I found the answer by looking at the login screen of the Mandriva One installation. At the bottom section of the login screen, at the password prompt window, you have the Session dropdown menu which allows you to choose the desktop environment (DE) to log into. One option in that menu is drak3d. On One, I did not run into this drak3d issue, since the system was using the designated default – GNOME. The system will use drak3d only if you manually chose it.
In the Mandriva Free installation, I had specified, during the installation process, KDE as my DE. However, the login screen of the Free installation does not have the Session dropdown menu. And the system, it seems, was trying to use drak3d as the default.
There was really nothing I could do at this point, but to reboot. I could base the rest of the review on the Mandriva One installation, but I decided to try something. Maybe I could figure out a method of installing glxinfo. The only way I could put myself in a position of installing anything on this system was to reboot into Safe mode (one of the options on the boot screen), which dropped me into single user session. It meant manual configuration of the Ethernet card, but that was trivial. The next five images shows what happened when I tried to install glxinfo.
The urpmi command is Mandriva’s answer for apt-get. It is said to have solved rpm’s dependency handling problems. To install the problem package, I typed urpmi glxinfo. The following output shows that the system was trying to install it from Main media, which is the installation medium.
This is one problem with Free: Out of the box, it is configured to look for packages in the installation medium. On the other hand, One is configured, by default, to look for packages in online repositories (Main, Main updates, etc.). I thought that I could fix this minor issue, so I decided to mess with the urpmi.cfg file (under the /etc/urpmi directory).
After messing with urpmi.cfg (making Main and Main updates the defaults), I retried the installation of glxinfo. This time, it failed, returning the error shown in the image below. The package that it failed to download is the DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure) library required for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics.
This image just shows the online repository that it failed to download the DRI library from. I could have tried to update the urpmi database with the urpmi.update command. However, experience has taught me that it tends to return its own errors, which would take a few more steps to fix. So I let it go. This was just a review installation, and if it’s taking this much effort just to make it work, then Mandriva has not done a very good job with the 2010 Spring edition of Free.
Another sign that something is not right with Free is shown in this image. LXDE is checked, showing that it is the default desktop environment. Of all the desktop environments available, why is LXDE the default on Mandriva Free 2010 Spring?