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Mandriva LE--The Drake Flies South for the Future - page 3

The Obligatory Lawyer Razzing

  • May 2, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Figure 3 shows the default Mandriva KDE desktop with a single xterm displayed. Mandriva provides a nice theme and background with easily interpreted and attractive icons.

The following table shows the versions of some of the most popular GNU/Linux software packages found in the Mandriva Limited Edition release. As the release notes for this release state over and over, this release focuses on installing stable, patched, and tested versions of popular Linux packages, not necessarily the latest and greatest. For those new to Linux, this table lists the versions of the Evolution mail client, the binutils, GCC, GDB, and Glibc packages for compilation and debugging, the GNOME and KDE desktop systems and their graphical underpinnings in the X Window System, the Perl and Python scripting languages, the Open Office desktop productivity software package, the Linux kernel itself, and the RPM package management system.

PackageVersion
binutils2.5.1a-1
Evolution2.0.4
Firefox1.0.2-3
GCC3.4.3-7
GDB6.3-3
GIMP2.2.4-5
Glibc2.3.4-8
GNOME2.8.3
KDE3.3.2
Kernel2.6.11-6
OpenOffice.org1.1.4
Perl5.8.6-6
Python2.4-5
RPM4.2.3-9
X Window System6.8.2-7

As you can see from this list, Mandriva LE provides an interesting combination of stability and hot-off-the-compiler software, which I think is a wise move for the first branded release by what is essentially a new company. Having the latest and greatest of everything isn't as important as demonstrating a stable release that improves upon past products, while demonstrating a commitment to the future. Though by default a KDE-oriented distribution, Mandriva installs a fairly recent and complete version of GNOME--something that many KDE-oriented distributions fail to do.

Though the version of KDE used in Mandriva is somewhat old in Linux terms (i.e., it wasn't compiled yesterday), Mandriva has also made some interesting improvements in core functionality. For example, the version of KDM used on Mandriva is theme-able in the same way that GNOME fans have been able to theme GDM. While not earth-shattering, this is a nice improvement that is both fun and can be quite useful in academic or enterprise deployments.

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