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The Perfect Desktop – Mandriva One 2009.0 With GNOME


This tutorial shows how you can set up a Mandriva One 2009.0 desktop (with the GNOME desktop environment) 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 One 2009.0 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
  • Vuze/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
  • Brasero – 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

I’m using the Mandriva One 2009.0 CD in this tutorial to set up the system. You can find the download here: http://www.mandriva.com/en/download, e.g. mandriva-linux-one-2009-GNOME-int-cdrom-i586.iso. The procedure might differ if you use the Mandriva Free 2009.0 CDs or DVD instead of Mandriva One 2009.0.

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 One 2009.0 CD iso image from http://www.mandriva.com/en/download, burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it. At the boot prompt, select Boot Mandriva Linux 2009:

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The system will now boot into a live system from where you can install Mandriva to your hard drive. Before we can see the live desktop, we have to answer a few questions.

First, choose your language:

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Accept the Mandriva license:

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Select your timezone:

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Select your time. Under Advanced, you can enable Automatic time synchronization (using NTP):

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Select your keyboard layout:

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Finally, the live desktop starts. To install Mandriva One 2009.0 to your hard drive, click on the Live Install icon:

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The installation wizard starts. Click on Next:

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Mandriva’s default partitioning scheme is ok for our purposes, so you can select Use free space (if you want to set up your own partitioning scheme, select Custom disk partitioning instead). Afterwards the hard drive will be partitioned.

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Click on Next to remove unnecessary packages from the installation:

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Afterwards, the system is being installed to your hard drive. This can take a few minutes, so please be patient:

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Afterwards we have to configure the bootloader. The default settings are ok, so we can click on Next:

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The default boot menu entries are ok as well, so we click on Finish:

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Click on Finish to complete the installation:

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To use our new installation, we must reboot and remove the Mandriva CD from our CD drive. Log out of the current desktop session (System > Shut Down…), then select Restart Computer from the upcoming menu:

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Afterwards, select Boot Mandriva Linux 2009 from the botloader menu (or wait a few seconds):

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During the first boot, you have to select your country again:

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Also during the first boot, the system is adding online repositories to its configuration:

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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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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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This is how your new Mandriva 2009.0 desktop looks:

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3 Flash Player

Mandriva One 2009 installs the Macromedia Flash Player by default. To see if the Flash plugin 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 9.0r124) among them:

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4 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now let’s browse all menus to see which of our needed applications are already installed (of course, the Flash plugin isn’t listed in the menus because it’s a browser plugin – that’s why we checked for its existence in the previous chapter).

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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
[x] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[ ] Bittorrent
[ ] Vuze/Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[ ] Xchat IRC

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[ ] 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
[x] Brasero
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

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

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

So some applications are already on the system. NTFS read-/write support is enabled by default on Mandriva 2009.0.

5 Add Online Software Repositories

In this step we will add some online repositories that contain all packages from our CD plus updated packages plus additional packages that are not on the CD.

Visit http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/ in your browser. The site should automatically detect your Mandriva version and your architecture.

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Scroll down. You should see the buttons Add Official medias and Add PLF medias. Click on Add Official medias. In the Firefox download dialogue, select Open with Add urpmi media (default):

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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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The package database is now being updated:

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Click on Ok afterwards:

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Now do the same again for the PLF repositories (Add PLF medias).

6 Update The System

If the red software updates icon appears in the upper right corner (it shows the message New updates are available for your system when you move your mouse pointer to it), it’s time to update the system. Click on the red icon:

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Type in your password:

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Select which updates you want to install. Click on Update to do so:

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Confirm your selection:

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The updates are now being downloaded and installed:

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Click on Quit afterwards to leave the Software Management window.

It is possible that new updates show up after the first update. If this is the case, update again.

 

7 Manage Your Online Repositories

To manage your online repositories, open the Mandriva Control Center by clicking on its icon in the taskbar:

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Type in the root password:

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Select Software Management > Configure media sources for install and update:

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You can now see which repositories are enabled on your system. If you see the same repository more than once in this list, you can disable one of them by unchecking it (but you don’t have to – it doesn’t hurt to have the same repository more than once in this list):

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8 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 9 we will install the packages kernel-source and kernel-desktop586-devel which are needed by VMware Server (which we will install at the end of this tutorial). There might be multiple kernel-source and kernel-desktop586-devel packages available, and to select the right ones you need to know your kernel version.

To find out about your kernel version, open a terminal (Applications > Tools > Terminal )…

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… and run

uname -r

The output should look like this:

[falko@localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27-desktop586-0.rc8.2mnb
[falko@localhost ~]$

which means you have kernel 2.6.27-desktop586-0.rc8.2mnb installed.

9 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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The Software Management window opens. Please make sure that you select All in the two drop-down menus on the left to make sure that you can select from all packages that are available:

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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. amarok* means all packages that start with amarok):

  • opera
  • filezilla
  • mozilla-thunderbird
  • amule
  • bittorrent-gui
  • vuze
  • googleearth
  • xchat
  • gnucash
  • scribus
  • amarok*
  • audacity
  • banshee*
  • mplayer*
  • mplayerplugin
  • gtkpod
  • xmms*
  • vlc*
  • mozilla-plugin-vlc
  • xine-*
  • libdvdcss2
  • win32-codecs
  • real-codecs
  • kompozer
  • bluefish
  • kdewebdev*
  • dvdrip
  • java-1.6.0-sun*
  • cabextract (needed by msttcorefonts)
  • kernel-source (needed by VMware Server)
  • kernel-desktop586-devel (needed by VMware Server)
  • xinetd (needed by VMware Server)
  • perl-devel (needed by VMware Server)
  • k3b
  • gcc
  • gcc-c++

Make sure you select the kernel-source and kernel-desktop586-devel packages that suit 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 and kernel-desktop586-devel packages – they 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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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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Click on Ok if you see this message at the end of the installation:

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

 

10 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] Vuze/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] Brasero
[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

11 TrueType Fonts

Open Firefox, go to ftp://ftp.pbone.net/mirror/seerofsouls.com/mandriva/2007/i586/main/, and select the msttcorefonts rpm file (ftp://ftp.pbone.net/mirror/seerofsouls.com/mandriva/2007/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 RPM Installation window closes automatically after the installation has finished.

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 11 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 – x86 (.rpm)
Your language

Then click on Continue:

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Select Adobe Reader 8.1.2 (or whatever the latest version is) and click on the Download Adobe Reader button:

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For some reason I got an error when I selected Open with Software Installer (default) in the Firefox download dialogue. To circumvent the problem, I save the file on the hard drive (e.g. on the desktop -> /home/falko/Desktop)…

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… and open a terminal (Applications > Tools > Terminal):

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Type

su

to become root and go to the directory where you’ve saved the Adobe rpm (e.g. /home/falko/Desktop):

cd /home/falko/Desktop/

You can type

ls -l

to find out the exact name of the Adobe rpm. Afterwards, you can install it like this:

rpm -ivh AdobeReader_enu-8.1.2_SU1-1.i486.rpm

After the installation we can delete the Adobe rpm:

rm -f AdobeReader_enu-8.1.2_SU1-1.i486.rpm

 

14 Skype

To download Skype, go to http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/ and click on the Download now button:

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Choose Mandriva and install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11:

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15 Google Picasa

Visit http://picasa.google.com/linux/download.html#picasa30 and select the rpm for RedHat/Fedora/Suse/Mandriva (http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/testing/i386/picasa-3.0.5719-02.i386.rpm at the time of this writing). Install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 11.

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16 Inventory (III)

Browse the 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] Vuze/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] Brasero
[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/products/server/ and click on Download Now:

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On the next page, log in with your existing VMware account or create a new one:

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Follow the on-screen instructions. At the end, you should receive an email with a link to your download page. On the download page, you should see two license numbers, one for Windows and one for Linux. Write down or save the one for Linux and scroll down.

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Then download the VMware Server for Linux TAR image (not the RPM image!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

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Open a terminal (Applications > Tools > 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 you see the following question, answer with yes:

Your kernel was built with “gcc” version “4.3.1”, while you are trying to use
“/usr/bin/gcc” version “4.3.2”. This configuration is not recommended and
VMware Server may crash if you’ll continue. Please try to use exactly same
compiler as one used for building your kernel. Do you want to go with compiler
“/usr/bin/gcc” version “4.3.2” anyway? [no]
<– yes

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 /home/falko/Desktop
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/

VMware Server 2 does not have a desktop application for managing virtual machines – this is now done through a browser (e.g. Firefox). You can access the management interface over HTTPS (https://<IP ADDRESS>:8333) or HTTP (http://<IP ADDRESS>:8222); the management interface can be accessed locally and also remotely. If you want to access it from the same machine, type https://127.0.0.1:8333 or http://127.0.0.1:8222 into the browser’s address bar.

If you’re using Firefox 3 and use HTTPS, Firefox will complain about the self-signed certificate, therefore you must tell Firefox to accept the certificate – to do this, click on the Or you can add an exception… link:

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Click on Add Exception…:

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The Add Security Exception window opens. In that window, click on the Get Certificate button first and then on the Confirm Security Exception button:

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Afterwards, you will see the VMware Server login form. Type in root and your root password:

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This is how the VMware Server web interface looks. The structure is similar to the old VMware Server 1 desktop application, so the usage of the web interface is pretty straightforward.

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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] Vuze/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] Brasero
[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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