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12.1 Milestone 3 (Aug 30, 2011)
OpenSUSE 11.4 is very nice. It works as advertised, and does a great job. The only problem I ever ran into in my entire time using it was when choosing to encrypt only /home and swap: it does not populate /etc/crypttab so you are greeted when you first boot it in this configuration with an init 1 level "some partitions did not mount" etc message. Simply log into this, go populate /etc/crypttab, and ctrl+D and it reboots and then no longer has that issue.
It's fantastic, and I use it on all my computers. I would highly recommend it! :)
2011 (Aug 30, 2011)
I am a long term Mandriva user, using everything from Mandrake 9 through Mandriva's 2010.1. I tried installing the new 2011 as soon as the .iso files hit the mirrors. I was not pleased at all.
The interface was very nice, I will admit. It almost looked like a Meego / Android type of KDE interface, and it was tight and worked. I think it would do better on touchscreen type computers, but the interface was beautiful and worked, so I can't say anything bad here.
However, during install, I had major issues that made me very unhappy with the new version.
First, I tried switching to a virtual terminal (ctrl+alt+F1 through F5 etc). On my Asus EEE PC 900A with an intel GPU, this worked good. On my laptop with an ATI GPU, this caused the whole thing to halt with no virtual terminal displayed. This is a major failure that is unacceptable, as even Slackware Linux can VT-switch without breaking. Trying to get back to the installer (F6, F7, F8, etc) did not work, so I would say this point is a failure.
Second, when creating the encrypted volume for my /home and swap, it was successfully created, but cryptsetup failed to mount it or allow me to click "Use" and gain access. This point is a major failure, one that should not have been allowed to get to release. However, I can handle creating these manually so I rebooted the install process, created only a root partition, and tried to install once again.
Third, once installed, I could not get on wifi with the x86_64 bit on my Acer laptop (with an Atheros card, ath9k module). I tried manually going to the internet to download the x86_64 rpm for rfkill. This fixed the problem for the most part (had to manually use rpm to install it and its dependencies). After this, I could manually unblock my wifi, and using shell tools, get on the internet. However, the GUI tools for this were all broken. This is a major failure, as even Slackware Linux can handle this using wicd, and (fwiw) with much less difficulty.
Fourth, I tried to install Xfce (my desktop environment of choice). Install seemed to work properly, and I installed GDM. However, KDM, the default, did not let me choose which DE/WM I wanted to log into, another major failure, as KDM on Mandriva 2010.1/2 and even Slackware Linux gave me login choices.
Finally, upon update, the system would no longer boot, saying the kernel file was missing. This basically means that the kernel was updated by Mandrake's GUI tool but either it did not update GRUB properly or it had a major filesystem error. My 10GB root partition is not encrypted, so this is a major failure on the part of Mandriva's update/GRUB GUI tools.
Overall, I was very unhappy. I am a long time Slackware Linux user and know my way around the shell very well (to the point where I can manually partition and encrypt my systems on my own when needed). Not even OpenSUSE 11.4 or Fedora 15 have these issues. Even if I had installed Slackware Linux 13.37 I would've already had a working system upon first boot, to include wicd and wireless, and an encrypted partition layout (/home and swap on LUKS+LVM), and would've already been using Skype to talk to people, using less time than I spent trying to get Mandriva 2011 to work.
I'd have to say that this is entirely unacceptable. I would rate this as an utter failure. I would recommend to those who want to use Mandriva to install 2010.2. For those using 2010.1/2, you might as well stay on this version, as 2011 is broken.