Mandriva Linux 2008 Release Notes

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The latest version of these release notes can be read on http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Releases/Mandriva/2008.0/Notes. After Mandriva Linux is released, Mandriva continues to update the release notes with the latest content, changes, and errata.

Contents

Introduction

This page contains important information the Mandriva Linux 2008 release.

The following topics are covered:

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

Please also refer to Mandriva Linux 2008 Errata - the Errata for the 2008 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 2008 includes the following versions of the major distribution components: kernel 2.6.22, X.org 7.2, KDE 3.5.7, GNOME 2.20.0, Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.6, OpenOffice.org 2.2.1. Other major new features are the merging of the Beryl and Compiz 3D desktop technologies into Compiz Fusion, a new network management tool, and a Windows documents and settings migration tool. You can find a detailed introduction to the most interesting new features, with screenshots, in the Mandriva Linux 2008 Release Tour.

Mandriva Linux 2008 is available in several different editions:

  • One is a single CD edition which includes the latest proprietary drivers, available for download free of charge. It can be run as a live CD as well as installed to the hard disk.
  • Powerpack 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. It is available from the Mandriva Store.
  • Free is a 3-CD / 1-DVD edition made up entirely of free / open source software, without any of the non-free software bundled with other editions. It is available for download free of charge.

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

Additional information is also available online:

Deprecation

Support for loopback-based encrypted filesystems

Mandriva Linux has for some time included a tool named drakloop which can create and mount encrypted filesystems using the loopback technique via the losetup utility. This method of creating encryption is vulnerable to certain types of attack and is deprecated by the upstream kernel in favor of systems based on the new devicemapper framework. LUKS is the most prominent example of such a system.

As of Mandriva Linux 2008, loopback-based encryption is deprecated in Mandriva Linux. Support will still be available for these filesystems, but we recommend all users begin the process of migrating to newer encryption systems. Support for loopback-based encryption may well be removed in future Mandriva Linux releases.

Drakloop is available in the mountloop package. If you want to mount a filesystem created with drakloop without drakloop, load the cryptoloop module, or add the partition to /etc/fstab and reboot. During bootup, cryptoloop is automatically loaded if an encrypted partition is listed in fstab.

PHP 4.x deprecated

PHP 4.x is deprecated and removed from Mandriva Linux 2008. See the PHP section for details.

IIIMF input methods deprecated

The IIIMF input methods (which were never installed by default) have now been officially deprecated and removed from Mandriva Linux. The default input methods set is still SCIM. Scim-bridge is now installed by default for the benefit of applications installed from third-party packages which are not compiled with SCIM support (such as Mozilla Firefox or OpenOffice.org if installed using the packages found on the respective websites).

Changes to the Mandriva installer

Modular IDE drivers and new libata stack

The old PATA drivers are now compiled as modules (see #Modular IDE drivers under #Kernel changes below). Due to this, the installer can now use either these old drivers or the new group of drivers based on the libata stack.

The installer defaults to using the old drivers for consistency and reliability reasons: using the new drivers by default was tested but found to be troublesome.

The new drivers are generically termed libata. All PATA and SATA disks controlled by libata use /dev/sd* as device names instead of /dev/hd*.

When a controller is supported only by the libata drivers, installation to partitions beyond the 15th on PATA disks is no longer supported by default.

To install to a partition beyond the 15th, the installation kernel must be started with the parameter noauto, which will allow manual selection of an appropriate legacy PATA driver, which in turn will support up to 63 partitions per PATA disk, as in previous Mandriva releases.

People needing complex disk layouts can also use LVM, which offers a more flexible system to create volumes.

Package selection

The package selection stage of installation has been split into three levels of granularity. At the highest level, the installer simply allows you to select a KDE, GNOME or IceWM desktop. There is also an option for more detailed selection, which if chosen brings you to the familiar stage where different package groups can be selected. At this stage you can still also select individual package selection for complete package-by-package control over what will be installed.

UUID support

The installer now supports using UUIDs to identify partitions for mounting, rather than the traditional system of using the /dev/hd* and /dev/sd* nodes. This can be useful in situations where the hd* and sd* nodes could become confused or inconsistent due to the introduction of new controllers, USB storage devices and so on. However, this system is not used by default. To enable it, pass the kernel parameter use_uuid to the installer.

Faster operations on partitions

By default, the installer configures file systems to use the relatime option. This option greatly reduce the amount of I/O spent by the system in updating access date when a file is read or when a directory is browsed. Thus the load of both desktop and server machines is greatly reduced and lot of I/O tasks complete faster.

For laptops, the installer still default to noatime in order to ease power management.

Similarly, the sync option is no more used for FAT file systems such as on floppies. It has been replaced by the flush option which make operations way faster on such FAT formated devices.

Package management

See also Improvements to rpmdrake and Improvements to urpmi in the Mandriva Linux 2008 Release Tour.

Chroot environments

rpm, gurpmi, rpmdrake and urpmi now support chroot environments through the --rpm and --urpmi-root options. See the respective manpages for full details.

Suggested packages

Rpm, urpmi, rpmdrake and the installer now support Suggests tags in RPM packages. When Package A suggests Package B, B will be automatically installed when you install A, but it can subsequently be removed without causing the removal of A. You can also use the --no-suggests command line parameter to prevent urpmi from installing suggested packages. This allows us to provide full featured packages while still enabling users to optimize their system by removing packages they do not need.

New menu layout

A new menu layout has been introduced. This menu is a merger between the old simplified and Mandriva menu layouts. It is flatter than the old Mandriva layout, with no more than two levels below the top level used at any point.

Applications that are native to the current desktop (KDE / Qt applications in KDE, GNOME / GTK+ applications in GNOME) will be displayed at the first level below the top level, and non-native applications will be at the second level. Exceptions are used to make applications that are commonly used outside their native desktop appear at the top level in all cases.

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:

  • NVIDIA Geforce 8400, 8500 and 8600 series graphics cards
  • Intel 4965AGN wireless chipsets
  • Intel Santa Rosa drive controllers
  • ATI SB700 chipset motherboards
  • Many newer onboard sound devices using the High Definition Audio codec, particularly on motherboards using Intel chipsets
  • Wacom Graphire and Intuos tablet input devices
  • Realtek 8187 USB and ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B USB wireless controllers

Required firmware for Broadcom wireless adapters

Mandriva Linux 2008 includes a native driver for Broadcom wireless adapters. This driver requires firmware from the Windows driver to be useful. We cannot ship the firmware itself or an appropriate copy of the Windows driver along with Mandriva Linux 2008 for legal reasons.

When you try to configure such an adapter, Mandriva will prompt you for a Windows driver, and offer to try and find it from your Windows partition. This will often work. If you cannot find an appropriate driver on your Windows partition, or you do not have one, you should download the Windows driver linked from this page. Make sure to download the driver marked Version 3 firmware. Then simply select that file when the Mandriva network configuration tool prompts you for the driver, and you will be able to enable and use your wireless card.

Alternative open source drivers for ATI graphics cards

There are several different drivers available for various ATI graphics cards in Mandriva Linux 2008 that may be of interest in certain situations. This entry concerns the free software set of drivers. Some notes on the proprietary drivers may be found further down this document.

By default, all ATI graphics cards up to but not including the Radeon X1xxx generation (r500 chipset) are supported by the driver in the x11-driver-video-ati package, which is version 6.6 of the X.org ati driver. This version has been determined to work reliably on the most cards. However, if you have trouble with this driver, the alternative x11-driver-video-ati_6.7 package contains version 6.7 of the same driver. The package is available in the contrib repository. Following the instructions on the Installing and removing software page to add remote repositories and install packages, you should be able to install this package with the Mandriva software management tools. Installing this package will automatically cause the x11-driver-video-ati package to be removed, and the 6.7 version driver will replace the 6.6 version. No further action is required except to restart the computer: the new version of the driver will then be used immediately. You can revert to the 6.6 version of the driver by reversing the procedure.

By default, X1xxx and HD 2xxx series cards (r500 and r600) chips will almost all use the X.org vesa driver, which is a generic driver that works on any graphics card by using an industry standard interface that all cards implement. This, however, makes it very slow (as native acceleration provided by the card is not used). Two native drivers are available for these cards, but both are in a very early stage of development, so we chose not to use them by default in Mandriva Linux 2008 for most cards.

Three particular cards that have been tested by users and reported to work well will use the avivo driver by default. This driver is contained in the x11-driver-video-avivo package. The avivo driver was the first free software driver to be developed for the r500 and r600 chips - it actually supports only r500 cards. Development on the avivo driver was recently stopped in favour of a new driver, radeonhd.

The radeonhd driver is based on specifications provided to its authors by ATI / AMD. It is also available in Mandriva Linux 2008 in the x11-driver-video-radeonhd package. As it was initiated very late in Mandriva Linux 2008 development, there was no time to test it to see if it could be used by default on any cards.

If you have an r500 or r600 chipset-based card and would like to experiment with the avivo or radeonhd drivers, you may install the packages if necessary (they will likely be installed already on a default installation) and use the drakx11 graphics card configuration tool to select the driver, which you will find in the Xorg category at the bottom of the list. Please note that new snapshots of the radeonhd driver will regularly be uploaded to the /main/backports repository. Due to the fact that this driver was in its infancy when Mandriva Linux 2008 was initially released, these new snapshots will almost certainly improve on the version found in the initial release in every way. If you wish to try out the radeonhd driver, it is highly recommended that you download the latest version of the x11-driver-video-radeonhd package from the /main/backports repository first. For information on configuring the /main/backports repository, see this page.

RandR 1.2 support in X.org

The X.org shipped in Mandriva Linux 2008 contains support for version 1.2 of the RandR protocol, which handles dynamic changes in the configuration of attached monitors. This version is a major improvement from the previous 1.1 version, with new features including dynamic detection of attached monitors (so X.org knows when you plug in or unplug a monitor, when RandR 1.2 is in use). Only a few drivers support the RandR 1.2 protocol: the intel driver for Intel 810 and later graphics adapters, the ati_6.7 version of the ati driver for ATI graphics cards (see above for details on the two versions of this driver included in Mandriva Linux 2008), and the nv open source driver for NVIDIA graphics cards (which includes RandR 1.2 support only for GeForce 8xxx series cards).

Mandriva has written and included an improved version of the krandr KDE panel applet, which supports the RandR 1.2 protocol. If you are using one of the drivers which supports the RandR 1.2 protocol, you should find that you can use this applet to control the layout of dual-screen setups, and to configure newly plugged in monitors without restarting X. If your driver only supports the older RandR 1.1 protocol, the more restricted features you are used to will still be available.

NTFS write support

In Mandriva Linux 2008, drives and partitions formatted with the NTFS file system can be made writeable via the use of the ntfs-3g driver. If the package ntfs-3g is not installed, install it (see this page for instructions on installing software). Then use the Mandriva disk management utility, diskdrake. Select the desired partition, unmount it, and switch to advanced mode. Change the partition type to ntfs-3g. Click Options, and ensure the checkbox labeled 'ro' is unchecked. Now mount the partition again. Exit, and save your changes.

Support for the Belgian eID card

Support has been added for the Belgian national electronic identity card system. The acr38u package contains a driver for the most commonly used card reader (the one distributed by the government), and the beid package provides the tools that allow the card to be used. The acr38u package will be automatically installed if the card reader is connected to the computer during installation.

Changes to TV card support

TV cards are now automatically configured by the kernel, and the more commonly used TV viewing applications now come with their own channel scanners. In view of this, the Mandriva drakxtv TV card configuration tool is no longer used by the installer or the Mandriva Control Center.

Access to a floppy disk drive

The easiest way is to add an icon on the desktop. With the right button of the mouse, add a new peripheral floppy and set its device to /dev/fd0. Don't forget to unmount the floppy (with the same icon) before removing the floppy.

Kernel changes

Mandriva Linux 2008 uses Linux kernel 2.6.22, updated from 2.6.17 in Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring. This involves many significant changes.

Naming

The kernel package has now adopted the kernel-tmb spec file, which means that the kernel packages have been renamed. kernel-desktop is the new name of kernel, kernel-server is the new name of kernel-enterprise, and kernel-desktop586 is the new name of kernel-legacy. A kernel-laptop package is also introduced, which contains several customizations useful to laptops in terms of reducing power usage.

Source and headers

The official kernel packages have now adopted the kernel-tmb style for source and headers. Each kernel package now has its own -devel package - e.g. kernel-desktop586-devel - which contains the source and headers necessary for building external kernel modules. This is the package you should install if you need to compile external kernel modules. The single kernel-source package is of interest only to those who need to build an application against a complete copy of the kernel source, or those interested in building their own kernels.

CFQ scheduler

The kernel in Mandriva 2008.0 now uses the CFQ (Complete Fair Queuing) I/O scheduler by default, rather than the AS (Anticipatory Scheduler) used in previous releases. On most systems, the CFQ scheduler will perform better. It tries to prevent disk intensive applications from slowing down other applications too much. It also takes into account the nice levels to determine the read priority. With the ionice command, I/O scheduling priorities can be tuned in yet more detail. If CFQ would cause performance regressions for you (possible with certain workloads, especially on laptops with slower hard drives), you can change the I/O scheduler back to AS by adding elevator==as as a kernel parameter.

AppArmor

Apparmor has replaced RSBAC as the in-kernel application security tool.

Modular IDE drivers

Drivers for IDE controllers are now compiled as modules rather than built into the kernel itself. This change should not have any consequences visible to the user: it will be handled by the installation / upgrade process. If somehow this goes wrong and your system is unable to handle one of your IDE controllers, you have to identify the appropriate module for the IDE controller, add it in the first line of /etc/modprobe.conf in the following format:

alias ide-controller module_name

and regenerate the initrd using mkinitrd (see mkinitrd documentation for instructions). If your system does not boot from an IDE disk, but has an IDE optical disk or an additional IDE hard disk, you have to identify the appropriate module and add it to /etc/modprobe.preload in the following format

module_name 

New devicescape wireless stack

The new wireless stack known as devicescape or mac80211 has been added to the kernel. Following testing during the beta process, it has been determined that the majority of these drivers are not yet stable enough for everyday use. Only the iwl4965 driver will be used by default, for Intel 4965 wireless chipsets (commonly used on very new laptops). This driver has no equivalent using the old softmac wireless stack. In cases where both old and new stack drivers are available - notably for Intel 3945 chipsets and Broadcom BCM43xx chipsets - the old stack driver will be preferred by default.

Changes regarding software packages

KDE 4 preview

A recent development snapshot of KDE 4 is available as a preview in Mandriva Linux 2008. To install it, make sure Internet repositories are configured and enabled - see Making more applications available - and install the task-kde4 package. This will retrieve and install the entire KDE 4 environment. Once this process is complete, log out of your desktop, and in the list of environments available in the login manager, you should see KDE4 is an option. Select it and log in.

Note that KDE 4 is not yet complete, and you will observe many missing and broken features, and probably some instability. It is emphasized that KDE 4 is included only as a preview, and should not be used for production work.

A wrapper script has also been included that will allow you to launch KDE 4 applications within KDE 3 (and even, sometimes, within GNOME). If you have KDE 4 installed, you can run, for instance:

k4 amarok

to launch the KDE 4 version of amarok.

XFS no longer used

XFS, the X Font Server, is no longer used by default in Mandriva Linux 2008. It is still available and will function normally if manually enabled. This reduces the weight of the system with no regression in functionality in almost all cases.

A new convention for defining font paths has been introduced with this change: font paths are added as symlinks in /etc/X11/fontpath.d/, which allows fonts to be installed and removed with the changes being reflected immediately with no need for XFS. More information on this change is available in this mail from the Cooker mailing list archives.

Note that these changes are irrelevant to applications using fontconfig, which is almost all modern applications. Only fairly old applications will be at all affected by these changes.

Liberation fonts included

The Liberation fonts made available by Red Hat have been included in Mandriva Linux 2008. These fonts match the metrics used by the most common Microsoft Windows (tm) fonts - Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New - almost exactly, making them useful in cases where it is important that the font metrics match those intended by the author of a document (for instance, a web page or office document). The default Mandriva font configuration has been modified so that when a document or application requests one of these Windows fonts by name, the appropriate Liberation font will be used.

Changes to the NVIDIA and ATI proprietary driver packages

The NVIDIA and ATI proprietary driver packages have a new maintainer, Anssi Hannula. He has made the following changes to the packages:

NVIDIA

The naming scheme has been updated. The new packages are:

dkms-nvidia-current
dkms-nvidia96xx
dkms-nvidia71xx
x11-driver-video-nvidia-current
x11-driver-video-nvidia96xx
x11-driver-video-nvidia71xx
nvidia-current-devel
nvidia96xx-devel
nvidia71xx-devel

Please note that users who upgrade from Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring or earlier to Mandriva Linux 2008 using urpmi will need to run drakx11 to re-configure their graphics card following these name changes. The name change should be handled automatically for users upgrading via the official installer.

The NVIDIA configuration tools are now included in the package.

ATI

The naming scheme for the main proprietary driver has been updated. The new packages are:

dkms-fglrx
x11-driver-video-fglrx
fglrx-devel

A new package, fglrx-control-center, has also been introduced. This contains the ATI configuration tool.

We have also introduced an alternative version of the ATI proprietary driver. The main driver package is version 8.40.4. Version 8.41.7 is also available under the name fglrx-hd2000. This version of the driver is included specifically for the purpose of supporting ATI Radeon HD 2400, 2600 and 2900 cards. ATI does not recommend its use for any other cards: although it supports older cards to some extent, it is known to contain bugs and be unreliable on these cards. Mandriva's automatic hardware detection code should correctly detect your graphics card and select the appropriate proprietary driver for it when you start Mandriva Linux One or install Mandriva Linux Powerpack. Please do not attempt to switch to a different driver unless you are entirely sure you know what you are doing.

Man pages now compressed with LZMA

During the development of Mandriva Linux 2008, the compression format used for man pages has been changed from bzip2 to LZMA. All packages built after this change have their man pages in LZMA format. Note that some packages have not been rebuilt since this change, and their man pages are still compressed in bzip2 format. This change should be transparent in typical usage.

New development package naming policy

In prior releases, the names of development packages contained the library major version number, matching the non-development library package (so the development package for libfoo1 would be named libfoo1-devel). During the development of Mandriva Linux 2008, this policy was changed. In future, development packages will normally not include this version number (so the development package for libfoo1 will be named libfoo-devel). This resolves several problems with upgrading development packages when the library major version is changed, and reduces the complexity required in building these packages. In the rare cases where it is necessary to include development packages for two or more different library major versions, the most commonly used will be unversioned, and the others will be versioned.

This change requires no special action on the part of users. This change has been applied to all packages built since the new policy was introduced. Packages that have not been rebuilt since the new policy was introduced will still include the version number in the package name. This does not cause any problems.

Compiz Fusion replaces Beryl

The Beryl 3D desktop technology has been merged back into Compiz (it began as a Compiz fork). Mandriva Linux 2008 no longer contains Beryl. On upgrading from a previous release, Beryl will be replaced by Compiz Fusion. Most plugins that were previously available for Beryl are now available as Compiz Fusion plugins (one notable exception is the 3D plugin).

Please note that if you are upgrading from Beryl you will probably be used to the Emerald window decorator. When you use Compiz Fusion, you will now, by default, be using either the GTK or KDE window decorator depending on your session. If you would like to use Emerald, simply use CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) and enter "emerald" under the Window Decoration plugin's Command option.

Services no longer restarted when updating glibc

In previous releases, if the glibc package was updated, all services in the current runlevel would be automatically restarted. From this release onwards, this will no longer occur. We advise that all processes should be restarted by the system administrator as soon as possible after an upgrade of the glibc package. If continued availability of the system is not critical, the simplest way to achieve this is to restart the system. Processes that are not restarted will still be using the old glibc and will be vulnerable to whatever problems or security issues are resolved by the updated glibc.

NFS

The various client and server init scripts have been merged:

  • rpcidmapd, rpcgssd and nfslock have been merged in nfs-common
  • rpcsvcgssd and nfs have been merged in nfs-server

Individual daemons handled previously by those init scripts are now handled automatically, according to current nfs configuration and to init scripts configuration files /etc/sysconfig/nfs-common and /etc/sysconfig/nfs-server.

Dependencies between init scripts ensure proper launch order during boot only. If you launch them manually, here is the proper sequence for a client:

  1. portmapper (either rpcbind or portmap)
  2. nfs-common

And for a server:

  1. portmapper (either rpcbind or portmap)
  2. nfs-common
  3. nfs-server

GCC 4.2 not advised for Java development

Due to issues described in Image:bug_small.png Bug #21249, we do not advise the use of GCC 4.2 for Java development purposes. GCC 4.3 is available in the package gcc4.3, in the main repository. We advise that this version of GCC be used for the purposes of Java development.

PHP

PHP and Suhosin

Suhosin protection is enabled by default, if you don't want this please disable the php-suhosin extension by commenting this line:

extension == suhosin.so

in the /etc/php.d/Z98_suhosin.ini configuration file. It is highly recommended to not disable the protection in critical production environments. Learn more about Suhosin here.

PHP 4.x is deprecated

On July 13th, 2007 the PHP development team announced that PHP 4 will reach end of life on December 31st, 2007. To ease the maintenance of PHP in Mandriva we have decided to drop all PHP 4 packages from Mandriva Linux 2008. If you wish to continue using PHP 4 until it reaches end of life, we would advise the use of Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring, which remains in maintenance until (and beyond) that date.

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