Beginning with an easy-to-use installer and booting into a well-thought-out desktop, Mandriva 2007 provides an environment that is aesthetically consistent and makes new users feel at home. Overall Mandriva 2007 re-establishes the distribution as one of the most advanced desktop experiences in GNU/Linux.
If you're a Linux enthusiast you probably noticed what a great month we've had. Slackware 11.0 was released on the 3rd. Mandriva 2007 was released the same day and showed us how integrated XGL, Compiz and AIGLX could be. Fedora Core 6 was released on the 24th and brought us an amazing Gnome 2.16 desktop with fabulous artwork. Ubuntu 6.10 came on the 26th and we couldn't wait to review it.
In an era when the next edition of Microsoft Windows is pushed back more than a year, and popular GNU/Linux distributions are almost expected to have their release dates delayed by weeks or months, it's nice to know that at least one operating system releases on schedule without all kinds of showstopping bugs and problems. OpenBSD 4.0 was released on November 1 with its usual mix of new hardware support and enhanced operating system features.
There have been a swirl of speculations as to whether AMD will open-source the ATI Linux fglrx display drivers, and today the first display driver (8.30.3) is being pushed out after the completion of the ATI and AMD acquisition. But are these drivers still closed-source? Has any new information hit the wire about these rumors? We have the ATI fglrx 8.30.3 display drivers in our hands today to tell you all of the details.
In its first five releases, Red Hat's Fedora Core has represented the Linux technology vanguard. And so it is with Fedora Core 6. The fast-moving Red Hat distribution polishes SELinux, adds new tools and improves performance.
If you expect every software update to bring an arsenal of shock-and-awe technologies, prepare yourself now for disappointment with version 2.0 of Firefox (as well as with IE7 and Opera 9). But if you realize what artisans and engineers have known for millennia—that improving and refining what you have beats feature bloat—this is your browser.
Applications is what will bring people to Linux. But Firefox and Amarok aren’t the only apps to wow people with. The open source world looks to be succeeding in the e-mail realm as well. Introducing Kontact, KDE’s Personal Information Management application.
Also: Krita is a fully-loaded raster graphics workhorse that stands on its own.
The last time I reviewed Fedora (Core 5, here) I was left a bit annoyed overall. Frustrated, as idealism had gotten the best of what I was hoping to be a solid distribution. This time around I'm hoping Fedora will be on the right path.
As with major Linux distributions, making it easy for a novice to install and configure is one of the most important keys to piquing their interest and with PC-BSD installation was just as easy as installing Xandros.
Rickford Grant is not new to books for novice Linux users (see Linux Made Easy and Linux For Non-Geeks). This is the first one I’ve read, however. My motive here is to find Linux distros that are truly for Linux novices, and that also have books available for them. There is also the hope (perhaps vain) that there is a book and distro for the novice computer user.