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Mandriva is no stranger to financial problems. In 2003, it filed for bankruptcy and emerged from that state the next year.

In 2008, the company was badly affectedby the global financial crisis and had to jettison all its external contributors.

In June 2010, Mandriva, which was in financial strife and had put itself up for sale, received a fresh lease of life when new investors came to its rescue.

Mandriva is a distribution that began life in the late 90s as Mandrake Linux. It utilised Red Hat Linux as its base but used the KDE desktop environment instead of GNOME; hence it was often called "Red Hat with KDE."

The company was forced to change its name in 2005 after it lost a case filed by Hearst Corporation which had the rights to the Mandrake name. It then became Mandriva; this coincided with its acquisition of Conectiva, another Linux company based in Brazil.

In September 2010, a fork of Mandriva, Mageia, was created. A number of the Mandriva developers have moved to the new distribution.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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