May 12, 2009

Mandriva is back!

As soon I saw that the Spring edition of Mandriva 2009 was finally out I downloaded the ONE edition ISO and burned it to a CD. I decided to use one of my spare hard drives to load it on because I have an openSUSE 11.1 install currently on my home machine and everything works beautifully on it and I didn't want to mess up a good thing. I booted up to the live CD and was greeted with that good old Mandriva intro sound effect meaning that it had correctly configured my sound device. I didn't waist any time with the live CD I immediately launched the live installer and preceded to install to the internal HD.

The installation went off without a hitch, but this was to be expected from Mandriva. They have always been one of my favorite distros. Mandriva was one of the original distros I tried when I first got into Linux. I have always found their products to be very refined and extremely professional. This release is no different and the only reason I switched to openSUSE since the last Mandriva release was because I was having weird problems with VMWARE server and it seemed to work flawlessly on openSUSE. I have to have a way to run virtual machines because I am constantly testing different setups and trying new things out and I seldom want to use an entire hard drive just for testing. We will get to that later.

First let me say that the first release of Mandriva 2009 was one of the first major distros to adopt KDE 4 and for all I know that could have been the reason for some of the weird problems I had. This time around the version of KDE is up to 4.2.2 and they have definitely ironed out some of the wrinkles and done a lot of refining because everything runs better and is much more fluent. This is the exact same hardware I had before too so it has to be an improvement in either the desktop environment or the kernel. After changing some of the packages that come by default and adding some of my own favorites I had everything operational within an hour.

The version I installed called "One" comes with Flash and Java and a lot of other things that you have to add yourself on other distros. I added DVD playback, Compiz Fusion, and for some reason there was no BitTorrent client so I added Ktorrent. From my experience its the best. I usually even add it when I do a Gnome install. I like it better than any of the Gnome clients. I then installed the free version of VMWARE server and it installed fine and so far has run great. If you have any trouble getting things to work I would suggest checking out THIS site. Lots of great help over there just click on your distro. Overall I am very impressed with this release if you would like to grab a copy for yourself just head over to MANDRIVA's website and download it for yourself.

Click Here!