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Mandrake 9 - Getting more software

Followup notes on adding more software on to a Mandrake 9 system.

After Mandrake 9 is installed, one might need to install additional software. Believe it or not, once you get your software sources setup right, it is far easier than Windows (9x, NT, 2000 or XP) to add additional software.

Installer helpers

Mandrake, like RedHat uses RPM - Redhat Package Manager - format to package its software. MUO has very easy tutorials on RPM as available on Mandrake. If you don’t have time, these are your friendly commands you can execute from a terminal, where you log in as root:

  1. urpmi - just type in urpmi package and it will tell you whether it can find the package, any dependencies you need to install etc. Use grpmi if you prefer GUI.
  2. rpm - this is the command line program that actually installs, upgrades, removes or compiles packages. Use rpmdrake if you prefer GUI instead of command line.

Software Repositories

Software is available all over the world. In Mandrake’s language, these are called as urpmi sources. Open a terminal, type in the following commands and you’ll have a pretty good source list that covers most software.

Note: Each single line starts with urpmi.add and ends with cz

urpmi.addmedia -h PLF with
urpmi.addmedia -h Texstar with
urpmi.addmedia -h Standard  with
urpmi.addmedia -h Standard2 with
urpmi.addmedia -h RPMfind with

Please note that for some packages, you might need a pretty good internet connection. Some are quite huge.

Install Software

Couldn’t be easier. Let us say you want to watch DVD movies. Two popular players available are xine and mplayer. Want to install mplayer? Type in:

urpmi mplayer

And wait till it fetches the package info, asks you if you want to install the dependencies (SAY YES) , downloads and installs the packages.

  1. thanks - this was enormously helpful. My Mandrake installation disk no. 2 got damaged, and 3 efforts to replace it by downloading from an iso image source failed. (I think that I have a problem with the rpmdrake program too, since it also lost the ability to read disk no. 3.) Of the five sources you gave, the only one that failed to work was the last.

    Posted by: Howard Shippin on January 18, 2003 07:31 AM
  2. I was able to get number five to work by removing the us from and making mandrake-devel into Mandrake-devel

    Posted by: Chris Berry on January 29, 2003 07:02 PM
  3. I'm sorry but we're the in March 2003 and ftp have moved... there is only the 2 first that works well. Do you know where we can have a complete and current list of the urpmi servers?

    Posted by: Starfun on March 26, 2003 08:50 AM
  4. has a list of archive sources. These are available for download from Mandrake only for club members, but you can scroll down and get a link to the original archiver.

    Also, other sources might not be working because 9.1 is out now. So, they might've removed 9.0 packages.

    Posted by: Babu on March 26, 2003 04:43 PM
  5. There is a web based urpmi command maker to help you identify and add sources. Try and enjoy!

    Also, Ranger provides lot of RPMS for a multitude of Mandrake distributions. Check out his site at

    Posted by: Babu on March 30, 2003 07:57 AM
  6. (interface is administratively down pending finish of mandrake setup)

    Excellent resource. I've heard urpmi does for rpm what apt does for dpkg, and I'm looking forward to it. Maybe RedHat could use some pointers from the Mandrake team!

    Posted by: Devlor Nakarti on April 14, 2003 10:56 PM
  7. How would I install software independently? Say I downloaded some *.tar.gz package, where should I put it first before unzipping and going through ./configure/make/make install ? Thanks!

    Posted by: Gene on April 23, 2003 09:53 PM
  8. Hi!
    Im a recent convert to linux (about 3 days now)..

    I must say this is a nice resource.. I ve been looking for these software repositiries for soooo long now!

    there is a small problem i have .. in my sources .. none of the CD's show up. I have 3 mandrake cds.. CD1 used to show p .. but after I ran these commands, it vanished. is there anyway i can add these CD's to the list? help would be really appreciated.. thanx.

    Posted by: Newbie on April 30, 2003 05:08 PM
  9. #8, I have another post that explains just this:

    Posted by: Babu on April 30, 2003 08:35 PM
  10. This definitely works at the current time (15 may 03) for 9.1

    urpmi.addmedia -h RPMfind with

    Note: the synthesis is hdlist2 - this caught me out first time round.

    Once you have added the media - I think it is easier to do everything else from:
    mandrake control center->software management->RpmDrake

    Posted by: john on May 15, 2003 08:16 AM
  11. Which packages should I install to run mandrake control centre in Mandrake 9?

    Posted by: suraj on November 4, 2004 09:32 PM
  12. hi! this is Harry. i have a problem, after installing mandrake 9.1 it gives me localhost login; with no desktop, just dos. sometimes after installing i get a very small menu and nothing else.

    please help on this.

    Posted by: harry on November 5, 2004 03:48 PM