'Mandriva - The golden child is making a comeback' & 'Ubuntu - The most popular distro of all time... So far'

Posted by ProjectC 
(Download Mandriva) 'Mandriva Linux is a Linux distribution created in 1998.' - Manifesto

<center> - Mandriva blog --- Wiki --- 2010 development -</center>


The 14 best Linux distros

By Neil Bothwick
September 28th 2008
page 2, page 3

4. Mandriva
The golden child is making a comeback
Desktop KDE by default GNOME available
Architectures i586, x86_64
URL www.mandriva.com

Mandriva, and its previous incarnation of Mandrake, used to be the most popular distro among Linux Format readers a few years ago. Sales of the magazine were always highest when we had this on the cover discs.

But, with much publicised financial troubles a few years ago, Mandriva seemed to take its eye off the ball and distros like Ubuntu beat it at its own game of providing an easy to use distro to suit new users and power users alike.

Mandriva has recovered from its problems, but has some way to go to recapture their glory days. That said, Mandriva is still a very good distro that makes life easy for those new to Linux. The Mandriva Control Center, where just about all administrative tasks are performed, is still a good example of a comprehensive, yet easy to use admin tool.

Mandriva's urpmi package manager brings almost all of the power and flexibility of Debian's apt system to RPM packages, and the Control Center provides a useful graphical interface for this. It also makes for the easy addition of unofficial repositories such as the Penguin Liberation Front that provides packages that cannot be distributed globally with Mandriva for legal reasons, such as multimedia codecs and DVD-playing tools.

Installation is also very fast with Mandriva, but not at the cost of choice. Some distros speed up the process by installing a standard set of packages. Mandriva lets you choose what you want from selections of desktop environments, servers and development tools. 3D desktop effects are catered for, provided you have a suitable video card. While its crown may have slipped, Mandriva is still a contender as a generalpurpose distro and well worth further investigation.

Reasons to try:
- Easy for first time Linux users
- Fast and easy installation
- Good hardware detection</blockquote>

5. Ubuntu
The most popular distro of all time... So far
Desktop Gnome by default KDE available
Architectures i386, amd64, sparc
URL www.ubuntu.com

Ubuntu is undoubtedly the distro success story of recent years, having come from nowhere to be one of the most popular distros in three years. What made it so successful?

A ten million dollar cash injection certainly did no harm, but throwing money at Free Software doesn't make is magically good, as Mandrake found to their cost. What appeals about Ubuntu so much is that it 'just works'. You click the installer icon, answer a couple of questions and it takes care of the rest for you. Dual-booting with Windows is something that most installers handle, but Ubuntu is rare in that it also detects other Linux installations and adds them to its boot menu.

Ubuntu is a Debian derivative, with all the benefits that brings. It is not a one-way street though, Ubuntu feeds improvements back to Debian. Being based on the testing branch, Ubuntu provides more recent software, although updates to newer versions normally only happen with new Ubuntu releases, with the obvious exception of security updates.

Ubuntu is generally installed from a combined live and installation CD, although DVDs are available. The size of a CD restricts the number of packages that can be installed, so Ubuntu has only one desktop choice, Gnome, but others can be installed from the online repositories. If you don't want Gnome, try, like Kubuntu or Xubuntu that use the KDE and Xfce desktops respectively.

New versions are released every six months (dates reflected in the version number), but you do not have to reinstall when you want to upgrade. Ubuntu is based on Debian, so rolling upgrades from one release to the next are possible, and Ubuntu's graphical tools mean you don't even need to use the command line to do so. Hardware detection is good, it handled everything on the test laptop, including the webcam that googling had indicated didn't work with Linux.

Reasons to try:
- Simple, straightforward interface
- Frequent and easy updates
- Strong developer and user community</blockquote>