Mageia is a GNU/Linux-based operating system forked out of the erstwhile Mandriva Linux, which can be installed on PCs either as main operating system, or alternative system, as one of several pre-installed systems (dual boot).
While the first ISO test release which showcases all the changes in the upcoming stable Mageia 8 has been announced by Donald Stewart, as Mageia 8 Alpha 1. The update is available to early testers to help with the development of a stable final release of Mageia 8.
The large scale updates to all packages as well as features are implemented to improve on what Mageia already offered, with the latest stable release of the Mageia project, Mageia 8, haven previously spent over a year in development and the final release scheduled for September 18. And it will get security updates and bug fixes for 18 months.
What's new in Mageia 8 GNU/Linux?
Mageia 8 is a major release that comprises several new features and updates to all packages, with the core changes, including new Linux Kernel 5.7.4, which brings new features and support for several new hardware, such as new exFAT filesystem driver.
While all packages will now support Aarch64 and ARM v7 architecture in Mageia 8; with new versions of several core packages also added such as Chromium 81, Firefox 68.9, glib 2.31, gcc 10.1.1, LibreOffice 6.4.4, Plasma 5.19.1, GNOME 3.37, Xfce 4.15.2 and rpm 4.16. And the updated rpm package manager comes with several improvements, such as improved transaction speed and automatic SSD detection.
There have also been many improvements to the installer, which now offer better support for F2FS and Nilfs2. Both in the live and classical environments getting improved with the use of ZStd compression, which will give faster boot and installation times.
How to Get Started with Mageia 8 Alpha 1
For those that want to give Mageia 8 a spin, they can jump in and test it straight away, through the images which can be downloaded here. But as always recommended with pre-release images, you should use your best judgement.
The ISO images are the same as in Mageia 7, it offers installation media for both 32 and 64bit systems, with 64bit live images for Plasma, GNOME and Xfce, as well as 32bit live image for Xfce.