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This chapter is from the book

A Mandrake Linux Install

For this Mandrake install, I used version 10.0.

Reboot your system with the installation CD in the drive. Mandrake boots with a graphical screen with two options. Pressing <F1> enables you to choose between text and low-resolution install modes; the default is the standard graphical install. Press <Enter> and you are on your way.

Basic hardware detection takes place at this time, and the installer is loaded into memory. In a few seconds, you'll be at the main install screen. On the left side of the screen, there's a set of steps, each with a light beside the label to let you know roughly where you are in the installation process. The first of these steps involves selecting your preferred language for installation; there are many, and they are organized by continent to help you narrow things down. Select your language of choice, or click OK to accept the English (American) default and continue. On the next screen, read the license agreement to learn about the GPL and related licenses, click the Accept radio button, then click Next.

The next screen deals with security. Mandrake's default install lets you choose among four security levels. What each level allows or denies is documented on the page. Take a moment to read it, and choose the level that works for you. Most people choose the default of Standard.

Mandrake's install then automatically detects your hard drive, which means it is time to set up your file systems. The options here involve erasing the entire disk, doing your own custom disk partitioning, or using the free space on the Windows partition. This is quite interesting, because it enables you to automatically resize the Windows partition, making use of the free space in order to install Mandrake. Remember, the only caveat is that the Windows disk must be defragmented first.

The default option is Use Free Space, and that is probably what you should choose. Click OK to continue. The partitions are created and formatted, and a list of available packages is pulled from the install disk. Now, it is time to decide what kind of a system you want. You will be looking at the Package Group Selection screen. A standard Mandrake install is a Workstation install, and that's where the emphasis is placed with the defaults. Office Workstation is automatically selected, as is Internet Station. That means you get your word processors and spreadsheets, as well as email clients and web browsers. If you want to play games and music, you should click on Game Station and Multimedia Station.

Once again, if you want to be able to compile programs—those bleeding- edge new programs—you should also click on Development. In addition, I recommend Configuration and Console Tools to help with system configuration. Network Computer (client) provides the SSH client. In an office situation, you will most certainly want that as well.

Before you move on, look over on the right. If this computer will be a server, you may wish to add web, FTP, email, and database servers. Pause your mouse pointer over the choices to see a tool tip containing a short description of what each server offers. Finally, look under Graphical Environment where the KDE environment is selected by default. You may, however, want to choose GNOME here as well. Furthermore, if you would like to experiment with even more desktop environments at some future time, consider checking on Other Graphical Desktops. This loads WindowMaker, IceWM, and others. At the bottom of the screen, there's a check box labeled Individual Package Selection, which enables you review your choices and add or remove items as you see fit.

Click Next, and the package installation begins. You'll be treated to a little slide show telling you about Open Source software, Mandrake products, joining the Mandrake Club, and information about the various things that come with your Mandrake system. In short, the show tells you why you are going to love working with Mandrake Linux. Depending on the choices you made, you may need to switch the CD at some point.

When the installation completes, you are asked to choose a root password, after which you have the opportunity to create one or more normal users. You need to create only one at this time. Notice that the Mandrake install lets you choose a representative icon for your users. Just click on the icon, and select one that suits you. I particularly like the cat myself. After entering your information, click Accept User, then click Next (unless you are adding multiple users, of course).

Mandrake then asks you to choose your default Window manager. KDE is displayed as the default, and that will do nicely. You can also choose to have the system automatically log in a single user on boot. Although this is fine for a home user who is the only user on the system, I highly recommend that others, particularly those in office environments, make sure this check box is off.

Click Next to continue and view a summary screen of various hardware options, such as printer, sound card, network, and so on. Some of these will be configured already, but others may need to be set up (the Network/LAN option, for instance). Click the Configure button to make changes. In most cases, a wizard will take you through the various choices available. The installer is very good at autodetection of printers, network connections, and graphical interfaces, so if you aren't sure, take the defaults. When you are happy with all your choices, click Next.

Figure 3.1Figure 3-1 Your Mandrake 10 desktop, ready for use.

You're almost done! Ideally, you should have a live Internet connection at this point and high-speed access, because the packages can be substantial. Downloading the updates can take a long time if your only connection is a dial-up modem. What Mandrake does here is provide you with a chance to load and install any updates and security fixes that may have been released since the OS first came out. Select Yes, then click Next to start the update, but remember what I said about high-speed access.

That's it. Click Reboot to reboot, and make sure that you take the CD out of the drive when it is ejected. Take a look at Figure 3-1 for a look at a Mandrake 10 desktop.

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