Beta 2 hit the mirrors about 24 hours ago and so what's new? The most notable and easily noticed is the new theme. The new professional theme runs throughout the installer and installed Mandriva system. It's even in the kdm login screen as well as the kde and gnome splash screens. It's a wonderfully classy theme featuring a nice tasteful penguin on an attractive blue backdrop. Kudos, kudos Mandriva. Now that's what I'm talking about! Finally they listened to the masses and I think they've just about got it right.
The installer was quite familiar other than the polished up more professional look and feel as you can see by the screenshots above. Installing straight from the iso didn't work for me, instead I got the error:
An error occured
Can't call method "selected" on unblessed reference
Consulting the install log running yielded the additional information
at /usr/lib/libdrakX/pkgs.pm line 357
I was a little disappointed, but not out of ideas. I extracted the 3 iso to a central directory and began the install again. This time I experienced no problems and it finished in about 15 minutes. Hard drive installs tend to move along quite fast, but this seem extremely snappy.
Booting the new system was very fast as well. I didn't time it, but it seemed to boot up in about 30 seconds. This point was evident in the latest stable release though and not really new. It just still amazes me how fast Mandriva boots. I have my gentoo boot time down to less than one minute, but Mandriva has it beat. Perhaps they are doing some kind of parallel starts.
Most of the improvements to Mandriva since Beta 1 have taken place under the hood. According to the changelog some improvements include:
- Some hotplug rules move to udev to speed up device scanning
- x86_64 initrd generation problem is worked around
- glibc 2.3.5-4mdk (enable fortify with our gcc4, fix amd64 string routines, provide nptl libraries suitable when running under Xen, drop build support with distcc, icecream is used instead, update to 2.6.12-8mdk kernel headers, support only 2.6+ kernel series on ppc64, minimal NPTL kernel for 2006 is >= 2.6.9)
- Massive php modules update
- Fixed single user mode in initscripts
- drakxtools 1.3-0.4mdk
- diskdrake: fix update boot loader on renumbering partitions, write /etc/mdadm.conf when creating a new md;
- drakconnect: allow to use WEP keys in wpa_supplicant, use ifplugd for wireless interfaces, handle access point roaming using wpa_supplicant, initial IPv6 support (6to4 tunnel), keep MS_DNS1, MS_DNS2 and DOMAIN variables in ifcfg files;
- drakhosts, draknfs: do not crash when config file is empty.
- DrakX 1.1058 (acpi=on on every recent bios, not only laptops)
Another new feature apparent on the desktop taskbar is the KAT search tool. The author Roberto Cappuccio states one must first create a catalog initially and then the indexer in the panel can be used to update your catalogs when needed. In my case, I defined /home/s and it quickly went about setting up a catalog for browsing and searching. Mandriva puts the menu item for the Kat browser under System > Archiving.
As usual Mandriva includes many other desktop choices for the user. The new theme runs throughout those as well. Looks really nice.
Some new package highlights this release include: