Linux Distro Spotlight: Mageia 4

Linux distributions generally fall into one of two categories.  User friendly or pure.

User friendly distributions “just work” on as many devices as possible.  They try not to bog the user down with configuration.

Purity distributions remove the fluff.  Their goal is to install and configure as little as possible out-of-the-box, while still remaining useful.  It is then up to the user to make it their own.


Mageia is a user-friendly distribution.  In fact, it is one of the most user-friendly ones available.  It will gently guide you through your Linux experience.

Where Mageia differs from other user-friendly distributions is its approach to the complex.  Distributions like Ubuntu and Mint tend to make decisions for you, to keep the experience simple.  Mageia, however, presents the decisions to you in a clear and concise way.  Instead of sheltering you from decisions, it walks you through them.

Mageia Pros

  • It is community based, not corporation based (e.g. Ubuntu).  This means the distribution is shaped by user suggestion and input more than by long-term corporate goals.
  • It has a superb graphical control center that is easy to use and immensely powerful.  It makes configuration and adjustment of your settings a cinch.
  • More stable and well-tested than many other distributions.

Mageia Cons

  • Limited software selection in default repositories compared to other popular distributions.
  • New software version releases lag behind other popular distributions.
  • DVD based installation requires manually configuring Internet software repositories during or after the installation.
  • It is less elegant and polished than other popular distributions.


Why You Should Try It

There are many fantastic distributions catering to those wanting a simple distribution that “just works.”  All of these excellent distributions make it hard for one to stand out from the pack.  Mageia stands out.

In my opinion, Mageia’s distinction is due to its completely different origins.  Nearly all the popular distributions competing with Mageia can trace their origins back to Debian Linux.

Debian uses certain tools, design paradigms, and organization.  These conventions are present in most of Debian’s offspring.  One of the most obvious examples is the use of ‘apt’ for package management, and .deb packages.

Mageia has no such ties to Debian.  It is instead based on the now defunct Mandriva distribution.  Because of this, Mageia is an ideal distribution for anyone looking to distance themselves from Debian for philosophical, practical, or educational purposes.  It is just as well-designed with a different pedigree.




Mageia has a proud heritage that is difficult to live up to.  But it has done a fantastic job so far.  Mageia superbly tempers Linux’s complexity without watering the experience down.  It offers staggering choice and flexibility while remaining easy to use.

In my opinion, Mageia is a great distribution for newcomers and seasoned pros alike.  It offers a refreshing departure from the Debian and Ubuntu origins without sacrificing anything.  It is certainly worthy of its popularity.


Use a link below to get Mageia and give it a shot.  Let us know your opinions in the comments, and be sure to join our mailing list to learn about other great distributions!


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