Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th May 2008 20:37 UTC, submitted by AdamW
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Two Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring reviews came out in the last couple of days. ZDNet notes that "Mandriva Linux is popular with developers and enthusiasts, and there's a thriving community ready and able to help with problems" and concludes that "overall we liked what we saw. Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring may not be the best distro for the newcomer moving over from Windows, but if you're used to the way Linux works and want to try something different, give it a try". Linux.com praised the hardware support and the Control Center, and declared that "despite a few minor glitches, after several weeks of testing the two Mandriva flavors, I have finally come across a distro that gives you the best of the GNU/Linux and proprietary worlds in terms of ease of use, range of software, and stability on hardware that ranges from old Celerons to newer multi-core machines".
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I'm using it
by WereCatf on Thu 29th May 2008 21:08 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I've been using Mandriva 2008.1 Spring for several weeks myself too and I have to say that I really like it. The only issue I've had is with the nVidia drivers which refuse to work unless I modify xorg.conf and add the line ConnectedMonitors="DFP". Without that line it insists that the laptop is connected to an external display. And the second issue with them is that I have to supply a modified edid file to the drivers to get proper display resolution. Though, this is a bug in nvidia drivers and it's present in all distros, it's not Mandriva specific. Nv works just though ;)

I actually told sometime ago here in OSnews in a comment how I liked Mandriva and stated already then that I don't feel it's really so newbie-friendly. But if you know Linux from before then it's a really great and hassle-free distro ;)

Reply Score: 6

This release is a must
by lezard on Thu 29th May 2008 21:21 UTC
lezard
Member since:
2005-10-11

Maybe the greatest I've ever seen. Not a single bug or annoyance so far on three different computers.

Reply Score: 7

Very pleased indeed
by orfanum on Thu 29th May 2008 23:37 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

I have had 2008.1 installed for some weeks(both at home, initially, and now at work). I have so far been able easily to resist my usual tendency to wipe and install X-other distribution whenever the Next Big Thing has apparently come along (I have looked at one other distro since but its live cd imediately convinced me that what I had in Mandriva was very much worth keeping). Only one observation to make to date: Metisse works fine on my Nvidia Geforce Go 6400 in the works lappy but won't even start at home, where I have an ATI graphics chip (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600).

It's just been so easy to use and configure otherwise. I dip in and out of it at work since it appears to run more smoothly and consistently than XP Pro (in terms of responsiveness, XP just seems to lag here and there without apparent cause - I am sure that I will be able to figure that out at some point, it's just by way of simple comparison). Once I have been able to set up Spicebird (http://www.spicebird.com/) and therefore have something approaching for me what I get in Outlook now, it may just become my main work OS. I don't think I have ever been able to consider Linux in that context, ever - this iteration of Mandriva has given me a lot of confidence in Linux, and I still have the Noob shininess about me, I have to say.

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I've been running Mandriva as my primary OS for a few years now after dual booting for years before and still can't find a reason to seriously consider another distribution. Even Debian has been slow to really make use of on VM install becuase my Mandriva ISO is right there and handy.

2008.1 has been fantastic on my systems too. There seems to be a SquashFS error during boot off the livdCD but it does not seem to effect anything and the Free disks have shown no issues.

Reply Score: 3

eee
by korpenkraxar on Thu 29th May 2008 23:48 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

2008.1 with the XFCE desktop runs great on my EEE PC, even with compiz. The only trouble I've had so far is connecting to the Joikuspot ad-hoc wlan on the Nokia cellphone.

Reply Score: 4

Using it right now...
by the_trapper on Fri 30th May 2008 01:17 UTC
the_trapper
Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm using it right now, and I have to say that it really does "feel" great. The Control Center works great, everything just worked on my Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop, including 3-D graphics and video card. It's been very stable so far and Mandriva's treatment of Gnome is very good. I just like the whole look and feel of Spring 2008, it has excellent colors and gradients, but it isn't overdone.

Make sure you enable the PLF repos at http://plf.zarb.org/ if you want access to restricted audio and video codecs.

It is also nice having access to a full featured live CD that even includes proprietary drivers and the Flash plugin.

All in all, I have to agree with everyone else above, this is one of the best releases I've ever used.

Reply Score: 4

I like this one
by Jokel on Fri 30th May 2008 06:43 UTC
Jokel
Member since:
2006-06-01

I must admit I am a long time Mandriva user. I think "Spring 2008" is one of the best versions of Mandriva until now.

Sure - no distribution is perfect. There are some (very) little problems with Mandriva 2008.1 too, but absolutely no showstoppers.

I have tried several other distro's, but keep coming back to Mandriva. I tried Ubuntu, but don't like Gnome, and Kubuntu is far from perfect. The only distro I liked other than Madriva is PCLinuxOS. And that one is based on... Mandrake/Mandriva.

It is a sad thing that Mandriva does not get the attention it deserved. For me it's the only distro that works on every machine I tried (even a P3 500MHz, 192Mb IBM Thinkpad - talking about low specs). Now - that's something even Ubuntu was not capable to do.

Reply Score: 5

Another 'Me Too' comment...
by wakeupneo on Fri 30th May 2008 06:48 UTC
wakeupneo
Member since:
2005-07-06

My old AMD system had a meltdown, literally, so I thought I'd give Intel another try after backing the little guys for a few years.

Once the system was complete, I found PCLinuxOS wouldn't detect my SATA drives and various other components on the motherboard, so I figured I'd give PCLOS's big brother a try. Everything detected correctly with Mandriva which strikes me as a little odd, since PCLOS is based on it...but anyway...

I have to say, in terms of useability OOTB, Mandriva 2008 is hard to beat. This is a very slick release and well worth a look if you haven't tried a Man-drake/driva distro for a while.

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

PCLinuxOS is Debian with Draketools rather than Mandriva forked if I'm told correctly. It's all the goodness of apt-get and draketools combined though I also prefer to remain higher up on the fork with Mandriva.

Reply Score: 2

agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

PCLOS does use rpm, doesn't it?
I had the impression that many PCLOS rpm were directly taken from Mandriva.
Anyway, this is a nice distro, but it does not support many languages and the software selection is still limited. This is a good introduction to Mandriva when you come from ubuntu and are used to synaptic.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I was under the impression it was a .deb but used much of Mandriva's code including the drake tools. Maybe it's about time I nistalled the latest liveCD and had a look. Either way, many people seem to like it.

Reply Score: 2

trying again.
by raver31 on Fri 30th May 2008 10:25 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

I try every release of Mandriva. The pinnacle for me was Mandrake 10.

Since then, I have let my club membership lapse, as I switched after various problems;

Update servers running very slowly.
Updates to the kernel not allowing the system to reboot with the changes.

Anyhow, I downloaded 2008.1 and installed it. I ran the updates and restarted. Perfection. This version will stay on this machine for the foreseeable future.

I particulary like the way it will automatically download codecs that it does not have.


Now to try kde4.1 on it !

Thanks Mandriva.

Reply Score: 5

I must add my excitement
by eduardp on Fri 30th May 2008 12:37 UTC
eduardp
Member since:
2006-09-01

I've used mandriva since RedHat becomed Fedora. I started to run it because it was the only PowerPC big Distro that ran on Macs.
I think it deserves to be always at the top ranquings like RedHat, SUSE and Debian/Ubuntu.

Historically it deserves this position because it was the first distribution thinked for the average user.

And contrary to slackware it always tried to be at the top like the other distros. It would had been maybe the top 1 right now if ubuntu didn't appear in the very same niche they invented.

Reply Score: 3

I'm very pleased
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 14:38 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

I have an off and on history with Mandrake/Mandriva.

I first discovered it as Mandrake 10, buying the PowerPack after having used Red Hat. Mandrake 10, at this time, was the best Linux desktop experience I ever had.

Later, Mandriva 2005 was pretty solid, and remained on one of my machines for over 2 years.

Mandriva 2007.1 was really nice, and showed great potential. But it has issues with my laptop and numlock. So I did not keep it at the time.

Mandriva 2008.0 was also really nice, but it had an issue with sound on HD install (sound was perfect in live mode, go figure).

Then with this latest release, 2008 Spring, I've near Linux desktop nirvana (perfection is nearly impossible in Linux desktop due to hardware manufacturers not always cooperating).

Everything, save for the broadcom wireless card (a known issue with all distros), works perfectly.

Great things about Mandriva 2008 Spring:

The Mandriva Control Center is the best of it's kind in all of the Linux world.

Mandriva is easily, IMHO, the nicest looking distro - theme, icons, fonts, desktop background, screen saver, colors, etc. Quite simply, it's gorgeous.

Urpmi/RPMDrake - equal to, or better than, apt/Synaptic on Debian/Ubuntu/Mepis/etc. Also, the Mandriva repos, while not as vast as the Deb ones, are more up to date, and so far, more stable.

Speed. It's quite snappy.

Stability. I've run several updates, no problems.

And in all honesty, I've been mostly a Debian/Ubuntu/Mepis/Sidux (Debian in general) user over the last 3 years or so. I generally like Debian based distros over RPM ones.

Also, I've been quite disappointed with Ubuntu Gutsy and Hardy - too many annoying bugs for my liking.

But Mandriva 2008 Spring trumps 'em all. In Mandriva, stuff just works, it's full featured, it looks great, and it's an absolute joy to use.

Great job Mandriva.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I'm very pleased
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 15:28 UTC in reply to "I'm very pleased"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

JeffS - what problem do you have with your Broadcom wireless? It should be quite easy to get it working with at least ndiswrapper, you just have to run drakconnect, tell it you want to use ndiswrapper, and feed it a Windows driver. That *should* work...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I'm very pleased
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm very pleased"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"JeffS - what problem do you have with your Broadcom wireless? It should be quite easy to get it working with at least ndiswrapper, you just have to run drakconnect, tell it you want to use ndiswrapper, and feed it a Windows driver. That *should* work..."

When I try to use ndiswrapper, and supply it the broadcom driver (from the Windows partion, no less), it gives me the error

"Unable to find the ndiswrapper interface".

I've checked to make sure that ndiswrapper is installed and the module loaded.

Maybe it's not installed and loaded properly. I've perused the Mandriva, and Mandriva users, forums, and came up with no real hot tips to solve the problem.

But, I'm probably not doing something correct with the ndiswrapper setup, and I'm guessing that you might know one (you've been a great Mandriva problem solver in the past). So any hot tips will be greatly appreciated.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm very pleased
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm very pleased"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I'll try ;) . First off, is this 2008 or 2008 Spring? That was a known issue in 2008, but if it's happening in 2008 Spring, it's something different and not immediately identifiable.

Okay, so assuming it's Spring, I need the following to help diagnose:

the output of this command at a console:

ndiswrapper -l

the contents of /etc/modprobe.conf

the bottom page or two of /var/log/messages immediately after you try to bring up the connection

Might be better to email it to me than try to post here - awilliamson AT mandriva DOT com. Thanks!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I'm very pleased
by fretinator on Fri 30th May 2008 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm very pleased"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Now that's product support!

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: I'm very pleased
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I'm very pleased"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Now that's product support!"

Yup. Adam peruses these, and other, forums, and whenever people are talking about Mandriva, he lends a helping hand to whomever needs it.

I've sent an email to him already, with the requested info.

This just solidifies my liking Mandriva.

I hope they pay Adam well, because he does a great job promoting Mandriva on forums such as these.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I'm very pleased
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm very pleased"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Might be better to email it to me than try to post here - awilliamson AT mandriva DOT com. Thanks!"

Done.

And thanks. I'm pretty amazed that I got such a quick response on this forum.

Reply Score: 3

urpmi
by agrouf on Fri 30th May 2008 14:56 UTC
agrouf
Member since:
2006-11-17

urpmi gives you more control than apt-get or aptitude, but you have to know how to use it. The newbie will be confused when urpmi asks him if he'd prefer gcc3 or gcc4.
It does not give as much control as portage but it is fast and easy when you know what you want to do.

Mandriva is good distro for the desktop. It's productive and stable, like slackware but with a huge repository like debian, an excellent package manager like no other distro and the best, by far, configuration tools.

The draktools are the best. Complete and it doesn't break because you edit the configuration files by hand, it just reads what you have configured and adapt to it. Just brillant.

PCLOS is a good idea: a dumbed down version of Mandriva with a simple package manager a la Ubuntu. For the newbies, this would be the perfect introduction to linux if it had the repository size of Mandriva/Ubuntu/Debian and if it supported more languages correcly. With time, this distro will improve, but I'd prefer that Mandriva give the option to use a simple package manager for those who don't know what they do.

Reply Score: 3

Thanks
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 15:27 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow, thanks for all the positive feedback, guys. ;)

Just to address PCLOS - PCLOS is effectively based on Mandriva, yes. At two points, PCLOS has based itself off Mandriva: for the 0.93a release of PCLOS (with all its ongoing development), they initially based off Mandrake 9.2, and continued development pretty much independently from there. Then for the current 2007 release of PCLOS, they re-based - basically, started over from scratch based on - Mandriva Linux 2007. Since that re-base, PCLOS development and MDV development are pretty much independent. PCLOS does its own development on things like the kernel and KDE so obviously at this point (a year and a half later) there will be differences in hardware support and so on. It's true to say PCLOS is 'based on' Mandriva in the sense that they use Mandriva as an initial base for development, but that doesn't mean there's not significant differences between them.

Reply Score: 4

Great help from Adam
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 20:59 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

I kind of figured out on my own how to make the broadcom wireless card work, but thanks largely to Adam Williamson's help (he made a bunch of really good suggestions that sent me in the right direction).

So, just to pass this on to all Linux users (not just Mandriva, because it applies to all distros with the Broadcom wireless card):

1. The native kernel driver did not work, and is know to only work in rare cases.

2. Thus, ndiswrapper, using the Windows driver, is preferred.

3. In /etc/modprobe.conf, you need the following:
alias pci:xxxxxx(whatever the numbers for the PCI)xxx ndiswrapper

alias eth0 ndiswrapper (whatever interface your system is assigning to the wireless card to, in my case it was eth0)

blacklist bcm43xx

4. The bcmwl6 Windows does not work, bcmwl5 does. You might have to do a separate download if it's not on CD or your Windows partition.

Those are the tips that worked for me.

BTW - I couldn't get the broadcom working with Ubuntu Hardy (but could with Gutsy). Broadcom cards are hard in general.

Now my Mandriva is 100% perfect. The Broadcom card was the final piece of the puzzle.

This is thanks to the excellence of Mandriva, and Adam's excellent help.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great help from Adam
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 21:04 UTC in reply to "Great help from Adam"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a note on the above: drakconnect (Mandriva's network configuration tool) actually handles all the modprobe.conf configuration in most cases. It seems it didn't in JeffS's, but there's probably a reason for that anomaly; it is actually written to create the correct aliases in modprobe.conf when setting up ndiswrapper. So before trying to do it manually, do it the easy way - get a known-good Windows driver (usually the one called bcmwl5) and just use drakconnect, tell it you want to use ndiswrapper, and feed it the Windows driver when it asks. Only go to the manual option if it doesn't work right.

Jeff, the native driver does actually work for quite a lot of Broadcom chips now. The reason it wasn't working for you is that you gave it a version 4.x Windows driver to extract firmware from; bcm43xx needs a version 3.x Windows driver. (of course, it's never easy to tell which is which, just to keep you on your toes). If you'd fed it http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o - which is the known-good 3.x version of the Windows driver - it would probably have been okay. However, in my own testing, ndiswrapper is generally more reliable and faster than bcm43xx, so I use it even when bcm43xx works.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great help from Adam
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Great help from Adam"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

I read too that the V4 of the firmware didn't work, but V3.

So there we have it. If you use the native kernel driver for bcm43xx, use V3 of the firmware.

If you use ndiswrapper, use bcmwl5.inf, not bcmwl6.inf.

I think my whole problem in this ordeal was that I had used V4 of the firmware with the native kernel driver, and bcmwl6 with ndiswrapper.

Thanks again Adam.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by AdamW
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 23:05 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

As I mentioned it's hard to know what internal version any given copy of the Broadcom driver is, so if you want to use the native driver, just use the copy of the driver I linked to in my post. That one is known to work well with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by AdamW
by JeffS on Sun 1st Jun 2008 15:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by AdamW"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm successfully using the windows driver with ndiswrapper. But I just downloaded the native kernel firmware from the link in your post, just in case something goes wrong with the Windows one, or I just want to compare performance between the two.

Anyway, once again, thanks for your help.

Mandriva is really back to it's "A" game.

I've tried Ubuntu, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, openSUSE, sidux, and of course, Mandriva (all most recent releases), and Mandriva is standing head and shoulders above the others right now. Mandriva has:
1. The best installer
2. The best GUI config tools (MCC)
3. The best looking theme/desktop
4. The best HD detection (including automatic, out of the box detection of my ATI accelerated graphics card).
5. The second best (to sidux) performance (but sidux is more "bare bones", and requires more command-line admin).
6. The best repository (most up to date)
7. The best support!!!!!

Reply Score: 2