Testing Out Linux Distro Mageia 9

Jarret B

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May 22, 2017
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It has been a while since I've covered a Linux distro, but this one seems very different. The installation is unique compared to the standard installation.

The distro may be one that you can download and install on VirtualBox, or another Virtual system, to see how Mageia is different, especially the installation.


You can download the ISO file at 'https://www.mageia.org/en/downloads/'. At the site, you'll have 3 initial options for download.

There are the choices of 'Classic Installation', 'Live Media', and 'Network Installation'.

The Classic Installation is what you need for your regular installation from an ISO, such as burning it to another media to boot a system and install it. There are two choices for all the downloads, either a 64-bit or 32-bit version of the Operating System (OS).

The Live Media allows you to try the distro or install it much like other ISO files.

The Network Installation media allows you to load the installation files from a network share. This method is best for upgrading from older versions of Mageia to the newest version.

Download the media you desire. In my case, I will download the Classic Installation because I will boot straight from the ISO and install the OS in VirtualBox.

In VirtualBox, since I am only testing it, I will give it about 12 GB of RAM, 2 CPUs, and 20 GB of hard disk space. The drive space I will leave as Dynamic and pre-allocate the space to make it Fixed. I disabled the 'Floppy', set the 'Video Memory' to 128 GB, and enabled 3D acceleration. All other changes are up to your preferences. Keep in mind that the default NAT network will allow network access for the Virtual Machine.

You should now be able to start the Virtual Machine and begin the installation.

Once the OS starts, you should see Figure 1. If you see a different screen that says something like 'Start Mageia 9 Install', this means you are using a UEFI system and not a BIOS-based system. Of course, this can be changed in your BIOS Setup. After the main screen, everything else should be the same.

Figure 01.JPG


To begin, highlight 'Install Mageia', or 'Start Mageia 9 Install', and press Enter.

After this, you'll see an ASCII screen that says it is detecting USB Devices and then it loads the program to continue the installation.

Once the next installation screen appears, in Figure 2, you can choose your language. Choose your language and then select 'Next'.

Figure 02.JPG


Figure 3 shows the next screen that allows you to accept the License Agreement to continue. If you agree to the license, select 'Accept' then click on 'Next'.

Figure 03.JPG


You may see a quick message about installing drivers. This is for hardware since the next screens are setting up the hardware on the system.

The next screen I will not show since it only asks for the keyboard type. Select the keyboard type, then click on 'Next'.

Then next screen sets up the partitioning. You can simply use the default and let it allocate the free space, as shown in Figure 4. You can also select the option to use 'Custom Disk Partitioning' and set up the space as you need. Click on 'Next' to proceed.

Figure 04.JPG


The next screen will let you choose other media for Repositories, such as 'None', 'HTTP', 'FTP', or 'NFS'. The selection screen is displayed in Figure 5. Choose 'Next' once you are finished.

Figure 05.JPG


The next screen, not shown, just lists the media, or repositories, that you have chosen to use as installation points.

Now, we get to the screen I find interesting. I think this should be included in all distros. Figure 6 allows you to choose your desktop manager. Here, you can see that you have a choice of 'Plasma', 'Gnome', or 'Custom'. If you choose 'Custom' and click on 'Next', then you'll have options as shown in Figure 7. Here, you can add packages to a 'Workstation', set up a service on a 'Server' and choose other Desktop Managers on our system - or even multiples. When you log in to the system, you'll be able to choose which Desktop Manager to use.

Figure 06.JPG


Figure 07.JPG


Once you choose 'Next', the OS will be installed as you choose.

After the installation, you will be prompted for the Root password and a new user account, as seen in Figure 8. If you choose 'Advanced', you can enable specific groups to add features. For example, you can enable the 'wheel' group so you can use 'su' in a terminal.

Figure 08.JPG


The Root password should be set and a new user account created. Any features enabled under 'Advanced' will also be set in the OS.

The installer should now set up the initial startup program.

On the next screen, you'll be prompted for the monitor type. You can leave the default, which is 'Plug'n Play'.

The next screen in the installation lets you set up configuration information. For example, you can set the Timezone. The configuration screen is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 09.JPG


These settings are then set in the OS by the installer.

You will now be prompted if you want to install updates. If you select 'Yes', then you will also be prompted for the Repository to use unless you have a reason, just use the default.

If you choose 'Yes', the system will enable the Network Interface Card (NIC) and connect to the Internet. You now have the option to download updates, if you choose 'Yes' and if available, the system will download any updates and proceed at this point.

You should now be prompted to remove the installation media and reboot the system.

After the system reboots, you should come to the 'Mageia' boot screen that will boot Mageia after a few seconds.

As shown in Figure 10, you will be prompted to log in and choose a Desktop Manager to use for the Session (if you installed more than one you can make a choice).

Figure 10.JPG


When the OS starts, you should have a startup program that takes you through some information about the OS.

The OS

Once the OS, starts and you close the startup application that helps teach you about the OS, you should be ready to go. Most of the system tasks can be completed in the 'Mageia Control Center'. I've shown the control center in Figure 11. Here, you can update software, set up and manage hardware, manage Internet connections in and out of the system, manage and configure the system itself, set up network sharing, manage local disks, set up security, and configure the boot steps.

Figure 11.JPG


After the installation, the system is set up as 16 GB for the main partition and 3 GB for the Swap file. The drive is originally a 20 GB drive and 5.6 GB is used in the OS for a default install. I installed no extra services to take up space.

One thing I learned fairly quickly is that the 'yum' command is not installed. You can use the control center to manage updates, but sometimes I like to do it manually and see what is available. So, to install 'yum', you open a terminal and run the command 'sudo dnf install yum'.

If you install programs through the add and remove application in the control center, then apps are placed into categories on the start menu. Instead of looking for a menu entry, you can also type the program name in the 'Search…' box at the bottom of the menu.

Since the OS is using 'yum', you can tell it is based on Red Hat. The installation files are RPM files.

There is a Mageia Community where you can request changes or new additions. If needed, you can get some helpful assistance from the community as well.


Mageia looks interesting. The OS has many of its own software packages to perform management tasks, such as a 'Synaptic' type of way of installing and removing apps.

I very much like the installation that it gives you a choice of Desktop Managers. On other distros, you have to download the ISO with the Desktop Manager you want or install it later.

One thing I learned fairly quickly is that the 'yum' command is not installed.

A reason for that is that dnf is preferred over yum.

dnf does a better job of resolving dependencies than yum, and that is why it is installed on your Mageia.

By installing yum you are actually taking a backward step.

Further, Mageia has an additional package management option, in the form of


and although it has been on the agenda since Mageia 6 to phase it out, they continue to support its use, and it is actually easier to use than either of yum or dnf.

That being said, the user should make an educated choice whether to use dnf or urpmi straight after the install.

Warning about orphans mechanisms​

Mixing use of URPMI and DNF renders orphan mechanisms of both of them unreliable.

If you are going to use DNF, please switch to it as soon as possible after a fresh install.

Source - https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Using_DNF

I've been using Mageia since Mageia 4 was giving way to Mageia 5, and I still use urpmi on Mageia 9.



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