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Mandriva Not Shuttering Its Doors, Yet

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the making-gnu-easy-since-before-it-was-cool dept.

Businesses 97

An anonymous reader writes, quoting OS News: "In his usual man-of-a-few-words manner today, Jean-Manuel Croset, Mandriva COO, announced that enough funds have been secured to allow Mandriva to keep its doors open and continue development." From the announcement: "The strategy review started two weeks ago will now actively be finalized and the corresponding decisions taken mid of May."

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97 comments

The state of Linux distributions is messy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866775)

Kinda like when I jizz in CmdrTaco's ass and spread the santorum all over Linus' face. lol!!

Re:The state of Linux distributions is messy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867475)

Ahh, this must be the slash-bi forum.

Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#39866799)

And shuttering the windows? Seriously though this is good news, diversity is healthy.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (4, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39866839)

Well, you could also say that excessive diversity is one of the major problems why desktop Linux is not as mighty as it could be.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (4, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#39866873)

I still fail to understand that argument. If we can not trust computer users to choose a distribution based on a short description on the "About" section or Wikipedia (or go with the obvious choices), how can we trust those people to elect leaders for whole nations?

What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866961)

I still fail to understand that argument. If we can not trust computer users to choose a distribution based on a short description on the "About" section or Wikipedia (or go with the obvious choices), how can we trust those people to elect leaders for whole nations?

Oy.

The differences between distributions are sooo subtle that it doesn't make much difference. And some of the difference are completely irrelevant - I can't even remember them.

And for the typical user, Ubuntu is the best distro. Xubuntu is a wonderful distro for older hardware - but not too old.

I mean, outside of fedora, Ubuntu, Xubuntu (maybe Mint) and Slackware, what's the point?

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867059)

centOS for security in a HOST OS if you don't want the fail that is BSD. (well PC-BSD is ok, but the rest suck)

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867151)

centOS for security in a HOST OS if you don't want the fail that is BSD. (well PC-BSD is ok, but the rest suck)

ROFL.

CentOS is great, but for real security? The very way they build the distribution extends the response time for getting fixes out.

How many weeks/months after RH releases an emergency fix for a zero-day can it take for CentOS to get a patch out?

Re:What's the point? (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39868247)

ScientificLinux is the new CentOS. Faster updates, and automatically applied security updates by default. A couple of times, I have received the e-mail from my SL servers about security updates having been applied before the e-mail from RedHat announcing the same security update for my RHEL systems.

Backed by CERN, Fermilab and others, SL is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867065)

> What's the point?

To satisfy the ego of some half-assed capitalist.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867731)

Classy, douchebag.

Re:What's the point? (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39867069)

I still fail to understand that argument. If we can not trust computer users to choose a distribution based on a short description on the "About" section or Wikipedia (or go with the obvious choices), how can we trust those people to elect leaders for whole nations?

Oy.

The differences between distributions are sooo subtle that it doesn't make much difference. And some of the difference are completely irrelevant - I can't even remember them.

Just like with politicians, then!

Re:What's the point? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39867183)

I mean, outside of fedora, Ubuntu, Xubuntu (maybe Mint) and Slackware, what's the point?

How about, "I want something like Fedora, but which does not require a yearly upgrade that will inevitably break things?" Now, where might I find such a disto, without having to pay for it...

http://www.centos.org/ [centos.org]

(In reality, I use ScientificLinux, but both basically follow RHEL)

Distros are not forked just for fun. Sometimes there are real disagreements over how packages should be managed, what new features are important, what patches are worth applying, etc. I do not need the latest eye candy and I do not really have the time for things to mysteriously break, but other people want the latest eye candy and are willing to fix broken things.

Hundreds of distros may seem excessive, but a lot of those are just small communities of people with similar enough aims.

Re:What's the point? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867337)

All of those disagreements and infighting are the reason that normal people don't care to try Linux. Who wants to get in the middle of a nerd fight?

Send packages the first of the month! No, the third of the month so it doesn't interfere with welfare checks! No, we should send them on the nineteenth because that's my favorite number! We're all wandering off to start our own communities now!

Seriously, you Linux people are all a bunch of nerd raging idiots.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | about 2 years ago | (#39867781)

How about, "I want something like Fedora, but which does not require a yearly upgrade that will inevitably break things?" Now, where might I find such a disto, without having to pay for it...

You're not required to update, but for the sake of security/productivity it is advisible. However, there's one thing that doesn't work with RHEL/CentOS/SL and that's the major upgrade, like the one from 5 to 6. You just can't. You're required to reinstall the base from scratch. Something that Fedora (or Ubuntu, for that matter) can do. I've updated from F10 to F16 without things breaking.

I use RHEL/CentOS/SL too though, but only for servers. Usually the lifetime of a major update cycle equals (or is bigger than) the lifetime of the hardware.

Re:What's the point? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39868419)

However, there's one thing that doesn't work with RHEL/CentOS/SL and that's the major upgrade, like the one from 5 to 6.

That is true, but...

  1. That happens once every 7 years; with Fedora you are talking about at least once per year.
  2. Things do not (in my experience) break as hard between major releases of RHEL 'n pals as they do between Fedora releases; there is a bit of friction, but with Fedora I would have to deal with critical things (network, graphics) simply not working after upgrades.
  3. Once you fix the problems that follow a RHEL upgrade, it is unlikely you will need to keep fixing things. With Fedora, I would sometimes see things break after receiving package updates, and once or twice that mean losing networking or other important things.

This is not meant to bash Fedora -- it does a good job of bringing the bleeding edge to the desktop, and for people who do not mind dealing with hiccups, it is a fine distro (I used to be such a person). The reason I switched to SL is that I am just too busy to deal with things breaking, especially when the ways in which they break keeps changing.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39869095)

Actually Red Hat Enterprise Linux is supported for 10 years out of the box now (versions 5 and 6):

https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/errata/ [redhat.com]

With an option to purchase an additional 3 years of extended life support (ELS) for a total of 13 years of support

Good luck getting 13 years of support/updates/etc. from any other Linux vendor or project for a specific version

Re:What's the point? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39869973)

What's the point of running something "like Fedora" if you don't buy support?

BTW, do you know if Scientific Linux has current packages for R? I have to run RHEL on my bioinformatics machine because IT here is braindead. RHEL doesn't package R, so I've been stuck building my own. I figure SL packages would work for me, but I haven't been able to find them.

In any case, if I wasn't required to have paid support I'd go straight to Debian, not Scientific Linux. Why? Because the software I use is packaged and ready to go, and I can easily check that on their website.

Why would anyone choose Scientific Linux if you can't easily check what versions of what packages are available? And if the R project(one of the most popular scientific pakages) is unavailable, that's a really good reason not to use Scientific Linux.

I personally can't imagine why anyone would ever choose to use anything but Debian under any circumstances whatsoever.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867571)

Well, Debian, which I use, is the base for Ubuntu. So, it may have some point.

Best wishes,
Bob

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868089)

Posting Anon to preserve moderations
I can think of a few good ones, but just one that fits your "typical user" - Kubuntu for the people who want the desktop bling possible for KDE or just really don't like Gnome 3/Unity.
For not so typical users, there's a few worth mentioning: Debian itself (if you know sooner or later you're going to want to run a program for something really unusual, like controlling a telescope or designing circuits, might as well go with the distro that has just about every niche program conceivable), Puppy wary edition for really old hardware, maybe Arch for looks.
There seem to be at least three categories of Linux that are getting away from general purpose computing: Media boxes (MythTV/Mythbuntu), Anonymizing the user (i.e. Incognito-Tails), and Penetration testing (i.e. Inquiry Linux). Probably there's a lot more. Media boxes probably count as a 'typical user' thing, but not the others.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#39900321)

And for the typical user, Ubuntu is the best distro. Xubuntu is a wonderful distro for older hardware - but not too old.

I mean, outside of fedora, Ubuntu, Xubuntu (maybe Mint) and Slackware, what's the point?

Some people have many different uses for a computer other than just "personal desktop"- which is what Fedora, Ubuntu/Xubuntu & Mint are all for (and Slackware for the hobbyists). Servers, smartphones, supercomputers, embedded devices, penetration testing, media centres just to name a few off the top of my head.

If you want a penetration testing distro, you have a choice of 2 or 3 tops. If you want a media centre distro, there's another 2 or 3. If people can't choose between 2 or 3 options, they should have their computer taken away (or be sold an Apple). The odds of anyone being in the situation where they're trying to decide between Whoppix, Mythbuntu, RHEL and Meego as equal options should be zero to none.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#39867429)

If there were just 5 or 10 choices, the choice argument could be valid. When you have 100 choices, which in turn could be multiplied by a factor of 3 to represent the various DEs that they're bundled w/, that's what starts the confusion.

Also, even if one takes just the #kernels out there, multiplies that by the #libraries in use by various software, and then multiple variations of everything else, the number snowballs to a point that makes it impossible to manage.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (2)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 2 years ago | (#39875691)

Do you evaluate every car on the market before you buy one? What about every phone?

Linux is no different. You might compare the ones you've heard of - but even for me (I've been using linux as my sole desktop since the late 90's) that's only about 5-10.

Most users have only heard of 1-3 different distros, and I'm pretty sure that its not that difficult to figure out which is best. Each one only takes 30 mins or so to install, so at most it would take only a few days to evaluate all 3. Most can run off a cd nowadays, so there really is no barrier to trying them out to find out which is best for you.

Linux just has a stigma, and so people will keep repeating this stuff forever regardless of whether it is true.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

kiwimate (458274) | about 2 years ago | (#39868129)

Politicians know that in order to get their message across to the population they have to translate it into language that Joe Average can understand.

They also know that they have a better chance of getting their message across if they clearly distinguish what makes them different from the alternatives.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868201)

Electing leaders has nothing to do with trusting people to do the right thing. Instead, its about giving the masses partial control of the system in order to decrease the possibility of widespread discontent and possible revolt.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39870017)

We can't.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39871827)

Sure, because a frigging linux distribution that ppl use to type school assignments in Word is just as important as electing leaders for whole nations.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39867227)

Well, you could also say that excessive diversity is one of the major problems why desktop Linux is not as mighty as it could be.

Where's the diversity? Isn't it just RPM/redhat without Gnome available to install (in other words, KDE default?). Its not like FF 5.0.1 on Mandriva is going to be any different than FF 5.0.1 on my debian desktops, or libreoffice, or bash, or ssh...

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39867463)

Well, you could also say that excessive diversity is one of the major problems why desktop Linux is not as mighty as it could be.

Where's the diversity? Isn't it just RPM/redhat without Gnome available to install (in other words, KDE default?). Its not like FF 5.0.1 on Mandriva is going to be any different than FF 5.0.1 on my debian desktops, or libreoffice, or bash, or ssh...

That further proves my point. If there's no significant difference, why maintain another distro? That's what makes the diversity "excessive".

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39868717)

I disgree. That's like saying a nation where all children are a standard model clone is diverse, because they have different parents.

The fact that a boot up screen momentarily says Debian or Mandriva before the user runs the identical firefox app is NOT the problem with linux on the desktop.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#39867705)

There are a few things wrong with that statement. One, it doesn't matter to me how popular Linux is, as long as they keep developing it. Why is lack of popularity a problem? It's not like Linux is a money-making enterprise. As long as my computer works I don't care how many others are using the same OS. Two, Linux isn't popular for quite a few reasons, foremost that every non-Apple PC comes with Windows preinstalled. Few have ever even heard of Linux, let alone know how superior to Windows it is. Hell, slashdot comments show you that a whole lot of folks here haven't ever tried it or they'd realize how crappy Windows really is (Windows is improving, but is still nowhere near Linux in useability, customability, and features).

And its diversity of distros is one of many reasons it's hard to write Linux malware (that, and repositories of course... not to mention MS's inherent flaws that make virus writing easy for that platform).

Personally, the more distros there are, the more I like Linux. If all there were was Gnome-Ubuntu and Red Hat, I'd probably be using Windows.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#39867869)

I'm not really bothered by marketshare on the desktop either, though it'd be nice if some software makers out there were compelled to make and maintain certain titles for my OS of choice. I figure that'd be more likely if there were more people using that OS.

For instance, it'd be really nice to have native Office, Photoshop, and a few others. I know, it'll never happen, but it'd be pretty great for my purposes.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#39881621)

Not me. Photoshop? I can't afford Photoshop. Office? Oo works for me just fine. In fact, I can't think of a single piece of commercial software I'd like to have since I stopped gaming.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#39895691)

Yeah, when it comes to Office my motivation would be workplace related. At home I do always dual-boot on at least one machine for (yes legal) Photoshop use. Gimp just doesn't cut it, for my purposes.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868727)

(Windows is improving, but is still nowhere near Linux in useability, customability, and features).

Right. Keep on telling yourself that.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

Jesus_C_of_Nazareth (2629713) | about 2 years ago | (#39869801)

Hell, slashdot comments show you that a whole lot of folks here haven't ever tried it or they'd realize how crappy Windows really is (Windows is improving, but is still nowhere near Linux in useability, customability, and features).

Sure, if you're the kind of guy who believes that the only reason people use Notepad is because they haven't given vi a good enough try. What are MS's inherent flaws that make virus writing easy? Which versions of Windows are we talking about here, and how are the myriad of Linux distros unaffected by similar flaws?

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#39882635)

Sure, if you're the kind of guy who believes that the only reason people use Notepad is because they haven't given vi a good enough try.

Well, that's exactly the thing, isn't it? I never used vi, for all I know it might blow me away. That's your typical Windows user, they never had a chance to try something better.

What are MS's inherent flaws that make virus writing easy?

One example is MS's habit of hiding the extension by default. Write your virus, name it "porn.jpg.exe" and most users only see "porn.jpg" and double click. Another is their use of "active content"; data should be data. But WMA files are "active" data so are a virus vector; I saw a "proof of concept" wma file that opened Notepad by playing a WMA song (and the song actually plays, leaving the victim none the wiser). What's worse is that you can rename virus.wma to virus.jpg and WiMP will cheerfully infect your computer with it. No other media player I know of will.

No other OS has these flaws, and there are way more of them. I will say, I have Win 7 on a notebook and it's far better than previous versions, but is still nowhere near as stable, safe, or useable as KDE.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39869755)

I agree
It seems whenever some expert Linux users/developers have a little free time a new Linux distribution is born. As of 2012, the total number of Linux distributions is north of 300. Some distributions are unique while others are derivatives of existing distributions. Starting from Slackware to Gentoo there are many philosophies behind these distributions. Diversity is a virtue and much appreciated. However, creating distributions for the mere sake of it is not going to increase the Desktop Linux user base. It will simply move users around unnecessarily.

For instance there are almost fifty distributions based on Ubuntu alone, including the unofficial ones. I assume these distributions are supposed to serve smaller group of users. In my opinion most of these new distributions operate by simply waiting for the Ubuntu release cycle, making a few apparently “necessary” changes, and then quickly following hot on their heels. Most of the time this so-called flavoring is nothing more than different sets of packages followed by a few UI tweaks and branding. Occasionally due to a lack of interest, either from users or developers, some of these derivatives disappear leaving users hanging. Some of these disgruntled users end up blaming Linux instead of the actual distribution in question.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to introduce a package repository so users can pick and choose which kind of user interface tweaking and applications they prefer instead opening up a whole new shop? Starting a distribution requires a lot of commitment and many times maintaining that level of commitment is just not possible over an extended period of time. It may be easier to write an application that adds or removes the necessary packages and repositories to the parent distribution, thus serving the same purpose. Maintaining an application seems a much less resource intensive task and serving the exact same purpose.
soruce
http://qubitlogic.com/2012/04/why-this-is-not-the-year-of-desktop-linux/

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39875011)

you know. I always don't agree when people say desktop linux is not successful. Linux does not market like windows or make money like it. How many people know about computers out there? one in a hundred? I assume 1 of a thousand. Well the market share is 1%(I always wonder how they get these figures). 1%, a large figure, anyone has thought about how many people that know about computers use linux?

Well for most people, with all due respect, they are told/or taught to like sth. Or they simply don't care. I live in China and work in an office. People around me, when not working? they shop online, chat on QQ, walk videos, play games, download pirated movies, forums, porns. For the 30 people I know so well, only one learns PS at spare time.

In summary: How many people really use their computer to do sth? In this group, how many people use linux?

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 2 years ago | (#39875667)

Wrong. perhaps you meant "not as widespread as it could be" - that would be a fair point.

But it has nothing to do with how mighty it can be, unless you assume that if the devs weren't working on mandriva they would spend the same time and resources on the likes of ubuntu, fedora or opensuse? Very unlikely.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#39887543)

...and lack of diversity is why Windows is still riddled with scumware, viruses and similar even after all Microsoft's efforts ....

One monolithic target is easier to hit than a diverse but similar group ....

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39887809)

You are right about that, but it's still more important to have a unified platform.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#39868011)

Not only that, but Mandrake/Mandriva was always my favorite distro. I switched to kubuntu when I heard Mandriva was dying.

Guess I'll switch back.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39875321)

Mandrake (back around 1999 through early 2000s) was my distro of choice (and only OS) for about 3 years. I've been just running Windows again with the occasional boot of a Linux live CD just to see what things were looking like.

I did try one of the newer Ubuntu variants and the DE pissed me off to no end. Maybe it was Unity? Big hunks of black space and looked like it was formatted more for a cellphone/tablet computer than for a desktop? I was too lazy to go through and tweak everything, so I just nuked the partition and went back to Win.

Re:Shouldn't that be shutting the doors (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#39901269)

If I understand Mandriva's business model, they make money by selling their desktop + support contracts to businesses (in the same was as RH, Novell & Canonical).

So my question is, who the hell (in terms of big companies and organisations) would want to take out an expensive contract for a year's support with a company that seems to be scraping money together on a month by month basis? How do you know you're not going to buy a few thousand euro's worth of support, only to find it going into the big bankruptcy black hole a few months later? I must say, it would make me think hard about whether to go with them or one of their rivals.

If you want to do business with big enterprise clients, you need to look like a stable healthy company. I hope they can get back there, but it's a chicken & egg scenario. Need to look healthy to get customers, need to get customers to be healthy...

How to be successful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866819)

Offer a solid usable desktop instead of rubbish like Metro/Unity/Gnome 3. Why is this so hard. This applys to all distributions and OSs.

Re:How to be successful (0)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#39866881)

Offer a solid usable desktop besides of rubbish like Metro/Unity/Gnome 3. Why is this so hard. This applys to all distributions and OSs.

FTFY.

I don't care for those other DEs...but hell, don't force it on us. ... And yes, I know I'm not forced towards Gnome3/Unity...but with letting Gnome2 dieing, it's not exactly a free choice either.

Re:How to be successful (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866969)

So your "fix" was to make the sentence grammatically incorrect and incoherent? What does "besides of" mean?

Re:How to be successful (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#39868095)

I think the Linux community has developed a mentality that they need to "compete" with the latest big thing in the consumer PC world.

Linux will never be an OS that is widely used by average consumers on their home PCs. There's no need to try to imitate Windows. Most of the goodness of Linux is derived from ways it doesn't try to imitate Windows.

Desktop PCs are on the way out for consumers anyway. The Linux community needs to develop a mobile/tablet OS, which is truly open and truly free (i.e., not Android). Not waste time further diversifying the desktop Linux platform, which has had its day and its moment has now passed.

Mageia 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866821)

In the mean time, Mandriva fork Mageia is well on its way to roll out its second major release.

The early switcher newbie distro (4, Insightful)

dragonquest (1003473) | about 2 years ago | (#39866825)

I remember back when it was called Mandrake, it was the best easy Linux distro out there. The one big plus it had was the installation process, where the auto-formatter tool decided the space for the /, /home and swap mountpoints. For anybody switching from a Windows only background this was a big plus.

Plus it had drakconf, a control panel UI, and tons of neat looking applications. While its best times remain in the past, it still is a great distro (or atleast was in 2010) and deserves a look.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867049)

Amen. I learned on Mandrake 7 and used it all the way through the initial Connectiva acquisition. I was in high school at the time, so $100 seemed like a lot, but I was still a member of their "club" which granted access to the Powerpack downloads. Oh, and we should never forget the legendary Adam Williamson, who now works for a piece of clothing :). The thing I really liked about it was the installer: it gave tons of options, but was still easy to use. Mandrake was at the top of distrowatch in 2005/6. Now it pains me to not see it on there.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | about 2 years ago | (#39867185)

The Mandrake Linux 9.0 distribution was the first experience I had with this distribution. Before that I had run Redhat Linux 6.2 and I was amazed with how well it worked. The pack of CDs I got with a Linux magazine had heaps of programs and formatting and partioning was very easy as well. I used it up to the 10 release and then I switched to a 8.5 GiB OpenSuse 9.2 DVD that I had aquired. That was another good distro. RIP KDE 3.4. Why is Ubuntu such a heap of stinking crap compared to the older distributions? No wonder I run Debian Testing now.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#39868049)

Yup. I started using Linux right as Mandrake 9.2 was released. I was still using Mandriva (on and off) until a year or two ago, when I switched to Arch. I still recommend Mandriva to any new users -- I find it has an easier installer and works on a much wider array of hardware configurations than Ubuntu or any other distros. I hadn't heard they were having financial problems like this -- it's a shame. Might have to go make a purchase or two just to help keep it alive.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39870803)

I've used it since Mandrake 5.2 and stopped upgrading with 2010.2. I tried to get involved with Mageia, but a few of the project leaders are jerks and I don't like their choices either. I'll probably go to Fedora when support for 2010.2 ends.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39871065)

Yup, I also learned on "Mandrake" (Mandriva 2009.0 was my first Linux distro). Still recommend it to any newcomers over Ubuntu, but as in the case of a few other's who've replied, I've also moved on to other systems, preferring FreeBSD for servers & Arch or Fedora for desktops.

Re:The early switcher newbie distro (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#39876297)

I once had Mandrake on my PC, and it was beautiful and great. Only problem - it couldn't recognize my ethernet card, just like just about every other linux out there, so I very reluctantly gave up on that.

These days, the problems w/ Linux are @ the next level - Wi-Fi not being supported, and power-saving modes that one can't recover from. And unlike for other things that don't work, if the network connectivity does not work, fishing for solutions in forum hunts is pretty much out of the question.

Fork'ed off! (3, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#39866859)

While it's good to read that Mandriva has continued, I forked off to Mageia which is currently on version 2 beta3 testing, seems to perform better than version 1, but the only down side is some packages that are in Mandriva are still not in Mageia. But for most people - that is the normal home user, it should be fine if they decide to install Mageia.

Don't forget, it was the workforce that Mandriva fired in the first place that led to the Mageia fork, and a drain on programming talent that Mandriva needed.

Re:Fork'ed off! (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39867187)

That's part of the problem with Linux. Anytime it looks like a particular distro might achieve some actual mainstream success (like with Ubuntu), everyone starts complaining about this-or-that problem with it and it forks off into a million different competing distros, just adding to the already-confusing morass.

And Linux fans wonder why Windows and Mac stay on top.

Re:Fork'ed off! (3, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 2 years ago | (#39868531)

That's nothing at all like what happened with Mandriva. Mageia wasn't forked off just as Mandriva looked like it was going to make mainstream success, it forked off because the future of the company was in jeopardy.

Re:Fork'ed off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39872397)

i don't wonder ppl are idiots

Re:Fork'ed off! (1)

YZman (699731) | about 2 years ago | (#39868431)

Switched to Mageia after upgrading Mandriva 2010 -> 2011. Even though I heavily 'roll my own', I'm always looking for one to recommend and install for friends & family. I maintain multiple partitions with various distro's, Mageia is my current recommending choice.

Don't forget to donate!

What is Mandriva? (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39867111)

What is Mandriva? Yes I know all about the history, Mandrake and Connectiva, blah blah.

I'm talking about the technical marketing message. Why use it instead of a zillion other RPM distros or a zillion other OS where KDE can be installed?

The wikipedia page lists:
1) Its got a control center. Find me an OS without one?
2) Its a boot loader for KDE, essentially. Well, what makes this different than every other KDE OS?
3) It has some themes. Find me an OS without this? I should spend hours wiping and recreating my system because I like this tone of blue?
4) RPM based. OK so its repackaged redhat.
5) Live USBs basically the same as live cdroms are available. Find me a non-commercial OS without this?

The mandriva website lists:
1) Its a "next generation experience" but its actually just KDE (find me a modern OS where you can't install KDE with something like "apt-get install kde")
2) Its "better and simpler" but the details listed describe how that means the icons are bigger. Eh.
3) It has a smart desktop, which is apparently defined as it has some KDE apps, as I would have suspected from #1.
4) It ships with firefox 5.0.1 (thats awesome, says VLM who is reading this page on a FF 12.0 browser)
5) Libreoffice is available (find me a modern OS where libreoffice is not available?)
Amazingly it doesn't list any OS features at all, only lists features of the apps that every other distro also has. Mandriva is not FF 5.0.1, its an OS that happens to run FF. Being able to install libreoffice is not a OS feature, any more than its a feature for every other OS that libreoffice can be installed upon (and I never use libreoffice anymore anyway, all GOOG docs aka GOOG drive for me...). I do NOT need to install Mandriva in order to experience FF, or libreoffice, or kde (awesome user both work and home, just gave up on KDE around the "bundle with mysql" era made it a bit heavy for something that does almost nothing for me but run a terminal session with ssh and FF).

So, what, if anything, are they doing to lure me over? What makes mandriva special or stand out from being yet another distro that happens to be yet another RPM distro, and yet another KDE distro? The lack of any answer Might be central to their lack of success.

Re:What is Mandriva? (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39867197)

A lot of those features were considered quite innovative for Linux in the late-90's.

Re:What is Mandriva? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39867273)

I'd call bogus on that with the possible exception of a control center which has always been a GUI thing anyway. Packaging and shipping "the dominant free web browser" and "the dominant free office quite" and KDE and some themes is not innovative.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867999)

"A lot of those features were considered quite innovative for Linux in the late-90's."

I just looked at the nearest calendar - and it turns out that we are no longer in the 90s.

Mandrake was my first linux experience. I liked both the concept and the "ad speak" they produced at the time so much that I decided to help support them by purchasing the Powerpack edition. It was a lot of money for me, but I told myself that with the possibility of getting at least minimal support if I had problems it would be worth it.

I immediately had a problem. As my problem was, in part, an issue with registering, I could not get support. I tried repeatedly for at least six months to resolve the issue, but the best they could do was laughingly suggest that I should repurchase the Powerpack and try again. Even offering to ship all of the materials I received when I ordered the Powerpack back to them - along with the fact that that particular "account" had never been used to receive actual support - helped a bit. Perhaps their strategy was, "Who needs new customers when you can force your current ones to send you more money for what they have already paid for?"

So... How many times have they run their organization into the ground? I fear I haven't been paying attention (except to chuckle when I read that they have convinced someone to send them more money). I realize that in many countries it is illegal to deface the currency, which means one cannot simply shred it - but there must be more creative and entertaining ways to dispose of one's hard-earned funds than throwing them down that bottomless whole called "Mandriva."

As for my first linux experience and the fact that it was so horrible that I did not even try again for years: Fear not. A couple years ago I suffered a catastrophic computer problem and needed "any" OS to install. I downloaded and installed one of the Ubuntus. It worked, but it felt generic and lacking in "wow." (Besides, I didn't care for the brown on brown.) I didn't know what the significant practical differences were between .rpm and .deb - and I still don't, so I wasn't looking for a particular OS, just one that had something more.

Luckily, I happened upon a post by someone who was praising a derivative named "Ultimate Edition." It had plenty of "wow," but more importantly: It worked, beautifully, every time. In terms of support... I did not realize until later how ignorant the questions I asked were - or that I had asked the person who had personally created the distro. So I did not realize what it meant, exactly, when he answered me in a prompt and kind fashion. I later learned, and offered to make a donation for his time. He replied that it was not in any way necessary.

I am very happy that I am a linux user. I am also happy that the creator of Ultimate Edition spends so much time "repairing" the... little... jewels that Mark Shuttleworth loves to insert into Ubuntu. It means the experience is like stepping from a tent into a mansion.

Long live Ultimate Edition. Mandr... what?

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868117)

What year is it, again?

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

Jorgensen (313325) | about 2 years ago | (#39867213)

Slight correction: <span class="pedant">Mandriva is not an OS. It is a distribution.</span>

The underlying OS is GNU Linux - but different distributions differ very little in this respect - at least as far as the typical desktop user would care about.

Beyond the operating system: yes you are correct: The differences listed do not seem to distinguish Mandriva from a plethora of other distributions

Re:What is Mandriva? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868023)

Slight correction: Nobody gives a shit about your correction

Jesus christ just fuck off from the GNU is teh os!!1!!! debate. Nobody cares. They're all OSes.

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

hakova (930861) | about 2 years ago | (#39867579)

As a former Mandriva user, I can attest that it just used to work. The distribution overall was very well organized, and would work out of the box without much tweaking, which is not the case for some other distributions. It had an intuitive interface (MCC) for tweaking things, as well. Plus the power of CLI as is the case for all Iinux distributions. In summary, it used to be a very user-friendly and well-polished distribution in its better days.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867597)

Being illiterate with computers, I used to use Mandriva because the dual boot install, while installing Linux, was painless.

Re:What is Mandriva? (4, Informative)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#39868207)

1) Its got a control center. Find me an OS without one?

I haven't seen a single other Linux distro with a control center. At least not one of the scale and functionality of Mandriva's. My current distro (Arch) doesn't have one at all. Unless you count the KDE panel, which is pretty much useless by comparison. Can't set up printers (well, it claims you can, but it never works), you can't set up wifi, you can't set up system services, you can't even adjust the display to the same extent that you can in the Mandriva control center. Maybe they need to emphasize what it is a bit more -- because I've tried a dozen or so distros and never seen anything remotely close.

4) RPM based. OK so its repackaged redhat.

There's also URPMI, the easiest package manager I've yet seen. Easier than pacman/yaourt, easier than apt-get.

It's a distro for newbies. The best one out there. Best hardware autodetection and autoconfig I have ever seen in a Linux distro. Back a couple years ago when getting a broadcom wifi package to work on Ubuntu required downloading ndiswrapper, installing it from source, and configuring all that in the terminal -- the same hardware worked on Mandriva right out of the box. I had a friend recently with some weird graphics card glitch that meant Arch, Ubuntu, Gentoo -- nothing she tried could start X, and googling the error messages came up with forum posts that essentially said 'it's a bug in this hardware version -- good luck, you're on your own.' Mandriva? Worked flawlessly.

Maybe they're advertising it wrong. They should probably be focusing on things like this. But personally, I've been using Linux for around eight years now, and from day one the distro I recommend for newbies is Mandriva (well, on day one it was Mandrake....) I still haven't found another distro -- hell, I haven't found any other OS -- that's as easy as Mandriva to get started with.

Re:What is Mandriva? (-1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39868919)

Maybe they're advertising it wrong.

Maybe?

It's a distro for newbies. The best one out there.

OK you've convinced me. Admittedly just one posters anecdotes, but it seems believable and you tell a coherent and realistic story. That is probably a profitable survivable niche. Good luck competing against Ubuntu, but they can probably both profitably compete in that sector, keep each other honest so to speak. Their problem is I finally figured out their market position from a guy named Urza9814 on Slashdot instead of from Wikipedia or their own self promotional website. That is a big problem for them.

Assuming this isn't like theology where a bunch of peons theorize about the intentions of the big guys without any feedback, and often get it wrong. Maybe they actually tell themselves they are a scientific/educational distro, or maybe they really believe they are the only distro out there with FF and libreoffice packages. I donno, their marketing, and possibly biz plan, appears to need work.

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#39869719)

Agreed. They've never been much for marketing -- I first found them by finding some guy who ran a website about Linux and emailing him asking what the best distro was for newbies. I've never heard of anyone using Madriva for any reason other than word of mouth (not that I know that many Linux users to begin with...) And that probably is why they're struggling. They focus heavily on corporate -- which makes sense, since they're trying to be a business -- but that doesn't really seem to be where the strength of the distro is. At least not in my experience.

The one thing I will add is that if they are aiming their marketing at newbies, advertising things like Firefox and LibreOffice probably do make some sense. They just need to add to that. To people who see Linux as something foreign and alien and where they can't run any of their existing software, those things may actually be new information. To the experienced Linux user it doesn't give much of a reason to pick it up -- but neither would advertising as the best distro for new users.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39869481)

SuSE's YaST will put anything to shame that i've encountered so far.

Yes, AIX fanboys, it's even in the big leagues with smit :P

Re:What is Mandriva? (2)

bored (40072) | about 2 years ago | (#39869803)

I haven't seen a single other Linux distro with a control center. At least not one of the scale and functionality of Mandriva's

Try suse, I was a heavy mandrake user back in the day, Its light years ahead of unbuntu (and friends) when it comes to having an integrated control panel.

There are a number of other things good about suse, too, and with the addition of zypper a few years ago, the whole apt-get argument for deb based distributions was shot to hell. Of course, yast also has a package manager (same stuff in a GUI, rather than typing zypper install xyz) UI, and has been able to resolve dependency tree's and give the users control over such things using RPM for over a decade now.

I've tried ubuntu and a few others on and off for a few years, but I pretty much keep coming back to suse, because its better. I frankly, can't understand why everyone thinks ubuntu is so great. Within an hour or two of installing it I generally have a list of a dozen or so things that "just work" in suse that require me to hack text files, screw around with package versions, etc in ubuntu. Yast, is far from perfect, but it does concentrate the majority of the non window manager dependent configuration functionality into a single location. Plus, its extensible, meaning that as you install services or what not on the machine, additional yast options become available.

Plus, its got a long term enterprise version called SLES, which is as well supported as RHEL, so its possible to build packages that run on both desktop grade machines, as well as the bigger iron in the server room that has SLA's and such.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39870289)

Plus, its got a long term enterprise version called SLES, which is as well supported as RHEL

Actually it's not, SLES is rebasing software after 3 years now, so you'll have a stable API/ABI for 3 years and then things might change and break your apps/etc. Red Hat is offering 10 years support as standard with an option to buy 3 more years, and offering stable API/ABI (due to backports).

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

bored (40072) | about 2 years ago | (#39870703)

I assume you talking about the kernel/lib changes in the service packs. In that case you are right, the other side of the coin, is that if they break something that was supported, you should call them and make them fix it, its after all the reason your paying for support.

Otherwise I haven't been paying really close attention to their upgrade cycle as we standardized on one of their versions and once it was working, haven't applied any of the service packs. In theory, there might be security issues, if we were running a standard externally accessible service, but we don't export anything that isn't being maintained in house.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39870865)

Their marketing and art design has always sucked. But it has had the broadest put-of-the-box hardware support of any Linux distro. URPMI very early on simplified package management and remains a powerful tool. The Mandriva Control Center works as advertised and is extensive in its capabilities.

Why have Mandriva's tools not seen broader adoption? My guess is that all their unique stuff has been written in perl while all other Red-Hat derivatives stuck with python.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39873047)

I started with Linux after my 26 blue screen of death in one day with XP! I picked Mandrake and it was great for a while and then it stated to go downhill with little business tweaks to make more cash from me. I then found Kubuntu (it was very new then). It was great, right up to the point they shoved kde4 down the users throats about 1 to 2 years to early. It just got worse from there (although KDE is now GREAT!).

As of 12.04 there were so many bugs that I just could not keep using it anymore and so I started shopping for the next great distro. I found Mageia (I HATE spelling that!). It has no company behind it and I hope this means I can keep using it for the next 20 years without some egos forcing me to use something just because it is the best way to make more money or it is the next market trend.

Compared to Ubuntu Mageia was a royal pain to install but do to my years of Linux time, I got through it to a working system. Mageia could learn a thing or two from Ubuntu when it comes to user friendliness! Mageia is stable, works great and the Control Center really is WAY WAY better than Ubuntu! It makes Ubuntu feel like a toy. The only problem I have had so far with the change is that flash is failing in Chrome and FF. Often the videos on Youtube will not play but sometimes they do. At least they are not blue like there were with 12.04 (but not 11.04). I am running the beta so I am hoping that the flash problem with get solved. Still I would NEVER tell my grandmother to try and install Mageia on a computer with data that she wanted to save, but perhaps on a new hard disk it would be OK. It still is much easier to install Ubuntu. To bad that installed system now sucks so badly.

On last observation. The first posts seem to always be shills on this web site. Read any Linux subject and you will see that the first 15 posts or so are always negative and also almost always simple and full of FUD. The current top attack seems to be, "to many choices". What the heck does that mean? That is the true strength of open source! Sure it blows a newbie's mind the first time they here that they have 500 choices but after they get over that they see that that means they can have ANYTHING that they want! Half the time a person can simply email a program's devs and ask for a feature and it appears a few months later. I did that with Blender and they made the grease pencil for me! I can't take much credit for it but it was my idea! Hats off the the devs!!!!

I think that distros and other open source programs need to stop competing and start sharing code and ideas more. Forget your pride and work for Linux and not for your own egos. Imagine Kubuntu combined with Mageia, taking just the best of both to make a top KDE system. It would be great and it is possible to do.

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

jdogalt (961241) | about 2 years ago | (#39873285)

"There's also URPMI, the easiest package manager I've yet seen. Easier than pacman/yaourt, easier than apt-get."

Yes. URPMI is why I used and loved Mandrake... about a million years ago. Funny how in that sentence you fail to mention yum, which is exactly the thing that caused the rest of the RPM based distros to finally erase Mandrake's core advantage. It's been a long time since then. Mandrake is dead, let it R.I.P.

Re:What is Mandriva? (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about 2 years ago | (#39875877)

1) Its got a control center. Find me an OS without one?

I haven't seen a single other Linux distro with a control center. At least not one of the scale and functionality of Mandriva's. My current distro (Arch) doesn't have one at all. Unless you count the KDE panel, which is pretty much useless by comparison. Can't set up printers (well, it claims you can, but it never works), you can't set up wifi, you can't set up system services, you can't even adjust the display to the same extent that you can in the Mandriva control center. Maybe they need to emphasize what it is a bit more -- because I've tried a dozen or so distros and never seen anything remotely close.

Never heard of YAST? SuSe had that for quite a long time already as well.

Re:What is Mandriva? (3, Informative)

timbo234 (833667) | about 2 years ago | (#39868639)

4) RPM based. OK so its repackaged redhat.

No, RPM-based doesn't mean it's repackaging Redhat, you're confusing it with Centos and Scientific Linux. Mandriva is actually one of a small number of distros that does a unique packaging effort - ie. the developers package most things themselves rather than basing it off another distro such as Ubuntu does with Debian.

In the past, i.e. early 2000's, Mandrake/Mandriva had some of the nicer desktop-focused features such as:
- automatic resizing of the Windows partition in the installer-
- GUI partitioning program available not just in the installer but in the Control Centre after installation
- decent package manager with dependency resolution and large repos (almost on a par with Debian's)
- decent default settings for KDE and GNOME
- working USB and CD/DVD automounting (the Mandrake/driva developers went to great pains to get this working long before HAL and udev came and made it a comodity feature)

But that was the past and all major distro's have those things now. So you're probably right, currently there's no standout feature that Mandriva has over other distros, probably just personal preference for those that use it.

Re:What is Mandriva? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39874613)

Well basically just like openSUSE, except Mandriva comes with all the bullshit drama, and with much less polish...

Misread title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867249)

I first read it as "Mandriva Not Shuddering Its Doors, Yet" and got a funny mental image out of it.

Most doors don't have shutters, though. But at least they got it's/its right.

Doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867489)

"Mandriva" sounds too dangerously close to "Mangina" for anyone to use it.

The main plus for Mandrake (1)

Geeky (90998) | about 2 years ago | (#39867977)

I used Mandrake for a while. Not because it was an easy beginners distro - I'd started out with Slackware, but because it was easier to get stuff done. It was, if I recall, one of the first distros to come bundled with non-free software; drivers for video cards, codecs etc. While it was possible to go to, I don't know, NVidia's site, download the Linux drivers and use them with any distro, Mandrake had them bundled and just worked out of the box. It could also play most of the, erm, interesting video clips I could find...

After I got too lazy to deal with Slackware but not quite lazy enough to crawl back to Windows, it was my distro of choice, probably circa 2000.

Mandrake Corporate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39868391)

I looked just now and I still have the cd from 12 years ago. Ive kept it because it worked well out of the box and was easy to configure for what ever I wanted it to do. It was my first exposure to linux and we had a mail server setup in 15 minutes or so. Maybe its just a soft spot in my heart.

no compelling reason (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39874217)

Mandrake was the shit in its time, and just what I wanted out of a linux machine. even then I was not a total noob, but really didnt want to read though the 2 inch thick redhat 2 manual I had, nor build the boot media for the solaris x86 I had picked up at a computer show. Just drop in and GO!

Then mandriva happened, I went to go download it when it first came out and "nope sorry pay us for CD's", I am petty and poor and I had seen this thing called Ubuntu was causing some noise ... been a debian man ever since.

Once in a while I go look at mandrivia, it just looks worse and worse each time, nothing there but a poorly supported redhat offspring, always on deaths door, nothing amazing, always out of date ... why even waste the time when there are dozens of distros that do it better?

Re:no compelling reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39889489)

I encountered 6.5, I think it was, in 1999, at Wal-mart. I used it until Kubuntu 06. After the first three paid packages, I found they didn't work. Couldn't even install. So, I stopped paying.

The free versions were at times terrible. Mandriva admitted they didn't even test the free versions.

I have used Kubuntu since 06.04. I have 10.04 on two machines, and like the LTS. But, I got an HP-110 mini and nothing would bring up the Broadcom wireless. I actually put SL 6 on it, but since I could not get wireles to work, dumped it. Not sure if Kubuntu 12.04 will or not, not going to try. I put PCLinuxOS on it, and it comes up ready for key. Alas, it seems to come from Mandriva. I do like the rolling updates on PCLinuxOS.

I forgot. Around v. 8 or 9, I showed Mandriva to my cousin's government office in Mexico City. It was actually used officially by one big office for a year or two, but they shifted to Kubuntu.

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