Mageia 4 Beta 2 Review

The fourth Mageia plans to make the distro even easier to use for both newcomers and veteran users alike

Although not expected until February, the next edition of Mageia is under development.The last version of the distro was pretty much the pinnacle of what the team set out to do – fixing all the major bugs to make it a great distro. This means that the next version of Mageia has room to grow, in adding new features or just generally improving the quality. One of the features that desperately needs an update is the draklive installer – a very basic-looking install wizard, it has the benefit of offering good partitioning tools and the ability to customise the boot menu. The latter is rare among Linux installers, however most of the bigger distros also have a much better-looking interface for the installer. As Mageia is going for a user-friendly route, some of the options could be portrayed a little better for newer users. A major new feature added to Mageia in the beta is a new welcome screen, providing a lot of information and the ability to perform system set ups. The Mageia Control Center is explained thoroughly, and the first system update can be performed using a button directly on it. Afterwards you can even install software from some recommended entries such as VLC, Flash player and media codecs. Each package is labelled as free, tainted or non-free so that opensource advocates can know exactly what they’re installing.

The Mageia welcome does more than normal welcome pages
The Mageia welcome does more than normal welcome pages

More information

For now, everything else important has received standard package updates and bug fixes. Cinnamon and MATE have been added to the repos, making it yet another distro with access to the two. The Mageia Control Center hasn’t been touched, which is fine as it’s already a pretty fantastic graphical tool for system management.

However, there are still a few things to come in time for the final release. The welcome screen still needs a little work, and the updated artwork has yet to be added to the distro. As it is though, it looks as though Mageia 4 should be another great release for users of all experience levels.
Mageia 4 is off to a good start, with some great new features for users of all levels to take advantage of – so the distro is on the right track even after being integrated back into Mandriva. Hopefully this innovation will continue over the rest of the development cycle for 4, and well into 5.

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