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

Programming: WebAssembly, Mozilla GFX, Qt and Python

  • WebAssembly for speed and code reuse

    Imagine translating a non-web application, written in a high-level language, into a binary module ready for the web. This translation could be done without any change whatsoever to the non-web application's source code. A browser can download the newly translated module efficiently and execute the module in the sandbox. The executing web module can interact seamlessly with other web technologies—with JavaScript (JS) in particular. Welcome to WebAssembly. As befits a language with assembly in the name, WebAssembly is low-level. But this low-level character encourages optimization: the just-in-time (JIT) compiler of the browser's virtual machine can translate portable WebAssembly code into fast, platform-specific machine code. A WebAssembly module thereby becomes an executable suited for compute-bound tasks such as number crunching. Which high-level languages compile into WebAssembly? The list is growing, but the original candidates were C, C++, and Rust. Let's call these three the systems languages, as they are meant for systems programming and high-performance applications programming. The systems languages share two features that suit them for compilation into WebAssembly. The next section gets into the details, which sets up full code examples (in C and TypeScript) together with samples from WebAssembly's own text format language.

  • Mozilla GFX: moz://gfx newsletter #47

    Hi there! Time for another mozilla graphics newsletter. In the comments section of the previous newsletter, Michael asked about the relation between WebRender and WebGL, I’ll try give a short answer here. Both WebRender and WebGL need access to the GPU to do their work. At the moment both of them use the OpenGL API, either directly or through ANGLE which emulates OpenGL on top of D3D11. They, however, each work with their own OpenGL context. Frames produced with WebGL are sent to WebRender as texture handles. WebRender, at the API level, has a single entry point for images, video frames, canvases, in short for every grid of pixels in some flavor of RGB format, be them CPU-side buffers or already in GPU memory as is normally the case for WebGL. In order to share textures between separate OpenGL contexts we rely on platform-specific APIs such as EGLImage and DXGI. Beyond that there isn’t any fancy interaction between WebGL and WebRender. The latter sees the former as a image producer just like 2D canvases, video decoders and plain static images.

  • The Titler Revamp: QML Producer in the making

    At the beginning of this month, I started testing out the new producer as I had a good, rough structure for the producer code, and was only facing a few minor problems. Initially, I was unclear about how exactly the producer is going to be used by the titler so I took a small step back and spent some time figuring out how kdenlivetitle worked, which is the producer in use. Initially, I faced integration problems (which are the ones you’d normally expect) when I tried to make use of the QmlRenderer library for rendering and loading QML templates – and most of them were resolved by a simple refactoring of the QmlRenderer library source code. To give an example, the producer traditionally stores the QML template in global variables which is taken as a character pointer argument (which is, again, traditional C) The QmlRenderer lib takes a QUrl as its parameters for loading the Qml file, so to solve this problem all I had to do was to overload the loadQml() method with one which could accommodate the producer’s needs – which worked perfectly fine. As a consequence, I also had to compartmentalise (further) the rendering process so now we have 3 methods which go sequentially when we want to render something using the library ( initialiseRenderParams( ) -> prepareRenderer( ) -> renderQml( ) ) [...] The problem was resolved (thank you JB) finally and it was not due to OpenGL but it was simply because I hadn’t created an QApplication for the producer (which is necessary for qt producers). The whole month’s been a steep curve, definitely not easy, but, I enjoyed it! Right now, I have a producer which is, now, almost complete and with a little more tweaking, will be put to use, hopefully. I’m still facing a few minor issues which I hope to resolve soon and get a working producer. Once we get that, I can start work on the Kdenlive side. Let’s hope for the best!

  • How to Make a Discord Bot in Python

    In a world where video games are so important to so many people, communication and community around games are vital. Discord offers both of those and more in one well-designed package. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a Discord bot in Python so that you can make the most of this fantastic platform.

  • Qt Visual Studio Tools 2.4 RC Released

    The Visual Studio Project System is widely used as the build system of choice for C++ projects in VS. Under the hood, MSBuild provides the project file format and build framework. The Qt VS Tools make use of the extensibility of MSBuild to provide design-time and build-time integration of Qt in VS projects — toward the end of the post we have a closer look at how that integration works and what changed in the new release. Up to this point, the Qt VS Tools extension managed its own project settings in an isolated manner. This approach prevented the integration of Qt in Visual Studio to fully benefit from the features of VS projects and MSBuild. Significantly, it was not possible to have Qt settings vary according to the build configuration (e.g. having a different list of selected Qt modules for different configurations), including Qt itself: only one version/build of Qt could be selected and would apply to all configurations, a significant drawback in the case of multi-platform projects. Another important limitation that users of the Qt VS Tools have reported is the lack of support for importing Qt-related settings from shared property sheet files. This feature allows settings in VS projects to be shared within a team or organization, thus providing a single source for that information. Up to now, this was not possible to do with settings managed by the Qt VS Tools.

Screenshots/Screencasts: 10 GNU/Linux Distros (Screenshots) and New Screencast/Video of Endeavour OS 2019.08.17

  • 10 Linux distros: From different to dangerous

    One of the great benefits of Linux is the ability to roll your own. Throughout the years, individuals, organizations, and even nation states have done just that. In this gallery, we're going to showcase some of those distros. Be careful, though. You may not want to load these, or if you do, put them in isolated VMs. We're not kidding when we say they could be dangerous.

  • Endeavour OS 2019.08.17 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Endeavour OS 2019.08.17.

A Cycle of Renewal, Broken: How Big Tech and Big Media Abuse Copyright Law to Slay Competition

In 1950, a television salesman named Robert Tarlton put together a consortium of TV merchants in the town of Lansford, Pennsylvania to erect an antenna tall enough to pull down signals from Philadelphia, about 90 miles to the southeast. The antenna connected to a web of cables that the consortium strung up and down the streets of Lansford, bringing big-city TV to their customers — and making TV ownership for Lansfordites far more attractive. Though hobbyists had been jury-rigging their own "community antenna television" networks since 1948, no one had ever tried to go into business with such an operation. The first commercial cable TV company was born. The rise of cable over the following years kicked off decades of political controversy over whether the cable operators should be allowed to stay in business, seeing as they were retransmitting broadcast signals without payment or permission and collecting money for the service. Broadcasters took a dim view of people using their signals without permission, which is a little rich, given that the broadcasting industry itself owed its existence to the ability to play sound recordings over the air without permission or payment. The FCC brokered a series of compromises in the years that followed, coming up with complex rules governing which signals a cable operator could retransmit, which ones they must retransmit, and how much all this would cost. The end result was a second way to get TV, one that made peace with—and grew alongside—broadcasters, eventually coming to dominate how we get cable TV in our homes. By 1976, cable and broadcasters joined forces to fight a new technology: home video recorders, starting with Sony's Betamax recorders. In the eyes of the cable operators, broadcasters, and movie studios, these were as illegitimate as the playing of records over the air had been, or as retransmitting those broadcasts over cable had been. Lawsuits over the VCR continued for the next eight years. In 1984, the Supreme Court finally weighed in, legalizing the VCR, and finding that new technologies were not illegal under copyright law if they were "capable of substantial noninfringing uses." Read more

Software, HowTos and Storage

  • Pause Music When Locking The Screen And Resume On Unlock For Spotify, Rhythmbox, Others

    When you lock your computer screen (without suspending the system), most desktop audio players continue playback in the background, sometimes not emitting any sound ¹. Due to this you may unintentionally skip parts of podcasts or songs in a playlist, etc. Enter pause-on-lock, a Bash script that pauses your music player when you lock the screen and resumes playback once the screen is unlocked. pause-on-lock works on Unity, GNOME, Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments, and by default it supports Spotify and Rhythmbox. With the help of playerctl (a command line controller for controlling media players that support the MPRIS D-Bus interface), this script can extend its supported music players to many others, including Audacious, VLC, Cmus, and others.

  • Easy Way to Screen Mirroring Android on Ubuntu!

    Screen Mirroring is one of the features found on smartphones, one of which is on Android. This feature serves to display the smartphone to a computer. This is very useful for example when used for demo applications that you make, or maybe for other things related to smartphones. In Ubuntu, we can do screen mirroring with applications available on Android, for example is AirDroid which can be used for screen mirroring through a browser. But I feel less optimal when using this instant method. Because there is a lag between activity on the smartphone and on the monitor screen on the computer, and the results are less than optimal. What might be the cause because it is opened through a browser and uses wi-fi? (Personal question). I am looking for another application for screen mirroring on Ubuntu, and one of the very good applications is Scrcpy. This application can be used for screen mirroring without a root device.

  • Command line quick tips: Searching with grep
  • How to Install Cezerin on Debian 9
  • How to Create a Bootable USB Stick from the Ubuntu Terminal
  • How to Install Git on Debian 10
  • How to Copy/Move a Docker Container to Another Host
  • Six practical use cases for Nmap
  • The Next Stage of Flash Storage: Computational Storage
  • NAS upgrade

    At some point in the future I hope to spend a little bit of time on the software side of things, as some of the features of my set up are no longer working as they should: I can't remote-decrypt the main disk via SSH on boot, and the first run of any backup fails due to some kind of race condition in the systemd unit dependencies. (The first attempt does not correctly mount the backup partition; the second attempt always succeeds).

  • Storage Concepts And Technologies Explained In Detail