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DukeOfURL: Mandrake Linux PowerPack 8.1 Review

Nov 21, 2001, 04:14 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Daniel Christle)

[ Thanks to Patrick Mullen for this link. ]

In 1998, a French company called Mandrake created its first Linux distribution. At the time Mandrake was not much more than a rehash of the popular Red Hat Linux. Since then, although, Mandrake has come to epitomize the phrase "ease-of-use" in the world of Linux. At the very least, they have been a boon to new Linux users. Naturally, they are much more than that, as they cater to the more-experienced user as well.

The focus of creating a graphical environment that allowed non-professionals to manage their system contributes heavily Mandrake Linux being fairly prosperous. They are also very well-known for their disk partitioning software, Disk Drake, which, until recent times, was pretty much unparalleled in the open source world. The installation and configuration tools that Mandrake created have been published under the GPL (GNU General Public License), demonstrating their commitment to the Linux community.

Aside from ease-of-use, Mandrake Power Pack is attractive to users simply because of the sheer number of applications that are included with the distribution. According to their web site, Mandrake's PowerPack (the copy which we received for review) comes with over 2300 applications. There is little doubt that when it comes to the abundance of applications included, that their only rival in the commercial market is SuSE. Mandrake and SuSE seem to be continually duking it out for the friendliest and most usable Linux distribution, a competition that has the pair leap-frogging over each other every few months. This is great for the end-user, as it raises the bar with nearly every release, leaving you with a much more friendly Linux.

MandrakeSoft's latest release in this saga is version 8.1, which we'll be taking an in-depth look at today. Read on for an overview of its new features and to see how it stacks up against its previous releases, as well as the competition.

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