Installing Mandriva
A very brief guide.
A/ The Normal Install

1/ Boot from DVD

On starting the computer we need to select 'boot from CD'. With modern computers F12 during boot does usually work, but it varies from computer to computer.
With old computers we may need to set the bios so that the first boot device is 'CD'.

2/ On first menu select 'Install'.

3/ When it comes to the partitioning select custom.
We need to resize the Windows partition to make space for the Mandriva.
As a rule of thumb divide the hard disk in two.
Now during this process we frequently find that we cannot resize the partition as it reports Windows errors.
At this point you may need to go back into the Windows and run Disk Check and Defrag. This should be done in any case. But, where you do get this problem you may need to repeat the process several times.
Always when shutting down the Windows do be very careful and always let it shutdown normally.

4/ Now once you have made the space for the Mandriva system you can do 'auto-allocate' when it will now create a '/' partition, about 8GB, a swap partition and a '/home' partition which will occupy the rest of the allowed space.

5/ Now it will present page to choose 'KDE', 'Gnome' or 'Custom'. I suggest choose 'Custom', on the next page untick 'KDE', tick 'Gnome' and   'games'.

6/ Now just let it install, it typically takes about 35 minutes.

7/ On this page put in a root password. This should be reasonably secure and not associated with your name or your location.
Then put in a User name.
On passwords I usually keep it the same as the user name but in lower case. You can always change the password later in a terminal window.

8/ After the installation it will try and bring up the ethernet, so if possible make an ethernet connection available. Hopefully you do already have broadband and a router.

9/ It will offer to do updates. Let it do these, especially if your computer is fairly new, since the updates may be essental for that computer.

10/ Once it has finished the updates it will eject the DVD, which you can now take out.

11/ Reboot the computer and now go into the Mandriva Control Center by  'Applications' - 'Administration' - 'Configure your computer'.
Select 'Software - Configure Media'. De Select the 4 CDROM lines and enable 'Configure media sources' (if it did not already successfully bring up the Internet during the install process).

12 Now go back to 'Install & Remove Software'.
Install 'flphoto' and 'Chromium-Browser' and 'Thunderbird' (if you require an email client).

When there are updates to be done a red icon will appear then you can enable this with your normal password (not root). If a blue icon then there are restricted repositories to be added. But you require a subscription to Mandriva to enable these. But, in fact, the only thing you need worry about here is the Adobe Flash. You can, in any case, download this from (use the rpm version).

Where you are using the free version of Mandriva you may additionally require some drivers for the display and sound. If you have subscribed to the Power Pack version then a lot of proprietary drivers are already included.

Ah! you thought that you were finished!

13/  Now, using Firefox browse to
Scroll down the page and you will find 'Mandriva linux', click on that. Now, on this next page, click on 'Easy urpmi'. Scroll down the page and click on the button 'Add PLF medias'.

Install these extra repositories (it will ask for the root password) and now go back to the previous page.

14/ On this page are two lines beginning with urpmi.
Open a terminal window type su and enter and then put your root password and enter.
Now put in 'urpmi wxvlc vlc-plugin-a52 vlc-plugin-ogg vlc-plugin-mad libmatroska0' that is the whole line except 'libdvdplay0'.
It will offer to put in a number of packages, accept those.
Now put in 'urpmi libdvdcss2'.

15/ While you are in the terminal as root it is convenient to put in some more packages.
Put in 'urpmi lame audacity grip mozilla-thunderbird' (if you had not already included Thunderbird earlier). I suggest also that you 'urpmi k3b' for a superb CD/DVD burning program.
and now put in 'urpme codeina' (to remove codeina).
'Lame' is the encryption software for making mp3 files and 'grip' enables you to rip your audio CDs to mp3.

I do suggest that you should include a few games, including kmahjongg and pysol as computers are pretty dull if they do not have a few games, besides which they are very useful in boosting the confidence of newcomers.

16/ Of course you may also need to install a printer and a scanner, this can be done through the 'Mandriva Control Console' - MCC. Remember the easiest printers to install are those from HP while Epsom are generally fairly easy. Canon are often tricky as you may have to visit Japan or Australia for drivers, if they are available at all. I have had success with printers from Brother when I found drivers on their website, while Lexmark are the most difficult. Dell these days have drivers for their more recent printers so they are now quite easy.

I think that is it for the moment, but, there are lots of useful programs available for this system in the Mandriva repositories and available elsewhere on the internet although some is available as 'tarballs' requiring compiling.

I shall be putting some more information here and probably a few images as as I can.

B/ Connecting the Wi-Fi

Working without Ethernet.
When one has no access to ethernet but you do have access to a Wi-Fi access point one is able to connect providing that you are using either the 'Mandriva One' disk or the 'Mandriva PWP' disk.
Specifically there is a firmware package required for the Wi-Fi card and this is on those particular disks. It is not included on the free versions.
Where you have installed from the free version, in my case with and eee, I have only to find the rt2860-firmware file and to double click that and install it.

1/ Do the installation normally as above.

2/ Re-Boot the system go into the Mandriva Control Console (System - Administration - 'Configure Your Computer') and then set up the Wi-Fi (Network & Internet).

3/ Configure the required Wi-Fi connection and put in the encryption key as required.

You may need to reboot having done this and then it should be connected OK.

19 May 2011