Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mandrake for AMD64

Distrowatch just recently reported that Mandriva (aka Mandrake Linux) is issuing betas for their Mandriva-Linux 2006.

When I was a standard member of their "club", they would not release the AMD64 version of 10.x to us (the standard members) for download. I couldn't believe it. I had been using, purchasing, and supporting them for a loooong time (since I don't know, version 7 or something). With that slap in the virtual face, I let my "membership" slide and bid them farewell. I just stopped worrying about Mandrake. Other more interesting distros were coming out anyway. I moved on, and hadn't even bothered checking on whether they'd ever changed their position on the matter until today...

Well, with the news of this beta I checked their Download Page to see if they might have been benevolent enough to finally release a 64-bit version of 10.x to the masses. To my surprise, they had. From the download page:
  1. Look for the Product Chart at the bottom of the page
  2. Click on the LE2005, 10.1 Official, Move link in the Download from Public FTP Mirrors section of the chart (bottom right. I cannot post the link directly, they have some kind of PHP/JavaScript action going on with it. It looks like link obfuscation to me. Typical...)
  3. This will take you to the mirrors listing.
  4. Use Ctrl+F in your FireFox browser (you do use FireFox right? ;-) to open the Find option
  5. Enter LE2005 ISO CD for x86_64 to find the mirrors section for the AMD64 version of MandrakeLinux 10.2
  6. Choose a download mirror in the country of your choice and let the downloading begin!
Just trying to make your life easier if you are interested in their stable release for AMD64..

If you are going to install it to a new partition on your drive. Do yourself a favor and create/format the partition before you begin the installation. It freaked out on my partition table and wanted to erase the whole drive. Uh, no thanks. I booted back into one of my other distros on the drive and carved an ext3 partition for Mandrake to live on. You may be able to do this during the install by going into the bash shell with Ctrl+F2 but if you do that create and format the partition. I didn't mke2fs -j /dev/hda14 after I made the partition during the install process in bash, so that's probably why it didn't see it. I dunno. Just don't let it waste you whole drive like it might think it wants to do!!!

The download offered is one CD ISO, not the DVD, so there is a lot of options missing. This is resolved using the update manager to add ftp_main & ftp_contrib sources to the selection (once you do this you can disable the CD as a source). For example you might add something like the following:





    Once you have these sources in place your selection of software available for installation increase many times over.

    For a "user friendly" distro they certainly have NOT made it convenient for AMD64 users. Of course it's completely within their rights not to offer it for free download at all. That, however does not generally sit well with members of the community who have been long time supporters of the distribution. Not well at all...

    PS This was an awful lot of grief for a distro I am only mildly interested in but I thought I would share my adventure at any rate. BTW, isn't "mandriva" a silly name. I couldn't believe it when they changed it. I think they were in a legal fight over the name "Mandrake" and just gave up. Still, "Mandriva"? Uh, that wouldn't have been my first or even last choice I think...

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