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15 October 2012, 11:49

Second Mageia 3 alpha arrives for testing

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Mageia logo Ten days later than originally scheduled, the second of three planned alphas for Mageia 3 has been released by the project's developers. Aimed at developers and testers, Mageia 3 Alpha 2 brings updates to the installer, which now supports loading from a Btrfs filesystem, and includes a choice of the KDE SC 4.9.1 and GNOME 3.6 desktops, as well as the lightweight LXDE and Razor-qt environments.

Under the hood, the new alpha now ships with an updated version of the systemd init system and version 3.5.5 of the Linux kernel; as the 3.5.x branch is approaching its end of life, the distribution will most likely switch to a more recent kernel version before final release. Although GRUB 2 will be used as the default bootloader in version 3 of Mageia, the second alpha still includes GRUB; the developers say that they are still working on integration and hope to have it completed in time for the third alpha. Other changes include upgrading Perl to version 5.16.1, updates to package compression, and debugging improvements.

Mageia 3 will be the next major update to the project's Linux distribution. Like Fedora, it will see top-level directories such as /bin/, /sbin/ and /lib/ moved underneath the /usr/ directory, as well as other enhancements; the current list of planned changes and improvements for version 3 of Mageia is available on the Feature Review wiki page. According to the project's current development planning schedule, the alpha releases will be followed by three betas and a release candidate, with the final version arriving on 20 March 2013.

An overview of all of the changes since the first alpha can be found in the release notes; a list of known issues are provided on the Errata wiki page. Mageia 3 Alpha 2 is available as 32- or 64-bit DVD ISO images from the project's mirrors.

Mageia was forked from Mandriva Linux in September 2010 following concerns over the distribution's future. The community fork saw its first stable release, Mageia 1.0, in June 2011. The current stable version is Mageia 2 from May of this year.

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