Mageia is one of those distributions that’s been around for quite some time but is often overlooked for other more popular distributions. It’s a community supported distribution that was originally forked from Mandriva around 10 or so years ago. It’s an RPM distribution and they have just released their newest version, Mageia 8. They offer a few different ISOs including a classic installation ISO that uses the drakx installer which is what I opted to take a look at. The size for the classic ISO is around 4.2Gb. They also have a few live ISOs if you prefer featuring either XFCE, GNOME or Plasma.
Once I booted up the classic ISO there was a short license agreement I had to agree with to continue to the next steps. Using the default partition scheme creates you a separate /home partition which uses ext4 as well as the / partition. It also created a small 4GB swap partition. There is also a section where you can choose your desktop. The main two featured desktops are GNOME and Plasma but there is a 3rd option where you can choose alternative desktops. I went for GNOME and it shipped with version 3.38.3. Installation was quick and easy and took under 10 minutes on my machine.
Booting up for the first time you’ll be greeted with a close to stock GNOME desktop and the Mageia welcome screen. I was very impressed with the welcome screen and the way it guided a new user through the initial steps of setting up your computer. You can also access the MCC (Mageia Control Center) from here and further setup your system with an easy to follow GUI. This reminded me a little bit like ‘YaST’ from openSUSE.
Mageia uses the ‘urpmi’ package manager but since Mageia 6 you can also use ‘dnf’. The first time I tried installing a package in the terminal it became apparent that I didn’t have sudo privileges. This was fixed by simply adding my user to the ‘wheel’ group using the MCC. After that I was good to go.
Moving around the desktop was fast and snappy and I didn’t experience any weird bugs or crashes. The version of GNOME I used came installed with most of the applications a user should need such as;
- Firefox (ESR)
Installing new packages was a breeze using either the command line of the GUI package manager. The kernel version that Mageia shipped with for me was 5.10.16.
All in all I was very impressed with Mageia 8 and it made a nice change from all of the Ubuntu/Debian/Arch based distributions we are used to seeing. To read more about Mageia 8 click here.
What do you think of Mageia? Let me know in the comments below!