Mageia 3 Alpha 2: Return of the LiveDVD
Mageia, a fork of Mandriva, recieved an update yesterday. Anne Nicolas said, "after some days spent on bug hunting with QA team, alpha 2 isos are finally ready to be tested." There's a lot of meat in this release as well as the return of live media.
Although Alpha 2 ran a bit late, it was worth the wait. The most prominent feature is the availability of live images. Mageia is now rolling nine different ISOs for users each release. These include four live DVDs, two live CDs, two full installation images, and one dual-architecture CD. Configurations come in various combinations of architectures, desktops, and language - there's one for everybody.
Long term Mageia 3 will see the completion of the switch to systemd and moving several top directories to /usr. Many distributions are making this move so that much of the system can be mounted read-only during normal operation which increases security and safety. Those directories were placed outside of /usr back in the old days when access to certain files were needed to mount /usr. Developers are also switching to GRUB 2 for version 3 if all goes well, but this alpha is still using legacy GRUB by default. This release supports btrfs too.
Alpha 2 features Linux 3.5.5, Xorg 1.13.0, and GCC 4.7.2. It ships with KDE 4.9.1, GNOME 3.6, LXDE 0.5.5, and RazorQT. LibreOffice 3.6.1, Firefox 16.0.1, and GIMP 2.8.2 are among the applications.
One particularly nasty little errata bug is "When installating using live iso images, uncheck the "remove unused hardware" packages or it will remove needed package like driver for graphic cards." Note that upgrades from Mageia 2 are not supported (mainly due to the move to /usr). You might notice that the software selections in RPMDrake are all mixed up, but that'll be sorted out before final. Be sure to check the full Errata list for other issues and some workarounds.