Pick a Free OS

Abracadabra! The magic of Mandrake 8.0

Recommended is of course the easiest. It first scans your machine and gives you a warning if it finds hardware it does not recognize, such a "winmodem" (no solutions offered here though). Next, you get to either use one of the existing partitions or use DiscDrake to partition/resize your hard disk. Again, all this is in a series of steps with lots of pop-up tips and help. Make your choice and format the partitions. Newbies can just choose the default choice for mount points or try auto allocate. Once again as in 7.2, you have a wide choice of file systems from ext2, ReiserFS. (See previous article for a write up on ReiserFS )

The next step is selecting the software packages (about 1200 numbers), which have already been sorted out in some groups depending on the application of your machine. The groups range from a typical office workstation to game, multimedia, Internet, network etc. type of workstation. Alternatively, you can set it up as a server with a few choices there too. A new feature is the warning you get if you select any server applications. Newbies now have a choice of staying out of these applications which otherwise would have been installed and started at boot by default.

You can also select individual packages within these groups. Installation time varies depending upon packages selected and your machine.

Expert: As usual, you get more flexibility. Drax scans your machine and asks questions about your hardware. You have to then select your mouse, keyboard, and security level. Rest is just as above.

Once installation is over, you get to the post- installation tasks

Adding Root and users

In LM 7.2 you could get away by avoiding a root password, LM 8.0 has the same silly feature. Instead a single user can be set to automatically login and be taken to the desktop.

Configure Internet/Network

This can be done using manually or auto detect wizard, which checks and finds your network parameters. You have a choice between setting up a normal modem connection or cable, ISDN, DSL/ADSL and a LAN. You can specify type of modem and ISP settings at this point.

Time zone: Select your country or the nearest time zone.

Boot Disk preparation: We recommend newbies to go through this one. If for any reason you lose LILO/Grub, the boot floppy is the only way you can recover your installation.