If the world of Ubuntu had never come along and wooed me away from the stability and feature set of Mandriva Linux (well at the time it was Mandrake Linux) but the Distro has always had some underlying drama associated with it (most recently there has been the long standing demise of the distro) so along with that came a call for the Mandriva Linux Community to take up the charge and build a newer, faster, stronger version of the venerable RPM based Distro. And along comes Mageia. I can honestly say I missed the news of version 1.0 coming out but from tracking back some reviews…I am glad that I waited for version 2.0!
For those who know me, I am a Debian/Ubuntu kind of guy so taking a step back and giving an RPM based distro a whirl is a big step for me. I grabbed the 3.4GB 64Bit DVD image from the Mageia Site and set up my standard VM in Oracle VirtualBox (4 GB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space). The Download was surprisingly fast and installation was a breeze, a far cry from my last Mandriva Install! The Installation asks if you would like KDE or Gnome…I chose Gnome (my preferred desktop environment).
Included with the Distro is a wide array of selections for software:
- Firefox, Opera or Chromium Browser
- The Gimp, Blender and a host of Image Software
- LibreOffice and Calligra are included for Productivity
- Media options include VLC, RhythmBox and even XBMC for those who want a full featured experience
- Wine and VirtualBox also come preinstalled
A solid start to a morning as the initial boot took less than 60 seconds to get to a working desktop (and that included 2 fat fingered attempts at my newly minted password). Looking through the installed Applications, I was impressed by both the variety and choices made but when I went to try to add a new piece of software it kept asking for the Mageia DVD. I poked around the system looking for the options to setup the sources for updates and unfortunately, it is vastly different then Ubuntu and many of the other setups I have tested recently but I did locate the Mageia Control Center which gives the user all the access needed to configure and build out a custom Desktop.
The big question is whether or not I could get past my love affair with Debian Based Files and make even a temporary switch over to the darkside of another package manager format? Well I can say if all of the RPM based distros have gotten as easy to use as Mageia…that is a real possibility.
All said and done though…from the time that I configured the VM to initially boot Mageia to a working desktop it was 20 minutes all said and done. Pretty respectible. In poking around under the hood though there are some things that concern me:
- The Interface looks dated…it is a throw back to a simpler time but looks very much so like a Distro that rolled off the line in 2005 not 2012!
- Version of Firefox installed is 10.0.4 which dates back to April 2012…ok that is getting nit picky
- It did not locate my Home Network to be able to connect and pull down my media…this would be a huge turn off for a novice user trying out the distro and would cause undo frustration…simple Samba setup should be included
- Because of the Network Issue, I could not configure my 3 Printers…that is a problem
1 Initial launch of Mageia
Mageia can also be used to setup fast, clean and easy to use server systems.
Need a blog? Easy installation of WordPress
# mysql -uroot -p <
Point your browser to http: /wordpress to finish installation.
Need a CMS?Drupal is available in the repository.# urpmi drupal
Need a wiki?# urpmq -a -S wikiThere’s Dokuwiki (lightweight), Mediawiki (heavyweight).Example for Mediawiki, without suggested packages# urpmi –no-suggests mediawikior the much lighter version# urpmi –no-suggests mediawiki-minimalNow initialize your new wiki “mywiki”# mediawiki-create /var/www/mediawiki/mywikiAnd enable it within Apache# nano /etc/httpd/conf/webapps.d/mediawiki.confAlias /skins /usr/share/mediawiki/skins Alias /wiki /var/www/mediawiki/mywiki
Order allow,deny Allow from All Options +FollowSymLinks# apachectl restartCreate missing “skins” symlink# ln -s /usr/share/mediawiki/skins /var/www/mediawiki/mywiki/skinsPoint your browser to http:// /wiki and follow the install process.Need OwnCloud?# urpmi owncloudThen point your browser to http:// /owncloud/Note : this may not be the latest version.
Need a web-based project management system?Chiliproject, Redmine are packaged.
Need a bug-tracking web-based system?Bugzilla is in the repository.# urpmi –no-suggests bugzilla
Need a Pastebin?Stikked is here.# urpmi stikkedRead the install docs# more /usr/share/stikked/INSTALLAt the time of writing this, there are only few webapps in the repositories (and versions maybe slightly lagging behind). But nothing prevents you from installing your favorite webapp from the project’ source.
Basic server supervision
smartmontools and hddtemp for hard disk health monitoring# urpmi smartmontools hddtempeventually review smartd daemon configuration# nano /etc/smartd.confstart daemon# chkconfig smartd on; service smartd startDisplay status for /dev/sda# smartctl -H /dev/sda
Sensors (can be used with Munin for monitoring temperatures, fan speeds, etc)# urpmi lm_sensorsThen run# sensors-detect
Logwatch (daily cron job)# urpmi logwatchReview config file# nano /etc/log.d/logwatch.conf
Graphical supervision with munin 2.0# urpmi munin-master munin-nodeYou may receive email warnings about missing munin-conf.d directory, so we create it:# mkdir -p /etc/munin/munin-conf.dAdd some more plugins (sensors…)# ln -s /usr/share/munin/plugins/sensors_ /etc/munin/plugins/Don’t forget to restart node# service munin-node restartPlease allow several minutes for Munin to generate his first html data (in case you’re encountering an “access denied” error when accessing the URL), then access your Munin dashboard by pointing your browser to http://
Basic server security(Please note, web server hardening is not the goal of this howto!)
Install Mageia-specific security tools, such as msec# urpmi –no-suggests msecShow current msec policy# msecYour system will be checked periodically via cron jobs (in /etc/cron.*/msec)Check the logs# less /var/log/msec.log
rkhunter (rootkit detection)# urpmi rkhunter# rkhunter –propupd# rkhunter –check(you may encounter some false positives)A daily cron job is created.
Fail2ban (anti brute-force)# urpmi fail2banEdit configuration (you should enable at least the ssh-iptables jail, and correct the email addresses in sendmail-whois)# nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.confAnd start daemon# service fail2ban startTest brute force ssh with this command from another machine :$ ssh invaliduser@(try any password many times)Now you can see the result on the server with the command# fail2ban-client status ssh-iptablesAnd you’ll see the banned IP from the “attacking” machine
TIPSAlways read the man pages and the docs!# ls -al /usr/share/doc/Show all available packages# urpmq –list -f |less(or better, use the AppDb website, link below)Show info for a package# urpmq -SiUpdate system# urpmi –auto-updateShow currently active repositories# urpmq –list-media active
Useful linksOfficial documentationMageia AppDb