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Review and Tutorial: Mageia 2

It was released yesterday, May 22, the new version of Mageia. The distraction became known after emerging as a fork of Mandriva when it was on the brink of bankruptcy. While the first version was practically a message from us, the second has the responsibility to consolidate Mageia among the major international districts. I'll be basing this review on the more traditional version, than the one with KDE.

I used for a long time the first version of the distro. Although it helped me get closer to KDE and the Qt world itself, I felt that something was missing in the distro and I ended up going to Arch Linux. I was a little afraid to retest the distro, but I was surprised by the evolution and the proposal of the new version.

Review

New artwork and faster boot

The first things anyone sees in a distro are boot speed and team-designed artwork. I found the system startup much faster than the previous version and the process much smoother.

Already the default theme seemed to be better worked out. The default wallpaper is kept from the grub screen, past Plymouth, Ksplash and reaching your desktop. Windows also have a more common theme, Oxygen. It seems that the designers of the team decided to leave that slightly purple / blue theme of very dubious taste of the previous version in the past and adopted the standard KDE look.

The installer

Some will disagree, but I still find Fedora's Anaconda the best installer. And unfortunately, the installer of Mageia 2 only makes me confirm this feeling more and more.

In addition to maintaining the same software used by Mandriva and at some points still remain Mandriva instead of Mageia, which leaves that impression in an unsuspecting user that distracting the ReFiSeFuQuI program is not intuitive, the interface a bit complicated too.

Well, the Mageia staff could include among the points that should be improved in the future in this installer distro.

A conservative release

The Mageia team did not want to risk major changes and changes in this version. The programs inherited from Mandriva did not undergo major practical changes, only the new art was applied. And although it was the KDE version and the stable version of Calligra Office, formerly Koffice, which was released some time ago, the option was made to keep LibreOffice. Another much criticized part, the installer, remains largely untouched, still mentioning Mandriva in some parts.

and innovative at the same time

But the team also knew how to risk in some areas and, in my view, got it right. Mageia 2 is the first version of a major distro that I am aware of that has adopted the ESR version of Firefox, version 10. While this may slightly annoy users who, like me, love to try out the new versions, they may be show as a difference of the distro in relation to its competitors.

If this wasn't new enough, the distro comes with Nvidia's proprietary driver by default. I confess I was startled when the Nvidia logo appeared right after the first boot. I don't remember if I've used any distros that came with this driver by default.

KDE 4.8

Although I currently prefer Razor-Qt, which is undeniably a good decision from the Mageia development team to wait for KDE 4.8 for the release. I already considered distro KDE in the previous version excellent, but I was really surprised by the new version.

My only complaint is that, in time for the activities of Gnome 3 and Dash of Unity, that Windows 98-style menu adopted to kill anyone with disgust. Luckily you can get back to the good and not that old KickOff with just a few clicks.

Control Center, Network Center, and RpmDrake: Nothing New

I sincerely expected more updates on these three, but didn't find them. Except for the new artwork applied to the Control Center, everything is in one place.

Tutorial

Upgrading from Mageia 1

If you are still a happy Mageia 1 user, according to the project's wiki, you will get a version 2 release warning and be able to upgrade with the graphical tool. mgaapplet . If this does not happen for some dark reason, you need not despair. s follow these steps.

IMPORTANT: Before you upgrade, make sure you do not use one of the packages that have been removed from Mageia 2 repositories for several reasons. These include Google Gadgets, the exchange of Sun Java for OpenJDK, the exchange of OpenJDK-plugin for Icedtea-web, among others.

Update via interface (mgaapplet)

Run the following commands via terminal or via A lt + F2 just the second command:

su

mgaapplet-upgrade-helper new_distro_version = 2

Update via command line

If you prefer to do things via terminal, you don't have to be sad. Mageia can also be updated with text mode tools. To do this, just follow these steps:

su

urpmi.removedmedia

urpmi replacefiles auto-update auto

So to make it clear what we are doing, I will explain the above commands:

First you are logging in as root, system administrator; then you are removing Mageia installation media (repositories) and then adding the Mageia 2 media list; The last command will do an automatic system update without asking you questions.

DVD Update

You can also upgrade your system by downloading the DVD version of Mageia 2. After downloading and burning the DVD, boot it using the option. Install Mageia 2 (install Mageia 2) and, in the distro installer, select the option to upgrade.

Adding Media

After the first boot, you will be prompted to configure the Mageia 2 installation media. This is nothing more than the configuration of the repositories that will be used for package installation and system updates. Here is a description of some of these repositories:

  • Core Includes packages with open source licenses. Mageia 2 comes with Core and Core Updates media enabled by default;

  • Non-Free Includes packages that can be redistributed by the Mageia team, but contain closed code that cannot be corrected or modified by the team. Here are programs like Opera;

  • Tainted Packages that are rewarding but have patent and license issues in some countries. This media is not enabled by default.

These three media have the versions Updates, Backports and Testing. The Versions Updates and Backports they are updates of the standard version; the difference that the updates contains official updates and the backports contain updates that for various reasons have not yet been added to the repository updates. Already the repository testing contain programs that are still considered unstable or have not been widely tested by the Mageia team; they can either fix a bug that appears in an update, or crash your system and create problems for you.

You can modify the media later through the Mageia Control Center.

Codecs, Flashplugin and Java plugin

It's kind of crazy, but I don't remember installing the gstreamer codecs on Mageia 2 but the fact that they are installed. Although Adobe warned that there would be no new versions of Flash for Linux, I still think it is necessary. And the java plugin, formally icedtea-web, is also a good option for better compatibility.

IMPORTANT : Make sure you have the repositories nonfree and tainted enabled before attempting to install codecs.

su

urpmi gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly flash-player icedtea-web

Browsers for all tastes

In Mageia 2 you don't have to cry: just about every major browser in the Linux world is in the repositories, including Opera, present in the repository. NonFree

To install any of them (or any other package) s use the rpmdrake (formerly known as Install and Remove Programs) or via terminal use the urpmi .

su

urpmi packagename

Conclusion

Definitely, Mageia 2 had a great advance over the previous version. The whole system looks more professional and well cared for. I found the decision to use the ESR versions of Firefox and Thunderbird interesting, as well as agreeing with the conservatism of maintaining the LibreOffice suite instead of bringing Calligra Office, which is better integrated with KDE.

Since it's not all flowers, I think the inherited tools of Mandriva deserved a little more attention from the staff. Apart from the new theme, everything is pretty much the same, which is a bit daunting. I believe that especially the installer of the distro should receive attention for the next release, aiming to improve it.

Grades