A version of linux based in France, formally known as mandrake. After a takeover by outside interests, the original mandrake team announced the formation of Mageia Linux.
Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a French Linux distribution distributed by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). It uses the RPM Package Manager. The product lifetime of Mandriva Linux releases is 18 months for base updates (Linux, system software, etc.) and 12 months for desktop updates (window managers, desktop environments, web browsers, etc.). Server products receive full updates for at least 24 months after their release.
The first release was based on Red Hat Linux (version 5.1) and K Desktop Environment 1 in July 1998. It has since diverged greatly from Red Hat and has included a number of original tools, mostly to ease system configuration. Mandriva Linux was originated by Gaël Duval, and intended to focus on ease of use for new users. Duval was also a co-founder of Mandrakesoft, but was laid off from the company in 2006 along with many other employees. Later Duval announced to NewsForge that he is going to bring suit against Mandriva for "abusive layoff". On May 8, 2010, Mandriva announced that due to financial distress, the company is up for sale.
On September 18, 2010, due to financial uncertainty and the layoff by Edge-IT, a Mandriva subsidiary employing many of the corporate staff working on the Mandriva distribution, a fork of Mandriva named Mageia was announced.
From its inception to version 8.0, Mandrake named its flagship distribution Linux-Mandrake. From version 8.1 to 9.2 it was called Mandrake Linux.
In February 2004 MandrakeSoft lost a court case against Hearst Corporation, owners of King Features Syndicate. Hearst contended that MandrakeSoft infringed upon King Features' trademarked character Mandrake the Magician. As a precaution, MandrakeSoft renamed its products by removing the space between the brand name and the product name and changing the first letter of the product name to lower case, thus creating one word. Starting from version 10.0, Mandrake Linux became known as Mandrakelinux, and its logo changed accordingly. Similarly, MandrakeMove became Mandrakemove.
In April 2005 Mandrakesoft announced the corporate acquisition of Conectiva, a Brazilian based company that produced a Linux distribution for Portuguese-speaking (Brazil) and Spanish-speaking Latin America. As a result of this acquisition and the legal dispute with Hearst Corporation, Mandrakesoft announced that the new company name would be Mandriva, and that Mandriva Linux would be the new name covering products.
The major features of Mandriva Linux are:
Mandriva Linux contains the Mandriva Control Center, which eases configuration of some settings. It has many programs known as Drakes or Draks, collectively named drakxtools, to configure many different settings. Examples include MouseDrake to set up a mouse, DiskDrake to set up disk partitions and drakconnect to set up a network connection. They are written using GTK+ and Perl, and most of them can run in both graphical and text mode using the ncurses interface.
Mandriva Linux uses KDE Plasma Desktop as standard, but also includes GNOME and others such as Xfce and twm.
A unique theme provides consistency between applications and desktop environments. Galaxy debuted in version 9.1 and Galaxy II appeared in 10.0. A variant of Galaxy is "Galaxy Squared", which uses square window buttons rather than round ones. A new default theme named "Ia Ora" was introduced with the release of Mandriva Linux 2007, but "Galaxy" remains available as an option for those who prefer it.
Mandriva Linux uses a package manager called urpmi, which functions as a wrapper to the RPM package management system. It is similar to apt-get or Yellow dog Updater, Modified in that it allows seamless installation of a given software package by automatically installing the other packages needed. It is also media-transparent due to its ability to retrieve packages from various media, including network/Internet, CD/DVD and local disk. Urpmi also has an easy-to-use graphical front-end called rpmdrake, which is integrated into the Mandriva Control Center.
Remote sources for urpmi / rpmdrake can be added during the installation of recent Mandriva Linux versions. After installation, they can be added through an option in the Software Sources Manager, or by using console commands generated either manually or by one of several helper sites such as Easy URPMI. This functionality allows the user to choose some or all of the various software repositories available for their version of Mandriva Linux and can greatly expand the amount of software that the user can install through the urpmi system. Instructions on adding repositories and installing software can be found on the Mandriva Wiki.