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Mandriva 2010 Spring (2010.1) Beta Available

I know that most of the people who are generally interested in pre-release distributions are at this point waiting anxiously for the Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Beta 2 release.
Written by J.A. Watson, Contributor on

I know that most of the people who are generally interested in pre-release distributions are at this point waiting anxiously for the Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Beta 2 release. But I've just gotten far enough along with the Mandriva 2010.1 Beta release to write about it, so why not fill the time with something interesting, and perhaps something to compare the Ubuntu Beta to?

The good news about this Mandriva pre-release is that it is the first in this series to include Mandriva One LiveCD images, as well as the full DVD distribution. The bad news is that I have found it to be a bit finicky on my systems. The LiveCD boots and installs just fine on my Fujitsu S6510, with a built-in CD/DVD drive, and on my desktop Dual Atom mini-server. It will not boot, however, on either of my HP laptops (dv2-1010ez and dm1-1020ez) using an external USB CD/DVD drive, and neither will the install DVD. I suspect it doesn't like that drive, but since the other USB drive I have is off being repaired, I don't have an easy way to confirm that. Anyway, keep in mind that this is a pre-release, and this kind of problem will undoubtedly be fixed long before the final release.

Mandriva uses Linux kernel 2.6.33 in this release, which is one step ahead of most of the others in this release cycle. They are also using the latest versions of most of the major packages, such as KDE 4.4 or Gnome 2.30, X.org 7.5 (including X Server 1.7.6 and the latest open source drivers for Intel, ATI and nVidia display adapters), Firefox 3.6.2, OpenOffice 3.2 and more.

Functionally, as I said, I have had mixed results with installation, but on the systems where it did install it has woked very well. It is still fairly early in the development cycle, the final release is not scheduled until early June. If things keep going as they are now, this could be one of the best Mandriva releases in a while.

jw 8/4/2010

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