FAQ

Distribution

Can you explain how your distribution is different from ROSA linux?

Looking at the screenshots, it appears identical, just with a different logo, ROSA has been around much longer....seems a bit like a copy?
A: After our first release we’ve received few questions about how OpenMandriva content differs from ROSA’s, and the nature of the relationship between OpenMandriva, ROSA and Mandriva SA?

Technically speaking, OpenMandriva and ROSA share a common basic codebase as do all linux distributions. OMA and ROSA teams work in close cooperation exchanging code in both directions which constantly improves and maintains this shared base. This is the concept behind FLOSS: to be able to take someone’s work and quite effortlessly rebuild it elsewhere thus these similarities are natural for any FLOSS based distribution. This commonality of code doesn’t result in OpenMandriva and ROSA being the same; far from it in fact, "OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0” has unique features such as a more complete implementation of the KDE stack which includes kmail, krita, amarok. It is built with a newer toolchain that takes advantage of some of the latest optimisations. We use glibc-2.18 and are progressing well down the path of support for the ARM architecture. Much of our additional code is directed toward optimisation of the KDE Desktop. A newer kernel release which supports later hardware and that is tweaked for desktop use. Speedy booting is aided by systemd-208 integration. We also include an enhanced printing stack.

It is hard to compare OpenMandriva, a community organized and built system, with that of ROSA a rock solid commercial distribution. Their aims and usage are different. OpenMandriva Cooker will always be a balance between cutting edge elements and new ideas and the need for stability and simplicity – and ROSA, being a commercial company, needs to carefully implement only fully tested and reliable components to ensure maximum stability for their user base.

So it can be seen that a shared code base can be directed to achieve different results: such are the benefits of cooperative effort brought about by the FLOSS approach.

This goes some way to explain the working relationship between OpenMandriva and ROSA as OpenMandriva builds a distribution in a manner that targets the aspects which its members need and desire. Should a commercial company find the features of our OpenMandriva appealing - they support us, which we welcome as this allows us to continue to build and improve the OpenMandriva distribution in our own unique and collaborative way. We hope that in the future other companies may find our efforts to produce a modern and innovative system so appealing they will wish to emulate us.

The real strength of OpenMandriva though is in our ideals. We are in the process of creating an international distribution where we are directing our efforts to work to professional standards. This is a hard and difficult task in the naturally anarchic world of Open Source but we hope one day people who have contributed to OpenMandriva will find it serves as a passport to work on high visibility projects.

We invite you to join us; it will be a bumpy road at first but the more help we have the smoother will be the ride…

I’m very happy to have new versions of OpenMandriva to test but is there an easy way to distinguish among them.

By the moment, there are only one cooker version, no “new versions” of OpenMandriva.

It happens that cooker is always marked by a serie of steps, beginning in TP (Technology Preview) and ending with the last RC (release candidate). Actually (May 23rd 2013), “the” cooker version is alpha-3. Older versions were already “updated”, “upgraded” and/or “reviewed”. All the bug tracking and building up of the final release probably will be done based on the last cooker, not previous cookers.
You can still have, potentially, several version of cooker. But that “several” means “different platforms”. In theory we could have an alpha-3 for x86_64, an alpha-3 for i586 or even an alpha-3 for ARM. Because of other limitations, this is not the case with actual cooker of OpenMandriva, as only the x86_64 version of the cooker is being developed.

Is it possible to add a number or name to the iso name but add the same number or name somewhere in the installed files?

Normally, the ISO file you download already contain some sort of identification in its name. For example, the actual (may 23rd 2013) cooker can be downloaded from [1]. As can be seen, the name contains the legend “alpha” (current stage), the date (“20130516”, meaning 2013 05 16, i.e. May 16th 2013) and the platform (x86_64). Plase note that it’s not called “alpha-3”. The OpenMandriva FAQ page (OMA_FAQ) includes the link to download the last cooker version.

Older 2012/3 cooker versions contained the “codename” in the ISO filename:

Technology Preview, codenamed “Bernie Lomax:)”, with “:” and “)” - ISO files: mandriva-linux-bernie-lomax-2012-x86_64-DVD.iso (64-bits version), mandriva-linux-bernie-lomax-2012-i586-DVD.iso (32-biots version) and mandriva-linux-bernie-lomax-2012-dual-CD.iso (dual version). There was a pre-TP release, named mandriva-linux-bernie-prelomax-x86_64.iso
Alpha-1, codenamed “Tenacious Underdog” - ISO files: mandriva-linux-tenacious-underdog-2012-x86_64-DVD.iso (64-bits version), mandriva-linux-tenacious-underdog-2012-dual-CD.iso (dual version) and mandriva-linux-tenacious-underdog-2012-i586-DVD.iso (32-bits version)
Alpha-2, codenamed “Unnamed loser” - ISO files: openmandriva-gnu-linux-2012-alpha2-unnamed-loser-x86_64-dvd.iso and openmandriva-gnu-linux-2012-alpha2-unnamed-loser-dual-cd.iso. No 32-bits version for alpha-2
Alpha-3 - ISO file: OpenMandriva.alpha.20130516.x86_64.iso
Note: there were others cooker versions, considered non OMA official but Moondrake, “a friendly project”. That cooker version is codenamed “Twelve angry penguins” - ISO files: moondrake-gnu-linux-2013-beta-twelve-angry-penguins-i586-dvd.iso (32-bits, Per Oyvind Karlsen version), moondrake-gnu-linux-2013-beta-twelve-angry-penguins-x86_64-dvd.iso (64-bits, Per Oyvind Karlsen version).

As can be seen, that identification only refers to the ISO file name, not the name of the files contained in that ISO. jcvanier already pointed up some clues about the version of OMV based on the names of the files contained in the ISO (see [2]). But even so, all cooker versions will contain the legend omv2013.0 in its name, without any reference to the TP, alpha, beta or RC version. It’s probable that the final release will also be identified with omv2013.0.

It’s really doubtful that “deeping” the identification name even more to include the cooker version can be useful at all. Cooker versions are not intented to be used by end user, so that kind of “deep-naming” rarely is needed. Also, you can have the same program (for example, Midnight Commander 4.8.3-1) in different cooker stages (mc-4.8.3-1 in alpha-1 and the same program in alpha-3), so, what is the reason to change the name of the RPM if the program (mc) and the system (omv2013) remain the same ? (even when we have different “stages” for cooker, it’s still “the cooker” version).

Note:
We have an additional complication now. There are 3 alpha-3 versions. But I believe that this was fortuitous, and it’s not “the rule” at all. The first alpha-3 ISO contained the legend “twelve-angry-penguins” in its name (it wasn’t actually the openmandriva alpha but was released by Per Oyvind; see OMA_FAQ). Mostly it didn’t work, because of some troubles with grub2 and with the installation program (I couldn’t install that alpha-3 at all). After those problems, Bero published another alpha-3. This one doesn’t contained the “twelve-angry-...” legend but the legend “alpha” and the date (20130513) on the filename. This second alpha-3 still had problems (I couldn’t install it either), that forced Bero to publish a third alpha-3 version three days after, on May 16th. That version is the link I said you at the beginning of this thread. As always, “20130516” version is the “actual” version (May 23, 2013) and any other version are not “valid” anymore. If you publish bugs or other info related with cooker, they always must be referred to “the last cooker version” (Moondrake is following its own steps, but even so, you always must reference the last cooker version of Moondrake).

If I use a ISO file to burn a dvd, having dvd only I know which version it contain (In Mandriva it was possible looking in a small file)?

Well, I can give you some alternatives:

  • You can be cautious and write the version on the DVD immediately after burning.
  • You can see /etc/issue (the “small file”). Sadly, the actual disk doesn’t have /etc/issue, at least not visible directly (as jc said, it’s not intended for end users). In actual cooker DVD there is a (big) file named “squashfs.img” in the folder “LiveOS”. That file contains all the live system, so you must “see” inside that file to find /etc/issue.
  • You can put the media (DVD or USB) on the PC and boot from there in Live mode. You will see what version do you have, without any modification in your running system. Also, you can easily see the /etc/issue file when work in live mode. Other files that can be used with the same objective are /etc/release and /etc/mandriva-release (probably renamed to /etc/openmandriva-release)
  • After burning the DVD, you can check the name of the disk. Actual cooker disk is named “OpenMandriva_2013.0”. Well, it don’t distinguish between TP, alpha, beta, RC or final version, but at least you know that the disk is a OpenMandriva system. Previous cooker contained all or part of the codename in the name of the disk.