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OpenMandriva Lx preview

OpenMandriva Lx beta has been released. This is the first beta edition of what will become the first stable release of OpenMandriva Lx, a distribution built around the latest K Desktop Environment (KDE) and desktop technologies from ROSA Desktop and what’s left of the old Mandriva.

Like Mageia, OpenMandriva is a community-driven distribution. Which means your input is more than welcome, in any manner you are able to help.

This beta release ships with the following main components: Linux kernel 3.11.5, KDE 4.11, LibreOffice, Firefox 24, Thunderbird 17.0.9 and a host of other productivity and desktop management applications.

From the official release announcement:

Lx Beta comes with KDE 4.11, with a focus on a clean and unified desktop. This release comes with a set of four (!) launchers — Lancelot, KickOff, SimpleWelcome and Homerun — for you to try and give feedback. Eventually we’ll settle for just one, the winner based on your feedback.

So one very important thing that the developers need your input is in helping them choose which one of four menus should be the default. That is, aside from any other suggestions you may have. I’ve looked at all four menu options and ranked them in order of user-friendliness and how well and easy they help me find and do stuff on the desktop.

But before I get to that, here are a few screen shots of the login screen and the default desktop. If you’ve used ROSA Desktop or Mandriva Linux, you should be very familiar with them. This screen shot of the login screen.
OpenMandriva Login Screen

And this one is of the default desktop.
OpenMandriva Desktop KDE 4.11

Out of the box, there are four virtual desktop, or workspaces. This screen shots show the Expo view of the desktops.
OpenMandriva Desktop Expo KDE 4.11

Aside from the login screen and desktop, here are a few other aspects of the default installation that I like. A graphical interface for managing services or daemons on a modern desktop distribution is always a good idea. Not everybody wants to mess with systemctl, so I’m happy that OpenMandriva Lx will ship with a graphical service manager pre-installed.
OpenMandriva Lx ServiceManager

At a time when Ubuntu-based distributions lack a working parental control system, it’s good to see that OpenMandriva still maintains support for the parental control system it inherited from Mandriva.
OpenMandriva Lx Parental Control

There’s a separation of KDE management applications (found in the KDE Control Center) from the custom OpenMandriva system management applications inherited from Mandriva. I think some of these tools need to be updated, especially the software installation module, but I’ll leave that discussion for a later time.
OpenMandriva Lx Control Center

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