, isn't going to be
> installing Linux. They may buy a PC with Linux on it, or perhaps geta
> knowledgeable friend to do it for them. Once set up, it's no harder to use
> than Windows or the MacOS, just a little different from either.

Yes, exactly. The beginning involves a fair bit of customisation. This
customisation stage is what gives you convenience and in the long run
increases your productivity. I am thinking not only of applications
(installation) here, but also the look-and-feel adjustments and thsls that
are acquired, e.g. familiarity with menus and keys.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "Error, no keyboard - press F1 to continue"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  4:35pm  up 21 days 23:46,  14 users,  load average: 0.22, 0.38, 0.45

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