The Mageia Linux distribution is a new distribution from the team that brought us the Mandriva Linux distribution. First impressions are very positive, the distribution I am reviewing came with a KDE 4.6.3 desktop that looks and behaves quite like the KDE 3.4 desktop instead of the KDE 4.5 desktop it is following. it has the classic styled start menu instead of the newer style of KDE menu that I am not a great fan of. The kernel version is 184.108.40.206-desktop586-1.mga which is a relatively recent release, the 3.0.0 kernel would have been a good addition, but if you install this you could easily add that version from the kernel.org tarball anyway. it also included Firefox 4.0.1 and Konqueror 4.6.3, which I was unable to use for WordPress, as the controls in the post editor panel and the file upload dialog would not work properly in that browser. But this distribution is very fast and stable with the famous Amarok music player for playing all of your music and Dragon Player 2.0 for playing video files. LibreOffice 3.3.2 takes care of office requirements and GIMP 2.6.11 is included to allow photo manipulation and image creation tasks.
This distribution has some of the classic Mandriva look and feel as well as the speed and ease of use that Mandriva is famous for. I liked that the TVtime application is included to allow me to watch TV whilst typing up this post. Amarok by default in this distribution does not include MP3 playback support, but that could easily be added once the distribution is installed. Overall this is a very good and very fast free operating system and well worth checking out if you are sick of the bloated and ugly Unity desktop. And this has a million times more configuration options than the dumbed down and ugly Ubuntu 11.10.