Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

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Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:28 am

So I subscribe to DistroWatch news and distribution release, and now allot is happening. Fedora 9 Preview, OpenSuSE 11 Beta 1, Ubuntu 8.04 RC1 and Mandriva 2008.1 Spring is out. I have yet to try out all, but Mandriva is really exiting, I love it on my desktop. OpenSuSE 11 is due to be installed on my Laptop, Fedora 9 might just be a live testing, and TBH I have lost the taste of Ubuntu as of now, but I might try it for a short while when it reach stable...
I recommend everyone to take a look on them, OpenSuSE 11 looks really exiting, hopefully it comes WITHOUT KDE4.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:20 pm

I agree - but when do I find the time for it? :) :)
Downloading should not be a problem as I've got an old laptop seeding the torrent 24/7 to use for that
Perhaps some mini reviews here after testing...
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:27 pm

I need the time as well, but I will do a HDD install with at least one of them, rest'll probably just live.
However, Mandriva is impressive, I quite like it, could give a review of both Powerpack and One :)
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby exploder on Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:03 pm

I would be interested in a review. I have Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9 installed at the moment and I agree with the topic of this post!

There is a lot of new technology heading for the desktop and it really is getting exciting!
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:19 pm

Mandriva 2008.1
One of the features I really love with Mandriva is that you get to configure your system before the live session loads. This means you will boot into a session using the correct localization & language, time zone, keyboard layout, and even network configuration:
confweb.png
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This means you can configure ndiswrapper before you start your session, and you have wireless almost right out of the box. The best thing is that these configurations are used by the installer, you do not have to go through again when you are done installing or configure it during install. Heck, it even remembered the security (WEP) key for my home network.
But the configuration goodies does not stop there. One of the launchers on the panel is called "Configure your computer" and it indeed lets you configure your computer:
ctrlcent.png
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Here you can change about anything you could possible want to, set up update sources and repositories (Powerpack offers to add all sources in one go, but I belive you have to add them one by one in the free edition, or One), configure your hardware, backup USB pens, reconfigure GRUB and you can even change the boot theme (or splash screen), but sadly only one theme comes with a default installation. This alone make Mandriva an interesting distribution.
But the configuration goodies does not stop with the mother of all controls center, they have even included 3 different KDE menus: Mandriva style, Kicker & the SuSE Kickoff menu.
menustyle.png
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The Mandriva style looks pretty much like Kicker, just with a bigger button:
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As for package management, Mandriva uses urpmi, it's own system, and RPM packages. urpmi is pretty straight forward in it's use, and isn't so different from most package manager available today:
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It is reasonably fast, and handles dependencies pretty well, or I have yet to get any errors with it. For those who prefer a command line approach could check out these excellent FAQs at MandrivaUsers. There are even web services to configure your package manger.
All in all, Mandriva 2008.1 is well worth the look, especially if you, like me, are blessed with a box that is a 100% supported with open source drivers, and even if you don't you should take a look. What you should be prepared for is that you will have to learn how to use some new tools, as Mandriva have their own drakxtools for pretty much everything, knetworkmanager and networkmanager are replaced by drakconnect and so on. Fear not, these tools are brilliant, in fact, Mandriva is the only distro that have managed to give my a stable wireless connection with a Sitecom USB dongle, just that gave it a +5 in my book :)
My score: 9/10
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby Husse on Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:38 pm

Took a quick look at the live CD In the list of countries I could not find Sweden so I used Norway as country :shock:
Apart from that I was impressed, it also looks nice
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby exploder on Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:54 pm

MagnusB , thanks for the review! Mandriva has some nice features! I might have to take a look myself!

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby sundayrefugee on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:44 pm

Mandriva 2008.1 is the only distro that has installed *perfectly* right out of the box. After the cd install, I had DVD's and MP3's playing, nvidia driver automatically running, compiz with the cube *and* no window distortion, you name it.

Superb. Strangely, it still isn't for me, personally. But I'd have to *highly* recommend it ;)
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am

Yeah, I when I like a distro I feel like advertising it, and I liked Mandriva so much that I bought a 1 year subscription to Powerpack, that's two releases. The main difference between Powerpack ("commercial") and One (free) is that most codecs are included legally in Powerpack (no issues if you live in Europe though, we don't acknowledge software patents), and you get access to some repositories/software that One doesn't have. Also you get commercial support for the duration of the subscription (I think), but I still prefer community support, that way other can learn from my mistakes....
Anyways, downloaded OpenSuSE yesterday, will be installing today, I am pretty exited, they have redesigned the installer, YaST and zypp, so hopefully I won't break it to much before learning it properly :)
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby allforcarrie on Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:00 am

With untu 8.04 out That means mint 5 is soon to follow.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby choupique on Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:44 pm

I'm sending this post from work using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. Gnome 2.22.1 is smooth, and this was one of the easiest setups I've ever done.

Graphics seem to have improved yet again. Yes, I kept the new background (swirls w/brown), but eliminated the big heron. :)
Firefox 3 b5 runs well, and the integrated Gnome look on the programs is great - icons, boxes, fonts, etc. OpenOffice 2.4 also looks better, and loaded faster for me.
Sound and graphics on this pc (Pent.D 2.8 w/1gig, onboard intel graphics, sigmatel sound) all recognized and loaded without problem.

From my first impressions, Mint 5 will have a beautiful & smooth base - can't wait!
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:57 pm

allforcarrie wrote:With untu 8.04 out That means mint 5 is soon to follow.

Sorry, 8.04 is just out as a RC, not a stable release, Mint will only come after a stable release of Ubuntu.
And I installed OpenSuSE 11 today, picked KDE4, regretted that the second I booted into it, in fact, I actually hope that KDE 3.5.x will be supported for many years..
But instead I decided to see how Mandriva fared against a computer that needed a bit more configuring, namely my HP laptop, which requires both nVidia driver, ndiswrapper and the removal of bcm43xx/ssb.
So I boot into the live CD, go through the initial configuration (I was wrong above, you only configure locales when you log in, language, keyboard layout etc), then start the Mandriva control panel immediately after the desktop is loaded. First thing I notice is that the resolution is all wrong, so I go to fix that, change the screen size, select correct resolution, test the configuration, see that it works, and save it. It even looks like the CD included the nVidia driver (this was One, the free as in beer edition),
Next up ndiswrapper. Start the network configuration tool, select to configure a wireless device, select detected device, and choose to use ndiswrapper. Then I get a warning that there already is a module loaded for the card, but I still want ndiswrapper and continue on selecting my inf file, save. The utility restarts the device, and voilá, I got wireless, first time off a live CD on this laptop! I then go on to configure AP, WEP key etc.
After that I select to install, chose to use existing partitions and, with a smile, select the very same partition I installed OpenSuSE with KDE4 earlier, and let it do it's thing :)
Reboot and set up root account and users, and when I finally got to my desktop I am connected to my AP, screen resolution is right and it even kept a few tweaks I made to the taskbar on the panel!! The whole procedure took about 1 hr, that is including install time, and I usually use 10 - 20 mins configuring this laptop post installation just to get wireless working. Now I am off to test out if the nVidia proprietary driver really is loaded, because when I try to modinfo it I only get module not found.
So far I am overly impressed with the ease of use of Mandriva, and how the installer handles live session configurations as well, it even kept a folder I created in /media to mount my usb pen drive, as I couldn't get Firefox or Konqueror to launch in the live session...
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby rivenought on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:30 pm

I was glad to read that there are other distro "researchers" in the forum. As an observation, my Mint 4 GNOME install only took just over an hour. When I install openSUSE 10.3 KDE, I finish up just shy of five hours. I am not joking. This takes into account the initial update packages, the multimedia codecs installation, upgrading to KDE 3.5.9, and getting everything all tweaked out to perfection. I have installed openSUSE on so many computers so many times that I have an efficient routine worked out. openSUSE 10.3 is rock-solid stable. From my initial testing of openSUSE 11, it is great, and is supposed to have 3.5.9 as an option. While not a big fan of KDE 4.0.x, I am not in a massive hurry to completely move to it. 3.5.9 works just fine for my needs on that machine. If anyone wants to have a lot of fun, download the openSUSE DVD (over 4 GB) and give it a test drive. If you just want a quick install and have everything just flat-out work in just over an hour, Linux Mint is the ticket.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby changturkey on Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:15 pm

I like KDE, but 3.5.x is starting to show it's age, and 4.x.x is still in the works. So GNOME, XFCE, *Box ftw.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:08 pm

3.5.x is still ok, actually, I hope for a fork so that the 3,5 series will be maintained after 4 "reaches stable",,, KDE4 just contains a bunch of crap I don't want, and the stuff that I do want does not work the way I want it to. Should think it was still beta.... :D
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby NoClue! on Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:48 pm

Mandriva is kicking ass and taking names, they've elevated their game, big time. Can anyone confirm that the angry grub installer has been tamed?
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby Ookami on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:40 pm

I used all of them except for Fedora.

Knowing Fedora, I'd much rather wait for the final to come out, then dealing with the bugs and teething problems >:3

I liked Mandriva, but I ran into problems when I tried to dual-boot with Mint. Nothing major, as I usually stick to Mint anyway.
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:10 am

I tried out Fedora 9 from a live CD, didn't impress me all that much. Since I wasn't prepared for a HDD install, I hoped for ndiswrapper on the CD, but no such luck. And I kept pulling my hair because none of the commands I tried in the terminal worked, till I remembered you need the full path (/sbin/lspci for instance). I tried out a live session of Scientific as well, but the only difference I saw was a bunch of entries under programming. Didn't get to check out their repos, though..
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby Husse on Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:43 pm

Fedora is the only distro where I have not managed to get a wired network connection to work :shock:
(And I've tried a few :))
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Re: Exiting times for us distro hoppers!

Postby MagnusB on Fri May 02, 2008 9:40 am

Mandriva is now out with a XFCE edition, Zenwalk has released 5.0.1 live, gNewSense 2.0 is out (Ubuntu "totally free"), OpenBSD 4.3 is out. Still much to do...
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