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Are there any free updates for Mandrake or Gentoo Linux?

I do a lot of installs for community groups and use FreshRPMs APT Updater on Red Hat 8. It works great. (No hassle at all and no fee to Red Hat to update software: truly free support.) There is an APT for Red Hat 9, but I have yet to get that to work.

I believe, and you can tell me if I am wrong, that most of the Unix varieties don't require an update fee. I do some Sun work, and they don't. But Red Hat and Mandrake Linux charge to keep installs up to date. SuSE doesn't -- at least, they have not required me to do anyting for my several installs of 8.2. SCO didn't when I installed OpenLinux, but with their new policies one never knows.

Yes, it is a shame that some of the Linux distros are not interested in providing good working and safe-to-use installs, but they're only out for the bucks. What is a shame is that they will let you manually update, which costs them more wear and tear on their servers than giving it away would. Go figure.

My question: Are you aware of any other free updates for either Mandrake Linux or Gentoo Linux?

Thanks for your time.

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I heard from somewhere that the best things in life are free. Unfortunately, as most of us know from all the pop-up ads we see, there is little out there that is really free. Sometimes you can get around the costs if you look hard enough, though. Regarding Unix support for downloads, some stuff is free, and others you pay for. IBM works this way, and HP won't give away the store for free either. The difference is when the Unix vendors make you pay, it's much more than the $5 a month Mandrake asks. While Mandrake literally begs you to join their little club for $5 a month, they won't stop you from getting downloads. Here is the URL: http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3.

Try to download what you need and promise to be a good boy and join later. If you still can't get what you need here, try this URL for other free Mandrake updates: http://www.frozen-bubble.org/index.php?menu_item=1.

Regarding Gentoo, you can get the software free from their Website: http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/where.xml. Updates and patches are driven by their portage process. I haven't worked with this version yet, but here is a link that should help you get started: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/portage-manual.xml.

Good luck!

This was first published in May 2003

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