Mandriva has had its fair share of problems in recent years and its financial troubles worsened this year. While the company's fate is still uncertain, a large number of its developers have been let go and the project seems in disarray.
This prompted a number of former employees to get together and start the Mageia project, a Mandriva fork.
They say the decision was not taken lightly and that there was no other way to ensure that the Mandriva community was being served.
"As you may have heard, the future of the Mandriva Linux distribution is unclear," the Mageia homepage reads.
"Most employees working on the distribution were laid off when Edge-IT was liquidated," it says.
"Many things have happened in the past 12 years. Some were very nice... Some other events did have some really bad consequences that made people not so confident in the viability of their favourite distribution," Mageia says.
"People working on it just do not want to be dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company," it concludes.
There are now a few tens of Mandriva contributors and former employees, over 50, listed on the Mageia site as involved with the project. The team wants to continue with the ideas and principles of Mandriva and pick up where the project left off.
In a sense, this will be Mandriva, with a name change, though it remains to be seen what Mandriva, the company, plans to do as well. For now, it seems that the focus is on the server editions, which generate revenue.
Mageia is very much in the early stages, the team is just getting organized and is looking for hosting and servers to get the project going. Mageia will be community driven and a non-profit organization will be set up to manage it.