The boys and girls in the Mandriva team have released Mandriva Linux 2010.0. This new Mandriva release obviously brings the latest and greatest from the open source and Linux communities, including the latest KDE and GNOME releases. Among other things, boot time has been a priority.
Mandriva Linux 2010.0 comes with KDE 4.3.2, GNOME 2.28, OpenOffice 3.1.1, and Mozilla Firefox 3.5. The kernel is at version 2.6.31 in Mandriva 2010.0, and of course comes with a set of patches “to make sure it’s tailored to the distribution”.
The bootsplash is now managed by Plymouth, which brings kernel mode-setting to Mandriva’s boot process without breaking compatibility with chips that do no yet support kernel mode-setting (by using the VESA framebuffer). It’s also easier to customise than Splashy, and has a simple script language for easy theme creation.
Two new graphical environments have been added to Mandriva as well. Moblin has bene included and is completely integrated; you can use it by installing the
task-moblin package. The Sugar desktop is is available too by installing the
task-sugar package. Of note is that KDE3 has been deprecated entirely, and is no longer available.
You can download Mandriva Linux 2010.0 One or Free, or order the PowerPack.
Mandriva 2009 Spring is the nicest distro I’ve yet tried on my Eee 701. Using KDE4 it crawled horribly until a stuck in a 2GB stick of ram, which was very cheap. Now it works pretty nicely, even with compositing switched on. Flash playback is a bit slow but I’m blaming that on Adobe to a degree.
I also prefer their KDE4 implementation to my Kubuntu’s, although in fairness my Kubuntu machine is very hacked-about whereas the Mandriva install is fresh. PulseAudio seems to behave itself too!
I’ll be really interested to see Mandriva’s 2010 release. I expect I’ll put it on my netbook – the kernel mode setting and boot time improvements will be particularly relevant there. What has so far put me off running it on the desktop is that the package selection seems a bit small (or at least to have some surprising omissions – where is nethack!? Falcons Eye isn’t a substitute for the nasty graphics of nethack/xnethack!)
Although I’m using Arch now, I spent a great deal of time distro-hopping, using OpenSuse, Mandriva, and Fedora respectively, all for a few months. If you’re looking for a great KDE experience, I’d recommend Mandriva from the “great three” – especially if you’re fed up with the disaster that Kubuntu has been for the last four releases. It’s lean (yes, it is, especially package management seemed to be a lot faster than zypper on OpenSuSe), mean, well integrated and fast.
I agree with the above poster, Mandriva 2009 spring was a really fine release, and seeing the early reviews of this new release, you can expect the same quality!