ROSA Desktop Marathon 2012 - The Perfect Linux Desktop
Installing and fiddling with various Linux distributions has been my passion since 2006. Its been 6 long years and I have tried almost every type of Linux distribution there is. But I have never come across such a good looking and fully-capable out of the box distro as the new ROSA Desktop Marathon 2012!
Well ROSA Linux is a fork of Mandriva which is itself of the Mandrake Linux family. Mandriva has been losing focus lately so two main distributions have taken over using the Mandriva strong base which are namely Mageia and Rosa.
I have liked Mandriva since I first installed it. It has a great Control Center, integrates well with KDE and has worked fine with the Hardware I had so far. However, one thing that has always bothered Linux users is the availability of proprietary drivers for hardware chips. Especially graphics cards. To be more specific, Nvidia and ATI ones. That has been the case with Mandriva, Ubuntu or any other distribution you name. Ubuntu is the big name in the marked but it was Mandriva which first came across the idea of fully supporting Nvidia graphics cards out-of-the-box with Mandriva 2011h (Hydrogen).
Rosa desktop carried forward the legacy of Mandriva 2011.h, did some customization and made a few tweaks into the user interface to launch an amazing new OS in the time Mandriva was facing its bad days.
No other Linux distribution that I've tried so far has been able to give such a value to the user out of the box as Rosa does. 5 stars to the Rosa developers!
Here are 10 good reasons why I like ROSA Desktop Marathon 2012 :
1. Great out of the box support for all my hardware which includes an Nvidia graphics card. (a big +)
2. Reliable Mandriva base and own software repository.
3. Amazing looks! ROSA Icon theme and the window borders look awesome.
4. Latest KDE stable.
5. Rocketdock with simplewelcome which are great apps according to me. Rocketdock replaces the KDE standard taskbar using Icons only task-manager and Simplewelcome is the start menu work-alike thing which has a facebook like timeline feature integrated into it! Isn't that great folks?
6. Klook installed by default.
7. Rosa doesn't annoy us with Error messages like Ubuntu 12.04 (a big +)
8. Google-gadgets is in the package manager! (strange as google gadgets is a laid down project).
9. Gtk themes work great with Rosa because it has Gtk engine pre-installed
10. LTS release looks promising and there is hope for 'even better' future versions.
Although these tiny flaws can be overlooked but its really a matter of perception:
1. Search doesn't find all the installed applications. For eg. konqueror doesn't display in the list of applications although it is installed.
2. Package manager needs a little work. It shows information for each package downloaded in a popup window which kind of breaks the UI flow and integration.
3. The Technical support application called Sphere (yes, for the first time there is free linux tech-support, at least for the sake of it!) didn't work for me.
4. Some essential apps like Gparted and Gimp don't come pre-installed.
Go for it. Cheers.