Goodbye Mandriva

sad tux(From Wikipedia “A dateline is a brief piece of text included in news articles that describes where and when the story occurred, or was written or filed, though the date is often omitted.” Oh! That’s why I often hear on the radio “Dateline such-n-such place” and think “That’s not a date, that’s a place!” Anyway…)

Dateline: Saturday, 2 February 2013 (My dateline really is a date. Probably the only time I’ve successfully used a dateline to get a date in my life)

It’s a sad day in my Linux world. I am saying goodbye to Mandriva. I started using Linux with the U.S. distribution Red Hat. I think it was version 7.1? There were a few 7.x releases, then 8.0 , then 9. Then in 2003, or there about, Red Hat seemed to drop the desktop user. Maybe the switch to Fedora was more seamless than I remember, but whatever the case I switched at that time to Mandrake Linux from France. Mandrake 9.1 I think it was. I’ve been with Mandrake, which in 2005 changed their name to Mandriva following a merger with Conectiva of Brazil, ever since.

I also use Ubuntu on one desktop machine because I wanted to have some familiarity with it since Ubuntu is said to be the most popular Linux distribution. I use Ubuntu on my laptop as well because it seemed to work best with the touch screen and screen rotation on the Lenovo X61.

I have been running Mandriva 2010, which is a bit out of date. Today I put a new drive into the Mandriva machine. None of my drives are very large and I’ve been playing around with video lately, which uses up hard drive space in a hurry. I thought I would put a big drive in the Mandriva machine and do a fresh install of Mandriva 2011. The install has not gone well. Despite the DVD checking out fine after burning the ISO to disk, the install process has had repeated read failures. I tried paring it back to a bare bones install, but it still would not complete successfully.

So I went online to see if I could download an image suitable for doing a net install. Went to and everything looked different. Mandriva Powerpack was found under a list of products no longer supported! It seems Mandriva is no longer doing desktop Linux.

There is a community version, but at this time the website is showing the default Drupal logo and looks pretty feeble.

So, now what? Do I switch my last machine over to Ubuntu? The long term support version is pretty tempting. Or do I go, as it seems most Mandriva developers did, to Mageia and still have an rpm based distro on hand? This was not supposed to take all day!

Dateline: Sunday, 3 Feb 2013

Decided to go with Ubuntu. The Long Term Support version means less messing around and having Ubuntu on all of my machines means more consistency in choice of applications. May be advantageous. I can always run other OS in a virtual machine.

Now, however, it seems that neither Ubuntu nor Mageia live CDs like my network card. They see it. They load a driver for it. It just doesn’t work. It’s a PCI card. I’ll try enabling on-board LAN in the BIOS and using that instead. Doesn’t look like it helped. This wasn’t supposed to take all day again!

OK, turns out that if I set up the network manually it does work. Must be something not working with the dhcp client. Not a big deal.

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