Linux,  Mandriva

Updated system to 2009.1 beta/Cooker

Yesterday, I updated my system at home from Mandriva 2009.0 (with lots of personal backports, such as GNOME 2.24.3) to Mandriva Cooker, which rougly corresponds to beta 1 now.

I used urpmi to do the update. There were a few problems. Luma and anjuta2 still needed a rebuild (for new python 2.6 resp. binutils), so I submitted new releases of these packages to the repositories. Then the python 2.6 update would cause removal of some python packages, because the update of the python-devel packages was not done smoothly by urpmi. I submitted a a bug for that problem.

All in all, it’s a nice improvement over 2009.0. My system feels much more responsive now. I could remove the work-around I needed before to get snappy 2D X performance with my NVidia graphics card, and also Firefox and other applications seem to work more smoothly.

Evolution was still slow when using my slow IMAP server, but I could improve things a lot by cleaning up my IMAP mail folders a bit. Liferea, in the past my favourite RSS reader, still remains unusably slow in the 1.5 branch, which is probably caused by sqlite and which is a known problem. GNOME’s screensavers are broken and the invisible CPU frequency applet problem is back. The volume mixer is not working anymore if you don’t use PulseAudio, which is a rather notorious problem. GNOME’s Desktop icons are a bit smaller now. You also should not trust GNOME’s calculator, because it seems to give erroneous results. Compiz currently is also rather broken for me: Emerald is very unstable and gtk-window-decorator only displays a grey area instead of a the GNOME window decoration.

When enabling speedboot, I had the problem that X was started before dkms had rebuilt my NVidia drivers and it seems the powernow-k8 module (which I configured in /etc/modprobe.preload), was not loaded. I’ll need to verify the latter problem, and report those two problems.

KDE 4.2 seems to have improved over the previous versions. The fact that a folder view can be used as the desktop, finally brings back the feature we are used too from all other desktops, including previous KDE series. I also noted that kscd is still as ugly as before. However, I’ll probably remove KDE completely from my system soon. I don’t use it anyway, except for taking a quick look at it like now, and I have the feeling my bug reports (mostly about missing features and usability problems), don’t lead to much fixes anyway.

Apart from those mosly smaller problems, the OS is already very usable for me, even with the 2.6.29-rc5 TMB kernel which I’m using.