Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mandriva 2009.1 - Working out the kinks

I've made some discoveries and found some weird problems here & there with my newly installed Mandriva 2009.1. So I'm documenting my findings and fixes/workarounds as I needed.

1. Kwin effects when enabled will make X freeze up intermittently . There is already a bug report on this issue & it seems to be caused by the intel driver. The workaround is to change the default Render acceleration mode from EXA to UXA. This is done by editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf and adding the following line into the "Device" section:

Option "AccelMethod" "UXA"

This did solve the freeze problem, but video playback was a little choppy when using some desktop effect. I can live with this since it's about the same on compiz as well.

2. The default IaOra window decoration had a display bug when using compiz on KDE4. Whenever the window was maximised, the titlebar would disappear. (It actually became tranparent). I saw this bug when I used compiz instead of Kwin during the time I was still investigating the Kwin bug. I did not find this bug reported, I asked around, but no one else had this bug. It might be caused by residual config from my old compiz. (I didn't do a clean install) Anyhow, this problems goes way then I use a different window decoration theme. So I've switched to using Ozone.

3. I didn't like any of the plasmoids for system monitoring. I was very used to using superkaramba's cynapsys theme. I found that I can still install & use superkaramba & run my favorite sys_mon theme. This is a pleasant surprise. I also found the yaWP and ktorrent plasmoids to be very useful.

4. Virtually all the hotkeys on my laptop worked out of the box. Volume control, media playback control, LCD brightness control & wireless switch are all working perfectly and with OSD to boot. The only one that didn't work was the 'launch media player' key, which I've never used anyway.

That's all I can remember for now. These are all very minor issues, overall this release has been awesome.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mandriva One 2009.1 Spring

Wow. It's be a while since my last blog.

I was holding out upgrading to Mandriva 2009 because I found KDE4 to be not functional enough for my everyday use. But a few weeks ago Mandriva 2009.1 Spring was released & I just had to give it a test drive.

I bit the bullet & immediately upgraded my laptop to 2009.1 from 2008.1. This was skipping a release, so I thought wise not to do an online upgrade, but simply to format the root partition & reinstall fresh, but keeping my old home partition.

This ran into a snag as I was installing from LiveCD & it did not manage to migrate my KDE3 setting & left me with a very messed up desktop. To fix it. I had to logout, delete my old .kde directory in my home & login again.
This fixed everything up but also managed to wipe out all my KDE settings. Which I believe is fine because KDE4 should not be using them anyway.

Overall I found Mandriva 2009.1 to be another solid release. I'll still be holding out for my main desktop cuz I have alot of custom hacks that I need to research b4 bitting the bullet.