Mandriva Linux 2006 for home users part 3

Make the switch or not?

Whether (Mandriva) Linux is apt for you, mostly depends on your priorities. If you want a system for basic usage (Office, e-mail, Internet, photo and video editing,...) you'll be better off with (Mandriva) Linux because of the security and price. Certainly people with a somewhat older PC will have a better experience with Mandriva Linux. Often it is still running an old Windows version (Windows 98 or Windows Millennium) that is even not fully supported anymore by Microsoft and as such inherently insecure. But if you are a real gamer, or of the early adopter type, you'll probably get frustrated once in a while if you wish to use Linux.

Taking it all

Our PC at home came with Windows preïnstalled. We used it like that for a while until we started to use Mandriva Linux. But why get rid of the Windows on the PC. It is perfectly possible to leave Windows on it and install Linux next to it in a 'dual boot' configuration. That will allow you to choose which OS to start. That is really not difficult to get going and a lot of Linux users do it like this. Since then we use Mandriva Linux for almost all applications:

All Office applications, e-mail, Internet browsing, web banking (for sure, we would not want to risk this under Windows with such a large spyware risk), photo editing, music management, video editing and returning the finished video back to the camera, etc. We also created for each member of the family their own user account (those for the children without password for simplicity). The children use it regularly to play some games and the oldest (who can read already) for his e-mail.

Nevertheless the PC is still booted under Windows regularly, mostly for games for the children.

And why Mandriva and not another distribution?

That is a good question. Damn, why can't you stick to the simple ones? OK, I'll try to give an answer anyway: As with a lot of things concerning Linux there is a lot of choice when it comes to distro's. A lot of distro's bundle more or less the same software, but have a slightly different take on things. Some are really aimed for developers or for beginners, others are specialized for a certain goal (for instance multimedia applications). So again, Mandriva Linux will not be the best choice for everyone. But I'm convinced it will be for many. People that have never worked with Linux before, best start with a user friendly distro with a low learning curve.

Mandriva is such a user friendly distro that has added a lot of graphical aids that allow you to administrate and configure your system. It is really a distro that considers home users as a prime target user base.

Mandriva allows you to get started with Linux with relative ease, to get to know more of the system piece by piece, and adapt it more and more according to your own wishes. Mandriva Linux has a very good and helpful user community which is a big advantage to get the best out of your distro. It's not for nothing that Mandriva is always well rated on It recently won the Tux Magazine Distribution Smackdown that was rating distros largely on usability for new users.

Mandriva Linux offers a real lot of software packages (that are all updated, see our earlier comments on security). For about all applications for home users, the best packages are present.

Mandriva is a distribution that is able to find a reasonable balance between the newest versions (with the newest functionalities) and sufficient stability. Also the Mandriva installer can hardly be improved. And in the 2006 version also the eye got a treat with a nice look'n feel.

And if that weren't enough Mandriva comes in different versions for different purposes, so that you can pick the one that is most suited for your situation:

  1. A free download version that only contains free software.

  2. The Discovery version for 44,90 € that aims for beginners and that includes commercial software (Flash/Java plugins, JDK, non open drivers as for Nvidia and ATI video cards, etc.).

  3. The PowerPack version for 79,90 € that is aimed for somewhat more experienced users. It delivers the same commercial software.

  4. The PowerPack+ version for 199,00 € as server version for SME's.

Moreover, each version is available for the usual 32-bit PC's but also already quite some time for 64-bit PC's, which allows you thanks to Linux to already benefit from the 64-bit advantages.

As we have already some years experience with the Mandriva club, which gives right on the PowerPack via download, that is the version that is being discussed here in this article.

And at the moment of writing, a new liveCD version of the 2006 has just been released to club members. A liveCD can be put in whatever PC, and when you (re)boot it, Mandriva Linux will be started. After taking out the CD and rebooting it, it will be with the original OS again. Ideally to test whether Mandriva will run good on your hardware and test it out. Or to test out hardware in a shop before deciding whether to buy it or not, although it is not sure that if some HW does not work with Mandriva from a liveCD, that it will not work with Mandriva properly installed. But if it works with the liveCD, that gives you an assurance.

Mandriva One is hard disk installable. That means that after testing, it is quite very easy to install Mandriva 2006 without the need to acquire another version (e.g. the PowerPack). There are several CD's with different Mandriva One versions. Most of them make a difference in the languages supported, but without the commercial software. There is 1 club only version (english only) with the commercial software (except acrobat reader).

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The author to be credited is Wim Coulier (website:

HTML formatting for final page

The text exceeds the window width on Konqueror with 1024x768. The ends of the lines are under the scroll bar.

HTML formatting for final page

and also on firefox in winxp at 1024*768

Thanks for notifying. I

Thanks for notifying. I missed that. Apparently the page took the width of the URLs (and those from the Mandriva store are quite long). So I just shortened the URL texts to
Looks like it should be better now. Anything else not working as it should, please let me know.

Kind Regards,