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Mandriva LE--The Drake Flies South for the Future

The Obligatory Lawyer Razzing

  • May 2, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

If you happen to read Linux magazines that are not printed in the United States, you will recognize Mandrake and Conectiva as the names of two popular Linux distributions that have made large contributions to Linux and the Open Source movement.

Among other things, Mandrakesoft pioneered friendly installers and X Window system configuration utilities that do not require a PhD in Electrical Engineering. Similarly, Conectiva has a place in my heart forever for Synaptic, a graphical interface for system updates that has liberated thousands of aspiring Linux users from apt-get and associated xterms, all while working on an even friendlier Smart Update tool.

Recently, these two distributions merged to form Mandriva, which means "The Hearst Corporation can go perform a physically impossible act" in Esperanto. (OK, I'm lying about that.) However, regardless of whether you think that Mandrake refers to Mandrake the Magician (these three words copyright King Features), a misguided reference to a male duck, or a poisonous root that occasionally looks like a human, and whatever you think that Conectiva meant, a new name was needed to reflect the new company and its rekindled spirit.

Mandriva is a straight-forward combination of the names of the two companies. Frankly, I like the new name if for no other reason than it will prevent the destruction of future CDROM drives through mistaken attempts to boot the comics section of the local newspaper on Pentium systems everywhere.

After a massive query-replace across its Web site, the first product of the new unified entity is a Limited Edition release of what will eventually appear as Mandriva Linux. Let's see what's inside and thus what the future holds for Mandrake/Conectiva/Mandriva lovers everywhere.

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