- 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 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 an 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 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)
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). CDs are no more available since Mageia 5.
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.
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 too 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
Open a console and go to the directory, where the name_of_the_mageia.iso is stored (in this example the file Mageia-7-Live-Plasma-x86_64.iso is stored in the directory Downloads)
Become after that a root with the command
and enter the root password. After that you can dump the ISO to an USB device via the following command
where (x)=your device name eg: /dev/sdb;/dev/sdc....etc
2887+1 records in 2887+1 records out 3027845120 bytes (3,0 GB, 2,8 GiB) copied, 145,719 s, 20,8 MB/s
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 a 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 the 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 you 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.