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This page lists in detail the various available installation media for the Mageia distribution. The iso images to install Mageia can be found here.
Some extra information here

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.

Installation-only media

Mageia's DVD ISO and Netinstall 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.

DVD ISO

The DVD ISO image can be used to install 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)
Notepad.png
Please note!
the 64-bit version will not work on 32-bit hardware.
UEFI is only supported by the 64 bit ISO

Live DVD ISO

Live mode

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.

Notepad.png
Please note!
Booting on a UEFI system is only supported by the 64 bit media

To limit the size of ISOs, each Mageia Live ISO contains only one desktop environment (Plasma5, GNOME or XFCE). CDs are are no more available since Mageia 5.

Notepad.png
Please 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.
Warning.png
Warning!
Create a user with a new login if you don't format a /home partition. User's configuration is written in user's space, which can overwrite some personal data. This can be the case for Firefox, Thunderbird, Kmail data...


Persistence with memory devices

If you use a memory device like USB stick, Live Mageia can be run from this support in a persistent mode (feature available since 7 release). For that, a partition in ext4 format has to be added in the remaining space alongside the system partition and to be named "mgalive-persist". The partition is searched on the same base device as the ISO image, and if found, used for the writable layer of the live filesystem instead of creating a temporary RAM disk for the purpose. Written information will be recovered at next boot.

One of the advantages of persistence is that it no longer uses the RAM file system, which means the Live ISOs stand more chance of working on machines with low amounts of RAM. Another advantage is that if you really need to use one of the proprietary drivers, it doesn't have to be rebuilt each time you reboot. This is particularly important if you need the Broadcom wl driver, because that often only works after a reboot.

The disadvantage is that writing to a filesystem on the USB stick can be slow. It's worth investing in a high-speed USB stick if you want to use persistence, and using USB 3.0 if you can.

Network Installs

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.

From Mageia,

1) Open a Terminal and type:

su

to switch to root. You will be prompted for the root password

2) Confirm the device by typing (or copying & pasting) this command.

fdisk -l

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):

umount /dev/sdb

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

Principle

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.

Practical

Open a console, no need to be root, and to use md5sum type:

[sam@localhost]$ md5sum path/to/the/image/file.iso

Or to use sha1sum:

[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.

Example:

Md5sum.png


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.