Linuxblog Introduction: We took an average windows user, gave her a handful of distributions of Linux, and forced her to use each distro for one week. We gave her alsaconf, email servers, and mounted her windows partition to the fresh install. Then, we faded away and quietly watched her in her new environment. You too can join us by reading on…
Editors Note: Tonight, we go head-to-head with the top distros as ranked previous by the experiment. Most of the readers know the premise behind the experiment and appreciate what we have set out to do. The top two new user distros as decided on by Mrs.Devnet, a new Linux user converting from Windows are PCLinuxOS .81a and SimplyMEPIS 3.3.1 (versions updated to current). We installed and test one last time each distro to allow Mrs.Devnet to experience each one before crowning a new user champion. In the following comparison, Mrs.Devnet will give advantage to one distro over the other or in the case of a tie, she will list both as winners. The distro with the most advantages will win. And now, Mrs. Devnet…
Look and Feel – This is one of the biggest determining factors for me. PC Linux OS looked and felt more comfortable and felt that way more so than any other distro we tried. The way it looked set me at ease right away and was easier to navigate because of this. MEPIS could really use some work on the user friendly icons and graphics. Making the distro ‘feel’ as easy as it is to use would make it a world better. Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Performance – Both of these performed well. However, PCLinuxOS booted up in 5 seconds. Nothing in the entire experiment could top that. Fast, stable, and fun to use…despite being a beta version. Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Hardware/Software – PCLinuxOS has a great selection of preinstalled applications that I can use for what I do with a computer. I didn’t have to go looking for anything at all. MEPIS includes a lot of stuff as well, but no nearly as much as PCLinuxOS. It also doesn’t have any filesharing applications. I’m told that installing stuff is a snap once you master a package program…however, that isn’t what we set out to do in the experiment so I have to go with default installs. Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Upgradeability/Security – I am not qualified to compare anything on this criteria so I’ll make it a draw. Advantage – Both Distros.
Documentation – During the experiment I didn’t notice much difference between the two distributions. However, if you go to the home site for PCLinuxOS and the home site for SimplyMEPIS, you see a world of difference. It seems that PCLinuxOS has a much more active website. It was also great that PCLinuxOS gives you a chat icon to go right to a chat room to help you out (editors note: mrs.devnet is speaking about an IRC #pclinuxos icon on the default PCLinuxOS desktop that people can use for help). Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Installation – While PCLinuxOS install is by no means difficult, SimplyMEPIS was easier and FASTER than anything else.. Nothing can touch SimplyMEPIS in this category. Advantage – SimplyMEPIS.
Now we talk about my Criteria…
Mail – Both use Kontact. There isn’t much difference. This is a moot point to try and consider a favorite. Kontact is a great mail program. Advantage – Both.
Internet – I had difficulty getting windows media player applications working in SimplyMEPIS the first time around. That still hasn’t changed this time around. PCLinuxOS is once again flawless at playing any type of media I can throw it at on the internet. Hands down, PCLinuxOS is a distro I can use to surf at any of the sites I go to. Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Listening to Music – PCLinuxOs has a better selection of music players for this task. There is also a decidedly better sound out of PCLinuxOS than there is out of SimplyMEPIS. I can’t put my finger on it (editors note: a good chance that this is because of different sound daemons used by the distros). Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Download Files/Music – I am unable to download files in SimplyMEPIS since it has no P2P programs installed. PCLinuxOS has limewire installed by default. This is exactly what I need to do my daily stuffs. (editors note: mrs.devnet is well aware that you can install using a package manager…but this review is for default installs only) Advantage – PCLinuxOS.
Burning CD’s – Both of the distros are great on this one. Both come equipped with K3B and both detected my burner. Both burned CD’s and none of them failed. Therefore, I’d rate these about the same. Advantage – Both.
So, PCLinuxOS takes the cake. It is just easier to use, easier on the eyes, and it caters to new users. It has everything you need right away without having to lift a finger. It feels more familiar to me coming from windows. If you know any new users out there that are looking to get into Linux, I would recommend them this distro. With this newly found Linux distro, I have asked Mr.Devnet to install it as our primary operating system. PCLinuxOS is the Experiment Winner. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should do so immediately. Thanks for reading. I have one last entry to do before I sign off of my husband’s blog for good. He wants me to give some constructive criticism to the distributions that didn’t win so that they can get better. So, I’ll look at doing that some time in the next few weeks.
as the Best New User Distro.
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