The last of the pre-releases of Mandriva Desktop 2011, Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC 2, was made available for download yesterday, just one day behind schedule. It, of course, looks better, runs better, than the previous pre-release, which I previewed here. As the title suggests, this article is not a full review, but a screenshot tour of the major features of what will be Mandriva Desktop 2011, due for final release on August 28, 2011.
If you already use Mandriva, you are going to be very happy with your choice of Linux desktop distribution, and if you have never used it, you should at least take it for a spin. It offers some of the best features available on any Linux or BSD desktop distribution.
As I always like to start with the installation step, the first screenshot comes from the disk partitioning step of the installation process. It is one of the very few aspects of Mandriva that is not going to get a face lift when the final version is released.
If you have ever installed any Linux distribution, you can attest to the fact that the default timezone is always New_York. On Mandriva Desktop 2011, it defaults to Sao_Paulo. Now, why is that? Me thinks the Mandriva development team has been infiltrated by Brazilian secret agents. I am sure of that. How else can you explain the timezone defaulting to Sao_Paulo?
The login screen on Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC 1 featured an icon for the Guest user, besides the regular user account created during the installation process. However, on this release candidate, the xguest package is not installed out of the box.
The default desktop is beautiful and the ROSA Panel is one of the best new additions to a Linux desktop distribution. The colors and graphics have a soothing and calming effect that makes you want to reach our and hug the monitor.
That to me is not an issue. A problem I observed with it is that on a screen resolution lower that 1024×768, it begins to fall apart. It does not dynamically adjust to the screen resolution, and some of the icons fall off the right side.
Another problem I observed is shown in this screenshot. Click on the launcher when an application’s window is open and in focus, and the launcher opens behind it. But that is only if the open window is in focus. If it is not, the launcher will open normally, that is, in front of the open window.
Don’t like ROSA Launcher and the Classic menu, switch to the Kickoff menu. Lancelot menu is the only one that is not available out of the box, but if you install the kdeplasma-addons package, Lancelot will be available via a widget.
There are two Stackfolders on the ROSA Panel. They make browsing the contents of the folders so much fun.
Talking about browsing through folders, Dolphin, the file manager, has had a much needed face lift. Don’t you just love this default view (of Dolphin)?
To get a different look, you can always hide the Side Panel.
File and folder preview is not on by default. I like it, so I enabled it. Freedom.