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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 3
Runs very slow on even the relatively modern systems I tried. Range of software not great.
Booting from the Mandriva One Live CD was a nice experience. After a couple of screens of text flicked by, it went straight to the graphical interface and asked me to choose a language. I was very pleased it had a version of English local to me: I could choose New Zealand English! It then asked me to identify my location (sensibly defaulting to New Zealand), and my time zone (again, defaulting to my time zone) and even asking me if I wanted to sync the computer's time to one or many timeservers over the internet. It also asked me to agree with a licence agreement, which was amusing. The final question it asked me is if I wanted a 3D desktop environment with 3 options: no, metisse or 3D cube. I chose metisse, and it loaded up a familiar KDE interface.
9 desktops all in a row on the kicker, taking up most of the room. They don't seem to have the same interaction as Kanotix did, and I'm darned if I can figure out how to get them off the taskbar! There is already a 3x3 grid representation of them on the desktop (actually, it's sitting on top as well), and by messing around I figure out this is actually like one gigantic desktop, 3 times as wide and 3 times as high as my screen. That's great. But I can't use that either of these desktop pagers to drag windows from one desktop to another, the only way I can do that is by sliding windows off the edge of the screen to the one adjacent then going and selecting that desktop. That could be handy sometimes but I prefer being able to manipulate the desktop chooser as well. And, I cant get rid of the multi-desktop representation on the kicker taking up all the space!
I can't get to the laptop's HDD. There is nothing handy I can find to access storage media. There's an icon on the desktop labelled "Devices" and it will show USB drives and devices but not the built-in hard drive. Hunting around in "System" in the K menu I found "mounted devices" and again, no hard disk. The other two systems I tried Mandriva on had the same result. It appears Mandriva omits - or hides very well - a driver for accessing NTFS disks. This appears to me to be an important omission. I wonder if this is the same if you install the OS? Unfortunately due to the other problems I had with this, I'm not going to bother to find out...
The interface is sooooo slow. There is half a second delay at least between me clicking on anything and something happening. Dragging windows around is slow and as far from smooth as you can imagine. Even scrolling inside windows is really slow and steppy, not smooth at all. Animations don't work smoothly either. It looks and feels terrible. The system needs to stop and use the CD far more than DesktopBSD or Kanotix did on the old 256Mb P3 machine - and this is on my Toshiba M70 laptop with 768Mb RAM. It runs worse than XP - and in some ways worse even than Vista.
More than that, I had several applications freeze up on me and refuse to close, making me wait for a minute or more before they would finally close.
Since I wanted to make sure it wasn't just an issue with the drivers for my laptop, I tested it on my work machines - no difference. Ran it with no 3D effects and this made very little difference.
I couldn't see the reason why I should choose Mandriva over the other distros I've tried. Mandriva appears to come with all the basics but little more. Oh, except for Compiz. Yay for Compiz and flashy effects - except that Mandriva runs so slow to start with there's no way I'd be enabling effects like that.
Just to add to the list of niggles, on the P3 desktop machine I've been using to test, Mandriva failed to recognise the power button. Both most other live CDs I've tried shut down the OS and powered off the machine when I pressed the power button, and usually ejected the CD before powering off. Mandriva did nothing.
The icing on the cake is the browser window I was greeted with when Mandriva started - showing me the three desktop versions of Mandriva I can buy. Ranging in price from 44 Euro to 180 Euro! A similar price to Microsoft Windows. I understand this is entirely legal to sell a Linux operating system for money. But I'm struggling at this point to see why I would pay for this - or even keep the free version.
If you've had a much better experience of Mandriva please feel free to comment, but this is as far as I go with this one.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 2
impossible to set up ATI drivers, slow, crashed my dual booting
Totally agree with this review and if you choose to download and install the Mandriva 2007 Spring Free DVD it's even worse!
I had to removed it from my laptop - an Acer Aspire 5672WLmi with 1024 MB Ram and an Intel T2300 Duo Core processor - about 30 minutes after having it installed!
No way for the Mandriva distro - I can't say what's happening to this distro taht was once one of the most interesting and easiest and fun and... Ok, the installer it's easy to follow, the desktop it's getting cleaner and sophisticated, which is much more nice (when I remember that the Mandrake pinguin was so scary and ugly in the past, brrrrr :-p ).
But in all the rest, Mandriva is going the (very) wrong way! During installation I wasn't presented with the option to install GRUB to the root partition so, when I rebooted I had the Mandriva GRUB bootloader set in the MBR, which I don't like - I had to insert my Windows CD, type 'R' to go to the recovery console and type 'fixmbr' to have it all configured the way I wanted it!
Once I achieved to log in again to Mandriva I started to try to configure my screen. I never could done it! I went to the Mandriva Control Panel, choose Display, looked for the monitors (LCD monitors, of course) and tried several but in none of them I could set the 1280x800 resolution for my wxga monitor.
Tried to set that directly in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file but, can't understand why, once I log out and log back in, Mandriva never accepted what I did and always set «its» own choosed resolution!!!
Then I started to look for any updates. Went to the software package management in the Mandriva Control Center and yes, there were updates to do -a LOT of updates!
I started the process of downloading (I believed I had more than 400 update to do) and about 2 hours later the process were almost in it's beginning - only half a dozen packages had been downloaded. I left the computer going on and returned about 1 hour later - it has progressed very little!
So, I decided to cancel all that. By this time I was very frustrated with Mandriva and the only way to look at the (apparently) fabulous Metisse desktop was to read the article in the Linux Magazine were the DVD came.
I'm pretty sure that I'll keep the magazine but the DVD - that will go to the recycling can.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Good selection of basic software, easy installation
Could not install wireless
Unlike the previous reviewers who seem to have had several serious issues with Mandriva spring, mine was limited to one. It was, of course, a show stopper on my laptop, but did not apply on my desktop, which is wired. On the desktop I had no problem installing, including amending grub to do what I wanted. Also, now that free and non-free software is readily available, getting all the necessary software was pretty easy. I was looking forward to using it on my laptop, but that was not to be the case.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4
Built in 3d desktop
Wont boot on some machines.
For those PCs that can boot the mandriva kernel, I would recommend that instead of this, you take a look at pclinuxos with more features, better 3d desktop, better applications. But as in my PCLinuxOS review, I mention the the Mandriva kernel is picky, and the live image may not boot on some computers.
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Trivial to install, works well
Metisse has too many desktops
I tried out a release candidate of the Mandriva One Spring 2007 release and was impressed enough with it to pre-order a copy of it, which I received around the end of May.
This software runs great on a 2.7 GHz desktop system with a recent vintage graphics card and 1 GB memory. With this configuration I can run the fancy Metisse desktop and it works well.
On a lower powered system, the fancy graphics and 3D capabilities should be avoided, but the remainder of the software works fine.
Quality control of most components is much better than it has been over the past two years. As far as the 3D stuff, critics have to realize that these pieces are still "advanced technology" - emerging and maturing, but many other distros have problems with these features too. I do not ding Mandriva for this.
Overall, one of the nicest, fresh looking distros, quite usable out of the box, easy to install, nice to look at, and it does have some experimental as well as plenty of stable software. Avoid the experimental stuff if you don't like to help debug and improve technology. Otherwise use this software all out. It is the top ten percent of the distros out there.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6
Clean, easy installation. Works on my emachine.
too many desktop spaces
The One-Live CD worked 'out-of-box' on my 500Mhz emachine
with the 3D desktop going full bore with my little Gforce4.
The RPM manager GUI is nicely polished and easy to use. For
those that don't know, right-clicking on the top left corner
of a window allows you to choose which desktop the window can
be sent to. A middle click on the desktop will bring up a
list of open windows so that you can navigate to any of them.
It would be better if there weren't so many desktop spaces,
though. A 2x2 would be easier to manage and more than enough.
Distribution: PCLinuxOS2007, openSUSE 10.2, experimenting with other distros
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1
Easy to install... that's about it
Tacky logos, no root access allowed?
I've been using PCLinuxOS as my defacto distro for over a month now. And at last, I decided to try Madriva, from which PCLOS is derived. Boy, was I shocked.
The Spring One LCD loaded just fine, and everything appeared to function. I even liked the RPM manager better, as it was easier to read then PCLOS's Synaptic. I can even install RPM's from a local source, something lacking in PCLOS, and the reason I continue to distro hop.
The praise ends there.
I've come to despise the color blue lately. I had enough of it in Windows, and I'm seeing a lot of it in Linux. I can deal though, as and alternate color is just a few clicks away. Still, the out-loud-orange was a bit over the top, and difficult to look at after working a graveyard shift.
Mandriva installs mostly in the same fashion as PCLOS, except the EULA. Um... I was hoping when I left Windows that I'd also be leaving EULA's behind? What happened to the GNU license?
That was a bad sign right there. Installed, rebooted, set the root password, configured my own user account. I logged in and everything went fine. FYI, I used KDE without 3D effects.
I decided to try and burn this ISO to a CD-R (having originally sent it to an RW). I used my ever faithful K3B, and was stunned when I got a frisbee out of the deal. And what is this message that pops up and says "CD-something or another is running without root privledges"? Is this why my burn failed?
Fine. I tried to login as root. Guess what? Root logins are NOT allowed. I know because Mandriva told me so when I tried to do it. I reentered the password, thinking that I'd mis-typed it. Root logins not allowed. Okay... reboot, and try again. Root logins not allowed, I don't care if it IS your computer. Geez, this was starting to feel like Windows all over again.
If you MUST have Mandriva, use PCLOS. While not as well-polished as other distro's, it is certainly less frustrating. BTW: Normally I like to spend at least a full day with a distro before I say Yea or Nay. But with Mandriva, the experience lasted less than an hour. And I was being nice to even go that far.
I normally don't gripe about free software. In the case of Mandriva, I'll make an exception. Bad Drake! Go to your room!
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2007 / Mandriva Power Pack
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Boots nice and Works off the CD
Breaks the 3D Desktop after installing and Will not work. Locks Up
I have Mandriva Power Pack 2007.1 I have the Live CD too and it's what got me to Buy the DVD 64 Installer. I have the Free DVD installer too and it works really nice, but no3D Desktop. Seems that Beryl is being Phased out and Compiz Fusion is being brought in. Compiz Freezes this system where Beryl worked ever so cleanly.
Overall depending on your hardware This is a Great Distribution. Get it in the BOX with the DOCs and have a great solid Desktop, (no 3d curretnly) and be very happy with a stable Package and Package manager.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Quite easy to install.
A lot of additional software needs to be installed manually
I was a user of Mandrake for many many years.
Later I used Mandriva 2006 for quite some time.
And that was a very good version. It was a very stable one.
I switched to 2007 this year. Upgrade was fairly easy.
However something has really gone wrong with the 2007 version.
Many programs simply hang. I try to run them, I see the hourglass
running for a while and ... nothing. Application does not start.
Never my previous Mandriva systems went frozen so many times,
this never happened with the 2006 version. With 2007 - too often.
Some people complain the system is slow. Well, I cannot compare this
system with any other disto. I simply do not have the time to play
around testing, I need an operating system to WORK. In case of Mandriva...
there is still a lot to improve.
I don't know how many people use Firefox. This is another piece of
software where I never got everything to work. The main problems are
with all the additional plug ins. Why cannot the install function work
properly, instead I have to go and do all the stuff manually?
Personally... I am beginning to be tired with this dumb issue.
I have to spend long hours browsing the web to find all the solutions.
I guess it's not quite Mandriva's fault... But still this annoys me.
I have a 2 page txt document and I write down all I have to do
after installing Mandriva. Not that it cannot be done. I even find URPMI
quite easy and this is a very good tool, but still I have to keep track
of all the stuff I add after I install the basic operating system.
For everyone my list of functions I always need:
My Linux version :
2.6.17-5mdv #1 SMP Wed Sep 13 14:32:31
EDT 2006 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.70GHz GNU/Linux
1GB memory, 40GB hard drive.
- Open Office. Downloading is easy with URPMI. But the latest versions
seem to hang sometimes. Ver. 2.0.3. Spell checker ...... VERY SLOW.
The latter two seem to have a problem with blocking the
sound card, so when I use Amarok, I cannot have any sound in
- Firefox and Thunderbird - personally I don't like Konqueror. So
for me this software is the most wanted. But I cannot use all
- CD and DVD writer - it seems that K3B has improved, I find this
software very stable - I don't have any problems with ROOT switching.
I can even burn my CD's out of mp3's ... wow , just a klick away.
I bought a Toshiba laptop with Windows Home and this stupid version of DVD
recording software that is really rubbish, what a shame.
- Skype - my only communicator at this moment - no problems, except
for the fonts - oh my, that was a nightmare, but somehow I got
- Fonts - again and again, one has to do a lot of fixing and still
a long way to achieve success. Linux cannot still beat Windows.
- USB devices - external hard drive - works nicely, although unplugging
and plugin in back is not so smooth as in Windows.
- USB camera - I never got any proper software to run my camera. Sad
thing, camera vendors do not like Linux systems.
- Kaffeine - works nicely, reads 99% of my DVD's, avi's, etc. yet, this
software need some tweaking, like I sometimes cannot use the arrow
keys to make rewinding actions.
Kmix - does the job perfectly.
Amarok – at first I found this software a bit odd, had some problems
to get it runnig, but I got used to it, it's got a lot
things I cannot live with using Windows Media player or Winamp.
Ark – virtually unpacks everything and work quite smoothely.
Grahical interface – I use KDE. My overall satisfaction is at about 80%.
Yet KDE on Mandrive is not so smooth as I would exptect.
What I miss most is the ability to watch some windows format movies.
Now I am downloading those movies, I pay for those downloads
and I have to use the Windows Media Player.
Mplayer - I tried to run this program, but .... 1000 options...no thanks.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4
Easy to install, use
vital software missing, hard to install new without internet connection
Have used Mandrake/Mandriva for several years now. I first installed 2007 from a magazine DVD. It had the screen resolution problem, and I didn't (and still don't) like the automatic cd/dvd etc detection and where they are mounted (mainly because I am very used to using /mnt and using automount etc). Deinstalled and put 2006 back.
A later version was released (2007.1) and I installed that. Screen resolution problem no longer there but no NFS. Not on the DVD. Gave up and went to Slackware.
A pity. I have installed earlier versions on a large number of machines, and people have had no problems using them
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Ease of Installation, Better Hardware Support that other distros
Finding repositories was a true pain.
I tried Mandriva 2007, the first release and was truly impressed with the ease of installation, the look of the distro and the standard packages that came with it. I installed it on a Dell laptop and have been using it for a while and was truly very content with it. I did have some trouble find the repositories on the website and had a true impression that in order to have access to all of the goodies you have to become a member(bling, bling, if you know what I mean) other then that I really like the distro. I would highly recommend it to beginners for the ease of installation and use.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Quite nice, almost okay but...
mounting FAT r/w, forget it!
22 years -- CPM > DOS (by v.5 worked well!) > Windoze (waste of time) > Linux 5 years ago. We can no longer tolerate M$ wasting our time & controlling our lives. but I'm still having to use XP -- I am NOT a programmer!
Linux is part of the problem, being obsessed with forcing command-line superusers to wander about in the wilderness, gibberish help/man/info, stealing "ownership" of one's FAT/NTFS drives for "root" -- the NERVE! All such is left up to the distros to solve. Linux would be already extinct but for Gnome/KDE, Mozilla Firebird & Tbird, OO and many other excellent open-source apps.
I installed Mandriva Free 2001 Spring AMD64 DVD 3-4 times in different modes, and found much to like. While the installation module seems quite good, I found nothing to deal with mounting FAT/NTFS drive, a 'must' for most of us trying to escape M$ and being able to work with our data, my last try about a week ago. Once installed and >220 upgrades installed, all that remains is to somehow trick Linux into relinquishing control of my windoze partitions containing my lifetime of work. The Mandriva Control Panel under Gnome almost works, but almost is not good enough. After many hours of surfing, found NTFS-g, installed, didn't work, and disappeared, all with no clue from Mandriva.
The Mandriva non-club forum is hopeless. Maybe it's better if one buys into their pay-for "club" plus Mandriva's paid versions plus Mandriva's paid support, but they're not showing me any reason to send them $$.
I use Mozilla Thunderbird for email because it has working versions for both windoze and linux, and in the past with other distros (Ubuntu and ??) I've managed to get Tbird to connect with my fat32 email folder. But with Mandriva, the best I have managed is getting Tbird to show the folders but not the emails within them.
I'm sick Mandriva and not wasting any more time with it.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
Ease of use, Noob Friendly
Minor Graphical Errors, Root Nonsence
For beginning users (I being one of these), I would recommend this distro. Easy install, lots of things you can play around with (the K Desktop Enviroment, a wealth of odds-and-ends programs). Although, root access is very hard to gain, even with the password. (You can't modify files in the usr directory even on a super user.)
I had an odd glitch in my graphics. The maximum resolution for my monitor is 1680x1050, whenever I used it (the resolution previously stated), my display was "squished" to one side of the monitor.
Besides the graphical error, and root access problem; it's an alright distro. It's what I started on, so my judgement might be clouded. x]