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This is the "preview 9" release of PCLinuxOS. It is a complete OS on a disc, can run live or be installed. It includes all the media extensions (Realplayer, MPlayer with wincodecs, etc) already working inside Firefox. It includes KDE3.4.1 with full HAL/DBUS hardware detection system. It has its own graphics designer, Jose Rangels which sets it apart from other distros.
Meanwhile its supporters are building up a nice Wiki to help you with any problems.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
Integration. Default software choice. Graphics.
One or two little issues to resolve. Expect p91 soon!
There were a few issues with preview_9, so now Texstar has made a few changes and now it's preview_91. Now it's 10/10!!!
Originally, this was within a gnat's c**k of getting 10/10. I've now given it 10 because of a few little issues which may fox a new user have been improved. It really is that good. If you've seen my previous reviews you will know I don't hand out 10s for anything short of perfection!
On my computer it misread the Screen Size. This resulted in a 1280x1024 desktop scrolling up/down and sideways on a 1024x768 canvas. This is due to my monitor, no question. I corrected this using the graphical front end, XFDrake. Unfortuately, this resulted in X not running. (I was able to sort it out quickly, by removing a line which read "Modeline" and nothing else in the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.) Maybe it needs a further command line switch to force the monitor mode as well as the desktop size. There are two factors at work here, one, my monitor does not communicate back correctly, and two, there is a tiny, tiny error in the XFDrake script. I have worked out the problem and notified this to Texstar (the distros author). Today (10th July 2005) he e-mailed me some proposed changes to a script file, as he could not duplicate the problems on his own computer or monitor. As a result, the next update will have fixed the problem. Which only I had complained of! That's the measure of this guy's commitment to a "Home User's" distro!
My monitor was doing a lot of weird things, so I disconnected the Digital cable and connected the Analogue cable, and most of the things it was doing stopped. So I tried the LiveCD again just out of curiosity and not only was the monitor detected correctly, but the problems that occur when I tried to change the settings did not occur! So the fault seems to be with the relationship between my monitor in Digital mode and my Video Card. So chalk that one off!
A minor irritation is that, it came up on first boot after installation with the sound muted and within that, the PCM sound muted. Only a little irritation because a little fiddle with KMix (the volume control you see in the system tray) soon put that right. The next bootup worked correctly.
Now you get to see what a fine distro this is. Just installed? No matter, visit the BBC web site in Firefox and listen to the radio or watch video clips, Realplayer is integrated out of the box.
The Utopia project (HAL/DBUS) is included, that has superceded supermount, and it works smoothly. If you plug in a USBkey, it will mount, but you can unmount from a right-click menu to ensure any data you wrote on it is saved before removing it. The main desktop is KDE3.4.1 with all its new kioslaves, everything is up to date and everything seems to work.
It uses Synaptic to do software updates. You can add libcss and libdvdcss in order to watch DVDs which will start and play in Kaffeine on plug-in. How cool is that?
Unlike Mandrake, KPackage is still included, so you can add 3rd party distro-independent rpms like Adobe Reader 7, with no resort to the command line.
Oh, and "thac", he of the Electronics and Music builds, has provided a repository as well, having been flamed by several people at the Mandriva forums, he has moved his fine work from Mandriva to PCLinuxOS. Thac has even created rpms to automate the installation of nvidia drivers!
I ran the live CD, corrected the problems outlined above, then installed. 20 minutes later, I had a full OS with great integration and an excellent choice of software. If only other systems (including Windoze) were that easy.
The support you get from the Web Site (www.pclinuxonline.com) is excellent, and there is a wiki being built to make things easier for newbies.
I've had less fiddling to do with this distro than any other one I have ever installed. And once up and running, it is integrated, stable, with a great "starter" set of software for the home user.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
Excelent live CD, easy install. Beautiful layout, easy to configure, works right away. Real Player works, lots of media works. Firefox.
It's too easy.
I've used SuSE for years from 8 onwards, and loved the way SuSe worked and thought YAST was the saviour. When my 9.1 went daft after a KDE upgrade I thought of having another distro.
I'm above noob level but don't have the time to mess about, but I ended up messing a lot, with other distros.
Tried Ubuntu, hated gnome.
Tried Kubuntu, looks nice but it's just not right, apart from the great installer. (why won't every install ask for monitor resolution for the X server?) No root? Package install is weird.
Tried Debian, easy to install, but not easy to configure. Probably not the first choice as a desktop for a noob, if only the X setup had been part of the install, just like Kubuntu.
Tried Meppis, ugly and irritating.
Tried Libranet, but even after you forgive the ugly desktop and out of date layout, it's too late. You have tried to update and 2 hours later it's still running updates, has a VERY retro feel.
Tried PCLINUXOS 0.91.
Best looking and best laid out desktop distro out there. Works from the off, the hardware detection is spot on. Had Firefox 1.06, LimeWire and added skype using Synaptic, then listened to real player audio via http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1 without configuring anything. Played some tunes with amarok, then downloaded stuff from LimeWire. All less than 30 minutes from install.
IMO, best distro fror noobs up, excellent desktop. Very easy going, and I wish it all the best.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1
Its virus proof (can't configure internet connection
Lots of things look pretty, but when it comes down to working where it counts PCLinux was a big loser in my book! I can install a large OS in about 30min. usually, not PCLinux, over an hour and a half! And then, very little was configured correctly! I never was able to get my internet connection configured, which, it seems like any other OS I've tried auto configured my connection with no problem. Two thumbs down on this one, I'll go back to something that works, like Ubuntu, Mepis, Fedora, the list goes on.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
runs very fast for a livecd
does not have OpenOffice
The PCLinuxOS liveCD runs very smoothly and very fast, probably faster than Knoppix. However, I looked for OpenOffice, and found only inferior substitutes in the menus. This was the first distribution I've tried (I have used Mandrake, Knoppix, Debian, MEPIS and Xandros) that did not include OpenOffice, and if the others had it, I don't see why PCLinuxOS can't.