jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

The underdog is on the loose! A glimpse of Mandriva 2012 Alpha1

Breaking news!  Mandriva is not dead.  Or maybe it was and came back to life,  not as a zombie (Bernie Lomax) this time, but as a modest, yet persistent dog that simply refuses to give up the race.

Yes, the Alpha 1 of Mandriva 2012 has recently been released.  Its code name: Tenacious Underdog!

I dowloaded the i586 .iso to give it a try on a Virtual Machine and see if it works better than Bernie Lomax, its predecessor, did.  By the way, the TP ran like a charm in my humble opinion.  Can the underdog outperform Bernie?
This is what I saw:

Installation process:
Say hi to the crazy penguin
The process is as simple as it gets.  As usual.  By the way, I do not agree with the idea that the presence of this penguin weakens the perception one can have of the distribution.  After all, computers should not be so serious.  Gimme games, Easter eggs, funny names, and the crazy penguin.  Let's bring back the joy of using a computer, shall we?

I like the penguin family!  It looks like mine...

This is a nice feature. Here, it is possible to install many different packages right from the start.  Some might think that this scares newbies away.  Well, this non-technical Linux user simply drools over the options and checks all that seems interesting.

This is familiar territory

After completing some intuitive questions, the distro takes some time to install...

Oops!  The Spanish installation failed...
Now, this was unexpected: the installation did not finish successfully.  Before blaming anyone, I just reminded myself that this is an alpha, so some features might not be included.  I started the installation again, but in English.
*UPDATE: Per Øyvind Karlsen has fixed this issue already! 

The English install worked perfectly
The process completed the GRUB stage and then I could set up the monitor and select an IME.

This time, everything went as expected.


After the install, you see the same elegant log in screen that Mandriva 2011 brought.  Paradoxically, my account avatar is a cat.
You guessed it; I'm not a dog person...
You get the ROSA SimpleWelcome, launcher, stack folders and timeframe.  As I have said, I now like them a lot better than before.
This is the default desktop
I quickly downloaded a Mandriva wallpaper from the KDE pool and modified it with the GIMP.  The dog that is climbing the fence to abandon the land of oblivion seems right for the composition
 The desktop wearing something more appropriate

Final observations:

This release includes KDE 4.9.0.  It's good to see Mandriva sporting new technologies.  Best of all, this desktop environment seems well implemented, which is far more important than just having it.

In the office section, I miss the rest of the LibreOffice suite (only Writer and Calc are present).  Not a big deal; you can download the rest from the repos.

Ah, but my personal test is the factor that determines if I will continue being a Mandriva user or not.  Can it handle Japanese input?
The answer is YES!
iBus + Anthy work flawlessly.
Mandriva, I'm sticking with you.
To Per Øyvind Karlsen and all Mandriva developers, thank you for your hard work.  I'm truly looking forward to seeing the final 2012 release. Judging from the quality of TP and Alpha 1, I'm sure that Mandriva 2012 will conquer my PC, putting an end to the long reign of Mandriva 2010.2.

3 comentarios:

  1. Thx for the nice review! :o)

    I've fixed the file conflict in the spanish man page package you hit during the install in cooker now btw. :)

  2. I think Mandriva still has a lot to give. From my perspective, Mandriva is returning to its roots (making computers easy and fun) while at the same time it looks for innovation. Both aspects are fundamental.

    Concerning the installer, the chance to select which packages should be added to the installation is a great idea. For example, one may not want to add printing packages to a netbook.

    I am also pleased to see that alphas are getting better each time! One is tempted to use them for production systems, hehe!

    I hope to see the full Mandriva 2012 quite soon! :)

  3. @Per,
    Actually, thank you for your hard work, sharing the news and dropping by!

    What you said about alphas is totally true. I hope this quality trend stays.


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