Friday, April 23, 2010

PCLinuxOS 2010 Review

In the last couple of years I have tested many Linux distros. I was never a diehard fan of any of them, kept an open mind and was willing to simply use the one that best fit my needs. Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSuSE, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian and others have been put to the test at some point or another. PCLinuxOS was one of the few popular ones I had not tested. Being based off Mandriva, I was assuming it would be similar to the Linux Mint - Ubuntu case, so no surprises expected. After all, I had tested several Mandriva releases, so what could be that interesting about PCLinuxOS? Now, let me tell you... boy, was I wrong!

Not since I tested Ubuntu for the first time have I been so excited and pleased with any Linux distro release. That says a lot, because back then I was using Linux for the first time after years of using Windows almost exclusively, so there was a lot of being in awe due to being a "first timer". After then, no matter what distro I tried, I always felt there was something missing and that kept pulling me back to Ubuntu, which was best balanced in my opinion. After a couple days using PCLinuxOS 2010 I must say that such 1st place in the ranking may change.


The PCLinuxOS 2010 desktop.

FEATURES

The PCLinuxOS 2010 list of FEATURES is very impressive. Nothing surprising there, all feature lists are when any new release comes out. That's probably why testing a release after reading such lists may result in a bit of a letdown, for the end result usually never matches the expectation. This time around it was pretty much the opposite, which is very significant considering I tested Ubuntu 10.04 just days ago.

Kernel 2.6.32.11-bfs for maximum desktop performance: Right there. I installed PCLinuxOS 2010 on a pendrive, the same I had Fedora12 on, and the performance improvement is sick! I can't even notice any drag when comparing it to actual installations on proper magnetic hard drives. Quite honestly, it is the first time KDE feels as responsive as GNOME.

Full KDE4.4.2 Desktop: Awesome integration. This is by far the best implementation of the KDE desktop I have ever experienced. The developers have customized things where it matters, providing a much easier and intuitive interface.


The KDE Control Center looks great and is easier to understand

PCLinuxOS 2010 Branding: Most applications have been tweaked so they use consistent branding, which looks great and feels tight and professional. In addition, the 120dpi font resolution makes KDE look sharper than ever.


Amarok splash screen with PCLinuxOS branding


PCLinuxOS 2010 Control Center splash screen branding

Mandriva on steroids: The Mandriva control center has been revamped, focusing on what matters. For example, the software center is not included, but managed separately via Synaptic. PCLinuxOS developers have made a very good job at keeping the best features found in Mandriva, making up for those which are not that great using different tools.

Enhanced hardware support: Video, Wireless and printer support is great, with many proprietary drivers already installed. In my case, having installed on a pendrive, I can boot from several different computers. I found no hardware detection issues. (Note this does not mean all hardware is supported. As usual, make sure your hardware is recognized successfully when you boot from the LiveCD)


My Vodafone USB 3G modem working flawlessly after a couple simple steps.


Network Manager wireless list display.

Help and documentation: One element that should be highlighted is the impressive effort the developers have put into providing proper and meaningful feedback and help to the end user. I encountered several very helpful prompt messages, which I consider key for first time Linux users. On that same note, tools like AddLocale, Repository speed test and GetOpenOffice allow users to complete some of the most popular "things to do after installing..." easily and clearly, no use of the CLI required.

INSTALLATION

PCLinuxOS is one of those distros that enforce booting from the LiveCD before one can install. Once the desktop is loaded, installation may be triggered by double clicking a launcher if the user so desires. When I started using Linux I thought this was an unnecessary hassle. I liked Ubuntu's approach better, which enables installation straight from the LiveCD menu. I now believe the PCLinuxOS approach is best. By forcing the user to boot the LiveCD, there are higher chances that any potential hardware incompatibility is spotted before the installation takes place.

APPLICATIONS, CODECS & DRIVERS

The catalog of applications available by default in PCLinuxOS 2010 is great, almost feels like I chose it myself! I suppose KDE purists will not be very happy to see Firefox, Thunderbird or Pidgin as default Internet browser, email and IM client defaults, but I couldn't be happier. They just saved me a bunch of time uninstalling and installing.

Open Source advocates may also dislike the fact that PCLinuxOS 2010 includes a bunch of proprietary drivers, but for new users this is a blessing. I personally see reasons to support both approaches.

Firefox is preinstalled, sporting the latest version, 3.6.3. I was a Firefox advocate for a long time, but have lately been using Chromium more and more. In my experience, the speed difference was too significant to be romantic about it. All that said, I am amazed at how responsive and quick Firefox is under PCLinuxOS 2010. I am typing these lines from it and have no plans to install any other browser.


Firefox performs much better than expected under PCLinuxOS 2010.

Thunderbird is also preinstalled in its latest version. I have not used this new version much myself, but it probably is more current and powerful than Evolution or Kmail. With email clients, though, it mainly goes down to personal preference, so I won't go on about it.

YES! Dropbox is installed by default. This was a BIG plus for me, as I had been unable to find a convenient way to install it under KDE. It is a breeze under PCLinuxOS, just need to enter the username and password, no exiting the session or anything like that required.


Dropbox perfectly integrated in KDE!

Adobe Flash plugin, MP3, DVD playback, Most popular video codecs, JAVA and Compiz effects are all setup and ready to use and enjoy from the get go. In addition, KTorrent, K3B, Amarok or GIMP are examples of some other pre-installed applications available under PCLinuxOS 2010. All of them are at their latest or very up to date versions.


Dolphin is no exception, faster than ever before!

TAKE IT EASY

I want to take a bit of time to talk about a number of tools that I feel are great in making life easy for end users: Repository Speed Test, Add Locale and GetOpenOffice.

Repository Speed Test runs a check on all the repository servers available and recommends the optimum setup. If the end user agrees, the application automatically applies the corresponding changes to the sources list file. When done, it starts Synaptic so software can be downloaded. I particularly liked the information messages provided throughout. They were clearly explaining what was happening as a backup copy of sources.list was automatically taken before actually committing the changes.


Repository Speed Test makes managing software sources a piece of cake.

Similarly, Add Locale easily makes all the necessary adjustments to add and setup languages. In fact, I often had issues installing Spanish language in KDE implemenations from Fedora, OpenSuSE and even Mandriva. It was doable, of course, but not as straightforward as in GNOME distros like Ubuntu. Even when I managed to get it to work, not all applications would display the right language settings. With Add Locale it was a breeze and once again the information messages were spot on.


AddLocale in action.

Finaly, GetOpenOffice is nothing short of amazing. When you run it for the first time, the tool asks for the language you want to install, then downloads and installs the packages and menus automatically. If run again, the application detects there is a previous installation and prompts the user if s/he wants to reinstall or uninstall. Nitpicking a bit, I would say I liked how progress is shown through a terminal like interface, but I guess standard users couldn't care less. I think it would look even better if a GUI progress bar was displayed, allowing for such minute detail monitoring as an optional feature.


GetOpenOffice rocks. If there is an existing installation, it displays the options available.

NOTE: I am aware not all these tools have been developed by/for PCLinuxOS, but it is how well they have been selected and integrated that made a very positive impression on me.

All in all, I think all three applications are a very nice step forward towards making the Linux desktop experience accessible to anybody. In fact, to be completely honest, PCLinuxOS 2010 is the first distro that I feel is ready for "The year of the Linux desktop" challenge. It is powerful yet clear and simple. There are some areas that could use some polishing, but it is a huge step in the right direction. Provided the hardware is fully supported, as has been the case on all five machines I have tested it on, I really feel anyone can enjoy PCLinuxOS 2010!

NETWORKING & SECURITY

PCLinuxOS 2010 also provides a very clear and comprehensive GUI interface to setup the firewall. As expected, iptables policies are set to accept by default, but no ports are listening. In the GUI interface this translates to showing the firewall as disabled (the actual option displays "no firewall"). Enabling the firewall is as simply as un-ticking that option.


Firewall setup doesn't get any easier than this.

The network manager is the same used in Mandriva, not awfully fast, but quite solid. Once again, it provides a friendly interface, which among other things, allows for wireless scan refresh (one of the main weaknesses in the GNOME network manager applet as of today). On top of that, I was very pleased to see that my Vodafone HUAWEI USB 3G modem was recognised on the fly, successfully setup in a couple steps and working right away (screenshots under the FEATURES section above)

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

As you probably expect at this point, I absolutely recommend PCLinuxOS 2010. I have been using it for only a couple days, but I have the feeling that it is the best Linux release I have tested in years.

PCLinuxOS 2010 is excellent for any kind of user, but probably most recommended for new comers. It brings down the need for CLI typing to almost zero. In my case, I actually have only opened Konsole because I like it, not because there was no other choice.

Don't take my word for it, DOWNLOAD it and give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

Enjoy!

87 comments:

  1. I had my first PCLinuxOS install in earnest on a real machine 5 days ago. What a pleasurable experience. I certainly found myself a new distribution for my machines.

    I agree with the author - the best in a very long time.

    They also do it in Gnome, LXDE, Xfce and e17. I can only recommend it.

    longtom

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  2. That PCLinuxOS was originally an offshoot of Mandriva is not surprising. Texstar was originally a third-party packager for the old Mandrake. When he decided to build his own distro, he naturally started from a base he was familiar with. After years of 'beta' versions (the 0.x series), for the first 'final' release in 2007, he and the team re-based off Mandriva again. Things immediately started forking from that base, however, since Tex and the Gang are always looking for the best experience, no matter where it originates.

    PCLinuxOS 2010 was built from packages in their own repository, not based off Mandriva or anybody else. It includes source originally packaged by Mandriva, OpenSuse, and Fedora, among others. Patches for programs come from all over, even from Debian-based distros. While it still has deep roots in Mandriva, it is no longer just another offshoot of an established distro. It has matured.

    I run PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE-full on my laptop. It is the most beautiful, easy-to-use distro I have ever tried.

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  3. On you vote section, you don't have PCLOS, so I cannot vote.

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  4. Thanks for all comments!

    @wayne1932: I know! When I put it together, I had not even tasted PCLinuxOS 2010 yet. Damn bad timing!! ;-)

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  5. PCLinuxOS2007 was my first full time Linux distro. I had tried many of them and it was the one that just worked.
    6-7 months later, I felt confortable enough to put both my parents computers on it.
    When KDE4 matured with version 4.2, I switched all our home computers to Mandriva or Kubuntu (My wife hated her Ubuntu on Dell Mini 9 that she asked me to please but XP on it. She said it, meaning Gnome, was depressing and drab like a 15 yr old version of Windows) and the only PCLOS left was on my moms laptop.
    But using my dads desktop was too fun and she eventually moved away to.
    It wasnt that we didnt love PCLinuxOS but it looked dated after using KDE4 and we never regretted it.
    But weve been waiting with anticipation for PCLinuxOS to come out with KDE4 because to many in our family, it was their first Linux and everyone loved it.

    To be honest, I still see minimal differences in various KDe4 distros and since I hate all the default settings, once I finished fine tuning things, they all end up looking the same.
    THe mandriva control center is one of those differences taht actually does make a difference.
    With KDE3, PCLinuxOS took a great distro, Mandriva, and made it better.
    I have trust that Texstar and the crew will take the Mandriva 2010 we are using now and make it better.
    And once again, PCLinuxOS will be my go to distro for newbies. In three years I have been using Linux, I have switched all our family computers, both our parents and inlaws and a few uncles and aunts because I was tired of doing free tech work which consisted of the same thing: virus-malware cleaning.
    I also realized that as much as I like get getting a new OS every 6months, doing tech support for family means that a rolling distro is the best way of doing things.
    PCLinuxOS was the first distro (i had tried Kubuntu 5 and it was horribley clunky..my how far we have come in a short time) that just worked for me and god knows wifi was a huge problem 3 years ago.
    It also understood the principles of user friendly (how user friendly is it o have a dual boot that is a DOS like black and white menu... many people got freaked out the first time they saw it. PCLOS didnt have the best graphics and logo but at least it didnt freak people out a dualboot screen) and I have about 5-6 people at work who would like for me to upgrade their computers to Linux this summer.
    PCLinuxOS release comes at a perfect time.

    Thanks for the great review, I am DLing as Im typing this.

    Vik

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  6. Love your wallpaper but its not one included in PCLOS 2010, might i ask where you got it?

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  7. So far I've only tested KDE on Ubuntu, and I must say, it wasn't fun. So, I've sticked to Gnome, even if I don't like the dated look, I do like the speed.

    I'm downloading PCLOS 2010 with KDE, will install it on a VirtualBox, and see if I like it enough to make the change.

    Thanks.

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  8. i'm using pclinuxos too, most of all distros can't install ATI VGA driver by default. But with PCLinuxOS, ATI succesfully detected, & Compiz fusion run automaticly. I'm very happy with PCLinuxOS ;-)

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Your review is so tempting to make me move from SimplyMepis 8.5 to PCLOS 2010. Your wallpaper, icons and theme are very nice. How did you change the K icon to the default KDE one?

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  11. If i install PCLinux Englightenment does it's GRUB find all the other distros (they got Grub 0.97) on my computer. Any experiences of that?

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  12. Hi all, thanks for all the nice comments!

    @tabrown: I use to sites mainly when it comes to wallpapers:

    http://wallpaperstock.net/
    http://www.ewallpapers.eu/

    Not too sure which one I got it from, so I enabled a link for you or anybody else who might want to download it.

    Get it from HERE.

    @sid: Very simple, just need to right click on the menu icon and select the "application launcher preferences" option. You will get a popup window. Select "options" from the left side menu. That will allow you to change the icon among other things.

    @matias: I am sorry, I haven't tested the enlightenment option myself. I suppose it is the same distro, so GRUB should be the same for both.

    As far as I know, PCLinuxOS 2010 is not using GRUB2, so that's something. I am afraid I can't help much here, as I haven't tested it myself.

    Good luck!

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  13. I'm glad that PCLOS is finally back on track after a few rocky years.

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  14. My only wish for PCLinuxOS would be to have a 64-bit version.

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  15. I've used PCLinuxOS for a couple of years and recommend it highly. It was easy to install, configure and ideal for 1st time Linux users in my opinion. I've recently switched to another distribution because I bought a new 64 bit PC with tons of memory. If they had encrypted home directories and a 64 bit version I would seriously consider switching back.

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  16. Great review! I too am a longtime Linux user since the mid '90's, and a PCLOS user since the 2007 release. I used Mandrake before that.

    I selected the PCLOS 2010 KDE-minime version to update my laptop from the 2009.2 version. It works the same as the full version, but does not have all the preinstalled software. I prefer to install my own software set.

    Like you, I have tried a variety of distros, but wind up coming back to PCLOS. It just computes the way I do.

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  17. Fastest booting full linux distro I have ever used. Kde is finally nice to look at also and did I say fast! Ease of setup and use is unbeatable. I started with Ubuntu and have tried some others but I think I have found a place to park it.
    64-bit version is supposed to follow according to forums, but I have read that 64-bit OS is not much faster than 32 is currently.

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  18. Thanks all for your comments!

    I am using 32bit, my hardware wouldn't support anything else. However, I have tried 64bit in someone else's computer and didn't notice too big a difference. I think many applications are still not optimized for 64bit.

    The most exciting and spectacular performance enhancement I have seen came with solid state drives. As far as I am concerned, that's what REALLY makes a difference. As soon as the technology settles down and becomes a bit cheaper, I am buying.

    Thanks again!

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  19. I have installed PClinuxOS on a number of systems over the years and always have been really impressed. as of this date I have 2 laptops running PClinuxOS-LXDE and the install was flawless (HP and Toshiba) including wireless and all multimedia keys on BOTH systems.
    Texstar and his crew do an excellent job and I recommend and install PCLinuxOS to/for people all the time.

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  20. pclos team have done a great job. they plunged into kde4 late but with a bang!

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  21. I can't agree more with everything positive about PcLinuxOS 2010 and previous releases.

    Just a note to Tony Cavanna : there is a pae-enabled kernel available, if you are after all your memory being recognised, that should do the trick for you, in fact you've got the choice of 3 different build of the 2.6.32 kernel, std, pae and bfs

    Didier

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  22. I have tried the KDE version of PCLinuxOS 2010 when it was in beta and I was really impressed at the speed of it. I am currently using the Gnome version on my Compaq Presario CQ60-206US laptop. My only gripes with it are that K9Copy will not work right in it. There is one other problem. Textar has not come out with a 64 bit version. I have also tried the LXDE and XFCE versions. The XFCE version really rocks. You can even use the compiz fusion effects in the XFCE and LXDE versions which is very cool. What is not cool is that it was a pain in the butt to try to install and use the 4L labeler software for my lightscribe drive. This is where Fedora and ubuntu based distros have a huge edge over PCLinuxOS. The lightscribe simple labeler software can found in the repository with the synaptic package manager.

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  23. Chema, thanks for the thorough review of PCLOS 2010, I've been using 2009 and started with 2007 as an alternative to paying M$ to upgrade from XP Pro, which continues to be needed for certain CAD software I use. And I've gotten over being a geek for geeks sake so I appreciate the user friendly GUI that emulates Apple/Windoze without being either. And I'm anticipating buying a new 64-bit PC so I'm anxious for the release of the 64-bit version. Is anyone working on ports/patches to run AutoCAD/Revit or TurboCAD on the Linux platform? It would seem to make sense as more people choose to break away from M$ platforms. Thanks again for the review!

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  24. I just started using Linux within the last month. I started with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, LinuxMint and PCLinuxOS. All were in beta so I had the pleasure to see their newest versions in action. I must say that though I thoroughly enjoyed using Ubuntu...PCLinuxOS had me hooked from the start. I've worked with Windows my entire life so while familiar, it was still new and fresh. I can honestly say I am at least willing to be a 50/50 user of Linux with PCLOS as my distro of choice!

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  25. Well to alot of people performance matters. Lately at Phoronix PCLOS 2010 got its ass whooped by Ubuntu 10.04LTS.

    I dunno I might try this but even mentioning KDE puts me off a distro...

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  26. what a nice review you've got in here ;) i love pclos too! but i'm the frugal type so i go for the lxde version.

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  27. thank you for the link :) again very cool wallpaper

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  28. Thanks all for the very nice comments!

    I am very pleased my PCLinuxOS 2010 review got such positive feedback.

    Thanks!

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  29. I am new in pclinuxos..
    is it support tomcat apache server??

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  30. Great review. I've been using PCLOS since 2007 and installed 2010 last week. You showed me things I'd not yet found.

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  31. I have been a happy using of PCLinuxOS since 2007 when it was the only distribution which would work correctly on my Gateway MX3215 (the Unichrome video card never worked properly with Fedora or Ubuntu). I also loved the fact that it was a "rolling release" -- which meant that I only had to run Synaptic every other day to keep the system up-to-date.

    That all changed this year when Tex started work on PCLinuxOS 2010.

    With PCLinuxOS 2010, Tex mentioned in the PCLinuxOS Forum (not announced) that this release would require a complete reinstall. The reason? The KDE maintainers were abandoning KDE3 and Tex and his helpers were forced to rebuild PCLinuxOS to use KDE4.

    Let me first say that I am no stranger to "rolling release" distributions. My primary home workstation is a home-built machine which has had Arch Linux running on it since 2007. Just like PCLinuxOS, I simply have to run a single utility (in this case: pacman) and my system is kept up-to-date. However, I (like many other Arch users) was able to move from KDE3 to KDE4 without having to perform a complete reinstall of the system.

    I am now not sure how long it will be before Tex finds another "problem" that will cause him to abandon the rolling release idea and again force his users to perform another full reinstall. I depend on my computers too much to have to deal with a "rolling release" that, at times, isn't.

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  32. I have been using PCLinuxOS since early 2007, and have been loving it ever since! Set-Up was a snap, everything "just works". I recommend PCLinuxOS to everyone, for home, office, school, and server use. Go PCLOS!

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  33. @janak: I personally don't work with or use Tomcat, but I just checked and it is available from the official PCLinuxOS repositories, so I am confident it is fully supported.

    Good luck!

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  34. The distro still does not support broadcom wireless out of the box, and the software installer is a bit awkward. Other than that it is their best release to date.

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  35. All windows network printers auto detected and correct driver suggested - havent seen this on any other distro. Samba browsing is fast. Changing IP address of PC is easier than on other distros - just change, disconnect and reconnect - no need to restart PC.
    I can go on and on about simple yet great features of pclinuxos 2010. It already is beautiful, a bit of plastic surgery (renaming apps etc) will make it a solid alternative in desktop OS category.

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  36. I liked the overall presentation of PCLinuxOS but while Kubuntu 10.04 compositing ran perfect, PCLinuxOS 2010's compositing was slow. I thought I was using KDE 4.2 or earlier! Maybe kubuntu was using updated vid drivers? Other than that though, It comes with a lot of great software choices by default and overall i'd recommend.

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  37. Great review! I installed it because of you review and its everything you said! i put it on an older Emachines laptop and this is the first Linux distro that completely worked, it found all the hardware and everything just works even the wifi. One question Chema: where can i get the icons you have on the dolphin pic with the caption underneath "Dolphin is no exception, faster than ever before" I would love those icons! Thanks again for the great review.

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  38. Looks like you were not kidding. I've been a long time Ubuntu user and after a dissapointment with 9.10 and now 10.04 I decided to try some other Linux offerings. I saw post about your review on Digg and it is because of that I've also tried PCLinuxOS (otherwise I would just stop at Mandriva). I liked Mandriva more than Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS is Mandriva enhanced so you can guess how happy I am with it so far. The KDE desktop seems to be a whole level higher then GNOME from Ubuntu. Both in functionality and appearance. Probably the most modern desktop you can get on Linux today. there are even a lot of features not available on Windows or Mac OS. And I love the computer setup tools PCLinuxOS has, I haven't seen anything comparable in the Linux world. So yeah I'm another convert from Ubuntu to PCLinuxOS and I can at least say thank you for this article for telling me about PCLinuxOS and getting me excited enough to try it.

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  39. About the 64bit versus 32bit.
    I know there differences and I do use 64 bit a lot because of speedy blender renderers. Now let me tell you a fact that actually made me feel stunned.
    I have a scene on blender that renders with 1:28 on 64 bits and takes 2:05 to render on 32 bits... This concerns Gentoo, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, Opensuse... I've tried them all.
    Here is the amazing fact... PCLinuxOS 2010 is a 32 bit linux but the did something with the kernel and gcc (it's not only the bfs... I tried it)... PCLinuxOS 32bit renders that scene in 1:15... this is faster then a Gentoo 64 bit with all the custom USE and CFLAGS to help me out.

    PCLinuxOS remade linux and set 64bit performace down to it's own feet.

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  40. PCLinuxOS is my distribution of choice for more years than I care to remember. It is perfectly at home on my 'family' laptop. Although I keep flirting with several new KDE4 distributions, I switch to PCLinuxOS when I need a distribution that *really just works* (looking hard at Ubuntu!)

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  41. Thanks for all comments, everyone!

    @Thomas: I can´t remember where I found those folder icons, but here you have a bunch of very good ones:

    ICON ARCHIVE

    You will find the PRY folder set in there, I use PRY black, very similar anyways.

    Good luck!

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  42. Got it thank you Chema for replying! im loving Pclos 2010 thank you for the review my friend.
    Tommy

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  43. Hi Chema
    I would like to move to PCLinux but after all the research and tweaking I had to do to have Ubuntu running I am not sure I can go through that again:
    - Set up Skype (to have it working have to run a CL everytime, that I got from a youtube video (!)
    - Set up WINE programs
    - Set up the dockbarx & shinybar
    - Have VirtualBox machines up and running
    - install and configure Java (still not fully working)
    - Fix compiz issues

    What do you think? How do you "port" all your config things to a new system yourself?
    Thanks!!!!

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  44. @g

    Skype is available from the PCLinuxOS repositories, no command line needed. WINE is also available, if you have it set up with programs under another Linux, suggest you back up your folder where they all live, and restore it under PCLinuxOS. Java is installed from the repository or included when you install OpenOffice.

    Virtual Box is supported.

    With a KDE4 distro, you don't really need compiz, but it's installed anyway so you have a choice as to which 3D effects to use.

    There's stuff on the Website about setting up extra panels for program shortcuts.

    If you back up your "/home/username" folder, many of the settings ought to work in PCLinuxOS.

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  45. PCLinux-2009 is my Gold Stamdard,

    I have downloaded 2010 and it is pretty good,
    Enlightment Version is even better.
    Visit my blogspot ----Asoka and parafox for details.

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  46. Thanks dave, I think I'll make an image first and then I'll try it.

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  47. @g: I agree with Dave, most of the stuff you have in mind should be pretty straight forward. Just try to go for it in a non-destructive manner (as in don't uninstall Ubuntu to go PClinuxOS).

    One thing that works wonders for me is to use USB drives to install different Linux distros. It feels as if I had several more computers!

    Good luck!

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  48. Hi Chema!
    Great review, i just install PCLOS with my W7 and it work flawless. I'm a noobie with Linux so this is the perfect distro for me.
    1 question: how do i change the PCLOS start button with the KDE u have?? or making my self undestand: how do i change my theme with the one you have??

    Sorry for my bad english.

    Greetings from Argentina.

    Salud AMIGO!

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  49. Chema:
    I'm a blind, bery blind guy. I've just read the entire answers u give to others and it was just in plain sight. Sorry for my question before.
    Thought...GREAT REVIEW.

    Salud!

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  50. What is the best website to download software/application for pclinuxos or mandriva?

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  51. the best place to download on pclinuxos application and software is using synaptic in pclinuxos, just click on search and write what u want to install, like google chrome, or google earth, koffice when you write will appear and with the mouse select to install and them click on apply and wait, is something went wrong never say yes, click on no and do it again.

    update ur system intruction site.

    http://www.pclinuxos.com/wiki/index.php/Updating

    is better if u update first, is u want to unistall something is preatty much the same just write the name and then with the mouse mark unistall.

    good luck!

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  52. Try out PCLINUXOS 2010.7 its amazing fast and comes in all flavour KDE,Gnome,XFCE and newest LXDE.
    http://www.cellguru.co.cc

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  53. Thanks all for your great comments!

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  54. I have been a great fan of PCLinuxOS for 3 years now. I still think it's way more userfriendly than ubuntu. This was a great review. By the way what's the name of your icons.

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  55. I would love to give it a spin, but the PCLinuxOS site has been down all day (August 6).

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  56. The favorable comments are quite valid for PCLOS 2010 KDE Desktop or similar flavor.

    However for Gnome Desktop flavor, Ubuntu 10.04 and above may still be the distro to beat.

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  57. New follower here...

    Your enthusiastic PCLOS blog has me ready to try Linux (been running Windows since Bill introduced it)!

    Being a total Linux noob I'm kind of confused as to which desktop edition would be the best choice for my 5-yr old PC (2.6GHz P4, 1GB RAM).

    Advice/suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Aaron

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  58. I believe someone has copied your review: http://www.mohamedmalik.com/?p=190

    I didn't see any mention of where he got the text from so I assume that he did so without asking.

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  59. @Aaron The main KDE version will run fine on those specs. You can try the other DEs after your install just look in synaptic for "task", you can install task-xfce log out and change session to xfce then log back in. Do as many of the DEs as you like :)

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  60. Hi,

    I much appreciate your review. It made me download the ISO file and create a live CD. I have trialled PCLOS and had a look at setting it up as an alternative to Ubuntu 10.10, but I am a little concerned about installing things like Geany, connecting to a remote desktop, and running virtualbox. It didn't seem quite so straightforward as Ubuntu.

    As you can gather, I use Ubuntu 10.10 and the resources I have mentioned. The Software center in PCLOS seems less user friendly than Ubuntu, but I prefer many of the other facilities in PCLOS.

    I searched in PCLOS for Geany but couldn't find it which is of concern our houshold uses it a lot.

    Cheers,

    Gordon

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  61. I don't think Geany is in the KDE version but it must be available as some of the other spins such as PCLOS OpenBox has Geany as default. Use the search function in Synaptic Package Manager to find Geany and mark it for installation and apply. Synaptic is really good once you get to know it, this is also where the system is updated. Cheers.

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  62. Thanks Oldmanskates, for your help. I have tried both the KDE and the Gnome versions as fully installed. I have searched for Geany, but without success. Also, I have not been able to get my printer to work with either Version of pclos, so I registered with the pclos forum to be able to ask a question.

    I am still awaiting admin to approve my application. When that happens, which seems to be taking rather a long time, I will ask for help there.

    In the meantime I have reinstalled Ubuntu 10.10 to be able to use the printer.

    I really like the idea with pclos of the rolling update. I had just upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10 to find that my WLAN card would not work any longer and after many frustrating hours of locating and installing drivers with the same result I started casting about for other distros. PCLinuxOS had no problem with my WLAN and recognises my printer but just won't print.

    I really am looking forward to converting to PCLinuxOS permanently.

    Once again thanks for your help

    Gordon

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  63. Sounds good Gordon. Look fwd to seeing you on the forum :-)

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  64. I have been "experimenting" with various desktop versions of Linux for about 10 years. My hope has always been to be able to dump expensive greedy Microsoft.
    I can remember hours, days, setting up each new distro I tried. Desk covered with piles of papers with scribbled notes on how to get this or that working.
    At the end of the day though, I always had to go back to Windows to get anything done.

    Then a few years ago I gave up. I was tired of playing with Linux. I just wanted a working computer operating system that I could use and would do things at least as good as Windows.

    PCLinuxOS is the first distro that makes me think that I could completely ditch Microsoft at least on my home PC. I installed it, booted, and EVERYTHING works. Even my Nvidia GeForce video card was working at first boot. Sound works. Networking, DSL, Internet all worked with no changes from me. No screwing around with config files.
    Even my old Windows copy of Quicken installed and works great under wine. (a must for me)



    This is the Linux I've always wanted. It works so good that I forget about the operating system.I'm no Windows hater, actually I think XP is great (when it works) If I can do everything I normally do on Windows, then that is my definition of success.

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  65. Having used the 2009 pclos for some time, I changed to 2010 and it's crap, everything has changed on it - don't expect to retain any of your previous data. Searching around menus is now like look at a map where you can only see a tiny portion at a time - the difference between Windows and PCLinux 2010 ? in PCLOS the bugs are free. And now I see that I can't re-install an older version of PCLOS because the repositories are no long available ' for aliens' I think it said - well I'm human.

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  66. Indeed the change to 2010 version of pclos required a new install. Some people can't deal with change, that's ok, plenty of choices out there. There's like 3 menu style options in 2010: KDE Kick-Off, KDE classic, and the Lancelot widget, one of those is bound to please. I personally predict this 2010 version to have a very long term rolling release cycle so I'm not worried. So easy to backup personal files and use them with any distro, keeping the /home file in it's own partition makes big transitions easier.
    Cheers

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  67. Life is a journey
    What you have gone through can help others
    Please share at WikiJourney
    http://wikijourney.org

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  68. I'm givin' her a go :-)

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  69. "Anonymous said...
    I'm givin' her a go :-)"

    Sounds great ;-)

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  70. Been running my Asus A6R laptop off the CD all day today. Looks great, picked up the wireless card without problem. A big improvement over Ubuntu 9.04 which required endless tweaking to configure even common hardware, and for the life of me, could not get it to keep settings on a SoundBlaster card!

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  71. I have tried Ubuntu and liked it however haven't had much luck with it so I am looking for a Linux Distro that is reliable to use so I can get a barebones system and save money on the OS as I only want it for web browsing and blogging. Found this article very interesting and going to download it into a VM and use it for a bit. As I am attempting to live my life for a month in a VM as a challenge. Just trying to find a distro to do it with.

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  72. That's a gr8 idea trying it out with VM. I have also used the mini versions loaded into RAM Disk for trial runs. Also the PCLOS installer makes it very easy to set up a dual boot along side windows.

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  73. I have used Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse and the PCLinuxOS 2010 distro outshines them all. The Zen mini is amazingly performant, the Gnome full is really compliant with Intel and nVidia hardware. I am using it as host for a Vmware virtual machine running Windows XP in a 50 MB file, it is very performant! I recommend to try and enjoy it.

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  74. I love ubuntu 1010 , but it does not setup my sound card correctly , so let's try this one , after all the positive comments i have read...Thanks for the review

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  75. After a try , PCLOS does not set up my nvidia graphic card , even the package driver exist in the system.But my Delta1010lt sounds great...

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  76. Another problem , i cant register to the forum , i am declared as a SPAM?????

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  77. francois,
    You should get an email in a couple days from the forum which will clear you. Its just a way to cut down on their spambot problems.

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  78. Oh dear! 2010 is Lemmingux. Complete and utter failure. Proudly claiming "It's so easy to set up" doesn't wash. 2009 didn't need to be replaced (except for the lack of repositories). Once loaded 2010 then needed hours to drag the useful stuff off the repos and then all-but bricks. No, sorry, 2010 is dead. PCLOS is dead and just when Win7 is a worthy replacement for XP. Bad timing guys, bad day for the Linux community. Sorry, just saying how I find it. Rgds Keith

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  79. Sorry you had a bad experience Anonymous. If you saw the spool of disks I have that represent all the distros I've tested then you may find it strange that PCLOS 2010 is my number one recommendation. Best, Fastest implementation of KDE 4.6 and a painless install. As for fetching LibreOffice & setting up printing, I've observed very inexperienced users figure it out on their own...easily. Pick a faster repo source and no complaining about your slow connections. Its a good day for the Linux community that a distro such as PCLOS is the best crossover there is for Windows users.

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  80. Dear Oldmanskates, thanks for your comments. You're right on every count. Maybe I'm unfair about 2010, and I'm sorry; it's just that 2009 was outstanding and I wanted 2010 to be even better. I'll probably re-install 2009, but I'm being open minded and downloading the Xfce 2010 first.

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  83. Good luck to you "Anonymous"! ;-) The PCLOS Xfce spin - Phoenix 2011 is just about to be available. The new PCLinuxOS 2011 is also available for downloading. http://www.pclinuxos.com/?p=1282

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  84. PCLinux is the Linux distro I come back to when I have taken the latest Mint/Ubuntu Fedora for a spin, and got fed up and just wanted something reliable to use my computer for the content on and off the web...
    It just works, works fast and never a problem...

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