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Mandriva 2006 Final Look

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As you know Mandriva 2006.0 was released to club members on October 6, and then it was released to the general public yesterday, October 13. It is available at the time of this writing only as an ftp install. No word at this time of when isos will be made public but if you can download an iso, then you can do an ftp install. In fact, I prefer ftp installs in a way because you only have to download the packages you actually need. In addition, when you define a mirror for your ftp install, the information is usually stored for later and continued use through urpmi. In addition one doesn't need to waste more cdrs to have to dispose of later. Ftp is the way to go.

As we followed Mandriva through the 2006.0 development cycle we found many new features and vast improvements in other areas. Today we summarize the operating system that Mandriva 2006 has become.

Installation

So, pick a mirror and navigate to the official/2006.0/your_arch/install/images directory and download the boot.iso or network.img. The boot.iso is a 12.5mb iso to be burnt onto a cdrom while the network.img is a 1.4mb image to be dd'd onto a floppy disk. Both are used to boot your machine and start the install. If you prefer to use the floppy disk method, you may wish to read the readme as you may need additional disks such as for uncommon device drivers or the like. Note your mirror path to the arch directory. Upon boot of the boot.iso you are presented with a menu asking what type of install you'd like to do and in this case choose ftp install. After configuration of your internet connection, you can either use one of their predefined categories of mirror types or choose define your own. I'd suggest you have a mirror backup written down in case the mandrake predefined mirrors don't work out. I usually choose list your own and fill in the information. Then the install goes as usual. Pick your language, type of install, where to install if necessary, partition work if necessary. Then you choose your package groups or individual packages if desired and wait. If it's a network install, this will take more time than you might be accustomed to. After the packages are installed you are given the opportunity to set up users and passwords, configure your hardware and system, and setup a boot loader. Then you can boot into your shiny new Mandriva 2006 desktop.

Features:

  • KDE 3.4.2

  • Gnome 2.10.2
  • Kernel 2.6.12.11
  • Xorg 6.9 (cvs20050915)
  • Kat 0.6.3-19
  • Firefox 1.0.6
  • Gaim 1.5.0
  • OpenOffice.org 1.1.5
  • Nvu 1.0
  • Gcc 4.0.1
  • Evolution 2.2.3
  • Xine 1.1.0
  • Gimp 2.2.8
  • Interactive firewall
  • Full integration of Skype
  • Integration of Conectiva's and Lycoris's technologies
  • Official support for the Intel Centrino mobile technology
  • Full RPMlist as tested

The first and most noticably striking improvement is Mandriva's new blue penguin theme. A wonderfully tasteful choice after the 2005 Monster Tux. I'm not sure if it was ruined by the use of the new Disco Duck start up wav or not. j/k The new theme runs throughout Mandriva 2006 sporting pretty graphics, interesting sounds and colorful icons everywhere. Mandriva has become absolutely beautiful.

        

        

New this release is the Kat Desktop Search tool, which was covered fairly well in my Beta 2 report or my RC1 report. Kat is a desktop search engine that can index a directory or your whole system for comprehensive searching. Results can be as extensive as you define. A wonderful tool written by a really nice guy.

    

Also new in 2006 is the Smart package manager. Smart is different from other package managers in that it can use different types of packages, other than what the system specifically uses. It has configurations available for urpmi repository, rpm directory, apt-get repos, apt-rpm repos, Slackware repos, deb directories. This topic too was covered in more detail in my RC1 report. I'm not sure of the fate of Smart in Mandriva as I heard the developer has since moved on. Have no fear, for Mandriva's original package manager is still intact and performing to near perfection either by commandline or graphical interface.

        

And of course, Mandriva wouldn't be Mandriva without their famous Mandriva Control Center. From this one application one finds modules to configure their entire system, from network connection to firewall rules, from software installation/uninstalls to distribution upgrades, and from booting/startup options to hardware configuration. It is their flagship application where you can do all these thing and so much more.

        

Conclusion

All in all, as I've followed the development of Mandriva 2006, one thing has become clear. Mandriva is ever improving and it is reflected in this new more polished stable operating system. Featured here is only a taste. Throughout the entire development cycle I experienced very few applications crashes and never a major X server crash or system lock up. The compromises between bleeding-edge and stable applications has paid off tremendously for Mandriva. I've found the upgrade process perfected to a dream and the installer remains one of the key features that drives Mandriva's popularity. In this release not only is the look and feel improved, they have introduced new technologies and features for the novice and experienced alike. Mandriva provides enterprise level software and support as well as a free-for-download version and support in the form of mailing lists and forums. There are also unsponsored newsgroups, forums, and irc channels. To me, Mandriva is a world class system that can meet any user's needs, as it comes with just about any application in existence and many server applications as well.

Mandriva, the people's Linux.

All Tuxmachine's Mandriva coverage can be found HERE.

Mandriva's own Press Release is chocked full of further information.

Changelog since RC2:

  • Fixes
    • mozilla-firefox-1.0.6-15mdk: Security update, synched with FF 1.0.7
    • cvs-1.11.19-6mdk: security fix for cvsbug
    • desktop-common-data-2006-2mdk: Fix desktop-directory script
    • kat-0.6.3-19mdk
      • use html2text -nobs
      • fix search on multiple words (Laurent)
      • default wait time to 20 seconds
      • fix clearing of result windows (Laurent)
      • fix exclude dirs (Laurent)
      • more debug filtering
      • fix fulltext_eml
    • gnome-panel-2.10.2-10mdk: fix for UTF8 encoded url in .desktop file
    • libgnomeui2-2.10.1-10mdk: read UTF-8 encoded url in .desktop file correctly
    • kdebase-3.4.2-55mdk: various cosmetic fixes
  • DrakX 1.1092 / drakxtools-10.3-0.64mdk
    • Bootloader: cleanup sanitize_ver(), makes label longer but cleaner
    • Drakfont (interactive_mode) fix layout (license_msg) merge 2 similar strings
    • Keyboard: added "fo" keyboard, synchronized XKB keyboard names with what is in latest xorg
    • Network:
      • set hostname only after packages have been installed, or else graphical urpmi may fail
      • fix dvb crash during install
      • show IFW button even if not connected (#18708)
      • don't try to connect auto-magically ethernet interfaces during configuration in install, restart ethernet interface for pppoe connections, add some reminders, fix indentation.
      • use mandriva.com for connection tests
      • fix crash (ugtk2 dialog helpers aren't imported)
      • force menu refresh when interface status is modified (#18636)
      • pppoe_modem device doesn't exist, automatically configure DSL connection on installation from DSL
      • net_applet: fix crash when only one interface is configured
      • (is_ifplugd_blacklisted) do not blacklist anymore b44 since it now support reporting link status according to Arnaud Monnet de Lorbeau
      • restart hsf/hcfpci services when needed support madwifi drivers
      • increase timeout after a wireless network is selected don't vivify hash ref
      • allow to up/down any network interface (backport of my 2005 patch for PSA)
      • better handling of ASCII WEP keys (partial fix for #18558)
      • don't try to update shorewall configuration if it's disabled drakconnect: update interfaces list in shorewall drakconnect: write wireless settings in wireless.d/ as well
      • read shorewall net interface from configuration file first
      • lower signal level given by wpa_supplicant fix hidden ssid always recognized as current when using iwlist fallback to wpa_cli or iwlist/iwconfig when needed (#18516)
      • net_applet: refresh wireless networks every minute only fallback to wpa_cli or iwlist/iwconfig when needed (#18516)
      • fallback to wpa_cli or iwlist/iwconfig when needed (#18516)
      • don't resize state icons show refresh icon if network isn't connected show ESSID if already configured for hidden ssid move signal strength icon on the left don't automatically refresh networks list use Managed mode if AP isn't Ad-Hoc drakconnect: write wireless settings in wireless.d/ as well fallback to wpa_cli or iwlist/iwconfig when needed (#18516)
    • Packages:
      • don't warn lisa (which is installed by default)
      • more x86_64 mirrors (works, tested as lftp $url -e exit)
    • Hardware
      • ugly hack: wait for usb-storage devices to appear (bugzilla #13395)
      • display cards that offer additional parallel port in the system class rather than in the "unknown" section (custom_id) try harder to have a sane name: before fallbacking to the class name (eg: "Printer"), try to use the vendor name (eg for printers)
    • comment/dis-comment the content of ld.so.conf.d/{nvidia,ati}.conf instead of symlinking to a hidden file (implies the new ati/nvidia packages have config(noreplace) for those files) instead of symlinking, comment the content of the ld.so.conf.d/*.conf don't load glx with fbdev (since glx is used for various things nowadays, dixit fredl)
    • Printer:
      • Do not auto-install "sane-frontends" for MF devices.
      • On USB printer hot-plugging sometimes parallel printers are also shown in the window popping up to ask whether the printer should be set up. Even sometimes parallel printers which are not connected or turned on any more were shown. Fixed.
      • Adapted file names to check for to the changes on the HPIJ 0.91-8mdkpackages.
    • filesystem:
      • increase /usr max size
      • fix typo during install, don't use half working dmraids (#18386)
    • Drakbackup: Remove unclear text (not needed, #18619)
    • Upgrade
      • we do want doPartitionDisks and formatPartitions to be done early on upgrade, so that selectKeyboard is done when the partitions are mounted
      • call set_all_default() (to fix fstab on upgrade) before install packages so that {useSupermount} is correctly set (maybe we could also move the set_all_default on install there) since choosing keyboard is done after mounting partition to upgrade,
      • ensure we have gnome-volume-manager when we have gnome or kde (to handle cdrom auto mounting)


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