How To: Be Bored To Tears While Installing Mandriva 2008

Most reviews start with something like “Distribution this, Mandriva that, user friendly edition, blah blah bleep boop” I don’t play that game.

Downloading the ISO of the Gnome desktop version of Mandriva 2008 is pretty boring. It’s just like any other download, so I didn’t take screenshots. I have an idea – how about a customizable Mandriva Download Theme for Firefox? That would make downloading Mandriva just as exciting as the actual installation! Brilliant.

I like the fact that Mandriva has two different desktop managers bundled completely separate and not calling it something new. It’s like the choice of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/bleeepuntu without the extra brand dilution issue, plus I really don’t care for KDE, so we’ll take care of that right off the bat.

Burning the ISO to CD was just like downloading Mandriva. Booring! Ah well, enough on that – let’s have a gander at the file system. Oops! Someone forgot to update the README.pdf, it’s the old Spring 2007 release PDF file:

Mandriva 2008 PDF

Load up Qemu and to get some tasty screenshots of the bootup process:

Mandriva Bootup

Nothing flashy here, what’s the rest of the installation like?

Language SelectionChoose your CountrySign Your Life AwayGnome 2.20

Keyboard LayoutTimezone SelectionDate, Clock & Time Settings3D Desktop Settings

Finally, after pressing “Next” a total of 7 times and wasting a lot of time, we’re looking at the desktop. It’s alright, the background is sorta… meh. The DNA/humans theme does not do it for me.

Live CD Desktop

We’re ready for what we came for – installing!
Mandriva Live WizardPartitioning Scheme

Wow, there’s no warning that you’ll delete everything, it goes straight to deleting and formatting!

Formatting, ready or not!

Next, you wait and stare at products for 10 minutes. Hmmm… Is someone thinking like Microsoft?

Mandriva Plugs Anything and Everything.. you stare at this for 10 minutes.GRUBGRUB

Alright we’re finally done! Let’s get excited!

Done Installing

WHAT? Not even a “congratulations?” Lousy fscks!

Overall, installing Mandriva is a pleasant experience, and ultimately boring, compared to other distributions’ installers. Out of spite, I’m going to backup my /home directory and install Ubuntu 7.10 RC, because I just got The Orange Box (thanks for the early Birthday present!) and I want to get it running in Gutsy Gibbon.

  • Joshua Jabin

    I’d say that a boring installation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I certainly want an installation to be too interesting. That would likely mean that something went very, very wrong.

  • Zachary

    It does look boring.

    Wait… human and DNA? Total Ubuntu-Fedora ripoff!

  • Wayne

    Josua: True enough.
    Zachary: I did not notice that, but it is ripped off.

  • Iván

    OK, I’m also an Ubuntu user, but that was one of the lamest post I’ve seen ever on this blog. I really like, but putting off Mandriva just because you find it “boring” only shows that you’ve been using GNU/Linux since… let me guess: from Ubuntu Feisty?

    Come on man, show a little respect for other’s work, Mandrake was one of the first distros to try to shorten the gap between Linux and the desktop. And that was many, many years before Ubuntu ever existed.

    Try to turn off the Ubuntu-hype machine and try to be a little more objective :)


  • Wayne

    Iván, my appologies if I have offended you.

    I agree, the criticism is not completely unwarranted. For me, writing subjective reviews is an exercise in creative writing. Fun, yet relatively useless in the real world.

    This article is pretty lame if you don’t appreciate the humor or where my point of view is coming from.

    As for your assertion that I’ve been using Linux since Fiesty… My first experience with Linux was nearly 10 years ago, with the 5.0 release of Redhat. It was downloaded over an asynchronous satellite internet service, with a dialup uplink, which was pretty ghetto, but faster than anything else available in the city I lived in at the time.

    You are partially correct, because recently I’ve finally made the switch to using Linux full-time. I don’t even have a windows partition anymore. I’ve installed Linux on the other workstation in the house, and for the most part, my girlfriend enjoys it, and the other two roomates haven’t even noticed a change.

    When I first saw Mandrake (As I recall, it was a derivative of RH6.0) I fell in love. It seemed so much easier to get running when compared to Redhat.

    Unfortunately, my experiment with Mandrake left a pretty sour taste in my mouth with two very apparent, very “unprofessional” errors – a PDF included that’s a year old, and a lack of any sort of warning that the disk is about to be partitioned.

    If someone accidentally pressed the spacebar on their keyboard while running the installer, they could end up with a complete disaster and a possible lengthy (not to mention frustrating) recovery ahead of them.

    Mandriva is certainly not all bad.

    Perhaps you didn’t see my review of Zenwalk? It’s far, far more subjective and offensive. I’ve toned it down a bit since then. :)


  • Iván

    Wayne: I should tone down my comment as well, so my apologies to you. Sorry if I offended you. Maybe I can get a sense of humor on ebay, too? 😛

    I agree that, while being a good distro, Mandriva has a few rough edges that you wouldn’t expect from a distro which has been in development for so long. I had a similar experience with openSUSE 10.3 recently: full of good ideas, but a few stupid issues (which shouldn’t have passed a decent QA test) made me go back to a pre-release version of Ubuntu (that is Gutsy, obviously). Preferring an unfinished distro over a release talks a lot I suppose.

    About Zen no, I didn’t read it. Having tried it myself, I loved it when first installed, but absolutely hated it when I tried to install additional stuff and you know, do something with it.

    Again, my apologies and keep up the good work :)

  • Wayne

    No problem. eBay humor? What’s that? *grin*

    “Preferring an unfinished distro over a release talks a lot I suppose.” – This is 100% correct. Thanks for the compliment!


  • linuxiac

    Mandriva, as in is a LiveCD and installs in about 9 minutes. Meanwhile, I am usually surfing while it does the install!

    Yes, in Linux, with multi-tasking, multi-desktops, it’s a cake walk!