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Configuration of Mandrake Linux 9.2

First of all, I have to admit that this page is maybe more for me than anyone else; plenty of things I will put here are focused on how I set up my box/hardware; so that next time (if any), I will not have to figure out what I did to get things going the last time. And if you wonder why I'm thinking of installing again: simple, if Mandrake/linux is to get better, what else to do then to test the betas and release candidates and report bugs?
Note: this link takes you to my config page of Mandrake 9.1.
By the way, some of these instructions are very much related to the hardware that I´m installing this on, so I have added the spec of my system (both hardware configuration and software config files).

Recently I found out that someone else had the same idea, you may find some more info here.

commands to type have this colour and font
keystrokes/presses have this colour and font
cli = command line interface
lmb = left mouse button, mmb = middle mouse button, rmb = right mouse button

Most of the commands in this and subsequent sections are executed as root, use the command su and give your root-password when prompted to become 'root' and then execute those commands.

Resources configuration steps

Read the Resources Configuration and Software Install HowTo by Zeb first, and follow up the info given there. In case you cannot get to the mentioned clubmember info to configure your resources, you may have to go to the easy urpmi page, that is slightly more difficult since for Mandrake 9.2 the page has not been updated. So in that case, get the links for Mandrake 9.1 and check with your webbrowser if/where on the same ftp-server the 9.2 files reside. Note that it is possible that the (relative) location of the hdlist file is not the same as for Mandrake 9.1.

To avoid getting some warning of a missing signature for the PLF packages, I did:
links -source | gpg --import
but you can also choose to ignore missing signatures.

After configuring the repositories, it is really easy to install software, with RPMDrake (Mandrake Control Centre - Software Management) or urpmi.
urpmi [packagename(s)]
Installs the package / program; it automatically gets all dependencies. Note also that you can put more than one programname/packagename in one command.
urpmi --noclean [packagename(s)]
is actually what I use most of the time, since then the downloaded files are in /var/cache/urpmi/rpms/
where I can easily retrieve them to use again on another computer for instance.

Hint: if you have the iso images of Mandrake 9.2 on your harddisk and you want to set your system up so that it installs any new packages from those images (so you don't have to deal with inserting cd's anymore -- nor with trying to find them), you can do what I did (maybe there are easier ways, but this works for me; naturally, if you install your system with a bootfloppy and the iso's on your harddisk, I suppose you don't need to do this). As root, do the following (all you have to change is the path to your iso images, for the rest it's cut and paste without touching the keyboard):

mkdir /mnt/mdk92iso1
mkdir /mnt/mdk92iso2
mkdir /mnt/mdk92iso3
mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.2-17-Download-1.i586.iso /mnt/mdk92iso1
mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.2-18-Download-2.i586.iso /mnt/mdk92iso2
mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/MandrakeLinux-9.2-19-Download-3.i586.iso /mnt/mdk92iso3
mkdir /mnt/mdk92
mkdir /mnt/mdk92/Mandrake
cd /mnt/mdk92/Mandrake
ln -s /mnt/mdk92iso1/Mandrake/RPMS .
ln -s /mnt/mdk92iso1/Mandrake/base .
ln -s /mnt/mdk92iso2/Mandrake/RPMS2 .
ln -s /mnt/mdk92iso3/Mandrake/RPMS3 .

To make sure the iso images get mounted each time you boot, you could add the mount commands to /etc/rc.local or you can mess with /etc/fstab.
After this I set things up in the Mandrake Control Center, Software Management section, Software Media Manager; I just selected the cdroms 1 to 3 in turn and had the path point to the links I had just created. (See screenshots below.)

If you have the cd's and nothing on your harddrive, just copy the RPMS directories to a directory named Mandrake, and don't forget to copy the base dir on the first cd too. Then adjust the paths as shown below.

In the Mandrake Control Center, go to the Software Management section
Click to enlarge

and start the Software Media Manager
Click to enlarge

Select and edit each of the three cd entries so they look like this:
Click to enlarge

Each time you click 'ok' to confirm, the system will check if the paths are correct, and it will update the database.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As a knowledgeable reader commented, you could do the last thing on the commandline too; it's just a matter of editing /etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg. In that case however, the system won't check right after you make the modifications so you have to check if the changes were correct.

Nvidia 3d driver

You can follow my instructions here.

Webcam driver

With the download edition kernel, there is a problem with the usb-snd-audio driver; since my webcam is a usb cam and since it has a microphone, the system runs into this problem -- it wouldn't boot, mentioning a disability to load module pwc. Unplugging the cam and doing a hard reset on the pc works; then the following has to be done (as root):

To be able to have VGA resolution on my webcam, which needs a proprietary driver (see here: for more info). To load the extra driver each time the webcam driver gets loaded, I did:
echo "post-install pwc /sbin/insmod --force /lib/modules/2.4.22-21mdk-i686-up-4GB/kernel/drivers/usb/pwcx-gcc32.o >/dev/null 2>&1 || : " >> /etc/modules.conf
This places the correct command in the /etc/modules.conf file. Make sure the path to the module is correct. Note that I'm still using the pwcx-gcc32.o driver and not the latest, pwcx-2.4.20.o; it just didn't work for me.

Just copy that 'echo' line as one single line into your Konsole. No typing required. ;-)

System monitoring

To be able to keep an eye on the state of my system, I use gkrellm; to have cpu-temperature and motherboard voltage readouts, lm-sensors is needed. To install those, do:
urpmi lm_sensors gkrellm
Next to setup the sensor system:
and just followed instructions; there are quite a few commands (modprobe ...) to do, and some stuff to add to /etc/rc.local and /etc/modules.conf just as shown above. sensors gives the output from the sensors on the motherboard if the necessary modules are loaded. Of course the program gkrellm is much nicer for continuous display of your system stats (note that on the mobo and cpu temp in gkrellm I have to use a factor of 2 to get the right value; this apparently happens with certain sensors/chipsets/mobos). BTW if you have the same motherboard and you managed to get the fanspeed readout going, please drop me a line and tell me how..

K3B configuration

To burn cd's I use the program K3B. Before it can be used as a normal user, some rights have to be adapted and some things have to be configured, so I started the K3B configuration tool, as root:
and followed instructions. I accepted all defaults, and added my own username to the list of users that should have the right to burn cd's with K3B. Note that you usually have to logout and back in before these changes are effective.

DVD playback with mplayer and xine

Now the stuff that is necessary to watch dvds (that Mandrake, or any other linux vendor for that matter, is not able to include, since it would violate some stupid US law) has to be installed:
urpmi libdvdcss2
will get the necessary decryption to have xine or mplayer playback dvds without any problems. (Btw, if you start mplayer from the cli but you want the gui version, contrary to older versions where you would start it with mplayer -g just type gmplayer.)

Home LAN computer names

I did the following to set the hostnames so that with CUPS I could print over the network (if not set, there will be a problem between the ethernet address and the name that is given during installation; other hosts will not know the host with the printer by name, just address, but the name plus printer will show up in the cups www control panel), modify /etc/hosts to include the ethernet address and the name by which the host is known to itself.
echo " delft" >> /etc/hosts
echo " neuchatel" >> /etc/hosts

This way, the client can find the host that has the printer connected to it since it can do address translation from the host name to the right ethernet address.

Setting up the IR Remote Control

To get the remote control that came with my tv-card working, I needed LIRC, so I issued the following commands, as root:
urpmi lirc lirc-remotes
cp /usr/share/lirc-remotes/hauppauge/lircd.conf.hauppauge /etc/lircd.conf
cp /usr/share/lirc-remotes/hauppauge/lircmd.conf.hauppauge /etc/lircmd.conf
vi /etc/sysconfig/lircd

(changed the following line: DRIVER=default into: DEVICE=/dev/lirc/0 )
/etc/rc.d/init.d/lircd start
chkconfig --level 35 lircd on
depmod -a
modprobe lirc_i2c lirc_dev
mkdir /dev/lirc
mknod /dev/lirc/0 c 61 0
echo "modprobe lirc_i2c" >> /etc/rc.local
echo "modprobe lirc_dev" >> /etc/rc.local
echo "lircd --driver=default --device=/dev/lirc/0" >> /etc/rc.local
echo "lircmd" >> /etc/rc.local

Some small explanation: yes I am not a guru, I know this isn't pretty but at least it makes it work. It should normally not be necessary to add the extra stuff to the /etc/rc.local file. But anyway. Then I created (with quite a lot of trial and error) the file in my homedir ~/.lircrc that makes lirc and mplayer work together. Make sure you do switch on lirc support of mplayer. And voila. So now I can move the mouse with the remote, fully control mplayer from the sofa.

KDE / graphical user interface configuration steps

Most of the following things are done by the user, in the users home directory (/home/[user]) or with gui tools.

First things first, which for me means to get usable (windows) behaviour. Meaning: not the standard behaviour that the most used OSes have, but something that you (I really) can actually work with. I want/need/require (hey it´s my machine, I can require things of it, right?) the following:

  1. window focus follows mouse (meaning, the window that the mouse pointer is on/in is the one that is active, so when I type it will go into that window)
  2. clicking in any window with the lmb, mmb or rmb does not bring the window to front (meaning, I can actually select something in a window with the lmb without the window popping to the front)
  3. move a window without having it on top
  4. move a window without having to go to the window frame with the mouse pointer
  5. resize a window without having it on top
  6. resize a window without having to go to the window frame with the mouse pointer
  7. bring a window to the front without having to go to the window frame with the mouse pointer
  8. send a window to the back without having to go to the window frame with the mouse pointer
  9. single click on icons to launch applications or descend into folders

It must be my lucky day, because all this can easily be done with KDE. Actually, points 3 to 8 are readily available already, without having to change anything in the settings. Note that point 7 is necessary since I wanted that clicking in a window does not bring it to front (which is the case in the standard less usable behaviour). 3 and 4 is done with alt+lmb, 5 and 6 with alt+rmb, 7 and 8 with alt+mmb. To get 1 and 2, start KDE control center: Menu => what to do => administer your system => configure KDE. (Alternatively there are entries for all subsections of the KDE control centre in Menu => Configuration => KDE, but we'll be doing more than just this.)
I have gotten a bit creative and made a shockwave flash page (warning: ~600KB) on what this behaviour looks like.
Now expand the LookNFeel section by clicking on the plus sign in front of it. Go to Window Behavior, and choose the Policy: Focus Follows Mouse; then unselect ´auto raise´ and ´click raise´. At the top, go to the second tab ´Actions´ and in the ´Inactive Inner Window´ make sure all three entries say: ¨Activate & Pass Click¨.
The lower part should have alt as the modifier key, and lmb+mod key=move, mmb+mod key= toggle raise & lower, rmb+mod key = resize. Don't forget to click apply at the bottom.
Now that we´re here, we may as well set the single click part, so that a single click on a desktop icon will do to launch whatever is being clicked. Expand (on the left side) the Peripherals section, select the ´mouse´ entry, and select ´Single-click to open files and folders´ in the Icons-section. BTW in the ´Advanced´-tab you can adjust the speed of the mouse (among other things) if it´s not to your liking.

Now that the KDE CC is open anyway, let´s expand the ´LookNFeel´ section again, and select ¨Behaviour¨. If you don´t want to have icons on your desk with /mnt/cdrom2 /mnt/cdrom /mnt/floppy written to them, you can deselect the ´Display devices on desktop´ checkbox. Hint: if you then right click on your desktop and select Create New => Link to Location (URL) you can just add a name, like: my dvdrom and a location: /mnt/cdrom2 (which is where my dvdrom gets mounted; check that in /etc/fstab).

Something else that I like is Icon Zooming, in case you don't know you can check out what that looks like (~320KB). Right click the panel and select 'Panel Menu' => 'Configure Panel', in the new window that opens select the 'Appearance' entry on the left side, and tick the box: "Enable icon zooming".

Setting up the extra mousbuttons on my Logitech MX700

To be able to use the extra mouse buttons that I have on my MX700 wireless optical USB mouse I did the following:
urpmi imwheel X11R6-contrib
echo "#!/bin/sh" > ~/.kde/Autostart/mousexmodmap
echo "killall /usr/bin/imwheel" >> ~/.kde/Autostart/mousexmodmap
echo "xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 7 6 4 5"" >> ~/.kde/Autostart/mousexmodmap
echo "imwheel -k -b "67"" >> ~/.kde/Autostart/mousexmodmap

plus, of course the following (also as normal user, in the home-dir) to make the right .imwheelrc:
echo '".*"' > ~/.imwheelrc
echo "None, Down, Alt_L|Left" >> ~/.imwheelrc
echo "None, Up, Alt_L|Right" >> ~/.imwheelrc

With these settings/files the thumb buttons on the mouse are "back" and "forward" in browsers/konqueror, and the wheelbuttons function as if the wheel is continuously being scrolled respectively up or down. My /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 mouse section contains the following (only the relevant section is shown here; you can also have a look at my whole /etc/X11/XF86Config-4):

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Mouse1"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option "Device" "/dev/usbmouse"
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"

Configuring the analogue rear channels of my SBLive5.1 audio card

To get audio out of the rear speakers with my SBLive5.1 and ALSA in my analogue 4 channel setup, I opened kmix (start - multimedia - sound - kmix) and muted the last culumn: SB Live Analog/Digital Output Jack.
This is necessary to switch between SPDIF (digital signal) and the analogue rear channels, which are both on the same mini-jack plug.

Oh and by the way, after install, the main volume control is muted. So you're going to have to play a bit with the sliders in kmix. (Even if the sliders indicate a non-zero volume setting, you have to slide a bit for the setting to be accepted.)

Setting up java in Konqueror, Mozilla and Opera

To install java, just do:
urpmi j2re
then set up your browsers to use java.
Konqueror: Settings > configure Konqueror > Java & Javascript: enable Java globally.
Opera: File > Preferences > Multimedia, add (and validate, it might differ slightly from mine) the path: /usr/lib/jdk-1.4.2_01/jre/lib/i386/
Mozilla: Edit > Preferences > Advanced, enable Java

Getting back the 'good' fonts in Opera

After upgrading Opera to something newer than 7.22 or so, your fonts may suddenly get ugly (they did in my case), just edit your ~/.opera/opera6.ini file (while not running Opera) and in the section [User Prefs] add this line: Enable Core X Fonts=0

Total configuration time

Estimated total configuration time: less than one hour. Total downloads: ~100MB give or take a few. With the installation time of about an hour (including thinking about what packages to install etc), two hours plus 100MB downloads to get a completely functional and usable system sounds pretty good to me.

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Page first created: November 2003. Page last updated: Dec 28 2003

Pages tested with but not specifically made for: lynx, konqueror, galeon, Opera, Mozilla, Firefox using, Bluefish and the Gimp on Mandrakelinux by aRTee
All contents © copyright 2003 and 2004, unless mentioned otherwise, published under the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) by aRTee. Artwork and CSS don't fall under the FDL, standard copyright applies. Tux image from Larry Ewing. You may use anything published under the FDL on this site freely, as long as you include a reference to the main address of this site:

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