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

Radeon Gallium3D OpenGL Performance From Fedora 18 To Fedora 23

For those curious how the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver has evolved over the past three years, I benchmarked every release from Fedora 18 through Fedora 23 on the same system while looking at the OpenGL Linux performance with an AMD Cypress GPU. Here is a look at the open-source Radeon driver performance evolution on Fedora Linux. Read more

KDE Applications 16.04 Suite for KDE Plasma 5.6 to Arrive on April 20, 2016

Thanks to Michael Larabel from Phoronix, who spotted this earlier, it would appear that KDE published a preliminary release schedule for its upcoming KDE Applications 16.04 software suite for the KDE Plasma 5.6 desktop environment. Read more

IBM and Linux

  • SCO v. IBM: Judge Rules for IBM in Interferance Claims
    Two SCO stories in a week? As Yogi Berra would say, it’s 2003 all over again. But this time with a big difference. It’s almost over. I told you on Monday that Judge David Nuffer with the US District Court in Utah had shot down SCO’s attempts to bring an action for Unfair Competition against IBM because the issue is already covered by another breach of contract claim by SCO. On Tuesday, Judge Nuffer issued a ruling on a pair of interference claims which effectively takes whatever winds were left out of SCO’s sails. Bankrupt SCO, of course, lost their big $1 billion case against IBM long ago when Novell, in a separate case, proved that it, and not SCO, owned the copyrights that SCO was suing over. But SCO’s been struggling to stay alive, hoping to at least win a few bucks from IBM as compensation for all it went through.
  • Linux, IBM Share Bold Vision for Hyperledger Project, a Blockchain Fabric for Business
    No longer a group of thinkers and entrepreneurs on the fringe, the proponents of blockchain technology are growing in number, boosted by new attention from the media, financial institutions, professional services firms and, most recently, major tech giants. The development comes amid reports that the blockchain market could expand to account for more business in the coming years, with Aite Group projecting it could be worth as much as $400m in annual business by 2019. However, how this market takes shape, and which technology providers start to generate actual revenue, is less clear given the variety of new projects arising – from consortiums composed of financial institutions to open-source collaborations. What's more, each of these groups boasts a who’s-who list of well-known backers.

Three nginx Vulnerabilities Closed in Ubuntu OSes

Canonical published details in a security notice regarding a few nginx vulnerabilities that have been identified in Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems. Read more