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ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

Summary: This article is about ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, a “new” Linux desktop edition from ROSA Laboratory, a Linux software provider based in Moscow, Russia.

I’m always on the search for desktop distributions that make computing very easy for new users. Whether such distributions use GNOME or KDE or any other desktop environment, if they are new user-friendly, I love to take them out for a spin.

Of all the desktop distributions that I’ve reviewed on this website, ROSA Desktop Fresh, a distribution derived from Mandriva Linux, is on my list of recommended distributions for new users, particularly the KDE edition, which has features that you will not find in a mainstream KDE desktop. Think KLook and StackFolder.

So when an email arrived in my Inbox from the developers announcing ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, describing it as a new name distribution “based on the ROSA Fresh platform,” and that it is “targeted at advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality,” I thought, that should be an interesting distribution.

What could be the difference between this R series targeted for advanced users and the non-R series designed for plebs? After playing with a test installation for a few hours, I came to the conclusion that, in real terms, there is very little, aside from this R-series having support for Windows Azure and Hyper-V.

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Aside from that, this looks to me like an updated ROSA Desktop Fresh 2012.

Here are the other new features introduced with this new edition. By the way, just updating an existing installation of a ROSA Desktop Fresh 2012 will pull in most of these features.

1. Linux kernel 3.8.12

2. KDE 4.10.3, with Expo widget on the RocketBar, support for video preview in TimeFrame, KLook integration also in TimeFrame, better font smoothing courtesy of new rasterizer from Adobe and Google. KLook, with integration in Dolphin, the file manager, StackFolder, and TimeFrame, makes this one of the most user-friendly distributions that you can find.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 KDE

Suspend and hibernate options are still missing from the shutdown options.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 SimpleWelcome

View of installed applications in SimpleWelcome.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 KDE

TimeFrame tab of SimpleWelcome. TimeFrame is supposed to have KLook integration, but attempting to use the features using the same method of using KLook from Dolphin and StackFolder did not work.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 TimeFrame

3. Repositories enabled by default, with Valve Software’s Steam client available for installation.

4. Latest ROSA Media Player (ROMP), with support for search for and watching YouTube videos, ability to “record presentation from display and add audio from microphone or line-in,” DVD menu support, and better IPTV support. ROMP also has support for desktop video recording. This is one of the best media players available on any desktop distribution.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 ROMP

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You may read the release announcement and download 32- or 64-bit installation images of ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 from . If you are not a guru-level user, don’t let the “targeted for advanced users” description fool you. This desktop edition from ROSA Labs is designed for everybody.

Just a few more screen shots from a test installation of ROSA Desktop Fresh R1.

The login screen.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 login screen

From the installation slideshow.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 slideshow

Service activation options during installation.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 services

Social networking feature of the TimeFrame tab of SimpleWelcome.
ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 KDE

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