Linux,  Mandriva

Distrowatch: Mandriva is the winner distribution of the first half of 2008

“Distrowatch.com called Mandriva 2008.1 (Spring) “the distribution that found the best balance between features and stability“. Compared to Fedora 9, Ubuntu 8.04 and OpenSUSE 11.0, “once again, Mandriva seems to be a winner here, earning high marks from both the reviewers and the users on various forums for its 2008.1 release”.

It’s a great thing that an authoritative site like distrowatch.com is recognising Mandriva’s work lately. Still, it’s extremely difficult to pass this message to the public with all the (in my opinion greatly exaggerated) Ubuntu marketing and hype…

3 Comments

  • Béranger

    Frederik, let me show you a problem with Mandriva.

    Ubuntu is supporting the desktop packages for 18 months, even in a NON-LTS distro. This being said, Ubuntu 7.10
    (released Oct. 2007!) has the KDE3 and GNOME packages supported through April 2009, whereas Ubuntu 8.04, albeit LTS, also supports KDE3 for 18 months, so KDE3 is supported through Oct. 2009.

    Now, Mandriva 2008 Spring is supporting the desktop packages for 12 months only, therefore KDE3 is supported through April 2009, which falls short by 6 months in comparison with Ubuntu.

    Note that Mandriva 2009 will only have KDE3 in “contrib”, which DOES NOT guarantee security patches in a timely manner (if any at all)!

    Now, find me a Mandriva that is supported for a longer period, *or* find me a link to a page where you can buy Mandriva Corporate Desktop 4, and I might endorse Mandriva.

    Cheers.

  • Frederik

    All systems I own, and most people I know, upgrade at least once a year (like for example the Linux desktop systems available for students at my university), so this does not matter for a big part of the Linux community.

    For those who want to use an OS release longer than one year, I don’t think those mere 6 months make that much of a difference. They should rather be using Centos/RHEL, which is supported for several years (even much more than Ubuntu LTS). As desktop applications are evolving quickly, I seriously doubt you want to use the same distribution version for 3 or 4 years. That works for Windows, but in my experience (and I’ve done several migrations in different organisations) that does not work in the Linux world. Take a look at the city of Largo blog, even they are now constantly updating software versions and distributions.

    In practice, a mere 6 months of longer support time, is a very weak argument to prefer Ubuntu over Mandriva, especially if basic stability/features ratio of Mandriva is apparently better than the competition according to distrowatch’ comments.

    PS: I wrote all of the above with desktop systems in mind. For servers I personally only consider Debian and Centos/RHEL. (Well this server is the sole exception to my own rule, but that’s because it’s not at all mission critical and I sometimes use it as a desktop, and it often even just runs Cooker)

  • Béranger

    >> They should rather be using Centos/RHEL, which is supported for several years (even much more than Ubuntu LTS).

    Yeah, then how about RHEL5 forcing you to use FF1.5, then all of the sudden switching to FF3, partially breaking Eclipse in the process,
    ON PURPOSE? (Because they don’t want to keep both xulrunner 1.9 and 1.8.) RHEL/CentOS *was* a good choice in the past, now the Red Hat guys need a new brain, because their current one is burnt…

    >> That works for Windows, but in my experience (and I’ve done several migrations in different organisations) that does not work in the Linux world.

    This is because ALL the Linux distros are starting from an idiot idea. Instead of keeping the BASE system + X + kdelibs + gnome FROZEN, but then to UPGRADE THE APPLICATIONS, they only know to FREEZE everything!

    The few ones who add a “backports” repo risk to enter into a “RPM/DEB hell”, or to break other things.

    There is no wonder Linux on the desktop only has 1% of the market. FORCING you to upgrade the whole distro usually BREAKS things — I see regressions all the time.

    Ever wonder why XP is still largely used?

    With XP, you only apply patches and Service Packs. With Linux, you need to upgrade everything — enjoy the breaks.

    Rolling-release distros are even worse: they’re looking for breakages all the time, because they constantly upgrade to the latest version of everything!

    I suppose the end of 2008 will find me dual booting Vista with NetBSD, supposing I’ll buy a Vista license, and supposing NetBSD is supporting my Acer’s hardware.

    In the meantime… Debian testing/Lenny.

    Really, really, you are all blind in your love of a broken concept: “the Linux DISTRO”.