Mandrake enters new Galaxy with release 9.1

MandrakeSoft has put aside its financial woes, announcing the release of Mandrake Linux 9.1 for x86 processors on Wednesday.

Mandrake Linux 9.1, codenamed Bamboo, comes with an array of feature software including: Kernel 2.4.21; XFree 4.3; Glibc 2.3.1; Apache 2 and Samba 2.2.7a. It also comes with KDE 3.1, GNOME 2.2, WindowMaker 0.8, Enlightenment 0.16.5, OpenOffice 1.0.2, KOffice 1.2.1 and The GIMP 1.2.3.

With Mandrake Linux 9.1 the company claims to be the first Linux distribution to support NTFS partition resizing, used by Windows NT, 2000 and XP. This feature is expected to save users from needing software such as Partition Magic to create the space to install Linux. Users of Version 9.1 will also see a new visual overhaul thanks to what MandrakeSoft calls "MandrakeGalaxy". (A full evaluation of Mandrake Linux 9.1 will appear in Australian PC World May 2003, page 35).

According to a release on the Mandrake site, the "core" version of Mandrake Linux 9.1 is now available for download. Complete retail packs, which will be available in April, come in three flavours:

Mandrake 9.1 Standard ($US39.90), which is a customised Linux system for desktop workstations;
Mandrake 9.1 PowerPack ($US69.00), which is a full-featured Linux package for power-users and;
Mandrake 9.1 Prosuite ($US199.90), which designed for small and medium-sized businesses.

Financially, it has been a testing year for MandrakeSoft. The company filed for bankruptcy protection at a court in its home country of France in January. This followed a series of quarterly losses which led to the filing of "declaration de cessation des paiements". However, at the time the company said its current operations will continue, including the release of version 9.1.

Also this week rival Linux distro Red Hat released an update to its OS. Red Hat Linux 9, will be available for download on Monday and features a new threading technology called NPTL (Native Posix Thread Library) that its predecessor Red Hat Linux 8 lacks.

SuSE unveiled Version 8.2 of its OS earlier this month, with the product due to be available on April 14. The desktop version includes KDE 3.1 and comes with a new tabbed browsing functionality and download manager. The scheduler application KOrganizer now supports Exchange 2000 servers, which means customers can synchronise their KOrganizer data with Exchange.

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