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Coming Next To The Mac: Mandriva?

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Momentum is building, albeit unevenly, to bring alternate operating systems to the Intel-based Macintosh computers that Apple Computer recently released. Despite a lack of encouragement from Apple, operating system vendors and enthusiasts are working to make Linux or Windows run with the Mac OS X already installed on the latest Apple iMacs and MacBook Pro laptops. The iMacs are available now; the new laptops are due out later this month. Both of the "Mactel" lines sport Core Duo processors from Intel.

Mandriva, the third-largest Linux distributor, said its version of Linux is already compatible with the 32-bit dual-core Centrino processors, which are also used in conventional Linux and Windows PCs. While technical issues, for now at least, prevent booting Mandriva on Apple hardware, a fully compatible version of Mandriva Linux "could appear sometime in the second quarter of 2006," according to David Barth, vice-president of engineering at the Paris-based company.

Canonical, which is behind the fast-rising Ubuntu Linux distribution, said that despite current technical hangups, a Mactel-compatible version of Ubuntu could be available within the next eight months, when development on the next major release of Ubuntu is expected to finish, according to Jane Weideman, a spokesperson for the England-based company.

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