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Mandriva LE--The Drake Flies South for the Future - page 2

The Obligatory Lawyer Razzing

  • May 2, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

The first thing you'll notice when booting from the Mandriva installation CDs and then on every subsequent boot of your system, is Mandriva's updated mascot, which I have named "Tuxzilla." This graphic, shown in Figure 1, is like the album cover you would see if Tux joined the Insane Klown Posse. Personally, I like it, but don't say you weren't warned if you have killer Tux nightmares after installing Mandriva--all it needs is some teeth.

Beyond its graphics, the friendliness and usability of the installer developed by the company formerly known as Mandrakesoft has always been one of the distribution's most attractive features. In many ways, the quality and user-sensitivity of an installer is reflective of the perspective of an entire distribution.

Mandriva's installer is still great--it's best features is its support for jumping between phases of the installation process, which is especially nice if you need to change some installation option that appeared a few screens back. No need to click the Back button an irritating number of times--just click on the appropriate step of the installation on the left-hand side of the screen, and there you are.

Mandriva's installer offers the standard types of options, including a nice mechanism (shown in Figure 2) for customizing the groups of packages that you want to install, and then further customizing individual packages within those groups. Quite nice.

After completing the install process, I experienced another slight shock when Tuxzilla appeared again, with a LILO boot menu superimposed on his face. LILO? How retro! I'm not aware of anything that you can do with LILO that you can't do with GRUB except to forget to update the boot block. However, the recent flame-fest on the fedora-test-list about Fedora's decision to drop LILO from the Fedora Core distribution has been so inspirational that I'd like to suggest that Mandriva demonstrate their commitment to the future by punting LILO in favor of GRUB. If you're an SG-1 fan, you'll know what I mean when I say that I am now closing the iris over my mailbox...

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