Mandriva 2011 Hydrogen Reviewed | Geared for the cloud with an eye on Unity and Gnome 3 shell

Posted in:Other Distros

Mandriva 2011 is a revolutionary Linux distro. Code named "Hydrogen", this version of Mandriva from the Rosa labs has introduced many features that may impress end users and more likely windows users to turn to Linux.  Before you check out our review of Mandriva 2011 have a look at our review on Backtrack 5 and Ubuntu 11.04 beta.  Mandriva Linux is well designed to fulfill the demands of future computing. Explore and find out.


Mandriva 2011 is attractive with ease of use improved and some new additions. Mandriva Linux has made a great come back after going through several tough times of financial crisis. This product from Rosa Labs, sure is appealing. Let us look at some of the new features of Mandriva 2011.

Mandriva Sync

As cloud computing is getting popular day by day, mandriva 2011 comes with a client called Mandriva sync. Mandriva offers 2 GB free storage. Though in its primitve stages, and not nearly close to Ubuntu one or Drop box, this is one innovative thought from the Mandriva team to make the distro ready for cloud computing. After installing the distro, you can register at Mandriva Sync. After which you can use the mandriva sync client to synchronize your files with your cloud. If you are using Ubuntu one or Drop box, then Mandriva sync will seem out of trend. Although there is a link in the mandriva sync web page called additional services, on clicking it didn't have any effect.


Simple Welcome

Simple welcome is an approach from the mandriva team to cope up with Unity and Gnome 3 shell, style of displaying applications. Simple welcome is a widget. Simple welcome is powered by Nepomuk File Indexing. Nepomuk uses virtuoso as its backend engine which enables faster searches. Nepomuk starts instantly after booting and suspends its operations when the laptop runs on battery. TimeFrame included in simple welcome panel shows the files used based on a timeline.



Stack Folder

Stack folder is something that I liked. Stack folder displays and allows access to a folder without actually opening the folder. Disadvantage is that, by default two folders are added to the panel, Downloads and Documents, when I tried to add the folder that I preferred, to the stack folder panel by removing the Downloads folder, I was not able to add it and failed to read the Downloads folder.

Rocket Bar

This bar is really helpful in accessing anything from desktop in no time. One good thing about  the calendar in the rocket bar is that, it boxes in red all the national holidays. I do not know about other nations, since I had given India, kolkata during the installation, it modified the calendar acordingly. The indication icons are all KDE based icons. The bar includes quick launcher for firefox, clementine music player, thunder bird mail client, dolphin file browser, kopete instant messenger and configure your desktop.

Rocket Bar

Downloading and Installing Mandriva

You can download Mandriva 2011 from

I installed 2011 64bit in my core i7 system with 4GB RAM, and the installation took the same long time when installed in a centrino processor system with less memory. Mandriva team have included a slideshow to keep you away from boredom. One interesting feature in the installation is that, in the partitioning page you can see the contents of any partition in your harddisk before formatting it. The boot loader installer page, took long time to just change the label which made me think if the installation has failed.

After Effects

Booting time is really long. When compared to Ubuntu and Fedora, Mandriva doesnt stand a chance. Right click did not work in my touch pad. When I tried applying extra desktop effects, x server crashed. Many options and applications are wrongly named. Example, Mandriva Control Center is termed "Configure your computer" and to change the desktop wallpaper you need to right click on the desktop and choose "folder view settings". To install more software you need to add other repositories which are not enabled by default from,

Mandriva Control Center -> Software Management -> Configure media sources for Install and Update

Usually Mandriva gives a notification to add software sources, in case it doesn't you can do the above mentioned step.

Power management in Mandriva is appreciable. It checks the battery state and suspends background jobs temporarily.



Overall Mandriva 2011 is impressive, with some cool features and improved usability. Mandriva still needs to improve its booting and shutdown time. Login screen looks very similar to Windows 7, which is not preferred as Linux is always intended to be different than other operating systems. Hydrogen is worth the try!

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Sam_Benny's picture

Lets just say,I love programming and like my Linux box.Trying out new stuff everyday in Linux gave me great insight into computers.Computer researcher and a humble boy.You can follow me in twitter @msambenny