21 August 2013

PCLINUXOS 2013.04 to 2013.07 rolling release kde 64 bit Review : A ROCK SOLID ROLLER-COASTER rolling distro but still some work needed on 64 bit edition .

Pclinuxos is an independent project, actually I love independent projects since they do things in a different manner and style . Its one of the  major Linux distribution which still has roots with Mandrake Linux 9.2, whose successors now include Mandriva linux and OS which I had  Reviewed earlier on my blog  like Mageia  and Rosa linux  / Alt linux. Its an interesting mix of Mandrake Linux  stuff and Debian like command line ,other linux goodies remaining in PCLinuxOS .

On their  website, 

PCLinuxOS "So Cool Ice Cubes are Jealous"


Actually I was thinking of reviewing their full monty kde 64 bit 2013.07 edition  , what  I love about this edition as lots of useful software comes pre-installed . The iso were downloaded past night the recent iso 2013.07 kde full monty edition and kde 64 bit edition and then made a live usb of it and even burned dvd full  monty edition but it refuses to boot in live mode on my  laptop {Dell} it was just not able to boot   what's the problem that I didn't understood . so looked in my iso wallet found a old  copy of 64 bit kde by texstar 2013.04 edition  . so burned out a dvd of it and fired on dell laptop and started the installation process wizard. From installer noted that the installation steps haven't changed  from previous versions, so I'll skip that part.Thus pclinuxos installed on my system  fine as ,it all takes about 10 minutes to install for me ,

After reboot  steps like creating  a regular user account with a password. and then we are brought to a colourful graphical login screen greeted with a message as shown below as since its rolling release plz update uor repos .

PCLinuxOS supports ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS and Reiser file systems .It gives an option to choose LILO or GRUB as our boot loader and change its settings as  provided and also  set up a system user password on our boot menu after reboot .Let's just say the process was fast, easy to understand by novice users.So actually by installing pclinuxos old version ie 2013.04 kde edition got a chance to test rolling updates and upgrade to 2013.07 kde edition how os fairly handles it so started the upgrade process as shown by synaptic package manager as shown around 844 mb updates so started installing the stuff.

Here kernel image of os installed in kinfo centre before upgrade .

For more installation detail look at this article link old but still similar install process which can be understood easily . http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-desktop-pclinuxos-2010-kde
After installation now screen I get from Grub to login gui in 1  minute . As surprise  my display screens weren't configured properly by default, display shown was around 1024 x768 somewhat smaller so changed ie to 1366 x768 and rebooted my lappy but again it reverses to 1024 x768 screen ? this is happening after every reboot.

I didn't understood but avoided it to see that after rolling upgrades and updates whether my problem  solves or not let see and here update process seems to be almost finished writing from pclinuxos desktop .

Even used terminal command actually its a mix bag of debian like terminal line up and rpm packages like mandrake into one .

while upgrading got stuff like this

 So I configured card which is default set to intel graphics card as shown below.Now I configured to 1366 x768 monitor screen as shown below

My mention of above problem of display still exist it reverts to 1024 x768 but it should be 1366 x768 its not solved , this is only issue I am facing, hope it solved and taken note  by developers ,that my screen to use a lower resolution than what I just wanna say vertical space of my screen is  used, but large portions of the right and left  as shown above on my problem stuff  is left blank  .  so I visited  KDE System Settings panel which allowed me to change my resolution and then it worked flawlessly but after reboot problem lies as it is .

PCLinuxOS repository Package management is through  Synaptic package manager.  Ubuntu or Deepin Software center like stuff should come up in Pclinuxos as just it will appeal more newcomer linux  users. Advanced users, however , hardly care about synaptic or any software center and rely more on terminal for their work . here seems synaptic package manager used its very old but by performance it worked well as compared to ubuntu synaptic package manager ie 0.75 .

Now my upgrade has just finished lets see how rolling update delivered my desktop .

Now you can see its updated to kde 4.10.5 but linux kernel is not upgraded or no pop up nothing to upgrade linux  kernel by default that suprising to me .It  should by default upgrade to linux kernel 3.4.55 but its not .So now once again fired up my synaptic manager and searched kernel to see is there any option for linux kernel 3.4.55and installed it as shown below .

After updating kernel got like this stuff in kinfo and its upgraded to linux kernel 3.4.55- pclos1 as shown below .

So again rebooted my system it took around 15 minutes to show gui desktop kde , so again rebooted but there seems to be some lag in this kernel its taking longer time around 3 minutes to boot into kde gui , ? this happening that I dont seem to understand . True to its performance its updated the system well nothing seems to be breaking everything fine had same issue what were there before.When we open the application menu there are many sub-category, each one packed full of software. Many of the programs supplied out of the box are KDE applications, but PCLinuxOS also supplies packages which are inbuilt just works fine as shown

Taskbar contains a menu icon, a series of quick launch icons and in the bottom right a system tray with system icons and a clock.

From left to right you have the icons which brings up the menu, show  desktop, configure your desktop, configure your computer, a file manager and virtual desktops.In the system tray the icons are for network settings, klipper , sound, desktop notifier, kwallet, korganiser and notifications and also clock calender.

 Beauty and aesthetic 

Pclinuxos  kde has lot of customization for folks who love customizing their distros . It has normal standard kde wallpapers and application icons are very pleasant but only wallpaper with pclinuxos theme was one.Actually as its independent distro it would have added wallpapers according to os theme  but still you have to satisfy with one more wallpaper with os logo will not increase size of distro .

Applications available in pclinuxos are lots more as in usual kde edition than other distros .

  • Office: LibreOffice 3.6 suite, Okular Document viewer, Korganizer, Kcalc, KEuroCalc
  • Internet:  Umtsmon 3G mobile, XChat IRC , FileZilla, Firefox 17, Konqueror, Kopete IM, KRDC Remote Desktop Client, kFlickr, KGet, KGmailNotifier,Choqok Microblogging client, Dropbox ,Krfb desktop Sharing, Ktorrent, Skype 2.2, TeamViewer 7, Thunderbird 17.
  • Graphics: AquireImages, DigiKAM, DNGConverter, GIMP 2.8, Gwenview, Panorama batch processor & stitcher,  Ebook viewer, ExpoBlending,  LRF viewer, Photo Layout manager,Inkscape, KolourPaint, Ksnapshot, ImageMagick, kFlickr,Xsane Image scanning, ShowFoto .
  • Multimedia: Clementine,Imagination, Video DVD backup ,Pclos Audio converter & FLV/MP4 player, Juk music player, KsCD,  Dragon player,  , Kamerka webcam, TVtime television player, VLC 2 , Media info ,
  • Accessories: Ark Archiving tool,   Konsole, Kwallet management ,Knotes, Kcalc, Kwrite, PCLOS Live USB creator, Klipper, KGpg encryption tool, Kjots notes,  nepomuk backup, Q7z 7zip GUI, K3b disk burning, HP Device Manager
  • Others:  Unetbootin , pclinuxos live usb creator ,Virtualbox . 
And Education apps  as shown in image

More software is available in the project's repositories, but I suspect many people won't need more than what is provided for us at install time. Application wise it is having healthy list of  course firefox browser preinstalled but if you need chromium or other browser  it can be found in repos Since I use smplayer but  vlc  can be found in default system so look how media plays in default Dragon media player and vlc media player .Dolphin 2.2 is much improved over it's predecessor and is definitely one of best file managers around.

PCLinuxOS  provides codecs for music, videos well with the start of the distro .Indeed, PCLinuxOS ships everything you need and  successfully played Youtube Flash videos and my mp3 music in my favourite clementine music player .

 It comes with an classical default application launcher according to Pclinuxos theme . 

Pclinuxos control centre is a nice feature but still it has another system kde setting manager to set various thing to customize distro .PCLinuxOS Control Centre, a setting manager which makes it easy to find and launch applications designed to handle specific fields of system management Here.

From above its seen that its  allowing us to configure network services, manage user accounts and working with hard / external devices ,   work with the firewall ,security controls, change boot settings and set up network shares.I  had  issue when going through Indian language websites as It couldn't  read it as shown so installed Gujarati fonts which are found in repos and see how it looks and how Indian language fonts look below.

It played my language  sites well.

 It doesn't have inbuilt cloud application but you can use dropbox ,spideroak ,yandex etc .Only dropbox is Pre-installed  in os  others you will have to download from their sites respectively.Also to see how it handles third party repos installed comodo antivirus and wuala using rpm installer , comodo installed properly but wuala just refused .

 Hardware integration

I ran PCLinuxOS on my laptop  {dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video card and  atheros wireless card }and found the distribution tunned well with my hardware. Bluetooth ,wifi , touchpad , sound card ,graphic card etc worked well within my use for days and seems it has been  well configured hardware integration for use and everything work out of box for me .Nvidia drivers are available in repos.Also brightness and volume keys worked out of box for me .

If you setup the internet while running the live session , PCLinuxOS then connect set up automatically and network card on my laptop was picked up straight after installation .

Wireless connection differs everywhere   so you have to change the wireless connection clicking the network icon in the system tray which brings up a screen similar to the one displayed  above and as you can see I had two networks available for me.

 Actual performance of cpu while nothing runs in background .Performance wise it consumes around 1gb ram actually nothing running in background.

Some other screenshots .

KDE Full Monty,Minime , KDE version

PCLinuxOS comes in various editions.Full Monty is a 4GB  box of  wonder consisting  almost all application like a bag loaded with full of useful stuff  and the KDE desktop defaults to workable  Activities.MiniME is a lightstuff or stripped down  image of full monty edition and the idea of MiniME is to start with the basics and install what you like .The KDE full version is  more than 1gb image that includes a popular set of applications such as  GIMP, Skype, Virtualbox, Okular, digiKam, LibreOffice,Inkscape etc and  also non free and free extra drivers included in it .

 Apart fom that you can also get LXDE and XFCE, which are also nice editions.

The PCLinuxOS Magazine

Now one thing to tell eventhough  not  using Pclinuxos enjoyed reading this magazine from  long time   Every month  a magazine is released for PCLinuxOS. . I would like to  recommend reading the edition for January 2013 http://www.pclinuxos.com/?p=1783   

if you are installing PCLinuxOS for the first time and wanted to install it from scratchas it provides a really good tutorial.


For me 

  With  pclinuxos  having issue with related to booting graphics card on my hardware since its annoy me everytime to set resolution to desired mode so I will stay away from it for some time hope that issue related to it is sorted out otherwise seems to be good distro pclinuxos .

For Public

 PCLinuxOS aims to please and  provide a smooth out-of-the-box experience with everything working . PCLinuxOS is one of the few distributions where the terminal application is not  available at starting point and honestly speaking  you will never need it.  It has very active community support and very  good documentation which just makes your life easy. Performance wise it is very smooth to use and visually pleasing .The plus point it has great  control centre which is not found among other kde distros and simple to use and doesn't complicate things . Every release comes  with a better user interface, and the latest release, 2013.07 is impressively sleek and well-organized .I would probably recommend  to skip the live distribution kde standard and just  go straightforward to  full monty kde option  and try this out which is a powerpack kde distro to all  new and old linux users .

 U can try it using ,
1. usb transfer.
2. suse image writer

3. burn dvd


  For more information visit their site .

you can download both 32bit and 64 bit Pclinuxos   from here.here

At last if you like my review plz comment , plz  note comment inspires to write  more and keep the  blog blooming and you can also like me  on my facebook page  here

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