ROSALabs Releases New Distribution

by Ostatic Staff - May. 15, 2012

ROSALabs, Mandriva's partner on their last desktop, has been working on their own Linux distribution and have recently announced their latest release. If you liked Mandriva 2011, then you'll probably like ROSA Marathon 2012. In fact, to the casual observer, it looks like ROSA 2012 is Mandriva 2011.

While trying to find differences in Mandriva 2011, ROSA 2011, and ROSA 2012, one finds very little. Firefox, kdelibs, and qt are among the few updated software versions. The release announcement states, "ROSA Marathon 2012 operating system is the first product of ROSA company created using our own software development and build environment - ROSA ABF - that gives us complete control of package base and development tools, guarantying technological independence and high quality of the distribution." So, it sounds as though ROSA's experience mirrors Magiea's. After a fork, one needs to concentrate on their infrastructure, so users should see more divergence in the future.

In fact, the release announcement continues in saying, "With the release of ROSA Marathon 2012, the main focus of ROSA company will switch to preparation of a new operating system - ROSA Desktop 2012, which is planned to be released in the end of the year. Compared to Marathon, the Desktop version will primarily target desktop users, looking for leading-edge features, wide range of system customization possibilities and large variety of applications. Developers will concentrate efforts on system acceleration, improvement and finalization of boot loader and installer, update of system components, and surely on adding the freshest versions of different applications, including large variety of games." So, it sounds to me like folks should just wait for that release.

Some of the features ROSA is touting includes their RocketBar, or panel to most people. It's been simplified because humans become so confused with too many buttons on the panel. SimpleWelcome is a "single launch point for applications" that saves users the trouble of hunting through a menu for certain application launchers. StackFolder "allows [users] to organize fast access to frequently used folders and files."

Technical specifications are pretty much the same as Mandriva's or any another modern full-sized, full-featured distribution. They specifically state:

- a PC with CPU equivalent to Intel Pentium III 1 GHz (Pentium 4 or higher is recommended);
- 640 MB RAM (768 MB and more is recommended);
- VGA video adapter and display supporting 1024x768 resolution, 24-bit color depth;
- DVD drive or SSD of at least 4 GB in size for installation;
- minimum 20 GB of hard drive free space;
- keyboard and mouse.

Unfortunately, the download link on the Website leads to the wrong directory, but the mirrors listed in the release announcement are correct. You'll find two images for the two main architectures, one is comparable to Mandriva Free in that it only contains Open Source software. The other contains codecs and other proprietary code.