Bonum Certa Men Certa

Off Topic: Mandriva 2008.1 Recommendation

Verdict: Excellent Distribution (Mandriva 2008.1 with KDE 3.5.x.)

At one stage in the past, this Web site gave Mandriva a hard time, but only due to cautiousness, due to doubt. We'll return to this in a moment and present other concerns at the end.

In practice, Mandriva turns out to be a wonderful GNU/Linux distribution that makes computing a totally CLI-free nirvana. The developers should be proud.

Background



Having received a new computer a few days ago, I tried a variety of distributions on it (both 32- and 64-bit). The maturity of GNU/Linux was demonstrated by the fact that, in all cases, everything worked right 'out of the box'.

I don't consider myself qualified to write a comprehensive review, which would also require time and dedication. But in any event, this is just a note to say thank you for the Mandriva team, which put together a wonderful product.

Time will tell if it will stay this way, at least in the sense that a lifetime of a distribution and it success cannot be measured based on just a few days of regular use. I used Mandrake on two of my PCs before, but never used Mandriva. The loss was mine.

The Positives



Package management: super (so far, so good)

KDE integration with Mandriva's tools and branding: good

Hardware support: based on a single test, all is great

Installer: better than (or on par with) any of the others that I tried

The Negatives



None so far. I just don't fancy the default wallpaper, but that's easy to take care of. ;-)

The Possible Snag



There is still a level of caution when it comes Mandriva because of Manbo (Turbolinux has an intellectual monopoly deal with Microsoft and it swaps code/RPMs with Mandriva). This should not be an issue, according to Alan W. and others in Mandriva, including the CEO. We also asked the FSF about it.

Time will tell, but I don't want to end up like I did with SUSE. I used it at home and at work for years prior to the Microsoft/Novell deal. It goes back to S.u.S.E. days.

The Beranger Take



Mandriva dreads Beranger, a renowned Linux guru who comments constructively without much mercy. In my correspondence with Beranger, who is intimately familiar with this distribution, some interesting points came up. We share them here for completeness:

"I hope you meant "KDE3", not KDE4," he wrote. "Mandriva has different set of bugs twice a year. Was it "Mandriva 2008" or "Mandriva 2008.1 (Spring)"? Try the other one and you'll see different bugs out of the box!"

Regarding support, he shared: "All Mandriva Linux editions are supported for twelve months (desktop packages) or eighteen months (core packages) for official updates from the product release date. The Mandriva Product Lifetime Policy describes the supported life for Mandriva software products."

"But they can barely fix the bugs for the current release," he argued.

"Mandriva 2009 will have KDE 4.1, and they'll only have KDE 3.5.9 in "contrib". That means it'll be less supported, specifically "contrib" gets NO security fixes!!! So this (2008 Spring) is the last Mandriva with KDE3, in real terms."

About "contrib": "These updates are not tested, signed or supported by the Mandriva security team; they are built and issued by the maintainers of the 'contrib' packages. We do not guarantee that all maintainers will issue security or bugfix updates, but we provide this media for those maintainers who choose to do so."

“All in all, Mandriva 2008.1 has been a wonderful GNU/Linux distribution so far.”"They had a Mandriva Corporate Desktop 3.0 (KDE-only)," he told me, "and they claimed to have issued a Mandriva Corporate Desktop 4.0 (KDE-only too), but they're now both unavailable from the online store!!! Actually, MCD4 was never available in the store!!!"

He concluded with: "Too bad, Mandriva can't afford to maintain a Desktop distro that would have been supported for years... and it was a KDE3 distro!"

The debate here seems to revolve a lot around updates, which is probably not a huge concern anyway. In Free software, upgrades rarely involve much trouble, or even a payment. So, that last bit is a rant to be taken with a grain of salt but not to be ignored. All in all, Mandriva 2008.1 has been a wonderful GNU/Linux distribution so far. Consider giving it a try.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 14/04/2024: Tesla and OpenAI (Microsoft) Layoffs Floated in the Media
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 13, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, April 13, 2024
Gemini Links 13/04/2024: SEO Spam and ‘Broadband Nutrition Label’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 13/04/2024: GmCapsule 0.7 Released
Links for the day
Links 13/04/2024: Whistleblowers, OpenAI and Microsoft Leakers
Links for the day
'Our' Technology Inside the Home is Becoming Less Reliable and It Implements the Vision of Orwell's '1984' (Microphones and Cameras Inside Almost Every Room)
Technology controlled by who exactly?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 12, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, April 12, 2024
Google, FSFE & Child labor
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
Links 13/04/2024: Huawei and Loongson PCs, IBM Layoffs
Links for the day
Gemini Links 13/04/2024: Specification Changes and Metaverse Newbie
Links for the day
Links 12/04/2024: Big Brother in the Workplace and Profectus Browser Alpha 0.3
Links for the day
[Video] Trainline Finally Issues a Refund, But It Took 9 Days and Showed How 'Modern' Systems Fail Travelers
They treat people like a bunch of animals or cattle, not like valuable customers
WIPO UDRP D2024-0770 Debian vendetta response
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 12/04/2024: Reporters Without Borders Rep Kicked Out of Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/04/2024: Funny Thing, Manual Scripts, and More
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 11, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, April 11, 2024