Installing Mandrake Linux 9.1

I took the leap this weekend and upgraded to Mandrake Linux 9.1. The biggest problem was that the CD that I burned with the ISO got corrupted somehow, so I was getting intermittent read/write errors. This was a major pain in the rear. I initially just went for the upgrade option, but when the I/O error happened, it corrupted my RPM database, leaving my main partitions unuseable. So I ended up having to totally format my / and /usr partitions. Fortunately, I had kept /home and /usr/local on separate partitions. But still, this meant I was going to have to redo a lot of the configuration options I’d made.

Being at home, my dial-up is very slow, of course, so I didn’t want to redownload the ISO images. After trying and trying, again and again, I finally got through a full install.

The xfdrake program accurately configured my monitor as a Samsung Syncmaster 955DF. I normally run at 1400×1050 resolution, which it offered to me. But it didn’t add any ModeLines to the XF86Config-4 file. So when I added the Nvidia driver, I ended up with a 1200×1024 screen with 1400×1050 resolution, meaning I had to pan to see the whole screen. I added the ModeLine I found online for the 950p and they seem to work ok.

Mandrake has added their own desktop manager login program called mdkkdm. I don’t like it, since it forces you to go through two different login windows, so I promptly switched back to KDM by editing the /etc/sysconfig/desktop file to have DISPLAYMANAGER=KDM.

I also use fetchmail to download my email from a POP server and then filter it through SpamAssassin. For some reason, it complains about an SMTP problem when connecting to localhost.localdomain now. Need to figure that one out…

Something has been wrong with my motherboard battery since I got it, and whenever my computer is off, the hardware clock doesn’t advance. So I do a lot of ntp updates. Since I only use dial-up, I choose to manually update my clock when I need to. But I did that a while back, and since my partition got formatted, I need to go look up which server to use.

UPDATE: I just noticed that I could have changed my Display Manager using mcc – The Mandrake Control Center instead. Neat!