Releases/Mandriva/2007.1/Notes

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Contents

Introduction

This page contains important information the Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring release, also known as Mandriva Linux 2007.1.

The following topics are covered:

  • General information about new features and major changes
  • Changes to the Mandriva installer and upgrade instructions for Mandriva 2007 users
  • Changes to supported hardware and drivers
  • Changes regarding software packages
  • Other technical information for experienced users

This document may be updated. The latest version of these release notes is available at http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Releases/Mandriva/2007.1/Notes

Please also refer to Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring Errata - the Errata for the 2007 Spring release. The Errata page contains information on known bugs and problems in the release and instructions on fixing, avoiding or working around them.

General information about new features and major changes

Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring includes the following versions of the major distribution components: kernel 2.6.17, X.org 7.2, KDE 3.5.6, GNOME 2.18.0, Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.3, OpenOffice.org 2.1. Other major new features are the introduction of the Beryl 3D-accelerated desktop and the advanced Metisse window manager, and migration to the pm-utils suspend / hibernate framework.

Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring is available in several different editions:

  • the "One" edition is an installable live CD integrating the latest proprietary drivers, available free of charge
  • the "Free" edition is a pure free / open source software edition, without any of the non-free packages bundled with other editions; it is also available as a free download
  • the "Discovery", "Powerpack" & "Powerpack+" editions, for beginner users, power users and SOHO users respectively, include support, services, a wider range of packages, and many third-party proprietary applications like Flash, Scilab or 03 Spaces.

For more information on the various editions, see Choosing the Mandriva Linux edition that's right for you.

Additional information is also available online:

Changes to the Mandriva installer

Floppy disk install images dropped

The old floppy disk install images - (cdrom.img, network.img, pcmcia.img) - have been discontinued. You must use the CD image boot.iso, the USB drive image all.img, or directly use isolinux/alt0 (using tftp for example). For more information on ways to install Mandriva Linux, please see Installing Mandriva Linux.

Printer configuration moved to post-install

Configuration of printers is no longer performed during installation. You will be able to configure your printers (both local and network) once installation is complete.

Changes to supported hardware and drivers

Supported hardware

In addition to the improved graphics card support discussed above, support for other devices has been added or improved. Notable changes include support for:

  • All JMicron IDE controllers
  • SiS 966 / 968 SATA controllers
  • Intel ICH9 SATA controllers
  • Many common laptop SD card readers
  • Attansic L1 ethernet controller (used on several Asus motherboards)
  • UVC-compliant USB video devices (particularly, many webcams)
  • Ralink RT2571W/RT2671-based wireless network devices
  • Many more monitors

Alternative kernels

For stability purposes, Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring uses the same kernel series as Mandriva Linux 2007: 2.6.17. Support for some hardware has been backported from later kernel versions; however, there are still some pieces of hardware that are supported by later kernels but not by the official Mandriva kernel (for instance, some integrated sound and wireless chipsets). If you have a piece of hardware that you believe may be supported by a later kernel, you may try one of the alternative kernels available in Mandriva Linux.

Three alternative kernels are available in the contrib section: kernel-tmb, kernel-linus and kernel-multimedia. In most cases, the best alternative kernel to use is kernel-tmb. To install it, follow the instructions on this page to configure Internet package repositories, and then use the Mandriva software installation tools to install the appropriate kernel-tmb -latest package: in most cases this will be kernel-tmb-desktop-latest (for single processor / single core systems) or kernel-tmb-desktop-smp-latest (for multiple processor / multiple core systems). This will automatically install the most recent version, and will ensure the package is kept up to date in future. If your system requires drivers to be compiled from source, either manually or via DKMS, you should install the matching -devel package: for instance, kernel-tmb-desktop-devel-latest.

After installation, you may reboot your system, and you will see the new kernel on the boot menu.

These alternative kernels are not officially supported by Mandriva. They may be unstable or may not support all the features that are supported by the official kernel. In particular, kernel-linus is a completely unpatched kernel built directly from the official kernel.org source code, and is consequently missing many useful additional drivers and patches contained in the other packages.

Optional support for writing to NTFS drives

The ntfs-3g system for accessing NTFS-formatted drives is available in Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring. Unlike the methods previously used (and still used by default) for accessing NTFS-formatted drives, ntfs-3g has support for writing as well as reading. Please note that, while ntfs-3g has been in development for some time and has been used by many testers with great success, we at Mandriva have not extensively tested it and cannot absolutely guarantee its safety. We would recommend you do not use ntfs-3g with vital data and keep a backup of any important data stored on a drive you use with ntfs-3g.

ntfs-3g is available in the contrib section of the Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring repositories. To install it, you must have your system configured to be able to install packages from Internet repositories. For information on achieving this, please see Installing and removing software. You must install the ntfs-3g and dkms-fuse packages.

To enable ntfs-3g support for removable drives under GNOME, follow these steps:

  • Run the Configuration Editor application (under System / Configuration / GNOME / Advanced on the menus)
  • Open the system folder
  • Open the storage folder
  • Open the default options folder
  • Click on the ntfs folder
  • In the right hand pane, double click fstype_override and type ntfs-3g into the entry box
  • Close the Configuration Editor application

Alternatively, you may run the command gconftool-2 --set --type=string /system/storage/default_options/ntfs/fstype_override ntfs-3g, which will achieve the same effect.

Enabling ntfs-3g support for system (non-removable) drives is a more advanced operation and is covered on this page. It is not currently possible to use ntfs-3g for removable drives in KDE.

Changes regarding software packages

Public non-free section available

Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring is the first Mandriva Linux release to have a non-free section in the public repositories. This section, alongside the longstanding main and contrib sections, contains non-free drivers, firmware and some software, including the proprietary NVIDIA and ATI graphics card drivers, firmware for Intel Centrino wireless cards, Java runtime environments 5.0 and 6.0, and more. Please note that some non-free packages - primarily applications, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader - are still available only to Club members through the Club Commercial repository. Using the non-free section is simple. If you choose to set up Internet repositories during installation, the non-free section will be made available at that point (and the installation process will be able to take advantages of drivers available from it). If you do not choose to set up Internet repositories during installation, you may set up these repositories after installation following the instructions here, and the non-free section will be made available along with main and contrib. Packages from this section will then be available via the system software installation tools and also to the system hardware configuration utilities.

Drakroam no longer needs administrator rights

The drakroam utility for switching between, and configuring, wireless networks no longer requires administrator rights; regular users can access it. This helps organizations who wish to provide users with wireless access without giving them root access.

Per-user 3D-accelerated desktop settings

It is now possible to configure 3D-accelerated desktop settings on a per-user basis. The graphical configuration tool, drak3d, still configures these settings system-wide. However, you can make per-user changes by copying /etc/sysconfig/compositing-wm and /etc/sysconfig/compositing-server to ~/.compositing-wm and ~/.compositing-server and making whatever changes are required.

Faster rpmdrake and urpmi

rpmdrake and urpmi have been improved to be more efficient and are now faster in computing updates and starting up.

Faster startup of applications

Mandriva 2007 Spring provides glibc 2.4 with backported support for GNU_HASH which speeds up dynamic linking on application startup by up to 50%, thus reducing application load time. More than 3820 packages have been recompiled with this support.

Kernel updates

Several releases ago, the kernel package naming scheme was changed. Instead of being named simply kernel, kernel packages are now named kernel-2.6.XX-Ymdv. This makes it possible to enable to install several kernels at once, so that in the event of problems with one kernel version, other versions are still available. However, this means updated kernel packages are seen as different packages by rpm and thus urpmi, rpmdrake and MandrivaUpdate do not see them as available updates for the kernel.

In Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring, special packages named kernel-*-latest (e.g.: kernel-latest, kernel-legacy-latest, kernel-enterprise-latest, kernel-doc-latest, kernel-source-latest, kernel-source-stripped-latest, kernel-xen0-latest, kernel-xenU-latest) are included. These are just empty virtual packages. When the installer installs a kernel flavor (either the normal one, the legacy or the enterprise one), it also installs the corresponding kernel-*-latest package. This ensures that when an update is published, urpmi, rpmdrake and MandrivaUpdate now see there are kernel updates available.

By default, these are not pre-selected in MandrivaUpdate or installed by urpmi --auto-update like other updates (since they are listed in /etc/urpmi/skip.list) as we feel that upgrading the kernel must be a conscious action. If you would like kernel updates to always be pre-selected in MandrivaUpdate and installed by urpmi --auto-update, remove the lines from /etc/urpmi/skip.list.

Mandriva Tools package split

The drakxtools package was split into drak3d, drakxtools, drakbackup, draktermserv, drakx-net, drakx-kbd-mouse-x11 and printerdrake.

New MandrivaUpdate interface

A new, simplified MandrivaUpdate is included in Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring. Users who preferred the Mandriva Linux 2007 system where updating was handled by rpmdrake can still use this method: the rpmdrake filters for available updates have been preserved. See this page for more information.

Mandriva Online

Mandriva Online no longer needs your machine to be registered, to connect to an Online server, or to submit information on your system to the Online server. It regularly updates the package lists for the update media and then computes if there are updated packages available. If there are, it informs the user and offers to run the new MandrivaUpdate on right click on the applet. As both use urpmi code, the updates list is always the one that urpmi would give and now fully supports biarch architectures such as x86-64.

Polished rpmdrake GUI

The new rpmdrake GUI introduced in Mandriva 2007.0 was further enhanced and polished and is now even more user friendly. See this page for more information.

Rpmdrake was greatly improved and now use the same algorithms as urpmi:

  • it now supports rpm transactions, which means a bad package doesn't break the whole update any more
  • it now fully supports biarch architectures such as x86_64
  • it now handles /etc/urpmi/skip.list

Graphics card list cleaned up

The list of graphics cards used by the installer and by the graphics configuration utility drakx11 has been radically cleaned up for this release. The major changes are:

Old cards and chipsets

Most of the card-specific entries have been removed. This mostly affects cards that are several years old. Entries have been combined into generic entries covering all cards that use the same driver with the same option, usually named (Chipset)-based cards (for example, Trident-based cards). The only card-specific entries that have been preserved are those for cards which require special options. This change does not involve any loss of functionality: please do not worry if the specifically-named entry for your card has been removed in this release, it is still as well supported as it was before. In almost all cases, driver auto-detection will be correct: if your card is detected under one of the generic chipset-based entries, that means it uses that chipset, and the correct driver will be used. You do not need to adjust the detection or set the driver manually. If your card is not auto-detected and not listed by name, you must find out what chipset it uses. This information will probably be available from the manual for the graphics card.

NVIDIA cards and chipsets

The entries for NVIDIA cards have been reduced to the smallest amount necessary to ensure that the correct driver is chosen for the card. 99% of NVIDIA-based cards will be correctly auto-detected and the correct driver will be configured. Do not worry that the exact name, series or chipset of your card is not displayed, this does not mean support is in any way less than it could be. In the unlikely event that your card is not auto-detected, select the correct entry for your card based on the NVIDIA chipset it uses: for instance, if your card uses the GeForce 6600, you would choose the GeForce FX - GeForce 7950 entry, as the GeForce 6600 came after the FX but before the 7950. If you have a Quadro card and it is not auto-detected, you must know or find out which GeForce generation it corresponds to.

ATI cards and chipsets

The entries for ATI Radeon cards, which were previously named according to the driver used, have been renamed to match the scheme used by other drivers. They are now named according to the range of chipsets the entry covers (for instance, ATI Radeon (fglrx) has become ATI Radeon 9500 - X850). 99% of ATI-based cards will be correctly auto-detected and the correct driver will be configured. Do not worry that the exact name, series or chipset of your card is not displayed, this does not mean support is in any way less than it could be. In the unlikely event that your card is not auto-detected, select the correct entry for your card based on the ATI chipset it uses: for instance, if your card uses the Radeon 9200, you would choose the Radeon 9250 and earlier entry, as the Radeon 9200 came before the Radeon 9250. If you have a FireGL card and it is not auto-detected, you must know or find out which Radeon generation it corresponds to.

Intel cards and chipsets

The entries for Intel chips have been reduced to the smallest amount necessary to ensure that the correct driver is chosen for the card. 99% of Intel chips will be correctly auto-detected and the correct driver will be configured. Do not worry that the exact chipset name is not displayed, this does not mean support is in any way less than it could be. In the unlikely event that your chipset is not auto-detected, select the correct entry for your chipset: for instance, if you have an i915, you would choose the Intel 830 - 965 entry, as the i915 came after the i830.

pam_stack module has been dropped

The pam_stack module was already depreciated in the 2007.0 release, it now completely removed from the pam package in Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring. This means that configuration files from the /etc/pam.d may have to be manually migrated to replace pam_stack occurences by include directives. For more details about this migration, see the /usr/share/doc/pam-0.99.7.1/README.update.urpmi file. See also the errata entry about broken su after upgrades.

Other technical information for experienced users

KDE

New KDE system menu button: how to remove it

Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring introduces a new, Mandriva-branded system menu button for KDE (the button at bottom left of the screen which opens the system menus). Some users find it to be too large. Also, some users who prefer to use a larger panel find it does not look very good with a larger panel size. If you would like to remove it, create the file ~/.kde/share/config/kickerrc with the following contents:

[KMenu]
KMenuButtonScale=false
KMenuIcon=kmenu

Alternatively, you can use any icon name from your desktop theme to be displayed as system menu button by changing the value of "KMenuIcon" key to valid icon name. For example, you can put "KMenuIcon=menuk-mdk" in ~/.kde/share/config/kickerrc to have star-like system menu button.

To apply the new icon immediately restart kicker by running dcop kicker kicker restart.

This will only make the change for your user. To make the change for all users, you must edit the system-wide configuration file. For instructions on editing system configuration files, please see this page. The file can be found in one of the following locations:

  • /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/free/share/config/kickerrc
  • /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/one/share/config/kickerrc
  • /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/discovery/share/config/kickerrc
  • /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/powerpack/share/config/kickerrc
  • /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/powerpackplus/share/config/kickerrc

The location depends on the edition of Mandriva Linux you are using. Make the same change to this file as was recommended earlier.

New KDE theme: how to go back to official KDE theme

In Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring, a new look for KDE has been set up. Mandriva's theme is stored in /var/lib/mandriva/kde-profiles/. To revert back to the official KDE theme, open the KDE Control Center (not the Mandriva Control Center) and go to option System Administration > option Mandriva KDE Profile Chooser and remove all entries (in Administrator Mode).

Experimental new Intel graphics driver

Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring includes an optional experimental version of the driver for Intel graphics chips with some interesting new capabilities. The default driver is still the stable, tested version. For information on how to manually install and test the unsupported, experimental version of the driver, please see Experimental Intel driver.

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