Monday, June 11, 2007

switching to PCLINUX from UBUNTU week 2

I am now into my second week of using PCLINUX 2007 (PCLOS) and I am really enjoying it.

My biggest problem has been finding a podcast client. I had used DemocracyTV but when I tried to install it from its home page, I had problems. I tried jPodder (java based) and it sort of worked but not too well. I finally did what I should have done in the first place; I looked in the repository and I noticed kpodder and gave it a try. It actually works rather well for me. It is easy to add podcasts and select the episodes I want to download and it is working fine for me.

At one point, last week my thunderbird email client really slowed down. I tried the same fix I had used for firefox, that is about:config and then turn off ipv6, and it worked. This is not a problem casued by PCLOS as I have had this happen to me before with other distro's (Ubuntu, Knoppix, Puppy Linux, etc.).

I am a fairly heavy user, and I am amazed that the items listed above are ALL the problems I have had. It is turning out that PCLOS is rock solid.

There has been a lot of words in the tech press about Linux as a desktop and I think that PCLOS is a great desktop system for the average user. Installing it is a breeze and needs hardly any setup. The applications that come pre-insalled are the ones that I think most users would want (Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, and the KDE desktop). Synaptic is easy to use and pretty much intuitive. The only negative is that the discriptions of programs are a bit terse. The casual user probably will never need to install software (email, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheet are already installed). For the moderately experienced pc user, synaptic should not present any significant problem.

The big thing is how trouble free it is under normal use. It loads fast, shuts down supper fast, and looks great. I would (and will) recommend PCLOS to anyone who wants to migrate from Windows or MAC to Linux. I am sure they will have a good experience.

For the experienced Linux user, PCLOS is just about the perfect desktop - mostly because it is so trouble free. I have been using Linux since 2000 and Am very experienced with Perl, Bash scripts, etc. I have found that working with PCLOS is jsut like working with any other first rate distro. I have created scripts, installed and 'tweaked' my favorite desktop manager (xfce4) without incident. I use PCLOS several hours a day and it works just like I expect and want. It has all the Linux features I want and expect and things work the way they should.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about testing Mepis and share your views.

I have been using both Mepis and PCLinuxOS and it quite difficult to come to a who's better :-)

so I ended up recommending both to new users and it is quite confusing at times :-)

5:27 PM  
Blogger konstantine said...

I tried the latest Mepis live cd and I had the same problem with it that i had with Feisty Fawn - that is there was no sound. The problem seems to be with the hda_snd_intel module. This isn't surprising since Mepis is now based on Ubuntu.

I have used Mepis about 18 months ago and I liked it a lot and when I tried the current live cde, it looked like it still is an excellent distibution.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Synaptic?

Since PCLinux0S is mostly a clone of Mandriva, why not use urpmi and the Mandriva gui wrapper for it?

The GUI's definitely nicer than Synaptic's. Is there something in the underlying urpmi system that apt blows away?

That said, I've switched from Mandriva to PCLinuxOS, mainly because they made it much easier to get the various multimedia stuff working. I did get it all working under Mandriva 2007, but dreaded having to do it all over again when the 2007 Spring version came out. With PCLinuxOS, it all worked 'out of the box'.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a problem with Feisty Fawn and sound also, read a suggestion somewhere that said disable sound in BIOS and it worked.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Synaptic was chosen, I believe, because of speed, mainly. URPMI, though it is a good package management system, takes a long time to read those hdlist files.

Synaptic is almost and industry standard, these days and many are comfortable with it's user interface. I haven't used Mandriva in awhile, but the last I used it, the package management system GUI (RPMDrake) was broken up into 4 distinct applications - install, remove, update, & repository management. You cannot, for instance, install a couple of applications, remove something, and do a system-wide update at the same time. With Synaptic, you can, and it's even "smart" about the upgrades, not breaking your system if newer packages depend on newer libraries, yet currently installed packages rely on currently installed versions of those same libraries. The last time I used Mandriva, which was 2006, it still could not do all of this with RPMDrake.

Lastly, if you're gonna "build a better mousetrap", why just release a recompiled version of Mandriva? What would be the point? PCLinuxOS draws from other distros, like Suse and Fedora, as well. It takes the best everyone has to offer, puts it on a Mandriva core base that's been recompiled and uses a unique PCLinuxOS kernel and modifies some of the content such as the PCLinuxOS Control Center, which is somewhat different than it's parent Mandriva Control Center. Add that with a development team that communicates quite a lot with the user base through it's fantastic, well mannered forum, and the sum of the parts has a synergy that makes PCLinuxOS stand tall above the rest.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with most comments so far as I have been using PCLinux now since Test Release 3 and of course now run the Final Release 2007. My only issues have been caused with my use of my Printer/Scanner etc (Brother DCP-115c) which I initially found difficult to get working. After using the very friendly PCLOS forums though I was able to sort those issues and now have everything working sweetly.

I have recommended PCLOS now to quite a few of my friends and family and encouraged same by giving them a CD ready to go. Without fail they have all adopted it without me having to intervene.

I have also tried quite a few other Distros prior to this and have found that so far PCLOS has provided the most troublefree experience.

The PCLOS Community really help as they seem more than willing to provide assistance if required.

I would be unfair if I wasn't to say that Ubuntu also provides heaps of information and very good information but up until now I have found that I still need to revert to the command line from time to time to sort some things early into setting up a system with it. For this reason I do not feel confident prompting my family/friends to set it up as I know their initial use of Linux is then tainted which is a shame. Ubuntu is getting better though with every release.

Mind you I still don't think the Gnome interface of Ubuntu is anywhere near as intuitive as the KDE of PCLOS. I tried Kubuntu but did not find it as well set up as PCLOS. If you are going to use Ubuntu at present then I recommend sticking with the Gnome version.

Finally if you do try PCLinuxOS then I thoroughly recommend that you subscribe to their online Magazine (PCLinuxOS Magazine) as it is maturing very rapidly . Also make a point of checking out as it provides good information and links.


8:46 AM  
Blogger Fer from LA said...

For the newbie there is a need to make partitioning automatic. I had a heck of a time figuring that one out. I finally ran across some instructions on the net and was able to proceed. This was a major weakness for someone in transition from Windows.

Once I got it up and running it is a joy to use. Very stable and reliable.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree. As an operating system it is unobtrusive and intuitive enough for even my Luddite wife and daughter. For a more interesting computing experience try Damn Small Linux on a Pentium 133 with 24 Meg of RAM. Now thats fun!
(sorry, cant be bothered setting up an account yet

6:01 AM  

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