Developers fork Mandriva Linux - Welcome Mageia

Everyone knows Mandriva Linux is in trouble. At best the desktop version is being starved into oblivion and many expect the company to disappear completely. The exodus of developers has been recorded over the last few months and Frederick Himpe most recently described the situation as an "empty box" with "no more heads in charge of the direction of new releases." With the dawn of September 18 came hope for users of the dying distribution.

Many of Mandriva's exiting developers have joined together with others to fork the once popular distribution and have dubbed their new distribution Mageia, which translates to "Magic."  It's a distribution, as explained on its Website, not "dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company." "Mageia is a community project. This organization will manage and coordinate the distribution: code & software hosting and distribution, build system, marketing, foster communication and events. Data, facts, roadmaps, designs will be shared, discussed through this organization."

Some of the early goals are stated as:

  • make Linux and free software straightforward to use for everyone;
  • provide integrated system configuration tools;
  • keep a high-level of integration;
  • target new architectures and form-factors;
  • improve our understanding of computers and electronics devices users.

The list of contributers reads like an old employee roster from Mandriva. Some of the familiar names include Colin Guthrie, former Mandriva contributor who worked on Pulse Audio and packaging; Guillaume Rousse, another well-known packager; Olivier Blin and Thierry Vignaud, who coded Drakxtools, installer, and boot as well as packaged Perl and other fundamental developmental tools; and Wolfgang Bornath, a vocal proponent, community leader, and blogger. Even former Mandriva release manager, Anne Nicolas, has signed on. All together Mageia has gathered some 56 contributors so far and the list continues to grow.

There is no release to test at present, but hopefully one will be announced soon. Right now, the project is concentrating on securing hardware and hosting for development and distribution, financial and personal investors, and leaders and counselors to help organize the project. They are accepting help from those who wish to contribute. See their Website for ways you can join and more information in general.

Update:  Mandriva said on their official blog that they have weathered the storm and not only are they still alive, but plan on producing the best KDE distribution available.  But with no developers left, one wonders "how?"


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


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NB's picture

It is spelled T-e-x-s-t-a-r, not T-e-x-t-a-r. Texstar.
Why post such FUD, anonymous? Do you hope to accomplish something? Posting such nonsense gains you nothing. It only makes you appear foolish.

I am so happy for Mandriva.

Anonymous's picture

I am so happy for Mandriva. The Prima Donnas have left the building to start Mageia.

Hey, anonymous poster, you

NB's picture

Hey, anonymous poster, you lie. I've worked Texstar for quite a while now. He has never been as you say. He works with others very much better than you put together your fud.

why didn't the devs seek out pclinuxos?

revdjenk's picture

There is a "fork' of Mandriva already alive and well, PCLinuxOS. Why haven't the old Mandriva devs gone to help there?

Mageia the developers are in charge

Just N. Case's picture

Because Mandriva has always been by the developers for the developers. Once Mandriva decided to assert control over the direction of the distribution, the old developers decided not to stay and left to form Mageia. Now they can still run the show as they always have done in the past. Don't expect many changes with Mageia as they will not listen to their user base just like they didn't listen to them when they were employed at Mandriva corporate.

Haha Lol. And you base this

Anonymous's picture

Haha Lol. And you base this on which 'facts' exactly?

I read it on the back of my

Anonymous's picture

I read it on the back of my breakfast cereal box this morning. :D

In order to contribute to

Anonymous's picture

In order to contribute to PCLinuxOS a developer must pander to Textar's ego, who started the distribution to get away from the politics. Textar just doesn't play well with others. The list of contributors for Magiea is far greater than those who contribute to PCLinuxOS. Imagine all those people flooding PCLinuxOS. Textar would probably like it for a while before he threw an inevitable hissy fit over some criticism.


Anonymous's picture

Pander to his ego. ROFL surely you jest. He puts up with me after all. You must be one of the X's. As far as the new fork, I hope it goes well for them, lot of good developers there, I hope they can keep this going. Who turned this into a PCLOS discussion anyway, this is supposed to be about the future of Megeia.

Like maybe, I dunno, the lack

chris_f's picture

Like maybe, I dunno, the lack of a 64-bit version?

“Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.” – Bertrand Russell
Windows Anonymous -- The first step is admitting you have a problem


crlsgms's picture

I remember when I was starting my academic studies here n brasil ans senac offered a "connectiva" lecture, wich was considerably expensive and also we had to buy its installation cds, and pray if we need some assistance.

Since I became from a bbs/irc generation, on this 10 years ago picture we could yet see that the collective consciousness from the internet would overlay this intent of making money with linux and its filosophy.

Said and done. Third world countries managed to be the bigger users of friendly distros, many developers and activists come from this generation and paid / capitalist companies that tried to achieve fortune with this movement were pretty well self-selected by darwing rules.

the partnership with mandrake and conectiva was a walking failure, this nasty end was predictable. Hope the filosophy from the new forked distro goes on a more human / social path then its predescessors.