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Linux Business Mandriva Linux

Mandriva Up For Sale 167

Posted by StoneLion
from the sic-transit-gloria-mandrake dept.
The French company that creates and sells the Mandriva Linux distribution is up for sale. The news about Mandriva SA originally surfaced on a French Mandriva portal, and was confirmed by one of the potential buyers. Mandriva the distribution is a merger of the former MandrakeLinux and Conectiva distros. Mandriva the company is no stranger to hard times, having sought bankruptcy protection in the past.
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Mandriva Up For Sale

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  • Poor Mandrake (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:16PM (#32172486) Homepage Journal

    Whatever happened to these guys? Mandrake was actually my first foray into Linux. I remember it being quite user-friendly, it was just in the late '90's so driver support was dodgy. I kept it around on one computer or another for years until I finally gave up on it and went to Ubuntu. Just felt like it fell behind the times and was no longer the easiest Linux to use anymore.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Third Position (1725934) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:32PM (#32172706)

    I first used Mandrake 7.3, which I was really impressed with. But subsequent releases were a lot less tight, and eventually after they merged with Conectiva their releases became a total loss.

    I eventually got fed up with having to switch distros every couple of years, from SLS to Slackware to Caldera to RedHat to Mandrake, every time the premier vendor went down the crapper, and just got a Mac.

  • Re:But... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:42PM (#32172854) Homepage Journal

    Mmmmm...no he's thinking of Mandrake at a time when Red Hat Linux, the desktop distro, as opposed to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the enterprise server distro, was still around.

    Mandrake, like SuSE and Caldera, started life as a repackaged Red Hat Linux (7/8/9) that used KDE by default, rather than GNOME. (Back then, virtually all commercial distros were in someway or another derived from Red Hat)

    Caldera morphed into the SCO Group, SuSE got bought by Novell and became the only serious competitor to RHEL in the enterprise server market, and Madrake and Conectiva merged and have finally failed.

    Now you kids can get off of my lawn.

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zlogic (892404) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:59PM (#32173026)

    Ubuntu follows a different philisophy than Mandrake. Mandrake added a control panel which wrote configuration files from scratch, was complex and sometimes borked the configuration, pretty much like Windows does. Early Ubuntu versions didn't have ANY custom configuration tools, except for dpkg-reconfigure, which meant changes were made from a single place and remained consistent, unlike Mandrake's DrakX which could potentially conflict with changes made from Gnome's or KDE's control panel.
    Also, Mandrake had the whole OS supplied on several CDs, which was nice when internet was slow and expensive. Ubuntu's "download everything from the net" philosophy and a large package collection, borrowed from Debian, had a lot more software than Mandrake.
    Mandrake seemed to focus more on aesthetics and ease-of-use instead of Ubuntu's improvements under the hood. This resulted in lower-quality software that often crashed or developed bizarre glitches, but the installer and control center allowed someone without Linux experience to use the produce, except for when something went horribly wrong and xfee or the boot process failed because of a broken config.

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @03:21PM (#32173256)

    I remember seeing a Mandrake box in a Wal-Mart in a small town in central Illinois some years back The tread where other Linux distros feared to, at the time...marketing to the masses. Not even Ubuntu has had shrink wrapped boxes in Wal-Mart.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hduff (570443) <hoytduff AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @03:29PM (#32173366) Homepage Journal

    What happened?

    1. Poor management decisions after the IPO took the company far afield from its core business and sent them into bankruptcy. They did emerge (not a common things in French bankruptcies), but seemed to have lost their edge. They kept trying to modify a consumer-based business model (vice and Enterprise model) and kept failing.

    2. Their graphics always sucked. They were very cartoon-ish and not enticing the way, sat, Ubuntu graphics were, so it was difficult to have a "cool factor" to bring in younger users.

    3. Loss of vision. They initially wanted to do "RedHat Done Better", but decided to abandon RedHat's python-based tools for their own perl-based tools because, well, RedHat's sucked, but it took a lot of time, manpower and money to re-invent the wheel. They let "we-have-better-way-dammit" influence far too many of their decisions

    4. They lost a lot of their original core in-house developers and a lot of their community supporters because of their management decision s and choices. That meant they lost a lot of their momentum.

    I hope they find a buyer that will take them back to their original vision and revitalize one of the nicer distros. They had excellent implementations of the popular desktops, great user and admin tools.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @03:42PM (#32173530)

    Mandriva is Linux that works. Mandriva is some of the most prime real estate in th Linux world, from arcade cabinets like mine, to domain controllers, Mandriva is the easiest Linux to configure anywhere.

    Mandriva is the only Linux distribution where you can setup a Samba Domain with no interaction with the Console.
    Setting up a Kerberos realm backended by a LDAP server with Samba on top is easiest under Mandriva. They have a guy dedicated to just that. They have Wizards to create PXE Servers, DNS Servers, Mail Servers, and everything else. Mandriva has some wonderful assets. They just have not been marketed well, in the right hands, Mandriva could really spark a revolution in the Linux world.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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