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Introduction

Mageia 1 marks the milestone of a lot of hard work, that has started since the day the Mageia distribution was born.

This page should help you get an overview of what Mageia offers it's users.

Available installation media

Mageia has two distinct installation media types:

  • DVD ISO and Dual-arch CD ISO, which use the drakx traditional installer and
  • Live CD ISO, this is a live ISO which can be used to preview the distribution and can also be used to install Mageia on your HDD

For more information have a look at the installation media page.

You will find the download info on the Mageia download page: direct (ftp and http) and BitTorrent downloads are available.

The Mageia online repositories

The packages in Mageia exist in three different repositories/media, depending on what license each package uses. Here's an overview of those repositories:

  • Core: The Core repository includes packages with free-open-source software, i.e. packages licensed under a free-open-source license, the set of the Core media are added by default and the "Core Release" and "Core Updates" are enabled by default
  • Nonfree: The Nonfree repository includes packages that are free-of-charge, i.e. Mageia can redistribute them, but they contain closed-source software (hence the Nonfree name); For example this repository includes the nVidia and ATI graphics cards proprietary drivers, firmware for various Wi-Fi cards... etc. The set of the Nonfree media is added by default and the "Nonfree Release" and "Nonfree Updates" are enabled by default
  • Tainted: The Tainted repository includes packages under various licenses, free and nonfree ones, but the main criteria for packages in this repository is that they may infringe patents and copyright laws in some countries in the world (e.g. multimedia codecs needed to play various audio/video files, packages needed to play commercial video DVD... etc); as such the set of the Tainted media is added by default but not enabled by default, i.e. it's completely opt-in; so check your local laws before using packages from this repository. This repository is only added for the convenience of the users. This repository is to Mageia what PLF is to Mandriva users or RPM Fusion is to Fedora users.

Major features in Mageia

Package Management tools

CLI Package Management Tools

Mageia uses the all too familiar urpmi, this the default RPM packages dependency resolver in Mageia, which you can use to install RPM packages on the system. It can also be used to update the system, for the full usage details check the urpmi man page. The rest of the family are:

  • urpme: used to uninstall RPM packages installed on the system, with many command line options
  • urpmf: a tool that can be used to show what package contains a certain file; it can also be used to search for all sorts of RPM tags (requires, suggests, conflicts, obsoletes) in the packages in the official repositories, among other features
  • urpmq: the urpmi database query tool, think of it as 'rpm -q' but with many more extended features, that can be used to check RPM packages in the official repositories
  • urpmi.update: a tool to update the urpmi database on the user's installation, it can also be used to disable (ignore) configured media sources on the system
  • urpmi.addmedia: a tool to add the Mageia media sources (online (http, ftp, rsync) and local alike)
  • urpmi.removemedia: a tool to remove the media sources configured on the system

GUI Package Management Tools

If you're not familiar (or don't like) to use the CLI, don't worry, Mageia offers a complete set of GUI tools to manage packages on the system. Mainly these packages are:

  • rpmdrake (the Mageia Control Center -> Software Management -> Install & Remove Software): this is the default urpmi graphical frontend, you can use it to install packages from the official repositories and also Remove/uninstall packages installed on the system. It comes with a useful set of filters, so that you can make it only show "Packages with GUI" or only "Security updates"... etc.
  • drakrpm-edit-media (the Mageia Control Center -> Software Management -> Configure media sources for install and updates): this tool can be used to:
    • Add/remove the urpmi media sources (using the "Add" button will make urpmi use the MIRRORLIST, which should ideally pick the geographically nearest mirror automatically, or using File -> "Add a specific media mirror" to add a specific mirror)
    • Enable/disable any configured media sources
    • Define options from the Options menu, that's related to the settings urpmi will use when downloading packages (like selecting the default downloader... etc)
  • MageiaUpdate (the Mageia Control Center -> Software Management -> Update your system): this tool can be used to update your system, it updates the urpmi database then checks for any available updates
  • mgaonline: this package includes mgaapplet, which is auto-started when you login, it checks for updates periodically, and notifies you (via a system tray icon) of the availability of any updates. You can configure how often it checks for updates using mgaapplet-config (the Mageia Control Center -> Software Management -> Configure updates frequency).

Mageia system configuration tools

Mageia will go on using all the familiar drak tools; here are the highlights:

  • drakconf: The Mageia Control Center, which can be used to launch all sorts of system administration tools
  • drak3d: A tool to to configure 3D desktop effects (e.g. Compiz)
  • drakguard: A tool that allows to configure parental control. It can block access to web sites and restrict the internet connection to specific timeframe
  • rpmdrake: A simple interface that makes it easy to install and remove software packages (RPM) in Mageia
  • drakx-net: The default Mageia network tools
  • userdrake: A user-friendly and powerful tool for administering users and groups
  • system-config-printer: A powerful printer configuration tool, developed by Redhat/Fedora

Migration from Mandriva Linux

Upgrading from Mandriva Linux 2010.1 and 2010.2 is supported, and has been fine tuned over the past months, so it should work. But as always, it's very advisable to back up any important data before upgrading.

There are several ways to upgrade from one of those previous Mandriva releases:

Using the Mageia 1 DVD to Upgrade

You can use the Mageia 1 DVD to do clean installs but also to upgrade from previous releases. To upgrade:

  • Download the ISO from the Mageia download page and burn it on a DVD, or dump it on a USB stick. For more details have a look at the Available installation media article
  • Boot the DVD and select "Install Mageia 1" from the GRUB (the bootloader) menu
  • Select the Upgrade option in the installer

It is recommended to set up the online repositories, if possible, during the upgrade as the DVD only includes a subset of the full fledged online Mageia repositories

Upgrading online from within your Mandriva installation, using the online media sources directly

You can upgrade using the online media sources directly, from within your Mandriva installation. This can be done either using the GUI (mgaonline) or the CLI (urpmi). Both methods are outlined below.

Upgrading online from within your Mandriva installation, using mgaonline (GUI)

Install the last version of the mgaonline package on your Mandriva installation, the package will be available on http://mageia.org/migrate. Then just launch mgaapplet. It will notify you of the availability of the Mageia 1 new distribution, configure Mageia media sources and start migration.

Upgrading online from within your Mandriva installation, using urpmi (CLI)

You can also upgrade using urpmi from your favourite terminal emulator; however first you have to install the mgaonline package (see above). Here are the general upgrading steps:

  • Remove all the existing media sources on your system by executing this command as root in a terminal:
su
urpmi.removemedia -a
  • Add the Mageia online sources, either:
    • Using the MIRRORLIST method (which will select a mirror automatically based on your geographical location):
su
urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist http://mirrors.mageia.org/api/mageia.1.$ARCH.list

($ARCH is either i586 or x86_64) OR

    • Using a specific media mirror:
su
urpmi.addmedia --distrib <media_url>

Available Desktop Environments

As a desktop-agnostic distribution, Mageia has all the popular desktop environments, along with various window managers. Here's an overview of them:

KDE4

Mageia 1 will ship KDE SC 4.6.3. This release brings many improvements and new features for more details check the release announcement.

GNOME

Mageia 1 will ship GNOME 2.32, with the plethora of popular applications that come with it (Totem, Rhythmbox, Epiphany, Evolution, The GNOME Archiver (file-roller), Evince, F-Spot... etc).

XFCE4

Mageia 1 will ship the latest stable version, 4.8.1, of XFCE, it brings many improvements, for the full details have a look at the XFCE 4.8 release announcement.

LXDE

Mageia 1 will ship the latest stable LXDE packages (PCManFM, LXSession, LXTerminal, Gpicview, LXRandR).

Window Managers

Mageia 1 will ship various window managers, which in reality are just small and very lightweight desktop environments:

  • Openbox
  • WindowMaker
  • IceWM
  • Fluxbox
  • Fvwm2

Desktop Applications

Mageia 1 will ship a lot of the popular desktop applications, here are the highlights.

Web Browsers and email clients

  • Firefox: Firefox 4.0.1 will be shipped with Mageia 1, this new release brings with it a lot of improvements concerning all aspects of Firefox, for more info have a look at the Firefox 4 release notes
  • Chromium-browser: Google Chromium-browser 11.0.696.65 will be shipped with Mageia 1, and for users' convenience the Chromium-browser comes in three different flavours, stable, beta and unstable, each one following a different upstream channel/branch, needless to say that beta and unstable are not for the weak of heart!
  • Epiphany: The latest stable version, 2.30.6, of the GNOME web browser based on the webkit rendering engine is available in the Mageia repos
  • Opera: Version 11.11 of the the famous Opera browser is already available in the official repositories (in the Nonfree section)
  • IceApe (aka SeaMonkey): Version 2.0.14 of the all-in-one (web browser, WYSIWYG HTML editor, e-mail client and IRC client (chatzilla)) internet application suite is available in the official repositories; (due to some trademarks/licensing issues, this package has been rebranded IceApe)
  • KMail: The latest stable version, 4.4.11.1, of the famous KDE4 email client will be shipped in Mageia 1
  • Thunderbird: The latest stable version of the famous email client from Mozilla, Thunderbird 3.1.10, is available in the online repositories, with all the improvements and fixes in the 3.1.x series, for more info have a look a the release notes]. Both the Enigmail and Lightning extensions are available too
  • Evolution: The latest stable version, 2.32.2, of the famous GNOME mailer, calendar, contact manager and communications tool will be shipped in Mageia 1

Office

  • LibreOffice: Mageia promised to fully support LibreOffice and it's kept its promise, the stable LibreOffice 3.3.2.2 is available from the Mageia repositories, bringing a full suite of office applications
  • Calligra: The Calligra Suite project is a continuation of the KOffice project, it has all the familiar components of KOffice, for a detailed list of available applications and what they can do check their web site
  • KmyMoney: The latest, stable, KmyMoney 4.5.3, personal finance manager for KDE4 is already in the online repositories, it mainly focuses on being accurate, easy to use and feature-full with all the familiar features you'd expect in a finance manager
  • Skrooge : with the philosophy of giving users options, Skrooge 0.8.1 is available in the Mageia repositories too, a personal finance manager for KDE4, it aims to be highly intuitive, while providing powerful functions
  • GnuCash: GnuCash 2.4.5 is available in the online repositories, it comes with a check-book-like register GUI that allows you to enter and track your financial affairs

Communications

Instant Messaging

  • Kopete: The latest stable version of the familiar instant messenger, part of KDE SC 4.6.3, is available, with support for a wide variety of instant messaging protocol
  • Pidgin: The latest stable version, 2.7.11, of the famous GTK+2.0 based instant messaging client is available in the online repositories, it supports a plethora of instant messaging protocols, for more details about the fixes and improvements this version brings have a look at the changelog
  • Empathy: Empathy is an IM client based on the Telepathy framework, Empathy 2.34.0 will be shipped with Mageia 1
  • Kadu: An instant messenger compatible with the Gadu-Gadu protocol, the latest stable version, 0.9.1, will be shipped in Mageia 1

IRC

  • Quassel: The latest stable version, 0.7.2, of Quassel, a Qt-based modern distributed IRC client is available in the online repositories
  • Konversation: A feature-full graphical IRC client with KDE support, the latest stable version, 1.3.1, is available in the Mageia online repositories
  • XChat-gnome: A Graphical IRC client for the GNOME desktop, the latest stable version, 0.26.1, is available in the repositories
  • KVIrc A Qt-based IRC client with support for themes, transparency, encryption, many extended IRC features, and scripting, the latest stable version, 4.0.4, is available in the repositories

VOIP

  • QuteCom: A SIP softphone which allows you to make free PC to PC video and voice calls, and to integrate all your IM contacts in one place, it's Qt-based. The latest stable version 2.2 will be shipped with Mageia 1
  • Ekiga: A tool to communicate with video and audio over the internet. It uses both the SIP and H323 protocols and is compatible with Microsoft Netmeeting. It used to be called GnomeMeeting. The latest stable version, 3.2.7, will be shipped with Mageia 1

Virtualisation

  • VirtualBox: Version 4.0.6, of the general-purpose full virtualizer is available in the Mageia repositories
  • virt-manager: Mageia ship the latest version of virt-manager ( and libvirtd ), the popular management toolset for virtualisation, along with binding for various languges, to ease the management of virtual machines, either based on kvm or xen.
  • WINE]: The latest development version of WINE, 1.3.20, is available in the repositories; you can be assured that you'll usually find the latest version of this famous application in the Backports repository shortly after upstream pushes a new release!

Graphics

  • Gimp: The latest stable version, 2.6.11, of the famous GNU Image Manipulation Program will be shipped with Mageia 1
  • Inkscape: The latest version, 0.48.1, of the famous SVG-based vector-drawing program will be shipped in Mageia 1
  • Blender: The high quality animation studio, the latest version, 2.49b, will be shipped in Mageia 1

Multimedia Applications

Mageia comes packed with the most famous multimedia applications of all sorts and purposes.

Multimedia Players

  • Amarok: Version 2.4.1 of the powerful media player for KDE4 is available in the repositories, it comes with a plethora of bug fixes and improvements, for more details have a look at the 2.4.1 release notes. This player uses the KDE4 Phonon framework (Mageia comes with three Phonon backends: phonon-gstreamer, phonon-vlc and phonon-xine)
  • Rhythmbox: Version 0.13.3 of this Gstreamer-based music management application for the GNOME desktop is available in the official repositories, for more info about the full range of it's capabilities, have a look at the official web page
  • Totem: Version 2.32.0 of the Gstreamer-based official movie player of the GNOME desktop is available in the official repositories. It features a playlist, a full-screen mode, seek and volume controls, as well as keyboard navigation
  • VLC: Version 1.1.9 of this famous cross-platform media player is available in the official repositories, this package dual-exists in both the Core and Tainted repositories[1]
  • MPlayer: Version 1.rc4 (actually an even more recent upstream SVN snapshot) of the Swiss-army-knife-like multimedia player is available in the official repositories. With a very wide range of capabilities, MPlayer can play all sorts of media files. MPlayer is a CLI tool, but various graphical frontends are available (SMPlayer (Qt-based), GNOME MPlayer (GTK+-based), KMPlayer (KDE-based)). This package exists in both the Core and Tainted repositories[1]
  • Kaffeine: Version 1.2.2 of this KDE4 Multi Engine Media Player is available in the official repositories, it can play all sorts of media files and additionally supports DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial)
  • XBMC Media Center: Version 10.1 of this famous media player and home entertainment system, ​which has been designed to be the perfect companion for your HTPC. It is supporting an almost endless range of remote controls combined with it's beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine.

[1]Some packages have dual lives, i.e. they exist in both the Core and Tainted repositories:

  • The package in the Core repository supports only non-patent-encumbered codecs and
  • The package in the Tainted repository supports all the codecs you can think of, for the convenience of the users who live in the countries where using those codecs does not infringe patents or local copyright laws.

Pick the one that's more suitable for you, for more info on the criteria used for the repositories in Mageia have a look at here.

Multimedia Editors

  • Avidemux: Version 2.5.4 of this free video editor, designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks, supporting many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4, using a variety of codecs, is available in the official repositories
  • Kino: Version 1.3.4 of this GNOME DV-editing (record, create, edit and play movies recorded with DV camcorders) utility is available in the official repositories
  • OpenShot: Version 1.3.1 of this open-source, non-linear video editor for Linux is available in the official repositories, it supports many video, audio, and image formats, for a full list of features have a look here]

TV-related Multimedia Applications

  • MythTV: MythTV provides a unified graphical interface for recording and viewing television programs, version 0.24 is available in the official repositories
  • Miro: An internet TV player with integrated RSS and BitTorrent functionality, version 3.5.1 is available in the official repositories
  • tvtime: A high quality television application for use with video capture cards on Linux systems, version 1.0.2 is available in the official repositories
  • FreetuxTV Version 0.5.2 of this free GTK2+ WebTV and Web Radio player for Linux is available in the official repositories
  • Me TV: A GNOME desktop application for watching digital television services that use the DVB standard. Me TV works with DVB-T, DVB-C, DVB-S and ATSC cards that have kernel driver support. Version 1.3.6 is available in the official repositories.

Subtitles Editors

  • Gaupol: Editor for text-based subtitle files. It supports multiple subtitle file formats and provides means of correcting texts and timing subtitles to match video, version 0.17.2 is available in the official repositories
  • Subtitles Composer: A text-based subtitles editor that supports basic operations as well as more advanced ones, version 0.5.3 is available in the official repositories

IDEs

  • Anjuta: A powerful GNOME IDE for C, C++, Python, Java,...
  • Eclipse: The well known IDE for Java and other languages
  • Netbeans: The equally well known alternative for eclipse
  • KDevelop: The KDE IDE

Base System

  • Mageia 1 will ship the 2.6.38 kernel series, specifically 2.6.38.7 at release time, for more details on the improvements in this kernel series have a look here; the highlights of this kernel:
    • Support for automatic process grouping (for more details see Linus Torvalds' post on LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing list); and mentions of that patch on LWN.net)
    • Significant scalability improvements in the Linux VFS (Virtual File System) layer
    • Transparent Huge Page support (without using hugetblfs)
    • Automatic spreading of outgoing network traffic across multiple CPUs
    • Support for the AMD Fusion APUs
    • Support for Intel Sandy Bridge and Panther Point.
    • Ipset 6.4 with IPv6 support
  • Boot system: Mageia 1 still uses initscripts, 9.21
  • ALSA: Mageia 1 will ship the latest stable version(s) of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, 1.0.24.x:
    • libalsa2-1.0.24.1
    • alsa-plugins-1.0.24
    • alsa-tools-1.0.24.1: The firmware bits have been split in a new separate package, alsa-firmware
    • alsa-utils-1.0.24.2

X server

  • Mageia 1 will ship X server 1.10.1, with full Udev support (Udev replaces HAL in this regard)
  • ATI/AMD free radeon driver: Kernel Mode Setting is now enabled by default, bringing performance and compatibility improvements.
  • Intel Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3) support according to Intel specifications.
  • Nouveau: the Nouveau driver will be used by default for supported nVidia graphics cards. It brings Kernel Mode Setting support, 2D acceleration, and RandR 1.2 support (for easy multi-monitor setup)

Proprietary graphics cards drivers

The latest versions of both the nVidia and ATI (fglrx) proprietary drivers are available in the Nonfree online repository.

Input Methods

To select the Input Method of your choice, you can use draklocale ("Manage localization of your system" in the Mageia Control Center -> System). Mageia 1 will have two input methods:

IBus

Mageia 1 will support IBus (the Intelligent Input Bus), version 1.3.9 is already available in the official repositories.

SCIM

SCIM (Smart Common Input Method), version 1.4.9, is also available in the official repositories.