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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.
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"PCLinuxOS 2014.12 ISO images have been released for Full Monty, KDE, MATE and LXDE. Highlights include Linux kernel 3.18.1, FFmpeg 2.5.1, MESA 10.4.0, SysVInit (no systemd) and all popular applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird and VLC have been updated to their latest versions. Please note if you have been keeping up with your PCLinuxOS software updates then there is no need to install fresh from a 2014.12 ISO image. These images are final releases based on legacy technology. Future releases will default to GRUB 2 and will support UEFI and GPT partition formats."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Stable, reliable, supposedly 'rolling', gazillions of noob friendly config tools, NO systemd, my printer works OOTB-no proprietary driver required, so does my webcam.
The MATE version is ugly OOTB, made pretty in seconds though. No 'fakeraid' installation support. It doesn't wash my dishes, lol. The installer can be a bit ambiguous.
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.