Mandrake 9

Dumped Red Hat for Mandrake …

Last month’s move of birdhouse hosting from OS X to Red Hat went well — the hardware, network, and support from sonic have all been great. But ever since the move, our mail server had been halting at random intervals. We use CommuniGate Pro (a commercial mail server used by Earthlink and UC Berkeley, among others), which runs on every operating system under the sun (even BeOS!). Red Hat leads the Linux field, but guess what I learned too late? Red Hat 9.x uses a brand new threading model designed to make it more like commercial Unices. Technically, a good move by Red Hat. Unfortunately, they didn’t adequately test for backwards compatibility before releasing, and broke a lot of existing software … such as CommuniGate Pro and SpamAssassin, two pieces of software I depend on. I read Stalkers warning too late:

Make sure you are NOT using Linux RedHat 9.0, as this version of Linux has a broken multithreading implementation.

Craptastic. This was the second time I’d been royally screwed by Red Hat; the first time was about four years ago, when I opted for the “Server” mode install of RH7, which happily re-initialized not just the partitions it needed for the install, not just the drive it was going to reside on, but every partition on every drive attached to the system, including BeOS and Windows partitions. My love for Red Hat is growing by leaps and bounds.

After some gnashing of teeth, finally decided I had no choice but to switch operating systems again — to anything but Red Hat. Sonic suggested Mandrake and offered to loan me a 2nd rack box to use through the transition. Stalker agreed Mandrake would be a good choice. Just spent another Saturday moving customers, systems, databases, scripts, etc. to the new machine.

Music: The Flaming Lips :: Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Planitia)

8 Replies to “Mandrake 9”

  1. ack. Why is it I always manage to jump in on alternative operating systems on their way down? I switched from Caldera 1 to RedHat 8 not 6 months ago (right about the time 9 came out). All my stuff seems to work, but it still annoys me that Redhat went to RH9 and then discontinued the whole product line right about when I started using it.

    Bleah. Next time, back to slackware, the very first Linux distro I ever used.


  2. I’m still running 3 RH7.3 boxes but am considering debian when I decide to upgrade. RH has been messing with their image too much lately and it hasn’t been helping its products.

    Or maybe that’s the other way around…

  3. Unless their tweaking of thread behavior extends to glibc somehow, which I doubt, you could have just replaced the redhat kernel with something more standard. Just a thought.

  4. My distro of preference is Slackware. It just works.

    Mandrake, SuSE, Red Hat don’t quite work for what I want to do because they have tinkered with the default Gnu/Linux system quite a bit introducing weird behaviors sometimes and *unessasery complexity*. Debian is better than the high profile distros, it just that’s a bit behind the times (even the unstable Debian doesn’t get new packages fast enough), and so I don’t quite prefer it. Also, Debian is a bit more involved regarding its inner works than Slackware. Slackware’s main point is simplicity in every aspect of the system (e.g. its services, or the packages — having no dependancy support is actually a plus with Slackware (not with RPM distros though) because of the *mindshare* among the packagers and the slackware users! Nothing gets posted for download from users if the package doesn’t work either out of the box or with minimum extra package download — just like windows/osx/beos).

    Last year I used to use Gentoo, but I hated how dangerous it can be when they upgrade the e.g. libpng library causing to have to upgrade ALL software that uses libpng (e.g. KDE/Gnome etc). These long compilation times, the fact that it requires quite some tinkering, it’s patched to hell in all aspects for better performance introducing weird bugs not found on other distros killed it for me.

    Slackware needs half an hour of explanation of how it works and a few tips from someone who has used it, but after that half hour, your adventure into “learning” a distro stops right there. There are no hidden surprises coming from Slackware, that’s why I like it. It is a lot like the BeOS of the Linuces. It does what it promises and not a single thing more or less.

    I must admit that before I try Slackware I was very suspicious of it, I felt that it was “old” and “weird” and didn’t wanna use it. My husband, seeing that I could not keep a Linux distro on my drives without trashing it for more than a week, pushed me on trying Slackware (was his distro of choice back in ’97, he doesn’t use anything than Windows or OSX these days though). I gave it a try with very little hope that this distro “could do it for me” (having tried more than 25-30 distros/versions at that point and was dissapointed for different reasons for each), and while Slackware is NOT for absolute newbies, it does what it promices: simplicity, extremely stable (no kernel patches are applied — Slackware is very conservative), better speed because of the simplicity of the system (comparatively to other linuces of course), very few things to learn in order to get you going 100%, easy to fix if you screw up.

    Just like BeOS. Loved it since I started using it last September.

    It does require that half hour of “tips” though. :-)

  5. Eugenia, you’ve tried 25-30 distributions? You’re an animal :). Mandrake uses urpmi, urpmq, urpmf rather than straight RPM and so far it’s been a huge plus – for example I never was able to get Image::Magick to install under RH, but urpmi solved all the dependencies automatically – it was cake, like it’s supposed to be.

  6. I have tried about 15 distros, the rest are different versions of these distros.

    /me bows to Eugenia, Queen of OSNews, and chants “We are not worthy, we are not worthy,…” ;)

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