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K/Ubuntu 7.10 vs PCLinuxOS 2007 showdown October 22, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, First Impressions, Linux, PCLinuxOS, Recommendation, Reviews, Ubuntu, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
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(updated disclaimer: Any comparison of distro’s can be problematic because each distro has different goals and visions. However, this comparison is written from the point of view of a new (Windows) user who is looking for options to install.)

Due to limited harddisk place, and partly because of my desire to try something new, I erased my PCLinuxOS 2007 to try out the new Ubuntu 7.10 (and also Kubuntu). What I present now are some impressions of my use of both operating systems, and I must say at the onset that even though I do not have any personal stake on either distribution (I am not a fanboy), I am left feeling that PCLinuxOS is by far the best choice for new Linux users available today.

(Because I have previously talked about PCLinuxOS, this article will focus more on my experience with K/Ubuntu in relation to my past PCLinux (basic) experience. Also, since I’ve used both Kubuntu and Ubuntu (or rather I installed KDE from my Ubuntu installation) I will mix both versions together… though being reasonably aware of the look-and-feel differences between KDE and GNOME).

Installation impressions:

Ubuntu: My personal experience in installing Ubuntu’s 7.10 was quite painful, partly because I first got corrupted files from a Taiwan mirror (even though the MDSUMS were correct!). Furthermore, the installation procedure is quite long, took more than 30 minutes, where today the benchmark for one-CD linux installs must be under 30. What is upsetting however is that there was very little information as to what was actually happening to my computer once the installation started… and worse there was no way of configuring what was being installed and what not. The best thing about the Ubuntu installer is the migration assistant, which while I didn’t use this time round (I now have clear differences between what I do with Windows and what I do with Linux), it was a cool trick. The other really cool thing about Ubuntu is its GRUB installer, which recognizes everything!

PCLinux: PCLinux’s installer is also pretty unhelpful. Going for simplicity, you’re eventually left at the mercy of the machine to do what it is programmed to do. But unlike Ubuntu, PCLinux is much faster, even it’s LiveCD feels faster. The other tweaks of Ubuntu can be missed, and I was particularly unhappy with PClinux’s inability to recognise my openSUSE partition. But still, it was pretty ok.

Verdict: In comparison with openSUSE’s excellent configurability during install, both PCLinux and Ubuntu fall short. Ubuntu has more features, while PCLinux has more speed. Ubuntu = 1 point, PCLOS = 1 point

Visual impressions:

Ubuntu: I have used Ubuntu since its 5.04 days, and I must say that I am surprised that it “looks” pretty much the same. Of course there have been a world of changes, but I can’t recall the difference being so huge for the beginning user. At least since 2006, there has been no significant changes in Ubuntu to warrant immediate attention, expect perhaps the change in installation; and the bootsplash. This is not to say that the design of Ubuntu is bad. I like it’s simple, brown look. I even like the drum-roll sound, which is a change from the noisy Windows or even the strange KDE music. My only complaint is that Ubuntu doesn’t have that “Wow”.

PCLinuxOS: As mentioned earlier, my first impressions of PCLinux have been “wow”. Especially in its consistent implementation of “blue” a colour I detested before meeting PCLOS. Somehow, PCLOS does a good job visually, and while many design inconsistencies remain (like the installer, which looks very childish/cartoonish), as well as some of the graphics which look too big, PCLOS still it does look good.

Verdict: Ubuntu is more consistent, simple and perhaps even elegant than PCLOS, but PCLOS is really beautiful (esp. if you like blue!). While Ubuntu has many good design implementations, PCLOS seems better thought through and implemented. Particular in comparison with Kubuntu (which uses KDE like PCLOS), PCLOS stands far ahead in terms of visual beauty. Ubuntu = 1 point, PCLOS = 2 points.

Out-of-the-box experience:

Ubuntu: It is here that PCLOS beats Ubuntu thoroughly, but it would be unfair to compare this without mentioning something of the Ubuntu philosophy. It seems that Ubuntu is driven by “free” software, though it does have proprietory software in its repositories. Still, because Linux is limited by law to play DVDs and mp3s… without certain codecs that are not open-source? Ubuntu cannot naturally offer then out of the box. As a result, any user of Ubuntu has to install the relevant codecs before using the media. Of late, Ubuntu has simplified this process by downloading the required codec when needed (ie. if you click an mp3 file, it will ask you to download the codec). But the fact remains that to make Ubuntu fully work, you need to do a little bit of fiddling. Personally, I tried to download the codec but the message I got was that there is an old package information and I needed to reload. I eventually found out that I had to enable the repositories (for software download) and then reload. All that, after installation, took another 20 minutes.

Surprisingly, even the internet took some time to configure (I’ve never had this problem with Ubuntu), as even though I gave my correct IP address, still it didn’t recognise my internet connection. Then suddenly while doing something else, it started to work. A bit of a mystery.

PCLinux: I can’t emphasise it enough that for beginners of Linux, for those who don’t know much about the philosophical or legal hassles regarding codecs etc… PCLinux comes as a breath of fresh air. Everything works! Of course I have to enter the IP address of the internet connection (and the network needs to be configured, something that I remember I didn’t need to do in Xandros!), but all the multimedia codecs I need, even the graphics driver, are all enabled. It even recognised my home wi-fi connection without any additional drivers (it was easier to connect than in Windows!). For beginners, it can’t get simpler than PCLinux! (latest update: Please note however that “PCLinuxOS does not ship with Win32codes or DVD decryption software.” While these, like on Ubuntu can be added if you need them, I’ve marvelled at PCLOS being able to play a lot of media (even mp3) right out of the box. So I’m not saying that PCLOS is perfect, but in comparison with Ubuntu, and even Windows for that matter, it is a breath of fresh air).

Verdict: Since this is a beginner user oriented post, I must say that Ubuntu is pretty unfriendly to the beginner. It is better than it was before, but in comparison with PCLinux, it’s far far behind. Ubuntu = 0 points, PCLinux = 2 points.

Packages/Software impressions:

Ubuntu: Both Ubuntu and PCLinux have a good set of software tools, most of what one would need. However, here my preference for KDE is shown where I need (prefer) K3B than Ubuntu’s CD burner… so I have to install a few things here and there. Ubuntu also has (some good) games, which PCLinux doesn’t (Why?). And because Ubuntu is more recent, some of its software packages (like openoffice 2.3) are more recent/updated than PCLinux. Ubuntu also has an excellent update feature, that automatically checks when a software/feature needs updating.

PCLinux: It has good packages, but not games, and in comparison with Ubuntu, some older packages. And sadly, for updates, you have to go to the package manager and find updates by reloading and then applying (a bit of a pain, really).

Verdict: Of course people may argue that I’m not being fair in my comparison. PCLinuxOS is older so obviously it’s packages will be older. But one thing really good about Ubuntu is its regular update cycle. It is dependable and worth looking forward to. It keeps itself up-to-date to the latest in offering, as a result, Ubuntu keeps improving. PCLinuxOS, on the other hand, while an excellent distro, does not have that kind of release cycle (I have no idea when the next one is coming) and as a result, it will obviously fall behind. Also the update tool is excellent in Ubuntu, and much needed in PCLinusOS. Ubuntu = 2 points, PCLinux = 0 points (latest update: After some comments about the efficiency of the upgrade system, I’m upping PCLinux’s package score to 1, still below Ubuntu for now).

Usability impressions:

Ubuntu: I must say that because of its terrible out-of-the-box experience, a lot needs to be done to Ubuntu before you actually use it. And because of its preference for GNOME, it’s a bit of a culture-shock for KDE or Windows users. Using Ubuntu, therefore is not much of a pleasure, until after a few days when everything is configured, then, it’s fun to use an updated distro and keep it in step with the latest.

PCLinux: As said earlier, PCLinux is almost fully ready out of the box. We can pretty much start working on it as soon as it’s installed. Also, there’s not much configuration needed either.

Verdict: While both are eventually good products to use, PCLinux gets you (you being the beginning linux user) working faster than on Ubuntu. Plus, with Ubuntu, I suspect there is more tweaking needed in the command line than in PCLinux, and there again, PCLinux has the edge. Ubuntu = 1 point, PCLinux 2 points.

Overall summary: Obviously, if your mathematics is good, PCLinux wins the basic feature by feature impression point. Of course I’m subjective, but focusing on the new user (and some not-so-new users), the experience of PCLinux is more of a relief. I must say that PCLinux is really that good; and I’m surprised that Ubuntu has so much to catch up. Of course, Ubuntu has many great features, and the best being that it is constantly improving. Still, I’m going to be deleting my Ubuntu/Kubuntu soon and reinstalling PCLinux. Ubuntu doesn’t match up to it fully, yet.

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Comments»

1. Maarten Kooiker - October 22, 2007

Nice review, I’m quite new to Linux and have to admit I encountered some of your (codec) problems with Ubuntu. Since I just aquired a new hard-disk I will soon start trying many other distributions. PCLOS might be the first, though also Fedora and OpenSuse are high on my list!
Cheers,
Maarten

2. Joshua K - October 23, 2007

The codecs are easy in PCLinux 2007 because it’s rather liberal with restricted formats. Ubuntu only natively supports open source formats without restrictions, however it’s easier than you make out to install the necessary codecs. The first time you play a file that’s in a restricted format in Rhythmbox, it should prompt you to install the restricted codecs.

You may have been better suited to download Kubuntu instead, if you have a preference for KDE. You should still be able to install it by using ‘sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop’. logout and then you should be able to select the KDE/Kubuntu session.Gnome’ll still be there if you desire to switch back to it.

3. Klaus Staack - October 23, 2007

It’s sure not easy to make decisions which distribution you should use. It gives too much of them. But I have installed Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS and both are running well and fast. The information about Kubuntu from the team is much better, when you want to know what happend in the future.
I did install ubuntu 7.10 (virtualbox) and it last only 10 minutes, then I could work. I don.t need updates every 6 month, but I need a stable system for my work. And both ( Kubuntu and PCOS) are doing well.
And for fun: The games are running better in Kubuntu.

4. Tom - October 23, 2007

“Please note PCLinuxOS does not ship with Win32codes or DVD decryption software.”

from their front page it notes that codecs don’t ship with pclinuxos

5. nebcanuck - October 23, 2007

Thanks for the post! You’ve convinced me that PCLOS is a good program, and I’m willing to give it a shot!

Mostly, the reason I find this compelling is because I am a new linux user, just wanting to fiddle around. If this can get me the basics up and going easily, I’m golden! With Ubuntu, I never managed to get past state one… my Internet wouldn’t work no matter what I did. It’s a PPPOE, and even though I found a billion different solutions, none seemed to work.

So, on to the next distro, hopefully with a far better success rate. I figure something like the constant updates is only great for someone who uses the OS as their primary. I still plan on using Windows mostly, at least for the time being, and as such I don’t think I’m overly concerned with keeping everything in tip-top shape!

Thanks again!

6. thundar - October 23, 2007

I have become a huge Linux fan ever since I installed Ubuntu with the Kubuntu packages, too. But I had issues with the last version upgrade and decided to do a fresh install. I’m telling you, the alternate install CD is the way to go. It’s just as easy as the live CD (unless you have to do some complicated partitioning, in which case that graphical partitioner you get with the Live CD would help). I installed in about 20 minutes on a PIII machine. But now I’m itching to try out some new distros, so this article gave me a starting point.

7. Michael - October 23, 2007

Uhm there is no migration assistant in Ubuntu 7.10. They dropped that feature.

8. Brian - October 23, 2007

After being initiated to Linux using Kubuntu for 3 months, I then changed to PCLOS and have loved it over the last two months. Last week I deleted PCLOS and installed Kubuntu 7.10 due to all the hoopla about how much better Gutsy is than Feisty. Sadly all the same old problems and frustrations regarding permissions, codecs, reading and writing to external drives are still there. Luckily it only took an hour or so to completely reinstall PCLOS and configure it completely. I liked Kubuntu sure, but PCLOS looks nicer, works nicer and makes me love Linux.

9. NAyK - October 23, 2007

To Michael: the migration assistant is still there on Ubuntu 7.10. At least on the copy I downloaded.

10. iheartyerface - October 23, 2007

i think it’s important here to note the importance of distros- this is why the “distro comparison” argument rarely matches up; they all aim to do different things.

ubuntu is designed to be a “linux for the people”- that means featuring as much open-source as it can (which is why you won’t find win32codecs by default. it’s not that they’re “illegal,” it’s because they’re closed-source) while not compromising usability by the people in general. sort of a compromise between Red Hat philosophy and Ututo. happy medium between, of sorts.

PCLinuxOS, on the other hand, aims to be primarily one of the “lookit, we can do everything windows can do!” distro- essentially, a windows clone.

using visuals as a category is also a bit strange- this depends LARGELY upon the opinion of the user. there are plenty of people that LOVE the way ubuntu looks, and would be quite upset if it was a different colour scheme. also, ubuntu (the main branch) uses gnome whereas the main branch of PCLinuxOS uses KDE. these are completely different schemings. if you’re going to do this at ALL, you should at LEAST be using Kubuntu.

as far as OOB experience, again- you’re confused in thinking the aims of both distros are the same. and i wouldn’t be so quick to say “my internet didn’t work” without giving us more information. is it behind a router? do use PPoE/PPP? has your internet line ever been faulty? these are things that can mess up the comparison. it’s always a good idea to provide a control.

as for software, again- that is a preference. personally, i’m a little surprised at how fast the software timeline is for ubuntu. sometimes in an effort to move new releases out, software is left a bit buggy. this is where it can be helpful to have a multi-branch release such as debian, where it allows you to have old, stable, testing, and unstable. four choices instead of one. but not every distro is aimed at that. PCLinuxOS “just works” right? as long as it’s not bug releases, it’s fine for home users, thus matching their philosophy.

and lastly, in regards to usability- not EVERYONE out there is an ex-windows user. some are coming from mac! or windows 98! thusly, they prefer the simplicity and clean feel to gnome.

i just want to let you know i am not an ubuntu advocate or anything; i don’t like it, personally. i prefer debian for my servers and gentoo for my personal machines. but i do think that it’s important to keep in mind that comparisons between distros never are appropriate because all of them exist for different reasons, they all have a different (even if only slightly different) target audience/user in mind, and i think it’s very important to remember that.

11. NAyK - October 23, 2007

to iheartyerface: thanks for your detailed comment. And yes, I understand and appreciate the fact that distro’s are for different purposes. But somehow, I feel, that in the marketplace of distro noticeability, Ubuntu has had the tendency to allow itself to cater to people who are not necessarily in line with their own open source philosophy. For instance, if an ex WindowsXP user was to look for a distro, basically a distro that could do anything that windows could do, I don’t think Ubuntu would say, “that’s not our philosophy, so please look somewhere else.” More and more simple users are adopting Linux, especially as its desktop is becoming easier to use. And while Ubuntu has its strengths, in THIS CATEGORY, for a new-user who knows little about linux and is looking for things to “just work” (which ironically is not true about Windows!!!), PCLinux does a better job.

I don’t think of PCLinux as a Windows clone, in the sense that since it is a Linux machine, it does things like Windows but does things very unlike Windows. I think Xandros was more of a windows clone than PCLinux; and even that was quite a culture shock for new (ex-Windows) users.

Through this comparison I am drawing attention to PCLinuxOS’s strengths… and asserting strongly that it is worth a try; and it is surprisingly effecient. One doesn’t need to do too much to get it working… in Ubuntu, at least in 7.10, I’ve had quite a difficult time getting it working (I think 6.10 was easier in some ways).

Anyway, your point noted, I think I should have put a disclaimer or something about comparisons are often wrong-headed. Thanks again.

12. Justathought - October 23, 2007

In PCLOS you just need to remember to do a refresh in Synaptic every once in a while, install any updates that you are interested in, and your system will be as up to date as any. My PCLOS box, for example, is running OpenOffice.org 2.3.0-1, Gimp 2.4.0 rc3, KDE 3.5.7 etc. There are rumors of a new release of PCLOS coming soon that will include all the updated packages. But again, just keeping your system up to date will give you the same thing.

13. Justathought - October 23, 2007

Oops, make that OpenOffice,org 2.3.0.4.1-2. :)

14. iheartyerface - October 23, 2007

my pleasure!

yeah, xandros is meant to be a direct windows clone right down to the licensing. however, pclinuxos is a windows clone in the sense that it attempts to cater to the windows (or rather, ex-windows i suppose) market. i suppose more accurate is “windows-like” but i’ve never heard that terminology before, so…

on that note, have you seen vixta? http://vixta.sourceforge.net/
the funny thing is that it’ll still be able to outperform vi$ta, i bet.

and i agree, pclinuxos is definitely aimed for the beginners and newcomers to linux. i’ve always seen ubuntu as more “community-aimed”; it has a stronger community development feel to it than any other distro, to me. i’d say it’s one fo the few distros that is actually like, 100% community supported (most distros have at least a team of designated developers, whereas ubuntu’s approach is more “tribal” in nature- it’s all one close family, all providing a function, and very democratic).

p.s. if you want an install where you know what’s going on inside your system every step of the way, try a non-GUI gentoo install! ; ) those are FUN!
or, for even MORE involvement, an LFS install. WHOO, those are crazy.

15. Justathought - October 23, 2007

I have been using Linux for almost a decade now, and I have tried many distributions over the years. I am also a developer. But, yes, I grew up, computer wise, on a Windows shop, like 95% of the computer literate world. So, in behalf of this segment of the population I’d like to say that, in fact, PCLinuxOS is the best suited for us. Thanks.

Yes, I have tried Kubuntu, but if lacks in polish, even when compared to Ubuntu, so much more when compared to PCLinuxOS. Using Gnome just exasperates me. KDE offers flexibility GNOME feels like a straight jacket to me. It is things like not being able to rename a folder from within a File Save or File Open dialog box that are very frustrating to me.

With KDE I spend about 5 minutes configuring a few things I like, and forget about configuration. With Gnome I spend the whole life time of the installed version hoping that the next version allows me to configure it the way I want.

16. Josh - October 23, 2007

Everything worked out of the box – and I like Ubuntu 7.10, I installed it on my laptop, and it went perfect, and I came directly from Vista to Ubuntu 7.10, and I love it.. just had to install som codecs so I could use my iPod and mp3 files – using PCLinuxOS is well like using Windows… and KDE 4 looks more and more like Vista

17. Gweeper64 - October 24, 2007

Read #12 over and over. To keep PCLinuxOS up to date, just hit “reload”, “Mark all upgrades” and “Apply”. There is none of this reinstalling every 6 months nonsense to get the latest packages that won’t be supported on the base system one or two releases back.

There are plans for PCLinuxOS CD iso update in the near future, but all it really is is a snapshot of the currently available packages so that new installations don’t have to apply hundreds of megs worth of updates. In that respect, it is kind of like Gentoo’s releases.

18. Gino Green Global - October 24, 2007

I think Ubuntu will reign over PCLinuxOS… just not a fan. Its not as perfected as Ubuntu.

19. NAyK - October 24, 2007

To Gino Green Global: You’re probably right. With the huge momentum behind Ubuntu, it will surely keep ascending. However as it is with anything, what is more popular and has better support is not necessarily the best available. And I actually think, right now, PCLinux is better than Ubuntu for new to Linux users.

20. speedygeo - October 24, 2007

I think a categorized comparison between distros is better then a general comparison.

I use Mepis, that means I’m not an Ubuntu fanatic. But I consider Ubuntu (GNOME desktop) the cutting edge OS for that people that love linux and want to obtain the very latest innovation. Must be people that aren’t new to linux.
PCLOS have another target. Windows users that want to migrate to linux in an easy way. This is the better distro. (?? Maybe)
I consider Mepis better because it’s almost bug free like PCLOS, and not try to be a “monkey” of windows. But of course is easy for a win-user to migrate to KDE. For my production system I prefer a stable system. Ubuntu isn’t that system. But I use it in VirtualBox, near PCLOS, to follow the new innovative feature it have.
But Mandriva 2008 is more like Linux an more bug free that is “son” PCLOS. The Texstar’s PCLOS can’t configure my Bluetooth Dialup internet connection, the only I have available in my life/work. Neither Ubuntu, but Kubuntu and Mepis could. Madriva can, I think.

21. Differing Views « Cthulhu Linux - October 25, 2007

[...] Ouch. More here. [...]

22. Rahul Batra - October 25, 2007

Very nice comparison. You have done justice to both the distros very well.
PS: PCLinuxOS Rocks!!! :)

23. fareast1 - October 25, 2007

Just thought it would be fair to follow up with a comment, as I linked to this post (#21); PCLOS/Kubuntu/Mandriva ‘One’ 2008 fan here–Just a suggestion (do with it what you will): try using the various distros for a few weeks rather than basing it all upon how they install/five minutes in the desktop environment; try clicking on the various items you want to play in Ubuntu/Kubuntu, and the codecs will be automatically installed. For reading DVDs, get the package from Medibuntu, or enable their repos–either is a very simple one click solution. Also, the ntfs-3g package will help you with the unseen Windows partition, and no need to reinstall the entire distro if GRUB screws up, it’s simply a matter of adding it to the GRUB list, or if you are commmand line averse, putting in the liveCD and using the redo GRUB feature. Likely the problem with your CD is on the media you use, and/or the speed you burn the ISO file, and not the file you downloaded. Cheers!

24. NAyK - October 25, 2007

to fareast1: ya, I guess a more detailed project would be this. The purpose of my review is primarily for the ‘new user'; and thus, biased towards the post-Windows, user. Basically insert a Ubuntu CD and insert a PCLinuxOS CD and see the difference… it’s huge. Plus, add to the fact that PCLinux’s performance is not that bad… and I’ve used Ubuntu and I know that PCLinux is pretty comparable with Ubuntu, even with everything installed (for eg. my wifi drivers, mounting etc) So, yes such a detailed review would be more helpful… (and I just don’t have the time for that). But I do hope more new users will try out PCLinux, for their own sake!

25. Crow - October 26, 2007

I’m using Kubuntu on a laptop, but that’s only because an experienced linux user fixed it for me.

The *buntus are not for new comers you have to use the command line for so many things, PCLinuxOS has a Control Center.

I’ve been using PCLinuxOS for a year now and Kubuntu for about 6 months PCLinuxOS is far more stable and the pakages just works, you can’t say that about Kubuntu

26. Catlord17 - October 26, 2007

I use PCLinuxOS 2007. I have my mother, girlfriend, roommate and ex using Linux, and with one exception, they are all using PCLinuxOS 2007. They are all, also, fairly computer illiterate. So yes, PCLinuxOS is a good choice for newcomers to Linux and the computer illiterate. But I am not a newcomer to either OS, having used Linux for 8 years and Windows since 3.1, and DOS back as far as 2.0 before that – and PCLinuxOS gets my vote because it is easy to set up and use, and just works. Just because a distro is easy for a newcomer to start on, doesn’t need to imply that that distro cannot be good for more experienced or power users. I run my business on PCLinuxOS.

And by the way, in case previous comments didn’t make this clear… PCLinuxOS uses a “rolling release” method. So instead of the “Gee I just got everything the way I like it, now I have to start all over again when I upgrade” crap, you never have to upgrade because a simple three step process in synaptic keeps you on the cutting edge of packages. Even between versions, usually. (2007 was an unusual exception.)

So give PCLinuxOS 2 more points for that, since it got zero in your review for update/upgrade. PCLinuxOS is not perfect, certainly, but I’ll take it over Ubuntu any day of the week. My goal is more productivity, less tech support calls – and that’s what I have with PCLinuxOS.

27. NAyK - October 27, 2007

To Catlord17: your comment gives me more confidence in the PCLinux system. I think you’re right about people misunderstanding ease of use to lack of power. That’s not true and PCLinux is pretty effective that way. About the zero, I guess that was a little harsh… but I think I would prefer in PCLOS if they had a simple icon telling us when to update rather than making regular pit-stops at synaptic. therefore, I’m upping that to 1. :)

28. Poltiser - October 28, 2007

Hi,
I’m technical illiterate. I’m not really interested in all this fuss about distros etc. I did try several distros on my machine and they worked (PCLOS, Puppy, OpenSuse Gnome AMD64, OpenSuse KDE AMD64, Debian 32 & AMD64, Ubuntu 32 & AMD64) along WinXP 32.
I must say I ended up in 1 month obsessive fixing of the systems…
What I learned is that there are systems like PCLOS and Puppy which are meant to work and they do… and there are systems ment for IT people and they will never make way to domestic everyday use without Automatix or similar help!
I started to look into Linux because MS “ransom demand” marketing in introducing Vista made me angry and worry that not paying can left me out of the internet news and multimedia. I admire business and amateurs united in Free Software movement, but I look for practical solution for games, news, music, films and scientific information not for purity of development.
I was curious how easy is setting up linux and I must say it is still too much trouble!
Best regards!

29. hectorartm - October 29, 2007

Wow. I’nm going with PC Linux. This is the same opinion I’ve heard on almost all the forums I’ve been on…

30. Tim - October 29, 2007

I’m interested to hear these criticisms of Ubuntu. I’ve never used PCLinux, so I can’t make a comparison, but I’ve never had any trouble with codecs etc in Ubuntu. Especially with 7.10, the codecs download easily, set up easily, and work perfectly. In fact, I’ve been using Ubuntu since I switched from Windows two years now and it’s been fantastic.

31. Anonymous. - October 30, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 install, was so far a failure.
The Hardware detection is very poor.
Ubuntu may be a nice Linux… for the one’s who can install it!
In my view, the installer is way my inferior to the Suse I have been using So far, and possibly even worse that Fedora.
In short not ready for prime time on all the machines…
My be soon?

Now I will try to install OCLinuxOS, and see if it keeps its promises.

32. manmath sahu - October 30, 2007

I am in love with PCLinuxOS! It’s a winner all the way.
Great feature comparison.

33. anonymous - November 1, 2007

ubuntu 7.10 supports NTFS writing by default
PClinuxOS doesn’t :(
Just a themed KDE with codecs !

34. exXPuser - November 5, 2007

PClos wireless support is pathetic. It uses ndiswrapper even when there are more stable native drivers. Its support for apache, php, and mysql is atrocious.
Ever try getting virtualization (Virtualbox or QEMU) to work well in PClos? LOL!

Basically PClos is a one-man hobbyist distro. I seriously doubt it will be around 5 years from now.

35. NAyK - November 5, 2007

To exXPuser: from your comment I had no idea what you meant (in terms of usage) about apache, php and mysql, which is basically to say that you are an advanced user, and obviously know much much more than most of us beginners out there. Obviously, also, you use some really good distro, like openSUSE, Gentoo, Slackware… maybe even a fully configured Ubuntu ? for all of the above. And more power to you.

Firstly about wireless support, PCLOS identified two separate wireless networks (using DLINK and BELKIN models) without any problem. In fact, openSUSE, which I really admired, failed to automatically detect the BELKIN one (though I’m sure with some configuration) I would be able to get it to detect that too.

My point is that for a NEW USER who wants EASY entry into a Linux world, PCLOS is better than Ubuntu; by far! I won’t even begin to talk about my problems with Ubuntu’s wireless support… which I guess may have improved, but not for me.

But thanks for your comment, at least it underlines that not all linuxes are for everybody. Not just yet.

36. Balakrishnan - November 8, 2007

I downloaded PCLinus OS and burnt it on to CD. The product which comprises of *.ISO files does not seem to boot. I am at a loss as to how to get it to boot.

37. NAyK - November 8, 2007

To balakrishnan: I can’t assume to know the answer to your problem, but let me ask a simple question?

Did you burn the iso file as an image? or simply as a data disk?

If an iso file is burned as a data file, then it will just remain an iso file. But if it is burned as an image, you will see (in the burned CD) many files. If you see many files, then you have burned correctly, but it could be an error download. But if you see (in the burned CD) an iso file, then you need to find the CD burner option that burns image.

(Windows XP default burner does not burn iso files in my experience).

Hope this helps.

38. Mu - November 11, 2007

I gave PCLinuxOS 2007 a shot recently, alongside a new install of Gutsy, on an old 2000+ box. I really did like the feel and ease of the PCLinuxOS installer, though honestly the Gutsy installer is also pretty slick. However, after a full install of PC, I wound up looking for updates, and discovered that I had 83 broken packages, including Core. An autoupdate failed, and I tried it 8 times from the default source. Switching to a different source, I had 92 broken packages, some of which were different, and these also failed to autoupdate. I went back to Gutsy and have been very happy with it. I think the one-man maintenance of PCLinuxOS is indeed a drawback and could lead to future complications.

Gutsy’s native support for my Ralink RT2500 wireless was also better out of the box (a vast improvement over earlier versions of Ubuntu). I also appreciate the native NTFS support to access remote volumes as pointed out earlier

Regarding proprietary formats, I don’t have a problem with those in Gutsy as long as you go to universe/multiverse sources for your packages. Offering these in the core library for PCLinuxOS is a grey area in IP law and could be a source of trouble if PCLinuxOS continues growing in popularity. It’s not hard to find any codec that you need, and Windows users shouldn’t have a problem with this if they’re into multimedia, since you invariably have to find codecs for Matroska, etc.

Overall I found that PCLinuxOS was an interesting tech demo, and definitely a smoother interface for Windows users to get into. However I’ll still recommend Gutsy to new Linux users without hesitation until some of its package maintenance issues are dealt with. (I also don’t like KDE but that’s a personal preference.)

39. Taggart Romkey - November 13, 2007

I’m a student in community college and am looking for a decent OS for my computer. I’m thoroughly disenchanted with Microsoft and Windows Vista. Microsoft seems to have adopted a George Orwellian policy concerning user accounts,security and program settings. Which in turn punishes the user. Half the time it feels like i’m negotiating with big brother just to use and install programs or change account settings.

I have four questions about PCLinux.
1. How easy is it to setup and use?
2. Does it require any usage of the CLI terminal to do simple tasks like install/uninstall programs or configure an internet connection?
3. Does it require any use of the CLI to run programs like Open Office?
4. How is on hardware and software compatibility?

40. Mu - November 13, 2007

Taggart,

I’d recommend that you grab LiveCDs for a number of desktop distros, including PCLinuxOS 2007 and Ubuntu 7.10 (the ones I’m familiar with) and give them both a shot. Both are pretty easy to set up, but YMMV depending on your specific hardware (for example Ubuntu is great on my hardware and PCLinux failed, but other people had the opposite experience). While the performance of a LiveCD will be worse esp. on loadup it will give you a good idea of how well that distro will work with your hardware. Try other distros too. If you want to get a little more technical you can always partition out your disk and install a bunch of them at once with a common data partition (but just use the LiveCDs for now). The nice thing about most Linux distros is that you can try/install as many as you like at no cost outside of time.

Both PCLinux and Ubuntu 7.10 are pretty usable out of the box with little/no CLI use, again depending on your specific hardware. You’ll eventually want to get into it just to get the most power out of your system, but it’s nice to be able to use it without having to go command line. From personal experience you do not need to use the CLI in Ubuntu to use Open Office, install/uninstall software, or configure your connection, and in my 2 days with PCLinux that was not required either.

41. NAyK - November 13, 2007

To Toggart:

1. PCLOS has a pretty easy installer (in fact, sometimes too easy). But that’s IF you know how to partition a drive, or at least are aware of the issues involved. (ie. especially if you want to keep your windows partition, or not destroy your other partitions.) Linux is pretty good in partitioning, I haven’t really had problems with linux partitioning (except when I’ve tried to be funny… but that’s another story).

2. Contrary to Ubuntu, I’ve actually rarely used the terminal (the Konsole). I’ve only used the console to edit some configuration file, primarily as experiments. But never really needed to use the terminal in PCLOS.

3. Of course PCLOS and even Ubuntu or any other modern Linux desktop does not need Terminal to open Open Office etc. Like in windows, you just need to go to the programmes button and click… or there are options for desktop shortcuts etc. But there’s a cool shortcut in Linux, which is like the run command in windows. Quite powerful and is sometimes easier to type what programme you want opened rather than go to the programme folders (if you remember the name that is).

4. Again, hardware compatibility is a machine by machine thing. I’ve noticed that my PCLOS works with both my desktop and my lenovo notebook. That’s usually rare, and thus impression. About software compatibility; it depends what you want to do. If openoffice is your concern… then it works with MSWord, though there will be some formatting changes (esp. in longer documents). However, there’s no windows file I couldn’t open in OpenOffice… though I haven’t tried the new .docx format in Word2007. ViceVersa is true… meaning I can open Open Office files in Word, even the .odf files can be opened with a free extension in Word.

Hope this helps. I’d recommend, along with Mu, above, that you try a LiveCD just to be sure. All the best.

42. Taggart Romkey - November 15, 2007

Thank you Nayk and Mu. I have livecd’s of both Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS downloaded. I now just have to locate two blank cd’s for them.

43. Taggart Romkey - November 15, 2007

I’ll let you guys know if they work on my machine. And which one i install.

44. Mu - November 17, 2007

GL Taggart. Please back up all of your stuff before you experiment with installs.

45. TOny - November 20, 2007

I have to say that u have to come to a conclusion…. WHy dont both distros learn from each other. and adopt the good features out of both worlds? i mean i have used both .. and they both have their good and bad side… for example Ubuntu does have a biger software libarary. but however pclinuxos is more stable and works much better out of teh box. why cant ubuntu copy and paste all teh drivers from pclinuxos ????? regards… from MICHIGAN

46. TOny - November 20, 2007

** typos … bigger , ( i have came to a conclusion), the,

47. Taggart Romkey - November 22, 2007

Linux definetly rocks. PCLInuxOS is way the hell better than Vista. It can do stuff Vista won’t do very well. It can actually play a cd without crashing. I have Windows on another partition where PCLinux couldn’t run my copy of Dreamweaver, that i use for both school and my website.

As soon as i can find either a replacement program for Dreamweaver or a piece of software that will let me run it on Linux, i will be putting Windows Vista where it belongs. Vista belongs in the trash.

48. NAyK - November 22, 2007

To Taggart: Alternatives to Dreamweaver? Hmm. Quantas, Bluefish and NVU (very basic)
I’ve written about it some time back, here:

http://alternativenayk.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/bluefish-nvu-dreamweaver-web-publishing-review/

But I have tried/tested using Dreamweaver MX on Linux using Codeweaver. It works, but Codeweaver is a paid programme so it feels like its defeating the purpose. But still, I have used Dreamweaver in Linux.

49. Taggart Romkey - November 23, 2007

I’ll give Quantas a try. I tried Nvu and didn’t like it. It felt too playful and too much like a front page wannabe.

I should’ve probably have asked this earlier but should i install anti-virus software? I bring home a lot of stuff home from school on my usb travel drive, mostly homework but still.

50. Mu - November 24, 2007

Taggart, you can get an AV for Linux if you want (ClamAV is one, I haven’t used a lot of them personally). If your school is using MS-based machines any virii you bring home on your USB drive probably won’t do anything at all on your Linux box but you might catch something in a Word macro that might make people mad if you bring it back to school and think the virus came from you.

51. j3rNy - December 3, 2007

Hi to all. Just want to share my experience regarding distros. I’m a linux newbie. Actually only a month now since I started using linux on my laptop. I’ve tried Puppy Linux, Yoper, Suse, ubuntu, kubuntu and PCLinux. I always go back to ubuntu because I dislike KDE. It’s not that I’m pro Genome or I dislike KDE. I believe It is the simplicity to find things around distros. I even installed all the said distros into my laptop but I remove them all again. Out of the box experienced, PCLos is on top of my list. Second is Yoper and last is ubuntu. But after a few hours of finding myself inside a distro, I always looking for the Genome environment of Ubuntu. It is easy for me to find things. I like ubuntu much because of large community. Almost all the problems I encountered in ubuntu is answered by just searching thru google. But I must admit the “WOW” experienced I had goes to PCLinux. I like the start up, everything but when I want to find things, most is not answered. I like Yoper over PCLinux with regards to KDE but I could’nt find the answer about NTFS support for Yoper. I will look forward to future enhancement for Yoper. For PCLinux, I will try the Genome PClinux

http://www.linuxgator.org/Gnome/gnome_page/gnome.html

I like the KDE but I is almost same as windows os so It’s not what I’m looking around. I’ve tried PCLos because It is #1 in distrowatch but I will look forward for their future development. For the mean time, Ubuntu will stay on my laptop then I updated with kubuntu desktop so If time to time when I want KDE, I will switch to ubuntu.:-)

52. Lalit Chawathe - December 5, 2007

PCLOS 2007 does not detect SRS-enabled sound card and Wireless network. It just failed to detect.
While, Ubuntu 7.10 detects both w/o any hassles. It just warns that it is using proprietary 3945 ABG drivers.

FYI: I tried to boot to PCLOS and Ubuntu from live cds on my Toshiba Satellite M-100-1312 laptop

53. JamesDax - December 5, 2007

Hi, I had to rebuild my wife’s PC recently because her MB died. Anyway, since her PC was a gateway I wasn’t able to use the restore cd that came with it so I started looking around for linux distros that I could use that had the new user in mind. The first one I came across was Freespire. I found it to be ok sorta, but I decided to keep looking and came across PCLinuxOS 2007 and I must say that I just love it. And so does my wife. I’m really looking forward to then next version of this distro with KDE4. If it’s as stable and user friendly as this all my PC’s will be running it.

One question though. What would be better for getting WoW to work on linux? Cedega 6.0, CrossOver, or Wine. I understand that Cedega and CrossOver are commercial versions of Wine. But is it worth the money to get one or the other or would the free version of Wine do well?

54. Ben - January 3, 2008

I’m a little bored. It seems that most of the arguments here are based on very superficial aspects of the OS. The base is the kernel. PC linux is definitely the best distro to run from CD now – but after installing I’m not so sure. I had no problems with ubuntu. Installed, it manages 1440×900 on my monitor. Updates took maybe 20 minutes the first time, but they’re automatic. You need to go to the ubuntu web sites and ask questions, then you can set it to download a much wider variety of software. NTFS read and write is native isn’t it? I just see my Vista and Storage partitions, and external drives and flashdrives… and bluetooth… what’s the crack?

As for menu’s, you can delete any taskbar, create any new one, install a MAC style dock…. install new software managers, new preferences managers, new desktop managers… I’m confused by the comparison here. It seems that most people here used a system, decided they like it, and defend their position by fighting. I don’t care if I’m wrong – I’m going to keep ubuntu for me, and install a few KDE applications, and install PClinux for my gf to try out, because she’s still very stubborn about it not being ‘normal’.

PC linux is aimed to be a hit with U.S. users – with very slick ‘modern’ look. I’m not American, for me that went out with heavy metal thunder.

55. JARP - January 8, 2008

I am an experienced user working with windows since 3.1 and have gone through all the issues in windows. I am beginning to dislike windows because of many prejudices towards users, licenses etc….. I am an consultant and developer but, have always used vb6 and c ++ as primary languages. The reason being, i do not believe in .NET technology (i can do many of the .NET features in VB6 and c++). Anyway, many of my customers are having a hard time with windows licensing schemes and want to swith to more affordable schemes. I believe that Linux is a solution but I am totally a newbee in this area. My customers use office, internet and messenger. Others use SQL, ASP and .NET (the core have small business networks connected sharing at most 2 printers with an DSL internet connection). Can anybody help me out into defining which version of Linux is the best to get them working as they are right now in the least amount of time?.

Thanks for any answers!. I do believe in Linux from what i have read and am not afraid to daggle into technical issues.

Again, Thanks for any help!

56. JARP - January 8, 2008

I sent a previous message and forgot to add: What is KDE and GNOME? and the difference?. What about hardware drivers working efficiently?. I am confused about Linux!!!!!!!. Need help.

57. NAyK - January 8, 2008

To JARP: wish I could help you in more detail… but I’m not a technical Linux user… just a level 2 (if level 1 is absolute beginner and level 5 is fully advanced) user. So your questions.. even in the windows realm were way beyond my expertise. For beginners I recommend my post “Which Linux” one of the top links of this blog. It provides a helpful overview for first-time users. http://alternativenayk.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/choosing-a-linux-distro-help-for-first-timers/#comment-6800

About KDE and GNOME… technically I don’t know much… but for first time users… KDE makes linux look more like Windows while GNOME gives linux a more unique interface… and yet I prefer KDE because it seems to be more configurable… you’re able to do a lot more with the desktop preferences etc etc. Sorry… I’m sure someone else will be more helpful.

58. DW - January 12, 2008

Hi,

I am currently using Ubuntu, switched directly from Windows Vista about 4 months ago.Tried the 3 main flavours, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, and I finally go back to Gnome. Just prefer the simplicity and also it is very highly customizable.

Support wise, K/X/Ubuntu probably have a wider installation base, therefore you can find information more easily, and ububtuforum is really a very nice community with very fast response, you have to try it to believe it.

I tried PCLinuxOS only very briefly, I would say it is definitely an eye candy and looks very similar to Windows XP, and not that intimidating to new users. However, personally, I do not like my Linux to look like Windows ;)

59. Jay Armstrong - January 16, 2008

JARP,
I am a five-month-old Linux convert & tech myself, so I can give you a bit of direction.
1. For workstations, I would recommend using a major KDE distro. Kubuntu is kind of a tagalong distro that I haven’t been satisfied with, but it is okay. If you’re migrating whole companies over, you might want a distro with commercial support, like ubuntu or mepis(?). KDE is more comparable to Windows in its feel & tweakability. Gnome is closer to Mac in its simplicity (not as elegant or well thought out, but no one has beat Apple at that) and its limited tweakability. [granted, you can tweak Gnome a lot, but I find it all comes together better in KDE]. So, here I’d suggest PCLOS 2007, Mepis 7, or Kubuntu 7, in that order. Fedora 8 could also go in the list after Mepis as it’s very mature.
2. As for software, you can get Crossover Office or just use Wine to run Windows apps right in your linux distro. You can also use Virtualbox (or other VM ware) to run a full installation of Windows inside a window and use whatever apps you like there. I am able to run about half of my apps right in Wine and run the rest in Virtualboxes. Mostly, though, I’ve migrated to new (Linux) software, which is what your clients would be better off doing at some point. The web dev software is so-so. Quanta is clunky and whatnot and crashes every few hours for me. Dreamweaver should run great on Wine or Crossover Office as it’s one of the officially supported apps.
3. For your developers, they would probably either switch to LAMP servers and/or use Virtualboxes. I’m currently running my Kubuntu derivative (Linux Mint 3 kde) as my main OS, then I run some Virtual Machines (VMs) inside of it using Virtualbox: winXP, vista, win2000, and Ubuntu Server, which is an easy way for a non sysadmin to setup a LAMP. The VMs show up on my network as separate PCs so that lets me interact with the server in a test environment.

Overall, I don’t regret moving to Linux at all, but it’s a rough transition for a power user. I went into Ubuntu, then Kubuntu, then Mint KDE, and next is Mepis or PCLOS, which both seem very slick. I didn’t particularly like sabayon, xandros, dreamlinux, zenwalk, mint (one of the best gnome distros) and a few others. Fedora, as mentioned, would probably also make a good choice but I got the impression that they discourage proprietary codecs & drivers.

I’ve spent many days troubleshooting this, that, and the other and a lot of time typing in the console — mostly stuff that I didn’t understand at the time. Currently, I’m testing out PCLOS (again) and Mepis for the first time and will be moving to one of these two in a couple of weeks. So go get a couple of those liveCDs from linuxtracker.org and use them for a week each to get a good idea of how they work and be prepared to get your hands dirty if you go past PCLOS or Mepis. GLHF

60. Michael - January 23, 2008

Personally, I have to say that I enjoyed the review. I also found the discussion interesting, but I do think that some people miss an important couple of points, particularly Linux users that have been with Linux for a long time.

The first point they miss is Windows. Linux users are in such a habit of dismissing Windows and Windows users, or are so caught up with the community’s sweeping negative attitude about Windows, that they do not see that one of the best ways the Linux community can really grow is by giving Windows users something to come to that will give them a familiar experience (Windows like) with many of the abilities of Windows so they can be comfortable making the switch. In fact having brought a few converts over myself, I can tell you that it can be like pulling teeth if you are trying to convince them to try Linux and all you can say is “Well, no, Linux can’t do that.” For that reason I tend to get puzzled when people make comments about a distribution like “it is trying to be a Windows clone” as if it is a negative thing.

In point of fact, for the Linux community to grow and get converts, it is not a bad thing, it is a GREAT thing. That is why PCLinux and KDE has been a wonderful tool to get others to try Linux, and why Gnome based distributions are very hard to convert people on (my experience, mind you). I have used the ‘buntus and I have found they have a multitude of problems, especially for that Windows user thinking of making the switch. PCLinux has been a much easier transition.

The second point that many people miss in the Linux community is the concept of sustained release. The unpleasant truth is that the Linux community has grown somewhat novelty oriented. They expect their new releases on a regular schedule. Why? What benefit does it give you? I see only detriment. I for one, hate having to install a whole new operating system every few months. IT IS A PAIN! You get your copy of opensuse or the ‘buntus (examples that I have dealt with) and a new release comes out a few months later. So you get it and try to upgrade and the whole system goes screwy. You wind up being safer with clean installs rather than upgrades. So you have to spend way too much time installing the system, installing stuff from the repositories that you want, installing your fonts (if you area fontphile like me), tweaking your settings………pulling your hair out, and are generally frustrated and irked by the time the process is over, and you realize that it probably would have been time better spent doing something else and forgetting about the new version, since it is not that much better than what you just wasted hours replacing.

Now, that is not everyone’s experience, I am sure, but it has been a common theme with myself and many of those I know using the ‘buntus, suse and other distributions. Windows users hate it! One deal breaker for many of them is when they find out they will have to go through the installation process over and over again (usually every 6 months or so) to stay current.

The long and the short of it is…..if you can stay current with just updating the distribution rather than do the whole new release, why not do it? That is sort of what PCLinux does. There is a rolling release cycle that keeps thing up to date for a long time. That is very appealing for Windows users and for Linux users that do not want to install a new version every 6 months and waste their time setting everything back up.

Basically in PCLinux updates are continuously applied to the repository so that over time a snapshot of the repository would basically constitute a new release. With the result that you can stay up do date despite the lack of an official new release,and you do not have to go through the high maintenance headache of installing a new version every few months.

The other great thing is that even though PCLinux does not ship with the codecs and other things, all the stuff you need to watch DVDs and do many of the Windows things are in the repositories. It is a simple matter to tell a Windows user to download this package, that package and a couple of other things and let the synaptic do the work. Next thing you know you are watching DVDs on Linux, and that generally impresses the Windows user.

Anyway, this are just some of my thoughts. I much prefer PCLinux to the ‘buntus, but I use them both. In fact, I use Windows XP because I have to at work. I also use Vista, though I wish I didn’t, as well as PCLinux, openSuse 10.2, Mint, Edubuntu/Kubuntu and Puppy Linux all on different machines. Each has its good points, even the Windows – ok, well maybe not the Vista, but the XP has its good points too. Out of all of the systems I use, I have to say that for the Windows user and for people in general that do not want a high maintenance system that will work and work beautifully, go with PCLinux.

61. Ron - January 30, 2008

I have been using MEPIS since Ver 3.3: it is now at Ver 7. I also have ubuntu installed in a separate partition for comparison. The MEPIS GUI has additional tweaks over the KDE/ubuntu GUI, and MEPIS is very windows-like (after you get rid of the bouncing cursor and single click executions). The upgrades for MEPIS are generally smoother that ubuntu. I had a very difficult time with one of the ubuntu 6 versions, until a linux guru at work told me that was a bad distro. MEPIS also includes a better grub interface that ubuntu. With all of the good comments about pclinuxos, I will give that a try. However, with the momentum of ubuntu, I believe it will become the de facto standard linux desktop.

62. Frederik - February 24, 2008

There is in fact 1 good point in Vista. Media center never looked better. I have tried linuxmce because I wanted to see how it compared to its Windows counterpart and it just fails. Media Center is the only reason I still have this one PC in my room(just for media) running Windows, other machines at home(4 of ‘em) all work on PClinux

63. ChudyCebu - February 27, 2008

I’m using Windows for a long time… (pirated ever since) now im using windows vista ultimate as long as torrent is there. I’m running PClinuxOS in MS Virtual PC 2007 and VMware works fine. Im very big fan of Squid Cache thats why i had Linux for testing, benchmark and experiment. PClinuxOS works just fine on virtual PC and VMware. so i use pclinuxos. visual is like probably like vista and mac, usability like windows xp. stability its like windows xp. (in terms of using Squid). im amazed with DSL (damn small linux) too small but i got board on installing.

64. bob creacy - March 4, 2008

Hello,
I began in 2000 with W98 and pirated my way through 2000 and xp until I had to buy to get the updates last year after I was given a Dell C610 laptop. I did that and now am in my 3rd week of dual boot Gutsy/XP via GRUB.

I am a total noob with Linux but I have studied and read the magazines and other literature for several months, and waited until I WANTED to do the install.

I tried Feisty last year, but no WIFI joy. Gutsy however, immediately ran my Dlink dwl g630c2 PCMCIA card, [dont buy one; they do work_but the drivers suck_40-100% cpu in XP: up and down/up and down]. More stable in Gutsy, but I need more power.

I get occasionally bugged in purist Gutsy because of the restricted driver_but it is not a nag. It goes away immediately and is slow to resurface.

I am going to try PClinux tomorrow. I did the DL today and Knoppix as well.

A recommendation. If you need powerful WIFI at5 no additional cost, go to http://www.keenansystems.com and look at the EnGenius [Senao] cards and chips. They are the most powerful available. I have one in my PC and am just going to buy one for the laptop-300mW PCMCIA! The PCI card is 600mW! Also go to seattlewireless.net and look in the antenna howto sections. They have some simple reflectors that are a cinch to build and really concentrate the WIFI signal. Also http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/ for kitchen strainer and other innovative antennas.

If you have wifi signal problems there are some very simple and inexpensive solutions from these sources at minimal cost.

Perhaps a bit off topic here, but I have 4 plaster walls between the router and my room. Gutsy has also helped a lot in overcoming that with its better ease of use vs XP pro.

I am anxious to see how PClinux does with the WIFi. That is one of my personal main criteria with any hardware or OS. How well does it network wirelessly in difficult environments?

Thanks and please forgive if I am off topic a bit.
Linux noob,
fallsoff
ps
should anyone wish to email, please remove the .nospam> from my posted address and substitute all with no quotes or ‘s.
fallsoffmotorcycle

I am a bit clunky at the command line but Gutsy has better built in wireles than Windows and I really like that. Very few problems. I opted for Kb through Synaptic and the Kwifi manager is even better than the gnome app.

0 refurb laptop.

65. willy - March 7, 2008

Realmente muchacho me dejas PERPLEJO, UBUNTU le da 200 vueltas a PCLinuxOS, te lo voy a resumir en 3 apartados:
1) Aceleración gráfica y COMPIZ:
Ubuntu 10 points
PcLinuxOS 3 points
2) Wifi para tarjetas NO INTEL:
Ubuntu 10 points
PCLinuxOS 2 points
3) Lectura y escritura en particiones NTFS y ext3:
Ubuntu 10 points
PCLinuxOS 4 points
Nota.- Sobre codecs y demas de media , te lo trajas, no esperes que te lo den todo echo. Debian y Ubuntu lo tienen todo.
Otra nota negativa para Mandriva/Pc-lo-que-sea: la gestion de paquetes rpm VA MUY LENTA y CORROES LAS DEPENDENCIAS EN MUCHOS CASOS.
Algo a favor de PCLinuxOS: sólo valida para NOVATOS – muy –
novatos.
Te saluda atentamente,

66. willy - March 8, 2008

Hola amigos:

Para empezar les diré que ni soy un informático, ni poseo estudios de programación ni nada de eso, por tanto, de friki ná de ná, simplemente soy un usuario Linux desde hace una año y medio, justo comencé con Guadalinex, distribución de la Junta de Andalucía, España (para quien no sepa Geografía), y con Ubuntu 6.10 (octubre 2006). Mi profesión gira en torno a los negocios, las empresas y todo eso, así que en esto deberán adivinar la naturaleza de mis estudios universitarios, en los que por cierto prima mucho EL TIEMPO (EL TIEMPO ES ORO) Y GNU LINUX me hizo perder mucho tiempo, tiempo que no dí como perdido al haberlo convertido en mi HOBBY PARA EL TIEMPO PERDIDO.

Ahora vayamos al grano: imagínate que tengo un ordenador portátil y empiezo a aplicar tus evaluaciones a los 2 sistemas operativos:

Por tanto, empecemos:

1) wifi

2) aceleración gráfica y compiz

3) leer y escribir en particiones NTFS y ext3

4) todo el resto de aplicaciones a instalar

MI PUNTUACIÓN:

1) Ubuntu 10 PcLinuxOs 2
2) 10 0
3) 10 5
4) 8 6

Argumentación: Ubuntu dispone de Automatix para instalar muchas de las aplicaciones no libres: java, flash y codecs, lo cual minoriza tu explicación de que PCLinuxOS es mejor, con lo cual tu valoración debería ser al revés: UBUNTU EL MEJOR CON MUCHA DIFERENCIA.

Ubuntu, ha ido mejorando todo lo anterior(1, 2 y 3), pero ello le ha llevado 1 año y medio que es justo el desfase que encuentro entre PCLinux y Ubuntu, eso precisamente es su PLUS, puesto en el mundo Gnulinux ES MUCHO TIEMPO.

En lo único que quizás funcione mejor en PCLinuxOS sería bajo el supuesto de tarjetas INTEL, wifi bajo INTEL, es decir todo con intel
lo cual ENCARECE el hardware una barbaridad.

Ah, y una argumentación mas a la pureza de Ubuntu respecto a PCLinuxOS: PARA INSTALAR PROGRAMAS “NO LIBRES” HAY QUE DAR LA PREVIA AUTORIZACIÓN POR PARTE DEL USUARIO, COSA QUE EN PCLinuxOS BRILLA POR SU AUSENCIA.

Otra: la estadística de DISTROWATCH es IRRELEVANTE y FALTA DE RIGOR, ya que los usuarios de Ubuntu, muchos de ellos actualizan on line y no descargan los ISOS, esta es una; podríamos añadir que Guadalinex, Lliurex, etc, etc, distros basadas en Ubuntu para la enseñanza acaparan muchos miles de usuarios, y para continuar todas las distros basadas en Ubuntu, ¿Habés probado LINUXMINT? Otra para la fama que le da mil vueltas a PCLinux, y es que el tema es MUY SIMPLE, UBUNTU SE LES MERIENDA A TODAS LAS DEMÁS DISTROS.

¿Te enteraste, querido amigo? lo que dije es una opinión, que trata de fortalecerse con ALGO DE RIGOR, cosa que como en todos los campos de la CIENCIA hay que tener muy en cuenta.

Mientras tanto recibe un cordial saludo.

willy.

67. dailyrev - March 25, 2008

Agreed — I’ve tested many versions of K/Ubuntu and found that PCLOS 2007 just arrives more loaded and ready to go, especially for the transitioning Windoze refugee. (see my PCLOS review here).

Things like browser plugins, video codecs, sound file converters, and the like, are all “in there” when you install PCLOS; you don’t have to go to Synaptic to search for just the right gstreamer to get going, as you often must do in K/Ubuntu.

Granted, much of the reason for this is Canonical’s commitment to free, no-strings-attached software; and for that they must be praised rather than buried. I hear that when you buy a pre-configured PC such as those sold by Dell and System76, the setup of Ubuntu is much more robust and ready to roll from day one. But again, installing straight from a burned cd, PCLOS is the winner.

68. Anonymous - April 11, 2008

pclinuxos has a control center and also ncurses tools like mandriva so even if X does not work people can still fix it without much problems.
i think these are essential nessesities for user friendlyness . and i do not understand how ubuntu dared to call it self userfriendly and became so populair when they did not even have any of the ebove.

69. mcbob - April 13, 2008

Uhh.. #66, you obviously know english if you are commenting on an english review, right? So wouldn’t it make sense to write in english so that everyone could understand you (without poor translashions from babelfish)?

70. K° blog» » Recopilacion Ubuntu Vs Suse Vs Fedora - May 12, 2008

[...] vs pclinuxos2007 (laaaaargo el nombre, cuando lo terminas de decir ya esta instalado…): http://alternativenayk.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/kubuntu-ubuntu-pclinuxos-showdown/ (leer el comentario en español de willy) ubuntu vs opensuse vs p…7: [...]

71. commanderKeen - June 5, 2008

nice comparison.

I recently tried installing both of these (and a couple other distros) and I have to say Ubuntu (and Mint), GUI-wise, was just refreshing to look at. very aesthetically pleasing. That is because of Ubuntu using Gnome as its default desktop manager, whereas KDE used (as default) by PCLOS and Mandriva is somewhat uglier (I just hate all those giant icons).

But what I really liked about PCLOS was it intuitively detected my PCI wireless adapter and had me connected to the WWW in a few simple steps whereas configuring Ubuntu to connect (it could detect my card and also my ESSID) me to the Internet was far more painful.

Both Ubuntu and PCLOS messed up my GRUB installation (rendering my other dual boot OS unavailable) even though I didn’t do any custom bootup configuration. So I installed Mint intead which cleaned up my MBR and installed a working GRUB and a cool, minty desktop albeit with the painful wifi configuration.

linux rox hard!

72. winuxBoy - November 16, 2008

Nice work buddy, no newbie to linux will have to wonder which distro to start their linux era with :p

I have used both, along with some other distros. I would like to point out one thing though that if you’re a laptop user you might find Kubuntu to be a bit better supporting then PCLOS. On laptop you normally have all those volume, multimedia, wifi and other sort of buttons which works out of the box on K/Ubuntu, but not really on PCLOS (at least it didn’t worked on Acer Aspire, Dell Inspiron, HP Pavillion, Compaq Pesario and BenQ Joybook, haven’t tried on others yet)

Now for a Desktop user maybe PCLOS might prove to be a bit better since its slightly easier to use then K/Ubuntu. Anyways best of luck and a warm welcome to any newcomer to linux world.

73. O Ubuntu - SysInside - March 3, 2009

[...] vs Vista, Ubuntu vs PCLinuxOS, SUSE vs Ubuntu — first impressions, openSUSE vs Ubuntu, From Arch to Ubuntu, Ubuntu vs Vista [...]

74. Ubuntu - SysInside - March 3, 2009

[...] vs Vista, Ubuntu vs PCLinuxOS, SUSE vs Ubuntu — first impressions, openSUSE vs Ubuntu, From Arch to Ubuntu, Ubuntu vs Vista [...]

75. Sabforme - March 13, 2009

PCLInuxOS just released their 2009, downloaded, took look, back to Sabayon,

Each to his own I guess


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