I have to make a conclusion at the beginning of the post. :o)
I love it.
It is the best distribution I've ever tried. Anyway, I'm impressed by it's features and abilities. I'm not a typical Linux user - I don't want to set up/install everything by command row. I just like the clicking tools and to have all the options summarized in nice GUI (graphical user interface). This is what new Mandriva offered to me. Let's go through some steps I made on my installation.
- Installation itself was easy and intuitive. I was installing on external USB HDD. If you install also on a system with other OS or not to a primary hard drive you have to be careful with choosing proper partition for installation and also with writing of boot-loader. I made all settings by myself - it is not that difficult.
- The next step was fixing some hardware drivers. The first one was wireless. I have on my laptop Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter. I opened Mandriva Control centre and choosed "Browse and configure hardware". After clicking on Ethernetcard->RO/Wireless 3945ABG->Run config tool system informed me that I need to download driver for Intel website. I was following the instructions and in a minute I got running wireless connection. I used similar procedure for setting up a drive for my NVidia G72GL (Quadro FX 350M) video adapter. After pressing "Rung config tool" on my video adapter I've choosed "GeForce FX series" instead of default "GeForce 6100 and later". Mandriva downloaded drivers and installed new drivers. After logging out and in I got support for desktop effects as well. Very important issue which I solved was to disable "Pulse audio". You can do it in Mandriva Control centre->Sound configuration by un-ticking "Enable PulseAudio". This made my Skype working 100% correct reg. sound input/output. I have Intel Corporation|82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller.
- I had to set up also installation sources which I made following the guidelines from Mandriva website. It is important to set up "Non-free" and "PLF" sources. There you can find codecs and many other software/libraries/tools which can't be placed in Official Mandriva surces.
- Next step was of course installing of codecs, Mplayer,VLC player, Skype,unrar, pdf editor, StarDict, Adobe flash player (directly from their web page). I think, that very important step was to uninstall totem-plugin for Mozilla and instead install Mplayer-plugin for Mozilla, which much better. I've installed also JAVA under java-1.6.0-openjdk package name. I've played a lot with changing of colours/themes. The best docker (I think) is the kiba dock. It's easy to use and set up. It's small and it just works. You have to allow desktop effects to get a proper behaviour of Kiba dock - but this is common for most of the dockers I've tried.
- What I like very much on Mandriva?
- really quick boot and turning of the computer
- nice and stable KDE 4.2.2
- I think it is one of the most user friendly GUI focused Linux distribution
- large community and repositories
- until now I didn't find any bug
- it contain most of the newst software (Open Office, Mozilla and much much more)
- you can change the icon on "Start" (menu) button by GUI tool. This is the first OS where I found this option!!!! I love it.....:o)
- it works as you expect