I wanted to see what KDE looks like in other distributions than Chakra (which is, after all, the default look), so I downloaded Mandriva 2010. I just had a look around, meaning I just ran the LiveCD and didn’t install it. I mean, why go through all the trouble when I know I won’t use it anyway?
Mandriva had improved since the last time I tried it:
- It looks better, but that’s probably because I installed the KDE version this time, instead of GNOME. Mandriva has a very consistent look, which is a good thing, but I agreed with my girlfriend when she said it looked “a bit boring”. It’s okay, but it doesn’t wow you.
- Unlike last time, the nvidia driver was loaded. The resolution wasn’t right, but easily changed through Mandriva’s excellent Configuration Center
- Performance was good, even for a liveCD
- Wireless worked straight out of the box
- Adding software was easy and pretty fast
I was just beginning to think that with distributions like this and Ubuntu, there’s really no need for the hordes of rabid bloggers, screaming that Linux has lost out to Windows 7, that Ubuntu 9.10 is the worst release ever (why does that sound so familiar?), that Armageddon is upon us, etc etc…and then I noticed sound wasn’t working. And I didn’t get a popup this time when I clicked an mp3, asking me to install the necessary codecs (which did happen in 2009). And Amarok crashed (but I won’t hold that against MAndriva because it fails to do anything even remotely useful in Arch too).
I probably could have solved this…maybe it would have been okay after install, but since I didn’t want to install it, I guess I’ll never know.