Mandriva releases netbook Linux distro

Netbook makers looking for Linux now have the option of Mandriva Mini, a new distro tuned for tiny and well-connected devices

Mandriva has introduced a version of its Linux operating system that is optimised for netbooks, the increasingly popular class of low-cost subnotebooks.

Aimed at manufacturers, Mandriva Mini offers faster boot times, a smaller footprint, more efficient power management and optimisation for flash-memory management — essential because netbooks often use solid-state storage rather than traditional hard drives. The new distribution was announced on Friday.

Also included are support for Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity, and what Mandriva calls a "very graphical user" (VGU) interface, designed to meet the demands of small screens.

"We are very proud to bring to the market a product which answers the needs of [original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers] and we are busy distributing it to clients and prospective clients," said Mandriva chief executive François Bancilhon in a statement.

The French company has already released a version of its platform tailored to Asus's Eee PC netbook. By releasing a netbook version of Mandriva directly to manufacturers, the company is now taking up an approach already adopted by Canonical, which in June announced Ubuntu Netbook Remix.