Mageia 2 Review
In the Linux world distributions are usually based off a popular distribution. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, Ubuntu is based off of Debian which has been around for a long time. Mageia is a fork of the somewhat popular Mandriva Linux.
Mageia comes in two flavors: 32 bit and 64 bit. There are a few options in obtaining and using Mageia, you have the installable LiveCD version which is 700MB and uses LXDE as its desktop or the DVD version weighing in at 3.1GB which allows you to choose the desktop environment you would like to install (KDE 4.8.2, Gnome 3, or LXDE) as well as a network install mode. We are taking a look at the KDE install of Mageia for this review.
Installation of Mageia was fairly straight-forward. Installation was provided through the drakx installer and installation times will vary depending on your system specifications. There were little to no difficult options to choose from during installation and we were presented with the usual language and keyboard selection, time zone setting, partitioning, configuration of root password and a user account.
Once installation was complete, we were greeted by a plain looking desktop with some icons for most frequently used programs near the kicker menu and some icons in the notification area near the clock. Mageia uses a simpler looking KDE Kicker menu than the normal KDE menu which uses a sort of hierarchy when it comes to launching programs.
The Control Center and System settings are pretty straight forward and one can easily find the setting you want to modify within these two applications. Installation, removal and updating of software is provided through RPMdrake which looks like a scaled down version of the Ubuntu Software Centre.
As for applications installed, they are bountiful. We have Firefox 10.0.4 ESR (Extended Support Release) version that is meant to be used in a more business environment. It will not have the latest features or improvements that the current Firefox version has. As this is KDE; Konqueror is also available to use and comes installed by default. With regards to email, KMail is the default email application.
LibreOffice suite is the default office suite that comes with Mageia instead of KOffice; Skrooge, a financial management tool is a nice added touch.
As far as multimedia applications there are ample installed, we have Kdenlive which is an open source video editor, Amarok for playing music, MPlayer to watch movies, the latest version of The GIMP for image manipulation and creation and much more.
Mageia is a pretty good distribution. It was pretty stable for me and did not have any freezing or lockups. It does have the look and feel of Mandriva and it seems a bit nostalgic.