Techspec-General Tech/Reviews

Thursday, June 23, 2005


After spending a few months with Kanotix Linux, which I considered to be one of the best Linux distributions I have used. I figured it was time to try out a new distribution, after doing my daily search on DistroWatch, I came across PClinuxOS, based on Mandrake-Mandriva Linux. I had tried this distribution once before, and really disliked it. It was hard to use, most of the programs did not load right off the live cd and the install to the hard drive did not work. Now there was a new updated version, so I gave it another shot, and good thing I did. This distribution is definitely worth checking out.

This distribution comes in three different forms. One with no proprietary video card driver included, one with the ATI proprietary driver, the other with the NVIDIA driver. I have an ATI X800 pro, so I downloaded the ATI ISO. As I started the system, it found my USB cable modem connection and Ethernet ports, and loaded up the fglrx driver. The distribution is a Live-cd which can also be installed to the hard drive. This is nice for when a rescue disk is needed. I went directly for the hard drive install, which went very smooth. Had all the functions needed to make an install nice and smooth. After it was done, I rebooted the system to load it up to my nice new Linux distribution.

However, after I rebooted into it, I faced many more problems. My USB connection to my cable modem was no longer working right. It would connect to the DHCP server, but not to the Internet. I could not figure out why, so I set up my Ethernet connection, which worked out fine. Also, my sound faced many issues. As I played some music in Amarok, the sound was just plain bad. I tried to tweak the settings and use different programs, but nothing worked. That is, until I went to the sound settings to see that it set my speaker configuration as Speakers 2.0. I have a subwoofer, so I changed it to speakers 2.1, and everything sounded fine. Also, a lot of the packages in this distribution are very outdated, for example KDE is version 3.3.2, not the new 3.4. Luckily for us, PClinuxOS included the RPM version of apt (which threw me off at first, as I usually use YUM for RPM distributions.) so it is very easy to update the system to all the new programs.

PClinuxOS includes for all your office needs, Mozilla Firefox and konqueror for web browsing, and gaim or kopete for instant messaging. Also included are bit torrent programs, an easy to use control center to change system configurations, skype for VOIP, and more.

Overall, if you are looking for an easy to use distribution using the RPM Package system, this is the one to get. For a Debian system, get Kanotix.
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 1:24 PM


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