December 19th, 2006, 11:25 AM #1
Mandriva 2007 -mini upgrade mini review
After giving Mandriva 2007 a two week test drive I am disappointed:
No earth-shaking difference between 2006 and 2007, with the notable exception that Mandriva 2007 comes with Compiz 3d desktop, Cedega & Flatout game, and LinDVD (Yes I know, these are not the core of a Linux distro). Beyond these nifty add-ons, Mandriva 2007 is just about the same as the 2006 iteration but actually a littlle more difficult to set up.
I was glad to see a few updated drivers in Mandriva 2007.
Cedega /Flatout game - this worked quite well on our high end systems
LinDVD - cludgy, crashed at times, also it did not give me the option to specify a drive other than the default search path - this resulted in it constantly parsing my SCSI CDRW drives looking for a disk. When I realized what was going on I looked for a config file to edit manually and found none - so I changed the symlink for /dev/cdrom to point to /dev/hdc instead of the /dev/sr0 (which it had been pointing to) then LinDVD worked. A better solution was to install xine-ui and libdvdcss - which worked great and has lots more options. Anyway it's nice to have a legal DVD player (I'm glad someone finally listened)
Compiz 3d desktop goodies does not play nice with the latest version of the nvidia driver shipped with Mandriva 2007 - There was a legacy nvidia driver on the DVD but uninstalling the current nvidia driver and installing the 3 necessary rpms to use the legacy driver resulted in an error starting X 'no such module' --it was in fact there and would load but... ah phooey - "I don't have time for this." $vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf --- back to Driver "nv" until I got the latest nvidia reinstalled ...I'll sort out the spinning cube junk later...
"Root logins are not allowed" WTH? Grrr!
I had to change the display manager to GDM in order to log on as root AND to get widgets in KDE's root desktop - yes, dangerous as it may be, I still like to do a little administration from KDE as root. I'm guessing the KDM thing is just a matter of permissions.
Sata drives not detected at all on one of our boards which used a VIA 8237 southbridge (we solved it by getting a better board)
During installation Mandriva 2007 defaults to 64bit (on systems with said extensions) had to F3 for more options in order to select 32bit, which is fine, but a step many wouldbe windows converts would miss --Why is this an issue? Because under 64 bit the Internet browsers crashed a lot on java and flash, also the "Configure Your Computer" applet had numerous links that wouldn't work under 64bit system - such as the User/Group administration. All in all I found Mandriva 2007 OS very unstable running 64bit version. Switching to 32bit solved all of those problems.
Systems tested so far:
Athlon 64, Gigabyte board running nforce3 (wretched chipset) - IDE, SCSI, and Sata drives (using SIL controller) -- worked fairly well considering this setup has always been a resource conflict headache
Pentium D single, cheap ECS mobo with VIA chipset - IDE and SATA - worked flawless except as described above
Pentium D dual (not core2 duo), MSI with VIA chipset (8237 southbridge) - it would not see drives on the SATA - period - we tossed the cheap board and got an Asus P5N32-SLI - everything worked perfectly. Note that we are using a single PCIe Geforce 7200
Honorable mention: Athlon XP 2000 on a FIC AN11 (garbage board!), IDE and SCSI drives - surprizingly Mandriva 2007 worked acceptably except for some screaching noises on sound in certain applications, but this was caused by resurce conflicts that were mostly the mobo's fault.
Overall Mandriva 2007 seems decent enough but requires more configuration than the previous iteration for what seems only a token upgrade.
I'd say skip Mandriva 2007 and give SuSE 10.2 a try.
Last edited by CMonster; December 19th, 2006 at 05:22 PM.
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