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DistributionWatch Review: Linux-Mandrake 7.0 - page 3

Perfection, Except for the Documentation

  • April 7, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

If installing on a system already containing Windows, and from within Windows, it's best to follow the Linux-Mandrake documentation and disable Plug and Play (PnP) devices from the system BIOS setup. This allows Linux-Mandrake to initialize PnP devices on its own when installing from within Windows.

The Lnx4Win program asks how much space to allocate to the Linux-Mandrake system (a full installation is 1.1 gigabytes, with a 2-gigabyte limit for the size of the installation) and any swap files. In addition, you're asked how you want to boot the system: Linux-Mandrake can edit your CONFIG.SYS file to launch a menu each time the system is booted, giving the choice of booting Linux-Mandrake or Windows. You can also choose to create a Windows desktop shortcut to an executable file that launches Linux-Mandrake.

Linux-Mandrake didn't have a problem detecting all the devices on both test PCs, correctly divining the presence of a network card and an onboard sound card. For some reason this sound card presents problems for some Linux distributions: Corel Linux and Linux-Mandrake correctly detected it, while Storm Linux could not. Linux-Mandrake also promises experimental support for USB devices, which we did not test. The Linux-Mandrake documentation does a good job of telling how to detect device information on Windows, should the system fail to detect ISA PnP devices upon installation and require manual configuration.

Generally speaking, we're not fans of installing Linux under Windows, and the Linux-Mandrake installation was noticeably slower (especially filesystem access) when compared to a native Linux-Mandrake installation.

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