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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4
I should emphasise that this is a review of the 32-bit version of Mageia. Some people seem to be using it happily, and I presume they have the 64-bit one, but I can only report on what Iíve used.
Mageia provides several installation media. The full DVD is not live, but there are live CDs for both KDE and Gnome. All these disk images are hybrid, so can be dumped on to a USB stick: do not use unetbootin. There are also small images for launching a net installation (wired connection only).
I started with a net install. This failed because of problems with the repository.
I then decided to try the DVD. The installer is mostly well done, although I was not offered encryption of /home. It offers a choice of desktops and software, but customisation is very confusing. Eventually I was convinced that I had selected the Xfce desktop and the programs I wanted. 90 minutes later I rebooted to find KDE. Xfce was there (well, most of it) but KDE was set as the default. The package manger is set to use the DVD, so I used it in get the rest of Xfce and remove KDE. A lot of other things vanished. Since when has LibreOffice been part of KDE? The package manager told me that I had over 500 orphans that I might like to remove, but it didnít offer to do it. Out of interest I did it from the command line, and lost several other vital items. After re-installing all the casualties, I logged out and in again ó to Xfce? no, to a cutdown version of Icewm!
Then I decided to let the installer have its way and give me the default KDE package. This only took 60 minutes. I tested a number of programs by running them from the CLI: only Firefox, Kmail, Kopete, and Xine ran without leaving warnings. Amarok and Skrooge both crashed with illegal instruction errors. Strangely, the default media player was Totem, which complained it had no codecs. Dragon player did have the codecs, and worked on the first day, but stopped showing pictures on the second. Xine locked up. Although my wired network had worked to start with, it failed after a couple of days and only static addressing could get it running again.
As I said, some people seem to be happy with Mageia. But with such poor quality control in the parts I tested, for how long?
Distribution: Mageia 3, Debian Wheezy, Maemo, Linux Mint 14.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Better than Mandriva, few bugs, great tools
too many dependencies?
As a user who has been through various GNU/Linux distributions over the years I like the configurability of Slackware, the completeness of Debian and the ease of use of Linux Mint KDE. Some years ago for a combination of thos reasons I landed on Mandriva as my favorite distribution. I found Mandriva absolutely wonderful. It was fully configurable to your own likes like Slackware, powerful and complete like Debian and easy to use like Buntu family.
I cant stand Fedora for example. I find that you in no way can configure and change it yourself without breaking things. Fedora is absolutely annoying I find. Ubuntu is too simplistic and somewhat restrictive, I don't like that although I do like Kubuntu far better than Fedora.
Mageia is a for of Mandriva, a perfect and heavenly one. Unfortunately Mandriva had some problems and some annoying bugs and some tiny restrictions. Mageia has none of these and to me is an absolutely perfect distribution. It has KDE desktop which I like, it has a huge amounts of preconfigured packages, it is powerful, very much configurable and has no bugs or annoyances that I know of. Everything just seems to work. It is perfect in almost every way.
Perhaps one weakness that Slackware do not have is that packages have too many non needed dependencies. Packages are wrapped around each others in a not needed way, so I sometimes just download source packages and install those without all the non-needed dependencies.
for that reason I also use Debian netinstall version with openbox as a "light" distribution, although I found that it also has the same issues with unecessary dependencies required. But at least I can keep debian netinstall version small and tidy. Perhaps time to revisit Slackware?
For now there is no need for that. Mageia has lots of drivers, works perfect with most media files and codecs, is fully configurable, good for advanced users and beginners. I have not yet replaced the Kernel with a custom from source Kernel which might proov to be another negative thing as this was completely impossible with Mandriva, using almost every method conceivable without being a total smooth pro. I know how to change the Kernel and put my own there, but Mandriva just made that inredibly difficult and only gave the possibility of a preconfigred kernel package. But again, I will try this with Mageia soon and hope it is not the same.
Mageia is just a joy to use so far. (I jumped right on version 3from Mandriva 2011 & 2010.1)
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
It's fast and I like it.
No more cons than any other Linux distro.
I'm using Magia3 64 bit. Started using it a month or so ago because I just got tired of PCLinuxOS 64 bit that wasn't working well for me. Mageia seems faster and updates haven't broken anything. The repository works well once you get used to it. The forum people seem considerably friendlier than what I'm accustomed to, aside from Mepis which rates #1 with me. I really see no reason not to give it a 10 rating. They have done a good job.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Potentially the most user-friendly linux distro
Some basic tools that could have been installed by default needs to be added after installation
I've been using Linux for 12 years. I first tried LinSpire. It was basically a compressed distro that ran inside Windows before live CD's etc. I moved to Redhat and was not impressed. Their site was a mess at the time so I tried Mandrake. Mandrake was much easier to install and then more importantly, it was much easier to configure, but most importantly is that community she talks about. I felt right at home, and was far behind. So I dug in and then along came Mandriva...I stayed with Mandriva 2007, upgrading to 2009 in 2010 and then the 2011 release. I was not impressed at all with ROSA and all of the changes. In fact I can tell you very little about it, I dumped it that fast. So here I am, no Mandrake and no Mandriva...where am I going to get a distro I like as much as those? I went to distrowatch and thought to my self...oh, a new kid on the block gonna try and take on Ubuntu. I didn't know Ubuntu had pretty much fallen to Mint and who is this Mageia thinking they can take on the Ubuntu killer? When I found out Mageia was the revived Mandrake I was very happy. I can't wait for Mageia 3 and am waiting on the final because I need a stable problem free install. I've just spent quite a while building, configuring and testing a new desktop and my wife wouldn't like me getting eyeball deep in the computer again. The moral of the story is I didn't know about the details of what had happened with Mandriva etc because mine just ran as it does now with Mageia. When I say I don't want to get eyeball deep in the computer again I don't mean it was that difficult to have a usable system but I rebuilt my computer with all AMD...ripped all that out and went Intel Ivy Bridge...Intel for the first time. Then I tweaked it pretty good. Then I upgraded to SSD's for all OS's and used the HDD's just for storage and had a HD failure. I'd like to do the upgrade as painless (time consuming) as possible. Mageia does install without much trouble on most systems. My friend had a Wifi problem and I had a little problem with my AMD drivers. Both were easily fixable with a little reading and some past experience. I recommend to anyone trying it for the first time to try and find someone that has used it for a year or two. They will understand what they read and can get you up and going should there be a problem. From there....Google is your friend as are the forums. Most problems have been solved and explained before. Mageia if very friendly about setting up a printer etc. Google will tell you where to go to find what you need. Also, spend some time looking around and always hit cancel so you don't make changes you don't like. I mean, browse through all the settings and everything so you'll have an idea where to look when you want to change something. Do all of this early on in case you do mess it up so you won't have everything just like you want it when you break it. I done this when I first started with Linux. If you delete something or it won't boot a new install takes a few minutes and this time be careful. When you think you can operate it without breaking it tune it to your hearts content! And you can, anything you want even making it look like Windows. I do recommend KDE for people who want a desktop as close to Windows as possible. I am talking from the point of view of a power user like myself. Most people could install it and just use it if you threw a word processor and browser shortcut on the desktop so to speak. Most power users already have Linux...but, let the Magic cat out of the bag. Mageia is one of the finest distros out there for many reasons. I highly recommend it to Windows users because of its control center if nothing else.