2009.1 Alpha 2

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The second alpha for Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring (2009.1) is now available. There is information about the new release in various places:


Special note

This is noted elsewhere, but as a special important notice, please do not use this Alpha version to upgrade an existing Mandriva Linux installation. There are unresolved issues with KDE, GNOME and maybe others windows managers which are likely to result in any system upgraded from any stable release to this alpha being unable to start a desktop, rendering it useless for most people. Please only use this alpha as a clean installation, and, as always, do not expect to be able to use it as a day-to-day workstation; keep an installation of a stable Mandriva release (or other operating system or distribution, of course) for this purpose.

Major new features

As this is an early pre-release, the major changes are mostly in the area of included third-party software. The planned changes to Mandriva's own tools and systems are not ready for inclusion in a public pre-release.

KDE 4.2 RC 1

This release includes the first release candidate of KDE 4.2, still some upgrade in stability and functionality over KDE 4.1. (4.2 RC 1 is also known as 4.1.96: this is the version you will see in package names). This release will add many new features to KDE 4, including some that were notably present in KDE 3 but lacking in KDE 4.0 and 4.1, along with some brand new features. It should also provide a more stable desktop experience than KDE 4.1. A list of features planned for KDE 4.2, along with their current status, can be found here. You will find also more information on RC 1 version and its improvements here.

GNOME 2.25.4

Also included is GNOME 2.25.4, the fourth pre-release of GNOME 2.26. Planned changes for GNOME 2.26 can be found here. Together with this new pre-release is new gtk+ 2.15.0.

Xfce 4.6 Beta 3

The newest beta of the upcoming Xfce 4.6 is also included. This page contains information on the changes, fixes and improvements to be found in version 4.6, including support for the freedesktop.org menu standard (which is used by Mandriva), a new configuration system along with several new settings applications, and a new audio mixer. As usual, Xfce can be installed on Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Alpha 1 by installing the task-xfce package. A specific mention for Sion, a frontend to manage connections to remote filesystems using GIO/GVFS.

Light graphical environment

Default light environment is now LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) instead of icewm.

msec redesign

msec is intended to control and manage the security of the system. It was created and integrated first for Mandrake 8.0. It has been nearly totally redesigned. All project is described here. The main visible consequence is that we have now only 2 security levels available.

New GUI is in progress, available but not integrated yet. You can test it. Install msec-gui} package and run mscgui command as root user.

Kernel 2.6.28

2.6.28 kernel is used in this alpha. There is a useful series of articles in the Heise Online series Kernel Log which detail the many new features of kernel 2.6.28; the link is to Part 9, you can find links to the previous eight parts at the end of the article. Of course, the most notable changes are improvements in hardware support, including ongoing improvements to support for the many Intel HDA sound devices, and many webcams.

Some tools have also been added to help with debug: systemtap and kerneloops

ext4 file system

ext4 is now available in a stable module version. ext4 is available through Mandriva installer but not as default choice. You can find it in file systems list. ext4 is not yet supported for /boot file system (needs GRUB update)

Diskdrake improvements

  • It's now possible to change a label without formatting a partition. If you already use labels in existing system and you modify it, it will not change GRUB configuration. Please edit /boot/grub/menu.lst file or use drakxtools to modify it properly. This will be improved in next release.
  • You can now use labels with Reiserfs4 and NTFS partitions

X.org server

  • The major new release of the X.org server, version 1.5, is included in this alpha. The most important change in this version is so-called 'input hotplugging' - a system by which the X server handles the detection and configuration of input devices, using the evdev driver. This change has been integrated into Mandriva so that the Mandriva keyboard and mouse configuration tools continue to work as expected.
  • vnc has been reenabled, while dmx is disabled. dmx should be back very soon as it's being fixed.
  • Default behaviour for now disables Ctrl+Alt+backspace shortcut to restart X server.

Python 2.6.1

Alpha2 comes with major Python upgrade, using now 2.6.1 version.


This pre-release is available:

  • as a Free edition for the x86-32 and x86-64 architectures, on one DVD, with a traditional installer
  • as a Free edition for the x86-32 and x86-64 architectures, on one dual arch (32 and 64 bits) CD, with a traditional installer

The images are available from the following mirrors:


North America

South America




For instructions on writing the ISO files to CD or DVD discs, see Writing CD and DVD images. For installation instructions, see Installing Mandriva Linux.

Known issues

Known issues are collected on the 2009 Spring Errata page. There are several known issues in this release, so please do read this page.

Testing wanted

You are encouraged to test and comment on this pre-release. Feedback should be posted in the form of bug reports to Bugzilla, or if it is not a type of feedback that can be expressed as a bug report, to the Cooker mailing list or to the Mandriva Forums.

  • Large tests are required on msec, using GUI or command line.
  • Report any problems you find in the KDE desktop; despite its beta status, we expect it to provide a relatively usable and stable experience, so please report any significant stability or usability issues.
  • Report any problems, especially regressions, relating to input devices. The new input hotplugging system is a major change and we would like to catch any problems it introduces.
  • Check that all your hardware is supported. Note that this alpha only includes free software. Proprietary drivers for components which require or can use them - especially for NVIDIA video cards, Intel Centrino wireless adapters, and HSF modems - are available from the Cooker non-free repository. Follow the instructions at Docs/Basic_tasks/Installing_and_removing_software#Making_more_applications_available to configure this and other repositories. It should be noted that if you continue to use these repositories after the release of Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring, you will then be following the development of the next release of Mandriva Linux. If you wish to follow development of 2009 Spring and then remain with a 2009 Spring system, you must change your repositories at the time 2009 Spring is released.
  • You can find here useful informations to do a day-to-day Mandriva's applications testing. You can use them for testing and participate to improve Mandriva Linux distribution.
  • Report any missing or unwanted software. Please take care to see if these issues have already been filed.

For help on reporting bugs, consult our general guidelines on Development/Howto/Bugzilla.

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