Well, I’ve officially made the switch to Mandriva Linux.

After years of dual-booting between Windows XP and Mandriva, I made the decision to bring the hammer down and get rid of the former. My original intention was to make the switch when I bought a new PC but my hand was forced as I came home from work on Friday to a locked-up Windows XP desktop that never came back.

Fear not: no data was lost as Mandriva can read Windows drives. I backed up my things onto my /home partition and waved goodbye.

It’s been a roller-coaster past with Windows XP: When it first came out, I irrationally hated it. Once I got used to it, I found it actually worked pretty well. Mostly. Sure, it lacked some of the neat features Mandriva had (rotating cube desktop, wallpaper playlists, etc.) and you never quite knew when the next time it would fail was, but it got the job done. Facing a crashed system and being forced to format was always a wonderful experience. Windows doesn’t have separate partitions for your personal files and system files, meaning that when you begin again, you lose everything. Hope you made a backup! Going through the hassle of calling a Microsoft person in India to promise them you only had one copy of Windows installed was always a treat, as well.

When Vista came out I was put off by even more Digital Restriction Management (DRM) but wanted to see how it performed nonetheless. I can honestly say after using it at work for the past year and a half that it will never come close to being installed on my machines. So, that leaves us the little engine that could: Mandriva.

It’s been just over 2 days since breaking up with Windows XP and I have to say, I don’t miss a thing.

9 thoughts on “Well, I’ve officially made the switch to Mandriva Linux.

  1. thanks for this post! I’ve been equivocating between Mandriva and Ubuntu on my new notebook. The thing that makes me want to hang on to Ubuntu is its speedy repositories and Synaptic package manager.

    How would you stack urpmi against synaptic?

  2. No difference at all, really… The package manager in Mandriva is always up-to-date and never breaks. Whichever you decide to go with you’ll be fine, for sure. :) Thanks for the comment. Let me know how you make out with your decision. Feel free to post here. Have you used Linux before?

  3. I’ve used Suse and Ubuntu and the live CD of Mandriva, but keep coming back to Ubuntu. I prefer the Gnome DTE, but like KDE apps better, esp Amarok, Kjot (tiny PIM treenote app), and KOffice.

  4. I made the switch back in October when I upgraded my computer. I needed an OS that would allow me to breach the 4gb RAM barrier. I initially set up a dual boot with 64bit Vista and Ubuntu but couldn’t even get Vista working so I ditched it.

    For about 3 months I ran just Ubuntu 64bit and then decided to just try out Windows 7 when the first beta came out. 6+ months later I have yet to reboot back into Ubuntu on that system. I am blown away at how fast W7 runs and how little issues I’ve had with it.

    That being said, I have a second PC on my desk that uses Ubuntu which I do all of my development on. I love Linux and use it as much as I can but for certain things (ie: gaming, flash, java) it’s just too much a pain in the ass to get going. So because of that I dont think I’ll ever truly be Windows free, even if it just means having a virtualized copy running.

  5. Hey I hear what you’re saying. It took me almost a decade of dual-booting to finally make the switch. Because WINE has gotten so much better in the last year I’m able to play my games directly in Linux. Java and Flash work out of the box on Mandriva, but have had issues with it in the past as well.

    My next PC will be Linux only as well. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote this post and I haven’t missed Windows at all. I get enough of it at work :)

  6. What about 64 bit version though? Usually java/flash isnt too bad for 32bit linux but on 64bit it was a nightmare. I had to set up an isolated 32bit version of Firefox that used everything in 32 bit mode.

  7. I am not too certain about 64-bit, myself, as I only run on PCs that have less than 4GB of RAM.

    One thing I’ve been having a ton of success with in the current release of Mandriva is WINE. I thought switching to Linux was going to mean no more games. I was wrong! Morrowind worked out of the box, as did Max Payne and Locomotion. So much fun and zero hassle. The games don’t even realize they’re running on Linux. It’s great.

  8. Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a month since I dropped Windows. Things couldn’t be better. Maybe I’ll make a post on or near the day regarding what little I had to change to keep myself up to speed.

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