Mandriva Linux 2011 launches second beta

Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrake Linux and one of the most user friendly flavors of the operating system, has released the second beta of its 2011 edition, the first after most of the development activity shifted to Brazil late last year.

Mandriva’s parent company, which had been facing financial problems, moved to Brazil and shut down its French development centre. The Brazilian development centre was put up thanks to its earlier acquisition of Conectiva Linux, a South American Linux vendor.

Besides generating bad press through the ‘laying off’ of experienced developers, some of whom played a crucial part in giving shape to arguably the most user-friendly linux distribution; Mandriva also announced a switch from the more popular Gnome user interface to the less preferred KDE.

The 2011 edition is seen as a crucial test for the company, after the senior developers decided to start a competing linux flavor called Mageia.

“Despite the last-minute problems discovered last week which resulted in a 1-week delay, Mandriva 2011 beta2 should finally be hitting the mirrors in some hours,” Eugeni Dodonov, head of development in Brazil posted on an official blog a few hours ago.

He added that most of the user-interface and desktop-related features should be integrated, including new login manager functionality, stack folders integration into the environment, new welcome and launcher application, new panel and overall desktop look-and-feel.

Before official release of a new edition of a linux distribution, it is put through several ‘test’ releases named ‘alpha’, ‘beta’ and finally, ‘release candidate’ or RC.

The final release of Mandriva 2011 is expected in late May or early June.