Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mageia 1 Alpha2 -- A Status Report

Filed under
Linux

Mageia Linux—A Little History
On September 18, 2010, in response to Mandriva's liquidation of its “Edge-IT” subsidiary and the attendant layoff of a substantial share of its developers, a group consisting of former Mandriva developers and Mandriva community contributers announced their intention to form a non-profit organization and release a fork of Mandriva Linux called Mageia Linux.

The original announcement with background details and rationale can be found here.

Six months later, on February 14, 2011 the Alpha 1 version of Mageia 1 was released, two months later than originally planned. However, the Alpha 2 release was right on time, appearing a month later on March 15, 2011. For more information regarding Mageia's development timetable, look here. Note that the beta 1 release target date is April 5, 2011.

How is the Mageia 1 release shaping up? This status report takes a look at Mageia Linux 1 Alpha 2 release (updated daily), from a KDE-user perspective.

The Install

Hardware
I chose to do a fresh install on my Acer Aspire 6930-6560 laptop. This particular model of laptop sports a built-in Nvidia video (GeForce 9600M GS) controller. Along with this, it came with 3GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor, Atheros wired ethernet controller, Intel wireless network controller, and a 1366 x 768 native resolution display. The only hardware change I've made to this laptop is to swap in a 7200 RPM Western Digita hard disk vs the original 5400 RPM hard disk.

I chose to install the 64-bit version of Mageia 1 Alpha 2. To make it short, the install was flawless. Mardriva's wonderful graphical partitioner was there, as I chose a custom install and installed both KDE and Gnome.

All hardware components on my laptop after the install are working great.

RPMDrake Issue Fixed
RPMDrake is Mandriva's GUI package installer inherited by Mageia. At first, when doing a search for packages, the search didn't work. The (clumsy but functional) workaround was to type in the search term, press Enter, then pull down the File menu, and select “Reload the packages list”. Fortunately, this was fixed two days ago, and a search for packages now works as expected.

Updates
The Mageia devs have been extremely active. I get anywhere from 60 to 200 packages being updated daily. Today, the most recent Libreoffice version packages (version 3.3.2) made theirselves at home on my computer.

New packages are arriving daily too, as Mageia replaces Mandriva built packages with their own package builds. For example, the Codeblocks (wxWidgets based integrated development environment) arrived yesterday.

What's There, What's Not
The alpha version of Calligra-office (formerly Koffice) is there, as well as Firefox 4.0. The devs are doing a very good job of keeping this distro up to date.

Although Mageia has a “tainted” repository with non-free packages, I did not find Adobe's flashplayer there (some may consider this a good thing). I did however, download the 64-bit adobe flashplayer from Adobe's site, and install it by hand—which works fine.

The Delphi-like rapid GUI development package, Lazarus (and fpc, the free pascal compiler) are missing. Also missing was my favorite terminal program, mrxvt, and a the non-graphical text editor, Joe. (No, I'm not an Emacs or VIM guy—I'm a Joe, Nano, Kate, KWrite guy when it comes to text editing). I've downloaded, compiled and installed these programs, and all is well.

Stability
There have been two kernel updates in the last few days, which is now at kernel version 2.6.38.

After first installation, Alpha 2 was a little crashy. But updates over the last week appear to have stabilized it—no crashes for the last 2 days.

Comparison to Mandriva's Alphas
Bear in mind, I haven't looked at the latest Mandriva install updated from Cooker (their development repository). So, a week ago is the last snapshot I have of this emerging release. Mandriva is switching from RPM 4 to RPM 5. Last time I checked, rpmdrake, the GUI package manager was crash-prone. But the major difference I observe is desktop responsiveness under KDE.

I don't know whether the Mageia devs are stripping all debugging/delay code from their builds, but the desktop responsiveness from Mageia Linux is the best I've seen on this laptop, and has been noticable enough to make me prefer the emerging Mageia to the emerging Mandriva.

Conclusion
I go through a phase of intense distro-hopping about once a year. After trying out countless distros, I typically end up returning to Mandriva based releases. This last year, I've alternated between PCLinuxOS and Mandriva, using mostly PCLinusOS on my production machines.

I really like the way Mageia is shaping up. I plan to continue with Mageia on my laptop, which I'll be taking with me to the Northwest LinuxFest Conference in Bellingham, WA, at the end of April.

For an Alpha 2 release update to an imminent beta 1 release, it's becoming very stable. The repositories are getting deep, and the performance is remarkable.

Hats off to the Mageia folk. Keep up the good work.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME News: Black Lab Drops GNOME and Further GNOME Experiments in Meson

  • Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 Drops GNOME 3 for MATE Desktop
    Coming about two weeks after the release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11, which is based on the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system using the HWE (hardware enablement) kernel from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 appears to be an unexpected maintenance update addressing a few important issues reported by users lately.
  • 3.26 Developments
    My approach to development can often differ from my peers. I prefer to spend the early phase of a cycle doing lots of prototypes of various features we plan to implement. That allows me to have the confidence necessary to know early in the cycle what I can finish and where to ask for help.
  • Further experiments in Meson
    Meson is definitely getting more traction in GNOME (and other projects), with many components adding support for it in parallel to autotools, or outright switching to it. There are still bugs, here and there, and we definitely need to improve build environments — like Continuous — to support Meson out of the box, but all in all I’m really happy about not having to deal with autotools any more, as well as being able to build the G* stack much more quickly when doing continuous integration.

Fedora and Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives

  • Reproducible Builds: week 108 in Stretch cycle
  • Debuerreotype
    The project is named “Debuerreotype” as an homage to the photography roots of the word “snapshot” and the daguerreotype process which was an early method of taking photographs. The essential goal is to create “photographs” of a minimal Debian rootfs, so the name seemed appropriate (even if it’s a bit on the “mouthful” side).
  • The end of Parsix GNU/Linux
    The Debian-based Parsix distribution has announced that it will be shutting down six months after the Debian "Stretch" release.
  • Privacy-focused Debian 9 'Stretch' Linux-based operating system Tails 3.0 reaches RC status
    If you want to keep the government and other people out of your business when surfing the web, Tails is an excellent choice. The Linux-based operating system exists solely for privacy purposes. It is designed to run from read-only media such as a DVD, so that there are limited possibilities of leaving a trail. Of course, even though it isn't ideal, you can run it from a USB flash drive too, as optical drives have largely fallen out of favor with consumers. Today, Tails achieves an important milestone. Version 3.0 reaches RC status -- meaning the first release candidate (RC1). In other words, it may soon be ready for a stable release -- if testing confirms as much. If you want to test it and provide feedback, you can download the ISO now.

OSS Leftovers

  • Chef expands its cloud and container menu
    Chef, a leading DevOps company, announced at ChefConf 2017 that it was adding new capabilities to it flagship Continous Automation/DevOps program, Chef Automate. This enables enterprises to transition from server- and virtual machine- (VM) based IT systems to cloud-native and container-first environments with consistent automation and DevOps practices.
  • Nextcloud 12: The bigger, better, in-house small business cloud
    It's not even been a year since Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud. Since then, this do-it-yourself, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud has become increasingly popular. Now, its latest version, Nextcloud 12, the program is adding more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) features.
  • The Spirit of Open Source
  • What happened to Mastodon after its moment in the spotlight?
    More than a month later, the buzz over Mastodon has quieted. But though it may not be making headlines, the service continues to grow.
  • Mozilla: One Step Closer to a Closed Internet
    We’re deeply disheartened. Today’s FCC vote to repeal and replace net neutrality protections brings us one step closer to a closed internet. Although it is sometimes hard to describe the “real” impacts of these decisions, this one is easy: this decision leads to an internet that benefits Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not users, and erodes free speech, competition, innovation and user choice.
  • The eternal battle for OpenStack's soul will conclude in three years. Again
    After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, containers, cough, orchestration – as much as needed.
  • With version 2.0, Crate.io’s database tools put an emphasis on IoT
    Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Battlefield, is launching version 2.0 of its CrateDB database today. The tool, which is available in both an open source and enterprise version, started out as a general-purpose but highly scalable SQL database. Over time, though, the team found that many of its customers were using the service for managing their machine data and, unsurprisingly, decided to focus its efforts on better supporting those clients.
  • NewSQL CockroachDB Ready for Prime Time
    There's a new open source database on the block. Although it has a name that will most likely make you cringe for the first dozen or so times you hear it -- CockroachDB -- I have a feeling that if it isn't already on your radar, it will be soon.
  • Windows 10 S Won't Support Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu
  • Manage Linux servers with a Windows admin's toolkit [Ed: Well, the solution is learning GNU tools, not relying on proprietary stuff with back doors from Microsoft]
  • FreeBSD quarterly status report
  • openbsd changes of note 622
  • Book Review: Relayd and Httpd Mastery

    Overall an excellent book which is typical Michael W Lucas writing style. Easy to follow, clear cut instructions, and tons of new stuff to learn. If one must use OpenBSD or FreeBSD, then the chances are high that one will stick with the defaults that come with OpenBSD. No need to use fat Apache, or Nginx/Lighttpd web server especially when httpd and relayd audited for security by OpenBSD core team.

  • Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) 0.13.0 GNU/Linux OS Supports 64-bit ARM CPUs
    The GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.13.0 releases are here about five months after the December 2016 launch of version 0.12.0, and it appears to be a major milestone implementing a few important changes. First off, this release can now be installed on computers powered by AArch64 (64-bit ARM) processors.
  • The Good And Bad In WikiTribune, Wikipedia Founder's Open-Source News Site
    Countering the fake news threat has become a real challenge for social media platforms, which also serve as avenues of news dissemination along with the traditional media outlets.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary 1
  • Jaded by Java? Android now supports Kotlin programming language
  • Rcpp 0.12.11: Loads of goodies
    The elevent update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN yesterday following the initial upload on the weekend, and the Debian package and Windows binaries should follow as usual. The 0.12.11 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, the 0.12.9 release in January, and the 0.12.10.release in March --- making it the fifteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.
  • Master Haskell Programming with Free Books
    Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically statically typed, lazy, purely functional language, very different from many programming languages. Recent innovations include static polymorphic typing, higher-order functions, user-definable algebraic data types, a module system, and more. It has built-in concurrency and parallelism, debuggers, profilers, rich libraries and an active community, with approximately 5,400 third-party open source libraries and tools.
  • [Older] Manifesto: Rules for standards-makers

    If we work together on a project based on open tech, these are the principles I will try to stick to. I wanted to put all this in one place, so I can pass it along to future software developers.