Tuesday, February 5, 2013

latest pclos

J.A. Watson, in the ZDNet blog Jamie's Mostly Linux Stuff, wrote about PCLinuxOS 2013.02 KDE in "PCLinuxOS quarterly rollup release: Hands on."

My days with PCLOS go back to the 0.92 release from 2006. Later, I ran PCLOS 2007, stopped using the distro for awhile, and then installed PCLOS 2010.07 back in the summer of 2010. PCLOS is a rolling-release distro, and I kept that last installation going for a couple of years, until around September of last year. It was still running fine, but I simply decided to go in other directions.

PCLOS has a lot going for it, but Watson's article points out some things to watch out for, including the fact that while the 2013.02 release ships with KDE 4.9.5, the kernel is still at 3.2.18, which may be important if you have a very new computer. By comparison, my openSUSE 12.2 installation (12.3 will be released soon) is at 3.4.11-2.16; DistroWatch's package listings show the latest to be 3.7.6, but Watson says that the newest stable kernel available is 3.8.x.

PCLOS is also one of the few distros still using Grub Legacy, which is good or bad depending your point of view.

In the comments that follow the article, "ruel24" mentions something that was one of the reasons why I decided to stop using PCLOS: "The biggest problem with PCLinuxOS is the really small developer team." I found PCLOS to be generally quite stable, but the so-called quarterly update releases weren't even coming close to making it out every quarter. They might as well stop calling them "quarterly udpates" -- the previous one was back in August, 2012 -- but the release announcement for 2013.02 still says, "These are 32bit quarterly update isos..."

While no longer being something I'm interested in running here, PCLinuxOS is a decent distro, especially if you like KDE and the rolling-release model. There's no 64-bit edition, but they're working on it, and the 32-bit version can be installed on a 64-bit machine. Good distro for beginners as well as for advanced Linux users.

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