My Reader suggestions: PCLinuxOS May 1, 2007Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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.