Mandriva 2007: Back in the race

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Reviews

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.

Installation

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.

Full Story.

Thoughts on Mandriva’s Future

Mandriva 2007 may be the best distribution I have used. XGL/AIGLX worked for me right out of the box. My windows wobbled, things were transparent and I got to spin the cube. The updated look of Mandriva One is fresh. I was able to install anything I needed. Looking through Mandriva’s forum, you see employees of the company who care and are genuinely trying to help. Mandriva offers “free as in freedom” versions and versions with propriatery software–meaning Nvidia drivers are set up, MP3’s play and you can watch DVDs. You would expect a release like this to be trumpeted. Instead, the release was met with hostility. Forums on tech sites were filled with Linux users cheering for the end of Mandriva. What happened? How did a company that was loved at one time become so unpopular? Is the hostility justified?

That Story.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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