Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

PCLOS .92 - It just works

Filed under
PCLOS
Reviews
-s

Once upon a time there was a packager from Texas whose rpms became so popular he had to make a distro to contain them. He searched high and low for most beautiful eye candy. He patched and pre-linked applications until they screamed with speed. He tweaked and compiled until they were stable. He added gui tools, drivers, and plugins until every user could work like a pro. He kept working on that distro, release after release, until this very day. That distro is known as PCLinuxOS, and the day version .92 was released, cries of joy were heard throughout the land as many microsoft slaves and linux grunts were set free. Free, free, free at last. Texstar has set us free.

Indeed this radically simple to use Linux distribution did start out as a result of Texstar's desire for a more beautiful and faster performing system. From the late 1990's thru the early 2000's, Texstar was rebuilding rpms to enhance his own desktop. But the story really began when he first offered up his rebuilt kde packages. The more people installed these rpms, the more they wanted.

After a while livecd technology became available for mandrake systems, and Texstar was intrigued. Could he replace a lot of the buggy software from France, add many wonderful enhancements and extras, and make a livecd? Yes he could. Only a few of got to test that initial release, but those of us who did knew Texstar was onto something big. He addressed a market thusfar overlooked by the big boys and his distro's popularity keep growing, staying in the top 4% (and climbing) of all distros in DistroWatch's database.

As PCLOS evolved, it's appearance has too. This release has a significantly different look than previously. This time we have a minimal background on the two major desktops, a pretty but understated windec and a new quad-colored logo. The cute penguins and cuddly polar bears are gone. We are now presented with a more mature, grown-up PCLOS. The new logo/theme creates an esoteric atmosphere of faint familiarity easing the transition to Linux from Windows. This new logo, borrowed from a gnome icon project, consists of similar colored features as the (in)famous windows' logo. The hope was for the experience of using Linux to be less alien for them. PCLOS accomplishes this without becoming a windows clone. And if you miss the penguins, all the components from the last release are still there; the wallpaper, the splash screen, etc.

The look has changed dramatically. However, lest we forget, this is Linux. It's all about customization and free-choice. If you don't like the theme, there are many included with PCLOS and many more available on the web. My favorite "goodie" site is kde-look.org.

Not all the changes are in appearance. Texstar et. al. work really hard to bring the users the stable end of the cutting edge spectrum. This is a very fine line and it takes a talented crew to walk it. It's very difficult to find that sweet spot, but I think PCLOS has done just that. In the robust but not over-crowded menus, one can find the right tool for the right job.

For example, this release brings us

  • kernel-pclos-i586-up-1GB-2.6.12.oci6.mdk-1-1tex

  • xorg-x11-6.9-0.cvs20051101.2tex
  • kdebase-3.4.3-6tex
  • fluxbox-0.9.12-1tex
  • gcc-3.3.1-2mdk
  • koffice-1.4.2-1tex
  • gaim-1.5.0-1tex
  • xsane-0.97-2tex
  • gimp-2.2.9-1tex
  • audacity-1.2.3-2tex
  • glibc-2.3.2-14mdk
  • gtk+2.0-2.6.8-1tex
  • k9copy-1.0.0-2tex
  • kaffeine-0.7.1-3tex
  • kompose-0.5.3-1tex
  • limewire-4.9.30-1tex
  • mozilla-firefox-1.0.7-1tex
  • thunderbird2firefox-1.0.7-2tex
  • mplayer-1.0-0.pre7.2tex
  • vlc-0.8.2-1tex
  • wlassistant-0.5.4-1tex
  • tvtime-1.0.2-1tex
  • Full RPMlist


Here we have some configuration tools and file transfer applications.

        

Here are some games and graphics apps.

        

And here we have communications tools for instant messenging, internet relay chating, and emailing.

        

Here we show the newsgroup tools as well as some of the office applications and remote file/networking solutions.

        

And of course here is a nice selection of apps for music and video enjoyment as well as some internet browsers.

        

If this is your first time considering PCLOS, you may not know of it's package manager. PCLOS features synaptic on top of apt-get to install the binary packages from Texstar's repository of applications. It's worked flawlessly here for as long as I've been using PCLOS. It efficiently downloads each package desired and its dependencies, then quickly installs them. The menus are updated to reflect the new application(s) as well. It's a wonderful system Tex & crew have going there.

        

Again, if you're new to PCLOS you need to know about the PCLinuxOS Control Center. This is the configuration hub of your new (or perspective) system. From there you can configure anything you need, from boot options and loader, hardware setup and tweaks, to networking and a firewall. ...and so much more. It is really the crowning jewel of PCLOS, I think.

        

If you prefer (or need) a lighter desktop, PCLOS includes the very popular Fluxbox. One of the nicest of the lighter environments, it's a welcome addition. This release brings a spiffied up appearance for Fluxbox as well, almost matching the KDE desktop. It features idesk for the desktop icons and a customized theme and menu. The menu is complete with all the entries you'd find in the KDE menu making it every bit as useful and handy as KDE.

        

And don't forget the convenience. PCLOS was one of the first distros to include the extras like java, flash, and nvidia drivers. This release has these and more. As you can see in the screenshots as portrayed in the thumbnails below, the plugins work wonderfully. I can watch trailers and select ecards from my browser with no work at all from myself.

        

Foregone in the last release but returned in this one are the 3D graphic drivers for nvidia and ati video cards. This release currently comes in 4 versions:

  • pclinuxos-0.92 - General Release - Standard xorg. drivers
  • pclinuxos-p92-nvidia7174 - 3D Graphic drivers for older Nvidia TNT cards.
  • pclinuxos-p92-nvidia7676 - 3D Graphic drivers for newer Nvidia cards.
  • pclinuxos-p92-ati8500up - 3D Graphic drivers for ATI video cards 8500 and up.

Texstar is quoted as writing,

"Also in the works is a mini-me iso with a minimal install and you can add your own applications from the PCLOS repository and a PCLOS DVD with more applications that aren't available on the cd versions."

The reports that came in from early testing and especially the ones now are very complimentary. Most folks are stating how nice this release is. Some have went so far as to say it's the best operating system they've tried. Just look at this thread and this comment on PCLO.

Texstar and posse have been working overtime to bring support for the latest technology to their distro. They have begun to include support for the latest wifi/wireless adapters and connectivity, but Texstar states,

"wifi connectivity and configuration is an area we need to improve upon. Mainly we worked on new hardware detection routines, faster boot times, usbkey support, usb hard drive installation, sata hd support, and added some code to the livecd-install to slow down the cdrom drive speed to not more than 24x to help keep the cdrom drive on some systems from overheating and killing the install."

So what's in the future for PCLinuxOS? Texstar writes,

"0.93 will sport kernel 2.6.14 and KDE 3.5. We are going to move many of the 3rd party drivers out of the kernel build and make dkms packages out of them so when you install a new kernel, at boot up the system will automatically rebuild the drivers for the new kernel. This will also give us the ability to update various drivers without requiring the user to install a new kernel.

1.0 will probably be a complete rebuild of the entire distro using a new glibc, gcc 4.x, KDE 4.0, Xorg 7.0, and all the latest opensource applications."

I've spent a lot of time in PCLinuxOS .92, since the first test release and following the continuing development. I've experience very few glitches with the test releases and could not put my finger on any bugs in the final. It just works.

Download your copy today!

And if you find it useful, please consider making a donation to help support future development HERE.

I've posted a few more screenshots HERE.

...And they all lived happily ever after.

Re: Official copies available ?

atang1 wrote:

For many of us who are still using 56k modems, will there be official copies with documentation to be sold? Is it time to go commercial yet? If 0.92 is good enough to go commercial, the next release should be just an auto-update, same as windows sp2 or sp3, etc.

No, there is no official "boxes" available now. I recall it being a hope of Tex's for the future. But it's a very expensive investment to make and I don't think the download donations are supporting that expansion at this time. The documentation project is just getting a good start right now as well and it's based online as a wiki.

One of the key features of PCLOS is the elimination of having to do a reinstall each release. New releases are said to be primarily for the new user, as an established system should be able to come current thru synaptic/apt-get. Although if 1.0 goes as planned, I'd probably want to opt for the fresh reinstall. But as a reviewer, I almost always to fresh installs of any distro, unless I want to comment on the upgradeability.

If you'd like, I can snail mail you a cdr of it. I think there are places that sell cdrs of really cheap as well. Email me if you'd like a copy from me.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Devices/Open Hardware

  • Site.js and Pi

    Chatting about Pi, on a Pi, with a chat server running on Site.js on the same Pi.

  • This MicroATX Motherboard is Based on Phytium FT2000/4 Arm Desktop SoC @ 3.0 GHz
  • Rikomagic R6 Review – Part 1: Android Mini Projector’s Unboxing and First Boot

    Rikomagic R6 is a mini Android projector that looks like a vintage radio, or depending on your point of view a mini vintage television.

  • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

    Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully. The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

Graphics: Gallium3D and AMDGPU

  • Gallium3D's Mesa State Tracker Sees "Mega Cleanup" For NIR In Mesa 19.3

    AMD developer Marek Olšák has landed a "mega cleanup" to the Gallium3D Mesa state tracker code around its NIR intermediate representation handling. As part of getting the NIR support in good enough shape for default usage by the RadeonSI driver, Marek has been working on a number of clean-ups involving the common Gallium / Mesa state tracker code for NIR.

  • AMDGPU DC Looks To Have PSR Squared Away - Power-Savings For Newer AMD Laptops

    It looks like as soon as Linux 5.5 is where the AMDGPU kernel driver could be ready with Panel Self Refresh (PSR) support for enabling this power-savings feature on newer AMD laptops. While Intel's Linux driver stack has been supporting Panel Self Refresh for years, the AMD support in their open-source Linux driver code has been a long time coming. We've seen them working towards the support since Raven Ridge and now it appears the groundwork has been laid and they are ready to flip it on within the Display Core "DC" code.

today's howtos and programming bits

  • CentOS 8 Package Management with DNF on the Command Line
  • AdamW’s Debugging Adventures: “dnf is locked by another application”
  • Managing user accounts with Cockpit
  • Download Ubuntu 19.10 ISO image to install on VirtualBox VM
  • GNU poke: Dealing with alternatives - Unions in Poke

    Computing with data whose form is not the most convenient way to be manipulated, like is often the case in unstructured binary data, requires performing a preliminary step that transforms the data into a more convenient representation, usually featuring a higher level of abstraction. This step is known in computer jargon as unmarshalling, when the data is fetch from some storage or transmission media or, more generally, decoding. Once the computation has been performed, the result should be transformed back to the low-level representation to be stored or transmitted. This is performed in a closing step known as marshalling or, more generally, encoding. Consider the following C program whose purpose is to read a 32-bit signed integer from a byte-oriented storage media at a given offset, multiply it by two, and store the result at the same offset.

  • Android NDK r21 moves to beta

    Android announced that NDK r21 is now in beta. Android NDK is a toolset for implementing parts of an app in native code. The release — which is the first long term support release — includes improved defaults for better security and performance. One of the key features in the release is an update to GNU Make to version 4.2, which provides a number of bug fixes, and enables ‘–output-sync’ to avoid interleaving output with error messages, the team explained. This is enabled by default with ndk-build. Additionally, GDB, the GNU project debugger, has been updated to version 8.3, which includes fixes for debugging modern Intel CPUs.

  • What is the history behind C Programming and Unix?

    If you think C programming and Unix are unrelated, then you are making a big mistake. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, if the Unix engineers at Bell Labs had decided to use another programming language instead of C to develop a new version of Unix, then we would be talking about that language today. The relationship between the two is simple; Unix is the first operating system that is implemented with a high-level C programming language, got its fame and power from Unix. Of course, our statement about C being a high-level programming language is not true in today’s world. This article is an excerpt from the book Extreme C by Kamran Amini. Kamran teaches you to use C’s power. Apply object-oriented design principles to your procedural C code. You will gain new insight into algorithm design, functions, and structures. You’ll also understand how C works with UNIX, how to implement OO principles in C, and what multiprocessing is.

Server: Mirantis, Containers, GraalVM and Pensando

  • Mirantis Partners With OpenStack Foundation to Support Upgraded COA Exam

    “With the OpenStack market forecasted to grow to $7.7 billion by 2022 according to 451 research, the demand for Certified OpenStack Administrators is clearly strong and set to continue growing for many years to come,” said Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation. “We are excited to collaborate with Mirantis, who has stepped up to provide the resources needed to manage the COA, including the administration of the vendor-neutral OpenStack certification exam.”

  • How to use containers with an eye on security

    Containers are all the rage. With good reason. With containers, your company’s apps and service deployments become considerably more agile, more reliable, and even more secure. This is true for software development companies (who develop apps and services for other businesses), as well as companies looking to roll out web-based and mobile applications with an unheard of speed and reliability. But with any new technology, comes hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles for any business is security. Data breaches have become rampant and it’s on the shoulders of every company to do everything in their power to make sure they are rolling out technology that is as secure as possible. This idea should certainly be applied to containers. But what can you do to use containers security? Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take from the very beginning.

  • GraalVM: Clearing up confusion around the term and why Twitter uses it in production

    What does the “umbrella term” GraalVM stand for? We interviewed Chris Thalinger (Twitter) at JAX London 2019. Hear what he has to say about the meaning of Graal and how it can benefit Twitter as well as the environment.

  • Pensando Systems Exits Stealth Mode With Plans To Take On Amazon AWS

    While normally we don't cover hardware start-ups on Phoronix, Pensando Systems has just exited stealth and given their focus will be heavily involved with Linux and in fact already have their first kernel driver mainlined. After announcing a $145 million (USD) Series-C round, Pensando Systems exited "stealth" and revealed the first details of what they are trying to achieve with this company led by many ex-Cisco staff. [...] Pensando has been on our radar since as I wrote about last month when they were just a stealth networking startup they already upstreamed their first Linux kernel driver. In the Linux 5.4 kernel is a Pensando "Ionic" driver for a family of network adapters. In this week's press release, Pensando didn't specifically call out Ionic but presumably is the backbone to their hardware. Now that they are beginning to talk about their ambitions, hopefully we see more Linux kernel patches from them soon.