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My Reader suggestions: PCLinuxOS May 1, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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After the disaster that was Ubuntu 7.04 and Windows Vista clean installs I decided to take readers advice and install PCLinuxOS. While I had tried PCLOS .92 a while back it really wasnt up to snuff of what I needed. I downloaded, burned and installed PCLOS 2007 TR4.

The install. Installation was similar to Ubuntu. Launch the liveCD and click the installer icon when the desktop is loaded and you are on your way. Installation was much easier and more intuitive than Ubuntu. In about 20 minutes I was booting PCLinuxOS.

Using PCLinuxOS. Whats using PCLinuxOS like. Its basically using KDE. The menu is set up differently from Kubuntu, OpenSUSE etc. Its a pretty intuitive system and includes all the codecs and non-free software that we users who dont care about the whole “GPL or bust” argumeent can like. WMV, Quicktime, mp3 and DVD playback are supported out of the box and the plugins work without having to download Automatix or enabling non-free repositories and having to screw with the system in order to get the thing to work. All my hardware that worked in Ubuntu 6.10 and quit working in Ubuntu 7.04 is working again in PCLinuxOS 2007.  It comes with the OpenOffice suite and several productivity tools.  It has a bunch of multimedia tools and any application not included is ussually easily found in the repositories.  And yes for those of you that like Beagle, F-Spot and Banshee they are in the repositories.

System configuration.  There are basically two utilities for configuring your system.  There is the PCLinuxOS control center that is the central configuration utility for system wide changes such as hardware, network configuration, security, mount points. etc.  This utility is based off the Mandriva system Control center which in turn reminds me of YaST in many ways.  Kcontrol which is user centric is also included by default.  The wizards in many ways from the PCLinuxOS control center are very simple to use. But dont fret, if youlike the old way of getting it done you can do that as well.

Shortcommings.  Not much support for the system.  if you have an application not listed in the repositories or with a native package like LSongs or LPhoto you will have to dig your hands in and build it yourself.  PCLinuxOS is not a developers platform.  It could be  since many development tools are available in the repositories but since PCLinuxOS is not geared towards that audience I dont see that changing anytime soon.  Outdated Mono support, if you are a Mono developer you are out of luck. 1.1.17 is included but the beagle, Banshee and F-spot are pretty decent versions.  Lack of third party repositories. The RealPlayer in the repositories does not give you sound.   While textar and team do an excellent job of keeping up with and updating the repositories it impossible for one man and team to provide sole support for the platform.  The lack of third part repositories while not a real problem it is necessary.  Third party repositories in my opinion shows what interest there is in your distro and community support.

Conclusion.  This is shaping up to be a great distro and surpasses Ubuntu and Linspire in user friendliness.  It has a good team working on the development, it has a cool name and whats more important is that it just works.  if you are a newbie with no Linux knowledge or a seasoned Linux user who just wants a system to run without hassles PCLinuxOS is a wise choice.

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Comments»

1. kozmcrae - May 1, 2007

Yee haa. It’s nice to see PCLinuxOS get the positive recognition it deserves. You are right, it’s not a developer’s distro. But I’m not a developer. You are also right about the repository, but out of five distros (Kubuntu included) I used/tested last year, PCLinuxOS was the only one to have Google Earth. As soon as PCLinuxOS 2007 gets released, it’s going on 5 computers of family/friends. On two of them it will be replacing Windows XP.

2. David - May 1, 2007

I’ve Tried at least 7 Distro’s over the last year , I’m not a Developer either , and there are some thing in PCLinux missing. But I keep coming back to it because is just works for 98% of what I need to do on a day to day basis.
Textstar & the Ripper gang have done a great job.

3. Kelhim - May 1, 2007

“Installation was much easier and more intuitive than Ubuntu.”

I’ve installed Ubuntu 7.04 and PCLinuxOS and I don’t quite understand where any of the installers were in any way more intuitive than the other? Ubuntu has the new migration assistent and kicked GParted for Anacondas partitioning tool which in my opinion makes the installation process even easier than before.

Actually, I can’t think of any ‘user-frienldy’ distro that wouldn’t install in more or less 30 minutes, and would be more than a bunch of clicks on the “Next”-button …

The real advantage of PCLinuxOS over other distros like Ubuntu is the great out-of-the-box support for multimedia formats.

4. 2kanchew - May 1, 2007

lick it!

5. nikolaus - May 1, 2007

I’ve used PCLinuxOS since 0.92 and have to say that the comment about lack of packages in the repositories is skewed right now due to the version you’re reviewing being a Release Candidate. Once the final release is made, the PCLinuxOS forums will have a sub-forum for package requests. Any package not in the repositories can be requested for addition to the repositories. I have done this multiple times and hav never had a request denied. At times, the request to add a package to the repositories was filled within a couple hours. All I had to do was make the request, wait a couple hours (or couple days at the most), refresh the repositories in Synaptic, and install the package I requested. I have found PCLinuxOS to be a great distribution on my desktop at home. I have used many distributions ranging from Mandriva to OpenSUSE to Debian to the Ubuntu distros to Sabayon to Fedora but always use PCLinuxOS as my main distro, as it’s stable, functional, and has a great/friendly user-base on the forums. And how often can you get a personal response from a distro’s main developer on the forums?

6. adam - May 1, 2007

Yeah… PCLinuxOS is one of the best. 🙂

But like other distros.. they cannot play CNN’s video clip. They always crash …. no matter Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora … all of them.. name it…

That’s why I keep my dual-boot with Windows. Otherwise… i use linux all the way. 🙂

7. gfranken - May 1, 2007

If past experience is anything to go by, when PCLinuxOS 2007 is final, dozens and dozens of additional packages will appear in the repositories. Back in the PCLOS 0.93 days, this distro lacked ruby and qtruby packages. I emailed Texstar about this. Two days later, these packages were in the repository.

It’s been rare that I have to compile much stuff on my own. Since Tex pretty well keeps libraries up to date, compiling and installing my own stuff isn’t difficult, and usually works very well, when I need to do that.

No Distro is perfect, but PCLOS comes closest (on the Desktop) for me. One only wishes for a 64-bit version.

8. dafqnk - May 2, 2007

Installed PClinux, everthing works out of the box, brilliant OS.!!!
5 thumbs up!!! would be 6, if I could run xsi on it…:)

9. Crow - May 4, 2007

Another reader suggestion, wait for PCLinuxOS 2007 Final.

10. BobK - May 13, 2007

Just tried CNN video with PCLinuxOS TR4 with NO problems at all. CNN video is set up for MicroSloth Media Playa so I got a warning box initally asking me to upgrade to WMP9. Just click “View Video Anyway” (or something close to that) button and MPlayer pops up and shows the video cleanly. Subsequent visits to CNN went directly to the video, no warning box. Enjoy!!

11. Zane - May 14, 2007

PCL is the Best Of Everything. Have Mini on USB Stick and it is much Faster than with Live CD running in RAM! Used Synaptic to install about all that is
in TR4. Just Fantastic! Go “Persistent” to save your New Setting.s
Texstar For President! {: )

12. chris - May 14, 2007

how do you unistall pclinuxos.

13. chris - May 14, 2007

I had bad virus on my xp machine and got fed up so I installed pclinuxos only to find that I needed so windows drivers to connect to the wireless network. So now I needed to reinstall windows and then dual boot it with pclinux os. I thought I could just reinstall windows without unistalling pclinuxos but windows cant detech the hardrive so I am up shit creek.

14. chris - May 15, 2007

kk got it uninstalled but now computer cant detech my hardrive this is serious problem because windows wont install any info would be apprietiated.

15. Jerry - May 15, 2007

chris…

Go to the pclinuxos forums and ask your question. There are many savy individuals that can help you. you probably don’t need to reinstall XP to get the driver that you need.

16. Michael - May 19, 2007

Well, I AM a developer. Been one for 26 years now. I use PCLOS because everything just works right out of the box. I want security and reliability first and foremost. I reviewed a lot of distros, but PCLOS is by far the best one out there. I blew windows away several months ago and this is all I use now.

17. Darth Vader - May 21, 2007

I’m all for texstar for president, but smart people avoid and stay away from that calamity. Pclinuxos gets an old man out of a cozy bed
like the 1st home computers did. It is wonderfull and exciting to be able to experience such wonderment. Makes one wish he were 6 years old again for this is much easier to learn and use than windows ever was. Bragging, boasting and showing off was never this easy. Yessir, if Texstar were president, I’d run the flag up the pole and salute it, again. Free is nice, especially when it’s this valuable.

18. sankaran - May 25, 2007

I am downloading PCLinuxOS2007 right now. Tried TR2 and shocked by its very very elegant and beautiful UI. Could not resist downloading, eventhough I use Ubuntu. As well PCLinux2007 is based on i586 architecture and should be faster than Ubuntu.

This linux looking very very attractive and I am impressed. What an effort by the PCLinux developers. Great work

19. sander - June 3, 2007

I have been using Debian and Debian-related distro’s for several years now and yesterday I stumbled upon PCLinuxOS. This morning I downloaded and installed it (in VirtualBox) and I am really stunned by the Control center (drakx-something) which makes administering PCLinuxOS very, very easy. The package selection is close to my personal favorite selection and works right out of the box. Overall this distro is very polished and looks and feel are pretty mature.

I wonder if anyone has tried to port the Control center to other distro’s?

20. Wallentin - June 5, 2007

Hi

I am certainly gonna try out PCLinuxOS. It looks great, and with everybody saying it’s the most intuitive Linux Distro out there, it sounds perfect for me. I tried out Kubuntu last week, but as a newbie in Linux world I kinda got fed up with the difficulty of making my external hard drive work. It’s NTFS formatted, so this is where PCLinuxOS, will have it’s great test for me. Hope it will live up to my expectations.

21. mukala - June 25, 2007

I’m sure PCLinuxOS is a great os but Ubuntu feisty plays CNN videos just fine.

22. jake manzano - July 14, 2007

after reading your review, i downloaded PCLinuxOS via Azureus yesterday. i tried the livecd and it worked perfectly on my celeron 2ghz/asrock m/b. it even detected my built-in ethernet card (VIA).

23. Jim - July 19, 2007

I loaded PCLinuxOS 2007 into RAM of my BIOSTAR 220K (no 3-D effects) to give it a try. My CD/DVD burner is free to use and everything works great and I have access to both HDDs and partitions. I love it! It has been running in RAM for at least a week non-stop, nice and stable.
It also works on my 2002 ASUS deluxe M.B. with Radeon 9700 pro, 3-D effects are nice. Updating is simple. Again, all HDDs are accessible, HP laserjet 1100 printer works great and really easy to set up, sound and BenQ 19″ LCD screen all work right out of the box!
PCLinuxOS has just gotten better and better.

My new wife, who thought there was only one world of computing, was very surprised by GNU/LINUX : 3-D effects, program availability, configureability, stability, LIVE CDs, etc. and at a cost of only $0.00.
Although, I will be sending a donation for this great OS.
Great job Texstar!

24. manmath sahu - September 12, 2007

It’s the real king of Linux Desktop empire. But alas, Ubuntu rules it for so much patronage and undue adulation. I suggest everybody use PCLinuxOS 2007 to believe in the power it. Thanks Texstar and Ripper Gang. You have made it!

25. shawn - September 16, 2007

hi all thanks for the excellent post ..i was wondering if any of you would join this orkut community about pclinux and maybe share ur experiences .views and expertise
http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=37586510

26. Pancho Marania - September 23, 2007

I have used ubuntu, freespire, kanotix, suse, mandriva, and many others. PcLos linux is one of the better ones. My main OS is PClos. I am using a brand new laptop with intel duo core. Surprisingly, PClos worked right out if the box.

27. will - October 8, 2007

I tried Ubuntu 7.04 for my newer system but later shifted to PCLinux2007 when the former failed and I just cannot believe how great PCLinux2007 system is!
I even installed it on my old Pentium 3, and wow again! it never failed even with the lean hardware setup I have. I once tried to install Xubuntu but even at that it can never run its Live CD, have to download the Xubuntu Alternate CD.

All I can say is, WELL DONE PCLinux guys ! You Rock !

28. Justin Breithaupt - November 17, 2007

Ultumix is the new Linux distro that combines everything you want (- the illegal non-free stuff) for you and your computer customers already installed. It’s already up to date and has a Vista like interface. I’m sure you can use it. However it’s 1.3GBs. Includes Compiz Fusion.

I have a torrent set up on my site. I’m in WA state and have 800 kbs upload so be the first to get it. If someone wants to go to http://www.midnblowingidea.com/Ultumix and click sourceforge.net and sign up I would appreciate any help uploading to the CVS. Thanks.

I will tell you up front that this distro has unintentionally created tension in the PCLinuxOS community. I use to be a member of their forums and I wanted to find out if I was doing everything the way they wanted since it was a remaster of their distro. I did everything I could to please them and they took it the wrong way. Someone told me that they thought I was trying to get support for my new distro in their forums, others said I was sending out spam (of course I have no knowledge of spam being sent from my account). I was also banned from the PCLinuxOS IRC Chat. They asked that I donate money to their distro that I made off of selling DVDs. I agreed to do it but now I can’t communicate with them any more. If any of you are from the PCLinuxOS community and you are reading this I’m sorry for any misunderstanding that this might have caused and I hope we can work together in the future.

29. Justin Breithaupt - November 17, 2007

Ultumix is the new Linux distro that combines everything you want (minus the illegal non-free stuff) for you and your computer customers already installed. It’s already up to date and has a Vista like interface. I’m sure you can use it. However it’s 1.3GBs. Includes Compiz Fusion.

I have a torrent set up on my site. I’m in WA state and have 800 kbs upload so be the first to get it. If someone wants to go to http://www.midnblowingidea.com/Ultumix and click sourceforge.net and sign up I would appreciate any help uploading to the CVS. Thanks.

I will tell you up front that this distro has unintentionally created tension in the PCLinuxOS community. I use to be a member of their forums and I wanted to find out if I was doing everything the way they wanted since it was a remaster of their distro. I did everything I could to please them and they took it the wrong way. Someone told me that they thought I was trying to get support for my new distro in their forums, others said I was sending out spam (of course I have no knowledge of spam being sent from my account). I was also banned from the PCLinuxOS IRC Chat. They asked that I donate money to their distro that I made off of selling DVDs. I agreed to do it but now I can’t communicate with them any more. If any of you are from the PCLinuxOS community and you are reading this I’m sorry for any misunderstanding that this might have caused and I hope we can work together in the future.

30. Oscar Easler - November 28, 2007

I was on the verge of giving up on Linux altogether when I found PCLinuxOS. It is fantastic!! All my plugins for Firefox were there. Thunderbird was the easiest email client I have ever set up. For the guy who said that he could not get video clips to play on CNN, I just went there and clicked on one and it played perfectly. By the way I am using the official 07 November 2007 release. And, in my opinion why would anyone want to watch CNN when FOX IS BEST????

31. greene - December 17, 2007

Is there a way I can make a persistent install of PClinuxOS 2007… Can you provide me a right instructions? tnx it will be a good help..I found PCLOS as one of the best Distro release. its kewl..and easy to used.

32. newmikey - January 7, 2008

@greene
Log in as root and click the desktop icon that says “Install”. Could not be simpler! Good luck and if you need help, the PCLinuxOS forums are just a mouseclick away!

33. Daniel Lockhead - January 9, 2008

Hi,

I want to use PClinuxOS 2007 usb drive for test new assembled computer. The idea is to boot on the usb key and have the computer tested using custom test scripts.

Installation of PclinuxOS 2007 on usb key work well and i able to boot the computer on the usb key. Problem start when i would like to have my change persistent.

The site:
http://docs.pclinuxos.com/QuickStartSaving

show methods on how to save changes (boot option and kusbhome). for the boot option, i don’t know on which file i need to place the command and for the second method, kusbhome is not part anymore of the PClinuxos 2007 distribution.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/12/04/usb-pclinuxos-2007-install-tutorial/

Have you an updated method to save changes on the Pclinuxos 2007?

34. ZenWarrior - January 11, 2008

Ubuntu, take a back seat. PCLOS is the *real* deal. I have each installed on PCs. I use the PC with PCLOS installed and not the one with Ubuntu installed.

And, there are far fewer headaches with PCLOS. Ubuntu (inc. Feisty Fawn) continues to be an absolute nightmare at times. If there is a Linux distro poised to finally make it to “average computer users,” it’s not Ubuntu. It’s this.

35. Michael J. Salzbrenner - January 25, 2008

I haven’t had any problems with Ubuntu, and I continue to use it now. I am currently running PCLinuxOS and have to admit that it is an excellent product. On the other hand I am not a “newbie” Linux user, and I prefer to use Linux and not Windows. The current trend to make Linux look and act like Windows personally does not appeal to me. I like Linux because it is Linux and NOT Windows. The features are better, there is more control over you system, ect. ect. ect. If you need a transition OS to get you away from Windows to Linux than PCLinuxOS is a very good idea. Ubuntu has served me well and I feel that it still holds its place on my Desktop. I have no problems with CNN’s website, despite the fact that I never visit it. After reading the posts that claimed an issue I had to test it out, and in my case I had flawless performance with the video feeds from the site. For newbie users PCLinuxOS may be the best bet for you, but I still think that Ubuntu is a valid option as well.

36. Martin Burke - January 26, 2008

I have used Kubuntu 6.04 wouldn’t work with my wifi card would only connect if the wifi had NO keys, swithched to Ubuntu 7.04 that worked with wifi keys only would crash my system randomly, wouldn’t work with the laptop.

Switched over to PCLOS 2007 desktop works fine no system wide crashes, wifi works – although had to slightly modify modprobe.preload for it to work properly. Works on both laptops with no problems.

PCLOS just works I have now converted 2 people from doze to Linux thanks to PCLOS. I only have one friend who’s running Ubuntu 7.10 (although he’s having net problems).

Can’t wait till PCLOS 2008 comes out. Just hope they don’t do what Ubuntu did everything works in 6.04. upgrade to 7.04 nothing but headache.

PCLOS runs a very helpful forum you even get a FREE downloadable monthly magazine, what other distro gives you that ?

OK its never going to be up there with the big distro’s that has tons of cash invested in it, but its still No. 1 on distrowatch.

Yes you can if you want run Gnome instead of KDE there are quite a few remasters of PCLOS.

37. Sam - February 15, 2008

Over the past 6 months I have installed and used OpenSUSE, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, eLive, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS. Without a question PCLOS is the best distro – not withstanding, there are some issues that I need to work around – the version of the kernel did not recongise my 5-1 card reader – upgraded the kernel – problem solved – but then my NTFS external drive cann ot be read – permission probelm – worked on the old kernel (after installing NTFS-3g & NTFS-config).

But, I no other distor is as fast and reliable as PCLOS – Linux Mint did do a fine job as well, but PCLOS was faster, especially when the 3D effects are enabled on the 2 systems. Ubuntu/Kubuntu does have a great repository list and community support that really is hard to match – but I find answers to my questions on PCLOS in these forums as well. Yast has been hyped up on OpenSUSE, but if you really have to time waste use it – it is a SLOW package – especially when looking for packages – it has to keep reloading everything – has its good and bad – but takes too damn long.

Honestly, all of the systems did a fine job in recognising my hardware (Tioshiba Satillite), and really kills XP – once configured correctly. Users have to understand Linux is not Windows, just as Mac is not Windows – there are different ways to get things done in Linux than in Windows, and learning these new ways is how you can use the OS properly – Failing that the OS will be hard!

Bear in mind, I am a Windows user for over 12 years. I provide technical support for all Windows based PC’s (9x, 2000, NT, XP, Vista, 2000 Server etc), but ventured into Linux only recently because Windows is really not a great OS. I always thought of MS as a great marketer than a great OS developer – they beat Mac – who without a doubt had a better OS – by their marketing stategies. Spend the time to understand the differences and learn how to move around in Linux – there are sometimes you MAy have to use the terminal – don’t be intimidated – read , understand, and learn – your system will be more stable, faster and more secure.

38. tim - April 10, 2008

I tried to tell clients about PC Linux OS and stopped the day one guy looked it up in front of me, quirked “brought to you by Textstar & the Ripper Gang…that instills a lot of confidence” and lost interest immediately. I mean…getting people to trust Linux is hard enough…but the Ripper Gang?

39. b r sarkar - May 20, 2008

Pclos is the best.but i still need visual studio and ms office for my workplace .so I made a dual -xp with pclos.Unfortunately without reading the man i tried to install remastered livecd on another xp-pclos dual machine .crashed.and xp failed to boot for reinstall.
However i used a win2000 installer to format c drive and successfully installed xp and then pclos again.happy.
now i am looking for a software so that i can distribute my downloaded rpms to my friends.

40. Geoff Thomas - May 28, 2008

Pclos is the most friendly Linux O/s.
As a Noob it works well as a desktop app, also very intuative for installing hardware easiest install ever… up and running after using as live Cd, had it installed in 20 mins.
Thank you Texstar
I am now totally Linux HOORAY!!

41. W Dawson - June 24, 2008

Every few months, I go tour the net and check out many different Linux os’s. Not just the “well known” and/or “respected” ones, but the newer or more obscure ones as well. I always seem to find one or two that show great promise, but quickly show themselves to be either not fully matured or just plain finicky.
The long and short of it is that I ALWAYS end up right back where I started….with PClinuxOS. As others have said, “it just works”. Using it couldn’t be simpler. In fact, I have dropped it on a few people with NO previous linux experience…people who have NO tech-savvy at all. I installed it, pointed at the screen and said “there’s your ‘start’ button”, and walked away. Guess what? Not even so much as a phone call. They all loved it. They loved the lack of the usual MS-ridden spyware/virus/malware hassles, and the lack of needing to do things like defrag & scandisk (concepts they were loathe to learn in the 1st place).
In my view, if you can install it and walk away, leaving no instructions other than explaining what synaptic is (when the time comes), then you’ve got an OS where the job has been done right.

One downside with linux as a whole (in no way is this a reflection on PCLOS particularly) is the difficulty with getting some of those “must-have” MS-based apps working. Even very impressive linux apps like Crossover-Office and Transgaming Cedega still don’t quite cut the mustard. Due to the inherent differences in MS & Linux architecture, I have to wonder if anything ever will completely fit the bill. I’m talking specifically of MS apps like Photoshop (CS2 & CS3), and flash-authoring alternatives like Swishmax 2. Mind you, older versions of both those apps seem to run flawlessly.
Granted, neither Crossover nor Cedega are free, but not everything needs to be. Yes, I am aware of alternative apps that ARE 100% linux, but for me they just don’t compare to the MS equivalents and therefore fall into my personal “must-have” category. This (and ONLY this) limitation is what keeps me from going all-linux. I know that many people like to say that software developers need to start porting their products for linux, but this is really an unrealistic standpoint IMHO. It just isn’t going to happen, or it would have happened much more noticeably already. So, realistically, it falls on the linux developer community to solve this problem (if it CAN be solved).
I pray in earnest that one fine day this last hurdle might be overcome, for it would surely sever the last remaining thread that MS has over me/us.

For those of you thinking of trying linux, especially PClinuxOS, please don’t let my last few comments discourage you. You still have a great deal to gain by using PClinuxOS.


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