Tonight, I updated the server on which this blog is running from Mandriva 2010.0 to Mandriva 2010.1 Cooker. The update went very smooth. The only problem I discovered is that the bacula-fd init script seems pretty broken so I made some bug reports about that.
At the same time, I updated WordPress to the latest version 2.9.2 and installed a new theme, the Arjuna X which looked nice at first sight. All visitors using Internet Explorer will get a banner with a recommendation to update to a better browser thanks to the No IE Welcome plug-in. I hope more people will put up such a banner on their website in order to help spreading the word about better browsers. Especially in light of the current Theora vs. H264 video codec in HTML 5 discussion, I think we really need to promote those browsers that favour a really open codec. Firefox, Chrome and also Opera (from version 10.50, not yet available for Linux) are the good guys supporting Theora.
The first two weeks of 2010 have passed, and the first alpha version of Mandriva 2010.1 has been released last week. Here are some of the interesting changes currently available in Cooker:
In spite of the holiday season, lots of new packages continue to trickle in Mandriva Cooker. Amongst the many updates, here is an overview of some important changes:
- GNOME is now updated toversion 2.29.4: The most important changes are in Nautilus. In preparation of GNOME 3.0, where Nautilus will purely be a file browser and won’t provide the desktop anymore, the file management part has been improved a lot. Upstream is now using browser mode by default (this was already the case in Mandriva) and made several UI improvements for it. The developers have added now an optional split view like Midnight Commander. Another useful change is that it’s now possible in GNOME to configure a background per monitor on a multi-monitor setup in GNOME. Also worth mentioning is the fast progress the Tracker document search engine is making since some time. I would recommend removing Beagle from your Cooker system, and switching to Tracker instead. Then by clicking on the Search button in Nautilus’ toolbar, you can easily search your files.
- KDE has been updated to the latest beta, which is version 4.4 beta 2.
- For NVida graphics cards, the Free edition of Mandriva will now use the Nouveau driver by default instead of nv. Nouveau will bring KernelModeSetting support (which provides high resolution consoles and flicker free console switching), 2D acceleration, and RandR 1.2 support (for easy multi-monitor setup.)
- Mesa 7.7 is now in Cooker. 3D support has been enabled for the ATI R600 and R700 chipets (ATI Radeon HD 2000 and later), so these users can now enjoy 3D acceleration with the free ATI drivers.
- The Intel X11 driver version 2.10.0 RC2 is now included in Cooker. In combination with kernel 2.6.33 this brings video overlay support for more CPU efficient video playback.
- Digikam and kipi-plugins finally reached stable version 1.0. Version 1.1 is already expected in one month, strengthening Digikam’s position as one of the most advanced open source photo management applications.
- The GDB debugger was updated to version 7.0. Developers are excited about the process record and replay and reverse debugging features.
Enjoy the many changes in Mandriva. I wish all readers a fantastic 2010!
Lots of important changes happened in Mandriva Cooker during the last few weeks. Here is a quick summary:
- GNOME has been updated to the development version 2.29.3. There is a new game, called LightsOff, Empathy has improved IRC support, Evince supports PDF file attachment annotations and opens each document in a separate process, more and more applications support Seed and more applications have been ported to new APIs such as GtkBuilder.
- KDE is now at version 4.4 beta 1.
- Amarok 2.2.2 beta 1 brings improved podcast support, custom track labels and other improvements.
- Linux kernel 2.6.32 is now used in Cooker. Per-backing-device based writeback gives better writing performance under many workloads, kernel samepage merging gives huge improvements in memory usage when running many virtual machines with qemu-kvm, CFQ low latency mode will provide better interactivity for desktop workloads when there’s background I/O activity. There are more improvements to KVM virtualization, power consumption reduction and of course hardware support improvements.
- Glibc 2.11 brings many performance improvements, especially in combination with STT_GNU_IFUNC support in the new binutils package in Cooker.
- Firefox 3.6 beta 5 is now available in main/release. This means all users will be updated to this version now.
- Mono 2.6 and MonoDevelop 2.2 bring performance improvements, a better user interface and a new debugger.
One week ago, Mandriva Cooker, which will lead to version 2010 Spring in about 6 months was opened again. In 8 days, this has resulted in almost 1100 package updates. Some noteworthy changes:
- All X.org related packages have been updated to X.org release 7.5. Mandriva now includes xserver version 1.7.1.
- Development snapshots of QT 4.6.0 and KDE 4.4 are now included. When you add a Plasma widget, you will be presented with a much more beautiful overview of all available widgets. The Ozone and Nitrogen themes have now been merged in Oxygen. There are lots of improvements in KGet.
- KTorrent 3.3 is now available. The most important change is a redesigned GUI, which should be less cluttered and easier to use.
- Firefox 3.6 beta 2 is now available in main/testing. Its engine has undergone lots of work to improve the performance. Also included are tab previews when you press Ctrl-Tab (you need to activate this feature in about:config first, look for browser.CtrlTab.previews), and support for Persona themes. This new version will also inform you when an installed browser plug-in is out of date.
- NetworkManager has been updated to a recent version and it includes now the GNOME notification applet. It can be used as an alternative to Mandriva networking tools, but these Mandriva packages are highly experimental.
- Cooker’s GNOME has been updated to the latest version 2.28.1, which contains lots of bug fixes.