Mageia 6 released, intriguing Mandriva reboot
After two years since Mageia 5 release, here comes Mageia 6 with improved hardware support and many new features. Mageia might look like a new distribution, but it has its root in one of the oldest Linux distributions: Mandriva. After the homonym company behind Mandriva closed, Mageia already existed and became the only active fork of this old distribution. Today we can admire the new Mageia 6, let’s take a look at what’s new.
KDE Plasma 5.8
In previous releases, Mageia used to ship with support for the legacy KDE4. Nowadays KDE4 has been abandoned in favour of KDE Plasma 5. Plasma is an improved version of KDE4 and introduces many new features.
Mageia 6 ships with Plasma 5.8 LTS, this enables users to enjoy Plasma latest features without compromising stability. But if you’re not a KDE person type, Mageia 6 also ships with support for:
- GNOME 3.24
- LXDE 0.99
- XFCE 4.12
- LxQT 0.11
- Mate 1.18
- Cinnamon 3.2
- Enlightenment 21.8
- IceWM 1.2.13
DNF2 Package manager
Mageia historically comes with the urpmi package manager, Mageia 6 still comes with urpmi but it also introduces DNF 2 as an alternative package manager. DNF is a package manager created to replace YUM, and it is mainly employed by Fedora, a Red Hat community distribution.
Mageia 6 also includes the new DNF front-end dnfdragora which enables users to take control of DNF using a Graphical User Interface.
Linux Kernel, Bootloader and hardware improvements
Mageia 6 ships with Linux 4.9 LTS, which will be supported for a long time, and Xorg 1.19. Along with the kernel and Xorg, comes video drivers:
- NVIDIA users can benefit from drivers version 375.66 (and 304.* and 340.* for older cards). Optimus laptop owners can now leverage their discrete GPU thanks to bumblebee, an experimental tool called mageia-prime is also available to better support Optimus laptops. Users who prefer open source drivers can also use Novueau instead of the proprietary driver.
- AMD/ATI users can use the AMDGPU driver and the Radeon driver for older cards. AMD no longer supports the fglrx driver hence it isn’t available any more. The latest proprietary driver AMDGPU-PRO isn’t compatible with Xorg 1.19 so it can’t be loaded at the moment.
Fedora COPR and OpenSUSE Build Service
Mageia now supports Fedora COPR and OpenSUSE Build Service (OBS), two popular build services that enable users to build packages and host them in repositories. With this release, users can now leverage COPR and OBS to produce rpm packages for Mageia.
Mageia 6 now supports AppStream
AppStream is a cross-distribution effort for enhancing the way we interact with the software repositories provided by (Linux) distributions by standardizing software component metadata.
With this release, Mageia now supports AppStream in its repositories allowing software like GNOME Software and Plasma Discover. Both programs enable the user to search, get info and install software packages using an easy Graphical User Interface.
Mageia 6 now supports the ARM architecture, with the core supporting ARMv5 and ARMv7, this also includes the popular Raspberry PI. This port had started during Mageia 1 days and has only recently been completed. Although the support is complete, there currently is no installer or pre-built image. According to the release notes, the plan is to provide images for popular solutions. You can check Mageia ARM status overview here.