2009.1 Notes

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Release Notes



This page contains important information the Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring (2009.1) release.

The following topics are covered:

  • General information about new features and major changes
  • Changes to the Mandriva installer and upgrade instructions for users of previous releases
  • Changes to supported hardware and drivers
  • Changes regarding software packages
  • Other technical information for experienced users

Please also refer to Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Errata - the Errata for the 2009 Spring release. The Errata page contains information on known bugs and problems in the release and instructions on fixing, avoiding or working around them.

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring is not yet released. These release notes currently cover the pre-releases of Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring. The current pre-release is Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC2.

For a more detailed and graphical introduction to the most obvious user-visible changes in this release, please see the Release Tour.

General information about new features and major changes

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring includes the following versions of the major distribution components:

The Release Tour contains more information on new features and changes in the new versions of these and other components.

Upgrading from previous releases

Please note that if you use the Free or Powerpack editions to do an upgrade install from a previous Mandriva Linux release, KDE 3 - if installed - will be replaced by KDE 4, and your personal KDE settings and customizations will be lost. If you do not want this to happen, we recommend you either use the installer's ability to add internet repositories prior to doing the upgrade, or do a network installation, or use the newly-introduced ability of Mandriva Online (the Mandriva update notification applet) to perform upgrades from one release to the next. Using any of these methods, the upgrade process will have KDE 3 packages available, and your upgraded Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring system will have KDE 3 and your personal settings preserved.

Upgrading between releases of Mandriva always has the potential to cause some problems. Upgrading is supported and we do test upgrades, but due to the huge range of packages and hardware configurations possible, it is always the case that in your particular situation, the upgrade may cause a problem we did not anticipate. Therefore we recommend that you always back up your system prior to upgrading.


Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring is available in several different editions:

  • the One edition is an installable live CD integrating the latest proprietary drivers, available free of charge. six different versions of the One edition are available: two for GNOME and four for KDE, each with a different set of supported languages.
  • the Powerpack edition includes support, services, a wider range of packages, and third-party proprietary applications, including trial versions of LightZone, and a subset of the Fluendo multimedia codec pack, providing support for MP3, WMA and WMV files.
  • the Free edition is a pure free / open source software edition, without any of the non-free packages bundled with other editions, available as a free download.

For more information on the various editions, see Choosing the Mandriva Linux edition that's right for you.

Additional information is also available online:



KDE 3 is no longer included as a complete desktop in Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring. KDE 3 packages will remain in Contrib repository but without official maintainance. KDE3 will be completely dropped from repositories for 2010 version.


Default light environment is now LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) instead of icewm in all available isos.

Changes regarding software packages

X.org 7.4

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring contains a set of X.org packages most similar to the upstream 'X.org 7.4' release, particularly include version 1.6.1 of the X.org X server. This version introduces some significant changes, particularly input hotplugging. This involves the X server handling detection and configuration of input devices, rather than relying on the user or the distribution to do it and load the appropriate input driver. Most input devices will now use the evdev driver.

Another significant change is that all video adapter drivers must now use the libpciaccess interface. All core X.org drivers have been ported to this interface and will continue to work as normal, but this may have implications for external drivers. The sisimedia driver used to support SiS 670 / 671 cards has not been ported to the libpciaccess interface, and will not work correctly. Users of these cards must resort to using the vesa driver for now.

Default behaviour for now disables Ctrl+Alt+backspace shortcut to restart X server. This behaviour can be reverted to the old default by adding 'Option "DontZap" "false"' to the Section '"ServerFlags"' in /etc/X11/xorg.conf .

fglrx is now supported on recent cards. Non supported cards are configured to use open source driver by default.

Tcl/Tk 8.6, new layout

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring includes the newest Tcl/Tk release, 8.6 beta 1. As almost all Tcl-based packages have been ported to the new release and tested, end users should not notice any problems as a result of this change. However, please note that a new policy for Tcl-based applications has been adopted as a part of this release. Notably, it specifies that all Tcl extensions must be installed to /usr/share/tcl(version) (for architecture independent extensions) or /usr/lib/tcl(version) / /usr/lib64/tcl(version) (for architecture dependent extensions). If you are working with Tcl in Mandriva, please take note of this policy and be sure to install any of your own extensions in a way that complies with the policy. Extensions placed simply somewhere within /usr/lib will no longer be found by Tcl in Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring.

Icon on desktop for hotplug devices

Starting with Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring, icons to start applications for hotplug devices (webcam, tvtuner) are no longer added on desktop by default. To get the previous behaviour, add DYNAMIC=yes to /etc/sysconfig/system.

Gnome file manager defaults to browser mode

In contrast to previous Mandriva releases, the Nautilus file manager under Gnome now defaults to browser mode. To restore the old behaviour, go to System > Preferences > File manager > Behavior and uncheck the box 'Always open in browser windows'.

Syslinux and HDT (Hardware Detection Tool)

Syslinux has been updated to the latest version. Syslinux 3.75 provides many new features.

New module has been added in syslinux: HDT (Hardware Detection Tool). This module is available from the installation menu. Select it from the menu and you will be able to display hardware related low-level information for an x86 compatible system for components such as: PCI, DMI, CPU, Disks, Syslinux, Linux Kernel modules needed by this host, PXE environment.

Changes regarding installation and Drakxtools

Use of urpmi in installer

A lot of work has been done on installer in order to use urpmi by default in installer. Main advantages are:

  • reduce code duplication
  • improve maintainance
  • same codepath used either by installer, urpmi or One generation tool

Hybrid isos

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring One editions have been built as hybrid ISO. These isos can be easily dumped on USB memory sticks, which is quite useful when your hardware does not have CD or DVD reader but also has faster IO.

EXT4 support

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring support the Ext4 filesystem, the newest and latest evolution of the most used Linux filesystem, Ext3. In many ways, Ext4 is a deeper improvement over Ext3 than Ext3 was over Ext2. Ext3 was mostly about adding journaling to Ext2, but Ext4 modifies important data structures of the filesystem such as the ones destined to store the file data. The result is a filesystem with an improved design, better performance, reliability and features. Users can directly install Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring on Ext4 partitions as the DrakX installer has gained support for it.

Ability to browse partition content

It's now possible to browse directly the partitions contents directly within the DrakX installer and diskdrake partitionning tool.

msec redesign

Msec is a software framework intended to control and manage the security of the system. It was created and integrated first for Mandrake 8.0, and has been nearly totally redesigned for Mandriva 2009.1. The new version of msec introduces support for plugins, a new graphical interface, support for custom security levels, desktop notifications for security issues, advanced logging and improved documentation. By default, only 2 security levels are available, focused on desktop and server usage, but unlimited number of additional levels can be created and deployed after the installation. The detailed project description is available here.

drakxnet, interactive firewall

This new release comes with many bug fixes and improvements in Mandriva Network tools, such as support for advanced network configuration, new firewall options (NFS, syslog, dhcp and bacula, among many others), improved network monitoring application, additional pre-configured Internet providers, integration with new network devices and support for different wireless regulatory domains. Drakconnect application also attempts to diagnose connection errors when configuring new connections, determining the possible source of connectivity issues.


Mandriva 2009.1 introduces improved support for LDAP and winbind authentication in drakauth application.

Other technical information

Faster boot

2009 Spring improves again boot time, in two ways.

First, mkinitrd was improved to only wait for the exact devices needed to boot, while it used to wait for some useless devices initialization.

Then, the boot time is improved more thanks to Speedboot. It starts all needed functions for the graphical system (display manager) first and then, continue all other actions needed for a full boot, in background.

New services

There is now a new service named network-auth which permit to wait for network being ready, to start services relying on it. This is needed when using winbind, network filesystem for users. To use it, chkconfig --add network-auth is needed, or use drakauth for that.