Acquisition of linux

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How to get it

First of all, apologies to anyone hoping to find information on how to acquire all of linux. This page does not include such information, but merely instructions on how to obtain a copy that you can do with as you please.
I always recommend to try before you buy/donate/become a clubmember, and there is nothing like trying the real thing (trying limited versions that should convince you to get the real product is not the same thing). But I do believe that if you are happy, it would be good to reward/support those who are behind the product. In the case of MandrakeLinux, that would be MandrakeSoft. You can do a number of things to support them: buy their products, either at a local store if you can find their products there, via the MandrakeStore or become a clubmember of the MandrakeClub (IMHO don't expect too much from the club, I see it as a way to send Mandrake some money and usually recommend to become a member after the product satisfies you - some people are disappoited since they expected too much - so to avoid disappointment, don't expect too much.. ;-) .

Now, to get on with things, there are a few ways to obtain Mandrake linux. The easiest applies only to people who know me personally, in real life: ask me. I will put your copy in the mail or hand it to you directly; just give me empty cd-r's in return. For everyone I don't know I'm afraid I have to charge 10CHF. I have more to do, you see ;-)
Of course, the equivalent easy way is to ask someone you know who has Mandrake.

Anyway, basically the following ways exist to obtain Mandrake linux (from free/cheap to more costly):

Download edition

For the free download version, all you need is a good internet connection (or know someone who has that) and the diskspace to download the 3 cd's on. BTW it really is best to get all three cd's.

To download via ftp, just follow this link to the ftp sites on the Mandrake website, and click now next to the text: I'm already a member of the Club or plan on registering soon, please send me to the download page, . BTW, you are really planning on registering with the club aren't you? ;-)
Note that especially right after a new release, download servers tend to be very overloaded, and Clubmembers do get access to fast mirrors that are not commonly known. This is how I managed to download the 3rd disc after Mdk9.1 came out, all other mirrors had come to a grinding halt.
To download, I advice you to use wget if you are using linux.
After downloading, do an md5sum on all files, and verify that they have the same checksum as the one on the Mandrake website (in the same section as the ftp links). md5sum [filename] will take care of that. Under windows, you will have to (download, install and) use the program md5summer or something similar to make sure you don't have a faulty download. Remark: I have had many faulty iso downloads. None on linux sofar though, even on downloads that were broken off and resumed from a completely different server (told you, use wget)... but check the md5sum, better safe than sorry.

To download via p2p networks: there are at least 2 networks that are really being used: bittorrent and edonkey; I share Mandrake 10.0 Official Edition on the edonkey network (hope these links are correct) :

Mandrake 10.0 Official Edition bittorrent link

(Mandrake 9.2 edonkey links:

Mandrake 9.2 bittorrent link

Know that if the donkey or bittorrent finished the download, you are sure that the files are not corrupted, and you don't have to do an md5 checksum to verify. (Edonkey uses md4 checksums which are slightly different but also guarantee that the file you download is correct, bittorrent has a similar checking mechanism.)
If you have managed to download Mandrake, with whatever method, share it on one of the above networks to make things easier for others.

For those who have downloaded the iso images, please make sure the md5sum is correct, and make sure the iso images are burnt in the right way. See here: to know how exactly to do that and how to check that your burnt cds are actually correct.

Magazine editions

The copy you can get with magazines are usually the first cd only, so you are likely to run into the limitations of having only that..
I have got an email from the beagle that informed me of the following: " the British magazine Linux Format ( ) comes in a DVD edition, which has a DVD full of free/open-source software with each copy. The current issue (~Nov 2003) includes a DVD with Mandrake 9.2 on it - I believe the contents of all three downloadable CD's, as well as the "main" and "contrib" parts of the Mandrake tree are included!"

I noticed before Christmas 2003 that here in Zurich, Switzerland (at all Kiosks -- newspaper stands/shops) a quarterly magazine called Linux+ Extra! Pack now (this quartal, until the end of February 2004!) sports the full Mandrake Linux 9.2 Download Edition, including all three download cd's AND: 4 extra cd's with applications. Price: 20 CHF, and according to the magazine cover the price is 10,50 euro in Germany and 12 euro in Austria. Go get it at your local newspaper/magazine stand and give it a try!
Note: they have now made Mandrake 10.0 Official Edition available, a total of 7 CDs in the magazine called Linux+ Extra! Pack. Same price as before, same place as before. Enjoy!

Online vendors

Using online vendors will cost about 10 US dollars or so, cheap but remember that none of your money goes to the distro maker, so not necessarily a good thing in the long run. Just do a google search to find them.

Order from MandrakeSoft

Ordering a pack from Mandrake is a bit more expensive, but realise that you get much more than the download edition. You can get a dvd version, in which case you have the ease of having all on 1 disc. As a financial support method for Mandrake this is very good, the next best thing after becoming a member.


Since July 7th 2003, you can get a Mandrake preinstalled desktop system from HP; possibly there are more (smaller) vendors in your neighbourhood that also sell systems with Linux preinstalled.

Local store

Lastly, you can get a copy from your local store. They may not have it in stock, but I'm sure they can order it for you.

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Page first created: Apr 2003. Page last updated: 2004-11-28 15:12

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