Thursday, September 16, 2010

the distro hopper stopper

PCLinuxOS fanboys are no different from those of other Linux distributions in believing that their distro is "the best out there."  At the PCLOS forums, they call their distro "The distro hopper stopper."

PCLOS is a very nice distro, but whether it's the best or not is certainly a matter of opinion.

I installed PCLOS KDE 2010.07, and, on the whole, found it quite pleasant to use.  As I mentioned in pclos revisited, it shipped with KDE 4.4.5, but updates were available for KDE 4.5, so I quickly brought 'em in.  I'm running KDE 4.5.1 in PCLOS now.

After about a month of usage, here a few things that bug me about it:

- Amarok and JuK constantly crash with segmentation faults here.  I finally got tired of trying to find fixes and installed Exaile, which works perfectly fine for my purposes.  (I'm also running KDE 4.5.1 in Linux Mint, on top of the main GNOME installation, but I'm having no problems their with either Amarok or JuK.)
- PCLOS doesn't include manual pages by default, and it's kind of a pain to get them installed.  Boo!  Linux without man pages?  Not cool.  Fortunately, man pages are available online.
- The PCLOS forums don't allow any discussion whatsoever of other Linux distros.  I couldn't even discuss Linux Mint Debian Edition, which is perhaps the biggest story in Linux in quite awhile.  I don't understand the forum rule prohibiting such discussion; kind of seems like they are forcing their members to keep their heads in the sand, or to wear blinders.
- I'm running the desktop with the "Different widgets for each desktop" setting turned on so that I can have different wallpapers on each desktop.  Problem is, whenever I start a new session, I get taken to virtual desktop #4 instead of #1.  Haven't run across this bug in KDE 4.5.1 in Mint.
- Synaptic, while faster than it was in the previous PCLOS versions that I've tried, is still significantly slower than in other distros.  I'm sure that part of this has to do with the fact that PCLOS is an .rpm distro, not a .deb distro.
- Another minor annoyance with Synaptic in PCLOS is that it doesn't allow you to view changes in a terminal as they take place, although after the changes have been made a window pops up showing some of the messages that were output.

None of these problems are "showstoppers" for me.  As I said, I enjoy using the distro.  The positives far outweigh the negatives.  Texstar & Co. have really done a remarkable job, and I would not hesitate to recommend this distro to anyone, especially to folks new to Linux.

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