The DistRogue

Thursday, May 03, 2007

FULL review: Mandriva One 2007.1 "Spring Edition": GNOME

I might be using Mandriva as my main system. Yeah, Spring Edition is that good. Sure, it has Compiz and Metisse built in (with Beryl installable via Drak3D), but it's in those little details that Mandriva truly rocks.
Let's start with the Live CD. In less than 3 minutes, I was in a full GNOME/Metisse desktop with integrated, closed-source 3D acceleration. Not bad. The install was relatively painless, only requiring a few steps. It also gave me my first taste of Metisse. It's everything I've said and more. Really. Windows can be flipped in all sorts of weird ways, and it can do a lot of crazy (lens distortion) and- God forbid- useful (windows fold back when you drag the mouse through a window below them) stuff. Here's a list to get you started. Unfortunately, Metisse's effects didn't show up in my screenshots, but there are some videos of it in action here.

The post-install configuration was easy. I set up a root password, a user, and some other minor stuff. I went to the Control Center and turned off Metisse. The control center, it turns out, also houses the biggest improvement over 2007.0: packaging. RPMDrake is supposedly much faster, and has integrated add/remove functionality, but that's in their words. In my words, they've added easy-to-access package sources, so EasyURPMI isn't even necessary anymore! In fact, if you launch RPMDrake from the MCC, it will ask you if you want the sources installed automatically. This is a big step forward for Mandriva.

Another step forward is also in the graphics. Spring Edition has closed-source NVidia drivers built in, and this time, they actually work. Last time, I ran ThinkTanks (remember TT?) at an agonizing 15-or-so FPS, in a tiny window. This time, I could just install it and run it, no driver installation required. It ran very smoothly, and I had a few quick Scrum games.
Here's Mandriva's new report card:
Friendliness: 5/5- You can't get much easier to use than Mandriva. It's a distro that holds your hand every step of the way.
Performance: 4.5/5- Mandriva, believe it or not, is i586-optimized. It won't run on a 486 or older, but it definitely has a performance edge over other distros.
Features: 4/5- Even the one-CD edition has a fair selection of programs. The "Free" edition ships on multiple CDs.
Packaging: 4.5/5-This used to be Mandriva' weakness, but it's improved nicely recently.
Overall: 4.5/5- Mandriva is a solid distribution. Consider it ready for home use as of 2007.1.
I bet you'll never guess what's next. ;)
From Mandriva 2007.1,
The DistRogue.

Labels: ,

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"closed source 3D acceleration" - Metisse is *not* closed source.
It is GPL. The project page states:
"Available under the GPL Licence"

Should be clear enough.

3:06 AM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

I wasn't talking about Metisse. "3D acceleration" doesn't refer to the desktop, but rather, to the type of driver used. In this case, having closed-source acceleration is a benefit. Have you ever tried gaming with the open-source "nv" driver? Not pretty.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Metisse is open source. You are WRONG!

3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I typed Metisse in on google and it says it's open source.

THIS IS A HUGE ISSUE - EVEN THOUGH HE NEVER ACTUALLY SAID Metisse IS CLOSED SOURCE IN THE REVIEW HE IS WRONG!

3:25 AM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

I already said, I wasn't talking about Metisse. Get it through your head, stop being a n00b, or it's hammertime.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Blob said...

Mandriva 2007.0 had me sold on linux. I was shocked to see a distro this complete. The support and config menus were pretty amazing, it was a huge change from my usual linux experiences, which were basically running web servers. 2007.1 fixes all the minor problems and comes with all the glam. I don't think I'll be booting Windows anytime soon.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a Mandrake/Mandriva user since 1999, club member since that started, and lately I have been looking at other distros quite a lot. I have been trying to get ubuntu to do what Mandriva used to but I have so far had to reinstall Mandriva everywhere. The spring edition really is very good and the only complaint I have is that they didn't upgrade the kernel from the 2007 edition (2.6.17). Its actually amazing to consider the amount of hype that ubuntu gets, the 7.04 version is no where near as good as the spring edition of Mandriva. But, the spring edition is very, very good so ubuntu is still ok.. ;-)

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i use mandrake from 8.2 till 10.1, i thought it was better than red hat/fedora of the time, but not great, then i found mepis then ubuntu and i swore an oath id never go back to an RPM distro because of the package management of mandrake was terrible, but spring is this close to making me, its 10x faster than suse and fedora, i like the new widgets alot too.
package management STILL isnt on par with debian distros, but its much improved, if only they could give the packages sane names and leave all the numbers at the end off, it would make it so much easyer to find things.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Viagra said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home