You can download it and use it all you want. You can replace your Windows XP with it or run it in a virtual machine. Download Virtual PC or VMware Server and install in a virtual machine first to see how you like it.
im using windows xp and wanted to know if i can download linux mandriva 2008 and use it or do i have to have linux as an OS already
like is linux mandriva like an update for linux or what
thanks for any answers
Linux is not an operating system, but a kernel to an operating system. Mandriva is simply one distribution of Linux, or style/type. There is also Ubuntu, Fedora Core, and many more. You can install Mandriva over Windows, on another partition of your hard drive, or in a virtual machine, which keeps Windows intact. There are many guides on the internet about each of the processes, so Google it :D