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Mandrake Linux 8.1

Kernel 2.4.8

KDE 2.2.1

Gnome 1.4

Dell Latitude Laptop

Booted off the CD into the graphical installer, the mouse pad had been detected and worked.
Prompted to select language, then the class of installation, either recommended or expert.

Chose recommended class. Progressed to partitioning. Gave it the whole disk.

Package selection:

  • Office

  • Games

  • Multimedia

  • Network clients

  • Servers

  • Web/FTP

  • Mail/news

  • Database

  • Firewall

  • KDE

  • Gnome

  • Installation of packages then proceeded whilst an information window where various slides was displayed. This step took about 20 min. in my case and required no user intervention.
    Then prompted to set the root password and create normal user accounts. There is now an option to automatically log-on a "default" user if required. I declined this.

    Network configuration then followed where my 3c589, PCMCIA network adaptor was detected and configured to use DHCP to obtain an IP address. (to suit my local network) The message "Bringing up the network" was then displayed but I noticed that there was no activity LED lit on the adapter, indicating that it indeed was NOT working.

    Printer configuration then followed where it was easy to configure a shared printer on my Windows box in another room. A test page was sent to the printer but of course did not print as the network was not working. (no surprise there then).

    Then we went onto X configuration, this went smoothly but the selected mode failed as my graphics card had been incorrectly identified. I manually selected the correct card (Neomagic NM256) and this of course worked on the subsequent re-test of the X server.

    Now the system had to be rebooted, and presented me with a pretty graphical screen containing the words "welcome" in a multitude of languages. I noticed that the network card had now come up and was informed that the printer test page which had earlier failed, had now printed !

    I was presented with a graphical login screen, logged in and shortly had a nice KDE desktop. The "First-time wizard" guided me through entering some personal details and configuring the mail settings.

    I then noticed that the sound card had not been configured so I ran the Control centre application and selected Hardware setup. The sound card had been correctly identified as a Neomagic NM256, but when the configuration tool ran it produced the error "Modprobe cant locate module sound-slot-0"

    OK, so it couldn't configure the sound card but could I? YES I could load the sound card module manually so no major problem here. Back into HardDrake but selecting the correct soundcard still produced the same error. Obviously things needed a little help so I added an alias to the "modules.conf" file relating sound-slot-0 to the nm256_audio module. Back into HardDrake where things now started to work and I was greeted with a sample of audio played back perfectly.


    Installation, absolutely first class.

    Hardware detection and configuration, could do better.

    Package selection and range offered, excellent.

    Added:  Saturday, November 24, 2001
    Reviewer:  Frank Johnson
    Related Link:  MandrakeSoft
    hits: 400
    Language: eng


    [ Back to reviews index ]

    Posted by [xenogen]1 on Jan 11, 2002 - 12:46 PM
    My score:

    I couldn't get it to run stably on my box. the system looks good. but it wouldn't install my adsl modem desite the fact it promotes it self as being able to. It also screwed up my network settings. Nice looking distro but buggy.
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