Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Available - Quick Look

by Susan Linton - Jun. 30, 2011Comments (7)

mandrivaAlmost as if Eugeni Dodonov read my post last night, he answered earlier this evening that the ISOs are now on the mirrors. I had found a copy a couple of hours before his post, so I was already burning. I had been looking forward to seeing the newer Mandriva, but in the end I'm afraid I was slightly disappointed.

I was expecting something I thought would be really pretty. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I wasn't all that impressed with the appearance. To be fair though, Mandriva usually hides its final wallpaper until the Final is released. So, I think this tired ole generic wispy blue is just a placeholder. In fact, the installed system gives you their old purply penguin outlines from last release.



The boot screens and splashes appear changed to a powder blue background with Mandriva with their logo almost appearing etched or chiseled into stone. The login manager was new as well. It was interesting. Your users are depicted graphically and all are lined up for the choosing. One you select one by mouse-click, it enlarges and a textarea for the password appears. The only other elements were two large buttons - one for Reboot and one for Shutdown.



It did sport some new icons, and in Linux icon sets are a hot commodity. These new ones were okay, though they didn't make me go "ooo" and "ah." The "plasma-applet-stackfolder application" was preset and working fine. I suppose those could be handy. But that menu... I know someone has put a whole lot of work into that new Rosa menu, but it's just not my cup of tea. It reminds me of the older GNOME "more applications" menu or the new GNOME Shell. I don't like a large screen-size application launcher that closes automatically upon clicking something. At least with Rosa you can get back in with one click of the menu button and another click of the "applications" button. Fortunately, as I mentioned in the early stages, a regular menu is in Add Widgets and it can be set to open the classic menu or the newer Launcher style.





All that looks stuff aside, I was really looking forward to seeing the new Mandriva Control Center that was alluded to in Dodonov's post last night. But it just looked like the same ole same ole to me. They could have and probably did do some work under the hood, but there was no changes to the appearance. And the issue of setting up graphical drivers mentioned in an earlier post still exists. I looked in the software manager and NVIDIA proprietary drivers were included, but the configuration just seemed broken. Everything else seemed to function correctly as far as I tested. The installer hasn't changed to the naked eye either except for the main image.



It appears Mandriva did go ahead and migrate to RPM 5 as planned. Some other version numbers include:

** Linux
** X.Org X Server 1.10.2
** GCC 4.6.1
** LibreOffice 3.3.2
** Firefox 5.0
** Opera 11.50
** KDE 4.6.4
** QT 4.7.3
** Python 2.7.2
** Perl 5.12.3

Adjusted release dates are now July 27 for Release Candidate 2 and August 29 for Mandriva 2011 Final. Check back in two months for a final assessment.

Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Well I'm positively surprised by the improvements made in 2011. It looks like the fork mostly helped Mandriva and not so much helped Mageia, which still looks more like a boring old Mandriva. I love the new features they are trying out in Mandriva (although I think it would look a lot better with Oxygen theme and icons everywhere). I'm sure these little bugs still remaining will be fixed (don't forget to file bug reports, otherwise developers might not know there is something wrong). What puzzles me the most is why they have not chosen Amarok for music playing and Kdenlive for video editing. They are a lot better apps then the current alternatives and as a true KDE app they also integrate a lot better into the desktop than the current choices. Another awesome improvement would be if they would replace the video player with the awesome and well known VLC, which is also a Qt app and integrates well into the desktop.

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Hi, great review! May I answer some of your questions here? :)

1. The new control center is INSIDE KDE System Settings (that SystemSettings icon on the panel). The one you have opened is the old one, it hasn't changed, and will be there for backward-compatible issues (and for the people who miss it and don't want to change it). The same applies to other new features, like networkmanager, systemd, and so on - they will be installed by default, but they are not mandatory in any way. You could use old drakx-net, or simple install 'sysvinit' package and use old initscripts instead of systemd.

2. The UI and overall GUI changes considerably, according to whether you have the Desktop effects enabled or not. In your case, they are not enabled; try activating them to see how it changes. This is not quite an easter egg, but almost :).

3. This wallpaper is the final one, according to what ROSA folks told us. So it will stay :).

Also, all of the visual work for kde, themes, design, login manager and so on was done by ROSA Labs, which is a kind of new mandriva sister in russia. So I believe they could answer your question much better than I.

@DigitalFreedom the initial idea was to use vlc, but it brought some unexpected issues. So we are going to stick with smplayer + add new visual themes for it.

As for Amarok, the goal was to switch to Clementine because of its resource utilization, functionalities, and also because it was asked a LOT by the users. But amarok is still available for the installation.

I hope I helped to clarify those bits!

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The most asked question of Mandriva 2011 will be how to turn off that Rosa Menu.

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Its Mandriva's choice to stick with Rosa labs, if on the other hand Mandriva listened it might offer the end user a choice. Does this mean they do not want to listen ?. There is comparison to Unity in Ubuntu which already is proving not be very popular - look how Mint is thriving. In Ubuntu's favor you can switch to the Classic Gnome look which is really quite pleasant, Mandriva should provide similar options when logging in ie the Classic Mandriva or the new look. while I'm here an apology to the ex staff of Mandriva most of whom are now involved with Mageia, would be the right thing to do. Gnome 3 Unity Rosa labs wish them every success time will tell.

Also any Linux o/s that sticks to Free software GNU avoiding proprietary meddling gets my instant approval.

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Thanks for the review, altho I wish it would tell me more about the "Rosa Menu" functionality. Does the search box at the top actually work? Can I type "display" or "monitor" or "screen" to be able to get an icon for display system settings?

@DigitalFreedom, I am quastioning your definition of "improvements". To me, it certainly looks more like a regression. While folks at Mandriva are spending time designing new icon sets, people at Mageia are focusing on stability without compromising users control over their desktop.

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@F1aw: But Mageia didn't really bring any improvements at all beyond incremental updates of software, it's pretty much like a Mandriva 2010.3, and they even stated that they had no such goals at all for their first release.

So it's rather premature speaking about their focus or anything at all yet..

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@F1aw it only searches for applications for now, and for semantic-aware stuff.

About how to turn off rosa stuff, this is pretty simple - right click on the panel -> remove panel -> right click on the desktop -> add new panel -> classical/rosa/empty panel, and you are all set. And of course, you can always remove only the rosa launcher and add the traditional KDE start menu.

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