The first alpha release of Mandriva Linux 2010 was released on Sunday. This development update brings a number of core improvements to Mandriva such as a faster boot time, Plymouth integration for enhancing the boot process, Tomoyo for providing the security framework, Moblin packaging, and various other improvements. In this article we are taking a brief look at Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1.
Mandriva introduced Speedboot with the 2009.1 release to improve the boot process by only starting the necessary services prior to initializing the graphics display manager and then pushing the remainder of the services to starting up once the display manager has initialized and the user has logged into their account. With Mandriva 2010, their distribution engineers have further worked to improve the boot time. Developers working on Mandriva are working to determine if readahead, prelink, and preload optimizations can improve the boot time and if switching to dash as the default login shell will improve the boot time. From our initial testing, it does appear that Mandriva 2010 is slightly faster than earlier Mandriva releases.
While the boot time is shorter, the boot process in Mandriva Linux 2010 should also be prettier. Mandriva is switching to Red Hat's Plymouth for the boot splash screen on systems with hardware and drivers that support kernel mode-setting. For systems that are not yet KMS-enabled, Mandriva should automatically fallback to using Splashy for the boot splash screen. The GRUB and installation menus have also been cleaned up and improved within this release too.
Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1 is also shipping with some Moblin packages, for providing a sleek Moblin-based environment with low-end hardware and netbooks. This Linux distribution formerly known as Mandrake is also shipping with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel and X Server 1.6.2 RC1 while on the desktop side you have the choice between KDE 4.3, GNOME 2.27/2.28, and Xfce 4.6.1. Once there are release candidates available, Mandriva will be switching to the Linux 2.6.31 kernel for use in Mandriva Linux 2010.0. Assuming there are no more delays in the X.Org 7.5 release schedule, this next release will use X.Org 7.5 / X Server 1.7. The new GCC 4.4 compiler is also available in Mandriva 2010.
Another change for Mandriva 2010 is that they have switched to Tomoyo for providing a security framework and a GUI for providing common security setup. Tomoyo is a mandatory access control implementation for Linux that went mainline with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. Other smaller improvements in Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1 include auto-detection of local urpmi repositories, on-the-fly creation of guest accounts, improved hybrid ISO images, and a WebKit-based UI for drakxtools help and first-time wizard on the Mandriva One LiveCD.
More information on Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1 is available via the release notes.