Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Aug 2006 17:55 UTC, submitted by michuk
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Beta versions of Mandriva 2007 have been appearing for a while now and the final release is coming soon. This short review covers the key changes introduced in beta 2. "Except for the software update which has been awaited by the Mandriva fans for a long time, there are no revolutionary changes or something that could put Mandriva 2007 in front of the competition. Still, not many distros provide such easy installation and configuration process. In Mandriva, almost all works out-of-the-box (including an MP# player) or network setup. And this is the reason I think Mandriva can be still recommended for the newbie users."
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distro sweet spot
by project_2501 on Tue 29th Aug 2006 22:40 UTC
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Mandrake used to hit the distro sweet spot:

* good hardware detection and support (eg nvidia, 1680*1050 notebook displays, printers working first time, easy driver and firmware support for ipw wireless when other distros didn't work, hdd dma was set up correctly before other distros did, xfs filesysem before many others did ... )

* good software selection - mostly recent software with frequent updates - and a (semi-official) repository with a wide range of tools, from R-base to scilab, from blender to scigraphica (not many did that one). oh and of course playing mp3, dvds and internet media fles was easy. the problem with fedora is that there are more than one group of repositories and they conflict badly and no-one wants to endorse one over another. the core repositories are not useful for additional applications or extended drivers or multimedia support.

* for those that liked it - i586 compiled software - what proportion of home desktop users are using 486s or 386s? i know this is a subtler question than it first appears but why cripple yourself. i'm using fedora 5 now and its fast but mandrva was snappier.

sadly mandriva/mandrake was neglected and quality fell. its software feel out of date and its repositories started to fail too often. and they never really hired a graphic designer to sort out their themes.

i would love to run an i586/i686 linux distro with cutting edge and frequency updated software, using a small set of semi-official repositories that provided useful apps, ... and i'd love for mandriva to jettison all that mandrake-club stuff - forget it, its a pain and was never well administered. just stick to selling boxes with printed manuals - it works!

moving to smart or apt would be great too.

another clever move would be to unify the plain and -devel packages into one so you neer have to go chasing the devel headers and libraries again... i just checked dell's website and their desktops have 650Gb hard disks.

i used mandriva for many years ... but this year i swicthed to fedora to provide me with a stable environment - after all i don't want to worry about the OS - it should worry about me!

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