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The Perfect Desktop – Mandriva 2008 Free (Mandriva 2008.0)


This tutorial shows how you can set up a Mandriva 2008 Free (Mandriva 2008.0) 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 2008 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
  • FileZilla – 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
  • Pidgin– 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:

  • KompoZer – WYSIWYG HTML editor (based on Nvu), 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
  • Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

Mandriva 2008 Free lets you choose between multiple desktop environments (GNOME, KDE). I’ve decided to install GNOME in this article.

I’m using the Mandriva 2008 DVD in this tutorial to set up the system. You can find the download here: http://www.mandriva.com/en/download, e.g. mandriva-linux-2008.0-free-dvd-i586.iso. The procedure might differ if you use the Mandriva 2008 CDs instead of the DVD.

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 2008 Free DVD iso image from http://www.mandriva.com/en/download, burn it onto a DVD, and boot your computer from it. At the boot prompt, select Install Mandriva Linux 2008 on your system:

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Select your language:

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Accept the license agreement:

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

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Click on Next on the following screen:

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Under Package Group Selection, choose Install Mandriva GNOME Desktop:

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

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Afterwards, provide a root password and create a regular user account (e.g. falko) and click on Next:

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Afterwards, select your monitor model and the screen resolution that it supports (normally a suitable model is pre-selected):

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Now the installer presents us a summary of the installation and gives us the possibility to change settings by clicking on the appropriate Configure button. First of all we adjust our keyboard layout (if you don’t have a US keyboard…):

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Click on More to get a list of all available keyboard layouts, then select the appropriate layout and click on Next:

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Next we configure the time zone we’re in:

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On the next screen select hardware clock set to UTC, Automatic time synchronization (using NTP), and for NTP Server choose All servers:

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Next we change the Security Level:

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Select Standard as the Security level (all other security levels are too restrictive) and leave the field Security Administrator empty:

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Next you can check your graphics card configuration by clicking on the Configure button right of Graphical interface.

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You can use the following buttons to change settings if necessary. If the settings are ok, click on Next:

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Back on the Summary screen, hit the Next button:

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We will install updates later on from our Mandriva desktop, so select No on the Updates screen and hit Next:

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The basic installation is finished now, so remove the DVD from the DVD drive and click on Reboot:

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After the reboot, the First Time wizard comes up. You can use it to create an account with the Mandriva user community, answer a survey, submit your hardware details to Mandriva, etc.. Click on Next:

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If you don’t want to submit any details, click on Decline on each of the following three screens:

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If you don’t want to submit any details, click on Decline on each of the following three screens:

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Finally, click on Finish to leave the wizard:

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Afterwards, log in to your Mandriva desktop:

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Afterwards, log in to your Mandriva desktop:

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This is how your new Mandriva 2008.0 desktop looks like:

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3 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now lets browse all menus under Applications to see which of our needed applications are already installed:

You should find the following situation ([x] marks an application that is already installed, where [ ] is an application that is missing):

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[ ] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[ ] Bittorrent
[ ] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[ ] Amarok
[ ] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Real Player
[x] Totem
[ ] Xine
[ ] GnomeBaker
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[ ] KompoZer (Nvu)
[ ] Bluefish
[ ] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[ ] True Type fonts
[ ] Java
[ ] NTFS Read-/Write Support

So some applications are already on the system…

 

4 Add Online Software Repositories

In this step we will add some online repositories that contain all packages from our DVD plus updated packages plus additional packages that are not on the DVD. As this makes the DVD redundant, we will remove them from the repository list.

Visit http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/ in your browser and follow the wizard. Enable the following repositories:

  • contrib
  • contrib_updates
  • main
  • main_updates
  • plf-free
  • plf-nonfree

In the end, the wizard will show you a list of commands to run to change the repositories list of your Mandriva desktop:

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In the end, the wizard will show you a list of commands to run to change the repositories list of your Mandriva desktop:

hjuh

Now open a terminal (Applications > Tools > Terminal):

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Become root by typing:

su

Then run the commands from the wizard, e.g.:

urpmi.addmedia –update plf-free ftp://ftp.mandrivauser.cz/plf/mandriva/2008.0/free/release/binary/i586/ with media_info/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia –update plf-nonfree ftp://ftp.mandrivauser.cz/plf/mandriva/2008.0/non-free/release/binary/i586/ with media_info/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia contrib ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/MandrivaLinux/official/2008.0/i586/media/contrib/release with media_info/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia –update contrib_updates ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/MandrivaLinux/official/2008.0/i586/media/contrib/updates with media_info/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia main ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/MandrivaLinux/official/2008.0/i586/media/main/release with media_info/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia –update main_updates ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/MandrivaLinux/official/2008.0/i586/media/main/updates with media_info/hdlist.cz

And to remove the Mandriva DVD from the repository list, run

urpmi.removemedia “Mandriva Linux – 2008.0 (Free) – Installer”

urpmi.removemedia “Mandriva Linux – 2008.0 (Free) – Installer (contrib)”

 

5 Update The System

Most probably the packages on our new online repositories are more up-to-date than the ones we installed from our Mandriva DVD. Therefore let’s update our system now.

Open the Control Center:

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Type in the root password:

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Go to Software Management > Update your system:

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Click on Yes when you’re asked Is it ok to continue?:

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When you’re asked Do you want to add media sources now?, answer No – we’ve already set up our repositories, so we don’t need to do this again:

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Allow the system to contact the online repositories:

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The system will contact the repositories to find new updates:

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Afterwards, all available updates are shown to you. To install them all, click on Update:

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The system shows you all packages that are going to be installed in an extra window. Confirm by clicking on Yes:

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Afterwards, the updates are being downloaded and installed:

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Afterwards, the list of available updates should be empty in the Software Packages Update window. Click on Quit to leave the software updater:

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6 Find Out Your Kernel Version

Before we go on and install additional software, it’s a good idea to find out about your kernel version because in chapter 7 we will install the package kernel-source which is needed by VMware Server (which we will install at the end of this tutorial). There might be multiple kernel-source packages available, and to select the right one you need to know your kernel version.

To find out about your kernel version, open a terminal (Applications > Tools > Terminal) and become root:

su

Then run

uname -r

The output should look like this:

[root@localhost falko]# uname -r
2.6.22.9-desktop-1mdv
[root@localhost falko]#

which means you have kernel 2.6.22.9-desktop-1mdv installled.

 

7 Installing Additional Software

Now that we have added additional repositories, a lot more packages are available in our package manager for installation, especially a big deal of our needed packages. To install them, go to Applications > Install & Remove Software:

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Type in the root password:

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Answer the question Is it ok to continue? with Yes:

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Browse the applications on the left (or even better, use the search field) and mark the following packages for installation (* is a wildcard; e.g. amule* means all packages that start with amule):

  • amule*
  • googleearth
  • amarok*
  • audacity
  • banshee*
  • gtkpod
  • xmms*
  • dvdrip
  • vlc*
  • mozilla-plugin-vlc
  • gnomebaker
  • azureus
  • bittorrent-gui
  • k3b*
  • kdewebdev* (not kdewebdev4*)
  • xine-*
  • libdvdcss2
  • win32-codecs
  • java-1.5.0.*
  • opera
  • flash-player-plugin
  • ntfs-3g
  • mozilla-thunderbird
  • mplayer*
  • kompozer
  • bluefish
  • cabextract (needed by msttcorefonts)
  • libstdc++5 (needed by realplayer)
  • kernel-source (needed by VMware Server)
  • kernel-desktop-devel-latest (needed by VMware Server)
  • xinetd (needed by VMware Server)
  • perl-devel (needed by VMware Server)

Make sure you select the kernel-source package that suits your installed kernel.

Also, sometimes there are multiple packages with the same name available. Select the package with the highest version string (this is not valid for the kernel-source package – it must match your installed kernel!). It is also possible that the same package is available from mdv and plf. It shouldn’t matter which one you pick in such a case.

If a package has a dependency, a window will pop up. Accept the dependencies by clicking on Ok:

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Sometimes it is possible that a selected package has a dependency that can be satisfied by more than one package. The system will tell you and lets you select one of the packages. It doesn’t matter which one you pick:

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After you’ve selected the required packages, click on Apply. A new window will open with all packages that are going to be installed. Confirm by clicking on Yes:

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The packages are now being downloaded and installed:

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After the installation, click on Quit to leave the Software Management window:

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8 Inventory (II)

Now let’s check again what we have so far by browsing the menus again (if you find that some applications are missing although you know that you’ve installed them, just log out of your current desktop session and log back in – the applications should then be listed in the menus):

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Our inventory should now look like this:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] Bittorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[ ] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[ ] Real Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer (Nvu)
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[ ] True Type fonts
[x] Java
[x] NTFS Read-/Write Support

9 NTFS Read/Write Support

If you have an NTFS drive (internal or external, e.g. USB), you can now test if NTFS write support is working. I have a USB NTFS drive (named BACKUP) that I plug in now. It gets mounted automatically (notice the BACKUP icon on the desktop). Try to create a folder or file on the NTFS drive:

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If it’s working, then you have NTFS read- and write support.

 

10 Flash Player

To see if the Flash plugin (which we installed before) is working, start Firefox. Then type about:plugins in the address bar. Firefox will then list all installed plugins, and it should list the Flash Player (version 9.0r48 which is the newest one at the time of this writing) among them:

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You can now open a web site of which you know that it uses Flash. For example, www.spiegel.de has video news in Flash. You should be able to see (and hear) the Flash movies:

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Another web site that uses Flash movies is YouTube, for example.

 

11 TrueType Fonts

Open Firefox and download the file ftp://ftp.pbone.net/mirror/seerofsouls.com/mandriva/official/2007.0/i586/main/msttcorefonts-bootstrap-0.1-4brs.noarch.rpm. Select Open with Software Installer (default) in the Firefox download dialogue:

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In the window RPM Installation, select Install:

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Type in your root password:

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If the package has some dependencies, install them as well:

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The additional packages are now being downloaded and installed:

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It is possible that the package has an unknown signature. Continue by clicking on Yes:

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The package is being installed. Afterwards, click on Done:

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To check if the TrueType fonts have been installed correctly, open a word processor like OpenOffice. You should now find your new Windows fonts there:

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12 RealPlayer

To install RealPlayer, visit

https://player.helixcommunity.org/2005/downloads/ in Firefox and select the RealPlayer 10.0.9 Gold RPM package. Install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11.

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13 Adobe Reader

To download Adobe Reader, go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2_allversions.html and select the following:

Operating system: Linux
Version: Linux (.rpm)
Your language

Then click on Continue:

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Select Adobe Reader 8.1.1 (or whatever the latest version is) and click on the Download Adobe Reader button and install the package exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11:

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Select Adobe Reader 8.1.1 (or whatever the latest version is) and click on the Download Adobe Reader button and install the package exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11:

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14 Skype

To download Skype, go to http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/, choose Mandriva, and install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11:

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15 Google Picasa

Open Firefox, download the file http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/i386/picasa-2.2.2820-5.i386.rpm, and install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11.

 

16 Inventory (III)

Browse the Applications menu again and check what you’ve got installed so far.

Your list should look like this now:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird

[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] Bittorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Real Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer (Nvu)
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[x] True Type fonts
[x] Java
[x] NTFS Read-/Write Support

So everything is installed except for VMware Server…

17 VMware Server

With VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: http://www.

Kreationnext

.com/vmware_converter_windows_linux) run under your Mandriva desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

To download VMware Server, go to http://www.vmware.com/download/server/ and click on Download Now:

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Accept the license agreement by clicking on Yes:

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Then download the VMware Server for Linux .tar.gz file (not the rpm file!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

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To get the serial number you need to run VMware Server, go to http://register.vmware.com/content/registration.html. Fill in your personal details. Afterwards you will get a page with a serial number for VMware Server. Write it down or print it out:

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To install VMware Server, open a terminal and become root:

su

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Desktop

Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
./vmware-install.pl

The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.

If the VMware installer doesn’t find your kernel header files automatically, i.e. if you see this question:

What is the location of the directory of C header files that match your running
kernel? [/usr/src/linux/include]

and press <ENTER>, and the same question comes up again, you have to type in the correct path manually:

<– /lib/modules/<yourkernel>/build/include

where <yourkernel> must be replaced with the kernel that the uname -r command returned. So I type in:

<– /lib/modules/2.6.22.9-desktop-1mdv/build/include

When the installer asks you

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]

you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.

At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:

Please enter your 20-character serial number.

Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or ‘Enter’ to cancel:

Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.

After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:

cd ../
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/

VMware Server is now installed, but unfortunately there’s no menu entry for it. To create one manually, right-click on Applications and select Edit Menus:

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Mark Tools in the left window (to create the VMware menu entry in the Applications > Tools submenu) and click on the New Item button:

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A Launcher Properties window comes up. Fill in the following details:

Type: Application
Name: VMware Server
Command: vmware (in lowercase letters – that’s the command that starts VMware Server)
Comment: You can leave it empty.

The VMware icon gets selected automagically. Click on Close afterwards:

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Click on Close again to leave the menu editor:

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You will now find VMware Server under Applications > Tools:

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When you start it, select Local host:

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When you start it, select Local host:

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Afterwards, you can create virtual machines (or import your virtual Windows machine that you created with VMware Converter):

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18 Inventory (IV)

We have now all wanted applications installed:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] Bittorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Real Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer (Nvu)
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[x] VMware Server
[x] True Type fonts
[x] Java
[x] NTFS Read-/Write Support

 

  • Mandriva: http://www.mandriva.com

 

 

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