Let’s say goodbye to Mageia 3

It’s been a great run, but all good things must end. Or at least, upgrade to a greater thing.

Since Mageia 3 was released in May 2013 our packaging and security teams have provided hundreds of updates (actually 1136 source packages in the Core repository, that accounts for almost 9000 binary packages), all of them tested and validated by our QA team.

As we announced in our earlier blog post, Mageia 3 has now reached the end of its product life. This means that we will not be providing any more security or bugfix updates for Mageia 3.

In order to keep your systems secure and functioning properly, you should upgrade any Mageia 3 systems that you still have to Mageia 4 as soon as possible.

And just in case you need another incentive to upgrade, Mageia 5 is coming soon (the final release should be at the end of January 2015). Mageia 5 will be our best release yet, and we only support upgrading to it from Mageia 4, so upgrading now will mean you will be ready to go when Mageia 5 comes around.

So head on over to this wiki page and upgrade your system today.

Posted in community, Mageia, QA, release, security, users | 1 Comment

As Philae, Mageia 3 is running out of batteries…

success

(Source: xkcd)

As you all know, we can’t maintain Mageia releases forever. And it’s time to say goodbye to Mageia 3. After Wednesday the 26th of November, this release won’t benefit from any more security or bugfix updates. This will allow QA team to give more time for polishing our coming Mageia 5.

So you have only one week left to upgrade to Mageia 4 if you want to keep an up-to-date system. Do not hesitate to use our mailing-lists, forums or IRC channel to speak about it and ask for help if needed.

See www.mageia.org/support for more details.

The various ways of upgrading from Mageia 3 to Mageia 4 are described in this page.

Posted in community, Mageia, packager, release, security, users | 7 Comments

The Long and Winding Road

Well, it’s been a long road, longer than we anticipated, but we’re almost there! Mageia 5 Beta 1 is now validated!
What exactly does that mean? What took so long (a month and a half longer than originally planned)?

RPM 4.12 versus the Mageia buildsystem, a retrospective

The short explanation: Some stuff went wrong and other things got broken.

The long one: Back in September, we decided to update our package manager, RPM, to its latest upstream version 4.12. This was done shortly before our planned mass rebuild, a necessary step before the Beta where we rebuild all packages in the distribution to make sure that they are still compatible with the current state of our development stack. Usually, mass rebuilds show that a fair number of packages do not build anymore even if they did some months ago: the packagers’ task is then to patch them so that they can build against the new stack, or in some cases to patch the development tools to fix regressions.

But this time, the new RPM version introduced changes that were significant enough to break a lot of core packages during the mass rebuild, and lots of packages failed to build in a chain reaction. It took a couple of weeks to fix and we were already long past the planned deadline for Mageia 5 Beta 1 (originally scheduled for the end of September). So we decided to postpone it to mid October.

Still, while fixing our core tools during this first mass rebuild, some important changes were made to our RPM setup. As a consequence, half of the rebuilt packages (the ones built before our RPM setup changes) were lacking some important metadata. We then decided to do a second mass rebuild in October, which went quite fine apart from some issues with the Java stack. It was already late October when the first Beta 1 ISOs could be spun and delivered to the QA team for pre-release testing.

You may know that a Linux distribution release is basically an installer together with a set of packages. The latter were now starting to behave properly, but we were then faced with some issues in the installer regarding glibc (the GNU C library) and RPM. This delayed the beta for another week or so.

Then the QA team could finally get started with a fresh set of ISOs, and found the usual numbers of critical bugs (system doesn’t boot, stuff like that) that were fixed with the help of our developers. A big thanks to the QA team for their continued work on the ISOs while also testing update candidates for Mageia 3 and Mageia 4! This beta is far from perfect so don’t forget to check the errata, but you should be able to install it and to see the state of current cauldron. Please report any bugs, we will try to fix as many as we can for Mageia 5 Beta 2.

Consequence on the development roadmap

According to our original schedule, the second beta should have been released on October 31st… So we had to choose between skipping Beta 2 or postponing the Mageia 5 final release and the intermediate releases. Based on the input from the Beta 1 testing, we decided that we can’t afford to skip the second beta, since the current one still has some serious issues. As a consequence all planned dates for the future intermediate and finale releases have been postponed, and the new development roadmap reads as follows:

  • Beta 2: December 16th, 2014
  • Release Candidate: January 6th, 2015
  • Internal release: January 23rd, 2015
  • Final release: January 31st, 2015

Fine… Now, where is my Beta 1?

You all waited long enough for this release, so grab it with the first link, but don’t forget to check the following ones:

Test, enjoy, and report any bugs! Now is the time to polish this Mageia 5!

Posted in alpha, community, Mageia, packager, QA, release, test | 14 Comments

Halloween the curse or buggy software?

As explained in a previous post, lots of updates occured especially dealing with rpm. And here we go. We are facing at the moment some nasty issues in installer. The graphical part of the installer is just crashing due to a bug implying glibc and rpm. Both were recently updated.

Work is in progress and the issue was reported upstream. You can follow it here on the bug report. As soon as this bug is fixed, we will be able to release the Mageia 5 beta 1 isos. Stay tuned!

Posted in alpha, community, Mageia, packager | 10 Comments

Time time time, see what’s become of me?

As you may or may not know, we are scheduled to release the first beta for Mageia 5 on September 30th. Well… it looks like we’re not going to make it.

Here at Mageia HQ, we try to provide a balance between tried-and-tested software and cutting edge developments. That means that we try to ship Mageia releases with the newest software that we are comfortable using. We take into account all sorts of things, from stability to security and passing through usability on the way.

The practical upshot is that we are planning to release Mageia 5 with the new 4.12 version of RPM. RPM is Mageia’s package manager, that we share with other major distros such as Fedora and openSUSE. This new version brings in a lot of interesting features, so we decided to include it in Cauldron as soon as it was released, so that we can fine tune our usage of it before Mageia 5’s release. The new version was included just before the mass rebuild, an important phase of the release cycle where we rebuild all packages of Mageia 5 to make sure they compile properly against the new development stack.

Technobabble aside, the RPM version update is a good thing. It makes it easier for the packagers to find common errors and fix them, thus allowing for more reliability of our packages. That means that more time can be devoted to adding more packages for you, the user.

The problem is, well… the new RPM version broke some stuff. Not much, just a few packages needed to be rebuilt. Something like 7000 packages (now down to about 2000).
But have no fear! Our development and packagers teams are on it! They just need a little more time. So we are postponing the Mageia 5 Beta 1 release by two weeks. That means October 14th.

Let’s recap: we try to make the best Linux distribution that we can, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. But we are flexible enough to handle it! So if you were counting down the days to Mageia 5 Beta 1, just move your clock back by 14 days.

And, as always, we welcome volunteers. So if you want to help, have a look here and start contributing today!

Posted in alpha, Mageia, packager | 12 Comments