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Mandriva Free 2007 - the FOSSwire review

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I’m going to take a look at the popular Linux distribution Mandriva; more specifically, their latest free-of-charge desktop outing Mandriva Free 2007.

Mandriva, originally called Mandrake, was born from the code of Red Hat 5.1 and its aim was to create a KDE-based Linux distribution (in those days KDE wasn’t GPL, and Red Hat didn’t want to include it for that reason).

And eight years on, we have Mandriva 2007. It’s a distro aimed at newer users of Linux, and in fact there are several versions of the distribution which are boxed commercial products (Discovery, PowerPack and PowerPack Plus). The Free edition that I tested out isn’t one of these boxed copies and is the only free-to-download version.

Installation

This edition isn’t a Live CD like Ubuntu, so after popping it into the drive and rebooting, you launch straight into the install program where you get to work installing. While it’s a shame you can’t boot in straight away and test it out, Ubuntu is well ahead of most distributions in this respect, so it doesn’t put Mandriva behind the pack, just not in front of it either.

Full Story.

A sort of bizzare review

To wit...

Wonder if FOSSwire knows all of their screenshots are unavailable at the moment?

If you want a version of Mandriva that you could check out, and later install, from a live CD, you can freely download "Mandriva One" -- it's not exactly hidden on Mandriva's website.

The author doesn't test partitioning, nor does he mention that Mandriva's installer was one of the first (if not the first) that allowed you to resize an NTFS partition.

I don't know about "most" Linux users, but I wouldn't assume they have no distro loyalty after finding the one they like.

Why would you reference apps by their descriptions, and not by their names? Most people are clever enough to figure out that "Kate" is a text editor -- especially when it's listed under "Editors" on the menu. Likewise for the author's beef over the KDE vs. the Mandriva control centers. Most users will be clever enough to figure out that the "KDE" in "KDE Control Center" refers to the GUI and the "Mandriva" ... you get the point.

More importantly: Simplification for new users is good and fine, but there's a learning process that has to occur, too.

I'd agree that it's not terribly clear what's going on with the update manager. That was a source of confusion for me, too, the last time I installed Mandriva. Clicking on the icon in the system tray brought up a dialog that seemed to indicate one had to have a club membership ($) in order to use the utility. However, someone told me that updates are freely available to everyone -- just perhaps not through the utility in the system tray. (?)

"It might not blow you away, but it’s a solid operating system product with a lot of potential." Huh. Sounds like "damning with faint praise."
--
><)))°> Kanotix: Making Linux work. http://kanotix.com

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