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How to Perfectly Kill a Perfect Distribution

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PCLOS

PCLinuxOS was the perfect distribution in 2007. It had all the bells and whistles to be an excellent Windows XP alternative.

When a distribution is able to configure my hardware, is ultra stable, highly updated and provide me with almost all the required software then I think that is the distribution I am looking for. PCLOS had all these abilities and more. That's the reason it was called the distro-hopper stopper. People loved it and it rose to the pinnacle of Distrowatch Page hit rankings. Not only reached; it stayed there for a good 6 months. If we consider that the distribution PCLOS dethroned was mighty Ubuntu, that makes PCLOS achievement even more impressive. On one hand Ubuntu had the backing of Canonical - they were sending free CDs, had tieup with the likes of Dell, had dozens ( maybe more ) developers working; on other hand there was PCLOS which had a very small dev team and no corporate backing, no big computer assembler backing them.

Yet PCLOS rose to top on account of sheer merit. It had the novelty to generate interest and the quality to sustain it. Kudos to Textar and PCLOS 2007. It was almost perfect.

Alas! that was 2007, however, this is 2008 and almost end of 2008. A lot has changed since then.

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re: Perfect Kill

This guy will be eating his hat in another two or three years when the 2007 respin is released.

fundamental misconcetion about pclos

My impression is that he doesn't fully understand the concept of rolling release. I am running PCLOS on a relatively recent Vaio, just like him, and have everything up to date, including the kernel.

Well, I'm happy

Like the author, I'm in a new country, new job, new computers, etc. After I moved I had Sabayon, Mandriva 2008 and Mint on my Comp but I went back to Pclos, namely Minime. It works fine on my new comp (Athlon 6.4, 4 gig ram and GF 8600) I configured it the way I want it and I'm not a bleeding edge kind of guy so if the apps work then they work for me. The only niggle has been the webcam but it didn't work under other distros (free from work so not bought for linux compatability). It seems quicker than the others and it is what I'm used to. As for some of the crits - the desktop?? Most users would customise it anyway. Auto login?? Isn't the pclos way better - new users should get used to the idea of security. It is easy to change anyway. I was never happy about the Ubuntu way of doing things anyway.
Pclos, IMO is still a great distro for converts from xp and those who don't need everything brand spanking new. It works and works well on new and old hardware. Us pclos users waited for 2007 and were happy with the rolling release. I still know some who are using Big Daddy. I'm happy waiting for 2008 as I have the distro set up the way I like it.

Re: Kill a Distro

PCLOS is a "garage distro", with a small number of devs, and is heavily dependent on 1 person for packaging and release.

Yes, the install iso 2007 should have been updated with a newer kernel with newer drivers earlier this year. Even for a rolling release distro, an occasional respin of the iso would make it possible to install it on newer hardware. For example, I couldn't get PCLOS 2007 to install on a system with an ASUS M2M-VM-DVI motherboard. Some experimentation indicates that an install with this particular motherboard requires kernel >= 2.6.25. Since my main box has PCLOS running under a newer kernel, I used "remasterme" to build my own updated ISO. Clearly, this is not a general purpose solution.

This kind of malaise often happens with small "garage distros" ... it's certainly happened with Mepis and slackware and others.

Texstar seems to be somewhat of a perfectionist, and releases slowly. But, if you want a distro that, once you get it installed and updated, works really well ... then PCLOS may be for you.

We all get impatient for the latest stuff. Indeed, I have Mandriva 2009 RC running on my experimental box, running all the latest stuff. But, to get real work done, I use my PCLOS box. It's still a wonderful distro (and I've tried dozens). And, I'm sure that the long delayed 2008 release will be too.

PCLinuxOS is top notch

First, atangf, Suse started life as a fork of Slackware, but isn't based upon anything Slackware does. The same goes for Mandriva. It was originally Red Hat + KDE, but it's completely built and developed in-house. This is quite different from some other distros, like Ubuntu, that rely heavily on a parent distro, such as Debian. PCLinuxOS is sort of half and half. They get their initial base off of Mandriva, so they start with a lot of Mandriva SRPMs and compile them as PCLinuxOS packages with no modification at all. Then there are some packages such as Mandriva Control Center that get modified and packaged. And, there are other packages that don't come from Mandy at all, but from Suse, Fedora, or just source and get packaged. Once that happens, and the rebased ISO is released, all subsequent packages are built completely from original source. That's what happened with the original PCLinuxOS release and 2007. All subsequent releases use packages completely built by the development team from source. Those releases contain the original base's core packages such as gcc and development libraries, but everything else is totally in-house. Not moving to a newer gcc and libraries allows the distro to be a "rolling release" distro. That means PCLinuxOS 2007 is highly compatible with Mandriva 2007, but not later releases. This is quite different from distros that almost completely rely on a parent distro's development. Most Debian based distros rely heavily on Debian's work.

Now that that's cleared up, a new PCLinuxOS release is very, very near. I'm not a developer, so I don't know the inside story as to the holdup, but it's a small developer team and stability is first and foremost. I do know, however, with some inside knowledge, that a new release is very, very near. This should erase any problems the author encountered. But, since it is a rolling release, it's pretty much up-to-date if just updated regularly. There won't be a whole lot different, but it will hugely affect those that boot the CD with newer hardware.

The author had some really minor gripes, honestly. KDE 4.x is, by KDE's own admission, not ready for production systems. Those that run it are on the bleeding edge. It was determined by the developers and mostly agreed upon by the community, that KDE 4.x is not ready and shouldn't be the default desktop. I believe the new release will also still use KDE 3.5.9 as the default desktop. When KDE finally gets the feature set complete and becomes rock solid, then it will be included as the default environment. Most early users of KDE 4.x have done nothing but complain about it, even in the media.

KDM is in the LiveCD is because you can login as root to install it, or just log in as user to run it. Some people use the LiveCD to run on other computers, and some use it to just install it. It might be just a feasible to just login everyone as root, or just allow the installation from the user account, but why give people bad habits? New users should learn to become used to the user/administrator setup of Nix from the very beginning.

Unlike some distros that try to protect the users from themselves, PCLinuxOS allows the user to login as root if they have root access. This has been debated in the forum and the majority agrees that they like access to their root account via KDM. This is quite different from auto login, where your little brother could boot your system and be in your account, rummaging through your personal email or wreaking havoc on your system. I don't see the author's point on this one.

I could just keep going, but I'll stop here. It's a nothing but a difference in opinion here. Some people prefer the habits of Slackware over others, some Ubuntu, some Gentoo, some PCLinuxOS. This is why there are so many distros out there. PCLinuxOS takes a decidedly different course when it comes to your Linux experience than that of Ubuntu, where the user is much more control and there is absolutely no command line knowledge needed in PCLinuxOS. Ubuntu works most of the time, but when it doesn't, things have to be configured either by hacking a file or a command line entry. It's two roads to the same destination.

Like I said, we know PCLinuxOS 2007 is a little long in the tooth, but a new full release is very near, and hopefully will alleviate any problems anyone should encounter.

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