- Some Remarks On Linux Software
- Security Updates and Bug Fixes
- Getting Latest RPMs
- Finding Software in Mandriva Linux
- Finding Software By Task
- Finding Software By Name
- Commercial Software
- Rated Software
- Tracking Software Development
Some Remarks On Linux Software
Most Linux software is developed following the
If you are using Linux, you are supposed to be intelligent enough to spot errors and report them back to the developer(s). That's your part of the bargain: the developer gives you the software for free and you help them spotting and fixing errors (or providing artwork, documentation etc). That's why we are referring to ourselves as a community.
Free software is based upon two principles: 'release early, release often' and 'peer review'. Release version numbers below '1.0' usually denote 'Alpha' or 'Beta' software, although it is absolutely left to the developer's discretion when and if to declare a software project '1.0'. The 'Window Maker' project for example has provided a very solid and feature-rich window manager for years and at the time of this writing, the release version is 0.91.
Of course, this cuts both ways: a project with a high release version number may still have annoying bugs.
Some projects like the Linuxor the GIMP image manipulation program discriminate 'development' from 'stable' versions by the minor release number: even numbers mark a 'stable' release (e.g. 1.2.1), odd numbers a development release (e.g. 1.3.1).
Security Updates And Bug Fixes
These are essential. Their availability is announced via the 'Security' mailing list and thepage. Run the '~MandrivaOnline' tool symbol on the systray once a week and you are on the safe side in this respect. This process will also cover major bugfixes.
Notice that only packages installed via Mandriva CDs and ~MandrivaOnline are officially supported by Mandriva.
Getting Latest RPMs
is Mandriva's ongoing development distribution, here the latest software is packaged and tested.
Often you can just get new packages from one of the Cooker FTP servers and install them without causing any trouble for your system. Sometimes however these packages may contain bugs since they haven't been fully tested yet. Or they won't install at all because Cooker has switched to a newer version of an important library.
In short: You may not want to use Cooker packages on production systems. If you experience problems with RPMs from Cooker, please report them to the for reports pertaining to your problem. This will help us to improve our products for the future.
To install packages from 'Cooker', you can either use the Software Manager (or 'urpmi'), your favorite Cooker FTP server or.
On most Cooker FTP servers, you will also find an directory called 'unsupported'. From time to time this directory contains unofficial and - well - unsupported updates for the current release.
You can also try RPMs from other distributions, like
Be prepared for the fact that your mileage with RPMs from distributions other than Mandriva Linux will vary.
Finding Software in Mandriva Linux
Mandriva Linux contains literally thousands of packages. You will find the majority of software that you need in the Mandriva Linux distribution. To find out what you can install you can use the Installer tool to search for software that does what you want.
There are a lot of rpm packages available on the Mandriva Club site (Commercial Packages) and the Mandriva mirrors, where the list can be found using the. Update your mirrors from there if you get an error message during software installation with Rpmdrake. For more about this see .
Firstly imagine that we are looking for a text editor called "nedit" that a friend has told us is very good for text editing. To find if it is available in Mandriva Linux we fire up the Mandriva Linux Control Center. (menu: System - Configuration - Configure your computer) Select the Software Management icon and then the install icon. You can then use the search tool at the top of the tool to search for "nedit".
This is all very well if we know the name of the package. If we couldn't remember the name of the reccomended software we could enter "text editor" into the search field and then select "in descriptions" from the options just to the left of the text entry field. This will search through the descriptions - which can take quite a long time - and gives us a list of software packages which have the words "text editor" in the package description.
If you select each package in turn that that the search turns up, more details are visible on the left hand side.
The most easy way however to get informed about all available software packages provided by Mandriva you should have a look at the. There you find a lot of rpm lists indexed by different attributes and a search button.
Finding Software By Task
Have a look at these sites:
A more 'traditional' method is using the
Metalab provides an online LSM search machine, .
Finding Software By Name
If you just want to know where to get a certain software package, use
If you prefer RPMs, use the search machine at . You can even search for RPMs which contain a certain file.
Most of the Open Source Software can be found at and ,
Available commercial software is listed in the.
Theoffers its members commercial packages for download.
GNU/Linux is about choice. Usually you have a bunch of programs for the same task. Testing which one suits your needs is part of the fun ;-). There are no software sites which provide a decent rating scheme: Linuxberg is pathetic and the number of downloads as rated by Linuxapps tells you nothing about how useful a program really is.
If you are in luck, someone has just written a review and announced it on Linux Today. Use to find out. Or bring in the big guns and use , arguably the best search machine for this kind of task.
More software reviews can be found on, and . Linux Weekly news also provides a recent series of reviews of software for various tasks in their "grumpy editor" series: .
Tracking Software Development
If you are interested in software in general, consider subscribing to's daily newsletter. posts daily 'Release Digests' of software written for and .
Revision / Modified: August 21st, 2006 -- Céline Harrand Revision / Modified: July 4, 2002
Author: Tom Berger
Legal: This page is covered by the. Standard disclaimers of warranty apply. Copyright LSTB and Mandriva.
Version 1.13 last modified by on 20/02/2008 at 04:08