PCLinuxOS 0.93a Junior and MiniMe - Two reviews for the price of one

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This entry was posted on 8/16/2006 2:18 PM and is filed under Distros.

So a couple of people have told me so far in my first week of this, that the one distro I need to take a look at is PCLinuxOS. I can say that I tried this distro once on referral and loaded the Live disk which is its trade mark, saw that it was basically a repackaged Mandrake distro and stopped. This is a personal issue I have, with anything resembling Mandrake. A bit of history between myself and their customer dis-service has put me against them almost as much as I hate MS. Why? Well to be fair it has to do with how I see them running their business. They offer these memberships where you pay a boat load for say a Silver level so you can have better access, then they change and offer everything to the world so there really is no benefit of being a member. If you sign up for a year, you are their pawn for that year. My fault for not paying the over $100 up front, but I like their product then as it was a good 64 bit version and I wanted to support them. But that is my issue and it affected my opinion of PCLinuxOS, that was until this week when I loaded up MiniMe and Junior and saw that these guys really get things done where Mandrake has failed.

I love Live CDs and that is first and foremost. Being able to try before I buy, which in our case is try before I wipe out some other distro on my PC in order to test something and be pained by its performance only then to re-install is sure silliness these days. Live installers should be the default and not the exception. Not only does PCLinuxOS have a Live version, they have a Live version that simply flies. I could hardly tell I was in Live mode, except for the install option icon on my desktop. This is mainly due to their skinny package, being only 300 Meg for MiniMe and 484 Meg for Junior. This is by far the best Live distro, except for the lack of wireless support that was quickly fixed with ndiswrapper and some work. My resolution was also a bit low, but I am used to that (see Freespire review).

So I then installed this onto my eMachines laptop and set out to see if I was wrong not to play with this long ago. Lets check it out, shall we???


Website http://www.pclinuxos.com
Download Here
Kernel -
Desktop - KDE 3.5.3 with lots of nice default settings right in the Live version that carry over
FAQs - http://www.pclinuxonline.com/wiki/HomePage
Cost - FREE!!! But there is a link to order disks through On-Disk.com for $4.99 which helps support the project
Special Features - Live installer, minimal size that expands well and codecs included for Media except DVD

Nitty Gritty:

Installation (

All I have to say is WOW!!!! I just don't know a better way that is easier or more understandable than what Tex and gang have come up with. I even love the simple names of Junior and MiniMe, as they truly describe what these packages are intended to do. There really is little difference between the install of MiniMe and Junior, so this discussion covers both.

This simple Grub window allows many options including copying fully to memory which improves the performance of the Live boot, if you have ample RAM. I went the more traditional route to emulate what many PC users might have instead, but I love that there is that option.

Good simple graphics on the Splash is a nice detail and lets me know that they care about the little things.

The welcome screen provides not only the options for Guest or Root, but also in the slpash tells you what their password is. This is a great addition for those times when this is either in the boot lines or on the website, which of course at this point we wouldn't have access to. Kudos on this minor but critical detail. I installed via Guest on my system as I try to never do anything logged in as Root.

Amazing isn't it? Tex and gang took the really cool transparancy aspects of KDE to rival what MS is touting in Vista. When people see this on my laptop they are always impress and it just gives you that feeling that the desktop is bigger than it really is. MiniMe comes with a very slim package, but there is more than enough on their Synaptic to use this as a launch point. I like that this provide the user an equivalent OS to MS and then they can configure from there, rather than some of these over inflated 7 disk (or DVD) installations that are out there that put so much in the system that you end up with no memory to run anything. Junior has more and that link will take you to the listing of packages included. The list I saw seperating them for me just browsing up and down included:

  • CD/DVD Burning
  • Krusader
  • KWifi
  • Amarok
  • Kaffeine
  • Bittorrent
  • KPDF
  • KWord
  • KSpread
So once you click on the Install Icon, you are prompted for the Root password (root btw from the splash screen) and enter a very efficient and concise installer. It is detailed enough to let you know what you are doing, but not overly complex so that you could get lost.

There is an option to install either to Hard Drive or to a USB drive, which to me is so cool. Having a recover USB disc today is so critical to IT professionals. I will review that in another post, so I went for the good stuff and selected my hard drive.

You are given options to take over the world or to edit existing partitions, which again for newbies and Linux lovers alike is something that is critical. It even goes as far as to explain what is needed and a good partitioner built into the installation process. Oh, and did I forget to mention that there is an installation Help icon as well???? How intuitive is that???? I mean, I don't have to worry about network connectivity, google, books or anything and I can just click and learn???? Way too much thought went into that one.

So the nice folks here at PCLinuxOS really care if you know what you are doing and made sure to include not only an installation help but also have a link on the desktop to their Wiki, but of course this requires that you have internet in order to take full advantage of.

Once you determine the hard drive over the USB (for now), then the next step is to choose which partition selection method you would like.

You can use existing, Erase the entire disk or go into custom mode. Custom mode will allow you to manage what is already there, resize and format if needed.

Once you get all the partitions configured like you wish them to be, then the next step is to choose if you would like to format any of the existing partitions. I always recommend people to format the base partition so that they know any existing file will not corrupt what they are attempting.

The next step is to verify you wish to do what you just selected the system to do, just in case you forgot. I know, I know, safety first. Once complete you will be prompted for the Admin window. Now here is the first mistep of the installation and one that really goes against what I feel is a sound practice.

Once complete you will be prompted for the Admin window. Now here is the first mistep of the installation and one that really goes against what I feel is a sound practice. You will see in the picture below that there is an option for "no password" for the admin. This is extremely bad practice and should not be an installation option. Sure, it makes life easy when doing su all the time, but this distro has synaptic for installation and a really good control panel, so time in command line should be minimal and this is your first line of defense against the Dark Arts.

Now that my rant is over, everything then is pretty simple. Add your user and choose your boot loader type and location. I myself like Grub while this tool defaults to Lilo, so I went with that, just so I would see what the typical newbie might get when selecting the defaults.

The bootloader did find my windows partition but not my debian distro on the machine, so in order to use that I was forced to manually load the information. Not the greatest, but becoming more common today in that these auto boot loaders just are not doing a great job in finding other Linux distros (could be a known issue that they like, but I doubt that).

The last thing that shows up is the obligatory "take out your disc and reboot" message that lets you know that it is time to move from Live on Disc to Live on system. I will say other than our little admin password issue this is one of the nicest live disc to install system processes I am used to date. Add that to the installation help page being part of the desktop and the quick link to the Wiki, and this is the closest to 5 Pennies I have seen yet. Excellent job so far Tex, but lets see how this bad boy works in the real world.

Starting ( )

A common them with Junior is that if there is a KDE package then that is what is installed. This then excludes OpenOffice, Adobe, FireFox, and Thunderbird, but again those are easily obtainable. The nice part of doing this is that you know everything works.

But right off the bat, nothing was really different from the live to the installed copy. Seemless is a good word for this, but honestly I never have had the greatest luck with these. I love the concept, but until now am always sceptical of what will happen. My wireless was still not operational, but again a quick NDISWRAPPER -i bcmwl5.inf from the drivers on my windows partition and boom, up she came. Next up was a pesky little alert that kept showing its ugly head stating "Sound Server fatal error: CPU Overload, aborting". Hmmmm, not the type of alert anyone would like to see. Since it was sound I went to the control panel and changed from Arts to OSS and rebooted. To date, the alarm has never appeared again and my sound is working fine. My favorite issue of my ATI settings of 1280x800 not being there was next, but I was able in the control center to add that resolution and restart KDE and once again back in business.

Next I tested the music player with some files from my windows partition's iTunes. These are non-DRM songs in m4a format that I use to test Amarok with each distro. I was excited as Bono started singing "Where the Streets Have No Names" in my speakers. DVD didn't work, but was quickly fixed by going to Synaptic and installing libdvdcss, which was in their default repository. Awesome, no searching for that either.

So my installation and initial configuration is complete in about 30 minutes. I have everything I need, so I install OpenOffice from Synaptic, just to test the OS handling a power hungry application. It loads with no issues and ran beautifully. My next test is always to load Wine. Why? Well, I happen to like a nice game of online poker and none of them support a Linux install, so I use Wine with my Pokerstars account. This works on all systems that support Wine, so this is my test of tests, because without Poker, I am stuck on Windows.

Wine was in the repository and installed with only one or two additional packages. I downloaded Pstars and installed with zero issues. The only issue I had there was that it didn't create a shortcut on my desktop nor did it create the typical Wine branch in the Start section. However, by heading into the .wine directory I was able to launch the program fine and the graphics looked great.

Once again I am floored by the ability of this tiny package to do everything I want with almost zero effort.

Bonus Stuff ( )

I would have to say that the bonus stuff on this distro is small, but when the package is designed to be small then one can't ask for much. The KDE stype is awesome and the proprietary codecs are great in that with minimal effort music and DVD plays. I wish that they would work harded on getting wireless cards into the kernel or some minimal efforts for the most common drivers in NDISWRAPPER, especially for the LIVE CD, as then wireless would work out of the box.

Overall ( )

This has been a real pleasure, playing with Junior and MiniMe. I can honestly say that this distro hits the head on 95% of my key issues and doesn't take too much gray matter to overcome its shortcomings. But when you consider that the download for this is 2/3 for Junior (and 1/3 for MiniMe) of the size of any other major distro in similar form, this does wonders. I have no doubt that if you were to give this a whirl, you too would be set back and wonder why this hasn't risen the list at Distrowatch even more than it has. I wish a couple of things were different, and that they might look at XGL in their Live offering, but I understand their niche market probably is outside of that package. I am sure it is in the works, and when Tex anounces it is available I will be right there downloading and enjoying a solid distro with amazing performance and rock solid support.

My hat is off to you Tex and gang. Being a former resident of the great state of Texas (and married to a Texan), I will toss a "Damn Good Job Pardners" your way. This distro will be on my machine now as my primary Linux, which for me is the ultimate testimate to how much I like what I see here. Remember, I have some serious issues with Mandrake itself, but nothing here even comes close to reminding me of them.

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    • 8/16/2006 9:02 PM GregWeby wrote:
      While PCLinuxOS was initially derived from Mandriva, it is developed independently. The PCLinuxOS configuration tools and the way the files are layed out are very similiar because they are sort of a customized port. It is developed very differently. Texstar, who is the main person behind the project, uses listens to and uses the community.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/16/2006 9:08 PM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        And honestly, that is the only reason why I am typing this to you right now in PCLinuxOS. Texstar being a Texan helps (my wife is here while I type so I need to brag on Texas) but he has taken the pain out of Mandrake and is a simply awesome product, one that I will support moving forward. Hook'em baby!!!!! Wait, he might be an Aggie, Gig'em baby!!!!

        Thanks for the comments, best wishes

        KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 12:31 AM Peter C wrote:
      A very good review of a top notch new distro.

      I used to use Mandriva before I tried PCLinuxOS 0.92 and have never looked back since.

      0.92 allowed me to switch to using Linux as my default OS and also proved an ideal recovery disc when my friend's windows PC failed to boot. I was able to repartition his hard drive and save all his personal files to a new partition, prior to reinstalling Windows XP from scratch.

      Of the two 0.93a Distro's I would recommend Junior as it includes Ark, which makes it easy to install tar.gz files.

      On my old IBM Thinkpad 240 laptop, with a 300mhz processor and 192mb of RAM, 0.93a Junior is the first livecd I've been able to successfully load and run on it.

      I can also install and configure my printer and Speedtouch Modem from tar.gz files, whilst still in livecd mode.

      Junior's intallation process is a gem, the best I've seen to date and a lot quicker than Ubuntu 6.06, when installing it on my laptop.

      Ubuntu 6.06 took 1 1/2 to 2 hours to install onto my old laptop using Instlux. In comparison Junior installed in about 30 minutes.

      To be fair to Ubuntu it is a very solid distro and worth installing. Having said that, I prefer 0.93a Junior as it is better suited to my old laptop than Ubuntu.

      Overall PCLinuxOs 0.93a Junior is the best Linux Distro I've tried to date and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to try Linux.

      p.s. It's also a great recovery disc in livecd mode.
      Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 3:50 AM Snowman wrote:
      I've tried Mandriva, Suse, Mepis, Linspire and several other distros before stumbling on PCLinuxOS. Once I saw it would natively configure all my hardware natively, even my after market wireless card on my laptop and all hardware on my desktop, I haven't gone back to any other distro. PCLOS does everything I need. I have to tweak a few things over time to get DVDs and online videos to play. Now version 0.93a junior does it all out of the box. By far this is nearly the best distro on the market. I too would like to see more XGL and 3D natively (like in the latest version of Berry). One other improvement for the future would be to have a 64bit version.
      I've recommended PCLOS to anyone willing to listen and mostly to convert family and friends to Linux. So far: 27 converts. With 64bit and XGL native, PCLOS could divert attention away from Vista and it's glitz and bugs.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 7:17 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:

        Thanks for the comment. I too dream of a day when I can use a 64 bit OS on my 64 bit laptop. I mean, what really is the hold up???? I have tried almost every 64 bit out there, desperate to get the full power from this brick. So I have just settled for 32 bit and know that there is more under the hood just waiting for the day that someone gives me my nirvana.

        BTW, Vista sucks at 64 bit too...

        Thanks for the note, best wishes

        KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

        Reply to this
        1. 8/17/2006 4:13 PM Nintendo wrote:
          There is an XGL version of PCLOS in the works and a 64-bit version (should) ship with .94. In the meantime, you can enable Ocilent1's (the in-house kernel tweaker) APT repository and install a 64-bit optimized kernel. All of the programs in the main repository are still in 32 bit, but you get the added speed of a 64 bit kernel. There are also multi-core kernels there too.
          Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 4:15 AM James Capers wrote:

      Thanks for the very good review. I will download and try Junior.

      I was left with two questions--(1) Where is and how do users access the repository? and, (2) What is NDISWRAPPER and how is it used?
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 7:32 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Hi James,

        Great questions. First, repositories are web addresses that are the storage servers for packages. These house the software bundles that you would want to add to you computer, or patches to existing packages you would want to upgrade.

        In Synaptic there is a drop down selection under Settings called Repositories. Here is where you would add repositories to your system if you know of an additional. In most Debian products like Ubuntu they have at least three: Base, Security, Backport. Base is just that, Security handles all of their kernel type pieces and backport is typically new pieces that are Beta or are not fully tested/approved.

        Texstar has one for PCLinuxOS at the URI of http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/disttributions/texstar/pclinuxos/apt and then you also need to declare what distro you are looking for which is pclinuxos/2004 and the sections (which are the folders in that directory) os updates texstar and 93.

        Now these actually sit in /etc/apt/sources.list and will look like "rpm ttp://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/disttributions/texstar/pclinuxos/apt pclinuxos/2004 os updates texstar 93"

        When you find one online you can manually enter into Synaptic or you can paste it into sources.list file.

        NDISWRAPPER is a program that allows linux laptops to use wireless driver files to run wireless cards. It is preloaded in PCLinuxOS and most distros today and is very easy to run.

        Step 1 > obtain your wireless driver files (google is easiest, or they are also in your PC recovery disc/windows directory)
        Step 2 > in the directory with the driver files, look for the the one with *.inf (Mine is bcmwl5.inf)
        As root :
        Step 3 > Run ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf (substitute your driver file name)
        Step 4 > Run depmod -a
        Step 5 > Run modprobe ndiswrapper
        Step 6 > Run ndiswrapper -m
        Step 7 > Run ndiswrapper -l (this should show you that the files are loaded)

        Hopefully your wireless light came on and if you run "iwconfig" you should see wlan0 listed.

        Hope that helps answer your questions. If you run into more problems with NDISWRAPPER there are many great websites out there that can help.

        Note, that many people are putting the drivers into the kernel now, so you may not need ndiswrapper and ubuntu is also using a program called fwcutter, which is more complicated and would take a whole day to explain properly.

        Thanks for the question, and best wishes

        KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 6:41 AM Geoff wrote:
      A very nice appraisal indeed. I have been holding off replacing my installation of pclos 0.92 with the newer Jr version of 0.93 After reading this article I'm closer to installing the Junior version.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 7:40 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:

        I would give it a go personnally. I am not quite sure how PCLinuxOS handles upgrades from one version to another, but I can say that everything just simply works.

        Good luck and best wishes

        KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 6:55 AM Ron wrote:
      I am an absolute Newbie to Linux but was dissatisfied with the performance of WinXp on my 800Mhz IBM T21 laptop. I tried several Live Cd distros to basically shop around and found that my system was completely supported by Pclinuxos, including my Dlink Wifi Card. It worked so well that I was tempted to simply use the live cd indefinitely. I wanted to use firefox instead of Konquorer and wanted to do some other little tweaks. The program repository from Synaptic is very good but I am adjusting to the more difficult process of adding programs from outside of those offered.
      My only complaint is that I have yet to find a program to deal with Windows Remote Desktop Protocol to allow me to remote access my server without a whole bunch of adjusting to the server.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 7:37 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Running Live has its advantages, but it also has some limitations. You can install new packages, but they are only good during that boot. If you were to install MiniMe on a USB drive and run from there, then you could store these new apps, but it better be a big USB drive.

        Freespire has a program for Remote Desktop and also a Live CD. Check it out. I am not sure of the name of the package, but I have used it. I see it on CNR for them as KDE Remote Desktop Client, but the link is bad.

        Thanks for the note and glad to have you in the Linux community. Hopefully you will lose the training wheels soon and just go for the install. PCLinuxOS is quick enough to run solo, but on the HD is even fater.

        Good luck and best wishes


        Reply to this
      2. 8/18/2006 6:09 AM odysseus wrote:
        There is a program in the repository called 'grdesktop'. It works exactly like Remote Desktop for WindowsXP. I'm a Network Admin and I use PCLOS exclusively. I use grdesktop to remote into my servers. Works without any difficulty whatsoever.

        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 7:30 AM A2A wrote:
      Great review! I'm using Ubuntu,Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS 0.93a Junior on three different machines. Each have their advantages and I love them for what they do. I like what PCLOS has to offer. It has a great layout and design,very user friendly and makes it easier for native Windows users to migrate to Linux. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean. Great work Tex and the Gang!
      Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 9:43 AM JJW wrote:
      How about moving your left hand advertisement column to the right (like your wireless). When printing, part of the text gets cut off. I prefer to print out your reviews and read when I'm off line or at stop lights!!
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 10:17 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Thanks for the tip will look into it, although I am not going to advocate reading while driving Being the in the wireless industry as long as I have been, I would be required to mention that if you are on a detailed called, please pull over. We want you to use your phones, but please use them safely. This also applies to reading my reviews offline

        Thanks for the suggestion, will see if QuickBlog allows that move without changing my whole template.

        If you wish to tell me which color you like better between KnoLinux and KnoWireless, please let me know. I kinda like both so I have been playing around a bit. I appreciate the help with this.

        Cheers and best wishes!!!!

        KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 10:28 AM Walt wrote:
      I'll agree that PCLinuxOS is a fine distribution, but I ultimately decided that it was not for me. Why? Well, when I first installed, my wireless worked right out of the box, but as I upgraded applications (from the repository) my wireless connection began to have trouble. It would work on bootup, then cut out. Restarting it worked for a while. I could never get the connection to start and stay up.

      In addition, I ultimately decided (as I have in the past) that KDE is too big for my tastes. I much prefer IceWM (or possibly Xfce) and applications that are window manager and desktop environment independent.

      So, I have come back to Zenwalk. I used it for a while in the 1.x series and have installed 2.8 on my system. The fact that much of the internal workings are not tied to KDE libraries or to the default WM, Xfce, means I can uninstall Xfce and replace it with IceWM with little fear of trashing my system. There is also now a live Zenwalk version, although I don't know whether it can be installed to the hard drive.

      The full Zenwalk ISO is ~450 meg, and there is a Zenwalk Core version that weighs in at around 325 meg and allows you to build from there. Zenwalk is worth a try if you haven't looked at it lately. Just my two-cents worth.

      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 10:32 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Thanks for that feedback Walt, will have to add Zenwalk to my list of ones to review. I am focused mainly on ones who tout themselves as truly simple distros and ones that allow ease of migration away from MS. PCLinuxOS was the first non-commercial and next I plan on review Mepis.

        I am a big fan of Xfce and will be reviewing DreamLinux here soon. I played with the Live CD a bit and if you are a fan of non-KDE/Gnome distros I would recommend trying it out before then. They have an amazing LIVE XGL version that worked well.

        Thanks again and best wishes


        Reply to this
    • 8/17/2006 1:54 PM davecs wrote:
      @Walt: the Mini-Me version uses the bare minimum KDE to get a desktop, and if you look in the repositories (Synaptic) you'll see that most KDE packages have been split up so you only have to install the bits you need without the bloat.

      You can also leave KDE at its minimalist setup and use XFCE, IceWM or Fluxbox instead. They are all in the repos.

      To think I used to spend ages setting up Gentoo, then tried PCLinuxOS and thought "what the heck" I got more or less what I wanted without all the work!

      Part of any good distro is its site. The main help site is a friendly place. There are other sites, one of them to do Logos and create upgrade CDs etc, and maintain the Help site and documents. Another guy has just set up a site that will tell you whether your hardware will work on PCLOS. There's a real community around it.

      Texstar has passed some of the packaging over to a former Mandrake "unofficial packager", Thac. More time for some "big" stuff that needs doing, and you can see some big changes that have been included.

      @KnoLinuxGuy: Nice review. PCLinuxOS defaults to 1024x768 but if you press "e" twice on startup, and add something like "xdrv=1280x1024" to the grub line, you can change that. You can also change the keyboard language, for example, for British (UK) keyboards, you can change keyb=us to keyb=uk. Once you have adjusted the Grub line, press ENTER then "b" to boot up.

      Yes for a newbie it's easier to install first and adjust later, but there are plenty of options for users of all levels in this distro.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/17/2006 2:43 PM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Dave, I totally agree. Having Junior and MiniMe allows people to pick and choose, which is something I really appreciate. I used to live and die Suse for 64bit, but really was getting frustrated when I looked and saw nearly all my memory was getting wasted on crap I didn't even want. To spend time yanking out packages is silly, when realistically all I needed was a good beginning and then let me add whatever I want and not some geek who wants to tell me what I need. Plus the install being 5 discs or 1 DVD is just way too much to download.

        Thanks for the tips on the graphics mode. I simply went in and changed the resolution in the control panel, but nice to know that they built in some shortcuts as well.

        Glad you liked the review. This one has been very popular and I am excited to be running this OS. It will take a really solid one to replace PCLinuxOS and I don't see that happening until someone gets a good install working with XGL on ATI cards.

        Thanks for the feedback and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 8/20/2006 5:24 PM Jim Duffield wrote:
      I've used Mepis for three years and have just left for PCLinuxOS (PCLOS) due to an unfriendly forum that saw me as a klutz, at least that's the feeling I got from the "help."

      PCLOS is awesome. Like the man said "It just works" and unlike some RPM based distros, as yet, in 14 days, not one link problem with the RPMs.

      On another tack (I used to do a bit of sailing (;-]) how about a review of something "foreign" like Dream Linux http://www.kultcher.com/blog/guzzi/SGC.html

      Keep at this please as I do like the informative friendly graphical & comprehensive format.

      Reply to this
    • 8/21/2006 2:08 AM Nico wrote:
      For the XFce-lovers dont forget to look at my SAM Linux, a PCLinixOS based distro with XFce as its main desktop.
      You´ll get the PClinuxOS base system with a fast desktop environment and a full load of gtk applications.

      Because it uses the PCLOS repositories you can easyly add new software and update existing.

      look here: http://www.sam-linux.org

      Have fun,
      Reply to this
    • 8/22/2006 7:53 AM Iwekani wrote:
      Your links to pclinusos.com goes to the freespire website
      Reply to this
    • 8/30/2006 11:33 AM carlos wrote:
      i've used a couple distros, like fedora and suse on desktop before until a few weeks ago when i bought an inspiron b130 from Dell. even thought the opensuse 10.1 looks more polished than the rest, I couldn't get my wireless card to work. I tried the ndiswrapper that came included with the distro to install the bcmwl5.inf but still the wireless card couldn't connect. I decided to start from scratch and downloaded ndiswrapper version but it didn't seem to work neither way. On ubuntu i downloaded the ndisgtk for the windows drivers and even thought, Ubuntu recognized the card as active on the system it couldn't connect. I read I don't know how many forums where others have had similar problems but nothing seemed to work. I even tried mandriva as my last resort since I don't approve their membership dues and all of that, but I couldn't get it to work.

      Then as I was browsing distrowatch i noticed pclos it had been on the top 10 for a while. After reading your review I noticed you didn't seemed to have major issues with ndiswrapper and decided to give it a try....and I must tell you, i had the wireless card working few minutes later after installation.

      thanks to you Kevin I am running linux again on this laptop and I must say it loads faster than suse and so far i haven't had a problem with it.
      Reply to this
    • 9/3/2006 1:09 AM Garrett wrote:
      Hello ppl. Heres my question-- Im stright from Windows and would really like to go to a linux-- I dont want to use the console or would like to go at my own pace --little steps-- I dont want to do this unpackage and kernel stuff-- I want to put the cd in-- press "enter" for install os. After installation i want to login and be content with a kinda not so diff os than windows- Somethintg easy. What distro should i go for?
      Reply to this
      1. 9/5/2006 10:38 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:

        This is a great question and one that many people have. Basically you need to ask yourself what type of package you want to work with; open or proprietary. Open means no proprietary drivers or files. Proprietary includes these. If you plan on working on MP3s or DVDs or want XGL graphical desktop (cool stuff) you need proprietary drivers. If you want raw Linux power and no problems with supporting third party apps which you might have to buy or could be illegal for you to run in the US, then you need to stick to open.

        Ubuntu is very open

        Lin/Freespire is very proprietary

        openSuse/SLED needs an add on disc, starts very open

        Mandriva is very open

        Xandros is very proprietary

        PCLinuxOS is a good mix, open but access to proprietary

        For me, I would suggest starting with Freespire, PCLinuxOS Junior/Big Daddy and see how those Live CDs work for you. Look at my reviews and you can see the look and feel of these and see which one you want. These are both KDE desktops that are very Windows like. If you want a distro that is more like Apple OS X, then give ELive or DreamLinux a try.

        Hope that helps, sorry for the late response.



        Reply to this
    • 9/15/2006 7:03 AM Guy wrote:
      Thanks for the great review. Just in the way of testament, this really is an amazingly user-friendly, intuitive and smartly designed distribution.

      I live in a house with many folks whom I often proselytize the wonders of linux to. Our house computer is a pretty old Gateway with a very finicky pcmcia wireless card (Netgear MA521) which no distro I've tried has supported out of the box. With some, wifi was possible via ndiswrapper, but with most, it was just impossible without a lot more configuration of the kernel. With PCLOS, wifi was automatically detected and configured out of the box! After the countless hours I've spent trying to get our machine up and running with wifi with other distros, I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to find a distro that has already done the work for me. Hats off to the guys at PCLOS! Truly remarkable. And the folks in my house took an instant liking to its user-friendly features (it doesn't get better than the control center) and layout. I can already tell that conversion is in the cards for a few of them.

      And no wonder. Even apart from the spectacularly easy installation process, this is definitely one of the most user-friendly and intuitive distros I've seen. It's hard to find a better distro to convert wary friends. Give it a whirl; I'm sure you'll be impressed. And so will your friends.
      Reply to this
      1. 9/15/2006 7:50 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Thanks for the vote of confidence in the PCLOS Guy. I agree, this package is definitely something that works right out of the box. Texstar and folks really do a great job of that and put together a package that is one of the best with little doubt.

        I would wager a bet that Freespire would also have recognized your WiFi in that they typically preload NDISWRAPPER with everything one can imagine. It is also a good convert capable OS, but realistically PCLOS is miles ahead in function, feel and quality.

        Thanks for the comment and best wishes


        Reply to this
    • 9/16/2006 2:50 PM ema wrote:
      It is now more than 1 year that pclinuxos is running without any problem on 3 pc in my hotel + laptop home.I have been tested at least 20 different distros since 2000(and I keep doin'it) trying hard not to use win (webdeveloping and multimedia )and I finally found an alternative.
      On heavy daily usage for a desktop or office user,PCL is number #1,no competition :-)
      Reply to this
      1. 9/16/2006 10:48 PM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Great to here Ema and hopefully more votes of confidence of the use of Linux will get the worry warts on board and understand the amount of money they will save and the reliability they will have with systems like PCLinuxOS.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 10/3/2006 6:45 AM geezer wrote:
      First, thank you for running this website. Us windows refugees need just this kind of help. I experimented with
      a lot of different distros on a lot of
      machines. Ubuntu was the one that showed
      me that i was going to be able to do it.
      pclos was the one i ended up with. i still have a lot to learn, wine,cups,
      ndswrapper, etc but pclos big daddy is
      now my jump off point. Question, is
      ndis wrapper just for laptops?
      Best regards, Geezer
      Reply to this
      1. 10/3/2006 7:45 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:

        You are very welcome. I enjoy doing this and really suprised at the positive feeback so far. Hopefully I can continue my hobby for a while.

        NDISWRAPPER is for any machine that has a wireless NIC and windows drivers. I have a desktop I use as well for somethings, mainly storage for all of my ISO files I have downloaded, that uses a Linksys card and I use NDISWRAPPER on that for the distros that do not support it. Typically you can be found at http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/List

        Good luck and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 10/30/2006 6:42 PM bosko wrote:
      Great product - it intstalled without any problems and will allow me to avoid windowsxp and it's associated crapola. Most of the fonts are fanastic and allow for a display that is easy to read and looks great. Keep up the great work.
      Reply to this
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