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Linux hints and tips and tweaks

Set the sources for software installation

The usual method for installing Linux on a PC is to download a .iso image, burn it to a CD or DVD, and then to boot from it. You can boot to the desktop if it is a live CD or DVD and then run the installer, or you can boot straight to the installer. It depends on the distro and some have both options. After installing Linux you might then want to add some software, depending on how much it came with. This could be installed from the CD or DVD, or it could be downloaded. It is better to download it because it will be more up to date, but you may find that Linux prompts you to insert the CD or DVD instead. This appears to happen with Mandriva 2010. Getting software to download instead of being read from the CD/DVD is easy.

In Mandriva 2010, click the menu button in the bottom left corner and then select Tools, System Tools, Configure your computer. Enter your password and when the application opens, select Software Management on the left and then click Configure media sources for install and update on the right.

Mandriva software sources

A list of all the sources used when browsing and installing software is displayed and at the top are two CD-Rom entries. Clear the ticks against them and they won't be used any more. Mandriva will only look at online sources.

Other Linux distros have similar options for selecting the software sources and in Ubuntu for example, you can go to System, Administration, Software Sources. On the Ubuntu Software tab you might see a CD listed and you don't need it to be ticked. If there's a CD or DVD on the Other Software tab you can clear the tick there too.

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