It is with a heavy heart that we address our warmest thanks to our friend Thomas Spuhler for his Mandriva and Mageia contributions over the last decade. After fighting colon cancer for over a year, he finally had to surrender on Saturday September 17, 2016, at the age of 68. He leaves behind his beloved wife, sons and grandchildren, to whom our thoughts go in this difficult time.
Thomas had been contributing to Mageia, and Mandriva before that, since 2009 as a packager, and much earlier already partaking in email discussions and bug reports. His packaging interests were mostly web and server-related components, for which his contributions were invaluable. He had to step back from his Mageia responsibilities in early August due to his health condition.
He was a lively fellow and we will sorely miss him. He was particularly fond of the Oro Valley in Arizona, USA, where he had been living for the last 20 years, and which gave him his IRC nickname (Oro_Valley).
Magnux77 with Daniel were there representing Mageia. He reports:
It was hot, in all the meanings of the word, a real jolly atmosphere, noise everywhere and nicely sunny. With Daniel, we laid out the T-Shirts, pens, USB sticks, two laptops for Mageia demonstrations, a 2002 antiquity running Mageia to prove that if it no longer works with Windows, it can with Mageia, and a 24–inch screen for a Mageia LibreOffice Impress exhibition on Raspberry-Pi. Our booth was next to La Mouette and l’Autre Net. Behind us was April, Framasoft, The Ordis Libres.
Admittedly, many people walked past us without even seeing us, there are so many things to see, to read or to hear, not to mention savour. But the ones who did stop and wonder already have the idea that GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) isn’t just for their good only. A little vignette, amongst others:
Madam and Sir, holding each other up to support themselves in the face of adversity, have a quick look at all the booths, but none of them really catches their eye. They talk together, hesitate, look here and there again, are ready to go away, discouraged, when suddenly, Madam gets worked up, stands and says a little louder:
“But I am still eager to know!”
“To know what, Madam?”
“Well, computing, it pisses me off (with a wide smile). I bought a pair of shoes on the Internet, and now I got advertising everywhere for shoes, on my screen, in my messages and that pisses me off even more (no more smile)”
“Then, I would like to know why, how is it possible”
After a small discussion, they don’t look ready for me to talk about Mageia right way, then I decided to take them to our friends from Framasoft so that they can start to defend themselves against the GAFAM.
But for many people who were sensitive to our arguments, and likely to adopt Mageia, the difficulty was the installation with backup and partitioning. Of course, we gave our e-mails, MLO address (the French forum), the GUL (Linux user group), but it is not enough, of course… To all of you with whom we exchanged details, don’t hesitate to contact us again for help, to get an idea on how to, or to find help in your area of France.
It is likely not news to you that we are behind the original schedule regarding Mageia 6.
As a community-led distro with a limited amount of resources and contributors, we stand by “Release when it’s ready” and don’t want to rush a release out until we are fully happy with it. Obviously, we are not yet fully happy with Mageia 6, though it is shaping up pretty well! On the other hand, we are still very pleased with Mageia 5 and want to continue supporting it until Mageia 6 is ready to take over.
Upcoming Mageia 5.1 ISOs
Because of this delay, we will release updated ISO images of Mageia 5 to bridge the gap until Mageia 6 is ready.
The new Mageia 5.1 ISOs will include all the security and bug-fix updates released for Mageia 5 so far, including an updated LTS kernel (4.4.x) for improved hardware support.
Like it was done for Mageia 4.1, this does not constitute a new release per se, but an easier way to install an up-to-date Mageia 5. Existing Mageia 5 users won’t have to reinstall anything, as their up-to-date system is already the same as what the 5.1 images would install. New users, however, would
benefit from having the well-tested kernel 4.4 from the start, instead of starting with the original kernel 3.19 of Mageia 5.
We will likely extend the support period for Mageia 5 to cover at least 3 months of transition after the Mageia 6 release. The exact updated end-of-life date will be given when the 5.1 ISOs are released.
Infra back on track for Mageia 6
There have been some infrastructure issues causing delays to getting ISOs to build, which particularly impacted the internal testing for Mageia 6’s stabilisation snapshot 2 over the last few months. These have now been mostly resolved, and our ISO building team (and its new recruits!) will have the opportunity to fine tune the process with the updated Mageia 5 ISOs, before going back to Mageia 6.
The delays have allowed for newer versions of some key software stacks to be included. Plasma has matured a lot and gained stability and feature completeness over the last few months, and we will be able to ship Mageia 6 with Plasma 5.8 LTS. We will also include GNOME 3.22 which is currently being prepared for Cauldron.
Packagers and developers toiling on release blockers
The main reason for Mageia 6’s delay is, of course, the remaining blocking bugs (so called release blockers) that we don’t want to compromise on fixing before the release.
Packagers and developers are currently working to fix the remaining release blockers. A new tool has been promptly developed in Mageia App DB to help visualise the progress on the current release blockers. We hope to have the second stabilisation snapshot available soon after the Mageia 5.1 ISOs are released, likely sometime in October 2016. As for the final release, we do not want to give a precise ETA yet, but we should manage to make a 2016 release
As always, many hands make light work, so if you’re interested in ISO testing, QA, packaging or just want to get involved with Mageia, please have a look here for further details on getting involved.
There’s a lot of good things coming to Mageia 6: KDE Plasma 5 desktop, updates to other desktop environments, many new games, and a fresh coat of paint with a new visual style. However, there’s quite a lot of under-the-hood improvements in Mageia, too!
Among the many less-than-visible improvements across the board is a brand new dependency resolver: DNF. DNF (Dandified Yum) is a next generation dependency resolver and high-level package management tool with an interesting history. DNF traces its ancestry to two projects: Fedora’s Yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) and openSUSE’s SAT Solver (libsolv). DNF was forked from Yum several years ago in order to rewrite it to use the SAT Solver library from openSUSE (which is used in their own tool, Zypper). Another goal of the fork was to massively restructure the codebase so that a sane API would be available for both extending DNF (via plugins and hooks) and building applications on top of it (such as graphical frontends and system lifecycle automation frameworks).
DNF will be available for those willing to use it, however, urpmi and the current familiar Mageia software management tools will remain as the default in Mageia for the foreseeable future.
In many respects, these goals were achieved. DNF ships with a well-structured command line interface, an easy-to-use and very complete API, a dozen core plugins, and a dozen contributed plugins.
As a consequence of the work required to adopt DNF, Mageia is now broadly compatible with a wider array of tools for managing RPM-based systems, due to the use of tooling that is common to other major RPM-based Linux distributions (such as Fedora and openSUSE). For example, tools like Spacewalk and Katello will (to some extent) be able to manage Mageia 6 systems for institutions like schools and businesses.
PackageKit has been also switched to a new backend that leverages the work done to enable DNF, allowing for us to properly enable app-centric software management tools like GNOME Software and KDE’s Plasma Discover to provide a high-quality desktop software management experience through the desktop environment’s native tools.
In addition, we’re working with the developers of Fedora COPR (A PPA-style system developed and provided by our friends at the Fedora Project) to get Mageia 6 and Cauldron added as supported Linux distributions. This will allow people interested in providing packages of free/open source software for Mageia to have a place where they can build them and have a hosted package repository. Once support for Mageia has been activated on Fedora COPR, adding repositories will be as easy as “dnf copr enable”.
One of the fruits borne from this effort is that support for building packages for Mageia 6 is now built right into Mock, the standard clean package build tool used by Red Hat, Fedora, and CentOS. As of Mock 1.2.18 and newer (available on supported RHEL/CentOS and Fedora releases, as well as in the upcoming Mageia 6), it is possible to build Mageia packages without having to switch distributions or manually construct chroots, containers, or virtual machines. Likewise, with Mageia 6, it is possible to build Fedora packages using the same tool. Of course, you can build Mageia packages from Mageia 6 with Mock as well. Mock is the core build engine for Fedora COPR, so it was critical to make this work, and so we did.
The work to offer DNF in Mageia 6 represents nearly a year of work, collaborating and cooperating with the upstream project and the Fedora Project to implement this in the best way possible. We hope that the introduction of DNF and the new PackageKit backend will offer a new, user-friendly way for people to interact with the software installed and available on Mageia!
We have completed the artwork contest and would like to extend our thanks to everyone that took part, there were some excellent pieces submitted and choosing the winners was a tough task.
We would like to congratulate Jacques Daugeron on winning the background contest, the runners up will be available in the extra theme package as well.
Here is the signature background for Mageia 6, it will be included in the next updates to the theme packages.
Here are some of the images that will be included in the extra backgrounds package.
Also, congratulations go to the winners of the screensaver contest: Fabien Deschodt, Володимир, fkuller, Teimuraz Khazaradze, Donald Stewart, Jose, Philippe Verschelde and Mészáros Csaba, it was great to see so many contributors coming from such far reaching parts of the World.
We have images of Black Sea sunsets, snowy mountains in Scotland, big European cities all the way to South American waterways, its nice to see the global appeal that Mageia brings.
Thanks again to all the contributors, we look forward to hearing your feedback on the new look!
Everyone at Mageia is very happy to announce the release of the next step in the path to Mageia 6.
The first stabilisation snapshot, as the name suggests, aims to start bringing everything together and getting the new software stable enough for release. Most of the big updates since dev1 have been moving from beta/RC releases of major software components to stable ones, which will hopefully give a nicely polished feel to the release.
GRUB 2 is now the default bootloader as GRUB Legacy has finally run its course. We have also fully switched from KDE 4 to Plasma 5, as well as solved issues with localisation. The switch to GRUB2 led to the need for updates to our tools and installer which took some tuning to get right, as we wanted to make sure that the release was functional for testing.
The Live media are now available. However, due to increasingly limiting constraints of the medium’s size, the LiveCDs have been abandoned to the profit of the more complete LiveDVDs, thus allowing for a fuller distribution of the desktop ecosystem to be available. The installation media will be available as normal (note that for similar reasons, the dual-arch DVD provider in earlier releases has also been dropped).
We have already entered version freeze, so the package versions seen here will likely be the major versions shipped with Mageia 6, although we aim to update to the 4.7 kernel branch for better support of new hardware and a longer support cycle. We hope that this will offer the perfect blend of freshness and stability.
The ISOs are available for testing on the Mageia website, or if you prefer a specific mirror, the list is available here. While we are hoping that this release is getting closer to a fully stable and usable release, please remember that it is still a pre-release and is early in the Mageia 6 release cycle. So, for any bugs that you find, we would appreciate a report on our Bugzilla so that we can get them fixed for the final release. The ISOs have been fully tested by our QA team so we hope that they will work well for you.
If you would like to get involved in QA testing, ISO testing or any other part of Mageia, have a look at our Contribution page for ideas on how you can help. We always welcome new contributors.
In the end of May, ~20 gearheads from different countries of Latin America were together in Rio de Janeiro working in several fronts of the KDE. This is our ‘multiple projects sprint’ named LaKademy!
Like all previous editions of LaKademy, this year I worked hard in Cantor; unlike all previous editions, this year I did some work in new projects to be released in some point in the future. So, let’s see my report of LaKademy 2016.
This year is the first LaKademy after I got the maintainer status of Cantor and, more amazing, it is the first edition where I was not the only developer working in Cantor: we had a team working in different parts of the project.
My main work was to perform a heavy bug triage in Cantor, closing old bugs and confirming some of them. In addition I could to fix several bugs like the LaTeX rendering and the crash after close the window for Sage backend, or the fix for plot commands for Octave backend.
My second work was to help the others developers working in Cantor, I was very happy to work with different LaKademy attendees in the software. I helped Fernando Telles, my SoK 2015 student, to fix the support for Sage backend for Sage version > 7.2. Wagner Reck was working in a new backend for Root, the scientific programming framework developed by CERN. Rafael Gomes created a Docker image to Cantor in order to make easy the environment configuration, build, and code contribution for new developers. He wants to use it in other KDE software and I am really excited to see Cantor as the first software in this experiment.
Other relevant work was some discussions with other developers about the selection of an “official” technology to create backends for Cantor. Currently Cantor has backends developed in several ways: some of them use C/C++ APIs, others use Q/KProcess, others use DBus… you can think about how to maintain all these backends is a work for crazy humans.
I did not select the official technology yet. Both DBus and Q/KProcess has advantages and disadvantages (DBus is a more ‘elegant’ solution but bring Cantor to other OS can be more easy if we use Q/KProcess)… well, I will wait for the new DBus-based Julia backend, in development by our GSoC 2016 student, to make decision about which solution to use.
From left to right: Ronny, Fernando, Ícaro, and me ;)
New projects: Sprat and Leibniz (non-official names)
This year I could to work in some new projects to be released in the future. Their provisional names are Sprat and Leibniz.
Sprat is a text editor to write drafts of scientific papers. The scientific text follows some patterns of sentences and communication figures. Think about “A approach based in genetic algorithm was applied to the travel salesman problem”: it is easy to identify the pattern in that text. Linguistics has worked in this theme and it is possible to classify sentences based in the communication objective to be reached for a sentence. Sprat will allow to the user to navigate in a set of sentences and select them to create drafts of scientific papers. I intent to release Sprat this year, so please wait for more news soon.
Leibniz is Cantor without worksheets. Sometimes you want just to run your mathematical method, your scientific script, and some related computer programs, without to put explanations, figures, or videos in the terminal. In KDE world we have amazing technologies to allow us to develop a “Matlab-like” interface (KonsolePart, KTextEditor, QWidgets, and plugins) to all kind of scientific programming languages like Octave, Python, Scilab, R… just running these programs in KonsolePart we have access to syntax highlighting, tab completion… I would like to have a software like this so I started the development. I decided to develop a new software and not a new view to Cantor because I think the source code of Leibniz will be small and more easy to maintain.
So, if you are excited with some of them, let me know in comments below and wait a few months for more news!
During LaKademy we had our promo meeting, an entire morning to discuss KDE promo actions in Latin America. KDE will have a day of activities at FISL and we are excited to make amazing KDE 20th birthday parties in the main free software events in Brazil. We also evaluated and discussed the continuation of some interesting activities like Engrenagem (our videocast series) and new projects like demo videos for KDE applications.
In that meeting we also decided the city to host LaKademy 2017: Belo Horizonte! We expect to have a incredible year with KDE activities in Latin America to be evaluated in our next promo meeting.
This edition of LaKademy had strong and dedicated work by all attendees in several fronts of KDE, but we had some moments to stay together and consolidate our community and friendship. Unfortunately we did not have time to explore Rio de Janeiro (it was my first time in the city) but I had good impressions of the city and their people. I intent to go back to there, maybe this year yet.
The best part of to be a member of a community like KDE is to make friends for the life, people with you like to share beers and food while chat about anything. This is amazing for me and I found it in KDE. <3
Rio de Janeiro, the “Cidade Maravilhosa”, land of the eternal Summer. The sunlight here is always clear and hot, the sea is refreshing, the sand is comfortable. The people is happy, Rio de Janeiro has good music, food, the craziest parties of the world, and beautiful bodies having fun with beach games (do you know futevolei?).
But while Rio de Janeiro is boiling, some Gearheads based in Latin America will be working together in a cold and dark room in the city, attending to our “multi-area” sprint named Latin America Akademy – LaKademy 2016.
In my plans I have a lot of work to do in Cantor, including a strong triage in bugs and several tests with some IPC technologies. I would like to choose one to be the “official” technology to implement backends for Cantor. Cantor needs a IPC technology with good multiplatform support for the main desktop operating systems. I am think about DBus… do you have other suggestions or tips?
Other contributors also want to work in Cantor. Wagner wants to build and test the application in Windows and begin an implementation of a backend for a new programming language. Fernando, my SoK 2015 student, wants to fix the R backend. I will be very happy seeing these developers dirtying their hands in Cantor source code, so I will help them in those tasks.
During LaKademy I intent to present for the attendees some ideas and prototypes of two new software I am working. I expect to get some feedback and I will think about the next steps for them. Maybe I can submit them for new KDE projects… Well, let’s see.
Wait for more news from the cold and dark room of our LaKademy event in Rio de Janeiro.
We have decided to extend the contest by a week as there are still lots of contributions coming in and with the work coming from people’s donated time, we wanted to give a larger chance to others that might have been busy with other things.
The contest will now close on the 30th of May; as before, all work should be submitted to the Artwork Drop.
For more information about the contest, please have a look at the initial announcement blog post.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with for Mageia 6!
The contest has been extended to the 30th of May 2016, see here for details
Once again, Mageia needs your help with artwork, it’s time to start the process of getting Mageia 6 looking ready for release. As in previous years we’re looking for your contributions and ideas.
We’d like to see your backgrounds, screensavers, icons, colour schemes and any other ideas that you can dream up.
We will normally choose a digital abstract piece using the colours of the Mageia logo for the signature background, it should be easily cropped to different aspect ratios without losing the feel of the image and have a resolution of at least 3,200 by 2,400px, in order to accommodate a wide variety of monitors.
Alternative background and screensavers have less restrictive guidelines, so if you feel like flexing your creativity, we’d love to see what you come up with.
The contest begin the 07 May 2016 and will be close the 23 May 2016 30 May 2016.
Mageia will provide 1 official background, 10 additional backgrounds and all the other bits we do to make Mageia look great. If you’d like to participate, it’s easy:
Please also have a look here for more information about things you have to watch out for, or to see previous Mageia wallpapers, some screensavers and the Mageia 5 background are uploaded on the artwork drop for reference.
Photos will be considered for screensavers and additional backgrounds provided no recognizable people are visible. Please avoid copyrighted artwork, or, you must own the copyright and agree to the CC By SA 3.0 license.
All the work needs to be original with the source files (svg, xcf, etc) available and within Mageia’s artwork guidelines. Please upload a png or similar as they are much easier for previewing. We hope that these guidelines will make everything clear and help you to make something that will make Mageia look great. The guidelines cover the Official Mageia Logo, colour scheme, website motif, fonts, wallpaper and other elements. The Mageia official logo is also covered by our Trademark Policy.
Take a moment to learn the rules, then, jump in and create with us!
The final winners will be chosen by the Mageia council and announced on the Mageia blog.
We’ll also try and put together some goodies for the winners, maybe a T-shirt, USB keys and pens or something along those lines