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Introduction to Mageia, an OS distro

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Mageia 6 w/ KDE which is a change of pace for me. I had been a Debian/Gnome or Debian/XFCE guy for many many years.

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Never used Mageia! I’ve used KDE before and while I don’t mind it, it seems pretty heavy on resource usage for me, since the computers that I own currently don’t have a lot of RAM. I’m running FreeBSD 12 with the JWM or XFCE WM. Before that I was running OpenBSD 6.4 with the default window manager(cwm), and it ran like lightning on here.

Getting back to Mageia, wikipedia says it’s a fork of Mandriva. RPM huh? I mostly have RPM experience with CentOS and Fedora, never tried any other RPM-based distro. Does Mageia have a lot of good packages? Also how well does it run on your system?

It’s not proving to be very ram intensive over here. Though my understanding is that KDE Plasma 5 is a lot slimmer than Plasma 4. I also find it a lot cleaner in UI than I found Plasma 4. Ive had firefox, thunderbird and sundry items running in a Plasma session for a couple days and my memmory usage is still under 2.6gb of ram 0gb of swap.

It’s very smooth in terms of performance. (I run a Thinkpad X230 for refrence). Mageis 6 ships with a mandrake forked network management thing which is fine, but slows down the boot a hair; its also possible to replace it with network manager seemlessly. The package depth of the repos is nice, it was only missing a single package from what I usually demand; and Suse’s build services provided unofficial packages for it. I’d like to sit down and learn the package management proccess to fix that at some point.

Web interface for their repos to check out the package spread here: https://madb.mageia.org

Ir should be pointed out to it ships dnf for rpm as well as the mandrake urpm tools; though I find myself quite liking the urpm tools.

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It’s not proving to be very ram intensive over here. Though my understanding is that KDE Plasma 5 is a lot slimmer than Plasma 4. I also find it a lot cleaner in UI than I found Plasma 4. Ive had firefox, thunderbird and sundry items running in a Plasma session for a couple days and my memmory usage is still under 2.6gb of ram 0gb of swap.

That’s good. I’ll really have to try it on a laptop I have that has 4 GB of RAM. This computer I currently run FreeBSD on only has 2 GB. The only thing is that the wireless is Realtek, and I had to basically compile the drivers myself. Do you know what the wireless support is like for Mageia?

It’s very smooth in terms of performance. (I run a Thinkpad X230 for refrence). Mageis 6 ships with a mandrake forked network management thing which is fine, but slows down the boot a hair; its also possible to replace it with network manager seemlessly. The package depth of the repos is nice, it was only missing a single package from what I usually demand; and Suse’s build services provided unofficial packages for it. I’d like to sit down and learn the package management proccess to fix that at some point.

As far as applications goes, I don’t have a lot of requirements. Just mpv, weechat, ssh, a file manager, mpd/cmus, vlc, and maybe some games like Doom, Quake 1-3, Wolfenstein and Dosbox :smiley: , so if it can fulfill those requirements, I may give it a try on my laptop!

BTW - Don’t know what your running on all your devices; but BSDNow was saying a couple of weeks ago that the KDE ports team had mostly caught up with KDE propper. If you wanted to give Plasma 5 a go in BSDland.

Mageia provides backported kernels in their repos. Linux Kernel 4.14.10 is the most recent provided, the kernel on the install disk is older though. Which Realtek do you got?

Well I can confirm mpv, ssh, file managers, mpd, vlc, dosbox and various games.

Id encourage you to. I wanna preface this by saying the installer is a little retro. Its not hard to use or technically difficult per se; just very 90s linux installer looking. Mageia is still modernizing some of the older parts of their Mandrake infrastructure.

Also while their known as a KDE distro, they support Gnome and XFCE out of the box too. Though I cant speak to how well integrated those packages are.

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Heya, I’m dd’ing the live dvd iso to a usb drive now! I’ll report on the results once I get everything hooked up!

So I tried Mageia, and it runs like a charm! It detected my wireless card as well right off the bat! No other distro did that, so I’m very impressed so far. I think I’ll install it since the current distro I have on there, elementary os, is impressive too, but I want something that has official support for wireless card so that I no longer have to recompile the kernel drivers every time there’s an update… so yeah, this is awesome!

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That trait, of not needing to recompile for support, that should be a filterable criteria for any piece of hardware. Making note.

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Mageia has a pretty delicious mix of non-rolling distro, with a few rolling packages. (Firefox, kernel). Which means you get a lot of the benefits of a well polished stable distribution, but a lot of niceties of a rolling distro (cutting edge hardware support).

Glad your liking it! Lemme know if you have any questions.

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Sure thing! One question I have is, how to get more software for the system? I tried the package manager and it shows a bunch of stuff already installed. What’s the recommended method for finding packages?

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GNU/Linux style repos are a kind of “media source” in mageia parlance. Depending on how you installed you may need to select network media still to fetch from the repos. That might be why your having a hard time finding new packages. Instructions for that here: Software management - Mageia wiki

Installing new software:

  • From the commandline:
    • You have two (probably more, but two common) options:
      • DNF (Dandified Yum) is available as in fedora/redhat with “dnf search” and “dnf install” doing what they ought to do.
      • The mandrake/mageia way would be to use urpmq/urpmi urpmq is the search command. urpmq searches by exact package name by default. urpmq --fuzzy searches by partial word match. urpmi installs a package. Both have manpages as well as wiki entiries here: URPMI - Mageia wiki urpmq can be kinda confusing if your expecting partial word matches by default behavior.
  • From the GUI:
    • In the default KDE installation there should be a “Install & Remove Software” option under applications. If you open your applications menu and start typing “software” it should pop up. This launches rpmdrake which is a graphical package manager. It is very similar to synaptic in my experience with it, if you have any familiarity with that from Debian/Ubuntu derivatives.
    • KDE Discover can also be used but I don’t think it is installed by default. I haven’t used it much, it doesn’t seem well integrated just yet, but this is expected to change in Mageia 7 I believe. (Due out soonish)
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Thanks for info! This really helps. I’ll be sure to try this later!

Heya, I tried the method mentioned in the wiki and got the packages I wanted. So now everything is good :smiley: . As far as upgrading to Megeia 7 when it comes out, do you usually just wipe and reinstall everything or can you do like Ubuntu/Debian and upgrade with one just one command? I’ll check the wiki, but I just wanted to know if you had any advice for that sort of thing… oh, and also, I decided to use the KDE version of Mageia.

I actually don’t know. I just started using Mageia in October. I think it technically supports it. Im unlikely to personally find out how well Mageia handles in place upgrades though.

As I general rule I dont trust many OSes in place upgrades even in distros like Debian. I usually personally look at OS upgrade time as “cleaning house” or “spring cleaning” sort of thing. Reinstalling your OS cleans up all the software packages and config files you may or may not need anymore. It also helps you rule out any future problems you might have as bugs left over from an upgrade.

I kinda developed that notion after doing a lot of desktop management / reimaging of workstations when I was starting out as a technician at my institution. People without those kind of war traumas who endorse such things, may not be wrong either. Its just the strategy I endorse and use.

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I agree with you regarding the majority of operating systems, and that occasionally it’s important to do that as well. One OS I’ve had good upgrading experiences with is OpenBSD. I updated from 6.2 to 6.3 and it was super smooth, and there hasn’t been any OS upgrade experience like it that I’ve seen. Generally, on a whole I follow your philosophy though.

Since I am using FreeBSD the majority of my time, I am thinking of trying what a person on IRC told me about. He keeps his entire /home directory in a VM jail(Using FreeBSD’s own tools, which is bhyve and the built-in jail utility), or something like that. Anyways, I think such an idea, where you can keep everything separate is a cool thought. I plan to put it to good use here in a bit. I think that makes everything easier to upgrade, but I don’t know how much that would incur on my CPU and RAM…

BSDs in my opinion were the first OSes I ever really considered excluding from my general ban on upgrades. The separation of their ports trees from the base system really in some ways means you can deal with upgrades to the OS without worrying about other software contaminating or causing emergent issues.

So far for me upgrading NetBSD and FreeBSD have been pretty smooth and surprisingly reliable. This is one of the reasons im running FreeBSD on my VPSes and my home server now.

Dunno if your still running Mageia @fuuko but Mageia 7 is targeting a release around May 6th-12th. I am personally super curious about their ARM port on this release.

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I’m still running it, still works great! It just sometimes loads my wireless card and sometimes doesn’t, and when it doesn’t I have to manually configure it via the Network Center occasionally. It’s still loads better than any distro that doesn’t pick up my wireless card in the first place. So far, no other issues! I’m definitely looking forward to 7!

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It’s out.

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