24 Jun 2012

Mageia 2: smooth upgrade

A few days ago I wrote about my first impression of Mageia 2 KDE from a Live run. I can’t say that it was without issues, but they were not the major ones.

That’s why I decided to upgrade my existing installation of Mageia KDE from version 1 to version 2.

To be honest, I was slightly scared by the previous not-so-good experience of a Mageia upgrade described by Gene on his ERACC blog. The second option for me would be to make a fresh install, which I could always revert to. I had so little to lose that the decision was easily made.

There is a detailed how-to guide for this on the official Mageia Wiki, and that was what I used.

The upgrade process

The Mageia upgrade program found about 1500 packages to upgrade on my laptop.

The full upgrade cycle took just under one hour to download and install new versions of the packages.

Mageia had asked no questions during the upgrade. It just took its time, computer and bandwidth resources.

Finally, the upgrade was over.

It was the time to reboot and see the results.

First boot

As you may know, I have 4 systems installed in parallel on my laptop. Debian is the system that manages the GRUB2 bootloader. It was a tricky thing to get Mageia’s bootloader properly propagated into GRUB2, and I was afraid that the old method would not work in Mageia 2.

It worked. (Sigh)

GRUB2 successfully started the Mageia 2 KDE without requiring any changes at all.

However, the system itself had changed. These changes were visible from the start: the splash screen now had the Mageia 2's background image, the one I had seen in my Live run.

The changes

Once booted, I noted some other changes in Mageia 2 compared to version 1.
  • Most notable of them was the change in configuration of my QuickLaunch panel. It changed from 2-line to 1-line layout, thus extending Quicklaunch to almost the whole bottom panel. Also, Quicklaunch moved from the left corner to the right.
  • Keyboard layout indicator was switched from flag-only to flag+label mode.
  • Most annoying was the wrong colour theme of Google Chrome. For some reason, the control elements like opening of a new tab and maximizing the window disappeared, and red squares were in their place. It made me have to re-install the browser, to be precise to separately and manually upgrade it. That was not bad, because I was too lazy for quite a long time and stayed with Chrome 16 up until now. It is Chrome 19 already in my system.
  • The windows decoration theme was switched in Mageia 2 from the deep-blue one, which I liked in Mageia 1, to more standard Oxygen. I'll need to cope with it now, which is not a big deal. But maybe somebody knows how to switch to the old Mageia 1 style?
  • The firewall initially showed lots more warnings about different services' connection. It was quite annoying, but gradually that issue has disappeared with time.
  • Unfortunately, I had to revert from the default Icon-only Task Manager in Mageia 2 to the classical Task Manager, because I need to see a window title for my GMail inbox: I have a number of unread messages there. That was an annoying issue for me in Unity and GNOME3 in Ubuntu. Mageia 2 is better in these terms, because it gives me a choice.
  • GIMP is now version 2.8 in Mageia 2, which allows the use of a single-window interface.
  • Stangely enough, Flash player was removed from the installation. Neither Firefox nor Chrome were able to play flash videos until I installed the Flash player package from the Mageia repository.
  • LibreOffice is now version 3.5.3.

Mageia 2 KDE with installed Google Chrome
and Flash player
In all other aspects, the upgrade to Mageia 2 went too smoothly to mention anything at all.


My previous experience of an upgrade was with Xubuntu, which I changed from version 11.10 to 12.04. It was a very good experience.

In my experience, Mageia 2 set a new record of how the upgrade should happen. It was smooth and almost silky.

Have you tried to upgrade to Mageia 2? How did it go for you? Have you faced any issues in this process?

Or, you have not tried Mageia at all yet? That’s my recommendation to try it! If you don’t know how to prepare a CD yourself, let Buy Linux CDs site help you! Your disk will be delivered to your mailbox anywhere in the world.

Video used in the screenshot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi4pKP8NBpE


  1. I'm running Mageia 1 on my laptop and did a fresh install of M2 on my desktop (I never do upgrades, they take longer than a clean install). The only thing I see an advantage with over M1 is GIMP 2.8 and a JTAG debugger I previously failed to get going with M1 now works, which I guess is a Kernel thing.

    KDE is a later version; I can't make up my mind whether the way the launcher from the system tray works is better or not.

    I certainly don't miss Mageia 2 when going to my laptop which is still running Mageia 1.

    All-in-all, Mageia is as excellent as Mandriva almost always was in terms of ease of use. The only thing to complain about is that here are still several things missing from the repositories that were in Mandriva.

    1. As for packages. Have you tried to get Mandriva ones? Do they work for you in Mageia?

      I tried Qutim, and it still works for me in Mageia 2.

    2. I hadn't even thought about trying Mandriva packages, that's an excellent idea, thanks!

  2. > windows decoration theme was switched

    This is the first thing I change for people because Oxygen is too small for people with bad eyesight. (older people usually go for Plastik because the square button glows red on mouseovers and you can make it very big...i mean BIG!).

    In Kubuntu its: systemsettings>workspaceappearance and its the first option (thats right above where I change the desktop theme right after).
    Its in the worskpace appearance in the 2nd row and not Application Appearance in the 1st row.

    I know Kubuntu is a stock KDE install and that Mandriva has their own setup (much better if I remember) but just in case the name workspace appearances is used in both...

    1. I don't think that Mageia 1's default theme was Plastik.

      I am looking for theme shown here. What is its name? Anyone?

    2. You've probably figured it out by now but it's IaOra.

    3. Yes, and it is not in Mageia any more 8-(

    4. You're right. Didn't realize it at first because right after the upgrade, it looked like it was still available as an option in my system settings. But after doing an "urpme --auto-orphans", it's now gone.

  3. I actually like Mageia2 - installed it slow start-up and despite audio driver not allowing use of headphones only speakers. Did all the updates and installed software I needed, Re booted and all was working well.
    After 23 days of use and updates, rebooting to use other OSs and logging-in - all was still well until I had to reboot one more time to use another OS. After rebooting again to log-in on Mageia2 it refuses to accept log-in reporting a .js error!!! Have done no updates or installs since the last log-in. It just isn't reliable enough for me to consider it a proper OS so I sticking with Linux Mint Debian Edition.

    1. Sounds very strange, but what does log say?

    2. Jeesh, one error and it's not a proper OS. I guess there isn't a single "proper" OS in the world then.

  4. I upgraded from Mageia 1 to 2 about a week ago or so. No issues at all, everything seems to be working just fine.

  5. I tried Mageia 2 for the first time on my spare computer. Configuring Grub2 took me almost a day to find the right website to show me how to configure it. Simple, once it is known. I have used Mint KDE for some time and am now comparing the two. On my "test" machine, I have Mageia2, Mint13 and Win7 which is hardly ever used.

    I have found installing my printers much easier than Mint and the OS seems more responsive than Mint. After giving Mageia2 a go for a while I will decide on which OS to use on my production machine. Also, after reading about the upgrade path going smoothly that is another plus. As one reader mentioned, usually doing a fresh install is much quicker than the upgrade path. However, with the upgrade path it also saves from re-installing printers, etc. Thanks for the excellent reviews and comments.

    1. You're welcome. I hope you will find your ideal OS after running several of them in parallel. You may also find that different ones feel better for different tasks.

  6. I'm loving Mageia 2 ... it has been running extremely smooth. The best part is that they must have pre-configured cpufrequtils or something, so my cpu temps are ~50-55 deg C whereas in Ubuntu or several other distos I've tried it was ~60-70 deg C. This means less fan noise and better battery life, LOVE IT.

    I've only have two real problems:
    1) It takes like 5 minutes to boot. Quite annoying, but I rarely need to reboot.
    2) I'm having problems installing Python packages. Doing a 'pip install --upgrade numpy' fails, but it works on every other distro I've used. For some reason Mageia wants an explicit link to the math library or 'gcc -lm'.

    Otherwise, my distro hopping has potentially ended.

    1. My Mageia shows about 61% at the moment. I believe it also depends on which applications you run, doesn't it?
      I also have quite long time to boot Mageia, to be honest. It is not 5 mins, of course, but still longer than Xubuntu or Debian which I have on the same laptop.

  7. Can I install Mageia 2 straight over Mandriva 2010.2 or so I need to go to 1 first. Looking at doing an on-line upgrade. Thanks for any advice.
    Mandriva 2010.2 getting a little too old without the updates.

    1. Sorry, I do not know.
      I asked this question on the forum for you - you can track responses there.