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Mandriva Desktop 2011 pre-release screenshot review

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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.
Partitioner on Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC 2

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?
Mandriva Desktop 2011 Timezone Selector

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.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC2 Login Screen

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.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC2 KDE Plasma Desktop

And with the ROSA Panel comes the ROSA Launcher, another great addition to the desktop. I like it, but some people have complained that it takes up too much desktop real estate.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 SimpleWelcome

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.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 SimpleWelcome in High Resolution

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.
ROSA Launcher on Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC 2

Since this is Linux, you can be sure that the ROSA Launcher is not the only option, so if you do not like it, there is the familiar Classic menu.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 Classic Menu

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.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 Kickoff Menu

There are two Stackfolders on the ROSA Panel. They make browsing the contents of the folders so much fun.
Mandriva Desktop 2011 Stackfolder

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)?
KDE Dolphin With Side Panel

To get a different look, you can always hide the Side Panel.
KDE Dolphin Without Side Panel

File and folder preview is not on by default. I like it, so I enabled it. Freedom.
KDE Dolphin Preview Items

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7 Comments

  1. KookieMonster says:

    @Mohamed Malik: if I’m not mistaken, darktable requires Gnome (see http://darktable.sourceforge.net/install.shtml). Its also one of my favorites.You might need to add a few extra librairies to use it… except if you intend to use the gnome version of mandriva.
    This KDE version sure looks nice, I will give it a try soon.

  2. Hi downloading at the moment…..! here in the Maldives internet is slow so it takes some time…! does it have digikam 2 and darktable in the repo’s….i need these two apps for my daily work!

  3. jack says:

    If you scroll down “LXer” you get to:
    4 Tools To Get Hardware Information In Linux
    byWebUpd8; By Andrew Dickinson.
    This seems to provide even more information than mandriva’s app.
    Perhaps you could take a look and compare?

  4. Looks kool, surely will give it a try.

  5. ikisham says:

    Since it’s made in Brazil, France and Russia, it makes more sense to default to SP than NY.

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