Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Beginning with an easy-to-use installer and booting into a well-thought-out desktop, Mandriva 2007 provides an environment that is aesthetically consistent and makes new users feel at home. Where Mandriva 2006 failed to provide an appropriate level of support for more advanced users, Mandriva 2007 includes prominently displayed tools for configuration from the desktop. Although these tools are marred by sluggish package management and an unhelpful security rating system, as well as instability on some machines, overall Mandriva 2007 re-establishes the distribution as one of the most advanced desktop experiences in GNU/Linux.
Mandriva 2007 comes in several editions. Those who prefer to use only free software have a choice of the One live CD for either GNOME or KDE, or the Linux Free edition. For those without philosophical objections to proprietary software, Mandriva offers the Discovery edition for beginners, the Powerpack edition for more advanced users, and Powerpack+ for small businesses and home offices. In addition, the Mandriva Club edition includes unspecified packages available only to members. I installed and tested the Discovery edition.
Mandriva has had more years than most distributions to perfect its install. Its maturity shows in the care with which basic and advanced options are positioned in each window.