As you may have read from my previous posts on leaving Kubuntu after 3 years, I am looking for a better KDE solution. To that aim, I am installing well-respected KDE distros and comparing them to the Kubuntu that I have known and loved, but that has gone to a beta feel in the recent 9.x release.
Installing Mandriva KDE, similar to Kubuntu, is installed from a live CD. You get to taste the OS before actually installing. That’s where the similarities end.
Mandriva is using 4.x KDE and looks simply gorgeous. The developers took care to make a very pleasant looking and highly functional distribution. All the expected apps are installed in the live CD including, Open Office, Kmail, Firefox 3, and Gimp (which is not included standard on Kubuntu).
Mandriva includes a host of neat tools that really add to its utility. The software configuration tool is straightforward and uncluttered. Mandriva comes with a Backup tool that automatically pops up when you insert a USB disk on key. The menu structure is also clearer and easier to navigate than it’s KDE cousin. For example, the recently used apps sits atop the main menu (as you’d expect) and ready for easy access, as opposed to having to fumble through tabs and an array of mouse clicks on arrows on Kubuntu.
I was impressed also with the ease of installation and configuration which rivaled Kubuntu’s legendary ease.
Although this is a preliminary look, Mandriva looks like a real winner and has restored my faith in KDE even in the post v.3.5 era.