Mandriva Linux was under the looming cloud of bankruptcy, when they had to push the only hope of releasing their updated Linux version planned for June this year. The company last week declared their recovery from complete closure and announced the product release, which will be distributed in the market in various forms.- the standard version called Mandriva One, available free of charge online and the commercial version called Mandriva Powerpack.

Last minute help

The French company Mandriva, previously known as Mandrake, is not new to the bankruptcy threat; however, it is no fun even when the company has numerous strong connections in the France’s software industry and is heavily involved in various key research projects benefiting the company partners.  Mandriva is one of the oldest commercial Linux vendors, still surviving today. The company was hard hit first back in 90’s when Linux was available to be download free versions distributed via the Internet.  With help of last miniute unnamed investors known to the CEO of Mandrake, they were able to release the latest version only after a month’s delay. There have been several acquisitions plans by various known investors like Lightapp and Linagora, earlier this year which ended being fruitless.  The company will now grow through severe cost cutting and restructuring plans and they are positive about full recovery within short period.

Mandriva One

This standard version is installed through Live CD, now made available free of charge from BitTorrent. The installation process is known to be quite a breeze and on par on what is expected from a Live CD installer which automatically install all tools especially VirtualBox guest tools.  Mandriva One is available both with KDE 4.4.3 and KDE 2.6.33.5 version of the Linux kernel; although the company has their own custom user interface theme that can be used in both KDE and GNOME. The KDE 4.4.3 has a more classic feel to it’s looks especially with the Folder view containment as its default activity and the new conventional application menu instead of KDE’s kickoff menu, which was in the KDE 3.5.x version.

Mandriva Powerpack,  is the commercial priced version with various enhanced elements and is  now available for sale as a subscription model for its customers.

Key features

By default the operating system comes with Openoffice, and Firefox as its default browser, along with Koffice and Konqueror a KDE browser. The key aspect of the new version is the software’s control centre, hardware configuration tool allowing users to mange centrally all the necessary settings for graphics, input devices, networking, sound to storage devices.  However having the VirtualBox helps, if you just want all these settings to be done automatically.

The simplicity, smooth operation, usability and hardware support is mainly how Mandrake Linux has survived all these years and continue to do so for many KDE users. The new version has even made the software update of 2010 spring live up to and worth the hype and expectation.