Sunday, January 7, 2007

A typical desktop setup using Mandriva Linux Free 2007

I'm going to detail here the typical configuration I go through to setup a Mandriva desktop box.

1. Install Mandriva Free 2007 (Obviously, It's so easy, I don't have to explain it)
2. Remove Installation Media Source. '# urpmi.removemedia Installation Free CD'
3. Run over to
4. Enable sources main, contrib, main_updates, contrib_updates, plf-free & plf-nonfree. (I'd advise against the 'backports' sources, they are fairly unstable)
I'd usually select the France Paris FTP servers as they tend to be faster. If you don't wanna wait too long, check on the "Use compressed index" checkbox to get minimal information headers, however if you are new to Mandriva, I'd suggest getting the full header since it comes with nice long descriptions for each package. 'proceed to Step 3' will generate a list of urpmi commands for you to enter in a console as root. To avoid errors, I'd suggest doing it one-by-one in this order: main, contrib, main_updates, contrib_updates, plf-free, plf-nonfree.
Be prepared to wait for the sourcelist update. 20 minutes on my 1MB broadband. 5 minutes if you used the compressed index.
5. Once all that is done. Open up MCC (Mandriva Control Center) 'Kmenu-> System-> Configuration-> Configure Your Computer'. Click on the Update icon. It's labeled the very lenghty "Look at available updates and apply any fixes or upgrades to installed package". Say yes all the way, select all presented packages & click Install. You can do this in the console simply with '# urpmi --auto-select'.
6. Next, I'd go install the essential packages. Once again open MCC & click on the Install icon labeled "Look at installable software and install software packages". Here are the essentials:
- Kernel Source Stripped ('$ uname -r' to find out your kernel version & install the same version kernel-source-stripped package)
- Hardware Accelerated Video Drivers: nvidia, ati, 915Resolution (for Intel widescreen). Depending on which graphic card you have. Say 'OK' to the dependency question.
- Some misc necessities - nano, yakuake, thunderbird, flash-player-plugin, kaffeine, mplayer-plugins, helixplayer, win32-codec.
- If you need to be able to play Region coded DVDs & some other proprietary formats like MOV & WMV, you'll need to replace your mplayer & xine with the plf version. Search for & install xine-faad, xine-win32, mplayer???-plf & libdvdcss2. The dependency should work out all the required packages.
7. Finally, you may want to get some proprietary software installed, like J2RE(Java Runtime), Acrobat Reader, Azureus, Rar & Skype. You can get J2RE & Azureus & Rar from the repository. Add in the repository with the command:
'# urpmi.addmedia with'. Then look for & add these packages: j2re, azureus, rar & rargui. For Acrobat Reader & Skype follow these instructions:
Run over to & select your way to download Acrobat Reader 7 (choose the .rpm version) then install it with this command:
# urpmi AdobeReader_enu-*.rpm
# kwrite /usr/share/applications/AdobeReader.desktop
* Find this line
* Replace it with this line
For Skpe:
# wget
# urpmi skype-

Well this was a much longer post than I anticipated. Until next time...