Mandriva One Spring 2009
- Mandriva Linux was formerly known as Mandrake.
- Mandriva was first created in 1998 (at the time known as Mandrake), making it one of the more well established Linux distros.
- Mandriva is a french company with offices in other countries and is a world wide company.
What I liked:
- Easy to use, very newbie friendly.
- I chose the Gnome desktop and it was as integrated as the default choice of KDE. No dependency issues that I saw, which is good because it didn't feel like Gnome was an afterthought but the first choice of desktop environments.
- My network settings were detected right away, including my wireless card and all connections within range.
- I loved the Software Manager and the way it was categorized. One category of apps was "GUI included." There's nothing better for a Linux newbie than a GUI.
- There were all the expected applications, like OpenOffice (the entire suite), Firefox, the latest Flash player version (There is also a 'free' version of Mandriva with no proprietary software whatsoever), Gimp and Inkscape.
- Some little things I liked were the gnome-panel-manager that showed the battery life of my laptop (normal) AND the battery life of my wireless mouse! Another was the Phone Manager, to set up mobile phones for texting. Other options for Desktop Environments include FVWM, IceWM Lite and of course, Mandriva's default-KDE
- Other likes were the Control Center, where you can configure the entire system from one place (it's the same one used by PCLinuxOS and TinyMe also), firewall settings, parental controls and if you need some Windows compatibility (barf!) it's there.
- The appearance was a nice polished blue theme, very professional and classy looking.
What I didn't like:
- It takes a few to boot. Not overly long like Fedora, but not fast like Mint.
- The boot process runs through some screens like a Debian installer..why? no idea..not a big deal, just a very small annoyance if you are only running the live CD but it's thorough so that's good too.
- I found it odd there was a TV application but only Totem is installed. Of course, just install whichever player you like (I prefer VLC) but I thought it was weird.
This is my first foray into the world of Mandriva Linux. I had tried to use a Live CD of Mandriva 2007 (I believe) and I couldn't get it to run but I must say WOW....I was impressed by the ease of use. This distro is so very newbie friendly and easy to use. I actually forgot myself and was trying to just use it like I had it installed already! Which by the way I am thinking about very seriously. I love my Linux Mint but it's been problematic with wireless connections and a few dependency issues here lately and I don't feel like doing a fresh install of Mint 7 right now so Mandriva might be my choice. This coming from a dedicated Debian user!!! I definitely give it an A+ for ease of use and an A- for appearance. This is a great distro and now I see why it is so popular in Europe.