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Linux Business Portables Hardware

Mandriva Joins Ubuntu With a Linux For Netbooks 64

Posted by timothy
from the good-ideas-love-to-travel dept.
Slatterz writes "Linux publisher Mandriva has unveiled a version of its platform designed specifically for the new breed of mini laptops. Mandriva Mini features a fast boot-up, comprehensive connectivity support and multimedia codecs, and is adapted to work on key netbook platforms such as Intel's Atom. Mandriva previously offered a customised version of its 2008 Spring release for the Asus Eee PC, and was a distributor of Linux for Intel's Classmate PC initiative."
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Mandriva Joins Ubuntu With a Linux For Netbooks

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  • The final frontier (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prayag (1252246) <prayag DOT narula AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:45AM (#25091995)
    The final frontier for OSes is netbooks and smartphones. Everyone has to go there if they want good growth. The smart phone war is a 4 way contest between Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone with only (hopefully) Linux based contest coming from (yet unreleased) Android.
    So, as far as the OSes go the only open race is in the netbooks and it is good to see Linux distros coming good in this category.
  • A little bit late? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tmk (712144) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:54AM (#25092029)
    I was exited when I saw the Eee-PC first. With a large install base of the same hardware base Asus could have built a new iPod revolution and break with the limitations of conventional operating systems because it was made-to-measure. But after a few month Asus blew it. At the CeBit they presented the Eee-PC with an unusable Windows XP configurations and a lot of extenions that did not or did not fully support Linux. Today there are hald a dozen Eee-PCs and I guess a hundret other netbooks with different screen sizes, hard drives, chipsets.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:15AM (#25092107) Homepage
      I agree, When they first pitched it, I was excited because they were talking about a $200 price point. That would have been possible if they kept the specs low, and stuck with Linux. However, they kept on upping the screen size, processor, and RAM. Now the higher end EEEs are almost on par with some of the regular notebooks, and the price seems to be ever increasing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree, When they first pitched it, I was excited because they were talking about a $200 price point. That would have been possible if they kept the specs low, and stuck with Linux.

        Exactly. This is another case of a partner pandering to Microsoft and getting shafted as a result.

        Aside from Microsoft themselves, who was clamouring for Windows on these machines? There was no need to put that OS on their laptops, but now that they have, they need a subsequent bump in specs. Making the EEE exactly the same as a

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        When they first pitched it, I was excited because they were talking about a $200 price point.

        Oh come on, how long have you been following technology trends/news? Seriously? Always add 20% to the price of hardware that has more than 2 months till release. You know that. Marketing spits out a number to the press based on a best case scenario from engineering, and then engineering does their best to match that. You CAN get an Eee for $249 with free shipping, and they DID keep the specs low and stuck w

      • by spuk (86506)

        Try to run current Linux/GNU desktop envs with such "low specs".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:04AM (#25092061)

    There really isn't much difference in a customized "netbook" distro, so we'll soon be seeing many more.

    The minor list of customizations needed for a netbook (besides making sure everything just works, as on all laptops):

    1) fast bootup. in order to reach a sub 30 second bootup you need only two things: a lighter kernel, and pruned system services (no crond, nfs, etc).
    2) optimizations for SSD. i.e., noatime in fstab for ext3/2, use of tmpfs for /tmp and /var/log. firefox cache in tmpfs too.
    3) lighter application and OS defaults. i.e.: XFCE instead of gnome, and abiword instead of openoffice.

    btw - check out http://onelinux.org and #onelinux on freenode for an ubuntu-based distro tailored just for 'best' netbook currently available - the awesome Acer Aspire One.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Easier said than done. Creating a distro is hard work.

    • mods, wtf? (Score:1, Redundant)

      by spazdor (902907)

      Troll!?

      Seriously?

    • by westyvw (653833)
      Faster bootup? Like http://helllabs.org/finit/ [helllabs.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AdamWill (604569)
        Which, to note for the record, is a project of a Mandriva developer. :) If you read westyvw's link you'll know, but to explain it in this thread - netbook customized distros do not achieve fast boot by cutting services from a traditional SysV init, that doesn't get you anywhere enough gain. They use completely customized fast initialization systems. finit is a re-implementation of the one found in the Xandros distro on the Eee; Claudio Matsuoka, one of our developers, first reimplemented fastinit and is now
  • by phtpht (1276828)
    so far no word when we'll be able to get this mini distro. guess they want to synch the release with 2008.1 in october?
  • Mandriva Spring 08 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FiveDozenWhales (1360717) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:36AM (#25092511)
    Mandriva touted their Spring 08 release as being perfectly suited for the EEE. The only problem was that the partitioning step of the installation only provided journaling file systems; EXT2 was not an option, and with the limited number of write cycles with the SSD in some models, you want to avoid any unnecessary writes. I hope this new release allows EXT2!
    • by SEMW (967629) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @12:51PM (#25094549)

      with the limited number of write cycles with the SSD in some models, you want to avoid any unnecessary writes

      I've heard this said often, but the only time I've seen any actual numbers crunched, the conclusion was that it wasn't worth worrying about [eeeuser.com]:

      With the Eee PC SSD, a typical user (6 hours/day, 10% write rate) will write for 36 minutes per day resulting in a useful lifespan of ~25 years in the worst assumed case [only 50% effective wear levelling, 100k writes to a sector before failure].

      Besides, even if that wasn't the case, one of the things about the Eeepc is its moddability [ivancover.com] -- back up often (which you should be doing anyway), and then if/when the SSD drive goes, swap it for a new one. It'll also probably be a nice upgrade over the smallish original, given the speed that SSD drives are improving in capacity and speed.

      • A: "with the limited number of write cycles with the SSD in some models, you want to avoid any unnecessary writes"

        B: "I've heard this said often, but the only time I've seen any actual numbers crunched, the conclusion was that it wasn't worth worrying about [eeeuser.com]:"

        Me: Just to add my experience with flash memory here.

        This may be different, but as far as I know, all flash memory is basically the same, so...

        I have a Sony digital camera, it's 6 years old now, and my rough calculations tell me that

        • by Threni (635302)

          > I have a Sony digital camera, it's 6 years old now, and my rough calculations tell me that it's life cycle was less than 64,000 cycles (Shoot image, download, delete) before the drive started
          >failing.
          >Perhaps flash memory is more stable now, and these older memory sticks don't have the wear leveling algorithm, of some such, but that doesn't seem like too many cycles to me.

          It's usually write cycles - reading doesn't count, so in your example it'll be just shoot and delete. And delete won't write

          • "64,000 writes is quite a low figure compared to other flash memory specs I've seen, but it should be years before it fails."

            Yes... it did take years, but 64k writes is tiny, so it seems like a potential problem to me.

            And it happened to both of my SONY cards so it's not an isolated incident.

            Perhaps my real world testing trumps lab testing, for real world results?

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Threni (635302)

              > And it happened to both of my SONY cards so it's not an isolated incident.
              > Perhaps my real world testing trumps lab testing, for real world results?

              I don't know the details of your card failing, but it might have failed for reasons other than too many writes to the same place. It's hard to imagine you've filled it up 64,000 times. It could have been static damage, or you stamped on it or something. It's not guaranteed to work for ever. A hard drive doesn't have a known limited number of writes

    • by code4fun (739014)
      A file has a last access time attribute which stores the time of the last time the file was accessed. One way to minimize writes is to disable last access time modification. See noatime or reltime mount option.
      • by markdavis (642305)
        Mandriva has been using noatime as the default on ALL mounted Linux partitions since something like 2008.0 or 2007.1. I do, however, think that "relatime" (you mistyped it) is a better way to go than plain noatime.
    • by AdamWill (604569) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:05PM (#25096639) Homepage
      ext2 is (and always has been) an option in the MDV installer, it's labelled "Linux native".
    • by alexmin (938677)
      I've been using Mandriva since 2002 and never had a reason to go back. Right now I have it up and running on more than 20 desktops and servers, more than half of those running critical business apps (like in millions of dollars). Beside being an able server distro (with appropriate version of kernel loaded) it makes for a great desktop - just google for PLF.
  • Awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by motang (1266566) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:27AM (#25092853)
    Awesome, aside from Ubuntu the other distro I really like is Mandriva. I wonder if they are going to use LXDE as the desktop environment.
  • Did you get the webcam to work with Mandriva, I'd like to find out. And if so, what model netbook are you using?

    • by lezard (866687)

      To enable webcam : $echo 1 > /proc/acpi/asus/camera
      To disable webcam : $echo 0 > /proc/acpi/asus/camera

      I think it exists some more user-friendly tools for this, though I have not looked for them.

  • Yes I know they're not working on a joint system but did anyone else think of names a joint Unbuntu-Mandriva Linux might use?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mocoloco (1136259)
      As long as Mandriva doesn't join forces with Linpus, no one wants to hear about Manpus.

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