Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mandriva Linux 2009.1 (Spring) – Steps Ahead in Linux Desktop War

Mandriva 2009.1 Spring Desktop

My Last tryst with Mandriva was the Powerpack version of 2008. It was good but not great. PClinuxOS 2008 MiniME seemed to me a better choice in terms of stability, wireless configuration and usability.

I had tried Mandriva 2009. It was full of promises (though there were some showstoppers). When a few days back Mandriva released the latest version of its operating system, Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring, I could not stop myself from downloading it.

What's So Great About It?

1. It has that extra polish (trademark of Mandriva Spring Release).
2. It has Kernel 2.6.29 (with many new drivers and support for ext4).
3. It has option to remove unnecessary drivers after installation.
4. It dwarfs many Linux distros in terms of boot-speed and overall system responsiveness.
5. It has packaged many latest (yet stable) applications such as OO.o 3.0.1, Firefox 3.0.8, Gimp 2.6 and More.
6. It has professional looking theme and style.
7. It is a very stable release!

What's Not So Good?

Only one - package management. The default package management frontend gurpmi seems somewhat not so polished. I also tried other alternatives such as smart and easy urpmi. None are for me. I am dreaming of a day when Mandriva will have a better package management frontend that is as good or better than apt-get (synaptic).

Mandriva Benchmarks on My Notebook (Celeron M 1.73GHz, 1GB RAM)

Boot time (from Grub to full Gnome Desktop): 35 sec
Shutdown time: 9 sec
Memory footprint on freshly booted desktop: 110 MB (gnome desktop with only 19 services running)

Hardware Detection and Configuration

It readily detected and configured my X3100 graphics, Broadcom 4311 wlan card, webcam and external bluetooth dongle. Like always, Mandriva 2009.1 is great when it comes to hardware detection and configuration.

Conclusion

Once the leader of desktop linux, Mandriva is all set to acquire its old glory. 2009 Spring release is great in many ways. The more you use it, the more you will like it.

8 comments:

ruel24 said...

I've been an on and off user of Mandriva (Mandrake) since Mandy 7.0. Out of every distro I've used, save PCLinuxOS - a Mandy deriviative, it's been my all time favorite. However, the single one item I do wish they'd fix is the package management system. URPMI is too slow, and Drakconf is just too primitive. I know they shoot for beginner users, but come on... Just because they're new to Linux doesn't mean they're completely stupid. PCLinuxOS is basically Mandy with Synaptic/Apt, and it just seems to work better. Ubuntu uses it, as well, and there are lots of new Linux users starting successfully with it. I do believe that if they either went with something different, or did some development to URPMI/Drakeconf to improve the speed, simplify adding repositories, and overhaul the UI, I think Mandy would gain some users. I honestly think this is the single biggest put-off of the distro.

manmath sahu said...

Ruel24,

First of all, thanks that you dropped in!

Though PCLinuxOS is a derivative of Mandy it's better for two things, synaptic and overall stability.

Before writing this post everything was fine. But after updating Mandy with that infamous mandriva update tool I fell into several problems: first of all the dict command stopped working, next, avidemux behaved in a weird way, and finally, scrolling in the browser was very painful.

Bottomline of the story - Mandy Team are not that much careful while releasing new packages whereas PCLinuxOS is a winner all the way when you consider updating new packages. Of course, there were a few glitches with the big update. But then it happens with every distro when it involves massive update.

Mandy People should be careful of their packages.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what you miss when you use the mandriva control center.

Could you explain what is it ?

I have the feeling what you miss is more like a habit than a real fonctionnality.

regards,
glyj

ruel24 said...

Believe me Manmath Sahu, you don't have to sell me on PCLinuxOS. In fact, I'm one of the distro's artists. PCLinuxOS is simply a better mousetrap.

Fabrice said...

manmath sahu> I looked at main and contrib updates, and none of them was about avidemux, firefox or gtk, or dict ( openoffice ? ).
The only thing I could see was languagetool for openoffice which provide grammar checking.
So I guess that there's an issue with the PLF updates, not the mandriva ones, or that you are using the wrong media, or testing/backports ...

contrib/updatesmain/updates

manmath sahu said...

Fabrice, You are right. I had added PLF, and that might be causing the problem. But the worst annoyance is that the dict program (from Mandriva) is no more working.

Fabrice said...

Concerning dict, can you open a bug report, and give back the link here ? I'm willing to follow your issue and ensure that it will be fixed in the next version or in an update. As I'm not using dict, I'd rather not open a bug report about it.
http://qa.mandriva.com

manmath sahu said...

Fabrice thanks.

After dict stopped to respond. I removed it along with dictd-server and others. And installed wordnet which is working fine.

Strangely, to reproduce the dict problem I reinstalled dict and all the stop, but this time all worked again.

May be Mandy people have already fixed it.

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