November 9, 2000

Web review: The unofficial Mandrake Linux page

Author: JT Smith

By Tina Gasperson -

The Unofficial Mandrake Linux page provides clear, step-by-step instructions for performing a variety of tasks on your Mandrake system, like setting up ethernet, installing rpms and tarballs, and compiling source code.As someone who is still in the process of learning a new operating system (and face it, do we ever get to the end of the learning path?), I am constantly scouring the Internet for useful resources. I've been through several installation attempts on my main desktop system, working on trying to get Windows and Linux to live together in peace.

Now, I am the proud, hopefully long-term babysitter of an HP Omnibook running solely on Mandrake 7.1 (a company-supplied laptop). I enjoy getting in there and digging around to see how everything works. There are a lot of sites with how-tos and tutorials, but the Unofficial Mandrake Linux page is the first site I've seen that keeps those who are less than ubergeeks in mind when explaining things. (I'm sure there are more - if you know of any others, please email me a link.)

Interestingly enough, I didn't have to search far and wide for this one. It came to me through my local LUG mailing list. Just goes to show you, if you're not a part of a user group, you're missing out on a lot of valuable information.

The best thing about the Unofficial Mandrake Linux site is that it doesn't try to get all fancy. Though I'm not a big fan of black backgrounds, which this site has, it is mercifully bereft of any graphics. Just the facts, ma'am.

UML provides links to all the major Mandrake destinations, including the main vendor page, the Mandrake forum page, the Mandrake FAQ, Mandrake ISOs, and the link to the Mandrake 7.2 ISO. (Which, I've heard from reliable sources, is a bit buggy and not worth your time just yet.)

The UML page, as I mentioned above, also explains how to do lots of cool and useful things on your Mandrake box. The most entertaining for me was removing the "shop," "search," "myNetscape," and "security" buttons from the tool bar in Netscape, and adding a "find in page" button. Trust me, it couldn't be any simpler than this guy makes it.

Also very handy is the "dos to Linux syntax" reference -- great for people who are familiar with the dos shell. The page also provides an enlightening look at the Linux file system, and the purpose of the various directories, plus a brief introduction to writing bash scripts.

The Unofficial Mandrake Linux page is well worth a visit or two. Check it out.

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