Known issues with upgrades from Mageia 5 to Mageia 6

Since the release of Mageia 6 last week, there have been several reports about issues with upgrades from Mageia 5, particularly for users upgrading from KDE 4. While that is not surprising due to the complex nature of the upgrade from KDE 4 to Plasma 5, those issues had sadly not been noticed by our QA team during its extensive pre-release testing.

We want to both acknowledge that we are aware of the issues and working on needed fixes, and make sure that those wanting to upgrade from Mageia 5 are aware of the issues and read the errata beforehand. To avoid bad surprises for the least tech savvy users, we temporarily disabled the upgrade notification that prompts users to upgrade to Mageia 6 from their live session – it will be re-enabled as soon as we are confident that most users will have a smooth upgrade.

Also note that these issues are not present on new installs and the installation experience, particularly switching from KDE 4 to Plasma 5, will be easier with a fresh installation. As such all upgrade issues should be fixable via normal package updates, and no new ISOs are planned.

The section in the Mageia 6 errata relating to upgrades highlights the procedure to minimize some of the known issues. A big thing to note that has caused issues is the use of third party packages installed in Mageia 5, especially NVIDIA graphics drivers from the upstream website (as opposed to the ones packaged by Mageia).

Here is a small summary of things to look out for:

A note on upgrades in general – performing the upgrade offline with the Classical ISO works only if update repositories are enabled, as a full Mageia 5 upgrade requires more packages than are available on the ISO images. The recommended way to start an upgrade is to do it from a non-graphical terminal (e.g. tty2 accessed via Ctrl+Alt+F2) using urpmi, as outlined in the release notes.

If you have any upgrade issue, make sure to reach out with the community on the forums, mailing lists or IRC, where advanced users can help you debug and often fix an apparently broken system.

Apart from those upgrade issues affecting some Mageia 5 systems, most users seem to be pretty happy with Mageia 6 – we will continue showcasing some of the interesting developments made for this release in future blog posts. If you missed it, be sure to check out the last post outlining some of the goodies introduced thanks to the DNF support in Mageia 6.

Posted in Mageia, release, users | 28 Comments

Dandifying Mageia, Part 2

In our previous blog post on “dandifying Mageia” (nearly a year ago!), we introduced DNF in Mageia 6 to the world. Since then, we’ve been keeping pace and tracking upstream development in Cauldron. By working closely with upstream and being actively involved in the development process (which involved reviewing and testing proposed changes), we’ve been able to ensure that the package manager evolves on the right track. This has led to benefits for both us in Mageia as well as Fedora and other projects using DNF (such as the Yocto Project, which adopted DNF with their 2.3 release).

As a consequence of our work to bring you the latest and greatest of package manager technology, Mageia is pleased to be one of the first major Linux distributions to offer DNF 2.x on release! We currently have v2.5.1 of DNF, along with v2.1.1 of the core plugins and v2.0.1 of the extra plugins. DNF is also preinstalled with all fresh installations of Mageia 6, and for those who upgraded from Mageia 5, you can just install the “dnf” package to get it.

DNF running "dnf upgrade" on Mageia 6

DNF running “dnf upgrade” on Mageia 6

For those who prefer a graphical experience with package management, we’ve developed dnfdragora to provide an intuitive graphical frontend similar to rpmdrake. Though unlike rpmdrake, dnfdragora provides native Qt 5, GTK+ 3, and ncurses frontends, so it doesn’t matter what you’re using as your desktop, you’ll have a nice experience with dnfdragora.

Just install the “dnfdragora-qt” or “dnfdragora-gtk” packages for either frontend, or “dnfdragora” for ncurses only.

For those makers and shakers of the world, we have several pieces of exciting news!

We’ve completed the integration of support for Fedora’s COPR service, which means that anyone can now build packages targeting Mageia 6 and Cauldron today on COPR, alongside Fedora and CentOS. For how to use it, see our wiki page on it.

We’re also pleased to announce that both Mageia 6 and the rolling target Mageia Cauldron are supported on the openSUSE Build Service. Because of the OBS interconnection capability, the vast majority of private Open Build Service appliances also now can build packages for Mageia 6 and Mageia Cauldron, too! For how to use it, see our wiki page on it.

In addition, Mageia now fully supports AppStream, the cross-distribution standard for software authors to describe their software for software centers to use. With Mageia 6, software center applications that use AppStream, such as GNOME Software and Plasma Discover, will be fully populated with a representation of the software we ship that provide AppStream information.

Just install the “gnome-software” or “discover” packages to check this out.

However, if you’re using GNOME and install GNOME Software, the GNOME Shell integration will activate the next time you log in, allowing you to use the GNOME Shell search to find applications to install from GNOME Software.

Searching for installable apps through GNOME Shell

Searching for installable apps through GNOME Shell

To add a little cherry on top, if you use GNOME Software to manage your software updates, you’ll be pleased to know that GNOME Software’s Offline Updates functionality works perfectly! It looks rather spiffy, if I do say so myself!

Offline Updates triggered by GNOME Software

Offline Updates triggered by GNOME Software

This is the culmination of two years of work in Mageia and various upstream projects to make this a reality. The upstream software developers, our friends in the Fedora Project and the openSUSE Project, the Mageia packagers, and the Mageia system administrators have all contributed to the success of this technology launching in Mageia 6. All of us hope that all Mageia users will enjoy this in the release of Mageia 6.

Posted in Collaboration, Mageia, packager, release, users | 8 Comments

Announcing Mageia 6, finally ready to shine!

The whole Mageia community is extremely happy to announce the release of Mageia 6, the shiny result of our longest release cycle so far! It comes with many new and exciting features, a new range of installation media and the usability and stability that can be expected from any Mageia release. See the Release Notes for extensive details.

Though Mageia 6’s development was much longer than anticipated, we took the time to polish it and ensure that it will be our greatest release so far. We thank our community for their patience, and also our packagers and QA team who provided an extended support for Mageia 5 far beyond the initial schedule.

For the most eager, here are the relevant links to download and prepare your Mageia 6 installation:

Highlights of Mageia 6

The extra time that has gone into this release has allowed for many exciting additions, here are a few of the major additions and key features of Mageia 6:

  • KDE Plasma 5 replaces the previous KDE SC 4 desktop environment
  • The new package manager DNF is provided as an alternative to urpmi, enabling a great packaging ecosystem:
    • Support for AppStream and thus GNOME Software and Plasma Discover
    • Support for Fedora COPR and openSUSE Build Service to provide third party packages for Mageia 6 and later
    • dnfdragora, a new GUI tool for package management inspired from rpmdrake
  • Brand new icon theme for all Mageia tools, notably the Mageia Control Center
  • Successful integration of the ARM port (ARMv5 and ARMv7) in the buildsystem, allowing to setup ARM chroots. Installation images are not available yet but will come in the future.
  • GRUB2 as the default bootloader
  • New Xfce Live images to test Mageia with a lighter weight environment
  • While not a new feature, Mageia 6 supports over 25 desktop environments and window managers (more details in an upcoming blog post)!
Mageia Control Center

Screenshot of the Mageia Control Center with its new icons

Full details of these highlights can be read in the Release Notes, and several of those will be detailed in their own blog posts in the coming weeks.

Package versions

All of the software in the repository has been rebuilt and updated to include the latest and greatest from around the open source ecosystem, here are some of the major components that make up this release:

  • Low-level: Linux Kernel 4.9.35 (LTS), systemd 230, X.org 1.19.3, Wayland 1.11.0, Mesa 17.1.4
  • Toolkits: Qt 5.6.2 (LTS), GTK+ 3.22.16
  • Desktop environments: Plasma 5.8.7 (LTS), GNOME 3.24.2, MATE 1.18, Cinnamon 3.2.8, Xfce 4.12.1, LXQt 0.11
  • Applications: LibreOffice 5.3.4.2, Firefox 52.2.0 ESR, Thunderbird 52.2.1, Chromium 57

Most user-facing applications are very recent releases, bringing Mageia users the best of free and open source software projects of 2017. Core components of the distribution use slightly more conservative versions, allowing for a good tradeoff between new developments and stability.

New ISO lineup

During this development cycle, we changed the ISO lineup to include Xfce Live images (32-bit and 64-bit), and remove 32-bit GNOME and Plasma Live images as well as the dual-arch installer.

This has had a number of benefits: it provides a lightweight Xfce live environment for both 32 and 64-bit installation, while reducing the number of supported ISOs and making it clearer what are the available install paths for each use case. Here is the full lineup of the Mageia 6 ISOs:

  • 32-bit Classical Installer DVD
  • 64-bit Classical Installer DVD
  • GNOME 64-bit Live DVD
  • Plasma 64-bit Live DVD
  • Xfce 32-bit Live DVD
  • Xfce 64-bit Live DVD

For those that still want to install 32-bit Plasma or GNOME, they are available on the Classical Installer or through network installation. All of these ISOs are hybrid, so they can be used on both USB sticks and DVDs; if a bootable CD is required, several network install images are available that can utilise many sources to complete an installation including a local or network mirror and the Classical Installer image. See the documentation for more info on the installation possibilities.

Mageia 6’s new look

We have created a full new theme for Mageia 6 that includes improvements with image scaling during boot time as well as a new iconset and improvements in the look of all Mageia-specific applications such as the Control Center (MCC). A big thanks to Timothée Giet for his work on modernizing and unifying Mageia’s looks!

Mageia 6 background

Mageia 6 signature background by Jacques Daugeron

The new theme includes a new signature background by Jacques Daugeron and additional images that include those selected by the Mageia Council from the community background contest as well as the signature wallpapers from previous releases. There are also new screensavers created from the background contest.

Support schedule

For those wondering about Mageia 5 – it will still be supported for 3 months, with an expected end of life on 31st October 2017, giving you some time to upgrade. That will make it our longest supported release so far, as it was released in June 2015!

Mageia 6 will be supported for at least 18 months, i.e. until 16th January 2019. If the support duration were to be extended as it was for Mageia 5, it will be announced on this blog and updated on the website.

Why choose Mageia?

One word: community. Mageia is a top-notch Linux distribution entirely made by and for its community. No strings attached, no company behind it, only users who have a great time developing the distribution that they use daily, at home or at work. And as a Mageia user, you are part of this rewarding experience, and you can contribute in many different ways to make it yours.

Mageia is shaped for its users, and is therefore suitable in any environment: work, home, servers, leisure. Everything is supported directly by the community through the official repositories, out of the box. Mageia always strives to offer a universal usage experience across a large set of desktop environments, integrated with some of the best control and administration tools available.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Our team of developers, packagers, QA testers, bug reporters and triagers, documentation writers, translators and sysadmins have all worked super-hard to bring Mageia 6 to readiness, and we thank them all for their voluntary work on our community-led independent project!

We are all gratefully aware of the amazing work of all the Free Software projects that we distribute, such as the Linux kernel, the GNU project, systemd, X.org, Mesa 3D, KDE, GNOME, Xfce, Mozilla, LibreOffice and many others. This also includes the other GNU/Linux distributions we collaborate with and all the many, many people writing and testing free software – thanks to you all for inspiring us and making the great software that forms the foundation of Mageia.

Posted in community, Mageia, release, users | 67 Comments

Weekly roundup 2017 – week 27

Cauldron

The last Council meeting on Tuesday was focused around the go/no go on releasing Mageia 6, rather unsurprisingly. While there was lots of discussion about blockers and update paths, one issue that stood out was ISO size. It is getting increasingly hard to keep the ISOs under the 4Gb barrier for USB sticks – DVDs tend to be less of a problem as their 4Gb tends to be around 4.3Gb, while the 4Gb USB sticks can be as low as 3.7Gb depending on how it’s counted. To avoid this issue, the size limit for USB sticks was lifted but kept for DVDs, this allowed the target of making the final ISOs for the release this weekend to be set, with the full release freeze going into effect before they are built. Note that the ISO builders already managed to strip some MB of them so the size limit issue will be less likely to appear.

On Thursday, mageia-release-6-1.mga6 landed on the mirrors with the official switch from “Mageia 6 (Cauldron)” to “Mageia 6 (Official)”. This has caused a knock on effect requiring some large rebuilds, and a signal that Cauldron is coming to a close for the Mageia 6 cycle, and will reopen again for Mageia 7. Some repository cleanups were done to make sure all packages have properly been rebuilt for Mageia 6 (some nonfree packages had been forgotten during the mass rebuild), and that packages which are both in Core and Tainted (such as FFmpeg) have the exact same version and release.

This morning, the full freeze landed, Cauldron has become Mageia 6 and assuming no bugs are found in the final ISOs, the release should happen in the coming days.

With all of that said, there were still plenty of updates aside from the rebuilds to pull in the final translations, here are a few:

  • dnf 2.5.1
  • krusader 2.6.0
  • mariadb 10.1.24
  • naev 0.7.0
  • panda3d 1.9.4 (new package)
  • wine 2.0.1 (stable, with staging patches disabled)

Mageia 5

Even with everything going into the release for Mageia 6, there have been plenty of updates for Mageia 5, here are a few of the larger ones:

  • thunderbird 52.2.1 – fixes some issues with Gmail folders
  • enigmail 1.9.7 – see thunderbird update
  • bitlbee 3.2.2-4.1 – CVE fixes
  • ffcall 1.13 and clisp 2.49-11.1 – security fix
  • libff- 3.1-4.1 – CVE fix
Posted in Weekly roundup | 24 Comments

Weekly roundup 2017 – week 25 & 26

Cauldron

The ISO testing for the final release is coming along well, the majority of the remaining blocking bugs were closed recently, the last remaining big issue was with LibreOffice only installing properly in English, however, that has been fixed and new images are being tested now.

Update wise, nearly everything has been focused on getting the repository into a state where the packages can be maintained easily over the course of the release, fixing CVE issues and updates to final versions of packages that were in pre-release previously. Some notable ones are:

  • kernel 4.9.35
  • mesa 17.1.4
  • thunderbird 52.2.1
  • tomcat 8.0.44
  • exiv2 0.26 – this led a good number of packages being rebuilt

Mageia 5

As it’s been two weeks since the last roundup, there has been lots of updates, you can see the full list here, some of the major ones are listed below:

  • libtiff 4.0.8 – multiple CVE fixes
  • kernel 4.4.74 – multiple CVE fixes
  • thunderbird 52.2.0 – multiple CVE fixes
  • firefox 52.2.0 – multiple CVE fixes
  • glibc – 2.20-25 – CVE fixes

Community

Mageia had a booth at RMLL this weekend so a blog post about that will appear soon, in the meantime, here is the booth that we had.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly roundup | 8 Comments