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sl_mdv10_kdeMandriva Linux 2010 was recently released and brings lots of nice improvements to an already nice system. Mandriva has a long and distinguished history in the Linux distribution arena. They began over a decade ago using Red Hat as their base and quickly became the preferred choice of the new Linux user.

Although many changes have occurred to the company over the years, and ultimately they’ve lost their crown, Mandriva Linux remains a solid choice in an alternative operating system.


Mandriva is primarily a KDE distro, although they do give GNOME and others almost equal development time. This release features KDE 4.3.2 and GNOME 2.28.1 as well as several lighter choices. Linux, Xorg X Server 1.6.5, and GCC 4.4.1 form the foundation underneath. Traditionally, the outstanding features of Mandriva are its installer and system control panel – which are rivaled by few, but this release hopes to offer some amenities to appeal to users of newer trends in technology such as semantic desktop and netbook support.

The Mandriva Linux installer sets the standard in user-friendly Linux installers. They were the first to use a pretty framebuffered graphical interface but perhaps the most useful element was the partitioner. To this day it remains the easiest to use due to the manner of the visual representation of your hard disk layout. Many others have used Mandriva’s installer for inspiration in their designs, but Mandriva’s reigns supreme.

The Mandriva installer


The Mandriva Control Center again was ground breaking at it the time of its unveiling and again, it has few equals to this day. From within the control center a user can perform the whole range of Linux configuration. From hardware to software to kernel to boot to users, it can be found in this handy compact system tool.

The Mandriva Software Management system is capable and easy to use as well. It will install software from a aptly stocked software repository, apply package and system updates, as well as removing unwanted software. Packages are categorized by function and can be sorted by their install status, package classification, or by search results. Information such as release data, changelog, and included files can be reviewed for each package. Checking the tick box and clicking apply is all that’s required to install a package or set of packages.

The software manager also includes a System Tray applet to check for updates and inform the user of any available. When available the applet icon will will alert the user and upon clicking a window will open listing the updates giving the user the choice of applying them or not. At first boot the user will be asked to configure a remote update and software source, which entails just a few mouse clicks.


Mandriva Linux is available in three basic formats: an installable live CD, a free install DVD, and an all-inclusive commercial PowerPack edition. The installable live CD comes in your choice of KDE or GNOME, your choice of languages, and ships with some convenient proprietary code such as Wi-Fi drivers, 3D graphic drivers, Flash, and some browser plugins. This is the recommended version for most users.

Advanced users may wish to use the free install DVD because it provides more desktop environments, several kernels, support for various hardware architectures, and developmental tools; but lacks proprietary drivers, codecs, and Flash. The commercial version has all sorts of extra goodies and is available at Mandriva Store.

All Mandriva Linux formats come with a nice set of applications. Web browsers, email clients, office programs, multimedia players, chat and messaging clients, photo and image management and manipulation apps, games, and utilities are found in the menu. The online software repositories contain thousands more waiting to be installed. Mandriva is one of the largest and most complete Linux distributions available.

2010 Improvements

For those familiar with Mandriva this release brings some great improvements. The best two so far have been the increased stability and performance. Mandriva may have had a reputation for being a bit crashy in the past, but it appears those days are gone. In the several days since a fresh install only one application crash has occurred here, and this application is known to be unstable across distributions. This new-found stability comes with even better speed as well. Not only does Mandriva boot quicker, but desktop performance has improved noticeably. Applications open and function faster, including the two heavyweights and Firefox. There is virtually no graphic artifacting and redraws are immediate. In addition, the 2010 graphics are just beautiful.

Some new features include a Live Upgrade for current users which allows them to update to 2010 without doing a fresh install. The installer now features a handy graphical initial partition layout screen before starting the actual partitioner, and the partitioner now has a file browser that lets you look at your current partitions’ data before making any decisions. Most of Mandriva’s original tools have seen lots of improvements in usability and efficiency and Ext4 is now the default filesystem. New guest user allows you to let others use your computer without risking your data.


This really is a banner release for Mandriva. It’s been a long time since I could recommend it too much, but it’s moved way up my list with 2010. For new users the complete experience with Mandriva One live CD will convince you better than my words and for loyal users, well, you already know. It might be too soon to say, but it feels like this release will go down as Mandriva’s best ever – and perhaps it just might be the best Linux release of the year.

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  1. Jackie
    February 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Are you the man on the moon or are you the man from mars?

  2. Jackie
    February 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Are you the man on the moon??? or are you the man from mars. I'm fat

  3. Jackie
    February 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I am, Doe s this linux work very good?

  4. Jackie
    February 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    are you funnie?????

  5. Darrell
    December 18, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I have been running 2009 spring with no problems. Decided to try to upgrade to 2010. Tried to boot One Live CD but it hangs at Local host login. I've learned this is root, which I entered. It then requests a command. Through reading I tried, service -f dm. This says stopped display manager, then started display manager, but still is requesting another command. It may be that I only have 512K ram, according to Jim above, I need at least 1Gb for this. Any comments appreciated.

    • Heath
      January 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      woah i hope you mean 512mb....

  6. Frank
    December 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    @Greg Zeng
    LOL. PCLinuxOS is stable? like a rocking chair. I finally pulled that turd off my laptop and installed MDV 2010. It wasn't that it crashed. Oh no. But things just didn't work properly. A few wireless issues with Mandriva at first that were fixed with the latest kernel update.
    Everything that you mentioned is available in ALL distros. But I see you drank the PCLINUX-wine kool-aid. Wine is also available on all Linux distributions. And OpenOffice is installable on all distributions as well. But most distributions do it the right way and not the half-assed non-packaged way that PCLinuxOS does.

    This is by far the best release Mandriva has done. I quit using it after their 2005LE release. 2006 wasn't bad but the bugs were outrageous. Ubuntu is on their way to being the next bug ridden distro.

    Mandriva still has a few issues but it works great for my purposes. And on top of that I haven't had to dive into the command line to fix the system, which is a common thing in other "newbie friendly" distros.

  7. peter
    November 30, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Ok, i gave up.

    2010 ended up where other non-functional distro's go: the bin. I've encountered just one too many system freezes.
    I'll try opensuse next. But i've really got my eye set on sidux (if i can get grub to get nice with it).
    It's really quite remarkable how user-experiences differ so much. I suppose some of the difference can be attributed to hardware, some to software and a lot to the user in question.
    So I definitely won't blame mandriva. I've had a very good run with 2008.1 and i found a lot of the features in 2010 to be very well thought out. I hope a next version works better for me.

  8. Kevin J. Wangler
    November 24, 2009 at 11:48 am

    If you install the Free version, how easy/hard is it to add Flash, DVD playback support, etc.?


    • Susan Linton
      November 24, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      It's really not difficult at all. In fact, when you set up a mirror in the media manager, it'll offer to enable the non-free repository. From there you can install any of those restricted formats not included in Free.

      Additionally, some people still opt for using PLF. PLF stands for Penguin Liberation Front best I recall, but it's basically for doing just as you described. Many use the Easy Urpmi to help configure it as well -> The only drawback is you may get that "Upgrade to 2009" offer in using PLF.

      • PeterC
        November 30, 2009 at 2:18 am

        I don't agree with the adulation. On 9 Nov 09 in the Mandriva support forum, someone asked the question: "on booting up the cd to install Mandriva, the local host login and password are requested. I do not know what to put in". This has nor been answered and I join the original questioner with the same question in trying to install Mandriva One on a computer running Ubuntu. This sort of installation question is an immediate barrier to non-technical people installing Mandriva and the support from Mandriva's forum does not appear adequate. A couple of Ubuntu derivatives on the same computer did not ask this question when installing. Poor show.

  9. Harry Barracuda
    November 24, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Just downloaded and installed. When I try and browse a USB drive, it crashes. And it keeps prompting me to upgrade to a "New version of 2009 Spring".

    In the bin it goes......

    • Susan Linton
      November 24, 2009 at 11:45 am

      I've seen it prompt to "Upgrade to 2009 Spring" if one has set up software repositories manually instead of letting the media manager do it. Did you do that?

      Even if you didn't, I'd suggest removing the current repositories and allowing it to add new ones.

      I don't have any ideas about the crashing when browsing usb, I've not see that on any linux.

  10. Edward
    November 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Had serious problems installing 2010.0 on a Acer notebook (freezes when entering X and keyboard does not respond). Entering single user mode keyboard works but a startx shows the desktop but neither no mouse or keyboard work.
    I was using 2008.1 (the last one where k3b worked OK) but now I had to movo to another distribution due to this problem.

  11. jayfree
    November 16, 2009 at 7:30 am

    2010 is the first version from Mandriva, since Mandrake, that is so buggy I can not use it. Most of the stock install stuff works fine. But trying to install and run X-plane is becoming a nightmare for me. Sound needed a tweak, mounting dvd for the install needed manual corrections, joystick needs to be reset after plugging(lsusb -v -d...),sometimes the program will not run, very unpredictable behavior.

  12. David Smith
    November 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I just installed Mandriva 2010, Ubuntu 9.10, Opensuse 11.2 and sidux 2009-03 to the same, multi-boot pc, which already had previous releases of all four distros onboard. Just to clarify, these weren't upgrade installs, but clean, duplicate installs.

    I have to agree that Mandriva is indeed the best of the lot (as were the 2009 version releases).

    Very polished and (relatively) trouble-free installation.

    The Ubuntu was a real disappointment after 9.04, which I considered excellent in all respects. Going with the not-ready-for-primetime Grub 2 was a huge mistake, apart from that it is just dull. The new boot splash promises more than the same old, same old Ubuntu desktop.

    Sidux is quite good in many respects, but simply lacks the user-friendly polish of mainstream distros, I guess that is by design, so don't look for it to change any time soon.

    Opensuse 11.2 is also geared more for power users, and is generally good, though their artwork continues to be drab, uninflected olive green. That I find puzzling.

    Figuring out the partitioning layout was an onerous and nerve-wracking chore on all 4 installations, but somewhat less so with the Mandriva. Gparted, and opensuse's own partitioner both did not correctly report my drive layouts, reported one drive (with several distro and data partitions on it) as unformatted, and more or less botched bootloader configurations, requiring manual intervention in every case.

    • Mark
      November 23, 2009 at 5:49 am

      Oh man, I just LOVE the understated and clean look of the olive openSUSE 11.2 login screne! I much prefer a photo desktop to the funky faded circles, but that's pretty minor. I find the more in your face tacky themes to get old to look at very quickly.

  13. Fredrik
    November 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Upgraded my server from 2009.1 to 2010 without problems. Only setback I had was that the Samba users was gone and I had to add them again.
    Great distro.
    The best in my opinion.

  14. Brad
    November 13, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I have just one question, anyone have or have had, a cannon MP210, and if yes, did you get it to work in 64bit mandriva 2010.. i'm currently using a beautifully working flawless kubuntu 9.10 w/kde 4.3.3 , I keep hearing how incredible mand 2010 is.. and i checked out the live kde cd..and its beautiful.. and seems to work well, so i was just wondering.. thanks in advance

  15. Vikram
    November 13, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I usually install Mandriva with KDE4 for my friends who are new to Linux. They love the control center and for newer hardware its a no brainer because absolutely no handholding is required - i have seen complete newbies use it after a 5 min demo

  16. decrop
    November 13, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I've installed on 3 systems once as an online upgarde once fronm the KDE One CD on a new machine and once with the CD over an existing Mandrive 2009.1 release. Installation was in all 3 cases flawless.
    I am really pleased with the use, better than Ubuntu and much better than Kubuntu
    Really enjoying it

  17. Eugene
    November 12, 2009 at 4:19 am

    I have a big problem using update in Mandriva 2010. It simply does not reach the mirror list. It seems that it fails to get to the internet. What are the ways to solve this problem ? Can it be priblem in firewall or network settings ?

    • Susan Linton
      November 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Probably the connection. Mandriva does start a firewall by default, but it's set to allow connections from inside. Can you connect to any sites or ping anything?

      In the Mandriva Control Center you will find your network settings. Perhaps you should review (and fix?) the setup.

  18. not this year...
    November 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm


    I installed kubuntu 9.10 when it was released untill mandriva 2010 came out to see how it was this year and it woked GREAT (fast, snappy, rare crashes)... once 2010 came out i installed it over kubuntu.. played with it and all.. and it was just sloooow... with or without desktop effects, flash would work one second, id switch windows and i had to refresh the page.. while in kubuntu when this would happen only the flash part of the page would refresh automatically if it had crashed

    2009 was FLAWLESS for me though last year on the same computer... but kubuntu was a no go... this year the things are the other way around unfortunately =/

    but all in all i like the features and control center of Mandriva more than any other distro ive tried

    • Bob
      January 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      Ubuntu 9.10 is still the best O$ in my opinion, but run it under Gnome. Personally I hate KDE, but I normally keep a KDE distro running on my spare hard drive and Kubuntu is the worst of a bad bunch which is probably why Man 2010 will be popular. Interestingly Ubuntu is the only distro when I install it that automatically picks up my other hard drive. I shall give Man 2010 a spin on my VB. As for being slooow, I find all KDE slow, which is why I use the gnome as I don't need the bling.

  19. Srikar
    November 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Completely agree with the article. Mandriva 2010 is just awesome

  20. surja
    November 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I've tried Mandriva Live CDs in the past and even though they were sort of alright, the last few releases were quite buggy and got bad reviews. This release is different though. I removed Ubuntu 9.10 and installed Mandriva 2010 instead. Sound is still a bit of a problem but it was the same Ubuntu 9.10 also. As for the package manager, I still thing Synaptic is somewhat superior to this. One thing I would really like is if there was a way I could find the fastest mirror to download the packages and updates from. In Ubuntu it is easy since they have the option to choose the fastest server to download the packages. Other than that, Mandriva 2010 is superb!

    • ITA84
      November 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm

      Mandriva 2010 uses Aria2 by default when downloading updates: it should make you connect to the best mirror available automatically.

  21. Jay
    November 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Hmm 2 toolbar, top & bottom. If any distro want create something new, why not optimizing the desktop for widescreen.. i.e. a sidebar, not 2 toolbar.

  22. Johnny
    November 11, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I had seen mandriva since 1997, and it's a great distro. but if the could change to .deb repository it would be a super distro.

    • Susan
      November 11, 2009 at 8:26 am

      Please tell us, what, as an end user, benefit would you see in that? What possible difference does it make to the end user what format the software is packaged in?

      • Eric Hawk
        November 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

        Perhaps he means that the Debian repositories have a larger selection of packages (28,000+, I think).

        • Frederik
          November 11, 2009 at 11:15 am

          You should not install packages from one distro on another, even if they use the same packaging format, like Debian and Ubuntu. This *will* cause problems at some point, because of different versions of libraries and other differences. The packaging format does not have any advantage or disadvantage for users. It's only relevant for developers which create packages.

  23. Greg Zeng
    November 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Reading this thread via Pavilion notebook, PCLINUX OS, & Konqueror

    Noticed that no mention of PCLINUX. Why? Is is the best & most stable Linux - replacing my need from Vista to XP or W7 ... all exremely unstable & slow: constant defrags, registry cleans, unused rubbish, virs's & anti-virus updates that never do what they claim.

    New to full time Linux, can't see any replacement for disk-defrags, registry cleaners, etc. Is Linux that good? I have a 300 GB drive ... find it so strange never needing defragging.

    Found by accident, PCLINUX-WINE enables about half of my windows programs to work.

    Surprised that OpenOffice not installable. Konqueror is very primitive compared to Linux-Opera browser.

    PCLINUX allows me to read-write my data storage partitions on my VISTA-NTFS-COMPRESSED drive. Can any other Linux work with VISTA-NTFS-COMPRESSED partitions. These partitions are FAST, self-correcting, and save HDD space.

    Not sure if Linux partitions are as good as VISTA-NTFS-COMPRESSED.

  24. Eugene
    November 11, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I have such sort of question. As I understand there were several bugs and some updates were already released for 2010. Are this updates included in the distro available for download from mandriva website or they just leave distro without any changes and all updates should be downloaded after I will install distro on my PC ? How they usually do this ? For me it is not a matter of time I can wait and download distro with some significant changes if they would be done )))))

    • Colin Guthrie
      November 11, 2009 at 3:56 am

      The installation medium generally wont change, but the updates released will be automatically installed at the end of the installation procedure, so your first boot should be fully updated.

      • Eugene
        November 11, 2009 at 4:07 am

        Thank's Colin. I am quite a novice in Linux and in past month I tried several distros Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, SUSE, several Puppies and it seems to me that Mandriva 2010 is the best one. The only one thing is that I can not get update work .... Network is Ok (firefox is sirfing) but Update fails , I receive a message that - check your network or Mandriva website is down.

  25. mattkingusa
    November 11, 2009 at 3:04 am

    I have used Mandrake/Mandriva since 2000 and I have to say that 2010.0 is the absolute best Desktop Linux distro I have ever used. I recently distro shopped via iso and virtualbox and even prior to this release I believe that Mandriva dominates the desktop over all other distros.

  26. Peter
    November 11, 2009 at 1:59 am

    i've installed 2010, coming from 2008.1. So far it works, but there seem to be quite some bugs. For some reason akonadi won't run (no showstopper though). Sound was a mess at first. I had to stop pulseaudio for this to be better.I've had a full system freeze while trying to browse with dolphin. I had to spend some time to install my printer. My previous installation did this automatically. Installing software with the configurationtool is quite annoying due to a known bug. I wonder what will happen next.
    In the end for my system it's still a lot better than ubuntu which plain refuses to work for me.

  27. Jim
    November 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Mandy2010 is a memory hog. Don't waste time trying ti run the LiveCd unless you have at least a gig of ram.

  28. Eric Hawk
    November 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    If you are having trouble using a live-evaluation CD, and are new to linux, another option to try is wubi. It installs ubuntu within your windows partition. It involves downloading and running a windows installation wizard file, just like any other windows application, so you should be familiar with how to do it. Afterward, you can boot your computer using either operating system. I have used it, and from an end-user's perspective, it runs just like a typical dual-booting computer. If you don't like it, it's very easy to remove. I even upgraded from the 9.04 to 9.10 release over the internet without any problems. You can read more about it here:

  29. Roland B. Fishman
    November 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Yes, it tries to boot (it seems) and just stops. If I remember correctly it mentions something about F1 (I can't remember what exactly, I'd have to try it out again to know exactly).

    • Susan Linton
      November 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm

      Not a whole lot to go on here, but you might try some of the various boot options. Try lowering the boot resolution or even change it to Text (F3) - that way you can at least see where it hangs. Then try F4 and try the No ACPI or No Local APIC or both. On one of my machines I have to use No Local APIC before it'll boot.

      If nothing helps, get back to me where it hangs and I'll see what I can dig up.

      • Albert
        November 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

        Susan, I hate to say this, but I think Roland is "messing" with you. I don't think he is actually that stupid. The screen he is seeing says "press enter to boot the live cd or press F1 for more boot options." If he does nothing but stare at the screen it will eventually time out and boot in to the live cd. There is no way you can mess up this part of using Linux. I hope I'm wrong about this because it bothers me to see nice people like yourself taken advantage of by trolls. But I have been using Linux for many years and have seen this type of thing happen before. Now if he is sincere, then I think Roland should cling to the apron strings of Windows, and avoid playing with items that could present a choking hazard. Thanks for the great article!

      • zygmunt
        November 11, 2009 at 8:45 am

        Two of my machines required kernel parameter noacpi in order to boot past udevd which gave status x0100: otherwise they hung indefinitely. Once past that hurdle only GNOME worked immediately. Eventually KDE4 worked on one machine, but I don't know why!! The other loops on Login to KDE4: looks like an graphics startup problem. For dvb-t to work on Kaffeine, the firmware for my USB sticks was needed as well as phonon-xine to get the source to open-- but I digress!!

  30. Roland B. Fishman
    November 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I have problems booting a live CD for a linux distro most of the time. :(
    I don't know why. I tried to boot this distro and had problems, as usual. Please help. Any usefuls links in this regard? Thanks.

    • Susan Linton
      November 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm

      Well, what do you mean "trouble booting" exactly? Does it try to boot and go black? Does it try to boot and just stop? Will it not even try to boot? Can you give more details?

  31. Colin Guthrie
    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    @vadim, in actual fact Mandriva has supported this upgrade in the past too. Changing distros is always a strange thing, but you're unlikely to find anything super crazy at the application level, (they are generally the same apps after all), but it's in the various configuration and management tools that make the difference. Here I think Mandriva has a lot to offer.

    This is indeed a really nice release of which I'm very proud to have been part of. Certainly one of (if not the) best KDE distro out there and even on the Gnome side of things, it's certainly gives Ubuntu a run for it's money!

  32. Vadim P.
    November 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Doesn't seem like there are any new features for a Ubuntu user. It can already upgrade from the previous version without reinstalling just okay...

  33. Patrick
    November 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I agree, Mandriva has really given a lot of thought to the end user experience. This is especially handy for the novice and advanced user alike. I think I found a nice desktop in Mandriva.