October 25, 2016

RIP Mandrake, the Linux Company Killed by Mandriva

  • June 3, 2015
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

The promise of open-source is that code is open and there is less risk of vendor lock-in. Such is the case with Mandriva the Linux vendor that went out of business in May. Though Mandriva is gone, the code, and forks of its code remain open-source and can be picked up by those that wish to extend it.

More than a decade ago, I was a Mandrake user. That was when Gael Duval, the original founder of the Mandrake Linux distribution still was involved and guided its direction. It was an RPM based Linux distro that took elements that I liked from Red Hat (at the time the 7.x series) and made the desktop easier and simpler to use. In 2005, Mandrake became Mandriva after a $2.3 million acquisition of Brazilian Linux vendor Connectiva. I stopped taking Mandrake seriously in 2006, after the management of the new Mandriva entity inauspiciously showed Duval the doorand fired him.

The news that Mandriva is now bankrupt actually isn't the first time the company has declared bankruptcy either. Under Duval's direction, Mandrake actually filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003, due to the simple fact that the company did not make any profit for the previous four years. Mandrake exited bankruptcy in 2004.

With this new failure, it's not clear if Mandriva will emerge again and frankly it doesn't matter.

Mandriva had lost its way in recent years to be largely useless and without any real direction. That led to the distribution being forked into Mageia, which is still alive and well, and likely will outlast Mandriva, for years yet to come.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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