Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mandriva 2007.0 alpha livecd - KDE version test

Filed under
MDV
Reviews
-s

Mandriva has begun their development cycle by releasing an alpha for the upcoming 2007.0. They posted a list of known issues and a few others are coming to light. Beranger looked at the gnome version which compliments my choice of the kde version. These are approximately 684M livecds and best defined as cooker snapshots at this point. The full install version is expected in the next few days.

The known issues as posted on the Mandriva wiki are:

  • In live mode the keyboard may no be correctly initialised to your language, type setxkbmap [your locale] to fix it.
  • When you reboot or halt, the CD may not be correctly ejected.
  • You may need to launch update-menus to have the menu items complete (we are in the middle of the migration to full XDG menus)
  • Once installed, inserting any kind of media such as CDs or USB keys makes the following message pop-up: "Cannot mount volume"
  • The menu invest-chart is not working on the GNOME x86_64 version
  • python-gtk2 applications might fail to start at all

Beranger states that in the gnome version, his first impressions are marred by crippled menus and fuzzy icons. As the menu issue is already known, a workaround has been suggested. This isn't the first time, or even the second, that mandriva has released with broken menus. This time it is due to the migration to a xdg menues. I've seen other distros going through growing pains at this conversion. Fuzzy icons are usually due to using the wrong resolution/size of icons. Mandriva will probably get around to fixing that in the last release candidate if their track record stays true to form. Other issues concerned pcmcia and the gnome sound mixer.

So how did the kde version do here on a desktop machine?

Not too bad. After boot one is greeted by several configuration screens for language, timezone and keyboard. Mine went well and didn't need manual adjustment. Next the desktop starts up - rather slowly. I was almost starting to worry we had locked up. But the desktop appears and we are greeted by the mandriva welcome file. The wallpaper, colors, windec, etc were all the same as previously encountered. The menus seemed populated as well as could be expected. I ran the update-menus as suggested, but no other applications showed up. In the livecd format, applications are just lacking.

        

The known issues list was correct when it warned of the mounting removable media error. It appears to be a missing /etc/fstab entry, and the media can be manually mounted and used. Except that the only office suite offered is Koffice and it couldn't read a ppt made in OpenOffice (and edited some in mac's ms powerpoint). Not that that's mandriva's fault, I guess they needed to include some office suite.

        

As stated, applications seem a bit thin even for a livecd. But they do include a livecd copy, clamav, their mandriva control center, and a hard drive installer. The livecd copy didn't work real well here. It didn't apprise me of the progress then the screen just disappeared as opposed to informing me that it finished. The resulting livecd wouldn't boot stating it couldn't find or mount the squashfs.

    

Some of the other included apps are rosegarden, xmms, kdetv, xsane, xcam, kexi, k3b, kbear, gdb, nvu, gimp 2.3.9, firefox 1.5.0.4, xorg 7.1.0, a 2.6.16 kernel, and medigi sitting in KDE 3.5.3. There were a few little glitches here and there, but it's hard to determine with whom to assign blame. For example, gimp didn't have a window minimize option. Since this was my first run thru with gimp 2.3.9 (that I recall off hand), it could very well be a gimp thing. With rosegarden, I got a 'system timer resolution too low' error. embedjs crashed while trying to start. Konqueror wouldn't start from the menu item.

        

        

All in all, this livecd was a bit unimpressive, but it wasn't as bad as we've heard. It's a mandrive cooker snapshot, an early alpha. What did we expect? I'd like to see all developers offer a new theme each new development cycle, even if it's not complete or the one they end up using. I mean I boot this 2007.0 alpha, and it was for all tense and purposes basically the same as the mandriva one we tested back in February perhaps with newer software versions. I don't see any innovation. I think that's gonna be the downfall of this livecd.

Mandriva just isn't showing us anything new or exciting. I think perhaps they are wasting time and resources trying to enter into the livecd market. Perhaps they should concentrate on their one-time strong suit of a bleeding edge nice looking install suite. Their livecd loads up 5 full-screen consoles full of modules and yet it's hardware detection isn't up to knoppix's. Their choices of applications are so limited, due to... why? What's taking up all the space? In comparison, why can pclinuxos or mepis come in the same size download and yet offer just about anything anyone could need?

Performance of this livecd is a bit lacking as well. There were marked delays in all operations. This condition worsened considerably under the vesa drivers (desired here as 'nv' blanks my main monitor in many setups as it did today with mdv and I have to cock my head left to use my secondary). Just moving a window was almost agony. Apps were slow to open and to perform any of their operations.

I wish this article didn't sound as negative as I fear it might, but perhaps mandriva should skip the livecd production. Whatever their choice, as this is an early alpha, I won't let this experience linger as a lasting impression. I hope you don't either. Overall the kde version did function better than the previously mentioned gnome version. In any case, we'll be testing releases all thru this development cycle and keep you posted.

Mandriva alpha 2007 snapshot

I have an older 19" LCD which is fussy about resolutions/sync rates, so upon boot of this Live CD, my X-windows screen contained gibberish. Reboot again pressing keys when it looks like the boot process is about to startx. So, I awkwardly manage to boot to a console. I went to edit xorg.conf to set it to the vesa driver. Tried to fire up "Joe" (a clone of the old WordStar editor--shades of my old CPM days [yes, I was born just after the great flood of Noah]). No joy, Joe is not there. Try nano. Nope, not present.

Now, I've rarely used VI, (and I'm not real fond of unfriendly modal editors) but I've got an excellent library of Linux books, so I crack open one of the books and find a brief basic primer on using VI. Take about 10 minutes to read through this.

Fire up VI, and proceed to edit xorg.conf. Run startx and I'm in.

srlinux, you've caught the essentials on this Live CD--It's slow with not much obvious new stuff. I think Mandriva wanted to get this out for some testing and bug reports and I also think that some club members were clammering a cooker snapshot. I did try the hard-disk install, without much luck. It's obviously very early alpha. Mandriva is about a month behind their (first announced roughly last Christmas, I think) 2007 development schedule.

So, in another month or so, we'll likely get another shapshot, and then we'll get a much clearer picture of how Mandriva and its 2007 release are shaping up.

The speed, a good point

I find the issue of the speed a good one.
If you compare the speed of the GNOME version with the experience of Ubuntu 6.06 or CentOS4.3 LiveCD, you will see a clear difference: Mandriva is soooo much slower!
(Yes, CentOS4.3 LiveCD features GNOME 2.8, but GNOME 2.14 and 2.15 are much improved over 2.12 in terms of memory usage.)
We should see how works the installed version though.

The graphics worked good though with me, with performance just like in other distros, but I tested it with an old cheap S3 Savage/IX with 8 MB RAM, duh...

As for the lack of originality, I agree. Especially for KDE users, Mandriva has to prove it has something new to offer with its 2007 edition.

I hope however that Mandriva 2007 will have a good GNOME build, maybe a little spartan to some tastes, but anyway...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

New GNU/Linux Releases: TheSSS, Arkas OS, Black Lab, and Parrot

  • The Smallest Server Suite Gets Special Edition with PHP 7.0.15, Apache 2.4.25
    4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia about the availability of a special edition of the TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) Live Linux operating system. Carrying the same version number as the original TheSSS release, namely 21.0, and dubbed TheSSS7, the new flavor ships with more recent PHP packages from the 7.0.x series. Specifically, TheSSS7 includes PHP 7.0.15, while TheSSS comes with PHP 5.6.30.
  • Descent OS Is Dead, Arkas OS Takes Its Place and It's Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Some of you out there might remember the Descent OS distro created by Brian Manderville and based on the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, and today we have some bad news for them as the development is now officially closed. Descent OS first appeared in February 2012 as a lightweight Ubuntu derivative built around the GNOME 2 desktop environment. Back then, it was known as Descent|OS, and was quite actively developed with new features and components borrowed from the latest Ubuntu releases.
  • Black Lab Linux 8.1 Out Now with LibreOffice 5.3, It's Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Softpedia was informed today by the Black Lab Software project about the general availability of the first point release to the Black Lab Linux 8.0 operating system series. Serving as a base release to the company's enterprise offerings and equipped with all the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Black Lab Linux 8.1 comes with up-to-date components and the latest security patches ported from Ubuntu's repositories as of February 15, 2017. "Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 8.1. Our first incremental release to the 8.0 series. In this release we have brought all security updates up to Feb 15, 2017, as well as application updates," said Roberto J. Dohnert, CEO of Black Lab Software.
  • Parrot 3.5 – Call For Betatesters
    We did our best to prepare these preview images including all the updates and the new features introduced since the last release, but now we need your help to understand how to make it even better, and of course we need your help to understand if there is something that doesn’t work as expected or something that absolutely needs to be included in the final release.

Linux and Graphics

  • Linux Kernel 4.10 Now Available for Linux Lite Users, Here's How to Install It
    Minutes after the release of Linux kernel 4.10 last evening, Jerry Bezencon from the Linux Lite project announced that users of the Ubuntu-based distribution can now install it on their machines. Linux 4.10 is now the most advanced kernel branch for all Linux-based operating systems, and brings many exciting new features like virtual GPU support, better writeback management, eBPF hooks for cgroups, as well as Intel Cache Allocation Technology support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors.
  • Wacom's Intuos Pro To Be Supported By The Linux 4.11 Kernel
    Jiri Kosina submitted the HID updates today for the Linux 4.11 kernel cycle.
  • Mesa 13.0.5 Released for Linux Gamers with over 70 Improvements, Bug Fixes
    We reported the other day that Mesa 13.0.5 3D Graphics Library will be released this week, and it looks like Collabora's Emil Velikov announced it earlier this morning for all Linux gamers. Mesa 13.0.5 is a maintenance update to the Mesa 13.0 stable series of the open source graphics stack used by default in numerous, if not all GNU/Linux distributions, providing gamers with powerful drivers for their AMD Radeon, Nvidia, and Intel GPUs. It comes approximately three weeks after the Mesa 13.0.4 update.
  • mesa 13.0.5

Interview: Thomas Weissel Installing Plasma in Austrian Schools

With Plasma 5 having reached maturity for widespread use we are starting to see rollouts of it in large environments. Dot News interviewed the admin behind one such rollout in Austrian schools. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Top Lightweight Linux Distributions To Try In 2017
    Today I am going to discuss the top lightweight Linux distros you can try this year on your computer. Although you got yourself a prettyLinuxle linux already but there is always something new to try in Linux. Remember I recommend to try this distros in virtualbox firstly or with the live boot before messing with your system. All distro that I will mention here will be new and somewhat differ from regular distros.
  • [ANNOUNCE] linux-4.10-ck1 / MuQSS CPU scheduler 0.152
  • MSAA Compression Support For Intel's ANV Vulkan Driver
    Intel developer Jason Ekstrand posted a patch over the weekend for enabling MSAA compression support within the ANV Vulkan driver.
  • Highlights of YaST development sprint 31
    As we announced in the previous report, our 31th Scrum sprint was slightly shorter than the usual ones. But you would never say so looking to this blog post. We have a lot of things to talk you about!
  • Comparing Mobile Subscriber Data Across Different Sources - How accurate is the TomiAhonen Almanac every year?
    You’ll see that last spring I felt the world had 7.6 Billion total mobile subscriptions when machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are included. I felt the world had 7.2 Billion total subscriptions when excluding M2M and just counting those in use by humans. And the most relevant number (bottom line) is the ‘unique’ mobile users, which I felt was an even 5.0 Billion humans in 2015. The chart also has the total handsets-in-use statistic which I felt was 5.6 Billion at the end of 2015. Note that I was literally the first person to report on the distinction of the unique user count vs total subscriptions and I have been urging, nearly begging for the big industry giants to also measure that number. They are slowly joining in that count. Similarly to M2M, we also are now starting to see others report M2M counts. I have yet to see a major mobile statistical provider give a global count of devices in use. That will hopefully come also, soon. But lets examine these three numbers that we now do have other sources, a year later, to see did I know what I was doing.