And we’ve all waited long enough for Mageia 5 RC: go grab it!
While you wait for the download to complete, all restless and eager that you are to try this new release, let’s talk a bit about this release candidate: what can you expect of it, and why did it take so long?
UEFI support – for real
Mageia’s developers have been hard at work during this release cycle to add UEFI support to our installer, while the QA contributors were thoroughly testing everything that they could on their hardware. We are now proud to announce that you can install Mageia on UEFI systems fairly easily, using either our Live media or the classical installer (except from the DualDVD which does not support UEFI).
This is now the trial by fire for the main feature of Mageia 5: if you have a UEFI system, please try this release candidate in as many configurations as possible (dual boot with Windows or with other Linux distributions, etc.). And then please report any bug that you may encounter; we managed to get rid of most of the bugs noticed during this long pre-release testing, but our QA testers have relatively limited hardware resources.
Spring cleaning in the installer
Though it’s probably the most awaited feature, UEFI support is not the only improvement that was made in our installer, DrakX. The intensive testing done by the QA team over the last months brought a good deal of long-standing bugs to light, and a lot of work has been poured into fixing these issues: RAID support, GRUB 2 integration, graphical issues linked to GTK+ 3 evolutions, more logging and debugging features for urpmi and the installer… you name it!
For instance, we improved the default partitioning features to better reflect the needs of our users: the ready-made options to “erase and use the entire disk” or “use the free space” will now create a bigger root partition (up to 50 GB if you have a ton of free space, against 12 GB in previous releases). The “use free space on a Windows partition” option will also be less shy of using free space on NTFS partitions, letting you have a comfortable root partition if you want to install several desktop environments or some of the nice open source games shipped with Mageia 5.
Our most tested release so far
With over two months of development and testing, this release candidate is our most tested release so far, and we do hope that it will make Mageia 5 our most stable and mature release. The freeze period has been longer than anticipated, so you won’t find the most recent packages such as Kernel 4.0; on the other hand we are pretty confident that we have reached a good compromise between being cutting-edge and stable. Our packagers kept working on providing important bugfix releases and security fixes, while trying to make sure not to add any avoidable regression, and all in all Mageia 5 should satisfy both casual and power users.
An impressive team work between the devs and the QA testers
The testing period for this release candidate was like an endless game of table tennis, with developers on one side working hard on fixing release critical issues, and ISO testers on the other side, always running into new (and old) issues and making sure that the bug fixes were effective. A big thanks to all those involved in this tiring but rewarding testing period; we definitely set a new record with 9 rounds of RC ISOs tested over two months!
Special kudos to our QA team, and especially its newest members who joined during the Mageia 5 release cycle, for managing to keep testing update candidates for Mageia 4 while working on the RC ISOs.
Now it’s your turn
With so much development done between our 3rd beta and this release candidate, there is a lot to test and we need as much hardware covered as possible, especially to test UEFI support and other installer changes. So grab your copy, prepare your booting device and get started with Mageia 5 RC! Please have a look at the errata too, since there are already known issues that we couldn’t fix yet, and report any bug that affects you and that you can’t find in the errata or our Bugzilla.