All Mageia ISO images are hybrid, which means you can burn them to an optical DVD/CD disc or just dump them on a USB stick and use it to boot and install the system.
- 1 Installation-only media
- 2 Live DVD ISO
- 3 Network Installs
- 4 Dump Mageia ISO on a USB flash drive
- 5 LiveUSB MultiBoot Methods (verified)
- 6 Other LiveUSB Methods (not yet verified)
- 7 Other Live USB Methods (currently not working)
- 8 Removing the Live ISO Files from USB Media
- 9 Checking the Downloaded Image File Integrity
Mageia's DVD ISO and Dual-arch CD ISO both use the traditional drakx installer. These are not Live DVD/CDs, i.e. they cannot be used to preview or test run the distro, they can only be used to install Mageia on a HDD (or USB HDD). Below is a detailed explanation of the features that each of these media provides.
The DVD ISO image can be used to install KDE4/Plasma5, GNOME, Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE or XFCE, i.e. these are the desktop environments available on the disc itself. The drakx installer includes the capability of adding the online Mageia repositories during the installation, which means you can install even more packages than those available on the disc.
You'll be given the choice to add nonfree software (you don't pay for it: the non-free means it's not covered by the Free Software Foundation licensing) during install, for finding nonfree software on it (e.g. the NVIDIA or AMD/ATI proprietary graphics cards drivers or firmware for wifi cards... etc). You can also add the online repositories during the installation and you can reconfigure your hardware at the Summary stage (towards the end of the installation) to install the nonfree software needed for your hardware.
The DVD ISO comes in two editions:
- i586 (32bit)
- x86_64 (64bit)
Dual arch ISO
This media is no longer provided since Mageia 5.1.
Like the normal DVD ISO, this ISO also uses the drakx traditional installer.
The Dual Arch ISO should be considered a minimal installation disc (a ~ 1.2Gb ISO). In addition, the only desktop environment available on the ISO is xfce4. The strongest point of the Dual arch ISO, is it can be used to install either a 32bit system or an x86_64 system, the installer defaults to x86_64 when it detects a 64bit-capable CPU.
As the selection of the architecture in the initial graphical GRUB menu is no-longer working, you need to enter your choice of architecture on the command line like
This ISO is for advanced users and system administrators to enable them to undertake fast deployments of Mageia. As it uses the same drakx installer as on the normal install discs, you can add the online repositories during the installation to install more packages, desktop environments... etc.
- Since Mageia 3, this ISO only contains a limited list of non-free packages for drivers: atmel, bluez, ipw2100, ipw2200, microcode, radeon, ralink, rtlwifi, and the iwlwifi-*-ucode. Enable the "nonfree" repository to install additional drivers.
- The installer offers options to install KDE and GNOME, even though they're not on the ISO, however you can install them from the online sources (for this to work you have to set up the online sources in one of the previous steps during the installation).
Live DVD ISO
A Live DVD ISO can be used to preview Mageia without first installing it on your computer. Simply download the ISO, burn it on a disk using your favourite ISO burner (or dump it on a USB key using dd or isoDumper , see #Dump_Mageia_ISO_on_a_USB_flash_drive), boot the system to see how well Mageia works on your computer, and optionally install it on your HDD; there's an icon on the desktop to start the draklive installer.
To limit the size of ISOs, each Mageia Live ISO contains only one desktop environment (Plasma5, GNOME or XFCE). However, CDs are are no more available since Mageia 5.
Note: Installing a live ISO to your computer simply copies the virtual file system of the Live ISO to your drive, along with some machine-specific configuration. For this reason, Live ISOs can only be used to create completely fresh installations, they cannot be used to upgrade from previous releases. Keeping an existing /home partition is not supported and may lead to data loss.
You can perform network installs using either netinstall.iso or netinstall-nonfree.iso, you can find them on the mirrors in <mirror url>/Mageia/distrib/cauldron/$ARCH/install/images/.
Both netinstall.iso and netinstall-nonfree.iso are very minimalistic images, which you can use to start the drakx installer and set up the other sources.
For more information see Mageia_Netinstall_Iso_(Boot.iso)
Dump Mageia ISO on a USB flash drive
All Mageia ISOs are hybrid, which means you can 'dump' them on a USB stick and use it to boot, test, and (optionally) install the system. But please note the size limitation as for example a 4GB ISO image can be to big for some 4GB USB drives due to rounding the size to GB.
Note: "dumping" an image onto a flash device destroys any prior file-system in the partition; access to any data not destroyed will be lost, and partition capacity will be reduced to the image size. In other words, all prior data on the device is at risk.
Note: Unetbootin should not be used to copy the ISO image to a USB drive (see below).
To dump a Mageia installation ISO on a USB stick, you may try one of several tools:
- From a Mageia system
- IsoDumper, available since Mageia 3 inside repo.
- From Ubuntu
- You can use the application "Disks" with the action "Restore an image" and select the .iso file
- From Mint
- Use Minstick, which is similar to Isodumper
- From any Linux system
- Simply copy the ISO to the USB stick with "dd" (see example below).
- From Microsoft Windows, see Dump Mageia ISO on a USB flash drive - Alternative tools
Example: Using the dd command to install live ISO files to a USB flash drive
dd if=mageia-livecd-1-KDE4-europe1-americas-cdrom-i586.iso of=/dev/sd(x) bs=1M
where (x)=your device name eg: /dev/sdb;/dev/sdc....etc
1419264+0 records in 1419264+0 records out 726663168 bytes (727 MB) copied, 273.084 s, 2.7 MB/s
- BE VERY CAREFUL TO USE THE CORRECT DEVICE NAME AS YOU CAN OVERWRITE YOUR HARD DISK WITHOUT ANY WARNING
HINT: type lsblk or mount in a terminal window to see the USB device name.
- Then safely remove the USB (it should be mounted)
- Type mount again and see which device is missing
- NEVER USE /dev/sda (that's usually your main system drive)
Since this method uses the whole USB stick you have to specify the node of the device and not of a partition on the device (e.g. use /dev/sde not /dev/sde1); you should be very careful when using this method because writing the image to an SCSI or SATA hard disk will render it unbootable and destroy some data on it.
LiveUSB MultiBoot Methods (verified)
- Make an Easy2Boot USB Flash/Hard drive Easy2Boot - copy the ISO file (and any others) to the \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\LINUX folder.
- The Linux tool MultiSystem is supported in French and English.
Other LiveUSB Methods (not yet verified)
- The free Windows tool LiLi supports many distros.
- Easy2Boot project RMPrepUSB is a grub4dos multiboot USB drive solution. It boots 99% of all linux distros (it uses a generic method). All you need to do is copy the ISO file to the grub4dos USB drive's \_ISO\MAINMENU folder (no utility needed) and then run some defrag utility to ensure the ISO file is contiguous. (author's post in the forum)
Other Live USB Methods (currently not working)
- A sourceforge project multibootusb, a tool for several Linux distros or Windows versions, uses the Grub4dOS bootloader (and Gambas3).
- The Windows tools YUMI and UUI at PenDriveLinux (for single-boot and multi-boot) may work someday, likely with boot parameters specifying location for distro files; both unpack an iso to flash and use syslinux to make it bootable.
Removing the Live ISO Files from USB Media
Removing the files from a USB stick once you've installed Mageia.
1) Open a Terminal and type:
to switch to root. You will be prompted for the root password
2) Confirm the device by typing (or copying & pasting) this command.
the entry for a 4g [actual size 3.98g] flash drive on my computer looks like:
Disk /dev/sdb: 3980 MB, 3980394496 bytes 4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 121472 cylinders, total 7774208 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x00000000 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
- Your device could have a different designation than /dev/sdb, but we will stick with this designation in the following procedure.
- Make sure you are reformatting the correct drive, there is no going back, all data on that drive *will* be lost!
- The size of the drive is a good way to confirm which drive you are going to reformat.
3) Unmount the device by typing (or copying & pasting):
4) Reformat the USB device to fat32, by typing (or copying & pasting):
mkdosfs -F 32 -I /dev/sdb
Now you have a nice blank flash drive ready to use again
Since release 0.32, isoDumper offers a feature to format the key and give it a name.
From Windows, a normal format will not restore access to full storage capacity although if you use the Disk Management tool (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management, or type "Disk Management" into the search box either at the Start Button or in Control Panel), you should be able to restore full storage access. You will need to delete the partition on the Flash Drive and then create a new one and format it. If that's just a little bit daunting, then rufus or HPformatUSB can restore partitioning (this section to be completed)
Checking the Downloaded Image File Integrity
Did you notice in the Download Mageia page, the hexadecimal number called md5sum or sha1sum? Both have been calculated by an algorithm from the file to be downloaded. If your ask this algorithm to calculate again this number from your downloaded file, either you have the same number and your downloaded file is correct, or the number is different and your ISO is broken, probably an incomplete download. Do not try to use the broken ISO, either download it again or use the BitTorrent (How to Fix a Broken ISO Download) method below.
Open a console, no need to be root, and to use
[sam@localhost]$ md5sum path/to/the/image/file.iso
Or to use
[sam@localhost]$ sha1sum path/to/the/image/file.iso
and compare the obtained number on your computer (you may have to wait for a while) with the number given by Mageia.
How to Fix a Broken ISO Download
If you have spent a long time downloading an ISO only to find that it fails the checksum test, do not panic. You may not need to download the ISO again. It is possible to use BitTorrent or wget to rebuild the ISO and download or fix the missing parts. See this article from the Damn Small Linux wiki for a very useful primer on the subject.