Perhaps feeling the need to meet the usual 6 month cycle of OS updates, Mandriva released its 2010 distibution for installation or upgrade. The transition from 2009.0 to 2009.1 was a nice improvement and I’ve been looking forward to 2010. However, my advice to all is to stay away from this one.
First up is the upgrade path. You can merely have the system download the updates and after a nice reboot, be all good to go with a fresh coat of paint. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. Upgrading from 2009.1 to 2010 seems to crash the upgrade program once it’s done, though if you go ahead and bewilderingly reboot and hope for the best, it will boot up as 2010.
From there, the system decided it would withing a minute or two have a kernal panic and lock up. Not a fluke nor a specific program, the system would just freeze arbitrarily.
Alright, let’s try the fresh install, then. Easy enough? Well the boot loader seems to lack the option to overwrite the MBR, so you may have a problem with dual-boot set-ups if you installed Windows beforehand. Additionally with a secondary harddrive like I have, you may have to adjust your BIOS settings. That said, after restarting a couple times to get past the pop-ups that load before the keyboard and mouse drivers, I did get in.
Not much new at the surface of things, aside from being less stable and some screwed up font aliasing. Not too terrible as long as you don’t reboot. If you do, the system may load, or it may get stuck on the neverending loading screen that fails to even load the option of a verbose mode to see what’s happening.
A second attempt at upgrading yielded the best results. No sudden freezing, so it’s at least usable for the first boot. That said, the system is unstable, with X siezing up with appearance changes, and upon reboot to fix, we hit our old friend the neverending loading screen.
If you have 2009.1 installed, if you’re able to easily restore from a back-up, you may want to give it a shot and see, otherwise anyone looking at an OS look elsewhere. Either try 2009.1 or a different distribution altogether — this one’s not ready.