Things were never easy for Mandriva, which was founded in 1999 as MandrakeSoft: with Mandrake Linux the company was originally aiming for a user-friendly desktop Linux. However, the major breakthrough for Linux on the desktop failed to appear and thus financial squeezes run like a strand through the company’s history in spite of the rapid expansion of the product portfolio for commercial solutions, German technology website heise reports.
The company did achieve a successful launch on the French stock market in 2001. However, MandrakeSoft had to apply for creditor protection only two years later. The company’s renaming as Mandriva took place in 2005 in the wake of the merger with Brazil’s Conectiva; Mandrake’s founder Gaël Duval left the company shortly afterwards due to a dispute.
There were financial problems once again in 2010 and Mandriva (at that time the company had over 70 employees) was looking for a buyer. Though an investor was eventually found, some 30 former Mandriva employees , developers and community members nevertheless founded the Mandriva fork Mageia at the end of that year. The fork was intended to ensure the continuity of Mandriva Linux since Mandriva’s commitment to its desktop Linux distribution had declined sharply. Insolvency loomed once again at the end of 2011, but was able to be repulsed ultimately with a recapitalisation.
The idea for OpenMandriva arose from the realisation that there was no money to be made with Linux for the desktop: an independent association was to continue producing Mandriva Linux as a community project. With Mageia and OpenMandriva there are now two community distributions, both of which have nevertheless lost some of their verve: the current Mageia 4 was released at the start of 2014; and OpenMandriva LX 2014.1 from September 2014. However, work is continuing on new versions of both distributions.
Mandriva is now in liquidation according to French company register societe.com. Lawyer Frédérique Lévy has been appointed as the administrator. The mandriva.fr and mandriva.com are no longer available.