Installing Mandriva Linux - Part 6


Intro    Page 1    Page 2    Page 3    Page 4    Page 5    Page 6    External links

Basic configurations - cont.

Security

Let's setup a firewall.

Mandriva security

Mandriva firewall 1

A nice addition is the interactivity feature. Most Linux firewalls are silent and require that you read logs to determine the scope of network activity. The Interactive Firewall allows you to participate in the active defense of your computers. The prompts will be nowhere near as noisy as a typical Windows session, but this is a sweet touch for Windows security addicts.

Mandriva firewall 2

Mandriva firewall 3

Once you get the hang of all Mandriva Control Center and its functionalities, you can toggle the Expert mode, under Options > Expert mode. This will make visible a number of options previously unavailable. For example, you will be able to fine tune the system permissions or setup audits.

Finally, under the Boot tab you will find how to configure your bootloader and boot menu, enable autologin for certain users, although I would not recommend this, and setup the graphical theme during the boot, in case you are bored.

Package management

Mandriva uses a urpmi package manager, which is based on the rpm manager. This means you will not have to suffer hunting for dependencies when installing a program, as they will be automatically taken care of. urpmi also works with Penguin Liberation Front ... I just had to write it ...

You can read more about these package managers on Wikipedia: urpmi, rpm.

How to use urpmi?

Well, it's very simple. Honestly.

To install package:

urpmi package_name

To remove package:

urpme package_name

To update the list of packages (similar to apt-get install update):

urpmi update -a

To update the system:

urpmi --autoselect

These are the basic commands that you will probably want to use. You can also refer to the official site and help files for more information on other commands and switches. Of course, if you do not want to use the command line, you can always revert to rpmdrake graphical software manager, available via the Control Center.

Mandriva rpmdrake

Applications

Like most Linux distributions, Mandriva comes with a plethora of goodies for instant use. You'll have the Firefox browser, Evolution mail client, GIMP and Inkscape for graphics, Kino, Rhythmbox, Serpentine, Sound Juice for multimedia, OpenOffice for serious writing, as well as many other useful applications.

Mandriva applications

Other configurations

This is probably where my ominous claim at the beginning of the article kicks in. I will not elaborate into the setup of Internet Connection Sharing, printer and network sharing, and some other quite important configurations, as they are thoroughly covered in the other articles.

Furthermore, a testimony unto Mandriva is the fact that most of the stuff mentioned can easily be configured using the versatile Control Center. Well, I think this pretty much covers it.

Conclusion

Mandriva is a fairly simple and friendly distribution for everyone. It is geared toward the inexperienced user with the very graphical approach. Nevertheless, advanced users will be able to enjoy the command line, as God intended. It's stable and robust and I have not encountered any glitches or bugs during the usage.

In my opinion, it's a bit less sharp than SUSE but a lot friendlier, on par with (K)ubuntu in terms of friendliness but slightly less appealing. Overall, it's a good choice for anyone who wishes to try Linux and has feared due to fairytale misconceptions and massive propaganda on behalf of the naughty people out there.

If you have followed this article through and hopefully installed and tested the distribution for yourself, you have made an important step into the world of Linux.

You have learned how to install yet another distribution (and successfully overcome the partitioning woes). You have become familiar with the GNOME desktop manager. You have learned to get around in Mandriva, configure network and install drivers. You have learned how to use the urpmi package manager, manage software and update your system. If you twine this new knowledge with the power of the command line, you will have a highly productive and effective environment that will not lag behind anything you have mastered in Windows so far. I have intended to make this guide shorter, but apparently I am unable to do that. Have fun and enjoy.

Links:

Mandriva official site
Mandriva download pages
Mandriva forums

urpmi package manager
rpm package manager

Other articles:

Installing SUSE Linux - Full tutorial
Installing (K)ubuntu Linux - Full tutorial
Installing Slackware Linux - Full Tutorial
VMware Player - A great friend
Dual booting - Windows & Linux - Full tutorial
Highly useful Linux commands & configurations

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