Mandriva Releases 2011 Beta 1
In what could be seen as a coincidence, Mandriva announced 2011 beta 1 today, just one day after Mageia released their alpha 2. As you might guess, the similarities are distinct, but then there are significant differences as well.
The Mandriva 2011 beta 1 came in live DVD formats for 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, unlike Mageia which was an install image. There was little if any difference in the install or first boot routines between the two, including the same "corrupted partition table" error (remind me to check on that). Mandriva 2011 beta 1 retains all the graphics and images from 2010.x Free and are unlikely to change until closer to final. But what's up with that orange windec and highlighting color?
Mandriva 2011 beta 1 shipped with Linux 184.108.40.206, Xorg X Server 1.9.4, GCC 4.5.2, and KDE 4.6.1. They offered a beta of the NVIDIA drivers, 270.30, where Mageia offered the stable 260.19.44. Unlike Mageia, Mandriva has chosen to stay with OpenOffice.org, version 3.2.0. Firefox 4.0 is the default browser.
One major difference was the headache getting those NVIDIA drivers to work. With Mageia I just installed through the software manager and re-ran the graphics setup in the Control Center. But this didn't seem to do it for Mandriva. I kept getting that "black screen of X death." I figured it was the nouveau drivers wreaking havoc and I tried various methods to disable them. I finally hit upon the right combination when I either added nvidia to /etc/modules and/or "blacklist nouveau" to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-compat file or both. What a pain. I'm sure they'll fix that before final release though.
One new feature mentioned in the release announcement is a "plasma-applet-stackfolder application." The announcement goes on to explains, "To see it in action, simple drag any folder from dolphin to KDE taskbar, and have fun." Well, all it did for me was create a launcher. Was it supposed to do anything else? I have to say, that wasn't much fun. Surely, I just didn't hold my mouth just right while dragging and dropping.
So, all in all, not a whole lot to report really; new package upgrades and new bugs, but that's about it. Let's check back when it reaches release candidate.