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Mandrake Woes - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I got a cheap computer from eBay for a Linux box, a Kayak XAs, monitor cables finally arrived so I could see what I'm doing. I got Mandrake from eBay, a 7 CD set for around $5 including shipping. Couldn't figure out why it was so cheap. Installation was fun and easy for the first disk. When it said to insert the second disk it just hung there, and eventually said there was an error installing some package, continue? Yes. Error installing another package, continue? Yes. Eventually I gave up, started over clicking "cancel" to skip CD 2. It said ...

  1. #1

    Default Mandrake Woes


    I got a cheap computer from eBay for a Linux box, a Kayak XAs, monitor
    cables finally arrived so I could see what I'm doing. I got Mandrake from
    eBay, a 7 CD set for around $5 including shipping. Couldn't figure out
    why it was so cheap.

    Installation was fun and easy for the first disk. When it said to insert
    the second disk it just hung there, and eventually said there was an error
    installing some package, continue? Yes. Error installing another
    package, continue? Yes. Eventually I gave up, started over clicking
    "cancel" to skip CD 2. It said to insert International CD 3, so I stuck
    in the International CD which was my CD 7, and it didn't like that. So I
    tried my CD 3 and it didn't like that. Eventually the install finished
    with just the first disk.

    Maybe that's why it was so cheap. There's still stuff on the other disks,
    but it's as if the Install disk were made for something else.

    If I have a working setup, I can add stuff later. But my monitor is stuck
    in crappy mode, the 640x480 strobe light. It's an AuroraVision that
    doesn't appear in the hardware list, but I'd entered the settings and it
    told me I'd have to restart GNOME before the setting take effect. Which
    is kind of frustrating because on my Mac I enter a resolution and refresh
    rate and it's set immediately, and if the screen goes wonky it resets in a
    few seconds. I know immediately that something is happening and whether
    it worked. But when I restarted Gnome the settings didn't take effect, I
    still had a cramped strobe light. I've found a few places to enter
    monitor settings, but it didn't seem to take in any of them.

    My modem settings didn't seem to take, either. It's an ISA modem that
    came with an Optiplex PII 233 MHz, however old that is. There are no
    markings on the modem that I know how to relate to a brand or
    manufacturer, but the computer said it detected a modem. But my ISP
    information doesn't seem to take. I enter the phone number, user name,
    password, DNS servers, etc., and test the connection and nothing happens.
    Then I go back to the networking wizard and most or all of the fields are
    blank, or all but the first few digits of the phone number were gone.
    Weird.

    What's going on there?

    I'd like to think I could spend $50 on "real" CDs from the Mandrake store
    and all the problems would be solved, but then I imagine spending $50 and
    being exactly where I am now, except $50 poorer.
    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 02:01:24 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: 

    I've had a few installations go like that. I bought some Debian disks
    where only the installer was readable. It loaded up, partitioned my hard
    drive, then couldn't read anything else, leaving me with a lovely blank
    partitioned drive.
     

    Ack!!
     

    Setting up X can be really complicated. I have no idea how Mandrake does
    it.
     

    If it's a Plug-n-Play modem you'll probably need the isapnp tools to give
    your modem the magic wiggly bits to know what it's supposed to do. Or
    something. (I haven't done that in years. PCI is nice.)
     

    Hard to say. One of the files that didn't get installed right might be
    one that is needed to store the information you're trying to enter. And
    getting the modem to work is a whole other issue, of course.
     

    Two questions: do you specifically need *Mandrake*, and do you have a CD
    burner on your Mac?

    You might want to consider Debian, which can be downloaded and installed
    completely over the internet. Having a CD burner will make it easier, but
    I've done it from floppies. You can get a minimal install going with a
    few floppies, then get your modem going (with, ah, luck and persistence)
    then download the rest of the system.

    I've also got copies of SuSE 8.1, Redhat, er... 7.2, 7.3, 8-something, and
    maybe 9 around, along with Debian "Woody". I could make copies of any of
    these and mail them to you.


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    Laurel Amberdine wrote:
     
    >
    > I've had a few installations go like that. I bought some Debian disks
    > where only the installer was readable. It loaded up, partitioned my hard
    > drive, then couldn't read anything else, leaving me with a lovely blank
    > partitioned drive.

    >
    > Ack!!

    >
    > Setting up X can be really complicated. I have no idea how Mandrake does
    > it.

    >
    > If it's a Plug-n-Play modem you'll probably need the isapnp tools to give
    > your modem the magic wiggly bits to know what it's supposed to do. Or
    > something. (I haven't done that in years. PCI is nice.)

    >
    > Hard to say. One of the files that didn't get installed right might be
    > one that is needed to store the information you're trying to enter. And
    > getting the modem to work is a whole other issue, of course.

    >
    > Two questions: do you specifically need *Mandrake*, and do you have a CD
    > burner on your Mac?
    >
    > You might want to consider Debian, which can be downloaded and installed
    > completely over the internet. Having a CD burner will make it easier, but
    > I've done it from floppies. You can get a minimal install going with a
    > few floppies, then get your modem going (with, ah, luck and persistence)
    > then download the rest of the system.
    >
    > I've also got copies of SuSE 8.1, Redhat, er... 7.2, 7.3, 8-something, and
    > maybe 9 around, along with Debian "Woody". I could make copies of any of
    > these and mail them to you.
    >
    >[/ref]
    To get Mandrake working, you need CD2. If you were unable to install files
    from it, there is no wonder that things aren't behaving. Were the disks
    for a Mac? I doubt very much whether you would finish up "exactly where
    you are" by purchasing reliable CDs. What version of Mandrake is it? The
    latest is 9.2 - just out. If you are just starting out with Linux, I would
    advise you to take up Laurel's offer. Play around with a distro - even an
    old edition - and get a feel for the features you want.

    HTH,

    Doug.
    --
    Registered Linux User No. 277548.
    They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place. My typing is
    about as accurate. Apologies for any typos that slip in. - Doug.
    Doug Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    ucs.indiana.edu (Gregory L. Hansen) writes:


    ]I got a cheap computer from eBay for a Linux box, a Kayak XAs, monitor
    ]cables finally arrived so I could see what I'm doing. I got Mandrake from
    ]eBay, a 7 CD set for around $5 including shipping. Couldn't figure out
    ]why it was so cheap.

    ]Installation was fun and easy for the first disk. When it said to insert
    ]the second disk it just hung there, and eventually said there was an error
    ]installing some package, continue? Yes. Error installing another
    ]package, continue? Yes. Eventually I gave up, started over clicking
    ]"cancel" to skip CD 2. It said to insert International CD 3, so I stuck
    ]in the International CD which was my CD 7, and it didn't like that. So I
    ]tried my CD 3 and it didn't like that. Eventually the install finished
    ]with just the first disk.

    ]Maybe that's why it was so cheap. There's still stuff on the other disks,
    ]but it's as if the Install disk were made for something else.

    ]If I have a working setup, I can add stuff later. But my monitor is stuck
    ]in crappy mode, the 640x480 strobe light. It's an AuroraVision that
    ]doesn't appear in the hardware list, but I'd entered the settings and it
    ]told me I'd have to restart GNOME before the setting take effect. Which
    ]is kind of frustrating because on my Mac I enter a resolution and refresh
    ]rate and it's set immediately, and if the screen goes wonky it resets in a
    ]few seconds. I know immediately that something is happening and whether
    ]it worked. But when I restarted Gnome the settings didn't take effect, I
    ]still had a cramped strobe light. I've found a few places to enter
    ]monitor settings, but it didn't seem to take in any of them.

    ]My modem settings didn't seem to take, either. It's an ISA modem that
    ]came with an Optiplex PII 233 MHz, however old that is. There are no
    ]markings on the modem that I know how to relate to a brand or
    ]manufacturer, but the computer said it detected a modem. But my ISP
    ]information doesn't seem to take. I enter the phone number, user name,
    ]password, DNS servers, etc., and test the connection and nothing happens.
    ]Then I go back to the networking wizard and most or all of the fields are
    ]blank, or all but the first few digits of the phone number were gone.
    ]Weird.

    ]What's going on there?

    ]I'd like to think I could spend $50 on "real" CDs from the Mandrake store
    ]and all the problems would be solved, but then I imagine spending $50 and
    ]being exactly where I am now, except $50 poorer.
    Or you could download the new Mandrake 9.2 and burn that onto
    CDs for the cost of the CDs. Or get a good set of
    CDs from somewhere like cheapbytes. Or order from Mandrake, or...
    Sounds to me like you got a bum set of CDs You also seem to have trouble
    setting up your video card. Hard to tell from here with no information.
    You also do not tell us which program you use to try to connect to the
    net with? kppp?

    Yes, Linux is not as advanced as Mac or Win is in setting the screen
    resolution.You do NOT have to reboot. You just need to restart your X.

    Bill Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    In article <bmqfi0$pca8b$news.uni-berlin.de>,
    Laurel Amberdine <com> wrote: 
     
    >
    >Ack!![/ref]

    Yes, the standard for public terminals at libraries, kiosks, and wherever
    there be computers, with geeks locked out of the control panel and any
    hope of doing something about it. The 640x480 strobe light, providing
    headaches and eye strain for... well, a long time, anyway.
     

    I don't know if it's a PnP modem. I thinking of just getting another,
    they cost around $20, but I'd want to rule out software issues, first.
     
    >
    >Two questions: do you specifically need *Mandrake*, and do you have a CD
    >burner on your Mac?[/ref]

    I took to Mandrake because it was suggested as a distribution that's easy
    for the beginner to set up and likely to work on any random collection of
    equipment. There's a computer store near me whose Linux support consists
    of a few Red Had boxes laying around, I could always pick up one of those.
     

    I have a burner at work. You like Debian?
     

    That's a kind offer. I'll see how things go on this end, first.

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    In article <mydomain.org.au>,
    Doug Laidlaw <com.au> wrote:
     

    If I need CD2, I suppose some problems wouldn't be a big surprise. I
    didn't want to be too quick to blame Mandrake for what might just be
    crappy media. I think it was supposed to be Mandrake 9.1.

    --
    "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the
    truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams before they have been
    put to the proof by the waking understanding." -- Friedrich August Kekulé
    Gregory Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 13:15:15 +0000 (UTC),
    ucs.indiana.edu (Gregory L. Hansen) wrote:

    <snip>
     

    Mandrake used to be my favorite distribution, because its setup and
    tools were nice. However, I've upgraded my PC several times since
    then, and now it seems that Mandrake's graphical installer doesn't
    like my PC. When it comes up, it just freezes my computer with the
    caps lock and scroll lock flashing (a common sign for Linux when
    something goes wrong, but I still don't know exactly what it means).
    I've been able to install it on my PC in text mode, but then I had
    problems installing some drivers & stuff.

    My point is, Mandrake is good, but on some hardware, it seems to be a
    headache.. I ended up installing RedHat 9 on my machine, and it works
    well.

    Eric
    Eric Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    Le Sat, 18 Oct 2003 02:01:24 +0000, Gregory L. Hansen a écritÂ:
     

    seems somebody sell broken Mandrake install.

    You may find real iso images of Mandrake and checksums here:

    ftp://ftp.rutgers.edu/pub/mandrake/Mandrake/iso/

    others mirors :

    http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3


    Michel.
    Michel Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 13:15:15 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen <ucs.indiana.edu> wrote: [/ref]
     
    >
    > I don't know if it's a PnP modem. I thinking of just getting another,
    > they cost around $20, but I'd want to rule out software issues, first.[/ref]

    I forgot to ask (or maybe you already said, and I forgot that) does your
    modem have jumpers on it? That could make things a lot easier.
     
    >>
    >>Two questions: do you specifically need *Mandrake*, and do you have a CD
    >>burner on your Mac?[/ref]
    >
    > I took to Mandrake because it was suggested as a distribution that's easy
    > for the beginner to set up and likely to work on any random collection of
    > equipment.[/ref]

    Hmm.
     

    I wouldn't suggest Red Hat, personally. The latest distributions are
    aimed at a corporate market. A dialup connecion isn't even part of
    the standard setup. They also expect pretty modern hardware. OTOH, there
    are a lot of people using Red Hat, so you could certainly get help more
    easily.
     
    >
    > I have a burner at work. You like Debian?[/ref]

    I like Debian very much. Just about every application that ever worked
    with Linux is in a Debian distribution. Package installation, removal,
    and upgrading is *much* easier with .deb packages than with RPMs (which
    are used by Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE). The new installer is very easy.
    They say you could teach a chicken to install Debian now: just keep
    hitting enter.

    The "difficult" part about Debian is that configuration is (mostly) done
    through text files. Of course, configuration actually *is* always through
    text files in Linux. Some distributions have written pretty graphical
    interfaces to create the configuration files. This is nice and easy until
    something doesn't work and you have no idea what to change or how.
    Debian packages always have man pages, and the configuration files are
    commented with clear examples.

    Right now I'm running SuSE though, because my hardware is too new for
    Debian. :( It's fine, but when something goes wrong and the setup tools
    can't fix it, I'm lost.
     
    >
    > That's a kind offer. I'll see how things go on this end, first.[/ref]

    Good luck! I'm sure you can get something working.


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    Eric <> writes:

    ]On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 13:15:15 +0000 (UTC),
    ]ucs.indiana.edu (Gregory L. Hansen) wrote:

    ]<snip>

    ]>I took to Mandrake because it was suggested as a distribution that's easy
    ]>for the beginner to set up and likely to work on any random collection of
    ]>equipment. There's a computer store near me whose Linux support consists
    ]>of a few Red Had boxes laying around, I could always pick up one of those.

    ]Mandrake used to be my favorite distribution, because its setup and
    ]tools were nice. However, I've upgraded my PC several times since
    ]then, and now it seems that Mandrake's graphical installer doesn't
    ]like my PC. When it comes up, it just freezes my computer with the
    ]caps lock and scroll lock flashing (a common sign for Linux when
    ]something goes wrong, but I still don't know exactly what it means).
    ]I've been able to install it on my PC in text mode, but then I had
    ]problems installing some drivers & stuff.

    ]My point is, Mandrake is good, but on some hardware, it seems to be a
    ]headache.. I ended up installing RedHat 9 on my machine, and it works
    ]well.


    That is usually a kernel problem. Mandrake uses the Linux kenrel with
    some patches. You need to figure out at what stage it is is freezing.

    Bill Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mandrake Woes

    On 18 Oct 2003 20:47:38 GMT, Laurel Amberdine <com> wrote: [/ref]

    >>
    >> That's a kind offer. I'll see how things go on this end, first.[/ref]
    >
    > Good luck! I'm sure you can get something working.[/ref]

    Greg, I'm having trouble emailing you. Don't know what is going on, but
    I'll keep trying. I am working on getting the disks made.


    --
    - Laurel * * * http://amberdine.com

    Laurel Guest

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