What’s New on Mandriva 2011 Hydrogen
We happy to announce Mandriva Desktop 2011 – the most considerable step in the Mandriva development. What’s new towards Mandriva 2010.2:
Changes in politics of platform and distro creation
Mandriva Desktop 2011 has prepared by the new politic of creation and will use the new release cycle: 1 new distro in year, 1.5 years of support. Based on this platform Mandriva Desktop 2011 LTS* will be prepared by the end of the 2011 year with the 3 years of support.
* Long Time Support
Supporting of Desktop Environments
GNOME, Xfce and other Desktop Environments (DE) and Window Managers (WM) are no longer included in the official Mandriva packages. Contribution packages from the Mandriva community are available for these desktop environments however. Starting from Mandriva Desktop 2011 only KDE Plasma Desktop is officially supported. If you need Mandriva with another DE or WM you can use unofficial packages or distributions prepared by community members (which are described below). This concentration of our efforts allowed us to make Mandriva Desktop the best KDE-based distro in the free software industry. Just try and you will see it by yourself!
Hybrid iso image
Mandriva Desktop 2011 has been builded by the new technology, which allows to us prepare hybrid iso-images. You can use them in 4 different variants:
- as installation image;
- as live-DVD;
- as installation image for flash drives;
- as live-flash image.
ISO Image Changes
“One goal – one application” – that is the new philosophy of Mandriva Desktop 2011. From one hand, it allows give to you all necessary applications to work, from other hand – reduce the iso-image size. All applications is thoroughly chosen and have been tested by Mandriva developers. Thus, you can be sure that you’re using first-class applications. But, if you need to install another application you always can do it. Just run the package manager – you will see a lot of interesting programs in our repositories.
In the Mandiva Desktop 2011 we used a new installer. It allows you to install the operating system on your computer directly from the live mode. Installation process has been completely revised and had become more clear and simple. Despite the fact that we aimed to create Mandriva installer as simple as possible it has enough features for installing in different variants and on different system configurations.
New graphics theme
The “Galaxy” theme which was used in Mandriva before is replaced with ROSA theme pack. ROSA theme pack – it is fully integrated theme. It has themes for all components of distro:
- theme for the grub
- theme for the plymouth
- theme for the KDM
- theme for the KDE Splash
- theme for the window managers (KWin, Metacity)
- theme for the GTK/QT
- original icon pack
- some new wallpapers
Thanks to unified theme for the GTK/QT, applications that uses this toolkits looks the same. It was a good tradition for Mandriva before and we planning to continue it. You can use any application for KDE/GNOME or even Xfce or LXDE and it will be look like native KDE application. Also, for developers who want to create applications for Mandriva/ROSA we prepared the “Style Guide” (PDF).
KDE display manager has been considerably redesigned. Currently its more clear, simple and has a great look. Thanks to adding keyboard layout indicator and the CapsLock key indicator you will make mistakes rarely when you typing your password. Also you can use KDM only from a keyboard – just type Tab to change the user account. Keyboard focus always in the password field. Especially for the Mandriva Desktop 2011, ROSA Laboratory prepared several superb avatars. Of course, you can use the photo of yourself. Size of each image 225×225 pixels, so you can use photos in good quality. For changing default avatar open KDE System Settings -> Account details -> Password & User Account.
The Dolphin file manager has been considerably redeveloped by ROSA Lab developers. It became more simple and easy to use. Changes towards the “standard” Dolphin:
- the main toolbar was considerably simplified;
- by default is used the new menu;
- changed popup menu which appears by clicking by the right button of mouse, it became more simple;
- changed behavior of function “Create symlink” . Now, you do not need to type name for the symlink, by default it will be created with the name “Symlink to [your_file_or_folder]”;
- structure of information message in the statusbar is changed. It became more clear.
As default internet browser Mandriva uses Mozilla Firefox 5.0.1. It was greatly improved since version 3.5 that is used in Mandriva 2010.2. New look, new features and, of course, it has great speed and security. Main new features:
- “Do not track” options for Android, better visibility in Preferences of desktop version
- CSS animation support, which helps developers build more dynamic websites
- Updated support for MathML, HTML 5, XHR, and SMIL.
Default mail client in the Mandriva Desktop 2011 is the Mozilla Thunderbird 5.0. It has many improvements over KMail which is used in Mandriva 2010.2. Many superb features of Mozilla Thunderbird can be extremely enlarged by the powerful plugin system. Thunderbird aims to be a simple e-mail, newsgroup and news feed client. Following to a new usability standards it uses tabs for organization of the graphic interface, wizards for setting up user accounts, “Smart” folders, plugins and many many more. Also Thunderbird supports theming system, thus you can easily change the look of it. You can find many beautiful graphics themes for the Thunderbird on the Mozilla site.
OpenOffice has been changed to LibreOffice in Mandriva Desktop 2011. LibreOffice is a fork from OpenOffice, currently developed by an independent team. Mandriva 2011 comes with LibreOffice 3.4.2. Compared to LibreOffice 3.2 in Mandriva 2010.2 it has many new features and improvements, which can make your work easier. LibreOffice 3.4.2 offers several new features for Calc, with faster performances and an improved compatibility with Excel spreadsheets, and Pivot Table – the new name of DataPilot – with support for unlimited numbers of fields and named range as data source. The user interface of Writer, Impress and Draw has been improved with many new features, and several cosmetic changes have been applied, with a better text rendering engine and an improved GTK+ theme integration.
DigiKam was replaced with Shotwell in Mandriva 2011. Shotwell is a new standard for the photo management in free software. Being one of such products like iPhoto it gives to user the most powerful experience. It lets you import photos from disk or camera, organize them in various ways, view them in full-window or fullscreen mode, and export them to share with others and much more.
PiTiVi video editor
As default video editor in Mandriva used PiTiVi. PiTiVi is a simple video editor. It has efficient and intuitive user interface and is carefully designed to suit both the newcomer and the professional. While it has a simple interface PiTiVi has enough features for your creativity:
- Unlimited video/audio track layers
- Full undo/redo history
- General clip manipulation
- Trimming, splitting/cutting
- Linking/grouping of clips
- Video effects
- Audio effects
- And many many more.
However, if you are a professional and you need more features for your work, you can always install Kdenlive from repositories.
Amarok was replaced with Clementine. Clementine is inspired by Amarok version 1.4. Its much lighter and stable than Amarok. In spite of ease, it has many functions:
- Search and play your local music library.
- Listen to internet radio from Last.fm, SomaFM, Magnatune, Jamendo и Icecast.
- Create smart playlists and dynamic playlists.
- Tabbed playlists, import and export M3U, XSPF, PLS and ASX.
- CUE sheet support.
- Lyrics and artist biographies and photos.
- Transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC or AAC.
- Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organize your music.
- Copy your files directly to your pendrive/mobile…
- Queue manager.
And many more.
Mandriva Package Manager
Mandriva Package Manager (MPM) is a new package manager for Mandriva. Currently it is under heavy development and is not included in the distribution by default, but you can install it from repository. Please, help us to test MPM. After some period of testing we will include it into Mandriva by default (approximately into Mandriva 2011 LTS).
Currently is implemented:
- a client-server architecture: backend is mdvpkg, frontend – MPM;
- installing/removing packages;
- categorization of applications by repository;
- possibility to work under nonprivileged user account with authorization when it necessary to install package;
SimpleWelcome is the completely new kickoff menu which is used in Mandriva 2011 instead of Kickoff. Compared to Kickoff, SimpleWelcome has many benefits:
- Good look;
- Tolerance for the newbies.
- possibility to launch any graphic application in system;
- quick access to the recently used applications;
- quick access to the ‘Places’ which you can organize in the Dolphin file manager;
- search by names of applications and names of recently used documents;
- possibility to create an icon on the RocketBar by drag&drop;
- possibility to use it only via keyboard (launch by ALT+F1, tabs switching by CTR+TAB, navigation via arrows).
While it has many features, you do not need to learn how to work with the SimpleWelcome. SimpleWelcome is a very simple application – like its name.
TimeFrame is a new utility for Nepomuk. It allows you not to think in which folder you saved your photography, video or documents. You need only a date. If you know the date you will find everything. Information in TimeFrame is represented in “cloud” form, thus you can easily find what you need. Features:
- support of jpg and png files;
- support of mp4, flv, wmv, mpeg, mkv, ogg video files;
- support of .odt, .doc, .docx and pdf documents;
- thumbnails support.
StackFolder — it is a new applet for plasma desktop developed by ROSA Laboratory. It allows to organize fast access to often usable folders. It very simple to use StackFolder. Just drag and drop folder you want to use on RocketBar (or into the desktop). Features:
- possibility to use any folder as StackFolder by drag and drop operation from Dolphin;
- thumbnails for photo and video files;
- possibility to open file in the associated application;
- possibility to open folder in which you are.
Also you can see the a video with demonstration of StackFolders in action.
RocketBar is a next step (a fork of the standard KDE panel) in the KDE panel development. It has many new superb features:
- A ‘program oriented’ interface. RocketBar is divided in 3 zones. If you add an icon to the left zone it will not appear on the central zone while the application is running. If you run an application, using an icon that you don’t have in the left zone, it will appear in the central zone.
- Possibility to increase panel height as you wish. No more limitation in panel size.
- Complete compositing effects support. If you will apply compositing effects in the KDE Control Center, panel will change its look (thanks to ROSA Plasma Theme).
- Possibility to use “standard” plasmoids (Rocket Bar has backward compatibility with “standard” KDE panel plasmoids).
MandrivaSync is the cloud service from Mandriva. Like Ubuntu One, Apple iCloud and Dropbox it allows the user to store its data on the Mandriva’s servers. Then, the user can get access to its data from any device that have MandrivaSync Client or access to the internet. Main features:
- 2 Gb of free space for the any MandrivaSync user.
- Possibility to get access to the data from the any device with MandrivaSync Client (currently only in Mandriva Desktop 2011) or through web-browser.
- Personal room.
- Possibility to specify an object for the synchronization and set auto-synchronization time.
Currently service is in beta version only. We still not recommend to use it for the everyday work. Follow the news!
Mandriva Sphere is the client for technical support. It allows the user to address directly to the technical support on several languages. For now it’s available in two languages:
Language is chosen automatically based on system locale settings. It is planned to add main European languages support in future releases.
Users may use client in two modes:
- anonymous (ticket tracking is based on provided email address)
- authorized with dedicated support account.