October 20, 2009

101: Contributing to Mandriva Linux

Article Source Official Mandriva Blog

(This post is the second of a series presenting the Mandriva Linux project anew)

There is a multitude of ways of contributing to Mandriva whatever your technical level. And there’s no need to be a code wizard.

Helping users

The first step is via the forums or the Expert community platform.

One of the principal factors in the choice of a distribution is the possibility of easily finding help to launch a new environment and of being assured of ongoing support. This participation is essential. Whatever the amount of time you have you can contribute.

And if you want to be involved in the forum activity you can join a team of moderators who assure the smooth running of the forums and welcome new members.

For those who prefer the mailing-lists, there is a wide range of activities from the beginner to the advanced user. Check lists.mandriva.com out!

Another group of busy contributors are the user associations or LUGs who provide invaluable help for beginners, sharing their experience, offering advice for the install party or through conferences. These associations are now grouped within the MUGs which offer help within territorial borders or between countries.


Tests are also an effective way of contributing to Mandriva Linux. The 6 months of development needed to bring out a new version are punctuated by periods when ISOs test images are made available. They are essential for ensuring we obtain the highest quality. The more tests we run the least chance we have of failing to detect critical bugs. A wide range of hardware platforms enables us to extend the scope of tests.

Download, install, test and get back to us with your proposals for improvements or report eventual bugs. If you are unable to install a development distribution, you can use One versions (live CD) which allow you to test the smooth running of major applications and your hardware support. Also available are virtualisation tools to test the latest version of a distribution.

Brainstorming ideas

Every user can now participate in building new Mandriva Linux versions by making suggestions for new applications, functionalities, improving existing applications… Ideas are welcome throughout the year but they will be especially considered during the period when specs for a new version are being put in place. The submission tool is overseen by Mandriva staffers and contributors.


Mandriva Linux is now offered in more than 70 languages.

And this is thanks to the work of the community who supply the translations. We all develop tools to allow them to be located and supply infrastructure so they can be integrated. You don’t have to be a specialist, you just have to join:

Writing & organizing documentation

Such a project requires an excellent documentation, for tools as well as for the final products, usages, how-tos, and for collaboration methods.

This huge task is accomplished on the Mandriva Linux Community Wiki, with no less than 16 idioms.

Animating Bugzilla

Bugzilla is a central point for the distribution development, the site to report bugs and where one can find the record of the exchange of views between reporters and developers. It guarantees the current and future quality of the distribution.

But this tool is only effective through the daily intervention of a team dedicated to this link. Its tasks include:

  • encouraging reporters to supply missing information by specifying the problem,
  • relaunching the work on a bug when it is not going quickly enough,
  • adjusting the priorities to put critical bugs at the top of the list,
  • signalling important packages missing support,
  • proposing test scenarios to reach a bug which can be easily used.

To join this team go to: http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Triage_Team_-_How_to_triage_bugs.

Packaging & maintaining packages

One of the major tasks is producing and supporting packages. Mandriva Linux offers more than 20,000 software packages thanks to the efforts of the community. If you would like to add a new application, improve or support a package, post your suggestion on the Cooker mailing-list. One of our packagers will take you under his wing until you receive your rights to become autonomous.

The cooker-chefs group debates monthly ways of improving the organisation and the life of the community of packagers.


All developments produced by Mandriva are open source available in the SVN and GIT servers. Whether they are tools integrated in the distribution, community web sites, or tools used for the contribution platform, you can check the source and, why not, offer your skills to improve it.


What about your point of view? what other contribution means or actions to Mandriva Linux do you see, follow, that we may have forgotten?

Click Here!