Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Mandriva Corporate Desktop 4: First impressions

It took a while but after downloading for 24 hours I finally got the image file. Tonight I installed it under VirtualBox and I was impressed. Installing a default setup (with Open SSH, KDE and IceWM) took less than half an hour. I thought “Wow”. After that I was curious how the KDE desktop would turn out in this business edition. It is no surprise I admire the balanced choices that Ubuntu has made. So, what did Mandriva have to offer.

Very little, it turned out. No default Office suite for starters. The install procedure just isn’t finished during first boot. You are confronted with a slick looking set of choices, called “stacks”. The problem is that you have install each stack separately and that takes up a lot of time again.

The Mandriva KDE desktop is just that. Your well-known KDE desktop without a real business-like style. According to the articles I read there is supposed to be a lot of business-specific features and I will definitely look into them for an “On the Bench” article. But, so far, the comparison with Novell’s offering and Ubuntu’s desktop is not good for Mandriva.

Tags: Mandriva, Linux, Ubuntu, KDE


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2 thoughts on “Mandriva Corporate Desktop 4: First impressions

  1. could you be more specific ?

    Tag lines, such as “Ubuntu is great” and others don’t measure up shows cheap promotion of ubuntu. Cheap because you really didn’t have to do much to throw a line like that.

  2. It would be cheap if I didn’t have a whole set of blogposts to back it up, but I guess you did not have the time to read them all 😉 And I did not find the “Ubuntu is great” tagline in this post, so maybe you are reading more into it than is really there.
    Anyway, this is just a first impressions piece of Mandriva CD4 and I am aware it is still in beta. However, when I compare the default install of CD4 with similarly targetted distributions like Novell’s Linux Enterprise Desktop (or is it called Suse again?) and Ubuntu’s default desktop CD4 falls short. There is only a meager install of the default KDE desktop without the main applications a business desktop would need. Of course you might argue that the user can make his/her own choice during first boot install, but then why a special distribution for the corporate desktop?
    The currect first boot install routine isn’t business grade in my book. If you need to roll out CD4 on multiple desktops this would require you to sit behind every single computers and install stack by stack. Now, I didn’t dig too deep with this run, but I do hope there is someway to automate that procedure. For now it seems like an unnecessary step which could have been replaced by an earlier step in the main installation routine. Yes, it is there if you count the option “Select individual packages”. As it stands Mandriva CD4 beta did not make any selection that would set it clearly on the same level as the other two I mentioned. We could argue about the choices then, but at least it would have shown the choices.
    And don’t you think the phrase “stack” sounds very business-like, unlike the consumerist “package selection”. But words alone do not make a business distribution.
    Time to dig deeper.

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