ROSA Desktop 2012 beta review

ROSA Desktop is a Linux distribution derived from Mandriva Desktop and developed by ROSA, a technology outfit based in Moscow, The Russian Federation. ROSA Desktop 2012 beta is the first pre-release edition of what will become ROSA Desktop 2012. It is supposed to be a Long Term Support (LTS) edition, with a 5-year support period.

Given that the status of Mandriva is still a big question mark, it is good to see activity coming from the folks at ROSA. This article is a short review of this beta release. A detailed review will be published when the final edition becomes available.

For those who have not used Mandriva Desktop 2011 or read Mandriva Desktop 2011 review. ROSA Desktop and Mandriva Desktop are virtually identical. Which means you will encounter all the goodness and badness of Mandriva Desktop on ROSA Desktop, plus a few new features you will only find on this beta release of ROSA Desktop.

The few badnesses that I observed in the beta release are:

Support for disk encryption in the installer is still not as good as that of Fedora, but slightly better than that of Ubuntu Desktop. Only a partition mounted at /home and those not shown in the next three screen shots may be encrypted.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Install Encryption /

A partition mounted at /usr cannot be encrypted.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Install Encryption /usr

Ditto for one mounted at /var.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Install Encryption /var

Another weakness, is the SimpleWelcome, ROSA Desktop’s fullscreen menu. This is what it looks like at 1024×768 screen resolution.
ROSA Desktop 2012 SimpleWelcome

And here it is at 800×600 screen resolution. Unlike Takeoff Launcher, another fullscreen menu type for the K Desktop Environment, it does not scale across screen resolutions.
ROSA Desktop 2012 SimpleWelcome

As this screen shot shows, ROSA Desktop 2012 beta has localization issue. Not a big deal if you speak Russian and English, but for the rest of us that speak English only, it is an issue.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Localization Issue

One of the better features of Mandriva Desktop is its out of the box security profile, part of which is that the firewall is enabled by default, besides the MSec tool. In ROSA Desktop 2012 beta, that has been turned backwards: the firewall is disabled out of the box, even though the system has SMTP port 25 listening on the network.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Firewall

Those are the major shortcomings of this release. Now, to the features I like, which I think you will like too.

I am always looking for applications that make using a desktop operating system more user-friendly. One you will find on ROSA Desktop, is Stackfolder. It is one of two cool reasons I gave for using KDE. What it does is simply allow you to browse the contents of your home folder directly from the panel without opening the file manager. ROSA Desktop, Mandriva Desktop 2011, and Chakra, are the only distributions that use KDE that I know you could install Stackfolder on. It is installed and enabled by default on ROSA Desktop and Mandriva Desktop 2011.
ROSA Desktop 2012 Stackfolder

Related Posts

PCLinuxOS 2011.6 KDE review PCLinuxOS is a (Linux) distribution that was derived from Mandriva Linux. It is a rolling release distribution, which means that once installed, updat...
Ubuntu 11.04 review Ubuntu 11.04, code-named Natty Narwhal, is the latest version of the popular Linux distribution. Released on April 28, 2011, Natty Narwhal is the firs...
ROSA Software Center: Beta, but looks, feels and functions better than the competition One of the software applications that became available on the recently-released ROSA Desktop Fresh R3 is the first beta edition of ROSA Software Cente...
Elementary OS 0.2 “Luna” review Elementary OS is a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, and like many or most distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, does not use the parent d...
Fedora 15 LXDE review Fedora 15 LXDE is a Fedora 15 Spin, an alternate edition of Fedora, “tailored for various types of users via hand-picked application sets and other cu...
Fedora 18 (Spherical Cow) review This is the latest article on Fedora on this website. To view the complete list of Fedora-related articles, visit the distribution's category page at ...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


  1. >Moscow, The Russian Federation.

    Why use two words when four will do?
    Its like the writers who insist on The United States Of America.

  2. Dolphin does not work as a web browser.

  3. PhantomTurtle

    Wow, that’s a really nice icon set. Really nice. Is it possible to download it for other Linux Distributions.

  4. Dolphin doubles as a web browser? Do you mean Konqueror?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *