Mageia, a community of former (and some current) Mandriva Linux developers, has released the second edition of their Linux-based open source operating system, Mageia 2.
Unlike Rosa, the other fork of Mandriva, Mageia has opted to retain both the Gnome user interface design as well as the KDE interface, giving users more choice.
Rosa, a partner of Mandriva SA, had released its own independent operating system last week, while Mandriva SA decided last week to hand over the development leadership of its Linux distribution to the volunteer community.
The three Linux operating systems (and to some extent, PCLinuxOS) are the inheritors of the legacy of the wildly popular (within desktop Linux users) former operating system known as Mandrake Linux.
Mandrake Linux was the original Ubuntu, offering a user-friendly open source operating system targeting the non-geeks. The company was successful enough to run a more or less profitable business based on the OS.
However, hit by a cash crunch, the company lost its leadership in the Linux operating system market to Canonical-promoted Ubuntu Linux about 3 to 4 years ago.
A large number of European developers then formed the Mageia community.
Mageia 2 is the first proper release of the developer-based Mageia community. Mandriva is expected to take at least 4 to 6 months to come out with a 2012 edition of its operating system.
Mageia 2 brings the latest software from both the Gnome side as well as the KDE side. It offers Gnome 3.4.1 and KDE 4.8.2.
Technically, it is the first major general-audience Linux distribution to support the Gnome 3.4 interface, though Ubuntu supports it to a limited extent in its latest release.
Gnome 3.4 addresses some of the issues regarding high use of system resources (such as processing power) that was noticed in the Gnome 3 software upgrade.
KDE 4.8 is the latest and greatest of the KDE software suit.
Mageia comes in Live CD formats as well as install-oriented DVDs and CDs.
Users requiring proprietary drivers (such as fglrx for ATI cards and broadcom wireless drivers) at the time of installation are advised to use the Live CD edition.
Mageia also offers easy-install for Skype, the voice and video chat service.