Mageia is an open source GNU/Linux operating system based on the deprecated Mandriva Linux distribution and built around the KDE and GNOME desktop environments. It uses the RPM (RPM Package Manager) for managing its packages.
Availability, supported platforms, boot options
The system is distributed as DVD ISO images that can only be installed, one for each of the supported hardware platforms (64-bit and 32-bit). In addition, the developers provide users with Live CD and DVD ISO images (with separate KDE and GNOME editions), a dual arch CD image, as well as network-based installation media.
From the boot menu of the DVD media, users can install the operating system, start an existing OS installed on the first disk drive, rescue a broken system, run a memory diagnostic test, as well as to view detailed information about the hardware components of your computer.
Two powerful desktop environments, installation options
As mentioned, Mageia comes with both KDE and GNOME desktop environment, even if the original Mandriva operating system used only the KDE project for its graphical session. They can be installed from the DVD media, or you can download one of the dedicated Live CDs, which can also be used to just try the system without installing anything on your computer.
The DVD installation process uses a beautiful and modern installer program that enables users to choose a default language, choose a keyboard layout, partition the disk, select a desktop environment (KDE is the default graphical session), set the root (system administrator) password, create users, as well as to install updates.
Summing up, Mageia is a good operating system derived from Mandriva. It's not great, as it has some boot issues on various systems, but all in all is a decent GNU/Linux distribution that can be used as your only operating system.