Mandriva 2008 RC2 Brings Radeon HD Support

...and some significant kernel updates!

Kepler is the codename given to the second and last release candidate of the upcoming Mandriva Linux 2008, announced yesterday by the Mandriva team: "The second release candidate for Mandriva Linux 2008 is now available. This release candidate is available as a three CD or one DVD Free edition (containing no non-free software or drivers) for the x86-32 and x86-64 architectures, with a traditional installer, and as a mini-CD edition for both x86-32 and x86-64 architectures."

What's new in Mandriva Linux 2008 RC2:

Support for Radeon HD

The latest video driver from AMD for Radeon HD cards has been included in the non-free repository, alongside 8.40.4 version. The latter will be used for Radeon X1xxx series cards and earlier and version 8.41.7 will be used for Radeon HD series cards (HD2400, HD2600 and HD2900). If you install the One edition of Mandriva 2008 RC2, you'll get automatic support for your Radeon HD graphics card. However, if you use the Free edition for your installation of Mandriva 2008 RC2, you have to enable the non-free repository in order to install the proprietary driver from AMD.

The avivo driver used in the previous version was removed from this second release candidate and it will no longer be part of Mandriva 2008. All Radeon cards will now default to the vesa driver.

Significant kernel changes

The kernel packages have been significantly improved with many patches that fix some critical issues with the AMD ATA and JMicron controllers, a serious problem that prevented Mandriva from using any ATA drives on systems which used these controllers. Moreover, some problems with High Definition Audio chipsets has been fixed by upgrading ALSA, from version 1.0.14 to 1.0.15 RC2.

New menu structure

In the previous release candidate I introduced you to a new menu structure, based on Frederik Himpe's ideas, who tried to reduce the amount of nesting in the menus. In this second RC, you'll find less oversized menus, applications appearing in incorrect or multiple locations and applications that didn't appear at all in the menus.

New features in urpmi and rpmdrake

Both rpmdrake and urpmi received a brand new row / column layout, with separate columns for package name, version, release and repository, when it displays the list of packages to be installed. Moreover, they will start faster than before and the list of packages can be sorted by different criteria.

The Mandriva development team urges you to:

■ Check that all your hardware is supported.

■ Report any missing or unwanted software.

Highlights of Mandriva Linux 2008 will include:

■ GNOME 2.20

■ Ekiga 3.0 with a plugin framework for audio and video codecs, a revised interface and SIP presence support

■ Evolution 2.12, with better spam filtering and Microsoft Exchange support

■ KDE 3.5.7

■ KDE 4 preview

■ XFCE 4.4.1

■ Kernel 2.6.22 that features the 'tickless' technology which will save battery power on laptops

■ Compiz Fusion

■ 7.3 with the new XrandR 1.2 framework which vastly improves support for multiple displays, also displaying hotplugging on supported drivers

■ 2.2 comes with improved text rendering, improved PDF exporting and enhanced compatibility with Excel spreadsheets

■ GCC 4.2

■ Complete XDG menu migration

■ Windows documents and settings migration tool

■ WPA-EAP support

■ Hybrid suspend mode

■ RandR 1.2 applet for KDE

■ AppArmor

■ Modular IDE drivers

Mandriva Linux 2008 release schedule:

Beta 1 - 6th August 2007

Beta 2 - 25th August 2007

RC 1 - 5th September 2007

RC 2 - 21st September 2007

Official Release - Thursday September 27th 2007

You can download Mandriva Linux 2008 RC2 now from Softpedia.

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