Home Business IT Open Source After years of struggle, Mandriva is finally no more

After years of struggle, Mandriva is finally no more

After many years of struggling to stay afloat, the French GNU/Linux company Mandriva has gone into liquidation.

This means that the Mandriva GNU/Linux distribution and other products will no longer be available.

However, the distribution was forked in 2010 ago under the name Mageia and that will continue to survive. The Mageia project was used as the base for the parent company's server products. The workstation distribution is developed separately, by the community, under the name OpenMandriva.

Mandriva has gone through many ups and downs and the closest it came to closure was in 2012. At that time one of the company's main shareholders had refused to accept a recapitalisation scheme.

This crisis was overcome by deciding to base its workstation and server products on two different codebases. It also helped to keep those who split away nearly two years ago and keep them inside the tent.

In 2013, Mandriva reportedly had income of a little over half-a-million euros but that does not seem to have been enough to keep it going.

Mandriva is a distribution that was first known as Mandrake Linux when it started in the late 1990s. 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."

In 2003, it filed for bankruptcy and emerged from that state the next year.

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 2008, the company was badly affected by 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.

In September 2010, a fork of Mandriva, Mageia, was created. A number of Mandriva developers 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.