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This wiki page may eventually grow into a series of pages that explain how to download Linux distributions (or contain pointers to other good instructions / explanations).

The page is starting with some miscellaneous notes and a link to Mandrake where you can choose from a number of Mandrake distributions to download.

See about these pages.


Miscellaneous Notes

  • In Netscape, I believe you must press shift as you are starting the download, otherwise it may be downloaded as the wrong thing (a text file?).

  • What you are downloading is an "image" or .iso file (sometimes I say "iso", sometimes I say "dot iso"). The normal approach is to burn this to a CD-Rom before installing it. (There are alternate approaches, like installing via ftp or after putting the iso file on the hard drive, but it will be a while before I try to explain those here (as I've never used those other approaches).)

  • A key point when you burn it to a CD is that you tell your burning software that you have an image file -- then it will be burnt properly. If you don't do this, you may get just a copy of the iso file on the CD which will not do you much good.

  • After downloading the iso file, you should confirm that the downloaded file is OK by running the md5sum program on it, and checking the result. Versions of md5sum are available for Windows and Linux. If you have a link for either, add it here:
    • Link to Linux md5sum:
    • Link to Windows md5sum:

  • Downloading a 650 MB iso using my 33.6 KBPS modem takes about 65 hours. My ISP has taken to disconnecting me after 12 hours. For that reason, you may want to use software that can restart a transfer from where it left off (automatically or manually).
    • In Windows, I use Net Vampire: < add a link>
    • In Linux, I use ncftp, which was included with Mandrake 7.2

  • If you download the entire file and find that the md5sum is not correct, you do not have to repeat the entire download. A program called rsync can compare the two files and then download just the portions of the program that contain errors. It took me quite a while to learn how to do this, but, once I did, correcting one particular file took less than an hour. See Rsyncing A Large File.

  • Many modern isos are designed to be bootable if burned to a CD. If you burn the iso correctly, and your computer supports booting from the CD-Rom drive, you should be able to boot and then install from the CD-Rom with the first disk of the distribution in the CD drive. You probably need to go into your BIOS and change the bootup sequence so that the CD drive is the first drive checked for a bootable image.

Mandrake Distributions

This is the main site:


After you choose the distribution you want to download, you will go to a page from which you can choose a mirror site.


-- RandyKramer - 15 Sep 2001
Topic revision: r1 - 2001-10-01 - RandyKramer
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