I’ve been sampling GNU/Linux distros for years now. I’ve played with Red Hat and the old SuSE. And I think Mandriva One Spring 2008 is a joke. Its realistically performs no better than those old distros.
What I Guess I Liked
Mandriva did give me the option to use Compiz during boot up of the Live CD. Definite advantage there as some don’t even ask. You just get it or you don’t. I really like options.
What I Really Abhorred
The Live CD recognized my wifi card (Broadcom 4318 POS) successfully. Its a real shame they didn’t include a reasonable way to find, oh, a wifi hotspot. That’s a huge ding. I treat this from a newbie (though I am not one) angle. If the distro can’t do that much, how easy with it be with other things?
Secondly, money. I don’t pay for Linux. I don’t pay for software. So I’m not going to pay for a version of Mandriva that supposedly offers more when other distros give me the same (or greater) capabilities for nothing.
This only being a Live CD review, I can’t knock Mandriva too much. There’s a very good possibility that it would have recognized the card and given me the tools I need to get online. Mint and Ubuntu don’t recognize the card until they’re both installed and connected via ethernet. The first distro that beats even that will win me over for a few months.
I’ve never been a fan of Mandrake, Connectiva, or Mandriva. So perhaps I am biased. I wouldn’t recommend Mandriva to anyone. Go with Mint if you want very easy.