After being in development for more than a year and a half, the Mageia 8 operating system is now officially released as a major update to this distro forked from Mandriva Linux.
Mageia 8 is powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, promising outstanding hardware support, and in combination with an up-to-date graphics stack consisting of Mesa 20.3.4 and X.Org Server 1.20.10, the distribution offers improved support for AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
For newer AMD Radeon GPUs, Mageia 8 uses the open-source AMDGPU graphics driver, while the Radeon graphics driver is used for older cards. On the other hand, the free Nouveau graphics driver is used for NVIDIA GPUs, and Mageia 8 promises improved support for NVIDIA Optimus laptops.
According to the release notes, owners of NVIDIA Optimus laptops now have “three ways to benefit from the power of their discrete GPU.”
These include installing the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver from the repositories and using an experimental tool called mageia-prime for configuring NVIDIA Prime support and fully use your NVIDIA graphics card, using the Bumblebee package for bridging a monitor to the NVIDIA GPU, and using the Nouveau drivers for NVIDIA Prime GPU offloading via the DRI_PRIME=1 environment variable.
Other major changes included in Mageia 8 are faster live session due to using Zstd for compressing the base file system and optimized hardware detection, support for encrypting the persistence partition in the live session, improved support for the NILFS2 file system, support for mounting Windows 10 NTFS filesystems, bootable minimal install on LUKS, improved NFS support, and an enhanced Rescue mode.
Mageia 8 is available in three live editions with the KDE Plasma 5.20.4 desktop environment built on top of Qt 5.15.2 and accompanied by the KDE Frameworks 5.76 and KDE Applications 20.12.0 open-source software suites, the GNOME 3.38.3 desktop environment running on Wayland by default, and the Xfce 4.16 desktop environment. Also included in the repositories are LXQt 0.16.0, Cinnamon 4.8.3, MATE 1.24.2, and Enlightenment 24.2.
Mageia 8 also promises to offer “a very good platform for intensive and casual gamers alike,” faster package metadata parsing by using Zstd instead of XZ for the Urpmi metadata, support for the rEFInd boot manager as an alternative to GRUB2 on UEFI systems, support for a vanilla stock Linux kernel (kernel-linus) that doesn’t include any extra patchset, a revamped Mageia Welcome app, and improved ARM support.
Under the hood, Mageia 8 uses RPM 220.127.116.11 for package management, DNF 4.6.0 as alternative package manager, GNU C Library 2.32, GCC 10.2, LLVM 11.0.1, GTK 4.1.0, Java 11, Mono 6.10, libvirt 7.0, Xen 4.14, Python 3.8.7, Perl 5.32.1, Ruby 2.7.2, Rust 1.49.0, and PHP 8.0.2.
Last updated 8 months ago