Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
To the excitement of its many loyal users, the PCLinuxOS development team released the first beta of the highly anticipated 2009 release. It's been a long time coming but it seems it's finally on its way. There were no big surprizes found in this release, but lots of updates.
This release is using KDE 3.5.10 as its base desktop, which might be good news for all those who still can't seem to like or adjust to KDE 4. However, developers say KDE 4 will be added to repositories if and when they get it stable for PCLOS.
The new theme is nice looking, but reports say it's probably not what will be used in the final. As per tradition, it is mostly blue with an international flavor. A globe decorates the logo and the splash screen features flags from around the world.
The applications found are typical for PCLOS and other single CD distros. A nice selection for the various tasks are included. Firefox is presented in its latest and greatest, 3.0.3, while OpenOffice.org is still 2.4.1. I'm sure we'll see this updated to 3.0 by the time final emerges and perhaps next beta. You'll find a nice selection of KDE games, MPlayer and KMPlayer, Amarok, Frostwire, Ktorrent, Compiz-Fusion, Synaptic, PCLinuxOS Control Center, and lots more. Under the hood we find kernel 18.104.22.168.tex2, Xorg server 22.214.171.124, and GCC 4.1.1.
The Control Center, package manager and installer remain mostly unchanged from previous releases save for perhaps new graphics. However, they do still continue to work as well as we remember. I had no trouble installing PCLOS onto a laptop with SATA drives and all hardware was autoconfigured except the wireless chip (which requires proprietary drivers).
The developers state that this release is not upgradeable to the next beta and especially wil not be compatible with the final. So, it's a one-shot deal. Don't expect to install this release for the long haul.
Another caveat is not to try and install proprietary graphic drivers from PCLOS repositories for several days until updates have had ample opportunity to propagate.
So, don't expect a lot of big changes. We are looking at what I suspect PCLinuxOS 2009 will become: a nice update to a community favorite.