Since then I made couple of upgrades: to 10.10 and 11.04.
First upgrade to 10.10 was little bit painful, but tolerable. There were some bugs which needed fixing before system was usable again.
Second upgrade to 11.04 was much worse. No, it does not mean that system became absolutely unusable. But there were 2 bugs which annoyed me a lot.
- First is problem with desktop effects. They are automatically disabled each boot and cannot be brought back on. Kubuntu complains on performance reasons, but I see nothing unusual happening.
- Second is shutdown problem with network drive mounted. It is the bug described here.
After some consideration, replacement candidates were found. First is to replace Kubuntu, and it will be Mageia. Second to replace Ubuntu, and it will be... Wait, one step at a time.
So, I decided to move away not only from Kubuntu, but also from .deb-only concept on my PC.
Mageia is a new distribution brought up on the remainings of Mandriva. I have already reviewed Mageia in Live mode, and was more than pleased.
It is time to start installation now! Yes! Let's go!
If you want to know more what I have done with Mageia and other Operating Systems, please feel free to subscribe to this blog. You can do this via e-mail, RSS feed, Twitter or Facebook page updates.
Do you want to try Mageia yourself, but cannot download image and burn it to CD yourself? You can check the page Buy Linux CDs and make an order there.
InstallationThe process of Mageia installation itself is simple enough. Not many questions to answer.
I pointed installer to use partition previously occupied by Ubuntu (not Kubuntu, because of reasons below). It done the job of copying files nicely. Installation itself took less than 20 minutes.
Although, I was slightly disappointed at installation step. I have GRUB2 installed and controlled from Kubuntu, and I did not want to change this until later. But there is no option NOT to install GRUB in Mageia installer. Not only it is GRUB, not GRUB2, but it is mandatory to use. For my surprise, GRUB did not automatically find other systems, except for Windows. I tried to add other systems automatically, but command update-grub (or grub-update) does not exist. Graphical tool to edit GRUB records in Mageia is not the most obvious.
To overcome the issue, I had to make "broken" record in menu.lst on Mageia, which then led me to grub> invitation during the boot. Then few attempts with different parameters having hints from Ubuntu's GRUB documentation. And I am in the game again! Kubuntu's screen appeared.
Solution is known, though in my case it looked slightly different to what is in bug report.
NetworkI started Mageia installation from Live session, previously made Broadcom 4311 WiFi card active via .rpm used during Mageia Live review. The file was saved on my HDD specially for this occasion. To my nice surprise, installer took my rpm into newly installed system and WiFi started working immediately after installation. Wow!
Next logical step is to mount my network drive, as well as all partitions on local disk.
Samba client is not installed by default in Mageia. (Samba server too, if you are interested in outbound sharing). It was requested when I tried to configure Samba shared drives in Mageia Control Centre (MCC). But even installed Samba did not help to find my network drive. It was not visible in MCC. I went standard way and edited fstab manually, as described here. Looking into fstab, I was surprised that Windows (NTFS) partition was not found and mounted during installation. That's quite inconsistent taking into consideration my GRUB adventure above. I had to add NTFS partition into fstab. But this time graphical partition management tool from MCC worked fine.
Another reboot, and I am back in working system with WiFi and all the drives mounted. Yes, I know I could do sudo mount -a, but I wanted also to test cold start case.
SpeedHow much time did it take Mageia to boot? 66 seconds from GRUB2 screen to ready-to-use system with network support. Not the best time actually, but tolerable. To be precise, little bit quicker than Kubuntu.
General speed of system is very good, response time is very short. No delays in desktop effects, desktop cube and so on. I was so pleased by this! I thought that Kubuntu is nice and fast system. Now I see why I was wrong.
Keyboard layoutAs usual, I need to have Russian keyboard layout activated. It was done as usual - in Input Devices section of System Settings. Few clicks, and flag (I prefer flag rather than text) appears on taskbar to indicate active layout.
SoftwareI have already written about standard software package in Mageia 1. Of course, that is not enough for me.
What have I done first of all? Installed Chrome, LibreOffice and VLC.That left me with my favourite brouser, office suite and multimedia player, giving all the codecs as a bonus.
There is no torrent client in the default Mageia distribution (CD version). If you need torrent client, then it has to be installed. There are 3 torrent clients in repository: rbittorent (CLI based), qbittorrent and KTorrent. I tried Q and K ones, and not decided finally yet. Probably will stay with KTorrent, as it was my (only) choice in Kubuntu and I don't see anything wrong with it.
Communication is very important nowadays. I use Skype, ICQ, GTalk and Mail.Ru Agent as my internet messenger protocols. Unfortunately, last one (Mail.Ru Agent aka MRIM) is not widely supported among popular messengers. The one which supports it out of the box is Qutim.
Neither Skype nor Qutim are in standard repositories of Mageia.
Moreover, there is no Skype for Mageia or Mandriva at all. There are versions of Skype RPMs for Fedora and SuSE. I tried Skype release for Fedora 13. Unfortunately, direct start of rpm file did not work. It put me back to my browser to search in the Internet. Solution was found here. Yes, simply cutting off all the dependencies is a cure for the situation.
Qutim story is more difficult. I found a way to add repositories for installation of Qutim v.0.2 for Mandriva. Installation required so many dependencies which are not in Mageia's repositories that I got tired in manual installation of them. Finally all the dependencies were resolved, and Qutim installed. But it did not launch due to Segmentaion fault error.
Actually verion 0.2 is not the latest. Version 0.3 is current one. Of course, there are no ready RPMs yet for Mandriva or Mageia. But I found out that Qutim 0.3 can be compiled from sources. I made this attempt, and it required a lot of development tools to be installed on my system. After all the cmake's and make install I got my own Qutim. I even managed to launch it. But without big success unfortunately. It crashed quite often, and even when I managed to get online I could not see any of my contacts in the window. I am still not sure what to do here.
I should probably seek alternative messengers to take on the role of MRIM handler in my Mageia system. Kopete? Pidgin? Who knows...
Desktop and eye-candyLast but not least step is desktop configuration.
I got so used to quick launch panel in Kubuntu that I was slightly disappointed that Mageia does not have it as default. I mean QuickLaunch plasmoid. It allows you to place quick launch icons in multiple rows, giving more space to tasks switcher. Short discussion on Mageia forum helped me to figure out not only what I need, but where to take this from. Thanks, guys!
Of course, standard desktop wallpaper was changed. I don't like feel myself in Windows 3.11-stiled tiled bricks. Luckily, Mageia has good selection of wallpapers in the box, and the one I chose gave my system a fresh and spring feeling. Like after big spring cleaning.
|My desktop in Mageia|
Am I happier now than I was before Mageia installation? Most likely yes. Mageia proved itself very stable and nicely composed system not only in Live run, but also in full install mode.
Yes, I still have something to work on before I can make final decision to dump Kubuntu. But that hour is very close I believe.
And even now I have system which works smoother and quicker then Kubuntu, does not have issues with desktop effects and shutdown. These two facts are more than enough.
Edit: question about MRIM and Qutim was solved... without Qutim. I found MRIM plugin for Pidgin.