Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moving to mandriva?!

Never thought I would be writing this, but I am actually considering moving my Linux boxes (based mainly in OpenSuSE and Fedoras) to Mandriva! During my hey days we always considered Mandrake (it's name then) something of a play distribution or a distribution for Linux beginners and should not be used for 'serious' work.

Fast forward about 10 years, after a name change I don't know why suddenly I felt an urge to pick up the latest version of Mandriva 2010 to give it the proverbial spin. After playing around with the bought version of Mandriva (yes I actually bought a copy!). I really started liking it. Let me just list down a few of the reasons why.

  1. There is a wealth of packages. I was not left wanting for any specific packages. Most of the packages I needed was there. 
  2. For a rpm based distribution the package manager is blindingly fast and contains a couple of things done right I wish was in zypper and yum. One of them being the ability to pass as an argument the bandwidth that is to be consumed by urmpi (their package manager) during updates or installation. This I found to be very useful in my old office who was sharing bandwidth with another company! They also do some smart things to speed things up during updates such as by default not downloading the description of patches unless needed (when clicked on)
  3. The network manager is cool. I like how Mandriva does their network manager. It's independant of the DE. For example, if I am logged into XFCE and wanted to move over to KDE or some other DE, and I am already connected wirelessly, after logging out and in, I am still connected because the network manager is separate from the DE. Oh! How I wish the other distros would do this simple little thing!
  4. Their look and feel is quite standard across all DEs and WMs. Now the one small bug in the ointment is that I found that LXDE, the new favorite new kid on the block does not work correctly.
I am trying my best to find fault with Mandriva 2010 and can find little (The 'little' here would be it does not have a package for chromium-browser!), so I am seriously considering moving over to Mandriva from what I am using now. Just downloaded the Free version and am thinking hard why should I be keeping Fedora 13 on my laptop now, though truth be told Fedora 13 does a lot of things right too and after the little debacle of getting flash-plugin working correctly is sitting happily on my X61 now. Ah ... decisions, decisions!
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