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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
» Number of reviews : 12 - viewing 10 Per Page
Last Review by cykodrone - posted: 02-16-2015 07:09 PM
This review is based on the MATE version (64-bit), I stopped using KDE a few years ago, KDE is PCLinuxOS's more 'native' DE. I should also mention I have prior PCLinuxOS experience, it was years ago but not much has changed, which is actually a good thing, too many people are constantly changing too much these days.
I switched over to it from Debian 7.8 Xfce because of systemd coming to Debian in 8.0 Jessie (I wanted out before the poop hits the fan). I'm finding PCLinuxOS to be more stable and reliable than Debian, I ran Debian 'stable' (Wheezy) and was getting GUI bugs, etc, one would expect that in 'testing' or 'Sid', NOT stable. If you do switch over to PCLinuxOS, you may find a few of your legacy favourite apps are missing in the repo (a lot of old junk has been deprecated), but there's no shortage of apps and programs for a fully functional desktop/workstation (PCLinuxOS has DVDStyler for example, Wheezy does not). I get the impression Bill, aka Texstar likes to maintain 'cream of the crop' apps and not waste his time on little used, old novelty apps, I can't say I blame him. As mentioned in the 'Cons', I'm a little sad I had to tear down my dual SSD Raid 0 (Debian does have fakeraid support, but it's no 'walk in the park' to get it working), I disconnected one of the SSDs (a spare in case the working SSD fails, I don't completely trust SSDs yet). This is not really a huge issue, one SSD is twice the speed (r/w up to 550MB/s compared to 280MB/s) of my old 4 HDD Raid 0. I knocked off 1 point for no PCLinuxOS fakeraid installation support, otherwise, it's definitely a '10'.
A couple of notes:
You can uninstall PulseAudio with the package 'task-pulseaudio-remove', it works great, Alsa is fine afterwards. I also uninstalled 'qt-update-notifier' (a system-tray update notifier), it was a little annoying and not really all that functional (this 'tool' is probably more at home in the KDE version), I manually check for updates at least once a day anyway.
I had to manually enable cpufreq in PCLinuxOS Control Center/System/Manage system services, I have an 8 core monster of a CPU, I didn't want it running at full speed all the time, it scales down to 1.4GHz when idle now, I have no idea why it wasn't 'on' by default post installation, CPU scaling was automatically working when I tested the very same PCLinuxOS disk 'live'.
I have an AMD based system, it's crucial to pass iommu=soft to the kernel, live or installed, on my system anyway, if yours has the IOMMU option in your BIOS (disabled by default), you may need to do the same. This 'fix' also enabled my VIA chip controlled USB 3.0, this is a kernel level common issue across many distros, it's NOT an issue specific to PCLinuxOS.
Be careful with the installer, if you have multiple drives, read what it wants to do carefully, most of the time it wants to resize a Windows partition and create a new Linux install partition on the same drive. I had to 'tell' it to use a completely empty SSD pre-formatted to MSDOS/NTFS.
Install the 'elementary' icon set from the repo, you'll like it, it's pretty. I'm using the BlueMenta theme and BlackMate window borders (System/Preferences/Appearance).
There is a PCLinuxOS Xfce 'community edition', but I chose MATE version because it's 'officially supported' (just a personal preference, I'm getting more lazy as time goes by, lol) and it's NOT KDE.
The learning curve is very low with PCLinuxOS, I did way more learning and researching fixes and tweaks when I used Windows (on and off up to 2010), I would even dare to say, IMO, PCLinuxOS and Mint are tied for best Windows refugee distros.
Thanks for reading my review.
See my sig for machine specs.
My first introduction to Linux was with Slackware 7.0. I have tried to use other Linux distros but always come back to Slackware. It forces you to think to figure out how something works!! Never give up! If you make something work, you become very happy because it is an achievement.
I was told it was stable. It is true. Once you figure out how to get an application working with Slackware, it will not crash like other linux distros on you! The key here is figure out how it works! But it takes patience, using online forums and learning from others. If you want to enjoy using Slackware, let sbopkg and queues be your friends. They make installation of applications quite easy. Don't forget Alienbob's scripts: especially the one to make you download and build slackware-current iso for usage. The beauty here is that the method of installation and other things are old school and don't change. As I am conservative and old school, I just love it here.
Distros I have tried.
Red Hat - My first distro before it became Fedora. This was too bloated for my tastes.
Slackware - The second distro I tried. My GoTo Distro. No place like 127.0.0.1
Ubuntu - Hold my hand I'm scared. While doing that bloat me do death.
Mint - A good beginner distro - Hold my hand while I take your virginity...
Fedora - DO AS WE SAY, HOW WE SAY. WE KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU.
openSUSE - Hold my hand, and turn on everything! I did like Yast though.
FreeBSD - I really like FreeBSD, but there is no support for my the graphics card in my laptop. If Slackware takes a direction in the future that I don't like, this will be my distro of choice. Yes I know its not a Linux distro.
After my trials of the other major distros out there, I have always found my way back to a Slackware distro. I have used it as a L.A.M.P server at work for many years. Its one of those set it and forget it distros.
I feel if you are a new user, looking for something different. Something more technical, this is the way to go. You will learn the discipline of reading documentation, and the discipline of a command line interface (CLI). You will become your distro. It will instill a solid foundation of the inner workings of a Linux distro, and anything you try in the future will be like eating ice cream on a hot day.
As soon as Corenominal - the creator of Crunchbang (#!) decided to switch his distro to Debian base instead of Ubuntu, I started to plot against my one-and-only pure Debian (Gnome) system, and soon after I embraced #!
There is nothing so special about #!, except the effort Corenominal has put into polishing the Debian minimal installation, with custom scripts, configuration, and selection of software to achieve strong, yet light system. The kind of effort many of us were too lazy to make.
So, with #! you actually have the essential Debian, with fewest possible additions, optimized for low hardware resources.
It has mixed libraries from Xfce and Gnome (plus some core LXDE applications), without those desktop environments actually installed. Instead, the powerful Openbox window manager keeps the things going.
However, the downside of this, is the large set of libraries and tons of small applications/utilities to fill the gap of absence of full desktop environment, which makes it heavy on storage: the .iso package is 739mb, while there are very few applications pre-installed. The basic #! installation takes even more space than regular Ubuntu - and no lightweight distro should take that amount of space - not even close.
Corenominal took a step further and made easier for new Linux users to get along with this distro: there is a startup script which offers installation of commonly used applications, such is Libre Office, popular browsers, Dropbox, and so on.
Also, very useful are the shortcuts to major .conf files, available from the main menu, and Openbox keyboard shortcuts info, listed in Conky.
The system is highly configurable, partly thanks to the lack of full desktop environment - almost all components are independent small applications that can be separately configured or easily replaced.
In addition, if user wants to have a rolling release distro, it is as simple as adding new repositories and upgrading the system with a single terminal command.
The #! community is very friendly and helpful, without which it would be very difficult for a beginner to master the subtleties of the system.
Overall, this is reliable, beautiful (when configured), fast distro, yet it requires some knowledge of Debian and Linux in common, to feel comfortable with it. It doesn't get in your way - which is pretty much essential when functionality is in question.
I keep on comparing it with other distributions (tested more than 100 different distros by now), and I still have #! as a base system on my desktops.
paldo is still active (10+ years) and independently developed, but now as a rolling release. It was one of the early Gnome 3 and systemd adopters and is still largely vanilla, with a few customized install metapackages.
The package manager hasn't changed a bit - still command line only and slow, but it works fine with the basic upkg-install/remove/upgrade commands for packages from the online repository. If one dabbles in building packages from source it means manually configuring scripts for dependencies, though, and isn't really worth the time except for the fun of it.
Fortunately, the packages repo is sufficient for a gnome-based system and has been consistently maintained for years; it's one of the best features of the distro - kudos to the developer for reliable, bleeding-edge package updates on a roughly weekly basis.
Korora is a great distro.
They have implemented their Cinnamon desktop so that runs well with no glitches. (That is an improvement on their last attempt.)
I have Korora installed on a machine which literally will not run anything else - including Knoppix or Linux Mint.
Everything worked for me out of the box - wireless, printer, videos, etc.
Package management with yum is excellent.