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First Look: Mandrake Linux 9.0 beta 1

I was fortunate enough the other day to find a fast enough mirror to pull the three iso images down in about 3 hours. Using X-CDROAST, these iso images have been used to burn cds. And now, cd1 was installed on one of our machines.

While it is impossible (or unreasonable) to do a review in such a short time of usage, it is important to state that if you want to experience gnome 2, kde 3.0.2, KWord 1.2 beta, gaim 0.59, and many other of the latest software applications then download the iso image and burn your cd.

However, in all of the excitement, do not forget to pay the Mandrake team for all of their hard work. Join the club or donate money. With each release, TuxReports has purchased the boxed set. In fact, we purchased two copies of 8.1.

Installation of the beta is similar to Mandrake Linux 8.2. In fact, 8.2 images and words are still showing. There is a banner to let the installer know that it is 9.0 beta. The important changes are the releases of the software being installed.

The first message on the screen stated that we needed to choose the method of installation: cdrom, hard drive, nfs, etc. We highlighted cdrom and went on our merry way. Actually, the installation was done twice. The first time was with the three CDs and the second was just the first CD.

This message is being typed in galeon on the new Mandrake 9.0 beta box. Gnome 2.0 was chosen as the default desktop but others are available. As I’m typing this message, Until later, Evolution 1.0.8 and gaim 0.59 are also on the screen.

The most exciting part of the installation was being able to choose between XFree 4.2 and 3.3. This VIA hardware has trouble with 4.1 and 3.3. It appears to my eyes that the monitor looks fine under 1280×1024.

Nautilus appears to be operating faster.

There are small little gotchas. For example, at first glance, gnomecc doesn’t appear to have been installed on the machine. However, opening a terminal and typing gnome-control-center launched the desktop preferences. Konqueror needed to be launched from a terminal too.

For now, we are going to enjoy using this box. Mandrake should be congratulated. We’ll try to do a formal review after we receive new hardware from ESC Technologies. We have new parts arriving to build another test machine. The tracking number shows that the parts should arrive tomorrow.

Summary: Users willing to help Mandrake look for bugs should definitely download the iso image and install it. The more people spending time with the product the better.

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