Mageia 2 marks the milestone of a lot of hard work, that started the day the Mageia distribution was born.
This page should help you get an overview of what Mageia offers its 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, a live ISO which can be used to preview the distribution and also later be used to install Mageia on your hard drive.
For more information have a look at the installation media page.
You will always find the download info on the Mageia download page; direct (ftp and http) and BitTorrent downloads are available.
The Mageia online repositories
The Mageia software sits in three different repositories/media, depending on the type of license applied to each package. 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 along with "Core Release" and "Core Updates" are available by default.
- Nonfree: The Nonfree repository includes packages that are free-of-charge, i.e. Mageia may redistribute them, but they contain closed-source software (hence the name - Nonfree); For example this repository includes nVidia and ATI graphics cards proprietary drivers, firmware for various Wi-Fi cards... etc. The sets of Nonfree media are added by default but they are not enabled by default.
- Tainted: The Tainted repository includes packages under free license. The main criteria for placing packages in this repository is that they may infringe on patents and copyright laws in some countries (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 2
The installer hardware support has been greatly extended.
The minimal install was reduced from 530Mb (Mandriva 20xx.x or Mageia 1) down to 325Mb.
The stage1 is the first part of the installer, booted from a CD, a DVD, a USB key, local hard disk or from the network. Its purpose is to find the second stage, which is either the actual installer or the rescue system.
In Mageia 2, stage1 has the following improvements:
- smaller stage1 (2.5x smaller on x86_64)
- uses arch-prefixed locations for FTP & HTTP installs (as is already done for NFS/CD/HD installs
- dropped support for KA (Ka Clustering Tools / KaDeploy)
- uses up-to-date pppd and pppoe
- handles more PCMCIA controllers
- fixed crashes probing PCMCIA devices on x86_64
- support for MIPS & ARM
- support for install from virtual discs
Stage1 now comes in two flavors. Eg: for CDs, the traditional boot.iso has a new companion, boot-nonfree.iso.
As in previous releases, boot.iso only contains free drivers & software.
The boot-nonfree.iso includes non-free firmware, needed by some free software drivers to work (notably firmware for network/SCSI/... cards), as well as non-free network drivers.
Stage 2 is the second part of the installer. It's the actual installer, either graphical or in text mode.
- smaller minimal install, smaller basesystem
- basic systemd support
- installs lvm2, perl-Hal-Cdroms only if needed
- installs microcode_ctl automatically when needed
- installs cpufreq in more cases when useful
- installs some packages earlier so summary is reached sooner
- installation using wifi now works
- better support for brtfs
- better support for LVM
- better support for installing through serial line
- enhanced support for UUID & labels for swap
- support for nilfs2
- support hard disks larger than 2.2Tbyte
- aligns partitions on 1Mb boundaries as newer OSes do in order to avoid performance issues with drives with 4k physical sectors
- working network test
- working support for XFS as root
- help texts for the help buttons (in English and seven other languages)
- various other enhancements
- does not offer to test KMS drivers during installation since they won't work because of installer using framebuffer.
The rescue system now works better (there were some problems in both Mandriva 2010.x/2011 & Mageia 1).
It has support for :
- rescuing LV (Logical Volume) systems
- rescuing encrypted systems
- rescuing soft RAID systems
- rescue through serial line
- rescuing virtual discs
- support for GPT on hard disks larger than 2.2Tbytes
- SSH support is included. A Remote Recovery session is possible after activating networking and starting the dropbear ssh server. A SSH client is also available.
drakx-in-chroot offers GDB support in order to record installer coredumps, these can then be debugged in a "real" system.
Memory footprint has been reduced for several tools (eg: harddrake2).
Various crashes were fixed.
Hardware support has been extended.
The network tools have been adapted to work with systemd.
Various small bugs relating to interaction with NetworkManger & firewall management have been fixed.
Squid configuration has been fixed when sharing an internet connection (#1353).
XFdrake now defaults to 24bit with QXL virtual cards since 16bit mode doesn't work.
Old Nvidia drivers are disabled since they're not supported on newer X11 servers.
Support for more virtual gfx cards has been added.
Support for IA64 is dropped.
drakbug now provides better stack traces in case of segfaulting.
Collecting this stack frame is quite a lot faster, and also reports the theme used as some crashes came from the theme engine.
Even more hardware is supported.
More explanations are provided when a driver is altered due to proprietary drivers not supporting newer X11 servers.
When an incompatible switch is made (eg proprietary driver to KMS driver), a reboot is advised.
Package Management tools
CLI Package Management Tools
RPM has been upgraded to 4.9 which makes several operations faster.
Mageia uses the familiar urpmi. This Command Line Interface (CLI) tool is the default RPM package dependency resolver in Mageia and can be used to install RPM packages. It can also be used to update the system. For 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 may be used to show which package contains a certain file; it may also be used to search for all kinds of RPM tags (requires, suggests, conflicts, obsoletes) in the packages in the official repositories, along with other features
- urpmq: the urpmi database query tool, think of it as 'rpm -q' but with many more extended features, which may 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 with, or prefer not to use the CLI, don't worry, Mageia offers a complete set of Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools to manage packages on the system. The main GUI tool is Rpmdrake (Install & Remove Software), available directly from the applications menu/button or via the Mageia Control Center, where it teams up with our other package management tools.
The following tools are available from the Mageia Control Center's (MCC) Software management area:
- rpmdrake (Install & Remove Software): this is the default graphical front-end to urpmi, which you can use to install packages from the official repositories and also to remove/uninstall packages already 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 (Configure media sources for install and updates): this tool is be used to:
- Add/remove the urpmi media sources (using the "Add" button will make urpmi use the MIRRORLIST, which should pick the nearest geographical 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. These are the settings urpmi will use when downloading packages (such as selecting the default downloader, etc.)
- MageiaUpdate (Update your system): this tool may be used to update your system, it updates the urpmi database then checks for any available updates
- mgaonline: Whilst not available on the MCC Software Management menu, this related package includes mgaapplet, which is auto-started when you login, it checks for updates periodically, and notifies you (via a system tray icon) of any updates. You can configure how often it checks for updates using mgaapplet-config (Configure update frequency).
Mageia system configuration tools
Mageia continues to use all the familiar drak tools:
- drakconf: The Mageia Control Center, which can be used to launch all sorts of system administration tools
- drak3d: A tool to configure 3D desktop effects (e.g. Compiz)
- drakguard: A tool to configure parental control. It can block access to web sites and restrict the internet connection to specific timeframes
- rpmdrake: A simple interface that makes it easy to install and remove software packages (RPM) in Mageia
- drakx-net: The default Mageia network tool
- userdrake: A user-friendly and powerful tool for administering users and groups
- system-config-printer: A powerful printer configuration tool, developed by Redhat/Fedora
Available Desktop Environments
As a desktop-agnostic distribution, Mageia has all the popular desktop environments, along with various window managers. Here's an overview:
Mageia 2 includes KDE SC 4.8.2. This release brings many improvements and new features. For more details, check the release announcement.
Mageia 2 includes GNOME 3.4, with the plethora of popular applications that come with it (Totem, Rhythmbox, Epiphany, Evolution, The GNOME Archiver (file-roller), Evince, F-Spot... etc).
Mageia 2 includes XFCE, with plugins and applications.
At the release date it was XFCE 4.9, but updates may come later.
Mageia 2 includes LXDE packages (PCManFM, LXSession, LXTerminal, Gpicview, LXRandR).
Mageia 2 includes razor-qt packages, its an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies.
Mageia 2 includes an updated SVN revision (r69188) of E17.
Mageia 2 includes various window managers, which in reality are just small and very light weight desktop environments:
Mageia 2 ships many of the popular desktop applications, here are the highlights.
Web Browsers and email clients
- Firefox ESR: Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) 10.0.4 is shipped with Mageia 2, this new release brings with it a lot of improvements concerning all aspects of Firefox, for more info have a look at the Firefox 10.0.4 ESR release notes and you can read more about the ESR plan here. There will be no new versions (such as 12.0, 13.0 ...) but we will follow the ESR releases to provide more stability and less version changes for our users.
- Chromium-browser: Google Chromium-browser 18.0.1025.168 is shipped with Mageia 2, and for user's convenience the Chromium-browser comes in three different flavors, 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 stable version, 3.4.1, of the GNOME web browser based on the webkit rendering engine is available in the Mageia repos
- Opera: Version 11.64 of the the famous Opera browser is already available in the official repositories (in the Nonfree section)
- IceApe (aka SeaMonkey): IceApe has been removed from Mageia 2 repositories due to maintainer inactivity and missing updates )
- KMail: The stable version, 4.8.2, of the famous KDE4 email client is shipped in Mageia 2
- Thunderbird ESR: Thunderbird ESR (Extended Support Release) 10.0.4 is shipped with Mageia 2, this new release brings with it many improvements to all aspects of Thunderbird, the famous email client. For more info have a look at the Thunderbird 10.0.4 ESR release notes and you can read more about the ESR plan here There will be no new versions (such as 12.0, 13.0 ...) but we will follow the ESR releases to provide more stability and less version changes for our users. Both the Enigmail and Lightning extensions are available too.
- Evolution: The stable version, 3.4.1, of the famous GNOME mailer, calendar, contact manager and communications tool is shipped in Mageia 2
- LibreOffice: Mageia promised to fully support LibreOffice and has kept its promise, the stable LibreOffice 3.5 is available 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 stable KmyMoney 4.6.2, personal finance manager for KDE4 is already in the online repositories, its 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 1.2.0 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 2.4.10 is available in the online repositories, it's comes with a check book-like register GUI which allows you to enter and track your financial matters
- Kopete: The stable version of the familiar instant messenger, part of KDE SC 4.8.2, is available, with support for a wide variety of instant messaging protocols
- Pidgin: The stable version, 2.10.4, 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 3.4.1 is shipped with Mageia 2
- Kadu: An instant messenger compatible with the Gadu-Gadu protocol, the stable version, 0.11.3, is shipped in Mageia 2
- Quassel: The stable version, 0.7.4, 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 stable version, 1.4, is available in the Mageia online repositories
- XChat-gnome: A Graphical IRC client for the GNOME desktop, the 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 stable version, 4.1.3, is available in the repositories
- 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 stable version 2.2 is shipped with Mageia 2
- Ekiga: A tool to communicate with video and audio over the internet. It uses both SIP and H323 protocol and is compatible with Microsoft Netmeeting. It used to be called GnomeMeeting. The stable version, 3.3.2, is shipped with Mageia 2
- ZoneMinder: A CCTV security package with remote access, motion detection and recording.
ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security
applications, including commercial or home CCTV. It supports capture,
analysis, recording, and monitoring of video data coming from one or more
video or network cameras attached to a Linux system.
ZoneMinder also supports web and semi-automatic control of Pan/Tilt/Zoom
cameras using a variety of protocols.
The stable version, 1.25.0 with performance enhancing updates thanks to Kfir Itzhak, is available in the core and tainted repositories.
A quick setup script is included for out-of-the-box operation.
- VirtualBox: Version 4.1.12, of the general-purpose full virtualizer is available in the Mageia repositories
- virt-manager: Mageia ships version 0.9.1 of virt-manager ( and 0.9.10 of libvirtd ), the popular management toolset for virtualisation, along with bindings for various languages, to ease the management of virtual machines, either based on kvm or xen.
- WINE: The stable version of WINE, 1.4, is available in the repositories.
- Gimp: The stable version 2.8.0, of the famous GNU Image Manipulation Program is shipped with Mageia 2
- Inkscape: Version 0.48.3.1, of the famous SVG-based vector-drawing program is shipped in Mageia 2
- Blender: The high quality animation studio, version 2.63a, is shipped in Mageia 2
Mageia comes packed with the most famous multimedia applications of all sorts and purposes.
- Amarok: Version 2.5.0 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 2.5.0 release notes. This player uses the KDE4 Phonon framework (Mageia comes with three Phonon backends: phonon-gstreamer, phonon-vlc and phonon-xine)
- Rhythmbox: Version 2.96 of this Gstreamer-based music management application for the GNOME desktop is available in the official repositories, for more info about the full range its capabilities, have a look at the official web page
- Totem: Version 3.4 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 2.0.1 of this famous cross-platform media player is available in the official repositories, this package dual-exists in both the Core and Tainted repositories
- MPlayer: Version 1.rc4 (actually an even more recent upstream SVN snapshot) of the Swiss-army-knife-like multimedia player is a available is 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
- XBMC Media Center: Version 11.0 of this famous media player and home entertainment system, which has been designed to be the perfect companion for your HTPC. Supporting an almost endless range of remote controls, and combined with its beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine.
Some packages have dual lives, i.e. they exist in both the Core and Tainted repositories:
- The packages in the Core repository support only non-patent-encumbered codecs and
- The packages in the Tainted repository support all the codecs you can think of, for the convenience of the users who live in the countries where using those codecs doesn't 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 here.
- Avidemux: Version 2.5.6 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 utility (record, create, edit and play movies recorded with DV camcorders) is available in the official repositories
- OpenShot: Version 1.4.2 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]
- MythTV: MythTV provides a unified graphical interface for recording and viewing television programs, version 0.25 is available in the official repositories
- Miro: An internet TV player with integrated RSS and BitTorrent functionality, version 4.0.6 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 0.6.3 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.
- Gaupol: Editor for text-based subtitle files. It supports multiple subtitle file formats and provides means of correcting text and timing subtitles to match video, version 0.17.2 is available in the official repositories
- Subtitles Composer: A text-based subtitle editor which supports basic operations as well as more advanced ones, version 0.5.3 is available in the official repositories
- 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
- Mageia 2 ships the 3.3 kernel series, specifically 3.3.6 at release time, for more details on the improvements in this kernel series have a look here; the highlights of this kernel:
- Mageia 2 ships X server 1.11.4, 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) and Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3) support according to Intel specifications.
- Nouveau: the Nouveau driver is 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
nVidia 295.49 and ATI (fglrx) 8.961 (12.4) proprietary drivers are available in the Nonfree online repository.
Old drivers from Nvidia are no longer compatible with Xorg. Thus they are disabled in MCC. This concerns the 71.86.XX, 96.43.XX and 173.14.XX versions.
Upgrading from Mageia 1
Upgrading from Mageia 1 is supported, and has been fine-tuned over the past few months, so it should work. But as always, it's very advisable to back up any important data before upgrading and make sure you have made all updates of Mageia 1 (such as rpm and urpmi).
There are several ways to upgrade from one of the previous Mageia releases:
Warning: Upgrading an existing install using a LiveCD is NOT supported due to the livecd image being copied "as is" to the target system.
Upgrading via the Internet
The Mageia update notification applet, Mageia Online, will notify you that a new Mageia release is available, and ask if you wish to upgrade. If you agree, the upgrade will be carried out from within your Mageia installation without any further steps being necessary.
If you have disabled the applet or it is not automatically running for some reason, you can upgrade manually either using the GUI (mgaonline) or the CLI (urpmi). Both methods are outlined below.
First make sure you have the latest updates for your currently running release prior to upgrading.
Upgrading online, using mgaonline (GUI)
To upgrade run this command as root in terminal:
- killall mgaapplet
- mgaapplet --testing
- mgaapplet-upgrade-helper --new_distro_version=2
It will notify you of the availability of the new Mageia 2 distribution, configure Mageia media sources and start migration.
Upgrading online, using urpmi (CLI)
You can also upgrade using urpmi from your favorite terminal emulator.
Here are the general upgrade steps:
- Remove all of the existing media sources on your system by executing this command as root in terminal:
- urpmi.removemedia -a
- Add the Mageia online sources, either:
- Using the MIRRORLIST method (which will select a mirror automatically based on your geographical location):
- urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist http://mirrors.mageia.org/api/mageia.2.$ARCH.list
- (Where $ARCH is either i586 or x86_64)
- Using a specific media mirror:
- urpmi.addmedia --distrib <media_url>
- You can get the mirror_url using the Mageia mirrors web application
- urpmi --replacefiles --auto-update --auto
Warning: if you are upgrading remotely using SSH, check that UsePAM is enabled in your sshd configuration or your session may be killed in the middle of the upgrade. Check the section about SSH daemon for more information.
Using the Mageia 2 DVD to Upgrade
You can use the Mageia 2 DVD to do clean installs but also to upgrade from previous releases.
- 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 Available installation media article
- Boot the DVD and select "Install Mageia 2" from the GRUB (the bootloader) menu
- Select the Upgrade option in the installer
It is recommended that the online repositories be set up, if possible, during the upgrade as the DVD only includes a subset of the complete set of Mageia online repositories.
On the first reboot use the command line 'urpmi --auto-update' to make sure all packages was updated.
Notable changes since Mageia 1
With SSH daemon, we no longer support using sshd with the UsePAM option set to no. If UsePAM is not set to yes you will be warned in your syslog and restarting the sshd service will likely kill any active sessions. It is recommended that you edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config to check that you have the following line :
Due to MySQL being replaced by MariaDB, after upgrading from mga1, the mysqld service will not be enabled nor started.
Java browser plugin
In Mageia 2, the Java OpenJDK plugin for web browsers has been split to a separate project named iceadtea-web. To install the Java plugin, you need to install the icedtea-web package.
Some packages have been obsoleted in Mageia 2, because they cannot be maintained for various reasons. When upgrading from Mageia 1 to Mageia 2, if you have any of those obsolete packages, they will automatically be removed by the task-obsolete package. In the case where you wish to continue using an obsolete package, you can add task-obsolete to the file /etc/urpmi/skip.list to prevent it from being installed and removing obsolete packages.
Mageia 1 included the proprietary version of Java from Sun-Oracle in the nonfree repository. Due to license changes (the retirement of the "Operating System Distributor License for Java") it is no longer possible to provide new versions of Oracle Java in the repository. It is now recommended you use OpenJDK if you need Java, which is now the official Java SE7 reference implementation. If you need to use Oracle JDK binaries, you can download them from the JRE or the JDK web page.
cluster, heartbeat, openais
cluster, heartbeat and openais packages have been obsoleted. If you need to setup High Availability clusters, it is now recommended you use pacemaker and corosync.
MySQL is obsoleted in favor of MariaDB. MariaDB is a drop-in replacement for MySQL and it has a much more open development, thus containing the patches originating from Google, Facebook, etc... as well as more storage engines. All files and servicenames are the same as the mysql package and thus the upgrade from MySQL to MariaDB goes perfectly.
This package was unmaintained and not working. You may use the wgetpaste package instead.
The project development has stopped.
Project seems to be dead, with no new versions for two years and no recent commits in their source repository.