One of the distributions I almost always get calls for reviews of is Mandriva. Well I’m happy to say that Mandriva Linux 2010 was recently released and I decided to put it at the top of my review list. Mandriva comes in the following editions:
Mandriva Powerpack 2010
Mandriva One 2010
Mandriva Free 2010
For this review I picked the Mandriva Linux 2010 (Free) version. This version contains 100% free software and weighs in at a chunky 4.3GB when you download it. Now please understand that I am not a “free software fanatic” type at all. I have no problem using distros that have some proprietary software blended into them but I like to use one that doesn’t have that stuff every once in a while.
And Mandriva Linux 2010 (Free) was a good chance to do just that.
What’s New In This Release
This version of Mandriva has some new goodies and here’s a sample of what you’ll find when you install it:
Faster start up
Moblin (netbook desktop environment)
Better parental controls
Moovida (new interface for Elisa)
Smaller install size
Ext4 default file system
RPMDrake search & interface improvements
I’m happy to see the updates to Gnome and KDE. The beefed up parental controls are also welcome. I don’t have kids but I’m sure there are some folks out there that do that might use Mandriva Linux. I’m also glad to see that Ext4 is the default file system in this release.
There’s quite a bit more in terms of new features so be sure to view the full list via the link above.
Requirements & Installation
Here’s a list of system requirements:
Processor: Any Intel, AMD et VIA processor.
RAM: 512 MB minimum, 1 GB recommended.
Hard disk: 2 GB minimum, 6 GB recommended for a full setup.
nVidia, ATI, Intel, SiS, Matrox, VIA.
3D desktop support requires a 3D instructions set compatible card.
Any Sound Blaster, AC97 or HDA compatible card.
DVD drive required (but for One: CD drive required).
ATA, IDE, SCSI, SAS: most controllers are supported in non-RAID mode, and some are supported in RAID mode.
The Mandriva installer is very attractive and quite easy to deal with for the most part. It’s about on par with Ubuntu.
One thing that I particularly liked about Mandriva was that it gave me the option to choose additional desktops including LXDE, Gnome, KDE and some of the other desktops. Do I need to have all of these? Well no, of course not. But I’m a bit of a desktop environment whore so if I can have them all, I’ll surely take them.
I was also pleased to note that I could pick and choose individual packages within the overall categories I’d picked to install. Not enough distributions allow this these days. Perhaps it’s just my memory but I seem to remember being able to choose individual packages as a more widespread thing years ago. These days it seems like that option is available in fewer and fewer distros.
The install took about 25 minutes or so. I lost track of it for a few minutes though as I was making breakfast while it was happening. So it may have run a bit longer or shorter. And as I noted above, I opted to install a lot more desktops than most people probably would. So your install may run shorter than mine.
Note that if you like games be sure to choose the option to make your machine a gaming station as you’ll get quite a few games included with your install.
At the end of my install I was offered the option to update my packages. I ran the update and had no problems with it.