The Association, Assembly, Members and Supporters
Our Roots in Mandrake Linux
OpenMandriva Association is a so-called Association de loi 1901 based in France which according to French law are required not to pursue any profit. Our statutes are currently: Statutes constitution French and English.
OpenMandriva started off as a group of people who supported the initiative of Mandriva SA's former CEO Jean-Manuel Croset to give the Mandriva Linux distribution back into the hands of a global developer community. Starting off as Mandrake Linux under the initiative of Gael Duval who crafted a Red Hat Linux 5.1-based spin-off combined with the KDE desktop his creation became known as Mandrake Linux and he eventually joined forces with other people to establish a company called Mandrakesoft in Paris.
Gael Duval's company came into being during the booming New Economy times starting in the late 90. At that time Linux had been said to replace Microsoft Windows because it offered more stability, multi-tasking and in the end could be downloaded for free by anyone who had Internet access. Even Steve Ballmer from Microsoft considered Linux to be a major challenge to the success of his business.
Mandrakesoft closed deals with international publishers who preferred to have Mandrake 5.1 in their Linux books and cover CDs. Eventually the company had investors and even traded on the Paris stock exchange.
Gael Duval's company was considered special and had a special spirit as it invited everyone to join the development of the distribution and even small businesses joined in to resell ISO images the company and its loyal contributors created from all over the world. With the help of venture capital investments, Gael Duval even bought once closed software projects and then opened up the source code for the Free Software commuinity so that everyone benefited.
With the demise of the New Economy Gael's company had been hit hard and reported losses. He adapted the business model to a club model with subscriptions where members could vote on what packages should go into the distribution and make their voice heard. This club became known as Mandrakeclub so that earnings could pay for the developers his company employed.
Eventually investors got their say and Gael Duval had to step down as president. A long-lasting trademark issue about Mandrake using a magician as it's logo had also to be settled which resulted in the loss of its popular icon, the Mandrake penguin who was meant to represent "the friendly face of Linux" which Mandrakesoft aspired to represent.
Mandrakesoft had to change its name and combined their intials with a company called Connectiva in Brasil they had acquired. This new entity became known as Mandriva SA but again investors wanted to make a profit on their investment and started to cut down on the loyal community activities and focussed on high-paying customers. The company did enjoy success but it just wasn't the old Mandrakesoft anymore.
There were various changes among the CEOs of Mandriva SA and in 2013 the last CEO, Jean-Manuel Croset decided to have Mandriva Linux led by its own Association. An The Assembly of the Association was formed at a conference in Paris at Mandriva SA's headquarter and resulted in the Association we have now. Mandriva SA also supported us in migration our wiki, translations and source code that had been created over the years by the contributors.
We therefore have a strong heritage in the roots of Gael Duval we are very proud of it. For a lot of people in our community Mandrake Linux was special. This spirit lives on til the present day and we hope it to last for a long time.
Who is part of our Association ?
To get information about the people behind the distribution we have a list of the People around OpenMandriva Lx Distribution.
Decision making with taking OpenMandriva members choices into account
As an association we are taking members opinions into account and regularly place questions on which members may cast their votes whether they agree to a particular decision or not. We use an external website called About decisions on Loomio.org for this. If you would like to become a member of the Association you will also have the opportunity to be voted into [OpenMandriva:Council OpenMandriva Council] and have more influence on the development of the Association.
A lot of meetings have taken place alreadyand there will certainly be more. If you would like to see what we have been discussing you can take a look at the article Meetings of the Association.