PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 2 – Review, Thoughts and Screenshots

6 Dec

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.



KDE and Kernel



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.

Control Center

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.

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I am ben kevan.. Well yeah. .that's about it.

17 thoughts on “PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 2 – Review, Thoughts and Screenshots

  1. applications:/ and system:/ KIO slaves are stock KDE 3.5 features, dunno why you promote them as PCLinuxOS features.

  2. The Control Center is from Mandriva Linux. The PCLinuxOS developers has taken the code from them and revamped it a bit.

    At this moment i still enjoy more mandriva linux than pclinuxos. First of all because my first language is spanish and Mandriva has a stronger spanish community.

  3. PCLOS makes no claim to being for the enterprise. From “About” on the distribution’s website:

    “…the PCLinux operating system, is a free, easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for the home.”

  4. Anon,

    applications:/ and system:/ are both indeed KDE stock features, but that is not what I touted. I touted the addition of system:/applications. Which to me helps centralize things a bit more instead of having a separate applications KIO.


    Thanks for the information on “where” the Control Center came from. I’ll def have to check out the latest Mandriva build.


    I know it’s not touted as being an enterprise touted release, but it’s method of release and the way they release it seem to follow more the “Enterprise” mentality and not the bleeding edge mentality.

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  6. Unfortunately you forgot to mention to your readers that this release is a BETA and not yet designed for general release – although your readers shoujld be able to deduce this by the title. The release notes on the PCLinuxOS forums include the following:


    We request that only our more experienced PCLinuxOS users test this beta release and report any issues with it in the forum provided specially for it.
    Testers are advised to install this beta into a separate partition for temporary use only. This and any subsequent beta iso’s are considered static installs and will not be upgradable to the 2009 Final, so please don’t install this with the idea of using it long term as a work station. Some users may be asked to test file edits, etc; to attempt bug fixes, but updated packages will not necessarily be supplied. When enough bugfixes accumulate we will release the next beta iso.



    Dave Le Huray

  7. Dave,

    I am not sure what you are getting at. The article is titled Beta 2. I highly doubt that they will decide to go to openoffice 3.0 before Final, I did not harp on any bugs, and only talked about non disruptive things.

    Again, just read the title it’s called “PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 2 – Review, Thoughts and Screenshots?

  8. Thanks for the early review and screenshots. You mention “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”. Once this version reaches production, you will find that PCLOS has all of these but the corporate sponsor. The repositories are many and stable (the beta has them disabled for now but they are there and large), the support community on the PLCOS forums is active and friendly, and though the focus on stability means that older apps may be on the release CD, more cutting edge apps are usually available in the repositories. And since PCLOS is a rolling upgrade folks such as myself with a working 2007 install will not have to wipe and reinstall. A simple “Upgrade all” in Synaptic will bring my install up to date with the release on the CD.

  9. Yes, because PCLinuxOS uses a rolling release structure, the “testing” repositories are currently frozen and many of the newer versions of packages aren’t available yet. I’m under the impression that some of the newer versions of the packages are being worked on, but have known bugs that are being patched up and the older versions of the packages were included for completeness of the beta release. I’m not sure about this though. If you are looking for an enterprise solution based on PCLinuxOS though, check out http://pclosbe.org/, which is a business-based remaster.

  10. Openoffice3.0 will be released as part of 2009 Final release. We did not include it as part of this release as we were unhappy with its stability. Thank you for testing pclos and for the feedback.
    As previously said, most of the up to date applications are in testing. Due to internal issues we were temporarily unable to release them to stable and allowed testing to grow out out proportion. We are now in the process of stabilizing the repo and will be moving everything to stable soon.
    We disabled the repos in this release to ensure we would not get erroneous reports at this critical time of the release process as TR5 is built against testing.

  11. Considering this is a test release, it has been far more stable and easy to set up on my new computer than Fedora 10, SUSE 11.1, or Mandriva 2009. The folks at PCLOS take their time to release the final, but when it is released it will be rock solid, as it should be.

  12. I hope pclinuxos 2009 final will come with OO.o 3 though the beta has the stable 2.4.1 version. And as for my trials I found pclos 2009 beta2 quite stable and usable like its predecessor. It is going to be a distro-hopper-stopper.

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