Software Resources


  • 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
Section index - KB index

Some Remarks On Linux Software

Most Linux software is developed following the bazaar model which means releases are part of the testing process.
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 Linux kernel or 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).

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Security Updates And Bug Fixes

These are essential. Their availability is announced via the 'Security' mailing list and the MandrivaOnline page. 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.

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Getting Latest RPMs

Cooker 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 Mandriva Bugzilla 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 the Cooker page at

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 Red Hat Powertools, Raw Hide, Red Hat's development distribution, or Freshmeat, GNU/Linux' premier software news site.
Be prepared for the fact that your mileage with RPMs from distributions other than Mandriva Linux will vary.

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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 Easy urpmi config for Mandriva. Update your mirrors from there if you get an error message during software installation with Rpmdrake. For more about this see Installing Software.

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 Mandriva Club Rpms. There you find a lot of rpm lists indexed by different attributes and a search button.

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Finding Software By Task

Have a look at these sites:

Since none of these depots has all of the software available, it is often worth checking out two or more of them.

A more 'traditional' method is using the Linux Software Map. This is a database which works by specially formatted LSM files for each listed program (these files contain info like a program's purpose, author, version etc.). The advantage is that you can download the plain text data file (about 2 MB) and search it offline, e.g. using 'grep'.
Metalab provides an online LSM search machine, Linsearch.

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Finding Software By Name

If you just want to know where to get a certain software package, use The Filewatcher, an FTP indexing and search machine. Tuxfinder and Rpmseek provide similar services.
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 SourceForge and FreshMeat,

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Commercial Software

Available commercial software is listed in the Linux Commercial HOWTO.

The ~Mandriva Club offers its members commercial packages for download.

Rated Software

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 Linux Today's search machine to find out. Or bring in the big guns and use Google, arguably the best search machine for this kind of task.

More software reviews can be found on Linux Software, ~LinuxPlanet and Linux Weekly news also provides a recent series of reviews of software for various tasks in their "grumpy editor" series:

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Tracking Software Development

If you are interested in software in general, consider subscribing to Freshmeat's daily newsletter. Linux Today posts daily 'Release Digests' of software written for GNOME and KDE.

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Related Resources:

List of Mandriva FTP mirrors
Latest Mandriva Cooker RPMs
Latest Security Updates And Bugfixes

Revision / Modified: August 21st, 2006 -- Céline Harrand Revision / Modified: July 4, 2002
Author: Tom Berger

Legal: This page is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Standard disclaimers of warranty apply. Copyright LSTB and Mandriva.

KB - Software Resources
Version 1.13 last modified by Samuel Montaño_0 on 20/02/2008 at 04:08




Creator: grantingram on 2004/06/01 00:56
(c) Mandriva 2007