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The Perfect Desktop – Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring With GNOME


This tutorial shows how you can set up a Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring 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 2010.1 Spring 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 10
  • 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
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client – Bittorrent client
  • Vuze/Azureus – Java Bittorrent client
  • Empathy IM Client – 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)
  • Helix Player – media player, similar to 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:

  • VirtualBox OSE – 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

As you might have noticed, a few applications are redundant, for example there are two CD/DVD burning applications in my list (Brasero, K3B). If you know which one you like best, you obviously don’t need to install the other applications, however if you like choice, then of course you can install both. The same goes for music players like Amarok, Banshee, Rhythmbox, XMMS or browsers (Firefox, Opera).

I’m using the Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring 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-2010-spring-GNOME-europe-americas-cdrom-i586.iso. The procedure might differ if you use the Mandriva Free 2010.1 Spring DVD instead of Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring.

I will use the username falko in this tutorial, and I will download all necessary files to falko‘s download directory which is equivalent to the directory /home/falko/Downloads. 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/Downloads

you must replace falko.

 

2 Installing The Base System

Download the Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring 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 2010 Spring:

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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 2010.1 Spring to your hard drive, click on the Install on Hard Disk 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 from the upcoming menu:

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You will be asked to remove the Mandriva CD/DVD from the CD drive. Press ENTER once you’ve done this:

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Afterwards, select Boot Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring from the botloader menu (or wait a few seconds):

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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 the following three screens:

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Click on Close on the next screen:

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This is how your new Mandriva 2010.1 Spring desktop looks:

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3 Flash Player

Mandriva One 2010.1 Spring 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 10.1 r53) 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
[ ] Transmission BitTorrent Client
[ ] Vuze/Azureus
[x] Empathy IM Client
[ ] 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
[ ] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[ ] Xine
[x] Brasero
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

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

Other:
[ ] VirtualBox
[ ] 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 2010.1 Spring.

 

5 Add PLF Online Software Repositories

Some packages like the Win32 codecs are not available in the standard Mandriva repositories. The easiest way to make such packages available to your system is to add the PLF repositories.

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

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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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6 Update The System

Now it’s time to check if updates are available for our system. Go to System > Administration > Configure Your Computer:

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In the Mandriva Control Center, go to Software Management > Update your system:

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

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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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The updates are now being downloaded and installed:

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7 Manage Your Online Repositories

To manage your online repositories, open the Mandriva Control Center (System > Administration > Configure Your Computer).

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 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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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):

  • filezilla
  • mozilla-thunderbird
  • amule
  • transmission-gtk
  • vuze
  • opera
  • xchat
  • gnucash
  • scribus
  • amarok
  • audacity
  • banshee*
  • mplayer*
  • mplayerplugin
  • gtkpod
  • xmms*
  • vlc*
  • mozilla-plugin-vlc
  • xine-*
  • libdvdcss2
  • win32-codecs
  • real-codecs
  • kompozer
  • bluefish
  • kdewebdev4
  • dvdrip
  • java-1.6.0-sun*
  • cabextract (needed by msttcorefonts)
  • k3b
  • gcc
  • gcc-c++
  • virtualbox
  • dkms-virtualbox
  • virtualbox-guest-additions
  • helixplayer
  • helixplayer-helix-codecs
  • helixplayer-mozilla-plugin

Sometimes there are multiple packages with the same name available. Select the package with the highest version string. 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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After the installation, click on Quit to leave the Software Management window:

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9 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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10 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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11 Adobe Reader

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

Operating system: Linux – x86 (.rpm)
Your language

Then click on Continue:

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Select Adobe Reader 9.3.3 (or whatever the latest version is) and click on the Download now 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. in the Downloads directory -> /home/falko/Downloads)…

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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/Downloads):

cd /home/falko/Downloads/

You can type

ls -l

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

rpm -ivh AdbeRdr9.3.3-1_i486linux_enu.rpm

After the installation we can delete the Adobe rpm:

rm -f AdbeRdr9.3.3-1_i486linux_enu.rpm

12 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 the Static version and download it to your computer:

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Then open a terminal (Applications > Tools > Terminal) and type

su

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

cd /home/falko/Downloads/

You can type

ls -l

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

tar xvfj skype_static-2.1.0.81.tar.bz2

cd skype_static-2.1.0.81

mv skype /usr/bin
mkdir /usr/share/skype
mv avatars/ /usr/share/skype/
mv lang/ /usr/share/skype/
mv sounds/ /usr/share/skype/

After the installation we can delete the downloaded file:

cd ..
rm -fr skype_static-2.1.0.81*

Now we must create a launcher for Skype. Right-click Applications and select Edit Menus from the menu:

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Select the Internet category and then click on the New Item button:

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In the Create Launcher window, type in Skype in the Name field and /usr/bin/skype in the Command field, then click on OK:

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Then click on Close to leave the Menu Editor:

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You should now find the Skype launcher under Applications > Internet.

 

13 Google Earth

Go to http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html and click on the Agree and Download button:

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On the next page, a download dialogue should pop up. Click on Save File and save the file to your computer, e.g. the Downloads directory (/home/falko/Downloads in this example):

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Then open a terminal and become root:

su

Then run the downloaded file:

cd /home/falko/Downloads/
sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin

This will start the installation. A Google Earth Setup window opens. Accept all default settings and click on Begin Install:

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After the installation, you can click on Quit or on Start, if you want to start Google Earth now:

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Afterwards, we delete the Google Earth installer:

rm -f GoogleEarthLinux.bin

 

14 Google Picasa

Visit http://picasa.google.com/linux/download.html#picasa30 and select the rpm for RedHat/Fedora/Suse/Mandriva. Install it exactly as shown for the TrueType fonts in chapter 10.

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15 Inventory (III)

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] Transmission BitTorrent Client
[x] Vuze/Azureus
[x] Empathy IM Client
[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] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] Brasero
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

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

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

 

  • Mandriva: http://www.mandriva.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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