Top Linux Distros: Mandriva PDF Print E-mail

 Lesson 5 / Lesson 7

The Paris, France born distro, Mandriva, was first named Mandrakesoft in 1998 but changed its name to Mandriva after losing litigation to the Hearst Corporation over the name Mandrake. The name Mandriva is the result of Mandrakesoft and Connectiva combined. Connectiva is a company Madrakesoft purchased in 2005. As you may have noticed with many other Linux distributions, some distros often carry  applications designed specifically for that distro. These applications are frequently graphical tools and interfaces designed to help users. Mandriva is no exception to this trend and uses the urpmi package manager, Mandriva control center, and other tools to achieve a distinct feel.

Mandriva is a general purpose Windows replacement Linux distribution because it serves all desktop purposes but seems to be the choice of many converted windows users. Since 1998 Mandriva has focused on integrating the stability of Linux with the best graphical environments and graphical utilities. Mandriva has had success with converting computer users from their previous operating systems due to these graphical utlities.

Desktop Screenshot
Upon booting up this desktop for the first time I saw a dark theme highlighted by bright color lines, logo and distro menu. I immediately noticed a pop up window encouraging me to get involved in the Mandriva category and explaining how it works and what it is all about. I found this very helpful. I closed this window and found another pop up asking how I wanted to install the distro. After you're through the pop ups you'll see the black background and pink-floyd-colored logo. Mandriva comes with the option to install Gnome or KDE and now LXDE . The KDE install is more like windows in my opinion for users switching.

Everything was located in the right places on the desktop which included only one icon on the actual desktop and that was the "trash" icon. The menu icon and shortcuts appeared on the bottom panel to the left. On the right of the bottom panel were clipboard, organizer, net connection and sound icons. Further over was the digital clock, lock and shutdown icons. The menu was better than many KDE menus but was still hard to locate certain things like the control center. Even though the control center icon appears as a shortcut on the bottom panel by default.

Help Resources
Mandriva has an active community that may provide some help to you problems while using th distro. Look at the Mandriva website,, where you can find downloads, Mandriva store, the community, support section and more. Quite a few books and ebooks are centered on the Mandriva Linux are available for free and otherwise on the internet. You can find a good selection of free tutorials at on how to use the Mandriva Linux operating system.

Mandriva is available in several versions for you to try. The One version includes the Mandriva desktop for users free of charge while Mandriva Powerpack includes the Mandriva desktop plus a mountain of software. This version serves as the all-in-one version of Mandriva that includes everything you need. Another version of Mandriva available is Mandriva Flash which is a complete mobile 3D desktop on a 8 GB USB key. You take your Linux desktop with you, use 6GB of storage, and install Mandriva to a hard disk anywhere, whenever you want.

My Feeling
Mandriva seems to attract many Windows users however as a former Windows user I have felt more comfortable with Fedora or Ubuntu than Mandriva. Mandriva definitely does a better job than many distros with KDE but I still found some of the desktop confusing, especially the menu which was just a matter of taking a closer look to find what I needed.


After inserting the Mandriva One installation CD I found the first screen contained language selection. I selected English (American) from the list and clicked Next.

 Now we need to select the Accept radio button option on the License Agreement screen and click Next.

The next screen is to select the timezone we are located in. I clicked New York and then the Next button.

On this screen set your date and time and click Next.

Now we need to set the keyboard layout for our system. I selected US keyboard and clicked Next.

Now I could see an introduction window explaining the community and prompted me to get involved.

Once the desktop was up and clear of informative pop up windows I could see the dark desktop layout accented by colorful icons and logos.

To finish the installation click on the the install options on the transparent window located on the desktop each time you boot from the live CD.