Ramblings of a Professional Computer Geek

January 13, 2007

Bye-bye, Mandriva …

Filed under: Linux,PCLinuxOS — Padma @ 10:43 pm

Okay. One of the reasons I didn’t post for a while there was that I was busy looking for a new Linux distro to use. Those who know me know I’ve been sold on Mandrake/Mandriva since it first forked from RedHat. Mandrake 7.2 was the version that convinced me that Linux was a serious operating system. I’ve still got my original boxed set for Mandrake 8.1. I installed 9.0, 9.1, 9.2. All wonderful. Mandrake 10.0 is the distro that convinced me that I didn’t need MS anymore. Madnrake 10.1 and 10.2 didn’t disappoint. Mandriva 2005LE, the first version after the merger with Conectiva, was excellent. (Yeah, it was 10.2 repackaged, but still.) I installed Mandriva 2006, and was deleriously happy. Then, in the fall of 2006, I installed their latest effort: Mandriva 2007 Powerpack.

It had a lot of pretty eye-candy. Lots of nice bells and whistles. The “starry-eyed penguin” of 2006 was thankfully gone, and a nice, professional-looking background was the default. But after the initial euphoria wore off, I noticed niggling little problems. Even after I installed the devel sources, I had trouble compiling things. KVirc, for instance, took a lot of tweaking to get right, that I hadn’t had to do in 2006. lm_sensors didn’t want to install correctly, and sensors-detect didn’t seem to work right. A variety of small, niggling problems that made me less than happy. So I started on a quest.

I had always kept a spare partition available for testing other distros. Now it got a workout. I tried Suse. I tried Fedora. I tried Mepsi, the Ubuntu family, Debian. I even dabbled with Gentoo, and Slackware. But none of them gave me that nice, comfortable feeling I had always gotten from Mandrake.

About ready to give up, I remembered a young man, nicknamed Texstar, who had been one of my favorite Mandrake “extras” developers. His rpms were considered to be second to none, and were always as good as, if not better than, the official repositories. He had forked his own distro from Mandrake 9. PCLinuxOS. An unimaginative name, to be sure. Still, this was Texstar’s work. It HAD to be pretty good, right? So I downloaded the latest release: 0.93a, an installable live-CD. I burned it, and booted it up. When it came up, my first thought was, “I’m home.”

My primary boot partition now holds PCLinuxOS, and I don’t see myself ever leaving. Not as long as Tex and his “Ripper Gang” remain responsive to his customers. And he has promised to keep providing the best distro he knows how to make, so I should be happy for a long time to come.



  1. And here I’m still waiting for someone to tell me which Linus distro I should start on. 😉

    Welcome back to the Blogosphere. I need to post something myself…

    Comment by WildWeazel — January 14, 2007 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  2. I found Ubuntu to be a good distro to try first when I last looked about, worked like a charm. Gentoo was a bloody nightmare, but Suse didn’t like my graphics card. (or possibly the other way around, my old Kyro2 was a bit knackered by then)

    Anyway, after an upgrade to an 64 bit machine I left Linux for a while, I’m still trying to get to grips with Win x64, bit of a steep learning curve from 98SE. 😉

    Comment by Crazy Eddie — January 21, 2007 @ 6:02 am | Reply

  3. Well, WildWeazel, You could always try PCLinuxOS (just wait a couple weeks – they’re finishing up the newest version.) 😉

    Crazy Eddie! Is that you? Why leave Linux for WIn xp64? Linux has supported 64-bit longer. (Okay, most 64-bit distros still have some work to do, but that’s largely because the 64-bit Linux drivers aren’t all there, yet.)

    Comment by Kevin (aka Padma) — January 26, 2007 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  4. Yes, it is indeed the ‘real’ me Padma, long time no see. 🙂

    Truth is, I didn’t really leave linux, it’s always been installed on my systems only for my own education. When I switched to 64 bit, my favoured distro (Ubuntu) didn’t have any drivers for my mobo network port at the time, and made things somewhat impossible to use as I couldn’t get access to the net.

    Getting things to work properly is bad enough on Win64, I still don’t have anything that will packet write to RW discs.

    Comment by crazy eddie — January 27, 2007 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

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