Wednesday, August 18, 2010

pclos revisited

This week, I added PCLinuxOS KDE 2010.07 to my set-up.  My last PCLOS installation was the PCLOS 2007 version.

PCLOS is a great distro -- a user-friendly, quick-installing, single live CD distro along the lines of Linux Mint and Mepis. KDE 2010.07 version shipped with KDE 4.4.5, but I found updates for KDE 4.5.0 CE available, so I brought 'em in.

This installation may have been the quickest Linux installation I've ever done.  It took a little more than ten minutes.  PCLOS doesn't ship with OpenOffice, or any other office suite that I could see, but they put an icon on the desktop that makes it quite easy to install OpenOffice.

In the main menu, PCLOS puts an entry for the Repository Speed Test tool.  This tool came in handy for me because the default PCLOS repo source was much too slow.  The default settings for the Repository Speed Test didn't actually help me much, but after looking into things a little further, I was able to come up with a CLI command that helped me find the fastest repo source available.  The command I settled on was: -a 30 -t 10 -v

This gave me an allowed repo age of 30 days, a 10-second timeout before "fail," and verbose output.

This PCLOS installation gave me my first real look at the KDE4 desktop, so I had a lot to learn to be able to tweak things.  I'm starting to get the hang of the whole "Activities" concept, and I've managed to get different wallpaper set-ups on different virtual desktops, including one with a slideshow set-up, similar to how I've always set things up in KDE 3.5.  They also made the classic-style KDE menu the default, which I appreciated because I haven't yet warmed up to the Kickoff menu style.

I'm feeling good enough about KDE4 that I don't think I'll miss KDE 3.5 much at all.  Some of the concepts were kind of hard to wrap my mind around, like the idea that each Activity has its own set of virtual desktops.  But after playing around with things, I'm getting a feel for how things work.

Anyway, so far this experience with PCLinuxOS has been great.  I'm finding it difficult to break away and log into any of my other distros.  I don't think I'll be removing this system anytime soon.  Earlier, I'd downloaded the Linux Mint 9 (Isadora) KDE live DVD and played around with it a bit, but I decided against installing it, mainly because I already have the main (GNOME) version of Isadora installed.  I think it was a good decision; it gave me a chance to kinda go in a different direction (PCLOS is an .rpm distro, and all of the other distros I have in my set-up are Debian-based), and I seriously doubt that the Isadora KDE version is any better than PCLOS's KDE version.

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