The Perfect Desktop - Mandriva 2007 Spring Free (Mandriva 2007.1)

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Tue, 2007-05-08 16:08. :: Mandriva | Desktop

The Perfect Desktop - Mandriva 2007 Spring Free (Mandriva 2007.1)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
Last edited 05/06/2007

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Mandriva 2007 Spring Free (Mandriva 2007.1) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

To fully replace a Windows desktop, I want the Mandriva 2007 Spring Free desktop to have the following software installed:

Graphics:

  • The GIMP - free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • F-Spot - full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
  • Google Picasa - application for organizing and editing digital photos

Internet:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Flash Player 9
  • gFTP - multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird - email and news client
  • Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • aMule - P2P file sharing application
  • Bittorrent client
  • Azureus - Java Bittorrent client
  • Gaim - multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Xchat IRC - IRC client

Office:

  • OpenOffice Writer - replacement for Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice Calc - replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Reader
  • GnuCash - double-entry book-keeping personal finance system, similar to Quicken
  • Scribus - open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok - audio player
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer - media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player - audio player, similar to Apple's iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod - software similar to Apple's iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy program
  • Kino - free digital video editor
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player - media player (video/audio)
  • Real Player
  • Totem - media player (video/audio)
  • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • GnomeBaker - CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:

  • Nvu- WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Bluefish - text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages
  • Quanta Plus - web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor

Other:

  • VMware Server - lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don't have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts
  • Java

Mandriva 2007 Spring Free lets you choose between multiple desktop environments (GNOME, KDE). I've decided to install GNOME in this article.

What's quite impressive about Mandriva 2007 Spring Free is that you don't need the command line at all to set up the system, with two little exceptions: Adobe Reader and VMware Server.

I will use the username falko in this tutorial, and I will download all necessary files to falko's desktop which is equivalent to the directory /home/falko/Desktop. If you use another username (which you most probably do ;-)), please replace falko with your own username. So when I use a command like

cd /home/falko/Desktop

you must replace falko.

 

2 Installing The Base System

Download the Mandriva 2007 Spring Free DVD iso image from http://www.mandriva.com/en/download/free (please note that not all mirrors have the DVD iso image - in that case, select another mirror or download it via BitTorrent), burn it onto a DVD, and boot your computer from it. At the boot prompt, select Install Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring on your system:

Select your language:

Accept the license agreement:

Set the security level to Standard, as is recommended for internet clients. You can leave the Security Administrator field empty:

Mandriva's default partitioning scheme is ok for our purposes, so you can select Use free space. Afterwards the hard drive will be partitioned.

Click on Next on the following screen:

Under Package Group Selection, select the following groups (de-select all other groups):

  • Office Workstation
  • Game station
  • Multimedia station
  • Internet station
  • Network Computer (client)
  • Configuration
  • Console Tools
  • Development
  • GNOME Workstation

Also check Individual package selection:

On the Individual package selection screen, select mplayer-gui, xine-arts, xine-ui (under Workstation > Multimedia station) and mozilla-thunderbird, xchat (under Workstation > Internet station). If additional packages have to be installed as a dependency, the installer will tell you. Afterwards, click on Install:

Answer the question Do you really want to install these servers? with Yes:

The installation starts. If you click on Details, you can see what's happening behind the scenes:


Please do not use the comment function to ask for help! If you need help, please use our forum.
Comments will be published after administrator approval.
Submitted by falko (registered user) on Fri, 2007-05-11 13:56.
When there's both a PLF and an MDV version of a package, they're usually exactly the same (PLF and MDV actually share several .src.rpms) except that some legally dubious features are enabled in the PLF package but not in the MDV package. So it usually makes more sense to install the PLF package than the MDV one. This is the case for, for e.g., xine, gtkpod and vlc in the list of packages. The PLF builds all include support for patent-encumbered codecs that aren't enabled in the MDV build.
Submitted by AdamW (registered user) on Fri, 2007-05-11 07:48.

Thanks to Falko for this great guide! Just some extra pointers:
In addition to the methods listed here, there's also a simple official way to add the official Mandriva software repositories. It's explained at the Wiki -  http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Docs/Basic_tasks/Installing_and_removing_software
Setting up repositories with this method will set up the official non-free repository. This repository contains the Java plugin, so it is not necessary to download it from MCNL as recommended in the article: you can just install the java-1.5.0-sun-plugin package.
Finally, please note that the Mandriva GTKPod package does in fact install a menu entry. It's just that if you switch to the GNOME menu system as Falko recommends, you don't see it, as the GNOME menus do not cover all applications. If you stick with the default Mandriva menu system, you will see the GTKPod menu entry. Also contrary to what the article says, GTKPod does come with an icon: /usr/share/icons/gtkpod.png . There are larger and smaller versions in /usr/share/icons/large and /usr/share/icons/mini .
Thanks again to Falco for the guide!
Adam Williamson
Mandriva