miércoles, 13 de junio de 2012

Mandriva finally died! Well, sort of...

Many Linux users have already proclaimed Mandriva deceased and buried it. But is this old Linux distro quite dead?  Well, yes.  Sort of.  Mandriva became a zombie!

Bernie, the zombie that moved only to the sound of music

That is, at least, what some developers have implied with the release of the Mandriva 2012 Tech Preview: they code-named it "Bernie Lomax", the famous character of the comedy "Weekend at Bernie's".

I know that Tech Previews are not targeted to end-users but, stung by curiosity, I gave the DVD a test drive.  I must confess that the distro, just like Bernie in the sequel of the movie mentioned above, still moves, dances, and even fights!

Let me share my impressions.

First, the DVD booted flawessly when I installed to a virtual machine.  However, I had to give it more disk space than the average 8GB because the DVD included a lot of packages (it asks you if you want an office workstation, a gaming PC, etc).  I chose a KDE desktop install.

Installation screen: language selection

The installer is the same that was included in the Mandriva Desktop 2011.  The artwork, however, has changed: there was a bunch of friendly-looking penguins that kept me company along the way until the installation process was complete and the machine rebooted.

From that moment, my question was if Mandriva would follow the line established with the 2011 release (ROSA SimpleWelcome, launcher, Time Frame) or if it would go back to the 2010 feel, now donned by Mageia.  The answer came soon enough.  When I say "soon", I mean it: the desktop became operational much faster than with the 2011 and the latest ROSA releases.
The log in screen
The ROSA launcher getting ready to dance

Once the desktop loaded, I opened Mandriva Control Center to give this Linux distro release wannabe my mandatory test: Japanese IME capability.  I had chosen iBus as the IME during the installation, but I had to download Anthy and some other packages from the repositories.  "Bernie Lomax" passed the test; it can handle Japanese input with iBus+LibreOffice perfectly.

A となりのトトロ background image I used in Mandriva 2012 TP
I have to say that although the ROSA stuff is not my cup of tea, when I saw its responsiveness here, I found it more appealing.

So there you have it: Mandriva is still moving after being proclaimed dead.  Now we have to see if the corpse finally rots or if a new, more vigorous distro is reborn from its ashes, like a phoenix.

12 comentarios:

  1. A couple of thoughts...

    1. That looks like GRUB 2. Is it?
    2. I can almost hear purists say "that artwork is childish and unprofessional!" I, for one, see it as a gust of fresh wind...it makes me feel that computers are still fun in spite of the current boring trends! KUDOS TO THE MANDRIVA COMMUNITY!!!

  2. It's unfortunately not GRUB 2, but we do plan on moving to it for the next release. :)

  3. @ Megatotoro,
    I agree with you. Although for some those penguins might look childish, they actually made me think of a computer that is so friendly that even my almost-2-year-old daughter can use.. Wait, Eimi already uses it! :-P

    @ Per,
    Well, that means that I need to start learning how to work with GRUB 2. Thanks for your comment!

  4. that login screen needs to be replaced....wow...go back to the nicer looking ones...

  5. I like the penguin artwork, that's pretty cool. :)

    Personally, I like Mandriva and I'm glad it's not dead. I hope it continues on for years to come as a community distribution. I'm going to have to try out Mandriva 2012. I'm also glad to hear you will be switching to GRUB2, I know the ins and outs of it a lot better than than GRUB legacy. :)

    BTW, Bernie Lomax is cool (though, I don't like the sequel to Weekend at Bernie's) and it's nice seeing some humor from the Mandriva team, given how things have been going in the past few years.

  6. For a westerner, like me, it's difficult to appreciate what the Totoro is doing in the picture and the many levels of simbology portrayed (the value of emotion, being startled by powerful events happening almost as miracles, the touching feeling of innocence going deep into one's heart).

    See the movie to understand what I mean. I hope it's not disappointing... for me, it is a very nice memory.

    Thank you Mandriva people and Miyazaki-San.

    1. I apologize for the confusion, but the Totoro image does not come with the TP. I downloaded it and used it as the background image to test KDE. I modified the entry to avoid any further misinterpretation.

  7. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.

  8. There IS something worse indeed...I'm seeing it: A troll calling someone a troll! And his advice probably comes right from his own sexual fantasies (or experience)! :P Was this Freudian,frustrated guy paying so much attention to clicks that he forgot there is a life beyond that? Or maybe he just forgot to take his medication--who knows!

    1. Hahaha, either that, or he was too disappointed because my entry actually supported Mandriva. Or maybe he doesn't how to read and missed the tag "humor". Anyway, I took out the comment because of its lack of constructive ideas or criticism. Even parrots can use foul language.

  9. I like the art work. Kind of bringing Mandriva back to it's roots. I remember booting Mandrake years ago seeing the penguin artwork like this. I've bought boxed sets years ago that came with penguin stickers that look like that. That looks like the proud usable fun Mandrake I remember.

    I am using Mageia currently on all my machines. It's direction seems more in line with the reasons I chose to use Mandriva/Mandrake/Mageia. But I will keep an eye on Mandriva. I have been running Mandriva since version 6, still have the original boxed set. I have loved this distro even through all there up's and downs's.

    Good luck an a new start Mandriva. Thanks to the developers who continue to fight and bring this magical distro to life. Keep up the good work.

  10. Personally as a user of mdv, mdk of over 10 years I would like it to be Rosa free. As a programmer and a multi-facit user I find it a waste of screen space. I happen to like a clean screen ofter than the apps I use a lot, the rest can come via the menus. However that said I have been in IT since the 60's and use a desktop as well as a laptop and prefer not to see heavy CPU usage on infrastructure getting in the way of my applications or development systems.