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New Mandriva Linux released

New Mandriva Linux released

The new Mandriva release includes KDE 4 support, although Gnome and XFCE are available if you'd prefer.

With all the fuss people make of Ubuntu, it's easy to forget that there are other Linux distributions out there – unless you're Adam Williamson.

The Community Manager for Mandriva posted a message to his blog last week announcing the official release of Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring. For some reason, possibly to do with a certain multi-talented alphabetically-monikered rival desktop Linux distribution, the announcement seems to have failed to be repeated in many other places.

Strange, because the new release is certainly worth a bit of attention: the 2008 Spring release includes a parental control utility, a new interface for organising your multimedia, support for synchronising data with a variety of mobile devices, automated installation of codecs for video and audio playback, and still more. It's a pretty packed release, really.

The parental controls are especially interesting: as Linux makes inroads on the desktops of the less technically minded, it's things like this that are going to make the open-source operating system appeal to people used to Windows. The parental control implementation in this latest Mandriva release includes a web content filter with automated and manual blacklisting, and an interesting time-limit feature similar to that found on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.

The support for mobile devices has had an overhaul, too; with many Linux distributions failing to play well with anything newer than a PalmOS 5 device it's refreshing to see a mainstream distribution offer built-in support for Windows Mobile 5, 6, and 6.1 smartphones with no additional software installation required. Blackberry owners aren't left out in the cold either, and even certain Nokia handsets are covered.

Perhaps most interesting is the support for the Asus EeePC. Although there are several Linux distributions aimed at the diminutive sub-notebook, perhaps most popularly the EeeXubuntu Ubuntu derivative, this marks the first mainstream OS to fully support the Eee from a standard installation disc. There's no downloading patches, drivers, or hacks – the odd 800x480 screen resolution is supported from the get-go along with the in-built wireless and special keyboard shortcuts silk-screened onto the keyboard. The team has even tweaked the included Mandriva tools to ensure they display properly on the small screen device.

Fans of the KDE desktop environment will be gratified to hear that the new version 4 is supported and available for installation from the Mandriva repositories, although Spring 2008 will ship by default with 3.5.9 to avoid any issues with lower-powered hardware. The team has even found time to include a dynamic desktop background that changes over time, similar to the default XMB background on the PlayStation 3 console.

There's been plenty of changes made over the six months since the last Mandriva release, and I've just covered the highlights here. If you want to read more about what's new and improved, the team have published a tour of this latest release. If you've read enough and want to give it a go yourself, head across to the download site.

Any Windows users convinced to try the penguin side of life, or perhaps you're a die-hard Ubuntu fan tempted to a rival distro? Share your thoughts on the new Mandriva release over in the forums.

14 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 17th April 2008, 09:26 Quote
Die-Hard Ubuntu fan, untempted! KDE is just... bleh! Installation is too bulky!
DXR_13KE 17th April 2008, 10:38 Quote
i am waiting for glider to come in and say that Mandriva and Ubuntu are noob distros and that the only distro is gentoo.....
frontline 17th April 2008, 11:06 Quote
I'm a linux noob, so will wait a few days for Ubuntu 8.04 :)
Denis_iii 17th April 2008, 12:22 Quote
ubuntu has had a known bug that stops ubuntu and windows seeing the cdrom on my and similiar laptops, dodgy mbr or something

i'm hoping this linux distro doesn't have that fault.....does it use grub as bootloader?
and most importantly....how simple is the process of getting the bleeding nvidia drivers to work as in ubuntu its a pain and in my case nie impossible

clevo 575u aka evesham voyager 720dc aka sager 6870 owner
steveo_mcg 17th April 2008, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
ubuntu has had a known bug that stops ubuntu and windows seeing the cdrom on my and similiar laptops, dodgy mbr or something

i'm hoping this linux distro doesn't have that fault.....does it use grub as bootloader?
and most importantly....how simple is the process of getting the bleeding nvidia drivers to work as in ubuntu its a pain and in my case nie impossible

clevo 575u aka evesham voyager 720dc aka sager 6870 owner

Almost certainly after its installed.

The nVidia drivers can be downloaded from the nVidia site and installed in minutes easy job try it.
Woodstock 17th April 2008, 12:34 Quote
i believe it will use grub, could always give lilo a try thou
Shielder 17th April 2008, 12:40 Quote
Mandrake used to use lilo. I don't know about the Mandriva distros tho.

Have to say, I'm happy with my Fedora install and KDE 4 looks nice...

Andy
tk421 17th April 2008, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
Mandrake used to use lilo. I don't know about the Mandriva distros tho.

Have to say, I'm happy with my Fedora install and KDE 4 looks nice...

Andy

the last 2 mandriva's i tried gave the choice of either grub or lilo ...

mandriva is great for people that have only ever used windows. it is way bloaty - but a full install of everything is only about 12 gb - still lighter than vista ultimate was on my dell.
C-Sniper 17th April 2008, 20:31 Quote
I'm sticking with slackware. 12.1 should be out in a week or two now.
dylAndroid 17th April 2008, 22:48 Quote
What's the key difference between Ubuntu and Mandriva? In other words, what's their functional/niche/specialization difference?

Or is this a coke/pepsi comparison?
steveo_mcg 17th April 2008, 22:53 Quote
Pretty much, i think Mandriva uses a different package manager and come with KDE as default where as Ubuntu uses apt and comes with Gnome by default. Play with both decide what you prefer with regards to package managers then decide on a window manager then relise that both Gnome and KDE are really too big and join us on the dark side with Fluxbox... we have very skinny cookies :D
DXR_13KE 17th April 2008, 22:56 Quote
http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

a good comparison and some data....
leexgx 18th April 2008, 06:05 Quote
to bad Kubuntu does not work any more (ubuntu works ok still) from an fresh install of kubuntu update try and update it it will fail and compleaty brake the update system, 7.10 in my view was an rushed up distro i would not recommend it for new users use 7.04 (or just make sure the network cable is unpluged when installing 7.10)
Shielder 18th April 2008, 10:41 Quote
Some people would say that the *buntus are not designed for serious Linux tasks...

<dons fire proof suit>

If you are new to Linux, then either *buntu (there are different flavours of Ubuntu, check the distro watch site for some of them) or Mandriva would be fine for you. Personally, I prefer the Red Hat based distros, but I'm thinking of trying one of the more niche products as a Virtual machine. Say Gentoo or something similar.

Andy
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