Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes (10 August – 23 August 2009)

Two weeks have passed, so it’s time for a Mandriva Cooker update again. There were lots of interesting changes in Cooker during this period:

  • Mandriva’s boot splash is now provided by Plymouth, the same technology used by Fedora. Together with kernel mode setting (currently enabled for Intel graphics chipsets in the standard Mandriva kernel), this will provide a high resolution boot splash and high resolution virtual consoles and seamless switching between virtual consoles and X. Plymouth also makes more complex boot splash themes possible, but for now the Mandriva boot splash theme is the same as the one used in 2009.1
  • A new vastly improved version of netprofile is out. This tool makes it possible to define different network, firewall and proxy settings and urpmi media for different networks you connect to.
  • GNOME 2.28 beta 1 (2.27.90) is now available. It contains lots of bug fixes. People doing a new installation, will now get Empathy as the default instant messaging application. Empathy is a simple messenger based on the Telepathy framework. Telepathy has native connection managers for XMPP (Jabber), MSN, IRC and it can also connect to the networks supported by Pidgin if you install telepathy-haze. There is support for file transfer, audio and video using XMPP, however for more popular IM networks, it’s still limited to basic text messaging support for now.
  • Pidgin has released version 2.6, which is now available in Cooker. The most important change, is that it now has video and audio support for XMPP (Jabber). MSN video support is in the works too and will be included in a future version of Pidgin.
  • Still on the subject of instant messaging, the GTK+ MSN client Emesene has released version 1.5 which also includes experimental webcam support. Of course, it’s available in Cooker already.
  • Firefox 3.5 has moved from the main/testing repository to main/release, which means all Cooker users will be upgraded to this new version automatically.
  • OpenOffice.org now has a new icon set which integrates nicely in the KDE 4 environment.
  • libjpeg was updated to version 7. This required a rebuild of lots of packages in the distribution. Some rebuilds are still left to do during the coming days and weeks.
  • The Vuze Bittorrent client has been updated to version 4.2 and many packaging fixes were made.
  • KDE 3.5 is being removed completely from the distribution. All KDE 3 applications will be removed and replaced by a KDE 4 version if there is one available.

Also Mandriva Linux 2010.0 beta 1 was just released. If you want to help testing, now is the right moment to help testing all these new features. As always: don’t run it on mission critical systems yet, because there will be bugs. Report bugs you discover on Mandriva’s bugzilla.

3 Replies to “Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes (10 August – 23 August 2009)”

  1. Hello,
    I was wondering if it could be possible to make ext4 the default filesystem for Mandriva 2010.
    On recent Linux benchmarks Mandriva seems to be outperformed by Ubuntu and OpenSuse, and my guess is that this performance difference is related to the filesystem (the others use ext4 by default, and the testers test each distro with default config parameters).

    Right now it makes the distribution look like “slower” when this is not necessarily the case (i.e. bad PR).

    Thanks!
    Here is the link of the benchmark:
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_aug_09&num=1

    1. This is not the right place for feature requests. I only report changes, but I’m in not involved in strategic decisions which determine the future of Mandriva. You could try asking your question on the Mandriva Cooker mailing list: http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Development_Mailing_Lists#cooker_.28sympa.40mandrivalinux.org.29

      Furthermore I personally think the Phoronix benchmarks are way overrated. They post a bunch of graphs, without much explanation and do not do much effort to try to find out the reasons of the differences in the benchmarks. They don’t explain how they ensure that nothing interferes with the benchmarks (e.g. have they made sure that things like cron or something else becomes active during the benchmarks?), and (often for some unexplained reason) don’t include all distros in some of their benchmarks. Actually, at the end they conclude themselves, that there are no real big differences and that it does not matter much. For me their benchmarks are completely invalid. I think it’s important that we inform readers that these benchmarks should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

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