The Inquirer-Home

Mageia 3 is a great way to banish Microsoft forever

Column Linux outfit releases latest Windows alternative
Fri May 24 2013, 15:58

LINUX DISTRIBUTION Mageia launched its third and latest release Mageia 3 a few days ago, and that's now available to download directly from the Mageia website and many of the well known mirrors like and many university supported mirrors via either Bittorrent, http or ftp.

The release of Mageia 3 was favoured with a brief notice at Linux magazine when it came out.

"All grown up and ready to go dancing" was the headline from the Mageia project, announcing the arrival of the Mageia 3. Mageia is a community-based Linux distribution forked from the commercial Mandriva Linux, with contributions from several former Mandriva employees," it noted.

"The all-volunteer Mageia community has yet to reclaim the full stature of its Mandriva legacy; however, the fact that [Mageia] has actually had the number [two] spot on the Distrowatch hit list for the past year - second only to Mint and ahead of Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and openSUSE - confirms that this proud and powerful community Linux is still in the running."

I'd say that's about right, and Mageia is what I happen to use, so I'll talk a little more about Mageia 3. Perhaps you'll begin to see why it has become such a popular Linux distribution. I'll also explain a way to use ftp under Linux to download the DVD install disc, as well as cdrecord to burn it.

The Mageia 3 webpage offers several ways to download and install various flavours of the release. There are both http and Bittorrent download links for both 32-bit and 64-bit DVD images and a dual architecture CD image. The full DVD ISO installation images are capable of upgrading an existing Mageia 2 installation to Mageia 3 - but read the release notes first - while the CD ISO install image contains only a minimal number of packages.

Live DVDs and CDs are also available in both Gnome and KDE desktop versions, but these support only fresh installations, not upgrades from Mageia 2. In addition, there are two network based installation CDs available, one that installs only free software, and another that can also install some nonfree, proprietary firmware drivers that are needed by certain disk controllers, network cards, and so on.

Mageia 3 supports 167 locales and all of the following languages: Deutsch (German), English, Español (Spanish), Français (French), Italiano (Italian), Português (Portugese), Svenska (Swedish), Nederlands (Dutch), Polski (Polish), Dansk (Danish) and Русский (Russian). That Mageia is available in 11 major languages should begin to give you a hint that there are a lot of people working behind the scenes to support it, and that's one reason it's so popular.

I downloaded the Mageia 3 x86_64 DVD the other day. Since I don't have a very fast DSL link, it took a little over seven hours to transfer that 3.9GB ISO image. Therefore I have not had a chance to install it yet. However, for any relatively new Linux users who might be interested, here is how I acquired the DVD.

I opened a command line console and used a

cd /data

command to switch to a /data drive with lots of free space available, followed by a

mkdir /data/mageia3

command to create a download directory, followed by a

cd /data/mageia3

command to make that my working directory.

I used the ftp program ncftp, which supports ftp transfers running in the background. I ran


in the command line console, used the


ncftp command to open the mirror and used




commands to navigate to the Mageia 3 ISO directory containing the files. Then I used the

bgget Mageia-3-x86_64-DVD.*

ncftp command to select all of the Mageia-3-x86_64-DVD.* files for download and the


ncftp command to start the ftp download process. Then I did other things all day while the files were transferred.

When that was done, I used the

md5sum Mageia-3-x86_64-DVD.iso

command to get the md5 checksum of the ISO file, and checked that against the value in the .md5 file that had also been downloaded.

I then used the

cdrecord -scanbus

command to find my DVD drive at address 5,0,0 and the

cdrecord dev=5,0,0 -v -eject Mageia-3-x86_64-DVD.iso

command to burn the DVD image to the disc I'd loaded in the DVD drive, which took just a few minutes. I've read the Mageia 3 release notes and am looking forward to installing Mageia 3 very soon.

If you are presently running Microsoft Windows on your PC and would like to try Mageia 3 Linux, just download and burn one of the DVDs or CDs mentioned, put it in your DVD or CD drive, and reboot. If you download a LiveDVD or LiveCD, you can even try Mageia 3 without disturbing your Windows system. Then, if you decide you like it, you can install Mageia 3 alongside Windows on your PC, and you can then choose which one to boot at every reboot.

If you're like many people, after a while you'll find that you no longer run Windows, and will be able to get rid of it - and all of its bloatware, poor performance, endless security vulnerabilities and annoyingly frequent patches - and will never again need to pay Microsoft another penny.

And knowing that is a very good feeling. µ


Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

INQ Poll

Happy new year!

What tech are you most looking forward to in 2015