Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

PCLinuxOS 0.93a MiniMe

Filed under
PCLOS
Interviews
Reviews
-s

Texstar and the Ripper Gang released their PCLinuxOS 0.93a MiniMe yesterday and early reports are quite positive. This installable livecd weighs in at a 300 MB download and resulting system of 1.3 GB. It's a slimmed trimmed down version of PCLinuxOS which gives the user the opportunity to install the packages they want and make the system their very own.

New graphics, a great new kernel, and lots and lots of updates equal a wonderful offering. The first new aspect noticed is the boot screen. PCLinuxOS now uses grub to feature many new boot options. One of these is the copy2ram feature where it copies the cd to memory and runs from there. You can pull the cd out of the drive and continue to use the computer. It runs very fast from memory because it doen't have to access the cd anymore.

Once booted, PCLOS features a tranquil wallpaper of rolling hills in what appears to be mid-west farmland on a wonderful summer day. Other features include a transparent panel, logically structured menus, and beautiful fonts. I'd almost dare say that PCLinuxOS has the most beautiful fonts in the biz. This release we are treated to Tango icons and the very lovely Chameleon-Pearl cursor theme.

The menus are sparsely populated in the MiniMe system just as one might expect. It has a few applications and several tools. Of course one finds the harddrive installer, Synaptic software manager, and the PCLinuxOS Control Center. With these tools, one builds the system they want.

Also included is this really great system information tool. Appropriately named PCLinuxOS Info Tool, it probes your system and renders the output in html opened in the default browser. I was surprised by all the information gathered. It lists everything from hardware info and specs, OS specifics like packages installed, services, kernel configuration & module info, X information, to running processes. That's really just an abbreviated list of all it includes. What a wonderful tool. Remembering all of the individual commands to gleen this information can be daunting even for the geekest amongst us, and now we don't have to try. It lists some output that I don't even know the command for. This tool was contributed by Ivan Ikerekes and is a modification of the cfg2html package. Ivan says, "It works with almost any unix variant. We are using it extensivelly at my workplace, to gather info every day on about 120 Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and True64 servers, and puting all the gathered info in a webpage. I made slight modification for PCLinuxOS, but basically only the icon and the calling sequence is slightly different." I love this tool! What a wonderful addition.

        

The new harddrive installer is a modified version of Mandriva's livecd-install. It was modified primarily to work with mklivecd, but also includes code contributed by Ivan Ikerekes and Texstar. One of the main reasons for the switch was for a faster install. Now an install can be completed in matter of a very few minutes. Another reason is, "The old installer was finicky and would sometimes bail out before the user was able to copy the files over to the hard drive," says Tex.

Like the previous installer, it's all straight forward, user-friendly, and easy. It walks the user through configuration by asking a few simple questions aided by graphics, hints, and instructions. Texstar adds, "Another improvement is you can set up your partitions any way you want, it can resize windows partition or even take over the entire drive. The old installer had very limited features and didn't give you very many options. The new installer gives you a choice of grub or lilo. The old installer only had lilo."

Texstar tell us about their work on the installer,

We added the screens to give the user a chance to cancel out both the format and the install in case they might have made a mistake.

We added additional code to set up the partitions for you in /etc/fstab for your other partitions if you don't enter them when setting up your install parititons.

We added additional code to install to either normal hard drive or usb hard drive and depending on what you select a custom initrd is made.

We fixed the border size of the window because the Mandriva version left the window too small and the user couldn't see the drop down arrow for selecting either lilo or grub from the bootloader menu.

We added starting of standard services on the harddrive install that isnt required on the livecd such as cron, anacron, syslog and dkms.

We added alsactl store to store the users sound settings so they dont come up mute when booting from the hd install.

We added set root account and user account in the installer instead of it coming up after first boot.

We fixed the icon the user selects from the install to show up properly on the kdm menu.


        

After rebooting into your new system, it's time to fire-up Synaptic and install the rest of your software. As it is, one had a really light KDE. It does include konqueror, kate, kwrite, and kcontrol and this may be all the KDE some folks desire. But if you want all or other parts of KDE, it can easily be installed effortlessly throught Synaptic. Tex has split his KDE rpms into individual rpms for each component to further the user refinement of their system. So now, you can install just the parts of KDE you actually want and use. If you prefer, there is a meta package called KDE2 that installs the whole of KDE. That was my choice. It entailed 177 packages, but they downloaded and installed in an impressively short period of time. The resulting KDE desktop was complete, functional, and stable.

For those that prefer another desktop environment, Texstar has done the same for Gnome. Available are the individual packages or a meta-package called gnome2. Also available are xfce4 and fluxbox.

Don't forget your other packages. For me, the first things installed after kde2 was Firefox, OpenOffice.org, and xawtv.

One other element of PCLOS that screams to be highlighted is the "dkms nvidia driver setup from synaptic. It will install, tell you to close out programs then it will update xorg.conf and restart the desktop. It doesnt get much easier than that."

        

The other major component of PCLinuxOS is their beautiful PCLinuxOS Control Center. It too is included in MiniMe to aid the user in refining the configuration of their system. It still includes modules for installing a bootloader, defining mount points, configuring hardware, setting up a firewall or file shares, setting up network connections or groupware and ldap services, and much more. Tex states, "We updated the video monitor setup code for better detection but most of the other code was based on the latest stable release of it from [mandriva] and modified to work with pclinuxos."

        

Texstar posted, "Whats New: Everything! MiniMe comes with the 2.6.16.27 kernel, a basic KDE 3.5.3 desktop (kdebase and kdelibs), CD Installer, USB Key Disk Setup, Synaptic Software Manager and Control Center."

Some RPM highlights include:

  • gcc-3.3.1-2mdk

  • kernel-livecd-2.6.16.27.tex1.lve-1-1tex
  • xorg-x11-6.9.0-57.pclo2005.mde
  • kdebase-3.5.3-2tex
  • gimp-2.2.11-2tex
  • Full RPMList Here.
  • Full Junior RPMList HERE.
  • Full BigDaddy RPMList HERE.

Texstar and his team of developers are currently working on a full-sized traditional release featuring all the great applications and beauty PCLOS is famous for. Release dates are unset, but we can probably expect it in the coming weeks.

I'm quite pleased with this latest release from Tex and the gang. It was faster and more efficient. Hardware detection was well above average. All my hardware worked with no effort from me except that one tv card that no Linux distribution configures exactly right. It detected my new printer and configured it automagically upon first boot. The system was very stable with no crashes or apps that wouldn't open. PCLinuxOS continues its tradition of being one of the most beautiful offerings available and its new font rendering is unparalleled.

For those with PASS access, your password is still good for this release. For those without PASS access, you can get yours HERE. PASS = Premium Access System Server - provides almost unlimited bandwidth and storage! All new software packages appear on this server first.

More Screenshots.
PCLOS Homepage.
Downloads.
0.93a Full Edition Coverage.

This just in:

Errata: Xorg Composite enabled by default.

Please go into the PCLinuxOS Control Center -> Hardware -> Configure Basic
Video Settings and click the box Options.
Uncheck the box that says: Enable Translucency (Composite Extenstion)
Click Ok, Click Quit
Log out and back in again for new setting to take effect.

Solves:
ATI 3D fglrx slow GLX, Nvidia 3D slow GLX.
Solves Firefox crashing on websites with Flash content with some video cards.



PCLinuxOS 0.93a MiniMe

That is one excellent review, S. Thank you for writing about PCLinuxOS.

re: PCLinuxOS 0.93a MiniMe

Thank you for saying, and thank you for reading. Smile

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Info Tool

The PCLinuxOS Info tool is one long lacking in Linux. Is it just me or am I finally seeing the Linux answer to Belarc advisor. Those who remember it from the long ago windoze days probably lament its absence in Linux...Lament no more, Texstar et al have done it again. Kudo's for finding the Xorg bug and posting it...I found complaints about it all over the net. Not a bad thing, just a testimony to the number of folks who have come to rely upon pclos.

I have a list of over 800 people we have converted to PCLinuxOS...they will get this memo shortly. And Susan...thank you for your excellent work over at "that other website". You treated it like it was your own, and that says alot.

h

re: info tool

Augh shucks, thank you for saying.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Junior Version now out, too

A larger download, in the shape of the 484Mb Junior Version of PCLinuxOS .93a, has hit the mirrors. It is much the same as the Mini-Me, but with a certain amount of software added.

It's nice and reliable, great hardware detection, good graphics, in the PCLOS tradition, but gives new users a few programs to play with whilst they decided whether Linux is for them. Mini-Me is great if you have made your mind up to install, but for those who want to have a good look before committing their disk space, this is just the job.

Geting it up and running

I am having great difficulty getting it to install. I gave burnt the iso to cd but the laptop will not read it and keeps defaulting to XP (not what i want). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

re: Getting it up and running

You probably need to re-burn it. If you burnt it in windows, there are certain options one must be sure to use when burning isos. I believe there might be an option to make sure it's burnt as an iso.

Also, check in your bios that your machine is set to boot from cdrom drive first.

In addition, there is a nice forum for pclos users on which some very knowledgeable and helpful people frequent. They could answer your questions much more effectively than me.

Getting it up and running

Thanks, I appreciate the redirect to the other forum.

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Openwashing: Microsoft, Apple and Symphony Software Foundation

Linux Foundation: Real-Time Linux (RT Linux), LF Deep Learning Foundation, OpenTracing and More

  • Developers: Prepare Your Drivers for Real-Time Linux
    Although Real-Time Linux (RT Linux) has been a staple at Embedded Linux Conferences for years -- here’s a story on the RT presentations in 2007 -- many developers have viewed the technology to be peripheral to their own embedded projects. Yet as RT, enabled via the PREEMPT_RT patch, prepares to be fully integrated into the mainline kernel, a wider circle of developers should pay attention. In particular, Linux device driver authors will need to ensure that their drivers play nice with RT-enabled kernels. At the recent Embedded Linux Conference in Portland, National Instruments software engineer Julia Cartwright, an acting maintainer on a stable release of the RT patch, gave a well-attended presentation called “What Every Driver Developer Should Know about RT.” Cartwright started with an overview of RT, which helps provide guarantees for user task execution for embedded applications that require a high level of determinism. She then described the classes of driver-related problems that can have a detrimental impact to RT, as well as potential resolutions. One of the challenges of any real-time operating system is that most target applications have two types of tasks: those with real-time requirements and latency sensitivity, and those for non-time critical tasks such as disk monitoring, throughput, or I/O. “The two classes of tasks need to run together and maybe communicate with one another with mixed criticality,” explained Cartwright. “You must resolve two different degrees of time sensitivity.” One solution is to split the tasks by using two different hardware platforms. “You could have an Arm Cortex-R, FPGA, or PLD based board for super time-critical stuff, and then a Cortex-A series board with Linux,” said Cartwright. “This offers the best isolation, but it raises the per unit costs, and it’s hard to communicate between the domains.”
  • Clarifying the Linux Real Time Issue
    I recently posted an article about the increasing development and availability of Linux-powered automation devices. This is a clear industry trend that’s unavoidable for anyone following the automation technology industry. Shortly after posting the article, I heard from a reader who wrote: “I read your article and I am surprised that you would promote the idea that anyone would use Linux for anything critical. It isn’t even a real-time control system. It can be used for non-critical applications, but the article implies that industry is adopting it for everything.” This reader brings up a valid point. Linux is not a real-time OS in and of itself. As Vibhoosh Gupta of GE Automation & Controls noted in the original article, GE uses “Type 1 hypervisor technology to run a real-time OS, such as VxWorks, running traditional control loops alongside our PAC Edge technology operating on Linux.” [...] The Linux Foundation launched the RTL (Real Time Linux) Collaborative Project in October 2015. According to the Foundation, the project was “founded by industry experts to advance technologies for the robotics, telecom, manufacturing and medical industries. The aim of the RTL collaborative project is mainlining the PREEMPT_RT patch.” While there are plenty of mission critical applications running Linux OS with real-time extensions—as highlighted by GE, Opto and Wago—the Linux Foundation notes on its site that there remains “much work to be done.”
  • Linux Launches Deep Learning Foundation For Open Source Growth In AI
    The Linux Foundation has launched the LF Deep Learning Foundation, an umbrella organisation which will support and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The organisation will strive to make these critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere, said a statement published by LF. Founding members of LF Deep Learning include Amdocs, AT&T, B.Yond, Baidu, Huawei, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Tencent, Univa, and ZTE, among others. LF Deep Learning, members are working to create a neutral space where makers and sustainers of tools and infrastructure can interact and harmonise their efforts and accelerate the broad adoption of deep learning technologies.
  • OpenTracing: Distributed Tracing’s Emerging Industry Standard
    What was traditionally known as just Monitoring has clearly been going through a renaissance over the last few years. The industry as a whole is finally moving away from having Monitoring and Logging silos – something we’ve been doing and “preaching” for years – and the term Observability emerged as the new moniker for everything that encompasses any form of infrastructure and application monitoring. Microservices have been around for a over a decade under one name or another. Now often deployed in separate containers it became obvious we need a way to trace transactions through various microservice layers, from the client all the way down to queues, storage, calls to external services, etc. This created a new interest in Transaction Tracing that, although not new, has now re-emerged as the third pillar of observability.
  • There’s a Server in Every Serverless Platform [Ed: "Serverless" is a lie. It's a server. One that you do not control; one/s that control/s you. Even Swapnil finally or belatedly gets it. The LF really likes buzzwords.]
    Serverless computing or Function as a Service (FaaS) is a new buzzword created by an industry that loves to coin new terms as market dynamics change and technologies evolve. But what exactly does it mean? What is serverless computing?
  • Take the Open Source Job Survey from Dice and The Linux Foundation
    Interest in hiring open source professionals is on the rise, with more companies than ever looking for full-time hires with open source skills and experience. To gather more information about the changing landscape and opportunities for developers, administrators, managers, and other open source professionals, Dice and The Linux Foundation have partnered to produce two open source jobs surveys — designed specifically for hiring managers and industry professionals.
  • Automotive Linux Summit & OS Summit Japan Schedule Announced [Ed: "Brian Redmond, Microsoft" so you basically go to an event about Linux and must listen to a talk from a company which attacks Linux with patent blackmail, bribes etc.]

Security: Updates, GrayKey, Google and Cilium

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Hackers Leaked The Code Of iPhone Cracking Device “GrayKey”, Attempted Extortion
    The mysterious piece of hardware GrayKey might give a sense of happiness to cops because they can get inside most of the iPhone models currently active, including the iPhone X. The $30,000 device is known to crack a 4-digit iPhone passcode in a matter of a few hours, and a six-digit passcode in 3 days, or possibly 11 hours in ideal scenarios. That’s why security experts suggest that iOS users should keep an alphanumeric passcode instead of an all-number passcode.
  • Someone Is Trying to Extort iPhone Crackers GrayShift With Leaked Code
    Law enforcement agencies across the country are buying or have expressed interest in buying GrayKey, a device that can unlock up-to-date iPhones. But Grayshift, the company that makes the device, has attracted some other attention as well. Last week, an unknown party quietly leaked portions of GrayKey code onto the internet, and demanded over $15,000 from Grayshift—ironically, the price of an entry-level GrayKey—in order to stop publishing the material. The code itself does not appear to be particularly sensitive, but Grayshift confirmed to Motherboard the brief data leak that led to the extortion attempt.
  • It's not you, it's Big G: Sneaky spammers slip strangers spoofed spam, swamp Gmail sent files
    Google has confirmed spammers can not only send out spoofed emails that appear to have been sent by Gmail users, but said messages also appear in those users' sent mail folders. The Chocolate Factory on Monday told The Register that someone has indeed created and sent spam with forged email headers. These not only override the send address, so that it appears a legit Gmail user sent the message, but it also mysteriously shows up in that person's sent box as if they had typed it and emitted themselves. In turn, the messages would also appear in their inboxes as sent mail.
  • Cilium 1.0 Advances Container Networking With Improved Security
    For last two decades, the IPtables technology has been the cornerstone of Linux networking implementations, including new container models. On April 24, the open-source Cilium 1.0 release was launched, providing a new alternative to IPtables by using BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter), which improves both networking and security. The Cilium project's GitHub code repository defines the effort as Linux Native, HTTP Aware Network Security for Containers. Cilium development has been driven to date by stealth startup Covalent, which is led by CEO Dan Wendlandt, who well-known in the networking community for his work at VMware on software-defined networking, and CTO Thomas Graf, who is a core Linux kernel networking developer.

Applications: KStars, Kurly, Pamac, QEMU

  • KStars 2.9.5 is out!
    Autofocus module users would be happy to learn that the HFR value is now responsive to changing seeing conditions. Previously, the first successful autofocus operation would set the HFR Threshold value of which subsequent measurements are compared against during the in-sequence-focusing step.
  • Kurly – An Alternative to Most Widely Used Curl Program
    Kurly is a free open source, simple but effective, cross-platform alternative to the popular curl command-line tool. It is written in Go programming language and works in the same way as curl but only aims to offer common usage options and procedures, with emphasis on the HTTP(S) operations. In this tutorial we will learn how to install and use kurly program – an alternative to most widely used curl command in Linux.
  • Pamac – Easily Install and Manage Software on Arch Linux
    Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution available despite its apparent technicality. Its default package manager pacman is powerful but as time always tells, it is a lot easier to get certain things done using a mouse because GUI apps barely require any typing nor do they require you to remember any commands; and this is where Pamac comes in. Pamac is a Gtk3 frontend for libalpm and it is the GUI tool that Arch Linux users turn to the most when they aren’t in the mood to manage their software packages via the terminal; and who can blame them? It was specifically created to be used with Pacman.
  • QEMU 2.12 Released With RISC-V, Spectre/Meltdown & Intel vGPU Action
    QEMU 2.12 is now officially available as the latest stable feature update to this important component to the open-source Linux virtualization stack.