Friday, March 27, 2009

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Mini review

Last time I was here I said that I would try to remember to comment on PCLinuxOS after I get a chance to install the final version. I have also previously tested at least two of the earlier test versions. The first test version would not load for me; I was disappointed; ALL previous PCLinuxOS versions, whether test or not, worked great. The second test version I tried, test 3, was better. Apps worked fine; wireless did not work.

The final version works a lot better. I installed it a few weeks ago on my Gateway PA6A laptop, then gave it to my son to use. I got wireless working fairly quickly on that one. This week I installed it on my Lenovo Y410 laptop and it was, if anything, even easier. I have not found any serious defects on either machine.

Just about everything you need for routine computing is on this system. The live CD boots in a reasonable amount of time, but if you load it completely into RAM then install from there, it is one of the fastest hard disk installations I know of. Only sidux is faster.

This is one of three really easy systems to use, and one of the few I would recommend to first time users. My two children use PCLinuxOS regularly when they spend time with daddy. On my GRUB bootloader menu, I put their names, followed by PCLinuxOS to make it easy to see in my multi-distro boot menu. They find it easily and have no problems using it. Is that enough of a testimonial to PCLinuxOS?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 has been released this week

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 has been released this week

Another version of PCLinuxOS has been released. I have downloaded it but not yet installed it. The last FULL KDE based version was released in May 2007. A GNOME version was released in 2008, and an implementation called "MiniME" was also released in 2008, plus a number of community offshoots of the main project, mainly in the "Tiny" series, have been released, but the main version, from which the others drew their initial following, has not been updated, at least as far as a release goes, in quite some time.

Past versions of PCLinuxOS have been extremely easy to install, and they contain virtually everything you may need, at least for routine desktop computing. My only criticisms of past releases have been that the package manager has been very slow - when there are updates, it can take orders of magnitude longer to download and install them than comparable distributions based on Debian, such as sidux, antiX, and SimplyMEPIS. The software is very good, but it is not kept up to date very often either.

If you mainly just use it, don't worry and don't bother. However, it was a broken Flash player that eventually took me away from PCLinuxOS 2007, much as I had liked it prior to that. I changed repositories to the PCLinuxOS testing repos in an attempt to get newer software and ended up ruining the sound system, and ultimately replaced it with MiniME.

I will try to remember to come back here with my thoughts and impressions after I install PCLinuxOS 2009.1.