Experiment 1.3: PCLinuxOS .81 Final Rating


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…


1)Look/Feel – I was impressed right off the bat with the look and feel of PC Linux OS. It’s much more professional looking than the others I’ve looked at, very clean and sleek. It could still use a little more flair, but I felt very comfortable looking at the desktop, it was by no means second rate. I like that they have the icon “Home” instead of the confusing one’s that others tend to use. All in all it was very user friendly. Once again, I was disappointed that I did not get to experiment with the Gnome desktop because it was not included in the software. I understand that with a lot of work, I could install it, but that is way beyond me. Still, I had fun with this one. (Score – 9)

2) Performance – Very fast. My husband tells me that PCLinuxOS is optimized for our computer. Whatever. But it gets me a desktop 5 seconds after I type in my user/password and that is the fastest I’ve seen. I’ve had no problems whatsoever. (Score – 10)

3)Hardware/Software – Everything that I needed was right there when I needed it. As mentioned in my initial impression, I was thrilled to find that Limewire is standard with this distro. I was so impressed with downloading files in Linux that I don’t think I will ever download files with Windows again. I’ve also decided that it’s ok for Mr. Devnet to set us up with a permanent Linux desktop in our house. He was very happy to finally have my approval. My mouse still doesn’t work properly but I think this is a browser problem (so I’ve been told). (Score – 10)

4)Upgradeability/Security – I’m going to stop pretending that I have a clue about these issues. Since they don’t affect anything I’ve done so far, it’s only fair to give them a 10. Okay, so maybe that’s not fair but this is my review! (Score – 10)

5)Documentation – Their community website looks to covers all bases, as far as someone like me can tell. It was very well organized and I couldn’t help but notice the reader survey on their homepage. I think the new tux looks more professional but the old one is cuter. (Score – 10)

6)Installation – Took less than fifteen minutes. There seemed to be some confusing things that I would not have understood on my own having to do with partitions. Yeah, I have no idea. There should be an option to just use the entire disk like there is in the distros I’ve seen before. (Score – 8 )

And now…once again…it is time for my criteria…

My Criteria

1) Mail – We used Kontact, same as before. No problems and very easy to use. (Score – 10)

2) Internet – I’m getting to where I don’t even like Internet Explorer anymore. I now use Firefox even in windows (which is a relief to mr.devnet and, he says, our antivirus as well) (Score – 10)

3) Listening To Music – I used a lot more of the different multimedia players this time. I decided that I really do not like Amarok, it’s just too difficult to figure out. I think my favorite is Xine. It sounds great and it’s really easy to use. Regardless of the one I chose, my files were always easy to locate thanks to the “Home” icon on the desktop. Not to mention there wasn’t any confusing stuff on the desktop like last time with MEPIS. (Score – 10)

4) Download Music/Files – I think my feelings are apparent. (Score – 10)

5) Burning CDs – Again, my feelings about burning cds in Linux are clear. As long as K3b is already there and I don’t have to install it, I’m a happy girl. PCLinuxOS has everything I need already installed and ready to go. (Score – 10)

Okay, so I’m biased. At least I came to this conclusion on my own. I promise, I’d never even heard of this distro before I reviewed it. That’s odd because I have heard of all the others. I purposely block out everything that people say to me about each one, especially Mr. Devnet, because I want these reviews to be exclusively what I think.

Guess what? Mrs. Devnet thinks PCLinuxOS ROCKS!! It makes everything I need to do simple AND it’s easy on the eyes. It serves my purpose, bottom line. This is exacty what Linux needs to draw average users. It’s easy to do the things that we NEED to do, first and foremost. After that, it opens the door for us to learn and become just a little bit more than the average user—which will make us feel really special. Unless something unexpected happens, this is probably going to be my favorite, the one I will use, and that deserves an OVERALL SCORE OF 10 in my book because I never thought I’d WANT to use Linux. All this from a distro still in it’s test phase is truly amazing. I’ll be excited to see what’s next.

Oh God, does this make me a nerd?

Mrs.Devnet

PCLinuxOS .81 Scores: 10 out of 10

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1)Look/Feel - I was impressed right off the bat with the look and feel of PC Linux OS. It's much more professional looking than the others I've looked at, very clean and sleek. It could still use a little more flair, but I felt very comfortable looking at the desktop, it was by no means second rate. I like that they have the icon "Home" instead of the confusing one's that others tend to use. All in all it was very user friendly. Once again, I was disappointed that I did not get to experiment with the Gnome
  • http://www.jlarue.com James LaRue

    I’ve been using PCLinuxOS for about a year now. To install Gnome, just go to Applications>Configuration>Packaging Synaptic. Enter the root password.Search for Gnome2, then apply.

    This will install Gnome — which is even prettier than KDE, in my humble opinion.

  • davecs

    6 out of 10, eh? Yet all your individual ratings are higher and you actually rate it 10 in the text above. Is this a typo?

  • http://thisone devnet

    That was a typo…for some reason when we cut and pasted it from OOO it changed to a 6 and I was so tired I didn’t snag that typo…please tell everyone I apologize…

    She actually gave it a 10 out of 10

  • davecs

    Thanks for the correction. The guys at PCLOS will be pleased.

    I am a long-time Gentoo user, the sort of distro that Mrs Devnet would have baulked at, one that requires loads of command line stuff, all worthwhile to get the setup just as I like it.

    Then PCLOS comes along and just installs a great system in under 15 minutes! Everything hangs together and just works. Integration is as good as it gets.

    And once you get used to it, you can start digging under the hood and make it even better.

    PCLOS fully deserves all the great things being said about it.

  • http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/79-Experiment-The-Distro-Roundup.html Yet Another Linux Blog

    What do you get when you take 1 new Linux user with zero Linux experience, add 5 distros and stir? You get the Linux Blog experiment, that’s what. What makes these reviews different from all other reviews is that they are done by an avid Windows user.

  • http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/88-Experiment-Final-Head-to-Head.html Yet Another Linux Blog

    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, w

  • http://jrandomhacker.info Sy Ali

    It’s nice to see that it’s friendly to long-time Windows users. As a Linux user for a little while now, I found PCLinuxOS a breath of fresh air compared to my other experiments.

    Even as I become more advanced, I find that my preferences are leaning towards the methods and tools found in it.

    I’m glad to be with this distro.. it’s impressed me on many an occasion. =)

  • http://groups.msn.com/AnihilaterScriptGOLD Doug Johnson

    Ok, now that was a test with just two different distro’s of linux, there are over 250+ distro’s and to be in all fairness, she should be able to try the rest of them too. Send her to http://www.distrowatch.com and download some more to try. I rather took it as a advertisment for PCLinuxOS instead of a compar of that to Mepis, in all fairness, Mepis blows PCLinuxOS out of the water to a power user compared to the new comer. You really want to get someone to switch from windows to Linux – Show them Xandros (Even the Open Circulation Edition would do the trick) there is NO Other linux distro that has the same look and feel of windoze XP then what Xandros has. So, you want to do advertisements, I suggest you pick different distro’s to do it with, especially when you are trying to convert people to switch to linux from winblowz. In other parts, you do compares of XP with SuSE and Ubuntu, now I love my Debian products, don’t get me wrong, but Ubutnu just plain sucks, I have no clue how they got such a high rating on distrowatch or other Open Source sites, cause it just isn’t true…and SuSE don’t even factor in the issue of a ‘good’ distro in my eyes. You want XP – use Xandros…You want Speed and Stability – use Slackware or Gentoo.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    I’ve been a MEPIS user since 2003. I used to operate a MEPIS fansite as well. I was the originator of the first MEPIS forum. Don’t lecture me about MEPIS my friend. I know exactly what it is capable of and what it is.
    My wife chose PCLOS. It ‘felt’ better to her. I don’t blame her. While I personally like MEPIS for its Debian base, I can’t compare it to PCLOS because PCLOS blows it out of the water for feel and look. What new convert wouldn’t choose it over MEPIS?
    And this isn’t an advertisement…had you noticed, we took a look at many distros in our experiment:
    http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/79-Experiment-The-Distro-Roundup.html

  • http://groups.msn.com/AnihilaterScriptGOLD Doug Johnson

    2003…. WoW, that is a LONG time. Now, I have been using linux since ’93, and I am not saying yes or no for PCLOS for ANYBODY. However, I prefer NOT to use it, just like other distros like Fedora, Libranet and some other choice ones I shall not mention. If PCLOS works for you, then great. I still don’t see how you would rate that distro over Mepis, considering I have watch that distro grow and prosper more then alot of the other distros out there, however, I still say that for the newcomer to linux, I would have to suggest Xandros 3 I know you said you tried many different distros in your testings, but I do not remember Xandros being one of them. Like I said, each and every distro is different for the users taste! That is the great thing about *nix, the choices that a set before you. But, if the person moving from windoze wants more of a look-n-feel of a XP enviroment then Xandros is the way to go.

    I, like you also like the debian products and xandros is just that. There is nothing quite like apt-get and synaptic for all your program needs in a linux world. I would say “DEBIAN” all the way. But, I also like speed and stability – that is why I would choose Gentoo and Slackware (not for the faint at heart). You have to give the end user more choices and not just a select few. Like I said before, there are so many different distro’s out there, you need to testing on a more wide category then what was done – Not just the main favorites. Just because the ratings on lets say “distrowatch” rates it high, doesn’t mean the end user will.

    I see that I have offended you with the “advertisment” statement, and for that I am sorry. It just seemed to me, that you are/was pushing PCLOS very hard, and even though that MIGHT be a good distro for new comers, doesn’t mean it is actually the best for them!!

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    Now all you need to do is use Unix from 1990 to 1993, then discover slackware and use it until 1999, then discover red hat and use it until 2002, then discover MEPIS in 2003 and use it (it’s first year available to the public) and you’ll be right in line with where I’m coming from.
    I agree with you on Xandros. I didn’t include it in the ratings because even though they have a ‘community’ distro…we were looking at distros that were free that had packages that installed for free. Xandros requires membership to Xandros Networks to update and keep things going.
    I think the best out of the box experience has to be with PCLOS…hands down. MEPIS is a very close second to me…but PCLOS just feels 1. faster because it is i686 optimized 2. appears better because jrangles is the graphic artist (see kde-look.org and tuxmachines.org) and 3. the control panel rules…its even better than the one provided by mandriva/drake. Check out 9.2 version when it comes out and let me know what you think then.