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PCLinuxOS 2007 installation review and first impressions May 26, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, First Impressions, How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Other Distros, PCLinuxOS, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
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Never have I had such an incident free installation procedure before. Really! I’m not joking. There’s literally nothing much (in terms of problems) to report. My installation of PCLinuxOS 2007 was simple and error free. What I will say now (about installation) will be comments on certain preferences and perhaps some confusion on (my) part. However, I would say that while PCLinuxOS 2007 installation was one of the most simple and straight-forward linux installations I have ever done, it wasn’t perfect!

Installation Ease? 10/10

Speed of installation? I think I had a whole installation completed in under 30 minutes. That’s excellent, though not as fast as Freespire which I think has a record (on my machine) of about 10-12 minutes!

Configuration capability? Now there’s the problem. I guess every Linux distro has to choose between how “easy” to make an installation and how “configurable”. Well, PCLinuxOS’s installation configuration ability is not thaaaat great. It’s sufficient, but somehow, it is a little scary because when you’re messing with the partition editor, everything looks “fun” even “childlike” and the gravity of the situation just seems to be lacking. The advanced options are limited and often unhelpful. Perhaps to compare, one of the BEST installations in term of configuration was openSUSE 10.2. Now in that installation you can almost change everything (including which windows drives to mount or not)! But I guess, PCLinuxOS just saves the user the trouble and does the thinking for you. Nice, but a little frustrating to non-so-new Linux users.

Bootloader? Well the final bootloader looks pretty, and it even automatically recognises my Windows XP partition, but it failed to recognise my openSUSE 10.2. This was made all the more frustrating because while installing there was no way I could add (or figure out how to add) the full details for openSUSE which was really frustrating. Anyway, all this should not be a problem for those who work only with Windows and PCLinuxOS. I must say though, that the BEST bootloader installation is by Ubuntu, which doesn’t look pretty, but recognises EVERY single distribution that I’ve had on my machine. In fact in times of greatest frustration, I’ve actually loaded an entire Ubuntu just to fix my GRUB. OK… that suggests I’m still a noob, but it also shows how reliable I think Ubuntu’s grubloader is. (latest update: I have eventually fixed my GRUB, but by using a shortcut. Report here)

Internet connectivity? No hassles at all. My DSL modem worked fine as soon as I entered my IP address etc details.

Graphics display? I must add that PCLinuxOS has been one of the BEST (alongside Mandriva) out of the box experiences in terms of my monitor graphics display. Usually, in openSUSE, Ubuntu and any other distro I’ve tried, I’ve usually had to re-configure my Graphics display settings, and even download a VIA driver when available. And even with a VIA drivers, my Ubuntu display blinks! No such problem in PCLinuxOS. It’s working. No configuration needed. And that’s excellent. Really excellent!

Multimedia Codecs? Well, I’ve not tried everything, but so far, everything has worked; EVEN DIVX movies. Can you believe that? (Yes it plays DVDs and mp3s too) No need to install anything. I’m yet to try a Quicktime .mov file, so I’m not sure about that, but any distro that can read my .divx (which even Windows needs a software package for!) out of the box is excellent! (latest update: oops, PCLOS does not play my encrypted DVDs. It seems that is a company policy. So I found out (from a post) that if you want to play DVDs you have to install win32-codecs and libdvdcss2 from the Synaptic. When I did that, it still didn’t play DVD (only .vob file by .vob file). And then I found this post which says that the above solution is will not work for encrypted DVDs: http://www.pclinuxonline.com/wiki/PlayDVDs?show_comments=1 I even installed XINE and still it didn’t work. This is so sad.)

Look and feel? I must say that PCLinuxOS is visually a standout distro! The icons and the desktop look unified, as if they had one designer thinking it all through. We don’t get the modular design look (where many designers work on different programmes to give their own ‘personal’ and contradictory touch). In terms of other distro’s, openSUSE is pretty good, but you still have to work to make it look really good. Ubuntu is just terrible! But PCLinuxOS is just simply beautiful. It did remind me of Dreamlinux, but a better version of Dreamlinux! It even makes the blue look good (and I hate blue distros)! There is one minor drawback. I think because of the lack of ‘proprietary’ fonts, the font-display of my webpages is not as ‘good’ as on openSUSE or on Windows. Well, that can be changed, or gotten used to, but that’s just an additional comment.

Software Packages? I’ve given the packages in PCLinuxOS a quick look-in and I’m surprised that all the major programmes are there… OpenOffice 2.2, GIMP etc. But I’m surprised that the games are missing. That’s sad. Because for such a distro, the games would only help strengthen it. I know where to get the games, but I wish, especially if/when I were to give this distro to a newcomer, the games were already there because it would just be that much more attractive (because the Linux collection of games are actually quite fun… some of them at least).

Summary? Basically, PCLinuxOS 2007 lives up to the hype. And as a single-CD distribution, it looks and feels much better than Ubuntu, at least in its first impression. I find myself missing the power of openSUSE, but then, openSUSE being a multi-CD distro with big-buck-support, is a tough act to beat. I liked PCLinuxOS for all the reasons people are saying that it is a great distro: looks, ease of use, out of the box multimedia functionality etc. And I can’t wait to try and test it out more. Cheers to the PCLinuxOS team. This is really a Linux Plus!

(final screenshot after installation and slight modification below)

PCLinuxOS 2007

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Comments»

1. ewen - May 26, 2007

Er after the install there is a window for setting up grub or lilo. You could have added suse then. It asks you if you want to add anything. when i installed final i was also surprised the games weren’t there but hey it is only a cd. As for the setup, it is fast but freespire on my machine is slower. Puppy loaded even faster than pclos. The only gripe I’ve had was with the floppy – there isn’t an icon for mounting it but then again it could be called a legacy device I suppose. Easily worked round by adding a symlink to the desktop.
Nice balanced review :)

2. NAyK - May 26, 2007

Thanks ewen. I did try to load suse when that “window” came up. It asked me if I wanted to add and I did. However, the only option available (for configuration) was for boot drive. ie. no “vmlinuz” “silent” etc. configuration available. Anyway, even if it did have all that I wouldn’t know what to do until I copied the boot from my openSUSE grub, but still, the option for tweaking the addition was not there.

3. Jan - May 27, 2007

I install the bootloader of a new distro/install on the partition of the install. Then I use GAG, installed from the GAG-floppy to the HD-MBR, to enable a bootmenu. Then never anymore OS-access-disasters.
Adding or removing a boot-item or restoring the MBR is very simple and quick.

And if you restore the MBR, with the GAG-floppy, the HD-booting (without menu then), is quicker !!!

Best Regards
Jan O

4. speedygeo - May 27, 2007

Don’t works with a mobile internet connection.
sig!
But the installer ask you for it!! Strange bug!

5. anonymous - May 27, 2007

I’m not an “Ubuntu fanboy” (I distro hop regularly), but to be fair it looks like you compared Ubuntu (Gnome) to openSuSE and PCLOS2007, both KDE. You should try Kubuntu for 1:1 comparison of KDE experiences. Also, the fact that PCLOS includes all the codecs and binary blobs and drivers out of the box may work for some (especially new users), but I’ve come to apperciate the fact that Ubuntu doesn’t. Sure it takes a couple extra minutes to install and I end up installing them anyway to play media, but I don’t like things like that being installed by default. That being said it is a beautiful distro and the artwork / look n feel sure beats the hell out of Kubuntu.

6. Top Posts « WordPress.com - May 27, 2007

[...] PCLinuxOS 2007 installation review and first impressions Never have I had such an incident free installation procedure before. Really! I’m not joking. There’s […] [...]

7. Kaida Rose - May 27, 2007

You have beautiful pictures on the side bar!

8. Coops - May 27, 2007

Hmmm… That makes me feel like crossing over…

9. Amuhy1001 - May 27, 2007

The games are installable in synaptic quickly and easily. The reason they are not installed by default, is they take up a lot of room on the disk. Tex in the gang cram 2Gb worth of data on to one CD, They need to decide what their priorities are.

10. Which Linux distro to choose? Help for first timers « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives - May 27, 2007

[...] ps. there’s this distro called PCLinuxOS just around the corner. The hype about it is quite high. That too, it seems, is worth a try. (latest update: Yes, I did try PCLinuxOS 2007 and I must say it is an excellent distribution. It really is. It looks beautiful, it is simple to install, and everything works out of the box. A brief installation review here.)  [...]

11. mark - May 27, 2007

to coops ( comment #9 ) …. cross on over, it’s worth the effort for pc linux 2007

12. How this "poor chap" fixed his GRUB « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives - May 27, 2007

[...] in Working with Linux, Article Watch, pclinuxos, Confessions, How-To, Linux. trackback Recently I ooh-ed and aah-ed about PCLinuxOS 2007. But one gripe I did have was that it messed up my GRUB (ie. it recognised my [...]

13. Eats Wombats - May 27, 2007

I agree, PCLinuxOS 2007 is fine distro. I installed it on an old laptop and it “just worked”. Ubuntu 7.04 in contrast failed to work out of the box with any of 3 different wireless cards: from Netgear, Linksys and Belkin (obscure brands… right?). Another distro worth a look is Mint. Like PCLOS it’s got codecs built-in.

14. vd - May 27, 2007

If he doesn’t know how to modify grub and still thinks Ubuntu’s installer is the best, let him try installing Ubuntu or any of its derivatives (including Mepis) on a second sata drive: the installer will swap the drive names and then he’ll be in real trouble. PCLOS sails through this kind of install as a clipper on a windy day.

15. Mika - May 27, 2007

3d games?
No way…..to make them work!

16. roger moore - May 27, 2007

Good review.

I had to give up on Ubuntu and all of its offspring due to grub install bugs and Ubuntu’s inability to deal with multiple partitions. So I’m always amazed at the Ubuntu hype.

I guess I’m partial to Pclos because it just works so well for me. I’ve been using it for a couple of years. Though I keep trying other distros and some I do like and enjoy, Pclos is the only one I keep coming back too. I do admit to falling in love with Sidux at the time being!

17. intellectualbeatoff - May 28, 2007

Damn.

18. enigmafoundry - May 28, 2007

to fix the boot loader, the easiest thing to do is to boot from your original suse cd or dvd, and chose the ‘repair’ option, and let it do the work.

SuSe has always found the other distros or windows on my machines, and has never screwed up the bootloader installation.

For that reason, the very simple thing of installing SuSE last, after you install your other OS’s is a good and hassle-free idea…

19. Kanwar Plaha - May 28, 2007

Good review. PCLinuxOS is my default OS … has been for over 3 years. Not that I haven’t tried every desktop-friendly linux distro during this time but I keep coming back to PCLinuxOS in a few hours (sometimes minutes — as with Ubuntu 7.04).

The 2007 release is just fantastic!

20. mandog - May 28, 2007

its ok not the best but very pretty does not default my Ati card
fiesty does so does mint Linux which in my mind is better than both

21. gryphen - May 28, 2007

As a PCLinuxOS user I’m always interested in reading reviews, and I must say that this is by far one of the best I’ve ever read. Not only do you present a fair opinion, but when making a comparison you don’t sound like a ‘fanboy’.

Additionally, I would like to extend the thanks of the PCLinuxOS Beautification Team. The updated look for the desktop is the efforts of our community. The new logo and artwork was created by the users of PCLinuxOS. While Texstar is the main developer of our distro, he makes it very clear that what is produced reflects the need of the community it serves.

22. Anonymous - May 28, 2007

Rather than install an entire operating system just for the bootloader, you might want to take a look at the “GAG” bootloader.

http://gag.sourceforge.net/

I didn’t want to mess with editing grub configurations either so this is what I use instead.

23. rooy - May 28, 2007

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDD

24. ROBNYC - May 28, 2007

PCLINUXOS FOR THE WIN BABY

25. Zeusmorg - May 28, 2007

I installed PCLinuxOS 2007 3 days ago, and loving the usability. My only
major glitch was that my dvd writer was acting very strange (lite-on DVDrw shw160p6s) however updating to a more appropriate kernel for my processor (via synaptic) corrected this. One complaint which isn’t directly the distro’s fault is the slowness of repositories, i guess this shows how HOT a distro it is. (#1 last 30 days according to distro-watch). I loved the ease of wine to setup in this distro also. One thing i HATE to be tied to is terminal consoles, i always screw up something in the line, and have to re-do it. Also i would like to see more applications in the repositories, and i will agree with some here that the install process, partitioning in particular, could use improvement.
I switched to this distro because i was getting rather fed up with opensuse’s bloatwarez i want a clean, small, and efficient system, not one that has 30 apps that do the same thing, pick the best for the initial install and then offer the others, ok? Oh btw i should say i’ve been using linux off and on for 5 years, and in the last 2 it has been my primary OS, and the last 8 months, I’ve been totally linux.
Gotta love not having to shell out 500 for the newest bestest crapola from MS, and without DRM I’ll be damed if i’ll give anyone control over ANYTHING in my machine PERIOD!
Kudos to Texstar and the gang go Opensource, go Linux , Down with MS’s hydraulic despotism of the electronic world!

26. One_Beerhunter - May 29, 2007

RE: Mika’s Comment
3d games?
No way…..to make them work!

Ask how to get your games running on the PCLOS forums… What games are your trying to run? Do you have a capable videocard? My games menu (manually setup) includes Quake3 and 4, Doom3, Return to Castle Wolfenstien, Nexuiz, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, Enemy Territory, Team Fortress and lets not forget FooBillard! Also, with the addition of DosBox you can run high tech stuff like Wolfenstien 3D and Spear of Destiny…

27. Dirk Gently - May 30, 2007

Thanks to your review, which triggered me to look around for other PCLinuxOS reviews, I tried it in live mode and two words sprung to mind…..”very polished”. I found no hardware issues on my PC, it not only looks better straight out the box than Ubuntu (personal preference of course…..even with the M$ blues), but is smoother and quicker.

I decided after about 5 minutes that I’d back up my Ubuntu stuff, and switch over…I’m still setting stuff up but so far I’m VERY impressed. It’s faster at everything and seems to be very resource efficient……for KDE. Most of the KDE implementations I’ve seen have been OTT and tacky, this one has a feel of class about it, from the splash screen, login screen, icons etc……and they disabled that fu#kin stupid bouncy icon next to the pointer that most KDE people seem to think is “cool”….that little detail alone wins my thumbs up.

It’s only a few hours in, but I’m impressed so far. It seems to be a nice blend of features from other distros, Synaptic being a great example. I’ve had no problems with any format of media so far….everything just works.

I can’t quite believe I’m saying this….but even the horrid M$ blue window borders actually look quite decent….they look more professional than the M$ original……without any alterations.

I will be experimenting and setting up things over the next couple of days so I guess things will start getting customized….but this is the first distro I’ve felt is pretty close to perfect straight out the box, which is another thing that surprised me.

I found it was even faster in live mode than an installed Ubuntu 7.04 was, which really shocked me….maybe my Ubuntu was a little tired, or my cdrom has been on a steroid diet when my back was turned…..but with 256mb of ram it went like a rocket……and looked damn good doing it.

In short, I think I could get quite used to PCLinuxOS 2007…and this review triggered the downloading and trying of it…..so I thank you (until bugs start showing up……then I look for a hitman lolololol nah I kid).

28. NAyK - May 30, 2007

To DirkGently: My feelings exactly. esp. about M$ blue!!!

openSUSE’s blue implementation is so terrible and oppressive, but with a lot of hard work you can eventually get rid of it (as I have done) by emphasizing green as the dominant colour. (one of the important reasons I liked Ubuntu was that it was not blue!)

But strangely with PCLinuxOS, a user is not only inclined to like their implementation to blue, but as in my case as soon as I went about to change it, somehow no other seemed right. They’ve done such a good job, especially with icons and overall thought (in blue) that any other colour looks odd (which is why my desktop wallpaper is still blue).

I guess the next step of evolution would be to have a base design that can be used in a few more primary colours rather than being fixed in one line of thinking.

29. smandung - May 30, 2007

Linux is one of operating system that was great increased in Indonesia. Many people used Linux in their computer system. Open source and GPU GPL was interested many people… I hope Linux become fovourite OS in the wordl… This blog is good to expose LInux OS….

http://ngadutrafik2007.smandung.com/

30. Shannon - May 30, 2007

I’ve been using PCLinuxOS for a few years now. I spent a long time, about four years, looking for a single distro that really filled my needs. The closest I came was Mandrake, which I used from 7.0 to 9.2, but they lost me because they went corporate and because their “final releases” were always bug ridden. I’d spend days learning the quirks of each new release. Reinstalling wasn’t fun either.

PCLinuxOS is like Mandrake done right. I haven’t tried “Mandriva”, but with a name like that, can you blame me? Besides… PCLinuxOS does everything right.

Well, there is one thing that irritates me about it. I do a lot of CD duplication using k3b, and I am constantly having to click extra times and slow the process because something keeps starting competing processes – kio_audiocd, which k3b has to ask if I want to kill each time.

But aside from that… perfect.

31. Jobin - May 31, 2007

i am a fan of linux since long. often i advocated for linux in my friends circles. but i never had a good distro to present them in a CD, so that they can try and get the feel. because of cubersome procedures. they used to say NO.
But now i got a remedy for my problems as a linux advocate. now i am be sure that there will be atlest 10 more linux installations in my friends circles.
I am sure that PCLinuxOS is a grate step towards spreading of good news (linux)
Long live linux.

32. Sean - May 31, 2007

Installed this on a laptop for my daghter a couple of weeks ago and am very impressed.

Everything worked out of the box and in under half an hour she was up and running without any “why can’t it do xxx” (like WIndows). I am a fairly long time Debian user and have tried a number of distros to setup a pc for Windows users and it can be fairly hard work. Lets face it everyone has Windows / Office at work or school so if Linux is to challenge MS for non techie desktop users it has to be easy to set up and configure and give them everything they are used to.

This distro does all that and more – so hats off to the guys and gals responsible

33. Gilang - May 31, 2007

This is such a great review. So, don’t we have to pay for PCLinuxOS? And then, what kind of package management does it use?

34. One_Beerhunter - May 31, 2007

Gilang…
PCLOS is a gpl’d OS, it costs $0 US and may be used without any contribution. Synaptic is the software manager and it is preconfigured to use many of the free software repositories. You can and I encourage you, to “donate” some reasonable amount to Texstar the head developer if only to say “Thanks for all of your efforts!” Should you choose to donate you will receive a PASS email with info that allows you to set up Synaptic with full access to a private high-speed “contributors only” software repository. Also if you create an account on the PCLOS forums and contribute by being an active member of the PCLOS community, ( hopefully by assisting newbies) once your have made 10 posts an additional forum is available which allows you to request the addition of some other software packages into the repository that you would like to install.

35. One_Beerhunter - May 31, 2007

Shannon….
I saw a message thread on the PCLOS forums that tells you how to turn off the annoying pop-up dialog,

http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=58&topic=566.0

Soon you’ll have to edit your post and state that PCLOS is perfect!
LOL

36. Dirk Gently - May 31, 2007

I agree on the contributing part 100%. Linux is all about contributers helping each other out, it’s one big family and part of several bigger families. A community which welcomes new blood is a thriving one.

Part of that is giving back what you can for your free software whether that’s a financial contribution, helping out other newbies, or advertising for them by blogging about it etc. Everyone has different skills and can do things in their own way. Some will join a package development project and be a tester or a manual designer, wiki editor etc.

Remember ALL Linux users are (usually) part of at least 3 families Linux, their main family (like Debian) and their direct family (Ubuntu). This is another reason why I hate the sniping between families…..we’ve all chosen to live in cleaner air than the polluted M$, we’ve just chosen different spots on the map to live, we are all one big global family.

37. speedygeo - June 1, 2007

“…one of the BEST installations in term of configuration was openSUSE 10.2…”
You are wrong!!
For exemple in openSUSE, if you want to install only the Kalarm package or the Korganizer, you MUST download and install all the kdepim package!
Ubuntu/Kubuntu, MEPIS… are more configurable!!!

38. Convert - June 2, 2007

I was a long time windows advocate this time 18 months ago, I ate, breathed and slept windows as a tech admin, my home computer used windows, and I thought things like viruses and none unified software philosophy was the best system. Then a friend gave me a pclinuxos disk.
I have been an avid Linux fan for 18 months now, and barely touch windows for anything other than work related stuff. I tried numerous distro’s for my fairly standard hardware, only pclinuxos gave me a working pc without hassles that left me feeling exausted, and unwilling to use my pc.

I never felt I should have to pay for windows, I definitely didn’t feel it was worth the price, however the consistent quality of texstars release, coupled with the absolutely fantastic nature of this latest release have left me to donate because I feel it is necessary. It’s great that Texstar doesn’t charge for PCLinuxOS, meaning I can install it on my aging grandfathers system without worrying about Lost activation codes, eroneous patches and viruses, as well as shelling out an extra £200 or so to assure myself his computing experience is up to the same high standard as mine.

I will donate probably yearly because I want to see the project deliver the same standards on it’s next major release, this business model is better for me as a customer, and for the quality of the product as a whole, in the case of PClinuxos and other Donation based Distro’s, profit relies on the quality and quality alone. This is the kind of Distro which will lead Linux into the desktop market, and is in my opinion, the only Desktop Linux currently in existence that has the out the box reliability and features the communities been harping on about for 5 years.

39. sjb007 - June 2, 2007

A nice honset unbias review!

When I first loaded PCLinux I was mighty impressed, I knew it was a winner. I have run various other distros for testing but have always gone back to PCLOS for one reason or another. I now have the latest stable version installed and as a show of appreciation for the effort I have kindly dontated towards to distro. Many thanks to tex and the gang for the dedication.

40. KarlM - June 2, 2007

In the end, it was easy to have PCLinuxOS 2007 pick up another installed Linux during the original install. When I got to the window showing my Windows and PCLinuxOS 2007 installs I clicked on Add: Then on the next window to add another distro choose Linux and:

Label: PCLinuxOSBD93 (name you choose for other distro)
Image: /mnt/hdb2/boot/vmlinuz (location of other distro)
Root: /dev/hdb2 (location of other distro)
Advanced initrd: /mnt/hdb2/boot/initrd.img

This was for my other installation of Big Daddy on the second hard drive. Use the name and of location of the / partition of the other linux distribution you are intrested in on your machine.

41. WillPass - June 3, 2007

Great review. Tried PCLinuxOS and overall liked it. My favorite has to be LinuxMint. The out-of-the-box experience is about equal with Mint, but you have Ubuntu’s huge repository + Automatix2 + Mint’s software portal. For instance tried to search for Truecrypt in the repos and it’s not there. Did a search in the forum and looks like it won’t be added either. So you are at the mercy of the tastes of the developer.

I just install Automatix and voila!!… Truecrypt + Forcefield.

Also the latest Gnome in Mint is very fast.

42. Dirk Gently - June 3, 2007

With any Linux you can get the source and compile it on your PC for that PC if theres not an official version available. I admit though that I prefer to just pick it from a list and tell it to install at this stage. No doubt as I gather experience the idea of compiling source won’t be such a daunting prospect.

With any distribution you’re going to find some packages lacking but I can see the huge Debian / Ubuntu repository as a plus over a much smaller PCLinuxOS. I kinda look at it as pro’s and con’s. The repositories are smaller, but with the rise and rise of Ubuntu, has that not attracted malware writers? I doubt they will have much success if any, but it’s the Linux they will be trying to exploit.

If you’re going to spend time writing code to exploit something, you want your potential target base as wide as possible……which means Windows, but a growing Ubuntu will no doubt be on the radar.

Using a smaller distribution stays under the radar, while also showing (for those of us who care about image) that we’re not just blindly following a trend, that we’ve chosen outside that small arc…..which means we have reasons for it.

43. Steven - June 3, 2007

Great review. I first tried linux a few years back and ended up simply deleting Windows. Don’t need, don’t want it. As for PCLOS, well, I first stumbled upon it three years ago and it’s just gets better.

44. davecs - June 3, 2007

I like the review overall. I can see why a new user might panic a little at the partitioning stage, and even more experienced users may baulk if they are not entirely sure what the partitioner is doing. I gave up (a year or so ago) on an Ubuntu installation because I could not find, in the menu, how to ensure that the installation was on a particular partition I had kept spare. Though I’m told it’s been made easier now.

You have added an edit, a problem with encrypted DVDs. Well it ought to work with libdvdcss2. Some DVD drives “fix” themselves only to use a certain locality after a few “region changes”. So I ensure I only use “local” ones. Apparently you can download “alternate” firmware but you have to risk permanently b0rking your device.

Anyway when I insert a DVD, give it a few seconds to be recognised I get an icon appearing that gives me the option to play it using Xine. Had I not installed Xine, all I would have to do is, from the PC Menu > Multimedia > Video > Kaffeine and click “Play DVD”. KMPlayer and MPlayer also play DVDs.

So can you double check what happened re your attempt to play a DVD? My advice would be to install “xine-ui” if not done already, and when the box pops up, make Xine the permanent choice to play your DVDs.

45. davecs - June 3, 2007

Further to my previous post, I have two DVD-writers on my computer, one is IDE and the other is SATA. The IDE one is the one I mostly use, as the SATA is Lightscribe.

After posting the above, I thought I’d better try the DVD in the SATA drive. This time, Xine would not play it. Something to do with “No DVD in drive or plug-in does not exist”.

On further investigation, it turned out that if you are using Xine, you have to go through the settings, and on the “media” tab, specify which device it uses. So changing the device from /dev/dvd to /dev/dvd1 meant that it can now play the disk in the second drive. But not the first.

Kaffeine, on the other hand, uses the Xine engine, but finds the DVD irrespective of which drive I put it in. But for some reason, the option to make DVDs autoplay with kaffeine is not available straight off the menu. So you’re best off setting the “automatic” action to “Do Nothing”, then run Kaffeine from the menu.

There is another thing that you may have done wrong: you do not mount Video DVDs before playing them. The fact that you accessed the VOB file suggest you had. You just pop it in, and run Kaffeine.

Hope this helps.

46. davecs - June 3, 2007

OK I have added a page to the Wiki:

http://docs.mypclinuxos.com/Adding_Media_Players

Hope this helps. My investigations today suggest that, at the present time, Kaffeine is the way to go. A lot of the stuff in the old Wiki page deals with the difficulties faced in previous versions.

47. davecs - June 4, 2007

Hi me again — I’ve pretty much corrected this page, too:

http://docs.mypclinuxos.com/Playing_DVDs_with_Kaffeine

48. NAyK - June 4, 2007

To davecs: Hey, thanks a bunch. Don’t have time to try it right now, so will probably test it when I have time to watch some DVDs! :)

49. Dave UK - June 16, 2007

Personally I have been massively impressed. I bought a cheap laptop off Ebay to muck around with linux having not touched it for a long time when I tried a couple of distros on an old desktop that was on its way out.

I’ve even got working without too much effort my Netgear WG511v2 (the Chinese version) wifi card WPA and all.

In the week I’ve had this laptop I’d tried Opensuse, Ubuntu , Kubuntu, Fedora and Mandriva and finally PCLOS it would of saved me so much hassel (and late nights) to have gone straight for it. From an uneducated standpoint the whole wireless issue is a big thing for ‘switchers’ I’ve got a bit of knowledge but all the terminal stuff gets confusing. All I did was use the built in control center with Ndiswrapper pointed it to the driver the only thing I had to do to get online was reset the router and there it was enter the passphrase and bingo online writing this comment!

None of the other distros have I found as newbie friendly with such functionality as PCLOS.

Yes I’ll still use my couple of Windows machines and my Mac but this laptop is now a really nice addition, plus Beryl makes it look cool!

50. Colin - June 26, 2007

Thanks Dirk,
I’d forgotten about the Holistic Detective Agency till I saw your nickname, brings back many good old memories.

51. sandeepkram - July 6, 2007

This looks like a pretty good distro on which I can start re-acquainting myself with linux . Could anyone tell me if it will run reasonably on my 1.4ghz celeron with 760mb ddr 333ram ?

52. Dirk Gently - July 7, 2007

My PC has a measly 256mb of 133dram and it runs damn smooth. I do have an Intel P4 2.4ghz CPU though. I’d suggest you download it and try it, it’s a combo live / install CD. Just remember it will be slower running from the CD.

That being said, I found PCLinuxOS 2007 to be faster in live mode than many fully installed….which REALLY impressed me, especially when you see all the graphical touches.

53. Some Guy - July 13, 2007

my only problem with PCLinuxOS is that my fonts apear HUGE, and i do mean HUGE. in the same screen resolution as windows the fonts are three times bigger, as a default i found this unaceptable since i need plenty of space to work and fonts that size make the UI stretch like crazy. i don’t know if the font being so big is the normal behaviour but if it is something is definatly wrong.

54. Some Guy - July 13, 2007

OH and one more thing, the mouse cursor, it looks like they smashed 3/4 cursor themes and found the horrible result good. e mean, they have a kinda nice trasparent arrow, a horribly pixelated hand (this looks REALLY BAD) a cool looking watch that unfortunatly is one of the worse waiting cursors, i mean… IT HAS NO ANIMATION!!! and then last but surely not least they put in THE MANDRIVA WAITING CURSOR, this looks so horribly out of place that it makes my eyes hurt, which is a shame since i think mandriva has the best cursor. Anyone know how to fix my problems? i only installed PCLinuxOS because my ubuntu refuses to install, and was pleased to find i was able to get beryl to work in 5 seconds. If i can fix this stuff it’ll become my main linux distro, if not, guess i’ll give mepis a try.

55. Dirk Gently - July 13, 2007

I did find that I needed to tweak the font sizes a bit in Firefox too. On the cursor, the bouncy KDE “loading” cursor just looked tacky to me, it’s something I immediately scramble around to disable in a KDE set up.

The pointers in PCLinuxOS 2007 I found rather classy personally. The blue isometric arrows chasing each other….I notice Fedora 7 has the same cursor look.

I can’t remember any pixelated hand, but I’ve switched over to Ubuntu for the last few weeks, I may just not remember (or have been bothered with it).

A lot of this is personal preferences. Looking for a different mouse theme is easy enough…..in fact now you mention it, I may just use that one in my Ubuntu. The fonts issue is not an easy quick fix unfortunatly.

My first step would be to make sure your screen resolution hasn’t defaulted to a different size than you usually use. I like 1024×768 and both Ubuntu and Kubuntu are hell bent on starting me on 1178 or something which makes the text too small for me. After that go in and tweak the fonts one at a time…..I found some fonts look a little better at 12 than others at 11.

In Firefox, remember to go into the “advanced” font settings to adjust the detail, it’ll give you far more control.

PCLinuxOS I found out is the original Mandrake bloodline, forked when Mandriva came into being and went off the rails. This is in all but name……Mandrake.

I only changed because I found that the “best in class” applications I settled on for my needs were mostly GTK+ which drove me crazy….I like KDE and wanted as much as possible to use native QT applications. It got to the point where I had to try and justify to myself if it was worth my time sticking with KDE or going to Gnome which I wasn’t keen on.

It broke my heart, but I’m now a Gnome user…..who is still at heart a KDE person. Having said that, Gnome is a great workhorse set up after you get used to it. PCLinuxOS 2007 just felt that changing away from the custom KDE they’d used would defile it in some way…..it was like it was destined for KDE only…..so I switched.

56. Some Guy - July 13, 2007

thank you very much for your answer, having to set up font by font is something i really don’t want to do, shows that the distro is not as ready as it should be. Also it seems your mouse cursors are diferent from mine, mine all look diferent and ugly besides the black arrow with cool looking rotating circles (Mandriva/Mandrake style or whatever). i don’t have any blue isometric arrows chasing each other and i want to :(
as for having to use GTK+, in kubuntu there is a really cool option to apply the Qt style to GTK+ aplications, making them look a lot better. this shouldn’t be too hard to put in PCLinuxOS.

57. PCLinuxOS 2007– Ready for Average Joes? « Learning Lisp - August 14, 2007

[...] have to say that the Wizards and the documentation for the install process are very poor.  Other people seem to have had a good experience with it, but I’m not there yet.  From my perspective, [...]

58. Gary R. - August 15, 2007

I’m using .93a and PCLOS2007
for a year now. I just had to learn to work with it like with Windows. But I’m so happy with it. No more sorrow whatsoever. I recommend PCLOS to everyone. For me it is better than Windows.

59. tomr - August 29, 2007

I have PCLOS2007 on separate partitions on the two notebooks I use (my job means I HAVE to use Vista and XP). I have had few problems and my friends are at the end of my zealous promotion of this distro. But I have had to do a total re-install twice because I found no way to use a live CD to restore a non-booting installation (the grub is fine…). i wish that there was an option to repair an installation gone bad on the live CD…

60. leighr - September 1, 2007

Am amazed. Have loaded PCLinuxOS on an old Satellite 4030CDT laptop (Celeron 300 & 190mg ram) Took a bit of fiddling to get usb netgear wireless card working but now have a nice usable system…Would other wise have thrown this machine in the rubbish bin….

61. manmath sahu - September 6, 2007

Liked your review. I am looking forward to PCLinuxOS Gnome version and its regular version with KDE 4.

62. NAyK - September 6, 2007

TO manmath sahu: I’m not too fond of the GNOME interface, but yes I am certainly looking forward to the KDE4 implementation.

63. NAyK - September 7, 2007

The following comment was posted in another post, but I’m pasting it here, because it will give new users a better (more informed) view of the distribution from a user. The author of the comment is GreyGeek.

***

by GreyGeek, 7 Sep, 2007

PCLinux 2007 happens to be the distro I have installed on my laptop. PCLinuxOS is freely downloaded from the PCLinuxOS website:

http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?option=com_ionfiles&Itemid=28

and the forum, accessible from the home page, offers excellent FREE help. Phone and remote support is available if you wish to purchase it, but experience has shown that the PCLinuxOS forum, like those that surround the top 10 Linux distros, is more than able to handle most problems, if any, you may encounter. The forum is also Windows user friendly. We don’t ridicule you if it turns out that PCLinuxOS doesn’t work well on your hardware or with your software needs. Those things happen. We know from personal experience that situations can change and if you’ve had a friendly forum experience you’ll know where to come when you get more compatible hardware or your software requirements change. However, I’d wager that for over 90% of those running XP or WinXX, PCLinuxOS would fit on their machine like a silk glove, as it did on my laptop, detecting and automatically installing all of their hardware. Besides, what have you got to lose? If it doesn’t work you can get a full refund of your purchase price! :-). Merely download the ISO and check it with the md5 checksum. Then burn the ISO using the verify mode to be sure you obtained a clean burn. Then leave the CD in your cdrom and recycle the power. PCLinuxOS will run as a LiveCD but WON’T touch your hard drive, unless you chose to install it. In the LiveCD mode it will be somewhat slower than if it were installed on your HD, but the LiveCD mode will give you and excellent chance to see how well the distro detects and installs your hardware, and runs on your box. PCLinuxOS has an excellent GUI system admin software suite, PCC, which will allow you to completely manage PCLinuxOS without going to the command line.

IF you do decide to install PCLinuxOS, either as your sole OS or in a dual boot mode, be sure to select the ReiserFS journaling file system, from the “custom” install option, on your Linux partition. It is like having a stealth UPS connected to your box. Electrical and most hardware failures won’t harm a byte of data. But, if your HD crashes and your read/write head plows a furrow across a platter, as rare as that is, then all bets are off.

It may also be that you need one or more applications that are available only on Windows. You can install PCLinuxOS in a dual boot mode, but IF your copy of XP is legal and you have an install CD then let me recommend that you use either VMServer or VirtualBox (both free) and install your XP as a guest OS. That’s the way I run my copy of XP. A nice side advantage is that I can compress the 12GB of files that compose the guest XP system setting on my HD and save it as a zip on a DVD. Restoration is a simple as copying the zip file off of the DVD onto my HD and expanding it to recover the files.

Remember one thing: Linux IS NOT Windows. Pointing and Clicking works the same, but you’ll find the menu structure and app names are different, unless you rearrange the menu and rename the apps. Also, users run as users, NOT as system admins (root). Also understand that if you use the KDE desktop (as opposed to the GNOME desktop) you’ll have more desktop power and mime functionality than even XP or VISTA. And if your video hardware is capable of 3D acceleration and you install Beryl you’ll have a video experience that matches or exceeds VISTA’s Aero in most cases. And, there won’t be any DRM looking over your shoulder and slapping your hands if you decide to play the DVD movie mp3 music you PURCHASED. Linux won’t be downgrading your video resolution because some algorithm has decided that you are a pirate. And, it won’t let 3rd party vendors into your system through back doors that Microsoft has so graciously given them in XP and VISTA. So, those vendors won’t be perusing your files and taking notes on what you have, what you use, your personal data, and deleting what THEY FEEL is detrimental to their monopoly structures. When a virus lands in your mail box it will do ….. NOTHING! It can’t.

There is nothing in Linux like activeX controls that automatically fire email attachments. Everything in Linux is a file, even devices. Only files can be executed. To fire a virus you’d have to save it as a file, mark the file as executable, and then run the file. Even then, it would only have your user rights and it if destroys your user account merely log into root and recreate a fresh one. But, contrary to the propaganda put out by virus houses who are trying to replace lost revenue streams that Microsoft stole by invading their market space with “OneCare” (How about an OS vendor that writes buggy and insecure software and then sells additional software to plug holes it should have never allowed in the first place! Isn’t that a great income generating scheme or what! It’s even worse when one considers that independent comparisons show that “OneCare” traps only 90% of the viruses that attacks it. http://www.av-comparatives.org/seiten/ergebnisse_2007_08.php I’m glad I am not their customer.)

Besides, there have been only 6 active malware agents against Linux found in the wild since 1991. Sure, the anti-virus houses list 400+ “Linux” viruses, but I drilled down on over 125 of them and found that they are, without exception, WINDOWS graphic viruses that have had the word “Linux” deliberately put into their name to create a false impression.

You’ll find that about the only threat to your Linux installation will be the black hat cracker. Keep your firewall up, ports closed, and a good password system going and you won’t have any problems from him. You’re Linux box won’t become a zombie in some cracker’s harem because it takes too much effort to acquire a harem one box at at a time. The repository will keep you informed of patches and upgrades to Linux files, and 3rd party apps, and you can have them installed automatically.

After a short period of adjustment in learning how to do the same tasks in Linux that you used to do with Windows, only using different software, you’ll find that the OS has become transparent, anti-virus subscriptions are unnecessary, the OS never crashes, although an application may, occasionally, especially if it is in beta, and you won’t need to buy registry cleaners or other performance enhancing software to turn a turtle OS back into a race horse.

Did I mention that you won’t have to buy a new PC in order to use Linux? In fact, Linux is good at extending the life of older PCs because it runs faster on them than Windows did. Besides, the best way to speed up an old horse is to increase its RAM.

Drop me a line at the PCLinuxOS forum and tell me how your experience went. I’d be glad to hear from you.

64. johnd - September 17, 2007

I hope I am not being rude but I am amazed that people feel to be able to write reviews of Linux distributions but do not seem to know the basics of how grub works! If a distro install does not pick up another distro, it should be simply a matter of finding the old grub.conf or grub.ilst file and copying the boot section from this into the new distro’s grub.conf file.

65. NAyK - September 17, 2007

To Johnd: No I don’t think you’re being rude. The tendency to think that you need to understanding the intricacies of “terminal” oriented Linux is common amongst Linux users. So no offence taken. Of course I would add that I have been writing ‘reviews’ as a beginner (newbie/noob) and not as a pro (geek) user.

Anyway, if you’re referring to my earlier GRUB problem, well I used my own common sense and had already fixed that GRUB problem using copy and paste. I had to copy my openSUSE grub list and paste it only the GRUB.conf file in my PCLOS grub menu. I enjoyed figuring that out, and it now works.

But my issue here however was with ease of use. And I vouch that for now Ubuntu has a much better recognition of “other” distros than PCLinuxOS. I fixed my PCLinux GRUB using copy and paste. But with Ubuntu, I don’t need to “fix” it using copy and paste.

66. johnd - September 17, 2007

OK – I agree – fair comment! None of the distros I have used have picked up other distros in GRUB to date.

67. Snapafun - October 8, 2007

I’ve played around with linux for a while now, but since I decided it was time to start actually using linux full time to do actual work, then PCLinuxOS and Business Edition Linux ( PCLOSBE ) is what I settled on and I haven’t regretted it since.

68. Desktop Linux Shootout :-) - Page 4 - India Broadband Forum - October 9, 2007

[...] to vista" ? you being sarcastic or was that a type??? nice pclinuxos review here PCLinuxOS 2007 installation review and first impressions Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives and wikipedia page here PCLinuxOS – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it supposedly has multimedia [...]

69. Lars - October 10, 2007

Nice review. Haven’t tried any PCLOS distro but this review made me want to check it out…well sometime. Being a longtime Kubuntu user I’ve grown somewhat attached to it. I completely agree that any *buntu is down right ugly from the box, but I’m still looking forward to the release of KDE4 in december. Hopefully that will change the first impression of Kubuntu (and other KDE distros for that matter) and then I’ll decide if I should give PCLOS a chance.

70. White Geek - October 19, 2007

I can’t agree more with Grey Geek! See 07-sep.-7. The point is that many PC users aren’t 20-30 yrs of age, but older, like me… 61 already. My experience with Linux until 3 weeks ago was ZERO, had heard about it. From XP I changed to Vista to end up in an unacceptable loss of productivity caused by “updates” and lots of disturbing crashes. My ASUS P4P is, I admit, already 3 years old, too old? Guess not, having shifted to PCLOS2007 it unleashed its power and speed. The main attraction for me and point of decision: the distro came with all “my” software, claimed to work “out of the box”, and offered visual attractions far exceeding “glass” from Vista. TRUE, it worked right out of the box, it didn’t crash, I could easily download and install a properly working NVIDIA driver for my 5800XT, my SB-A2ZS worked well, packs of games for a son I could download in an instant, and I can reach my wife in her office instantanuously with Kopete.
Incredible, amazing, excellent work!! Recommended…
The important issue for “older” geeks is the transition to a Unix-like environment. With KDE and playing around with options like those from Beryl however you can quickly design your own “GUI” and setup all things the way YOU like it and nobody else! Although I wouldn’t make the mistake I made: making a dual boot system for XP or Vista. Older geeks will stop using them, I am sure, within a few days. My ‘transition’ took 1 week…
PCLinux2007 has much to offer, much in common, and appears to me the right tool at the right time to break bounds others try to impose on you.

71. Manuel Otzoy - October 21, 2007

Despues de probar muchas distribuciones de Linux he quedado completamente encantado con PClinuxOS. Verdaderamente es simple de usar. Han hecho un gran trabajo. No he tenido ningún problema y lo recomiendo sin duda alguna. Tiene todo lo que uno pueda necesitar.

72. johanes iwan - October 23, 2007

me too so impressions my first distro is redhat 8.0,.

73. wallace - October 30, 2007

spme of u guys may want to share ur experiences about pclinuxos in this orkut forum about pclinuxos….

http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=37586510

hope to spread ur goodwill ….

74. ola - January 2, 2008

no help or response to 59 above? why cannot an installation be repaired much like you can an XP installation?

75. NAyK - January 2, 2008

To ola: (and 59?)… repairing an installation… well… I’ve not really had to repair a PCLOS installation… but I guess if we don’t know code etc… then I wouldn’t know how to do it other than a full reinstall. I confess that since I don’t know code… I’ve fixed a few Ubuntus and openSUSE’s by reinstalling… though I haven’t had the opportunity to do that with PCLOS.

However, I’ve not had a great time with Windows XP repair either… and I’ve thrice (in 4 years to be fair) had to reinstall Windows to once again get it to where I want it.

76. disable windows media center in vista - January 29, 2008

disable windows media center in vista

77. Mik - June 21, 2008

I have been using LInux on and off for around 12 years, started on Red hat. recently I have ditched Windows because I got absolutely fed up with the malware/spyware/virii and other stuff.
so over the last 6 months I have tried the following distributions., PCLinux, Suse 10.3, Suze 11, Sabayon, Fedora 8 AND 9 and I think one or 2 others along with MInt. Basically the problem with LInux is that it does not work correctly on everyones machine. PCLinux bomber for me because after around a month I was not able to log into the machine on anyones account, this happened 3 times before I ditched it. The intstallation was a breeze as was setting up the other stuff and I am really familiar with partitions and the like. but the re installations really bugged me and I couldnt find any help to my problem. suse10.3 and 11 is just too boring, I really really like sabayon but after system updates 3.5 I couldnt get my nvideo working it worked ok with 3.4f. The I used fedora but again had problems with the video card, so now I run Mint I think its a great system, it configured correctly everything first time and you can even un install programs from the menu and it will back up your added downloads to a cd so that you dont have to re download everything again. I have had to install it a second time again due to system updates that broke my machine, so I have placed a more conservative update so this is unlikely to happen again. Now on some peoples machine PCLinux and others will run perfect and maybe Mint may cause problems so the best advice I can give is dont decide on one system right away but try half a dozen then pick the one that fits in with your lifestyle and machine componants.


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