After a two days delay, the Mandriva team has released the first beta of Mandriva 2011 yesterday. This is a release meant for testing before the final version is released in June 2011.
Mandriva 2011 Beta 1 is based on the Linux kernel 188.8.131.52 and has KDE Software Compilation 4.6.1 for its desktop. This Linux kernel is not the latest version available, but the KDE SC is the latest stable version. It will be upgraded to Linux kernel 2.6.38 in a later update or in beta 2. For users who do not prefer KDE SC, Mandriva is also available with GNOME 2.32.1 and XFCE 4.8.0.
Mandriva 2011 Beta 1 features the latest versions of various applications like Firefox 4 Release Candidate 1, Thunderbird 3.1.9, OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 etc. The default music player in Mandriva 2011 Beta 1 is Clementine 0.6 and Choqok is included as the default microblogging client. I find it interesting that Mandriva is still sticking with OpenOffice rather than LibreOffice unlike Ubuntu and Fedora.
Visually too, Mandriva 2011 Beta 1 has some changes. The GUI installer now uses the same theme as the default Mandriva theme. The KDE style and KDE window theme has also be changed to use Qtcurve by default.
Under the hood, this release has a lot of updated components as well. Of the updated components, mention may be made of systemd 20 , network manager 0.8.3.997, X.Org 7.5, XOrg Server 1.9.4 etc.
As with any beta software, Mandriva 2011 Beta 1 is meant for testing and should not be used in production machines. If you want to test it, you can download it from one of the mirrors in the link below.
This beta will be followed by another beta and a release candidate. The final stable release of Mandriva 2011 is expected scheduled for 13 june 2011.
If you do decide to test this beta release, do not forget to report bugs you encounter at Mandriva’s Bugzilla page.