This is a read-only archive. Find the latest Linux articles, documentation, and answers at the new Linux.com!

Linux.com

Feature: Mandriva

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

By Bruce Byfield on October 15, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

Share    Print    Comments   

Back when Mandriva was called Mandrake, the distribution had the reputation of being the most user-friendly Linux distribution. Financial difficulties, personnel changes, and the rise of Ubuntu changed that, and somehow Mandriva never quite regained its reputation. With this week's release of Mandriva 2009, Mandriva has continued to work on user-friendliness. Aside from a poorly organized installation program and a few scattered problems, Mandriva 2009 offers a desktop experience that is at least the equal of any other distribution for everyday use and that has a strong claim of being the most advanced available for system administration.

Mandriva 2009 is available in three versions. If you want a download version, can choose between Mandriva Linux One, which consists of mostly free software with a few of the proprietary compromises that many GNU/Linux distributions use, such as the inclusion of Adobe Flash and Sun Java (rather than OpenJava, the free version), or Mandriva Linux Free, which contains only free software. You can also choose to purchase and download Mandriva PowerPack, which includes such extras as proprietary audio and video codecs and three months of Web support. Since Mandriva Linux One is the default choice on the download page, it is the one used for this review.

Installation

Mandriva 2009 includes a revised install program. The installer should cause no problem for anyone who has a few GNU/Linux installations to their credit, but, despite Mandriva's intent, the main impression of it is not so much ease of use so much as endless stages. Each time you think it has finished, another stage pops up. Nor is help available for the inexperienced user, although some advanced options are hidden in a pull-down pane, the way they are throughout Mandriva.

Installation seems to start with a choice of language, time zone, and keyboard, as well as a license agreement. But, despite the initial menu choice, this start eventually proves to be only a boot into a live CD, from which you can start the real installation. The installer begins with partitioning, then proceeds directly into package installation -- giving you no opportunity to select packages -- and then asks how you want the bootloader installed. Then, on rebooting, you configure the software repositories and create a user account and passwords. At that point, you might imagine that you are done, but you are then asked if you want to register (although why you would want to is unclear), given a survey to answer, and asked whether you want to "contribute" by sending details about your hardware to Mandriva. While you can click through many of these layers, either accepting the defaults or declining to join, participate, or contribute, you might be forgiven for wondering if you will ever see your new desktop.

Some of the details of the installer don't help, either -- for instance, the lack of a Back button if you select automatic partitioning, or bootloader options that are likely to mean little to inexperienced users, and that have little relation to the final labels you see when you reboot.

The installer does have some touches that other distros might consider implementing, such as the option of not installing packages that your hardware does not require, and logging in automatically to your user account when the process reaches its end. But in general, the installer needs streamlining and more help if it is to be both efficient and easy.

Desktops and software selection

Fortunately, installation is usually a one-time process. Once you reach the desktop, your experience of Mandriva 2009 should dramatically improve.

By default, Mandriva 2009 boots to a GNOME desktop -- a choice that might surprise past users who are accustomed to thinking of Mandriva as a KDE-based distribution. The default wallpaper is black with lines and curves of orange and yellow light converging on the center of the desktop's right side, a choice so neutral that it is hard to have an opinion of it.

Software on the default desktop is the very latest as of last week, including a 2.6.27 kernel, Firefox 3.03, Pidgin 2.5.1, and a release candidate for OpenOffice.org 3.0, as well as all the current versions of multimedia applications that come with the latest version of GNOME. These and other applications are available in a stripped-down menu in which the GNOME help system is a top-level item -- a move so simple yet useful that you wonder why all distros don't do the same.

If you prefer, you can choose KDE 4.1.2 instead. The Mandriva 2009 version of the new KDE sports the same wallpaper as GNOME, and replaces the default Kickoff menu with a Mandriva menu that is almost a simplified as the one for GNOME.

Unfortunately, the folder view, which is supposed to be the place for your desktop icons, does not allow you to add any but, if you work from the menu anyway, you are unlikely to notice this problem. In fact, if, like some people, you think the folder view simply gets in your way, you may not mind the fact that, once you delete it, it is gone forever, since the list of widgets does not include it.

Notably, the KDE applications, however, are much less current than those for GNOME, with only the KDE 3.5 versions of standard applications like Konsole, Kmail, and Konqueor available. In fact, you can log into KDE 3.5 if you prefer the Classical version of the desktop to the most recently released one.

Other graphical environments are also available, including Enlightenment and Xfce. For those sold on 3-D desktops, there is even the choice of drak3-D on the login screen.

Administration and software installation

Mandriva's Linux Control System has always provided an outstanding collection of graphical tools for administering a system, and Mandrive 2009 continues this tradition. Few other arrays of administrative tools can boast such items as a check box for automatically starting the X Window System, tools for configuring scanners, faxes, and universal power supplies, or options for which applications should use installed fonts.

The Security pane is an especially strong example of Mandriva's tools. Beginning users can choose security settings ranging from "Poor" to "Paranoid," with brief descriptions of what each entails, while more experienced users can fine-tune these vague-sounding settings in four tabs divided into the categories of Network, System, Period Check, and Authentication. Aside from the fact that the pane never explains what the default settings are -- which means that you are unsure whether each is on or off when you initially choose your own settings -- the arrangement is a perfect example of how Mandriva is gradually making provisions for different levels of users.

Other security features include utilities for setting permissions on key directories, and parental controls. Using the parental controls, you can set which accounts can be run, and a period of time in which they can be used, so that children cannot, for example, visit forbidden sites before their parents are awake or in the middle of the night. The parental controls also include blank tabs where you can create your own blacklist and whitelist.

The weakest point in Mandriva 2009's graphical system tools is the software installer Rpmdrake, which you reach from Install and Remove Software at the bottom of the main menu. While its offer to let you review the .rpmnew and .rpmsave files -- the configuration files that have changed as you install -- is a welcome addition to the workflow, its insistence on updating every time you start is a needless delay. Even worse, Rpmdrake persists in showing you all of an application's dependencies at the moment that you choose it, a behavior that seriously slows a mass installation of files, such as you have when installing a new desktop environment.

Otherwise, Rpmdrake is a graphical tool that is more or less functionally equivalent to the increasingly widely used PackageKit. All the same, if you are constantly installing or removing software, the command-line tools urpmi or smart, or their graphical front ends gurpmi or smart-gui, are probably less frustrating tools to use. In this incarnation, Rpmdrake is an exception in an otherwise well-rounded collection of administrative tools.

In most cases, providing graphical tools for administration tasks means a reduction in options, but with each version, Mandriva seems to be adding more options accessible from the desktop. Some might argue that graphical tools can never replace the power of the command line, but Mandriva is doing more than most distributions to give graphical desktop users a well-rounded set of tools.

Like most desktop-oriented distributions, Mandriva is user-friendly in the sense that it is easy for beginners to learn the basics of daily operation. However, unlike other user-friendly desktops, Mandriva goes one step further, and provides more advanced tools that can meet users' needs as they become familiar with their new operating system. Users can ignore these advanced features until they are ready, but, when they are, the features are available at the click of a button or a tab. In other words, Mandriva gives users room to grow.

Purists might wish that Mandriva would go one step further, and explain to new users what configuration files they are changing with the desktop tools. However, Mandriva deserves full credit for not limiting the definition of user-friendly to over-simplification. Unlike most user-friendly distributions, Mandriva is not just for beginners, but for intermediate users as well -- and that's a redefinition that is long overdue.

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist who writes regularly for Linux.com.

Share    Print    Comments   

Comments

on Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.60.95.83] on October 15, 2008 08:15 PM
I used to be one that believed that Ubuntu was more user friendly because so many people participated in the forums to help fix problems. Then I started visiting other forums. The same problems that existed with Ubuntu didn't seem to exist with Mandriva or OpenSuse. After I tried both distributions I realized that they were easier to configure and maintain. Mandriva's control panel and Suse's Yast make the user experience a very nice one. The command line is rarely invoked. I personally don't think Ubuntu is more user friendly, I just think it is better marketed.

I'm no Ubuntu hater. I've got Hardy Heron on my laptop. But I run Mandriva on my desktop dual booting with Fedora. Each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. They all have the same software. They all have OOo and Firefox. They all have a nice repository of (mostly similar) available packages. The real difference is in how they configure the system. With Ubuntu you will more than likely dive into the command line. With Mandriva, OpenSuse, or Fedora it is less likely. User friendly is in the eye of the beholder.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.99.123.4] on October 15, 2008 09:45 PM
Nothing can beat Debian/Ubuntu apt and synaptic package manager.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.84.172.249] on October 15, 2008 09:57 PM
Bruce...um...I think something rather odd happened to your install. Would you email me so I can discuss it? Briefly...the default download should give you the KDE 4 version of One, not the GNOME version, and our KDE 4 certainly does include the KDE 4 editions of Konsole, Kmail and Konqueror. I'm really not quite sure what happened with your set up, but if you drop me a line, we can probably figure it out. Thanks!

One quick side note - you complain about rpmdrake notifying you of dependencies when installing a large set of packages, "such as you have when installing a new desktop environment." In fact, on Mandriva, all significant DEs have a task- metapackage: you don't have to manually select a lot of different KDE 4 packages to install KDE 4, for instance, you just select the 'task-kde4' package and install that. It will automatically pull in all the dependencies you need. There is also task-gnome , task-kde3 , task-xfce , task-lxde and so on. This might be the cause of your KDE 4 weirdness, actually - did you try to manually install KDE 4 on top of the GNOME install? Perhaps you missed some packages.

Adam Williamson, Mandriva
awilliamson AT mandriva DOT com

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.131.185.64] on October 15, 2008 11:10 PM
Why is it that NO distro gets package management right? On openSUSE, if I want to install a package I have to sit through an update of all the repositories caches. If five minutes later, after exiting Yast, I decide I want to install another package, I have to go through the whole process again. Repository cache updates should be at the user's discretion.

Synaptic was good, but not perfect either. Last time I tried installing Java, the part where you have to acknowledge the Sun EULA was not accessible through the Synaptic interface, so the whole process collapsed. Apparently nobody realized that the package manager didn't allow you to respond to prompts from the downloaded packages.

Package management appears to be an very late afterthought in all distros - eye candy is apparently the most important aspect of most distros instead of QA, installation and package management, the three most important things a distro needs to get right.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.39.174.1] on October 16, 2008 09:50 PM
I have to disagree with your comment about openSUSE. 10.x and now 11.0 have made great improvements. For 11.0 the chaching happens very quickly compared to 10.3, which 10.3 was also a great improvement over 10.2. Didn't use 10.1 so can't say anything there. With about 15 repos in my YAST, maybe a minute or so? Then if you went right back again, it takes very little time (10 secs sometimes). If you want, there is also a 'Skip Auto-Refresh' button!

With KDE 4.1.2, I love my openSUSE! This looks like a good release to give Mandriva a try, but it will take a lot to pull me away from openSUSE.

As far as Ubuntu (yes, I must make a comment) I hate GNOME!. But KUBUNTU is a terrible implementation of KDE compared to most distros I've tried (personal opinion, mind you)

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.226.43.243] on October 15, 2008 11:43 PM
Using an OLD Sony Vaio (PCG-R505JL) laptop MANDRIVA 2009.0 KDE installed and RUNS beautifully!! Had to manually do the wireless Linksys install without any issues.
Ubuntu installed and ran with all kinds of hang ups fix one problem and another showed up. Gave up after 3 hours.
OpenSUSE 11.0 ran (my preferred distro) issues with touchpad and wireless card never worked.
Downloaded Mandriva 2009 and all was good with this antique laptop. Boots fast. Considering the max memory on this thing is 384 megs! Have now installed Mandriva One (2009) on 3 desktops and a friends new HP laptop and ALL work fantastic. VERY pleased with Mandriva.
There updates and software repositories are great. Have had no problems installing any RPM packages from outside sources. Great distro!!!! John - Tucson, AZ

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 137.229.66.82] on October 16, 2008 03:38 AM
Mandriva's new orphaning feature is really borked at the moment. It wants to uninstall your whole DE eventually since all it's packages got marked as orphaned when they are not. Of course, easily ignorable, just don't delete any orphaned packages in mandriva 2009 yet.
On the contrary i find installing mandriva very easy. Most people just do the automatic install where mandriva partitions the hd for itself. Or install using existing partitions. Both options are a lot quicker than what ubuntu offers for installing the system in as few steps as possible. The one thing i really wish mandriva would do is redesign the diskdrak UI. It's usable, however i find it badly presented with too much compactness and not organized neatly enough.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.61.107.56] on October 16, 2008 03:52 AM
I have tried the ONE-KDE international CD (which is the default AFAIK, as mentioned previously) and it has worked more or less flawlessly on 1/12 cases.

The "orphan" bit IS borked, it suggested to basically uninstall KDE3/4 and most everything else last time I looked.
(Thankfully it isn't automatic)

As to the 2 machines that had issues:

One, an older P3-850, Aladdin 133+ chipset, simply went into a reboot loop loading the kernel.
My main machine, AMD BE2300, NVidia 7050 board, properly detected the video, but did NOT select the NVidia proprietary driver by default, and could not load X11... Quick trip to the command line and use of XFdrake fixed that easily, but only someone who has BTDT would think of it.

2009.0 feels faster than the last releases (Which were very good)

Dolphin cannot seem to run an executable for some reason, nor can you open a shell in the current dir (AFAIK)
Can Konq be made the default file manager somehow?

The only other thing I can think of is having a link to the Plasma webpage or such, explaining the hows/whys of KDE4, I spent some time pushing buttons to figure it out before I did that, cleared up a lot. Quite usable...

Now if I can only get MythTV working properly on 2009.0, I'll gladly change grub and switch the default.
(Still running 2008.0, as I could never quite manage to get MythTV working right under 2008.1)

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.61.107.56] on October 16, 2008 03:54 AM
Ack... The previous post SHOULD say worked perfect in 10/12 cases, not 1/12...

Use the Preview.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.84.172.249] on October 16, 2008 07:21 PM
"My main machine, AMD BE2300, NVidia 7050 board, properly detected the video, but did NOT select the NVidia proprietary driver by default, and could not load X11... Quick trip to the command line and use of XFdrake fixed that easily, but only someone who has BTDT would think of it."

That was probably this known bug in One:

http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/2009.0_Errata#One_editions_fail_to_boot_to_a_graphical_desktop_.28xorg.conf_not_created.29

it's a bit of a head smacker, I know. During the beta period it seemed to only affect a few systems, but now we did the final release, it turns out to be quite a few - I'd guess maybe 5% of systems are hitting that bug.

Adam Williamson
Mandriva

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.176.247.84] on October 16, 2008 04:19 AM
"The installer begins with partitioning, then proceeds directly into package installation -- giving you no opportunity to select packages -- and then asks how you want the bootloader installed. Then, on rebooting, you configure the software repositories and create a user account and passwords"

The live cd is designed to be a single CD with a sensible set of defaults for each DE. Hence one KDE4, one GNOME etc. I don't see the point in selecting packages before the distro is actually installed. IIRC none of the other big distros (Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, PClinuxOS,Mint) allow package selection in their live-cds *before* installation.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.239.114.140] on October 16, 2008 08:08 AM
"Purists might wish that Mandriva would go one step further, and explain to new users what configuration files they are changing with the desktop tools"
They do. Go into the Mandriva Control Center, and than to the Settings-menu. You can activate a protocol, which allows you look behind the scenes.

Regards,
TeaAge

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.148.187.219] on October 16, 2008 09:49 AM
All my little old ladies use Mandriva Linux. But at the moment, due to problems with the auto install over the Internet, I've had to keep them at 2008.1.

tracyanne

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.32.135] on October 16, 2008 10:57 AM
"Unfortunately, the folder view, which is supposed to be the place for your desktop icons, does not allow you to add any but, if you work from the menu anyway, you are unlikely to notice this problem. In fact, if, like some people, you think the folder view simply gets in your way, you may not mind the fact that, once you delete it, it is gone forever, since the list of widgets does not include it."

Like AW said there must be something wrong with your KDE setup, since you can add icons and restore folder view since it IS under widgets.
Other than that great review.

#

Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.8.180.108] on October 16, 2008 11:28 AM
My recommendation to fresh Linuxusers and users that want a OS that is set up exactly for their needs is Mandriva. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS was a major dissapointment (it should never have been branded LTS - contains more bugs than any Ubuntu before it and Ubuntu really needs a consolidation period). Being a OpenSuse user I believe OpenSuse is a better distro for users with some experience, but for a freshman that administers his (her) system unassisted Mandriva One KDE 4 is a better choice. One of the important reasons are the System Administration which really makes sense for the basic user.

Another reason is that Mandriva uses exeptionally good terminology/language. It's far beyond XP/Vista/OSX and any other distro in terms of not appearing to be translated but written in my mothertongue.

Have noted some comments about Mandriva being shipped with bugs. Fair enough, but my position is that one should avoid installing any OS or distro immediately upon release. Vista needed a year, OSX wasn't ready before 10.5.3 and Ubuntu 8.04 isn't ready yet. My recommendation is in general to give a distro +/- 3-4 weeks after release before considering installation on a production system. Naturally many users needs a conservative distro and for those 3-4 weeks is a joke. But for those always swapping to the latest version 3-4 weeks patience will reduce risk quite a bit.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.35.35.34] on October 16, 2008 03:05 PM
"Ubuntu 8.04 LTS was a major dissapointment (it should never have been branded LTS - contains more bugs than any Ubuntu before it"

Empirical statements like this one flag it as being nonsense. All distro's no matter how good experience issues - some major, some minor - post release. This is a well known fact. Ubuntu 8.04 released with some major issues, they quickly fixed them, and now 8.04.1 is Canonical's best release ever. I have been testing 8.10 Kubuntu/Ubuntu and it is going to be a wonderful release, with some neat new features, but it will not be as well rounded nor as solid a release as 8.04.1 currently is.

"Ubuntu really needs a consolidation period"

No, it does not. Canonical has been doing amazingly well despite people like you making claims like this. Ubuntu is a very solid, user friendly, production ready OS - always has been, and it very quickly filled the huge gaping hole in which Mandrake left linux users back in the day. Canonical did not force Mandrake/Mandriva to make the horrific decisions it made back then, nor is it forcing Mandriva to try to play catchup with them now, yet they are and Mandriva is doing very well, thank you. Each distro fills a role, yet in the desktop OS arena, Ubuntu just hits the spot better for most users for whatever reasons. I am sure that has a lot to do with Ubuntu's parent Debian as well.

#

Re(1): Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 157.182.24.184] on October 16, 2008 05:16 PM
it may have been great for you but the problems with ubuntu 8.04.1 made me switch to a mixture of opensuse and mandriva. Past versions of ubuntu were great but 8.04 is lacking in quality.

#

Re(1): Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.8.180.108] on October 16, 2008 06:00 PM
I do agree that any OS or Distro have issues. Further than that I wish I could agree, but I don't. To date there are about 20 % more reported bugs for 8.04 LTS than for Edgy, Gutsy and Feisty combined. Shuttleworth has stated that they are putting together a quality assurance team and if they have/do it's great - they really need it. having said that - The increased number of Ubuntu users is ONE reason for the increase in number of bugs reported.

When their presumed QA team is through with implementing their revised policy and the implementation is reflected by the quality of their releases I'll revisit Ubuntu.

I ceased using Ubuntu 2-3 weeks after the arrival ov 8.04.1 but that update really did not solve any of my issues - some of them causing frustration amongst senior developers as well by the look of some threads in Launchpad.

Any form of production/development process needs consolidation periods. If Ubuntu believes that by some miracle this does not apply to them it explains a lot.

Mandrake/Mandriva and Suse/OpenSuse both suffered setbacks that triggered consolidation. The benefits are materialising. Gentoo and Fedora still suffers and their return depends on how well their organisations are handling consolidation. I'm optimistic as far as Fedora concerned - but Gentoo - sadly - sinks.

Ubuntu deserves tons of credit for forcing the other distros to improve their installationprocedures and so on. They are important in terms of huge publicity for GNU/Linux. My concern is that unless they actually DO their QA / consolidation they may turn into less of an asset and more of a liability. Hype can be fantastic, but eventually it ends like everything else.

Meanwhile I will continue to recommend Mandriva One 2009 KDE 4.x to people new to Linux or with "basic" needs.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one (NOT!)

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.250.231.168] on October 16, 2008 07:47 PM
As a long-time Mandriva + KDE user who quickly upgrades to each new Mandriva release, I was highly disappointed with 2009.0, principally because of KDE4. Basically, KDE4 is still alpha level software -- missing functionality (no dual-head support for us laptop users, etc, etc), and frequently hangs for several seconds, and various desktop widgets crash just as often. It's not that I don't want to learn a new UI -- I finally got so disgusted with KDE4 that I did what many people had been urging me to do: I switched to xfce. It is soooo much faster and stable. Goodbye KDE.

#

Re(1): Mandriva 2009 One KDE 4 - a good one (NOT!)

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.8.180.108] on October 16, 2008 10:29 PM
Well. that's your experience and your opinion which you are free to express as I freely express mine. We have one thing in common - and that is: It's just our different opinions.

I've had KDE 4 installed on several machines and it works very well thank you. XFce is a great desktop that fulfill many user's needs. There are still a few blokes out there that keeps on rumbling about KDE 4 being in Alphastage. The good thing is that the KDE 4 Alpha club has become truly exclusive. ;o))

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.35.35.34] on October 16, 2008 06:39 PM
Canonical does far more QA than people give credit to, and alot more than most distros. They may not have been heavy hitters in the upstream contribution area, but times are a changing. The fact is that were talking about FOSS here, not some commercial product, and up until very recently, Canonical was doing all it did at no charge, free. They are a company, just like Red Hat, Novell, and Mandriva, who all do make money off the FOSS they work on. There is no "Professional" version of Ubuntu that one must pay Canonical $$$ to be able to download and use, nor do they segregate their repo's into "Subscription content" area's. Personally, I think what Canonical has/is done is commendable by any standard.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 196.25.124.16] on October 20, 2008 10:19 AM
"There is no "Professional" version of Ubuntu that one must pay Canonical $$$ to be able to download and use"

But, Canonical sells support contracts at about the same prices as Red Hat charges for support (including RHN etc.). But, you get fewer supported (server) features than with Red Hat.

"nor do they segregate their repo's into "Subscription content" area's."

All the repos are publicly accessible, except those where the re-distribution agreement with the ISV (e.g. Adobe for Flash) does not allow that. For example, if you install with the "Free" DVD, add network repos, and run the display configuration tool, it will install relevant non-free drivers if you choose to. If Canonical has a different deal for re-distributing Flash, so be it. However, if they are violating the terms of re-distribution, that would be disappointing for a company who should understand the importance of adhering to licenses etc.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.20.5.182] on October 16, 2008 08:27 PM
If you have a billionair to back you upm that's fine.
If you find one, just tell me and I will start a FOSS-business...

About the Installer: If people would just take the installation-dvd (Free) the live-cd (One) for what they are, an installation-dvd and a live-cd with an optional installer, they wouldn't be talking nonsense about a "poorly organized installer"...
Can't people take the time for recherche before writing?

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 194.81.255.215] on October 16, 2008 08:32 PM
Mandriva doesn't do that with its repo either, the commercial repo only contains software that is only distributable to paying customers, so it cannot be included legally in any distro's default free or non-free repo. The same goes for PWP, everything that can be distributed freely in it is in One and Free, nothing is held back.

Ubuntu has a donate button, at least when you "donate" to Mandriva, they give you something for your money.

#

Mandriva 2009

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.1.51] on October 16, 2008 08:50 PM
Having used Linux for a while now and being pretty intimate with the command line, on desktops I believe no user should have to resort to the CLI to get something done. Although a lot has improved over the years. I have experienced that Mandriva is one distro where I pretty much have never had to go to the command line to get something working. In saying that, Ubuntu's installer isn't as nice. Not as simple, or as fast as Mandriva's. And Ubuntu might have a larger community but the issues it has, from my experience are show stoppers. This comes from someone who has used Ubuntu since 5.04

With each release getting worse and worse than the one it replaces. Some would disagree and say they have made significant improvements. From your point of view perhaps. But my reasons aren't just skin deep.

Mandriva on the other hand has worked flawlessly for me. I started life on Linux with Mandrake, then went to RH. Followed by SuSE. Ubuntu for a while. A couple of other distros I use on the side. And now back to Mandriva. I've done a circle and I think I'll be here for a while. Why? I'll tell you what worked, use it as a guide to illustrate what didn't in the penultimate distro I was using.

Wifi card that always worked and bought for that specific reason continues to work in Mandriva without a single visit to the command line. Apart from telling it its passkey and which access point to use, it works. The last distro did too, but then one release somewhere in the middle stopped that, to which I needed to start fiddling to get working.

xOrg always works. The previous distro's updates would always break a generic install. Nothing special. No choice but to use the command line.

This one is a nutter... my keyboard. Nothing special. A Dvorak keyboard, always worked. Never an issue. Until about 12 months ago. It didn't work any more. In Mandriva, it works just fine, during the live install session and to my disbelief, after installation and reboot.

I couldn't feel comfortable giving my Nan or Pop Ubuntu, but I could with Mandriva.

The community is smaller with less information about how to fix things compared to Ubuntu.... maybe because it actually works to begin with and any problems are generally trivial.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.197.157.93] on October 17, 2008 03:02 AM
With all the hate and discontent starting up there, I wanted to praise Mandriva One! I started using Mandrake at version 7 as a download, then purchased the version 8.0 distro. When they later changed their name I strayed away from Mandrake... thinking it could be a sinking ship. Since then I've educated myself as to why the name was changed and can easily understand.

I've used many other distros (Knoppix, Ubuntu, Mepis) and looked at many others, I really enjoyed using Ubuntu for about 2 weeks solid, when suddenly I realized that it was cumbersome and a chore to be productive. I looked for another distro and SimplyMepis32 caught my eye, I tried it and quickly saw that Ubuntu would never become 'easy' or user friendly to me. I continue to look at the Ubuntu forums from time to time, but usually I close the browser with a chuckle after reading that someone is furious because something else is not working in Ubuntu.

I don't hate any distro, nor do I hate any interface, desktop or WindowManager... that is what Linux is all about isn't it ? Diversity to use whatever you wish ? I loved seeing the pretty gadets or widgets on the KDE4 desktop, I booted the One CD, and within 10 minutes knew it was something I could enjoy using and started the install right away. (Well I was setting up a new system anyways - hurricane Ike survivor - my computers (4) at home all went under several feet of salt water) After making a few changes to the system with the beautiful new Mandriva Control Center, and then installing my favorite WM (Blackbox) I rebooted, went to blackbox and am simply amazed at the stability and awesome performance.

Way to go Mandriva! this One is a keeper!
Adam *grins* take a break I've been seeing your name in all of the forums about M2K9.... good work :D

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.181.204.30] on October 17, 2008 11:01 AM
Actually, Mepis deserves alot of the credit for making installs easy.

Ubuntu just stole thier thunder and marketed it like *they* thought of it ;-)

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.41.252.228] on October 17, 2008 01:00 PM
Ubuntu has better fonts, more unique look and better package management than any other Linux i have used. In the bad old days (pre 2005) I used many distros including Mandrake. When I saw the poor OFTB fonts in SuSE and Mandrake 9 recently- it took be back to my 'Linux rebel' feeling. These days Ubuntu has a smooth feel and there is certainly no need for Windows. I have installed Ubuntu on 30 machines with mostly good luck. I think Ubuntu will hit the 'sweet spot" for huge numbers of new Linux users in the future. After all, Shuttleworth is hiring top interface designers to try and catch Apple. Good luck to my former favorite Mandriva- it has great hardware detection and tools.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.84.172.249] on October 18, 2008 05:51 AM
All modern distros use the exact same fonts - DejaVu and Liberation, basically. Ubuntu enable some things in their freetype build that, legally speaking, they shouldn't, because they infringe on patents (mainly Apple's ClearType patents). We do not enable those things in our official packages, as is legally correct.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.221.164.134] on October 17, 2008 01:52 PM
I have been very happy with my Ubuntu for the last two years, but I have always kept an eye out for Mandriva. Even though I haven't installed Mandriva I have known it since the Mandrake days and I respect their work and input. It is a good distro. I actually choose to use Ubuntu mainly for other reasons than the technical. Security and necessary updates come promptly, very good service. That being said Ubuntu 8.04 is rock solid for me, with very good performance, happy with the default desktop, nice fonts, so easy to get the codecs, fonts etc. Was just two actions, download Ubuntu Restricted Extras, and enable medibuntu repositories, and the flash was installed via a firefox popup. That was all that was needed to get full multimedia ability and the fonts as well. Piece of cake. BTW, Linux needs marketing, and as a user I understand this and want to see more of it.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.166.8.34] on October 17, 2008 03:42 PM
I thought this was a review about Mandriva linux but I see a lot of comments about openSuSE, Ubuntu, Mepis, etc. etc. I really wish these people would just shut up and talk about Mandriva instead of this other nonsense. I figure its people who don't know what they are talking about and so they bash other distros to try to fit in. This is about Mandriva people so if you don't know anylthing about it then SHUT-UP, and then people who are interested in Mandriva may learn something about it.
Eddie


#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.8.26.110] on October 17, 2008 04:51 PM
Comments involving other distros may or may not be relevant. The article is about Mandriva - not about Mandriva people. Mandriva should be a very good alternative for quite a few, it is only natural to address advantages/disadvantages in comparison to the competition.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.158.103.103] on October 18, 2008 07:57 AM
This is a fairly well composed review, and the best point made is here:

"However, Mandriva deserves full credit for not limiting the definition of user-friendly to over-simplification."

Mandriva is an excellent distro specifically because it is not 'dumbed down' to suit the seething hordes. People who have serious problems getting it to work don't really need its powerful and comprehensive structure. Hopefully it will never become the 'lowest common denominator' of linux distros by devoting time to refining rough edges instead of focusing on the core integration. Mandriva is actually one of the most competent and tech-friendly distros around. We use Mandriva in our organization for geophysical data acquisition and georeference work. It works and works well, and the time users spend ironing out an install is always an educational exercise for our new hires.

Mandake/Mandriva user since 9.2

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.168.95.90] on October 19, 2008 01:15 AM
Ubuntu, Mint, and PCLOS install and work fine on my ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard. This new Mandriva version stalls just before any icon has appeared after the entire installation process seems to have completed nicely.
So much for the opportunity for developers of open source software to share code and drivers that have been proven to work. :-\

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.97.250.97] on October 19, 2008 05:46 PM
i have read from you site http://mandriva.com/en/product/mandriva-linux-powerpack that i could load up my windows games would i use wine for it to load or i just double click it like windows and another thing would the free one load windows games also? and regarding the installation of drivers would it install automatically all the drivers found in my comp? caus in ubuntu i can't let my ati radeon x1650 pro work >.<

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.237.56.101] on October 21, 2008 01:23 PM
One of the most annoying things Mandriva does is that it doesn't assign enough space to / for users to pick other software (at least up to Spring 2008). Why even give new users a choice to choose other software when you're not going to make sure you automatically assign enough space to support the extra software? If Mandriva wants to gain any market share with new users it needs to change this.

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.78.120.13] on October 31, 2008 09:58 PM
I have been using Ubuntu on my second computer for a few years. After I upgraded to 8.10 almost nothing worked right. So I decided to turn to Mandriva for a change. No luck. I twice downloaded both the one and the free versions and burned the appropirate disks twice. I never got One to finish booting, and it never gave me an install option. I never got Free to install because it always ended with a fatal error finishing initialization. No solutions can be found on the web site. Thus, it looks like I have to go back to Ms Windows on my AMD 64 5200 with 2 gigs of memory.

#

Re: Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 190.33.53.5] on November 10, 2008 11:50 PM
Mmmmm . I prefer any linux distro over Win.
Mandriva, openSuSE, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, Debian, Slackware, Arch Linux, Dreamlinux, etc.. etc

My setup is:
Pendrive: Dreamlinux
Laptop: Mandriva 2009.0 KDE4 , OpenBox
External Hard Disc USB: PCLinuxOS KDE 3.5.10, OpenBox

Home:
Desktop 1 : Mandriva 2009.0 KDE, FluxBox
Desktop 2: PCLinuxOS Gnome 2.24, XFCE

Work:
PCLinuxOS (TMLinux) KDE 3.5.10 , OpenBox

I try n Linux distros, and Mandriva and PCLinuxOS work fine for me.

Download and try. Sure you find one for you!

#

Mandriva 2009 helps new users to grow

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.39.70.251] on November 12, 2008 09:57 AM
I had ubuntu runing on my desktop and then laptop for a long time,
well the new version, hardy heron, its not the best version they made
its too buggy!
and the older versions are out od business
the problem with ubuntu is that is to much experimental and changes very
quick with no time for checking the errors, ubuntu is just a fork from debian,
that doesn't have the stabelity of debian, and is no more user friendly than mandriva.

i used debian too, the roblem is that its outdated,
and it isnt user friendly

So now i am using Mandriva One 2009 on my laptop,
after ubuntu hardy heron that crashed with no aparent reason
and didnt come back again, well forapps is better to turn down
ubuntu uptades so they dont destroy your system well,

my experience with mandriva for now as been great!
it looks very stable, and i never used linux so user-friendly as this
and i remind that people like me, architect student or in name of
students we just want a stable software, and i dont go far saying free
but yeah cheaper that ruinwindows! And for some time ago i didnt think
that one day i wood be using linux, because now i have the applications
i need, and i hate vista, my god what a crap :-p

so for now i go with mandriva one 2009, because i tryed
suse, opensuse and i didnt liked.


#

This story has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.



 
Tableless layout Validate XHTML 1.0 Strict Validate CSS Powered by Xaraya