In a bid to broaden the penetration of its open-source operating system distributions, Mandrake Linux said it’s going to change the way its code is pulled together.
The new procedure, which will essentially result in two
pre-release versions in order to buzz out bugs, will first be applied to the company’s forthcoming 10.0 Linux release, set to roll out in April or May.
Mandrake has long occupied a place in the Linux universe as a scrappy but technically savvy vendor. Historically, the company has been a notable contributor to the GNU community and is a major proponent of Linux on the desktop.
However, its financial sailing hasn’t always been smooth. MandrakeSoft filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of January 2003. It’s been largely cash-flow-positive since then, and officials recently said it posted a profit for its most recent fiscal quarter. Now back on its feet, MandrakeSoft is expected to
emerge from Chapter 11 in early March.
In terms of software, the Mandrake Linux 9.2 distribution began shipping last fall. Mandrake last month rolled out the beta version of its 10.0 Linux release, which boasts support for the Linux 2.6.1 kernel.
MandrakeSoft cofounder Gael Duval recently told the open-source community Web site linuxquestions.org that the new release, dubbed Mandrake 10 beta 1, will focus more “on applications that are needed in daily business in small and medium corporations” such as office applications and groupware.
Indeed, it is with Mandrake 10 beta 1 that the company is implementing its new procedure.
Previously, Mandrake rolled out its operating systems using “Cooker,” an experimental distribution that’s constantly being updated and modified. As a new Mandrake Linux release was readied, Cooker was frozen and put through a traditional beta-and-release cycle.
But Mandrake said the “Cooker” process doesn’t uncover enough pre-release bugs. What it will now do is provide an initial release called the “Mandrake Linux Community.” A few months later, it will roll a second “rock-solid” version called “Mandrake Linux Official.”
This will incorporate all bug fixes and, according to a company statement, “as a result, will be particularly solid and problem-free.” In the case of the new distribution now in the works, Mandrake Linux 10.0 Official will be available this April