Spotlight on Linux: PCLinuxOS 2010

The long anticipated release of PCLinuxOS 2010 finally arrived a few weeks ago and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Even with the new crew and new features, it's still very much PCLOS. Easy-to-use, lots of features, and stability are its hallmarks, but this release adds high performance to that list.

By using the BFS, PCLOS is reported to perform faster than ever. BFS is a low latency desktop scheduler designed for high performance. The foundation of this release is Linux 2.6.32.11, Xorg X Server 1.6.5, GCC 4.4.1, and KDE 4.4.2.

Another interesting trait of PCLinuxOS is its use of alternative applications. It comes with the standards, Firefox, GIMP, and OpenOffice.org (in the form of an install script), but it also adds some handy extras that other distros leave to the user to install. But that doesn't mean PCLinuxOS doesn't have a very extensive online software repository. In fact, it's probably one of the most complete of the independent community distributions.

This has actually been a hallmark of PCLOS. Developers are constantly updating the repository and so much so that PCLOS is considered a "rolling release." This means that one shouldn't have to do a complete reinstall each release, although a couple releases required fresh installs over the years. But for the most part, if one keeps their system updated a fresh install isn't required.

Being complete with extra drivers and multimedia support is probably the handiest feature of PCLinuxOS. Many wireless Ethernet and graphic chips work out-of-the-box with PCLOS. In addition, most multimedia files play without further configuration on the part of the user, including online streaming and Flash media.

The live CD boot process hasn't change much, other than less questions to answer to reach the desktop. The network may most likely be enabled at boot. The PCLOS system appearance has received a bit of a face-lift as well as a new mascot. The Mandriva-derived installer hasn't changed much either, still one of the easiest to use.

Also borrowed from Mandriva is their control center. The customized PCLOS Control Center is scaled down a bit from its Mandriva counterpart with a lot of the enterprise-class options removed, but it's the place to go to configure your computer system. From configuring your hardware to setting up a firewall, the PCC is the place to do it. For desktop customization such as window behavior and desktop fonts, the KDE System Settings is the tool.

Perhaps trumping all the technical aspects of this distro is a sense of ownership for its users. PCLinuxOS is one of the best examples of the "community distro." The small band of developers take suggestions and cues from their users very much to heart and even solicit opinions, artwork, and software requests. This is perhaps the key to PCLOS' success. It allows the community to feel not only involved, but important to development. They all can feel as though they contributed at least in some small way.

A few weeks after version 2010 was unleashed, 2010.1 was released with the addition of new drivers and some bug fixes. If you currently have a 2010 install, you can update through the easy-to-use APT front-end Synaptic package management system. Visit pclinuxos.com for more information. Make use of the forum for questions and discussions - or to express your suggestions for the next release.

______________________

Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.

Comments

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Uber-Hater Narcissist Bobcat

Anonymous's picture

Uber-Hater Narcissist Bobcat loathes the customizable look of PCLinuxOS.

He likes: "holding hands and walking on the beach"
He dislikes: "everything else; esp websites w/ free content and comment boxes"

His latest rant was just written in the comment section of YouTube where he left some racist comments about puppies and some homophobic comments about kittens.

Beauty is always in the eye

Wayne's picture

Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. If you don't like the icons, change them, its easy. don't like the size of text, change it.

That's what makes Linux so nice, configurable,

And once I have changed the

BobCat's picture

And once I have changed the icons, what I am going to to with all the apps with a layout that still feels pre-1995?

How will I be able to change spacing between text labels and the like?

We are talking about having something missing: a team working on GUI effectiveness. How can you create an application without guidelines on how it should look and where buttons need to go?

All I see here is cool effects and hacked up look and feel.

BobCat, it sounds like you're

CatLord's picture

BobCat, it sounds like you're a whiny **** who just can't be happy without something stupid to complain about. If you don't like it, use something else instead of unproductively ****ing about it. Or hey, you might join the team and try to help improve it! Hey, there's a concept that works!

Clearly resorting to insults

Xero's picture

Clearly resorting to insults is the limit of your ability. Grow the hell up.

As I just said, it's all the

Wayne's picture

As I just said, it's all the eye of the beholder. I have been using desktop computers since 1983, and I see nothing at all wrong with the default layout and all in PCLOS. I have rearranged some stuff to my own liking, but you probably wouldn't like it. Yes, my own personal opinion is that there are some ugly stuff out there in other distros, but I don't complain about it I just change it or don't use it.

That's the beauty of Linux.

Deb based distros

joag's picture

If PClinux comes out with a .deb based distro and all their desktop tools they could be a real pain on ubuntu.

PCLinuxOS is Boring

 anonymous's picture

I am already bored with PCLinuxOS 2010. There is nothing to fix. Everything is working on my hardware. I don't have to open the Gnome terminal and sudo this or sudo that. I don't have to tinker with config files in a text editor. Geesh, I'm going back to Ubuntu. :D :D :D

pclinuxos vs ubuntu

Anonymous's picture

you are right on ubuntu is a little more work than pclinux
my only issue with pclinuxos is the settings manager in regards to
samba (windows networking) i couldn't seem to name it as i wanted it and
so on other times it would find all folders fine but most of the time it
didn't the default theme in gnome puts ubuntu to shame.
in short the only reason i went back to ubuntu was the "over simplified"
network manager.
.deb verses .rpm
my first experience was with .rpm
for me i find no big difference except for there are more
packages i want in *.deb* verses *.rpm*
however pclinuxos is the bomb when it came to the
repository speed test and being able to just apt-get install *everything* out
of the box.
in short if pclinuxos made a leftclick share folder as found in ubuntu and so on
id forgo those few .deb programs i like and forget about ubuntu for a spell

Tongue Planted Firmly In Cheek...

Anonymous's picture

...Hehe. Prob the best comment on here yet. Cheeky Bugger! I, too, experienced this malaise a few years ago when I stopped dual-booting w/ Win2000 + Big Daddy and VirtualBox-ed everything else w/ the 2007 release.

I was kinda sad that I had nothing to worry about and fuss over. I even missed the CLI that I'd loved since High School Data classes in the Roaring 80s (remember those CLI days?)

Now, I have to actually do work on my computers instead of having to work on my computers. sigh.

This is how things should be done.

exploder's picture

PCLinuxOS is a very well built rolling release, it serves as an example of quality and stability. There are no rpm dependency issues of any kind with PCLinuxOS and there are only very slight similarities to Mandriva. When I see bugs being addressed on an individual basis, I know I am seeing high quality work.

PCLinuxOS serves as an example of how things should be done and raises the bar on quality standards in Linux distributions.

I first came to linux via

Anonymous's picture

I first came to linux via openSUSE 10.2, and I loved it, but I found PCLOS and was completely enamored with it!! I used it exclusively longer than any other distro. After a while, though, I decided to distro hop. I have never quite been fully satified with any -- and I have tried plenty. I had considered going back to PCLOS, but didn't at the time because they did not have a release that came with KDE4 yet (it's been a while). I am using Ubuntu now, but after reading the reviews, it looks like I'll be coming home to PCLOS.

Coming back home...

Dulwithe's picture

I also tried other distros (mainly suse and mandriva) in the time period after kde4.1 was released until kde4.x became default in PCLOS.

Now, after cursing and lots of troubles with mandriva and suse, I am back and happy "home again" with PCLOS.

If it works, use it. If it doesn't, don't.

Mandriva regularly had bugs that caused freezes and strange stuff happening. Suse was a problem trying to add different repos to be able to install certain software. My mind is still reeling from the repo hell.

D.

good for new convert

sivakumar bharadwaj's picture

I am a recent convert to linux - a year back - from Windows. The conversion was real good, and what made the conversion simple was PCLinuxos 09, because I did not knew then how to dual-instal XP & Linux.

Ubuntu - 8.10, though I had a CD, could not know how to instal. But PCLinuxOS was simple to instal - first time itself (March 2009).

But, somehow, it was not very stable then, and could not operate it very well. Within days of Ubuntu 9.04 came, I could dual-install with XP & Ubuntu, and never had to look back again. I am now with XP-Ubuntu 10.04 & Sidux (KDE).

I still tell people who are newly converting to use PCLinuxOS first, and then (if they want) Ubuntu. Reason is updating & finding new software & installing them is much easier in Ubuntu (it is only a personal feeling).

I will try PCLinux 10 (replacing Sidux) in a day or two. I expect it to be as easy as it was.

Thanks PCLinuxOS - for getting me started in the Linux World.

If it was not for the RPM

Anonymous's picture

If it was not for the RPM based package system, I would say this distro rates between top tree in features and design. But every time I have ran a new PClinuxOS release for some days, I just have to return to one of my favorite debian based distros - the RPM package system simply isn't for people that needs a package installs that just works, and won't like to spend hours on resolving dependencies...

If it was not for the RPM

tdiers's picture

You obviously have never used PCLinuxOS or tried to install any software using it's default Synaptic package management system ("package installs that just works"). Otherwise you wouldn't have made that statement about it being RPM based. What has sold me on it is they have always used Synaptic and it is VERY easy to install any software that you want. Synaptic works just as well with it's (PCLinuxOS's) RPM package system as it does on .deb based systems. You just go to the list of packages, click on the ones you want to install, click install and synaptic installs the packages and "ALL" dependency softwares needed. I have NEVER had to hunt for any dependency software.

I've have regularly used many different Linux distributions since 1997, at times I've had 5+ installed at one time (PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, Red Hat, SUSE, MEPIS, KANOTIX) (these are not a list of the only distributions that I have tried, but some of the favorites that I use regularly). PCLinuxOS is by far the best "out of the box" distribution I have ever used. I've spent years searching for a distro "that just works" yet still allows an experienced Linux user the ability to program or control any aspect of the distro with ease. Considering it's also a live CD, it's also one of the most versatile distributions around. Even with it's small core of programmers, very few of the major distributions even come close. It's lean and fast, even though it's only 32bit it screams on 64bit systems, as others have noted.

I'm surprised at this

TomG's picture

I'm surprised at this. I also shy away from most RPM based distros, however I have NEVER had dependency problems with PCLinuxOS with its RPM packaging. Texstar and the other maintainers do, imho, a solid job of combining the Synaptic front-end to apt with a repository containing RPMs built by them, not simply grabbed from elsewhere. They have one of the more reliable dependency-resolving RPM systems, and I believe it has been written specifically for PCLinuxOS, not reworked from another RPM distro.
I'm not doubting that you are having issues, just saying that in my experience (5 or 6 years) with PCLinuxOS, dependency problems were never a factor in switching away from it.

My first experience with

Anonymous's picture

My first experience with Linux was on SuSE Linux 8.x/9.x series, an RPM based distro (and luckily with no relation to Novell at that time). At that time I didn't understand the simplicity and how to use the debian packages system and apt/aptitude, but when I first learned, and it wasn't so hard as expected, I haven't looked back. I do agree, at PCLinuxOS they are doing at good job to overcome all the faults that the RPM packages system keep having year after year. And if you stick with the PCLinuxOS repos, then the dependency problems are rare. But needing applications or libraries not found in the official repos, often shows the bad side of RPM packagesystem. And creating a fronted that include the apt doesn't remove these problems either, as the OS still fully depends on the underlying RPM base - sorry.

RPM vs DEB

SouthFloridaNetworks.com's picture

Synaptic works just as well with Ubuntu (deb) as it does with PCLOS (rpm), so what you're saying here makes absolutely no sense. If anything, I found PCLOS easier than Ubuntu, which of course is Debian based, because there are more Repositories already in place by default, that don't need to be manually added in!
Let's face it, how many times haven't you installed Ubuntu, and then have to go back in and install the right Repositories to make certain movie or sound files work properly. With PCLOS, it's already there. Also, I can recall several times where in my Ubuntu installation, I had to go and hunt for the right repository to add, for certain things like Proprietary drivers and such, not so with PCLOS. Give it a shot and I think you will find that your assumptions are mistaken.

Don't know about Ubuntu,

Anonymous's picture

Don't know about Ubuntu, don't use that particular distro very often. Linux Mint KDE community edt. and Kubuntu hasn't suffered from what you're implying for years, and finally if you add external repos, they often don't give you much dependency headaches either - and if they in rear cases do, often they are solved automatically and fast by "aptitude" or a simple apt-get --configure -a. Not to mention distro upgrades, what is a pain on most RPM-based distros, while on debian you just change repo and execute two simple apt-get commands if not using a GUI. Still no matter what, I would say that PClinusOS is great, and have gotten the best out of what RPM has to offer...

RPM vs DEB

davecs's picture

I don't get that. If the dependencies are all in the repos then there are no problems with missing dependencies. I would imagine that is true for rpm, deb, ebuild and any other system you care to mention.

It's very rarely a problem, and when something gets missed, a mailing to "broken packages" on the PCLOS forum will get it fixed.

Judge PCLinuxOS on its speed, its reliability, its ease of use, and so on. RPM dependencies will take care of themselves.

PCLinuxOS 32-Bit screams hold me back!

The Captain 's picture

I don't know what they put in their distribution but their 32-bit is hauling butt on my computer. I'd love to see what they could do with 64-bit.

64 bit

Big Joe's picture

Since PCLOS is based on Mandriva, try Mandriva. I use Ubuntu primarily but I have Mandy installed as well. One thing blew my socks off - the boot up speed is phenomenal. AND it has both 32 and 64 bit versions.

Textar was a packager for

Dulwithe's picture

Textar was a packager for Mandriva (if I know my history correctly) and he didn't like some of the things that Mandriva was doing, so he went ahead and released his own distro.

Even if it is fair in saying that PCLOS is a child of Mandriva, children become independent individuals and the same is true of PCLOS. There is no use in your statement. Not many people harp on the fact that Ubuntu is a child of Debian.

Also, I have had nothing but problem after problem with Mandriva. It ran stable enough that I was able to run it for a year (with great frustration) on a production machine, but it got so bad that I fully returned to PCLOS once PCLOS got kde4.x as the default.

Your statements are really worthless, bogus, unfounded...

It is not based on a Mandriva

The Captain 's picture

It is not based on a Mandriva install. It was built from the packages in their repository and runs faster than my Mandriva's 64-bit Powerpack.

Mandriva

Doug.Roberts's picture

I used Mandriva & Mandrake for years, but switched to Kubuntu after having gotten wrapped around the axle one too many times by RPM dependency Hell. I much prefer a deb-based distro.

Also, I always found some of the Mandrivian ways of doing things to be just a bit funky. Can't remember any specific examples now -- it's been too long since I used it.

Well, I have the opposite

mandy's picture

Well, I have the opposite felling. In my machines Kubuntu doesn't work well, it's faulty, unpolished, bad translate to my language, unestable... Mandriva runs like a charm, and I don't have problems with rpm.

no 64bit

dar's picture

PCLinuxOs, looks like a really nice distro. But I will not switch unless they come out with a 64-bit version.

I switched over this year.

Tux Torch's picture

I was a Ubuntu fan for awhile since 2007. But got tired of the 6 month release cycle, I am now happily enjoying PCLinuxOS Gnome Edition. I like how it is a rolling release. Hopefully I won't have to do a new install as much as I did with Ubuntu.

Switched in 2008

Anonymous's picture

I've been a full time linux user since 2000. I've tried most distos out there and settled on Red Hat/Fedora for the longest time.

I switched to PCLinuxOS in 2008 because I got tired of the flatten and re-install treadmill. With the exception of the flatten and re-install with the 2010 release I have greatly enjoyed the rolling release nature and out of the box quality of PCLinuxOS.

Even though I'm running a quad core 64 bit capable proc I'll be staying with PCLinuxOS. Hopefully they will eventually go 64 bit, but in the mean time my 8 gig of ram is recognized and fully available by using the pae kernel available through synaptic.

Keep up the great work folks!

Asus M3A76-CM Motherboard
AMD Phenom II x 4 965 Quad Core 3.4 ghz
8 gig Ram Crucial Ballistic DDR2 800mhz
5 x Seagate SATA II 500gb 7200 rpm Drive
1 x Lite-On SATA DVD RW DL
1 gig DDR3 Nvidia 9800 GT

wow

Anonymous's picture

Excuse me :)
Are you build server or something , very good specification ;)
Are you use RAID ? why 5 HDD , { maybe use RAID 5 which require at least 3 HDD , i guess }
Are you try Slackware / Debian ? what the pros/cons if you try them .

PCLinuxOS is good choice specially for new users switch from ms-windows to GNU/Linux :)

very happy with it

TomG's picture

I'm using PCLinuxOS fulltime as my home OS, and I've used it more often than any other since about 2006. Everything just works, and I haven't really found much lacking in the repository. One thing I wanted to mention is the use of "task" metapackages in the repos; these are great to install a second window manager/desktop, or all the multimedia, in one go. I wish more distros would do this. Games are divided up by various categories (for instance Arcade, Adventure, Puzzle), which makes looking for new ones to try a breeze (instead of having to look through "universe", "multiverse", "restricted" or such).
Also, Quicktime plays in the browser, not opening up another window for Mplayer. It is the little touches like this that keep me returning to this distribution.
I'm hoping that soon there will be enough people helping out for PCLinuxOS to fully support a 64-bit version; until then, I'll patiently wait.

Deal-breaker for me

Doug.Roberts's picture

I didn't realize PCLinuxOS does not yet have a 64-bit distro version. I only run 64-bit machines these days. I suppose it would be possible to run a 32-bit version, but I don't want to do that.

How important is 64-bit?

davey's picture

PCLOS does offer a pae kernel that's compiled with 64-bit options and addresses up to 64 gigs of memory. For most 64-bit users the main problem is the limit on seeing memory. Beyond that, as I understand it for most software, the speed advantage of 64-bit software is a very small percentage. It might be interesting for you to compare the results between PCLOS and a full 64-bit distro.

Stability

Doug.Roberts's picture

I've encountered stability issues when running 32-bit distros on 64-bit hardware. Things just crashed sometimes, displays locked up, sound went away, etc. I was never able to track down the source of the crashes -- I just went back to a true 64-bit version.

Re: stability

littlenoodles's picture

>I've encountered stability issues when running 32-bit distros on 64-bit hardware.

I seriously doubt that. I can see issues running 32-bit code on a 64-bit distro on 64-bit hardware. And certainly if you tried to run 64-bit code on a 32-bit distro. But a 32-bit distro on a 64-bit machine is running that machine in 32-bit mode. It that didn't work, it'd be because there's something wrong with the way your processor handles 32-bit mode. Anyway, I've got an Athlon 64 and have never run anything but 32-bit distros on it. Never had a problem.

Doubt away!

Doug.Roberts's picture

But it happened.

Two of my machines are now rock-solid with X86_64 Kubuntu 10.04 that were crash-babies running the i386 version. One is a desktop built with an ASUS M3N78-VM AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with an AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor, and the other is an Acer Intel T4400 laptop with the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M.

The laptop in particular would crash 2 - 3 times a day with intermittent lock ups, screen blanking, and Flash crashes.

Your problem is Kubuntu...

Dulwithe's picture

Your problem isn't 32 bit on 64 bit hardware, it is Kubuntu.

It is fairly well known and fairly well documented (have fun googling) that Kubuntu is fairly unstable. I have NEVER had a good experience with Kubuntu, as much as I REALLY REALLY REALLY tried to like it.

As another poster states, you cannot judge all 32 bit distros based on your experience with one or a few 32 bit distros.

K N O B

You argument boils down

CatLord's picture

You argument boils down to:

"If one 32 bit Linux distro happens to perform poorly on my hardware, then all 32 bit distros must also."

Non sequitur.

Talking without experience = talking out your ***. If you haven't even tried PCLinuxOS, you don't have anything to say. If you did try it, and it was unstable, then you have something to say. Otherwise you're just making yourself look ridiculous.

Thanks!

Doug.Roberts's picture

Your words of wisdom are deeply appreciated. I shall treasure them!

--Doug

Crashes due to "64 bit hardware"?

Taco's picture

I think there are more crashes due to running a 64-bit distro than running 32-bit software on 64-bit hardware. 64-bit hardware has been around a lot longer than 64-bit OSes have hit the mainstream, too.

I was disappointed with PCLOS when sticking to 3.5 and it not being bleeding edge in everything from not too-common apps to detection of hardware, etc. I used PCLOS back in the day when it FIRST began, and ditched Mandrake -- it was so much better.

But with 2010.1, I am back in it. So far, so good. Comapred to Ubuntu 9.10 w/ same general version of drivers & kernel on same machine:
- Hulu is faster on PCLOS, but flakier (can crash where one under Ubuntu never really did)
- Boxee right now for PCLOS isn't running; may be due to difference of monitor setup
- PCLOS is faster. It boots faster, too. Rebooting my computer is about as fast as turning on any fancy electronic appliance (AMD 6000+, 2GB RAM)

I would say the downside to PCLOS would be:
- Less available help for pretty uncommon situations -- w/ Ubuntu, you're likely NOT to be SOL, if you dig for a good while. PCLOS? Look for help regarding Linux in general if you've got issues going (which may suffice just as good here and there).

- Their repository is up to speed again, but not QUITE full-circle. Not that Ubuntu's standard repos are bleeding edge or anything, but it's harder for 3rd party apps or bleeding edge versions of uncommon apps to grab for PCLOS than a Ubuntu distro -- generally speaking.

All in all, if you want something to work out of the box, be very very fast even with a big GUI, but at the same time, in uncommon situations where you have to dig for fixes/adjustments/etc -- dig more and possibly get your hands pretty dirty if/when such situations happen, then PCLOS is the best choice.

Review

Linuxera's picture

Susan, the fact you mentioned it being a 'community based' distro and the compliment you gave really brightens my day. For me it's a dream come true and one of the nicest compliments I think we've had to date.

Thanks a million,

Cindy

After being sorely

Kolby's picture

After being sorely disappointed in Ubuntu 10.04 failing to run on my aging Dell notebook I decided to give PCLinuxOS 2010 a spin. I was blown away. All hardware was detected flawlessly. I didn't have to tweak anything for video, wireless, or audio. The install took all of 10 minutes. A full update using apt took another 5 minutes. I popped in a DVD and was able to start watching in SMPlayer without any tweaks, "restricted" repository updates, or hassles. Also, given the age of my notebook I expected KDE to be a dog. I am pleased to report a smooth desktop experience. I have found my new favorite distro! :-)

You have Mandriva to thank for that.

littlenoodles's picture

You have Mandriva to thank for all that tasty hardware detection. PCLOS is a great distro, and in many ways it improves on its roots, but those roots are definitely Mandriva. In fact, after using PCLOS for several years, I've switched back to Mandriva (their recent versions have been really good).

That's why it's so sad to see Mandriva on its way down. And why it's sadder still to see all the Ubuntu masses yawning at the prospect. At least PCLOS lives on. But that begs the question. Most 'community distros' are based off of one or another of the majors. What happens when a great community distro lives on, but the basis for it dies off? Texstar's great at what he does, but that does not include a large percentage of the work Mandriva did.

Hopefully someone will snatch up Mandriva on the cheap and find a way to make a business out of it (or to use it as a loss leader in another business). Suggestion: Nokia. They own QT. Mandriva's about the best KDE out there. Build a *real* Linux netbook. Make it cheap. Find some neat ways to tie it to your phones. Profit...?

I doubt that. On my Hp 6530s

Azmi's picture

I doubt that. On my Hp 6530s laptop, Mandriva can't be installed. Installation stopped and my laptop crashed. But, PCLOS is a gift that God sent me. PCLOS works perfectly well and I love it. I tell my friends who want to convert to Linux to try PCLOS, and they love it as well.

Azmi, hiding deep in Bandung :D

Re: Nice

Airdrik's picture

On the subject of Kubuntu vs. PCLOS, there are a couple of things that surface immediately: Kubuntu is built on Ubuntu with Gnome (and all gnome applications) replaced by KDE. Kubuntu is primarily a community driven project with Canonical support (read second-class citizen in the world of Ubuntu), and as such it has a pretty bad reputation. People generally expect it to be the KDE equivalent of Ubuntu which isn't quite the case. On the totem pole of distro's implementations of KDE, Kubuntu is on the lower end.
On the other hand, PCLOS is a dedicated KDE distro (that also provides community respins featuring Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, OpenBox and Enlightenment environments). The development team is well known for putting a lot of extra spit-and-polish into the distro to make sure that everything works well together, and looks good too (PCLOS is one of the first KDE distros to provide a very distinctive-looking KDE4 - refreshingly different).
Then there is the question of available software. Kubuntu inherits Ubuntu's extensive repositories, which is one of the largest collections of software. The Ubuntu repositories are generally up-to-date (at the time of release, or via PPA's when newer versions are released after that). The PCLinuxOS repositories are generally trimmed down to a reasonable selection (usually it's the obscure packages that are missing). The PCLOS devs put a lot of effort in releasing new versions of programs shortly after they're released, while maintaining a very stable base that doesn't change much (changing the base libraries generally means recompiling software and releasing everything; which is why the 2010 release was one of those cases where a full reinstall was necessary).
There's also the question about upgrades. Kubuntu inherits Ubuntu's release schedule. After you've installed, you only get security/maintenance updates but no version upgrades (unless you use PPA's), and then every 6 months you need to do a full-distro upgrade (or remain on the out-of-date version until you decide that it is necessary to upgrade and either go through the upgrade process for each version that you missed, or do a full reinstall), which full-distro upgrades are lengthy and tedious at best. PCLinuxOS, on the other hand, takes the rolling-release model. Most updates are fairly small, but every once in a while you are greeted with a couple hundred MB of updates to download (which can be tedious if you have a slow connection, but is still small compared to the 7-800 MB that you get when doing a full-distro upgrade. At least the regular updates can be spread out over multiple update sessions if necessary), and about once every 3 years (roughly - largely depends on how much has changed to back-end stuff - primarily GCC and glibc. Just about everything else can go out as a regular update) a full reinstall is necessary (as was the case with the 2010 release). PCLOS also provides somewhat regularly up-to-date liveCDs so that if it's been 2 years since the last full-reinstall version (e.g. 2007 and 2010), you only need to download and install the latest liveCD to be up-to-date.
Lastly there's the system administration utilities. Kubuntu has some utilities that are spread out over a few different programs (well, so I assume. They don't have an all-in-one tool for system administration), while PCLinuxOS inherits Mandriva's Control Center which is a great all-in-one system administration utility.

Nice comparison

Doug.Roberts's picture

Thanks, Airdrik, that was a nice comprehensive comparison. I'll have to give PCLOS a try soon.

--Doug

PCLinuxOS 2010

Dr.Saleem Khan's picture

A good & comprehensive article from Susan`s desk. I liked it just like all her writings.

PCLinuxOS always brings some kind of surprises for its users. The stability it offers is a wonderful aspect considering such a small development team at its back.

Susan talked about the BFS included in latest PCLinuxOS . I am using Kernel to 2.6.33.3 with no BFS and it is performing at its best speed. So I would really like to know the benefits of BFS being added to PCLinuxOS.

There are some "reported" issues with mylivecd , people seem to unable to make a remaster with it and it has been reported that mylivecd is under review of Texstar for fixing it,though it works for me.Once it is fixed it will be fun making lots more remasters.

Ownership

LinuxLover's picture

That second to last paragraph is what really makes the distro special. The developers aren't in some ivory tower. They're right there in the forum, not only answering technical questions, but interacting just like normal people. They listen. They take criticism. They take requests. They accept help. As a user of PCLinuxOS, you feel like you can make a difference in the distro. The distro, the developers, and the community are all down to earth, salt of the earth people that just want to work together as a community and do something everyone can be proud to use, and it works.

Nice

Doug.Roberts's picture

Good article, Susan. At some point I'd be interested in a comparison of PCLOS and my current standard, Kubuntu. I've used most of the distros out there over the years, starting with Slackware in the 90's, and sampling RH, Mandrake, CENTOS, (K)Ubuntu, along with a couple of others over the years.

--Doug

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