Mandriva Linux operating system
The Mandriva Linux Operating system (formerly Mandrakelinux), started by Gaël Duval, is a distribution that has experienced enormous rise in popularity since its first release in July 1998. The developers took the Red Hat distribution, changed the default desktop to KDE and added an easy-to-use installer, breaking the myth that Linux operating systems are hard to install. Mandrake's hardware detection features and disk partitioning utilities are considered by many to be the best in the industry and many users found themselves running Mandrake where other distributions failed to provide the required usability.
Mandriva Linux has since matured to become a popular distribution among those new to Linux and among home users looking for an alternative operating system. The Mandriva development is completely open and transparent with new packages appearing in the so-called "cooker" directory on a daily basis. When a new release is entering a beta stage, a cooker snapshot is accepted as the first beta. The beta testing process used to be short and intensive, but starting with version 9.0, it has become longer and more thorough. The beta mailing lists are extremely busy, but you are still likely to receive a very fast response to any bug or concern that you report.
The result of this type of development is a cutting edge release - a highly up-to-date Linux Operating system distribution. As a trade-off, the users are likely to notice more bugs and perhaps less stability than with other distributions. Many people find this trade-off acceptable on their desktops - they get the very latest software and the occasional application crash is something they can live with.
Pros: User-friendly, graphical configuration utilities, enormous community support, NTFS partition resizing.
Cons: Some releases are buggy, the releases are initially made available to MandrivaClub members only.
Software package management: urpmi (RPM)
Free download: FTP installation available immediately after release, ISO images only after a delay lasting several weeks