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DistributionWatch Review: Kondara MNU/Linux 2000 - page 3

Tough-Looking Penguins Everywhere

  • October 10, 2000
  • By Eric Foster-Johnson

To start installing most versions of Linux, you first need something to boot the installer program. With a bootable CD-ROM drive, boot from the first CD to start installing. Here, Kondara is no different from other Linux distributions.

If your system does not support booting from the CD-ROM, a common issue with older PCs, then create a boot floppy. To do so, first select a boot disk image from a list, a thankfully short list of boot.img in most cases; pcmcia.img for using either a PC Card CD-ROM or network card, or bootnet.img for booting from a network device. Then copy the boot image to a floppy disk using either the MS-DOS RAWRITE program or dd on Linux or UNIX systems. Note that each Kondara package includes a default boot floppy for Intel-based systems.

Like Red Hat, Kondara uses Disk Druid for partitioning the hard disk. In fact, most of the installation process seemed to mirror that of Red Hat Linux 6.2. As with Red Hat, install pre-canned configurations for GNOME workstation, KDE workstation, a Server system, or a Custom installation.

There were a few Kondara customizations, such as the GNOME workstation icon in the setup, and the fact that the default is for a Custom setup. I recommend using the custom setup, if only to see the wide variety of packages available for Linux. If coming over from Windows, you'll be amazed at how much software is in the package. In addition, most Red Hat users recommend choosing the Custom installation, a recommendation that carries over to Kondara.

As with Red Hat, select partitions using Disk Druid, and then choose which partitions to format. As a long-time Linux user, I have my own partition preferences, including keeping my user accounts and all my data on partitions separate from the root partition. This way, I can do a clean install of various versions of Linux, while still preserving my data. Thus, it is very important to be able to select which partitions you want to format. Like Red Hat, Kondara supports this feature.

Unlike Red Hat 6.2 Linux, Kondara defaults to specifying an IP address for networking. Red Hat defaults to using DHCP.

While the entire installation seemed very close to Red Hat's, there are more than a few small differences. If experienced with Red Hat Linux, you'll be able to install Kondara MNU/Linux with no problems. I found the differences in some of the packages interesting, though. For example, the editor packages on Kondara focus much more on emacs than Red Hat does, with a lot of emacs add-ons for international text support. Among the add-ons not in Red Hat Linux 6.2 are a Netscape flash plugin, the MagicPoint presentation tool and a lot more XMMS add-ons for playing music. Kondara has its own screen saver package, not enabled by default.

I saw at least two different Chinese input systems for X, along with a Korean input system.

The setup automatically detected my hard-won X configuration for my Voodoo3 card and 19" monitor. Why this was so hard to configure decently under Red Hat Linux 6.2, I don't know, but the Kondara setup detected it right away and set up a high-resolution mode.

Once done selecting features and packages, sit back while the setup program installs all the packages chosen.

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