With all the ranting and raving of PCLinuxOS 2007 I decided to give PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 2 a shot. I started by downloading and launching the Live CD in a virtual machine. Here are a few screen shots I captured.
So why did I decide to give PCLinuxOS a shot? Quite frankly I was looking at some free solutions for an enterprise edition based on the DE that I prefer (KDE), along with a distribution that would be stable and easy to use. Another intriguing thing to be was their choice to stay with KDE 3.5.10 on a new release (something I admire, because I do not thing KDE 4 is ready for every day production use.
After I booted up the live CD I opted not to play around but to just go ahead and install it. This process was quite painstakingly easy.
Above is a screen shot of every step throughout the installation process. It was, and is as easy as that. I am not quite sure about the removal of the drivers at the beginning, but I’ll look into why that is required (it didn’t make a difference since I was running a vmware driver).
After the installation I decided to play around with it a tiny bit, to see what versions of and what overall packages were included. This is where my disappointment started setting in. I understand PCLinuxOS would be targeted for a more stable / enterprise style use, with very stable applications, and an environment that doesn’t change often. However, some of the applications included surprised me, most notably openoffice.org 2.4.1.
Here are a few screen shots I decided to snap after the installation, but before I logged on and checked out the versions of some of the apps. I actually liked that this is the time when it asked for a user and the root password.
Now that I’ve got all that accomplished I went ahead and logged on, and checked out some of the vital applications for my daily production use.
Now some more screen shots of some things I found quite interesting like the PCLinuxOS Control Center, and an interesting KIO system:/applications
The first screen shot I included is for the Control Center which if you’re familiar with openSUSE is similar to YaST, which I believe is superior but Control Center did have some advantages, and I think the basic naming of some of the Control Center modules would make the transition for some Windows users very easy. Here’s a simple screen shot of the Control Center, and I hope to give a good comparison between PCLinuxOS Control Center and YaST.
Another very interesting thing they included was a way to manage compiz. I think this is a method that openSUSE should actually incorporate. Here’s what they had within the system:/application KIO.
Lastly is a screen shot of the applications KIO that I’ve praised in the last 2 rantings above.
Overall PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 2 seems to be a good alternative for openSUSE in the enterprise space, but the lack of major repositories, major community support, corporate funding and some vital outdated applications (mainly openoffice.org) are the things that would keep me from using it. However, I applaud them for choosing to go with KDE 3.5.10 and not rushing to 4.1.x. I really wish openSUSE would take a second thought about keeping KDE 3.5.10 in openSUSE 11.2 which will be due out in about 9 months and a few days.