The upcoming Mageia 8 Linux distribution now has a first alpha release that the community can download and test if they want to help the devs fix bugs before the final release or get an early taste of the new features and improvements.
Donald Stewart announced today the general availability of Mageia 8 Alpha 1, the first step towards the next major release of this wonderful GNU/Linux distribution that continues the legacy of the Mandrake Linux operating system.
And it’s packed with a lot of goodies, starting with the latest Linux 5.7 kernel series and continuing with better support for ARM devices with dedicated images for some of the most popular of them in the coming months, as well as a much-improved installer with better support for the F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System) and NILFS2 filesystems.
Mageia 8 also promises faster boot and installation times due to the use of the Zstd (Zstandard) lossless, real-time data compression algorithm that most GNU/Linux distributions are adopting these days. In addition, Zstd is being used to accelerate the package metadata parsing within urpmi package manager.
The Mageia developers have successfully transition away from Python 2, which is no longer supported upstream. Python 3 is now the new standard for most GNU/Linux distributions and Mageia 8 will fully support it as most Python 2 modules and apps have been removed.
As expected, Mageia 8 will ship in three different editions, with the KDE Plasma, GNOME, and Xfce desktop environments. This first alpha release includes KDE Plasma 5.19.1, GNOME 3.36 and Xfce 4.15.2. Both KDE Plasma and GNOME environments come with better AppStream metadata integration.
Of course, there’s also better hardware support to make Mageia 8 run well on some of the most recent computers, especially NVIDIA Optimus laptops, but also PCs with AMD Radeon graphics cards. The latest Mesa 20.1 and X.Org Server 1.20.7 graphics stacks are present as well.
Under the hood, the distro will ship with the latest RPM 4.16 package management system, which brings lots of improvements and new features like automatic detection and optimization of SSD drives and support for meta dependencies. DNF 4.2.19 is also present as an alternative package manager.
The newest GNU technologies are being used as well, including the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 10.1.1 system compiler and GNU C Library (glibc) 2.31. More details about all the changes included in Mageia 8 are available in the full release notes.
If you want take Mageia 8 alpha 1 for a test drive, you can download the installation or live images right now from the official website. However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, not suitable for any production work. If you find any bugs, please report them here.
Last updated 8 months ago