Mandriva Linux distribution project team has released their latest version namely Mandriva 2008. What is unique about Mandriva is that apart from providing the Free version of Linux, they have also made available a LiveCD version which contain all the proprietary codecs and drivers including the graphics drivers from Nvidia and ATI.
Mandriva 2008 is available in three formats namely :
- Mandriva 2008 One - This is a liveCD which can also be installed on the hard disk. Mandriva team recommends that people download this one because it contain all the non-Free bits and pieces like the multimedia codecs, Flash player, Sun's Java, NVIDIA and ATI proprietary drivers and so on. It is available for free download.
- Mandriva 2008 Free - This is the same as above but without the proprietary codecs. It is available as a 3-CD / 1-DVD edition made up entirely of free / open source software which also you can download for free.
- Mandriva 2008 Power Pack - is a DVD edition which includes support, services, and important third-party proprietary software like LinDVD, Cedega, the Fluendo multimedia codecs, Flash Player, Scilab and 03 Spaces. You have to buy it from the Mandriva store.
- Linux kernel 2.6.22
- X.org 7.2
- KDE 3.5.7 with an option to try out KDE 4.0
- GNOME 2.20.0
- OpenOffice.org 2.2.1
- Mozilla Firefox 22.214.171.124 and updated versions of all other software.
- Compiz Fusion
- Windows documents and settings migration tool and
- a new network management tool
- PHP 4.x has been deprecated
- Loopback based encrypted file systems as well as XFS file systems support has been removed.
- A more granular package selection process in place during installation. Also improvement to rpmdrake and urpmi
- Open SuSE's Aparmor has been included as the new security tool.
- Liberation fonts have been included.
- Man pages now compressed with LZMA
- Compiz Fusion replaces Beryl as Beryl has now merged with Compiz.
- Alternative open source drivers for ATI graphics cards
All in all, Mandriva 2008 seems to be a robust up to date Linux distribution with out of the box support for all the essential non-Free bits to cater to the general populace, at the same time providing a Free version sans proprietary stuff to satisfy the cravings of the Free software lovers. You can read the full release notes and also download a copy of Mandriva 2008 here.