Scorecard - Linux Mint 13 and Mageia 2

Scorecard - Linux Mint 13 and Mageia 2

Summary: It has taken a few days to get both of these distributions loaded on everything I have around here, but I finally have it done, and I can write up a quick summary of the results. The news is almost all good, with just a couple of minor exceptions.


It has taken a few days to get both of these distributions loaded on everything I have around here, but I finally have it done, and I can write up a quick summary of the results. The news is almost all good, with just a couple of minor exceptions.

Samsung N150 Plus, Acer Aspire One 522, Fujitsu Lifebook S6510 - On all of these, both Mint 13 and Mageia 2 installed with absolutely no problems, and run flawlessly. All of the hardware is recognized and supported, displays come up at the correct resolution, wired and wireless networking, Bluetooth, Fn-keys, suspend/resume, power management, screen brightness, it all works.

HP Pavilion dm1-3105ez. The accursed Synaptic "ClickPad" system. Well, Mint 13 at least handles it the same way that Ubuntu 12.04 does, meaning that a two-finger tap produces a right-click, but drag-and-drop and scrolling are still difficult to impossible. Mageia 2 doesn't handle the ClickPad well at all, it has all the typical problems with right-click, drag-and-drop and scrolling.

Samsung NF310. Strangely, when running Mint 13 MATE the Bluetooth management windows will not come up. I can click on the Bluetooth icon and select any function, then check process status and see that the Bluetooth applets are running, but the windows are never displayed.

Acer Aspire One 522. The model I have does not have Bluetooth, so I could not test that.

Overall, these two distributions show very well how good Linux support for off-the-shelf laptops and netbooks has become. There is a very wide range of hardware here - CPUs from Intel (Core2Duo and Atom) and AMD (C-60 and E450), internal displays ranging from 1024x600 to 1280x800, external displays up to 1920x1080, wired and wireless network adapters from Intel, Broadcom, Atheros and Ralink, and much more. It all just works.

So, how do they compare to each other, in terms of base installation contents?

Linux Mint 13

System: Linux kernel 3.2.0, Cinnamon 1.4, MATE 1.2.0, X server 1.11.3 Internet: Firefox 12.0, Thuderbird 12.0.1 Graphics/Photos: Eye of MATE Image Viewer 1.2.0, gThumb 2.14.3, GIMP 2.6.12 Office: Libre Office (Including Write, Calc, Impress, Draw and Base) Multimedia: Banshee 2.4, Gnome Mplayer 1.0.5, Totem Movie Player 3.0.1, Rhythmbox 2.96, VLC Media Player 2.0.1

Mageia 2

System: Linux Kernel 3.3.6, KDE 4.8.2, X server 1.11.4 Internet: Firefox 10.0.4 ESR, Konqueror 4.8.2 Graphics/Photos: Gwenview 2.8.2, Okular 0.14.2, GIMP 2.8.0 Office: LibreOffice Multimedia: Amarok 2.5.0, Dragon Player 2.0

There are some interesting differences there - particularly with Mageia having a much newer Linux kernel, X server and GIMP, but having chosen to stay with the Firefox ESR release. Mint has always been strong in sound and video, and it shows in this list. I would like for both of them to have a bit more for photo management packages. Of course, this is only what is included in the default base installation, and both of these distributions have excellent software repositories, with lots of excellent packages in all categories.


Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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  • I received the notification of Mageia 2 being released on Saturday, was already running Mageia 1. After running the installation X came back up with all applications in the KDE frames being upside down and backwards. Even all of the menu items in the menu were in reverse order, but the location to click was in the stock location. After much frustration I nuked the install and moved to CentOS 6.2
  • I've been very pleased with Mageia 2. My review went up on Sunday. My only issue is that my particular wireless printer hasn't been detected on either 1 or 2. I was pleased to see that the games and apps seemed to be very up to date.

    Iain S. - If you liked Mageia 1, perhaps a different solution is to backup your documents and install fresh using the live CD. I tend to do that, because I review so many over the course of a year. The KDE CD worked just fine for me, and I'm sorry to hear that you had problems. Hopefully you will consider giving them another chance.