I recently stuck PCLinuxOS 2007 on a 3rd partition on my system, mainly as a test for my fubar’ed video card.
First impression: I really like it.
I never felt comfortable with Kubuntu’s KDE, it installed SOO much crap and you can’t uninstall it because of the kubuntu-desktop meta -package and it tries to uninstall the whole of kubuntu-desktop if you remove some component. PCLinuxOS you can uninstall components that you want with no ill-effect (that I’ve found so far!). Like why do I want Synaptic Touchpad on a desktop PC?
PCLOS07 has inspired me to give KDE a real go, where Kubuntu made me favour GNOME.
Other features I do like is the apt-get/synaptic based on their rpm repo’s. That’s a nice touch as I didn’t like adept and synaptic is good.
I also decided to PCLinuxOS on my laptop and configuration for the wireless was sooo painless. It autodetected the ip2200 wireless card and configuration of WPA2-PSK was so smooth. Huge kudos for that! It was a nightmare under both Elive and Debian. Didn’t try under *buntu.
I haven’t been able to give it a good run, due to the video card, but love to test out pushing it in terms of gaming and memory/cpu usage.
I really like that
Yamatku (sp?) console… the dropdown is nice, use it all the time now. I find it better than alt-tabbing between a
konsole window. For some reason I don’t really like
konsole as a terminal app. Gnomes
gnome-terminal is better featured. I really want to terminal client to work like puTTy where selecting auto-copies into system clipboard, not the screens clipboard. Unfortuately konsole doesn’t even auto-copy into
konsole's clipboard and there is no keyboard shortcut 😦
Not everything is perfect though. Some of the things I don’t like are:
* The menu structure – God damn what’s with the 19 million sub-menus that have 1 item? Took me a cpl minutes to find Synaptic (I deleted it off the taskbar .. waste of space!)
* The default bash config (
.bashrc etc) is pretty basic. I ended up taking some items from the Ubuntu install.
The installer needs a bit of work. For the most part it’s fairly painless and asks some basic questions to get you up and running, however:
* Cancel isn’t obvious – there is an OK button but to cancel you have to use the
X, not so intuiative.
* The partitioning/format feature – I accidentally wiped my
/home drive. It was my fault really, I forgot I moved data around, getting rid of some NTFS partitions in favour of one big ext3. I would prefer it to be more like GParted where you make all the changes then apply at the end rather than make each change live as you choose it. Luckily the only thing I lost was my settings. It wasn’t a huge deal except loosing
.opera which had my bookmarks, oh and a couple of custom scripts. Everything else is on my fileserver, mounted with samba on start to subdirectories with a root directory I call
That does remind me to include in my backup scripts a remote backup of my
/home/.* directory & file to the file server too!
So far not overly impressed with the repo’s like Ubuntu/Debian … but for general desktop use I’d imagine it’s more than adequate, but finding some less popular or specific applications weren’t there, mainly for development/server features. I tried looking for k3d, an app I tried out for an hour the other day for 3D modelling and that wasn’t there either.
Which leads me to say, it’s most definitely not for a server environment or really a development environment. It does have apache2/mysql/postgres/php5 but no sign of lighttpd which I like to use for localhost testing as it’s nice and light and quick. I couldn’t find eclipse which I’ve just discovered as a pretty decent IDE. I haven’t really taken this part past installing the LAMP components. Nothing is configured and TBH I didn’t even see if http://localhost worked.
I didn’t test any multimedia functionality as I haven’t got the sound working yet. Also I use my MythTV frontend for all videos/DVD’s.
I have 2 sound card, on-board and PCI and it defaulted to the on-board. I havent’ looked into changing it around, but when I did I somehow killed the sound server and get an error on boot up.
Well that’s my recap of PCLinuxOS after 2.5 days.
I seem to have listed more complaints than good features, but it’s more that what it does it does very well and there isn’t much to say. It’s quick and easy to figure out. The control center is a nice feature for system administration and anyone who can use Control Panel in Windows can use the Control Center in PCLinuxOS.
I’d dare to say that PCLinuxOS is more user friendly than Ubuntu and would make a better transition distro for a Microsoft user, well once they sort the partitioner out anyway!
As I said earlier, it’s good enough for me to want to continue using it … I’ll keep you posted if I change my mind!