NEWS: Mandriva 2008.1 RC1 Released  

It was March the first, and Mandriva 2008.1 RC 1 was released.. Several download options are given, mandriva...dvd-i586.iso (X86 DVD, 3,882MB, MD5), mandriva...dvd-x86_64.iso (64Bit DVD, 3,894MB, MD5), mandriva...GNOME-int-cdrom-i586.iso (X86 "One" GNOME CD, 700MB, MD5), mandriva...KDE-int-cdrom-i586.iso (X86 "One" KDE CD, 696MB, MD5).

Here, the Live KDE CD "One" is being tested. I couldn't find nowhere whether KDE 3.5.9 or KDE 4.0.1 is found on the CD. On the DVD, it's noted that both are given. Is that so hard to write it somewhere? So, now I'm gonna clear it for those who are interested, in the Live CD, KDE 3.5.9 in given. AND what I noticed first, was the beautiful new artwork.

The new artwork is really better than the one found in 2008.0 (it's 'techy' and clear), first thing I did when I installed 2008.0 was getting new themes and screens (didn't liked the one with the small vector people, maybe they wanted to make it look 'for the people' who knows..). So, after booting, the new bootsplash looks like this,

As 2008.0 and the releases before, you are asked to choose language, keyboard layout, time zone etc. Also it did recognized my display size, my graphics card (nVidia) and loaded the drivers during booting. It also asked whether to use compiz-fusion, metisse or none of them. I chose none of them, cause I'm not for the eye candy and bling bling, functionality and performance are more important for me.

The theme is not much changed, it is still "La Ora", but I kinda like it. The "Menu" button is very similar to the one found in 2008.0 but it's nicer. The default menu and app browser is not KickOff, but it's the old one, the default kde 3.5 menu. It woild be nice if KickOff finds it's way here in the final release. The overall look and feel is very similar to the one in 2008.0.

Pulse Audio is integrated, and I didn't had any problems playing mp3's and hearing the system sounds.

When it comes to packages, the default package selection seems the same, but with lots of updates. is included with the latest pre-release, 2.4. In the Final version of 2008.1 the final version of 2.4 will be included.

Gimp is in 2.4.4 version, and Firefox is in and it's (still) the default web browser. As in 2008.0, Flash plugin is included, and I didn't had problems playing clips from YouTube (this seems to be a thing everybody checks when talking about a new release).

Movies in varuous codecs are playable, Kaffeine is still the default movie player, and in my opinion the best one for KDE. I think that Mandirva supports more media formats by default than OS X supports. I tried movies in DivX, Xvid, x264, 3gp... everything was playable.

What I really liked in this release (and in 2008.0) is that the system is reliable and stable. I hope that the final release of 2008.1 will also be like that.

The kernel included is by the way. The Mandriva Control Center, and the KDE Control Panel haven't changed, and they still do their job as they should ;). NOW, what i really liked in this release, and It wasn't included in the previous KDE releases, is that the removable media has an icon in the 'tray' (the floppy, the USB, etc). So, when you plug your USB, a new icon will appear and you can easily click safely remove (only click on the icon, and click on the label). The other (old skool) way to do this, is to go to the 'Storage Media' folder, do a left click on the desired USB, and then to select the label. This is a nice touch for all newbies, and it makes it easier for everyone.

Only one thing I miss, and that is Wine. Some distros like Ubuntu have Wine in their default package selection, and it would be nice to see it in here also.

To give some stats in the end, KDE 3.5.9, KDE 4.0.1, and GNOME (with new default applications like Transmission, Brasero, and HomeBank) are given in RC1. And, to sum up, this release is a nice upgrade from 2008.0 and if the Mandriva developers stay on the track they found themselves with 2008.0, the final release of 2008.1 will be something what lot's of people look for.

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