A Taste Of Mandriva Linux

A Taste Of Mandriva Linux: Mandriva Linux is a “populaire” Linux distribution with a French origin. It was created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft) in 1998. Mandriva’s previous name is Mandrakelinux, and its first release was based on Red Hat Linux (version 5.1) and KDE (version 1.0). It has since diverged from Red Hat and has included a number of original tools mostly to ease system configuration. Mandriva’s popularity can’t be denied as it places consistently high on Distrowatch ranking with a current standing at #8.

I have tried and tested almost all major Linux distros except for Mandriva. Fortunately, I had a not-so-busy weekend so I finally had my hands ready for Mandriva Linux 2008. I installed it on my backup computer with hardware specifications listed below:

Board: Intel D101GGCL
Processor: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with HT Technology
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB HDD
Memory: 1GB 400 MHz DDR RAM
Graphics Card: ATI PowerColor Radeon X300

I loaded the One installation CD which I got from HERE. If you want a more complete version with language support and all, get the DVD Powerpack version. There’s also a FREE edition to those who have a strict ideology of using only free/open-source software. Anyway, once the CD was loaded, I was immediately impressed with Mandriva’s professional looking artwork. The installer itself is even more impressive. It is very straightforward and quick. I think Linux newbies can successfully install Mandriva without any trouble because almost all they have to do is just point and click. The installation was finished without a hitch, and I was very happy that everything worked with no time wasted. Grub was properly configured and important hardware like Ethernet, audio, video, and USB were functioning well.

Look and Feel:
Though I’m not a big KDE fan, I find Mandriva’s default theme very likable and I pretty much like its sleek appearance. By the way, there’s also a Gnome version but I wanted to see and experience Mandriva on its favored KDE flavour. Mandriva certainly knows how to please those who want some cutting-edge desktop effects because Compiz Fusion and its very own Mettise is installed by default. I easily and successfully enabled Compiz Fusion and it worked with very minor hiccups. Like when the screen saver appeared, my system just froze so I had to hard reboot. I find it just a slight glitch because I usually don’t enable my screensaver. I also played with the 2D effects of Mettise a bit, and it was obviously less resource hungry compared to Compiz Fusion, which makes it ideal for those who have an ultra low-end graphics card.

Package Management:
Mandriva One is packed with highly functional software, plus Java and Flash are already installed by default. Out-of-the-box KDE programs and handy desktop applications like Mozilla Firefox, 2.2.1, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Mplayer 1.0rc1 are also included. Programming and networking tools are also present, like Python 2.5.1, Perl 5.8.8, and Samba 3.0.25b. Downloading, installing, removing, and updating packages is no sweat, thanks to Mandriva’s graphical all-in-one Control Center. I think the Control Center is one of the biggest assets of Mandriva and other Mandriva-based distro like PCLinuxOS.

Another slight problem that I noticed on Mandriva 2008 is its buggy NTFS-3G tool. Writing to my NTFS hard disk failed, but thanks to the Mandriva team for the instructions on enabling write support that can be found HERE. For the typical desktop users I know this won’t be that much of a problem as using Mandriva for daily computing tasks is perfectly safe and secure. I have watched DVD’s, surf the web, program with Python, and wrote this blog post on a Mandriva 2008 OS. In addition, I find the KDE desktop very responsive and the boot/start-up time relatively fast.

All things considered, I can say that Mandriva 2008 is a very capable desktop operating system ideal for beginners as well as Linux power users. Those minor glitches that I have encountered were overshadowed by its rich features and outstanding performance. But, I do hope that those problems will be fixed on their next release. I intend to keep my Mandriva 2008 partition on my back up computer because I’m beginning to love it. I will be tweaking it and further use it for productive purposes.

Mandriva Linux is truly an elite distribution and this 2008 version further strengthened its excellent status. To those who haven’t tried Mandriva, I encourage you to have a taste.

Bonne journée! :)


  1. It's great to read another review from you jun. It has been quite a long time since your last review. Keep it up because your reviews brings excitement to Linux!

  2. Wow hehe. That's very flattering Dan. Thanks a lot. :)

  3. Nice and short review. I just wonder why you seem to be surprised about KDE being responsive. On every distribution I have used so far it has always been the case, that KDE is more responsive than GNOME. I have many times red people complaining that KDE is resource hungry. But this is a myth. It uses as much RAM as Gnoem on my system and uses less CPU and runs faster.

  4. While Mandriva is a great operating system, you should really look at PCLinuxOS, which, IMO, is Mandriva done right.

  5. I feel that Mandriva has surpassed PCLinuxOS in recent times. Mandriva 2008 has superior hardware detection and wireless capabilities. I have installed it on a range of desktop systems and laptops with excellent results. It has a large software repository and packet management is much snappier.

  6. "PCLinuxOS, which, IMO, is Mandriva done right"

    I respect your opinion but feel your statement is no longer true.

    This Mandriva 2008 release is the superior for this round.

    Next spring it may be PCLOS again.

  7. I agree. I've been using PCLOS since the 2007 release, but from what I've seen of Mandriva lately, PCLOS has some catching up to do.

  8. I've gone through Ubuntu 7.10, openSuSE 10.3, Fedora 8, etc... and I keep re-installing Mandriva 2008 because it's THAT good. No, it's not that good--it's brilliant.

    SuSE hasn't floated my boat since the 9 realeases; Ubuntu is solid, but is not optimized for 586 and lacks the "snappiness" that all others in the Distrowatch Top 5 possess; and Fedora 8 is a total dog (unlike F7, which was kick-ass).

    Now, if only KDE could adopt some of Gnome's simplicity, and Gnome could adopt some of KDEs completeness I'd be truly happy...

  9. Mandriva is definately beautiful and I said goodbye to mint and its my desktop of choice now. It' a great Distro but to be fair it isn't as stable as I'd like, I've had to reboot the X-server many a time now, and hard reboot the computer altogether a few times. The screensaver doesn't seem to play nice with compiz. I also kind of miss apt-get. Oh, well cant have everything, I just hope the next release is more stable.

  10. @Eudoxus. You may be right but I still prefer to use Gnome because I find it slightly faster than most (but not all) KDE based distros. Anyway, it’s a matter of inclination so I hope no more KDE vs. Gnome debates. I agree with anonymous commenter. PCLOS has to catch up with Mandriva 2008.

  11. Thanks for the nice review, and we're glad you're enjoying Mandriva! Since you mentioned it and so did a few commenters, the Compiz / screensaver bug is known and documented, with workarounds, here:

    hope that helps people who are having trouble!

    Adam Williamson

  12. I wanted to try mandriva 2008, but the live cd hung after enabling swap space. I used to use mandrake and liked it. The computer I attempted it on currently has pclinux 2007 installed. I guess I'll see if it works on another computer.

  13. Thanks a lot Adam for dropping by and for that useful info.

  14. what is reason for the pregnant type pause of about 30 seconds while the system trys to do....quote "intializing system services"

    why do I have to wait 20-30 seconds for
    stupid Mandriva rubbish programs

    More rubbish distro's again from the USA,..everyone slags off Microsoft
    Linux producers make some real bollocks of programs, that do not work,..or one has to tinker with them too work.


  15. Hi. Just last night I installed Mandriva 2008 on my Macbook. Everything works except the audio - I cannot hear anything. Yet it seems that Mandriva detects my audio hardware. I've googled for any discussion about it, but none of them solved my problem. Any ideas?

  16. Add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/options:

    options snd_hda_intel model=mbp3

    I hope it works Father.

  17. Thanks, Jun, for your reply. That code did not work for me. I tried many other codes I found online, but I got so frustrated with Mandriva 2008 Powerpack that I ended up discarding it and replacing it with Ubuntu 7.10. I experienced less problems with Gutsy - after upgrading it to kernel 2.6.22-9 and doing a few tweaks - it recognized all my MacBook hardware.

  18. Just letting you know TEENpup 2008 Linux has just been released!!
    Get it from
    COOL!!! a Live / Install CD jammed full of Codecs and software.

  19. "Mandriva Linux is a “populaire” Linux distribution with a French origin."
    Okok, but...Mandriva is a comercial 'core' os Mandrakesoft and a tecnical 'core' of Conectiva Linux, based on Brazil!

    My best reggards!

    Ps.: Yes, i'm brazilian...