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PCLinuxOS 2007: It really is as good as the Hype!

March 6, 2008

Oh my. I may have found myself a new favorite distro.

I nearly overlooked this one because of my difficulties with PCLOS Minime 2008 on the flashdrive. I will say one thing about Minime: it does work and works well. I do like the look and feel of it and if I could get the package manager to work, I would be all over it.

I downloaded and burned the live CD of the 2007 version and must say that I really like it. The latest PCLinux 2007 is the Gnome version, but the default is the KDE version. If you don’t understand what I just wrote, don’t sweat it. I have always preferred the KDE but that’s just me.

PCLinuxOS has been riding very, very high in the Distrowatch charts, toppling Ubuntu from #1. Ubuntu sat there for about a year, until PCLOS knocked it off. And it’s for a very good reason, because this is a very good distro packed with a lot of good, attractive features that just work. One doesn’t fully appreciate the “just works” aspect until they try a bunch of things that don’t work. I’ve been trying several distros on my work machine (2.66 Ghs Dual core P4 with 512 RAM and ATI Radeon 9500 graphics card, DVD/CD-RW) and have run into a few that are not working as of yet.

PCLinuxOS found all my hardware, the Ethernet and booted up just fine. In fact I decided to go ahead and work on this post using it, and I”m really liking the look and feel of it. It will seriously give Mepis a run for its money and may seriously end up replacing it. It’s that good.

Aside from simply working, there’s other things I’m discovering that I like. For instance, when you open a new distro’s Firefox, they often have some generic bookmarks. PCLinux actually has some interesting and helpful bookmarks, like PCLinux, PCLinux Extra, PCLinux Hardware data base, something called Lortal and LinFX.com. If you can’t find help and answers in these places, you’ve got some serious issues!

I like how easy it was to find things and the richly populated Synaptic libraries of goodies that the Mepis library seemed to be sparse with. Mepis didn’t have Picasa, Google Earth or Stepmania. PCLinuxOS has them all.

Ksnapshot was right there.

desktop

Pretty cool, eh? I don’t include many screen captures because I’m such a nOOB but PCLinux made it just so easy!

dick

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5 comments

  1. Congratulations– I like it too and recommend it for reasons of hardware compatibility and general usability. You might also notice (as did I, after vague annoyance with Ubuntu on this point) that PCLOS is especially snappy in terms of desktop responsiveness. This is one among several subtle details that make it an unusually pleasant full-time desktop environment.


  2. I’m a Xandros user on my desktop, but Xandros nor Ubuntu could work well on my Averatec 3250H notebooks. I took the one I used least and have been running PCLinuxOS 2007 on it for three months. On the other one, I got so frustrated with XP (crashes, constant loss of wireless connections) that I made that one a single-boot PCLinuxOS 2007 one as well, once I realized it recognized all of my ports and video settings just fine in various environments on my first test notebook installation. I prefer Xandros, but PCLinuxOS 2007 is definitely everything it’s purported to be. If there is no Xandros 5 announcement sometime in 2008, it’s likely everything I do will be in whatever revision there is to PCLinuxOS this year. I have been quite impressed.


  3. I have been saying the same for 3 years now.


  4. The only niggler I have about PCLinux 2007 is that the login icons look like claymation cartoons made with silly putty or something. It’s a hideously small thing than belies the sophistication that lies beyond the login screen. If I install this, I’ll have to look into customizing that aspect better. But yes, Scott, overall it is a comfy smooth desktop experience.

    I haven’t tried Xandros, Joe, but I know it does a good job of aiming for users migrating from Windows. I may try out a something similar with the latest from Freespire, which I think might be more friendly for non-power users. There is a serious need to close the digital divide in education and that’s what drives a lot of my own quest for distros that are easier. Once people get a good taste of modern Linux and open source along with a low price point, I think they will go for it. Wal-mart proved by selling out of their cheap gOS machines.

    The last time I tried PCLinux, Weric, it was a Gnome .93 release. It was decent back then, but PCLOS and I were both fairly immature at the time. We’ve both come a long way!

    Thanks to Tuxmachines.org for the unexpected linky love! I suppose I need to return the favor!

    dick


  5. Congratulations to all the clever people who contributed to PCLinuxOS. When the system finds my wireless or USB router and my IP provider’s settings that easily I have to agree it’s a job well done. Everything else seems to work perfectly too. Many thanks.



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