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Mandriva 2010 Spring review

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I found the answer by looking at the login screen of the Mandriva One installation. At the bottom section of the login screen, at the password prompt window, you have the Session dropdown menu which allows you to choose the desktop environment (DE) to log into. One option in that menu is drak3d. On One, I did not run into this drak3d issue, since the system was using the designated default – GNOME. The system will use drak3d only if you manually chose it.

In the Mandriva Free installation, I had specified, during the installation process, KDE as my DE. However, the login screen of the Free installation does not have the Session dropdown menu. And the system, it seems, was trying to use drak3d as the default.

mandinstall12

Mandriva One session options. Missing on Mandriva Free

There was really nothing I could do at this point, but to reboot. I could base the rest of the review on the Mandriva One installation, but I decided to try something. Maybe I could figure out a method of installing glxinfo. The only way I could put myself in a position of installing anything on this system was to reboot into Safe mode (one of the options on the boot screen), which dropped me into single user session. It meant manual configuration of the Ethernet card, but that was trivial. The next five images shows what happened when I tried to install glxinfo.

The urpmi command is Mandriva’s answer for apt-get. It is said to have solved rpm’s dependency handling problems. To install the problem package, I typed urpmi glxinfo. The following output shows that the system was trying to install it from Main media, which is the installation medium.

mandinstall9

Trying to install glxinfo

This is one problem with Free: Out of the box, it is configured to look for packages in the installation medium. On the other hand, One is configured, by default, to look for packages in online repositories (Main, Main updates, etc.). I thought that I could fix this minor issue, so I decided to mess with the urpmi.cfg file (under the /etc/urpmi directory).

After messing with urpmi.cfg (making Main and Main updates the defaults), I retried the installation of glxinfo. This time, it failed, returning the error shown in the image below. The package that it failed to download is the DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure) library required for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics.
mandinstall10

This image just shows the online repository that it failed to download the DRI library from. I could have tried to update the urpmi database with the urpmi.update command. However, experience has taught me that it tends to return its own errors, which would take a few more steps to fix. So I let it go. This was just a review installation, and if it’s taking this much effort just to make it work, then Mandriva has not done a very good job with the 2010 Spring edition of Free.

mandinstall11

Installation of gxinfo failed because of missing files in a repository

Another sign that something is not right with Free is shown in this image. LXDE is checked, showing that it is the default desktop environment. Of all the desktop environments available, why is LXDE the default on Mandriva Free 2010 Spring?

mandinstall1

Package and desktop configuration step on Mandriva Free 2010 Spring installation.

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14 Comments

  1. jms says:

    wanted kde from dualarch and 64 bit cpu. If selected only kde got same problem as reviewer re the glxinfo issue. I had the main media CD and it still would give the same error that he got. I just went and repartitioned and installed the lxde only and from there installed the kde base minimal from the package manger and it all works finally. returned to mandriva from distro hopping and this was more of a headache than the initial 2010 free that I used before. that install was flawless. didn’t find much searching on mandriva forums on this.

  2. Lee says:

    Thank you for your review. It was totally honest and objective. It’s unfortunate that the version you tested failed as miserably as it did, especially since it was a reflection on the quality of Mandriva Linux. I purchased the Powerpack version of 2010 Spring, and it installed like a charm without any hiccups at all.

    I totally agree that the absence of a “back” button at almost every step of the installation and a failure to auto-install CUPS and the unique components for my HP printer are significant omissions; although neither were difficult to overcome, just annoying.

    Being a long-time user of Mandriva Linux, I really enjoy this version, and I think it’s the best yet. The only regression I’ve noticed is that it seems to boot slower than the 2010.0 version by about 15 seconds on the same machine. Other than that, the installation was very easy and I’m very pleased with the features and ease of use in day-to-day use.

  3. Arvi Pingus says:

    The main review was not plain vanilla. uing a netbook without disk drive has its quirks. Every local community can help you out.
    Normal pc/laptop install are due to mandriva installer ‘dull’ :)
    Up and running witin the hour, including network, printer, 3D and basic applications like browsing, e-mail and (Open)Office.

  4. RJohnson says:

    Mandriva Linux has IMO gotten worst about certain aspects of it. In this latest version of it, they eliminated the option to copy the packages to the hard disk, now you have to do it manually which really makes no sense since has been there for so many versions. About Totem, I don’t remember it ever being able to play movies without installing dvdcss and the like because of copyright legalities. The problem me as a long time Mandriva user is I have been using for long and dealing with its issues that I’m just used to it and finding something is yet another curse to bear. I tried the PowerPack version 2k9 and I thought it was actually worst than the free version: even thought it came with drivers for certain hardware that you have to other wise find, download and configure, my hardware has issues with it. The question would be, if they were taken over by I think Canonical, how much worst would it get?

  5. Barista Uno says:

    Will surely install this to my soon-to-be-assembled desktop rig. I’ve always found Mandriva (from 2009 edition) to be a very congenial distro with hardware support that very few can beat. Mandriva 2010 Spring looks like another winner.

  6. Barnabyh says:

    Yes,that’s funny :)) Thanks for the review.

  7. Sam says:

    I thought CUPS was a free as in beer application. Why WOULDN’T that be pre-installed. I’m wondering if perhaps you had some errors in the install process. Did you try wiping the install, double-checking the CD integrity, and re-installing? The whole issue with Drak3d sounds to me like an install error.

    • finid says:

      Being free does not mean that is has to be installed out of the box. And I did verify that CUPS was not installed. It was installed afterwards as part of printer configuration from MCC. Btw, this review involved several installs/reinstalls on real hardware and in a virtual environment (Virtualbox OSE)

  8. DistroLink says:

    Thank you for your review!

  9. Mustafaa says:

    “Mandriva Free 2010 Spring – the free edition that ships with (non-free) applications only. Available for 32- and 64-bit platforms.”
    You meant Free applications only so I home you correct this.

  10. Mustafaa says:

    “Mandriva Free 2010 Spring – the free edition that ships with (non-free) applications only. Available for 32- and 64-bit platforms.
    You meant Free applications only so I hope you correct this.

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