Mageia 9 Review: A Refreshed Linux Experience

3 min

We review the latest Mageia 9 release with its new features, upgrades and performance.

Mageia stands out for its elegant simplicity and unique approach that sets it apart from the typical Debian or Fedora bases. A direct descendant of Mandriva-Linux, Mageia provides users with an effortlessly intuitive computing experience across various desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, and Xfce.

Recently, Mageia 9 was released after a long development and testing cycle. We did a test drive for a quick review. And here’s what we’ve found.

Mageia 9 (Xfce desktop)
Mageia 9 (Xfce desktop)

Mageia 9 Review


Mageia 9 uses its own installer, which comes with several additional options to select packages and desktop environments. In addition, you get the traditional user additions, partitions and installation method selections while installing Mageia 9.

Whether you are installing in a virtual machine or dual-boot, or physical system, this release is solid without any major issues or bugs on the installation front.

The ISO size is ~4GB for the base ISO with all the desktop environments packaged. There is also a minimal net install ISO having 122 MB of disk space. All the ISO files are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes.

Mageia 9 installer
Mageia 9 installer

First Look & Desktops

We chose the Xfce desktop for this test review. At the first boot, you get the nice lightdm login screen & greeter, and a nice and sleek Xfce desktop welcomes you.

This release features the Xfce 4.18 desktop environment, the current stable release of the Xfce desktop.

If you are a Mageia 8 user (the last stable version), you might see many changes for the GNOME and KDE Plasma variants because a major overhaul happened to these desktops both visually and functionality-wise.

In Mageia 9, the prominent highlight is the GNOME 44 desktop environment coupled with libadwaita and GTK4 ports – a first for Mageia’s GNOME users. This infusion promises a fresh visual appeal and a boost in functionality and performance.

Enthusiasts of the KDE Plasma environment will also be pleased to discover that KDE Plasma 5.27.5 is primed and ready in the beta images of Mageia 9. This inclusion guarantees access to the latest and greatest features of the Plasma desktop, enhancing your overall productivity and usability. It is worth pointing out that this version of KDE Plasma is the last stable version of the Plasma 5 series.


When you start a new installation of Mageia, you’ll be greeted with the ‘Welcome’ screen application. The good news is that this application has been redesigned to be even more user-friendly! Now, you’ll find that the steps are presented in a logical order that makes sense. Plus, the application will run automatically each time you start your computer, but you can always disable this feature if you prefer.

The welcome application gives you access to:

  • Software sources modification
  • Installing applications or removing them
  • Updating Mageia
  • Community help
Mageia welcome app
Mageia welcome app

Mageia uses “dnf” (v4.14.0) as the default package manager and provides the RPMdrake application to manage and install applications software.

In addition, you get the following applications for all the variants of the desktop installations:

  • Firefox 102
  • LibreOffice 7.5.4
  • GIMP 2.10
  • Claws mail 4.1.1
  • Filezilla 3.64.0

Modern tech

Mageia 9 comes with the Linux Kernel 6.4 at its heart. It supports both PulseAudio and PipeWire as sound servers, with both being installed by default. However, only PulseAudio is enabled. The nonfree repositories provide NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers, but they are only available in 64-bit. X.Org 21.1.8 is included in Mageia 9, and XWayland 22.1.9 has been separated from the Xserver and is now available as a standalone tool for simpler upkeep.

Flatpak and Snap are not installed by default. You can always set up flatpak in Mageia using this guide to get access to thousands of Flathub apps.


While running on the virtual machine, this release consumes around 1% CPU and 1.2 GB of memory. This is in an idle state with the Xfce desktop. So, if you are running GNOME or KDE Plasma, it may increase a little.

Of course, the performance will further increase as you start launching more applications.

Mageia 9 (Xfce) uses 4.67 GB of disk space for a default install with LibreOffice as optional.

Mageia 9 performance
Mageia 9 performance

Verdict and closing notes

In a nutshell, Mageia 9 is a pretty impressive release. The team did an excellent job in creating an independent distribution that is simple to use and builds upon the strengths of Mandriva-Linux. With the latest desktop environment upgrades, improved kernel, and comprehensive package refresh, Mageia 9 is a great choice for all Linux users who want an independent distro for their desktops/laptops.

Download Mageia 9 from the official website.


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