Announcing upcoming Mageia 5.1 ISOs and an update on Mageia 6 progress

It is likely not news to you that we are behind the original schedule regarding Mageia 6.
As a community-led distro with a limited amount of resources and contributors, we stand by “Release when it’s ready” and don’t want to rush a release out until we are fully happy with it. Obviously, we are not yet fully happy with Mageia 6, though it is shaping up pretty well! On the other hand, we are still very pleased with Mageia 5 and want to continue supporting it until Mageia 6 is ready to take over.

Upcoming Mageia 5.1 ISOs

Because of this delay, we will release updated ISO images of Mageia 5 to bridge the gap until Mageia 6 is ready.

The new Mageia 5.1 ISOs will include all the security and bug-fix updates released for Mageia 5 so far, including an updated LTS kernel (4.4.x) for improved hardware support.

Like it was done for Mageia 4.1, this does not constitute a new release per se, but an easier way to install an up-to-date Mageia 5. Existing Mageia 5 users won’t have to reinstall anything, as their up-to-date system is already the same as what the 5.1 images would install. New users, however, would
benefit from having the well-tested kernel 4.4 from the start, instead of starting with the original kernel 3.19 of Mageia 5.

We will likely extend the support period for Mageia 5 to cover at least 3 months of transition after the Mageia 6 release. The exact updated end-of-life date will be given when the 5.1 ISOs are released.

Infra back on track for Mageia 6

There have been some infrastructure issues causing delays to getting ISOs to build, which particularly impacted the internal testing for Mageia 6’s stabilisation snapshot 2 over the last few months. These have now been mostly resolved, and our ISO building team (and its new recruits!) will have the opportunity to fine tune the process with the updated Mageia 5 ISOs, before going back to Mageia 6.

The delays have allowed for newer versions of some key software stacks to be included. Plasma has matured a lot and gained stability and feature completeness over the last few months, and we will be able to ship Mageia 6 with Plasma 5.8 LTS. We will also include GNOME 3.22 which is currently being prepared for Cauldron.

Packagers and developers toiling on release blockers

The main reason for Mageia 6’s delay is, of course, the remaining blocking bugs (so called release blockers) that we don’t want to compromise on fixing before the release.

Packagers and developers are currently working to fix the remaining release blockers. A new tool has been promptly developed in Mageia App DB to help visualise the progress on the current release blockers. We hope to have the second stabilisation snapshot available soon after the Mageia 5.1 ISOs are released, likely sometime in October 2016. As for the final release, we do not want to give a precise ETA yet, but we should manage to make a 2016 release 🙂

As always, many hands make light work, so if you’re interested in ISO testing, QA, packaging or just want to get involved with Mageia, please have a look here for further details on getting involved.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Dandifying Mageia – Adding the DNF stack to Mageia

There’s a lot of good things coming to Mageia 6: KDE Plasma 5 desktop, updates to other desktop environments, many new games, and a fresh coat of paint with a new visual style. However, there’s quite a lot of under-the-hood improvements in Mageia, too!

Among the many less-than-visible improvements across the board is a brand new dependency resolver: DNF. DNF (Dandified Yum) is a next generation dependency resolver and high-level package management tool with an interesting history. DNF traces its ancestry to two projects: Fedora’s Yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) and openSUSE’s SAT Solver (libsolv). DNF was forked from Yum several years ago in order to rewrite it to use the SAT Solver library from openSUSE (which is used in their own tool, Zypper). Another goal of the fork was to massively restructure the codebase so that a sane API would be available for both extending DNF (via plugins and hooks) and building applications on top of it (such as graphical frontends and system lifecycle automation frameworks).

DNF will be available for those willing to use it, however, urpmi and the current familiar Mageia software management tools will remain as the default in Mageia for the foreseeable future.

In many respects, these goals were achieved. DNF ships with a well-structured command line interface, an easy-to-use and very complete API, a dozen core plugins, and a dozen contributed plugins.

As a consequence of the work required to adopt DNF, Mageia is now broadly compatible with a wider array of tools for managing RPM-based systems, due to the use of tooling that is common to other major RPM-based Linux distributions (such as Fedora and openSUSE). For example, tools like Spacewalk and Katello will (to some extent) be able to manage Mageia 6 systems for institutions like schools and businesses.

PackageKit has been also switched to a new backend that leverages the work done to enable DNF, allowing for us to properly enable app-centric software management tools like GNOME Software and KDE’s Plasma Discover to provide a high-quality desktop software management experience through the desktop environment’s native tools.

In addition, we’re working with the developers of Fedora COPR (A PPA-style system developed and provided by our friends at the Fedora Project) to get Mageia 6 and Cauldron added as supported Linux distributions. This will allow people interested in providing packages of free/open source software for Mageia to have a place where they can build them and have a hosted package repository. Once support for Mageia has been activated on Fedora COPR, adding repositories will be as easy as “dnf copr enable”.

One of the fruits borne from this effort is that support for building packages for Mageia 6 is now built right into Mock, the standard clean package build tool used by Red Hat, Fedora, and CentOS. As of Mock 1.2.18 and newer (available on supported RHEL/CentOS and Fedora releases, as well as in the upcoming Mageia 6), it is possible to build Mageia packages without having to switch distributions or manually construct chroots, containers, or virtual machines. Likewise, with Mageia 6, it is possible to build Fedora packages using the same tool. Of course, you can build Mageia packages from Mageia 6 with Mock as well. Mock is the core build engine for Fedora COPR, so it was critical to make this work, and so we did.

The work to offer DNF in Mageia 6 represents nearly a year of work, collaborating and cooperating with the upstream project and the Fedora Project to implement this in the best way possible. We hope that the introduction of DNF and the new PackageKit backend will offer a new, user-friendly way for people to interact with the software installed and available on Mageia!

If you want to learn more about DNF, check out our wiki page on how to use it.

Posted in Collaboration, Mageia, packager | 47 Comments

And the winner is….

We have completed the artwork contest and would like to extend our thanks to everyone that took part, there were some excellent pieces submitted and choosing the winners was a tough task.

We would like to congratulate Jacques Daugeron on winning the background contest, the runners up will be available in the extra theme package as well.

Here is the signature background for Mageia 6, it will be included in the next updates to the theme packages.

Mageia-Default-3840x2160

Here are some of the images that will be included in the extra backgrounds package.

extra1
extra2

Also, congratulations go to the winners of the screensaver contest: Fabien Deschodt, Володимир, fkuller, Teimuraz Khazaradze, Donald Stewart, Jose, Philippe Verschelde and Mészáros Csaba, it was great to see so many contributors coming from such far reaching parts of the World.

We have images of Black Sea sunsets, snowy mountains in Scotland, big European cities all the way to South American waterways, its nice to see the global appeal that Mageia brings.

screensavers

Thanks again to all the contributors, we look forward to hearing your feedback on the new look!

Posted in artwork, Atelier, Collaboration, community, Mageia, release | 16 Comments

The next step towards Mageia 6 is here, sta1 has been released

Everyone at Mageia is very happy to announce the release of the next step in the path to Mageia 6.

The first stabilisation snapshot, as the name suggests, aims to start bringing everything together and getting the new software stable enough for release. Most of the big updates since dev1 have been moving from beta/RC releases of major software components to stable ones, which will hopefully give a nicely polished feel to the release.

GRUB 2 is now the default bootloader as GRUB Legacy has finally run its course. We have also fully switched from KDE 4 to Plasma 5, as well as solved issues with localisation. The switch to GRUB2 led to the need for updates to our tools and installer which took some tuning to get right, as we wanted to make sure that the release was functional for testing.

The Live media are now available. However, due to increasingly limiting constraints of the medium’s size, the LiveCDs have been abandoned to the profit of the more complete LiveDVDs, thus allowing for a fuller distribution of the desktop ecosystem to be available. The installation media will be available as normal (note that for similar reasons, the dual-arch DVD provider in earlier releases has also been dropped).

We have already entered version freeze, so the package versions seen here will likely be the major versions shipped with Mageia 6, although we aim to update to the 4.7 kernel branch for better support of new hardware and a longer support cycle. We hope that this will offer the perfect blend of freshness and stability.

Mageia 6 sta1 ships with the following:

  • Linux Kernel 4.6.3
  • Glibc 2.22
  • Plasma 5.6.4
  • GNOME 3.20.3
  • MATE 1.14.1
  • Cinnamon 3.0.1
  • LibreOffice 5.1.4.2
  • Firefox 45 ESR
  • Thunderbird 45
  • Chromium 51

Full release notes are available here.

The ISOs are available for testing on the Mageia website, or if you prefer a specific mirror, the list is available here. While we are hoping that this release is getting closer to a fully stable and usable release, please remember that it is still a pre-release and is early in the Mageia 6 release cycle. So, for any bugs that you find, we would appreciate a report on our Bugzilla so that we can get them fixed for the final release. The ISOs have been fully tested by our QA team so we hope that they will work well for you.

If you would like to get involved in QA testing, ISO testing or any other part of Mageia, have a look at our Contribution page for ideas on how you can help. We always welcome new contributors.

We look forward to hearing your feedback.

Posted in community, Mageia, QA, release | 28 Comments

Mageia 6 Artwork Contest Extension

We have decided to extend the contest by a week as there are still lots of contributions coming in and with the work coming from people’s donated time, we wanted to give a larger chance to others that might have been busy with other things.

The contest will now close on the 30th of May; as before, all work should be submitted to the Artwork Drop.

For more information about the contest, please have a look at the initial announcement blog post.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with for Mageia 6!

Posted in artwork, Atelier, community, Mageia, release | 12 Comments