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Historically speaking, Mandriva, along with Debian, were among the first to deliver a free distro that anyone could download. They were particularly important in advancing the case of linux on the desktop.
Back in the day, Suse wasn´t completely redistributable as Yast was under a non-free license. Then, there was Libranet and Lindows and Caldera and Turbolinux, none of which were entirely free software.
Today, Mandriva not only remains true to its roots, but also delivers an outstanding product. I think, right now, Mandriva´s KDE desktop is really the best one around.
If you read my comment in context, you