Updated: July 6, 2007
OK, by now you should know the drill. I'm going to install a popular, easy-to-use Linux distribution, complete with text instructions and images. This distribution is Mandriva, with GNOME desktop. Like before, I will use install it as a virtual machine using VMware Server.
What is Mandriva?
A very, very short introduction is in order. Mandriva was once known as Mandrake, but due to copyright bickering over the name, it was changed to Mandriva. Like most popular distributions, Mandriva gears toward either KDE or Gnome desktops, although it supports a range of others. It is unique in using its own wrapper for package management, called urpmi and programs known as Drakes.
You can read more about Mandriva on Wikipedia.
Now, some things you should be aware of before you venture any further:
First, this article builds on the concepts and ideas presented in my other Linux-related articles. I warmly recommend that you spend some extra time reading them BEFORE you start with this article, as I might omit some details that I have already extensively written about before. If you have read the other articles (and hopefully did the installations yourself), you should not have any problems with this article - or might not even need it. However, if this article is your first encounter with Linux, you might have some questions that are answered elsewhere.
Namely, for full step-by-step tutorials into the installation of some other Linux distributions, you should read:
To understand how to setup virtual machines, try VMware Player - A great friend.
To get into dual booting, try Dual booting - Windows & Linux - Full tutorial.
To learn about Linux command line, read Highly useful Linux commands & configurations.
Second, by the time you read this article, the latest Mandriva distribution may have changed. But this should not bother you at all. For example, at the time of conception of this article, the latest (K)ubuntu distribution was (is) Feisty Fawn (7.04). My (K)ubuntu tutorial is about the Dapper Drake (6.06). Does this make any difference? Not at all, as the visual changes are mostly cosmetic and for the average user, the transition should be transparent.
Ready? Let's install Mandriva.
What you will need for this task:
- A Mandriva distribution. You can find several available packages at the Mandriva download page. Mandriva One comes as a live CD installer; you can first test it as a live CD before you decide to install it, much like (K)ubuntu. Mandriva Free comes on a single DVD and can only be installed (without the live CD feature). Both are free for download. There is also a payware version. I will be installing Mandriva One 2007 Spring version.
- A computer with a modern processor, 256MB of RAM and a CD/DVD-ROM drive. My virtual machine will run with a whooping 512MB of RAM.
- Optionally, a virtualization product like VMware Player, VMware Server, VirtualBox, or others. I recommend the VMware Server, as the most wholesome package.
Like I said, I will be installing Mandriva with a GNOME desktop (I promised!). Alternatively, you can try the KDE desktop. Bear in mind that it is a bit more resource hungry than GNOME. That's about it. If you're ready, head on to the next page.
Warning for the 56K dial-up users: For the purpose of better readability, I will use full-size images rather than thumbnails that link to images. This may cause some slowdown during the loading of the pages.
Again, you do not have to really do any of this. You could just read and practice the next time you really install from scratch. But I suggest you try to follow the instructions and do it for yourself. You will only benefit from it.