OpenMandriva holds a special place in the hearts of seasoned Linux users, evoking cherished memories of its remarkable legacy. It represents the continuation and evolution of Mandrake and Mandriva, two historically significant Linux distros, with which many of us started our Linux adventure more than 20 years ago.
That’s why each new release is a notable occasion, and this holds for the just unveiled OpenMandriva Lx 5.0, arriving 21 months following the previous Lx 4.3 version. So, let’s see what has changed.
OpenMandriva Lx 5.0 Highlights
Let’s start with an explanation to clear up any potential confusion for those not closely tracking distribution releases. OpenMandriva Lx represents the stable, fixed releases of the distribution, whereas the ROME series, launched in early 2023, serves as the rolling release branch.
With this understanding, it’s notable that OpenMandriva Lx 5.0 has been eagerly awaited, and the outcome justifies the wait.
However, before we get into what’s new, the big news is that the distro plans to expand its horizons with new variants, including a server-centric spin and versions tailored for various ARM boards, which are expected to be ready for use shortly.
In light of this, efforts are being made to incorporate a fully open graphics stack, even on GPUs like the Mali G610 found in Rockchip 3588 boards, with current snapshots showing promising results.
Moreover, a RISC-V port is underway, although it’s not expected to be ready for a fixed point release before the launch of version 6.0. Now, back to the release.
OpenMandriva Lx 5.0 ships with the cutting-edge Linux kernel 6.6, which, in an unexpected turn, was proposed to become an LTS one. That means users can rely on a stable and supported experience for the next three years.
But, of course, the distribution’s focus has always been on desktop users, and in this regard, they will find its offerings quite satisfying. KDE users will enjoy the latest Plasma 5.27.9, accompanied by KDE Frameworks 5.112 and the KDE Gear 23.08.3 applications suite.
The latest GNOME 45.1 version, packed with numerous enhancements, is set to impress users in the OpenMandriva Lx 5.0 GNOME edition.
Additionally, those who favor the efficient LXQt desktop environment will be pleased with the most recent LXQt 1.4 update, featured in OpenMandriva’s corresponding edition.
Another notable change in this release is merging the “/” and “/usr” filesystems, a first for OpenMandriva’s fixed point releases. This change aligns with broader Linux ecosystem trends and is expected to simplify file system hierarchy and maintenance.
Security has been a top priority in this release. All recent vulnerabilities, including those affecting critical libraries like glibc and curl, have been promptly addressed with relevant patches, showcasing the distribution’s commitment to user safety and system integrity.
Software-wise, OpenMandriva Lx 5.0 offers updates to all client applications, and in the default installation, you will find:
- LibreOffice 7.6.3
- GIMP 2.10.36
- Krita 5.2.1 (Plasma Edition)
- Chromium 119 (Plasma Edition)
- Firefox 120 (GNOME Edition)
Of course, the familiar system management tools, including dnfdragora, are readily accessible, along with the in-house backed OpenMandriva Control Center. These tools are renowned for their efficiency in managing various system aspects, providing users with a seamless and intuitive experience.
Finally, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, OpenMandriva has included a special treat in the backgrounds section: a parade of the most significant OpenMandriva wallpapers, offering a nostalgic journey through its evolving aesthetic over the years.
The developers strongly recommend that users of the OpenMandriva Lx 4.x releases opt for a fresh installation of 5.0. However, if you still want to perform an in-place upgrade, follow the instructions described here carefully.