A couple of years ago, the Mandriva project went to hell. From that
catastrophe emerged two distributions, each out of a different
region. From France, in western Europe, came Mageia. ROSA came out of
Russia, in eastern Europe.
Last I checked, Mageia 3 was supposed to come out on March
20. However, that got pushed back to the end of May. So, I am going to
review the beta. I will definitely review the non-devel Mageia 3. I
will also be reviewing ROSA 2012 in the near future.
For such a young distribution, Mageia is surprisingly successful. It
is only a couple of years old, and it is already a distant #2 on
The Mageia installation was pretty easy and intuitive and easy. It was
not the best nor the easiest installer I have seen, but it was far
from the worst. It was the kind of installer I could hand to my
mother, and she would know exactly what to do with it.
Mageia implements a number of nice features. The most prominent of
which is the Mageia Control Center. Basically, it is like OS X’s
System Preferences, or Windows’ control panel. It is the place in
which you control every aspect of your machine. I have only seen this
feature in openSUSE. The system settings is one feature conspicuously
missing from most GNU/Linux distributions.
Mageia, like openSUSE, also uses a variant of the Red Hat package
management system (RPM). RPM is painfully slow, but pretty easy to
use. A system update on Mageia took me two days on pretty good
This distribution reminds me a lot of openSUSE. It has wonderful KDE
integration, has a system-level settings manager, and is quite easy to
install. The difference is, openSUSE is notably better than Mageia in
every single category.
The Mageia developers should follow the lead of openSUSE, Fedora, and
Manjaro in making the distribution very lean to begin with, and
letting the enduser add more stuff on. Mageia is probably the single
most bloated distribution I have ever used.
Everything in the distribution is slow – It takes two to three seconds
for the file manager to open. It takes almost ten seconds for the KDE
control center to open. The Mageia developers need to trim down the
system. This is a serious problem.
The boot time is atrocious – almost two minutes. My virtual machine
has 8GB of RAM, and two 3GHz cores. Not to mention the fact that it is
running in a virtual machine, which means the boot time will be faster
than on actual hardware. I hate to think how awful this distribution
must run on actual hardware.
Overall, I give Mageia 3 Beta 2 two out of five stars. It has a lot of
potentially nice features, but none of them are particularly
innovative or functional. Basically, Mageia is like openSUSE, except
openSUSE is better in every imaginable category. I honestly could not
recommend Mageia to anyone.