My Linux weekend

Ok, so I spent most of my weekend trying out some new Linux distros. New to me anyway.

First up was PCLinuxOS and their 2007 release. I don’t know why PCLinuxOS is so highly touted. I found it to be clunky, buggy and ugly. Then I realized I’m supposed to be trying PCLinuxOS MiniMe. I couldn’t even get that to boot on my laptop. Not even halfway through the boot process it would lock up and cause my caps lock light to blink then it would freeze.

Then I tried DreamLinux. It really wants to be Mac’s OS-X. What attracted me to DreamLinux was its shortcut bar down at the bottom just like OS-X. I’ve never used OS-X so I don’t know how it actually compares. What I didn’t like is that the shortcut bar wasn’t customizable at all and half the tools on it I would never use anyway.

I finally settled on Mandriva’s latest release, Spring 2008. I liked it so much I installed it on my main hard drive. Dual booted with Windows of course. I got addicted to the KDE desktop and I’ve adapted to using RPMs. I also thought that Mandriva was more aesthetically pleasing that PCLiunuxOS. Now, this isn’t a knock against Linux Mint my former distro of choice. I just get bored after 6 months or so and I need a change. I would recommend Linux Mint to anyone who asked what the best Ubuntu based distro was.

5 thoughts on “My Linux weekend”

  1. Hmm. I guess you weren’t given the secret password for PCLinuxOS. If you don’t have it, PCLinuxOS will fail terribly in some random manner but if you do have it, then there isn’t any hardware on the planet that it won’t work on, even your toaster. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. PCLinuxOS works great on (taking a guess here) 95 percent of the current crop of hardware. That’s one reason why it’s so “highly touted”. You will not get to experience that unless you dig deeply into the forums and Google to find out just what is so “special” about your laptop. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is with any distribution. What I don’t understand about your situation is that Mandriva is the core distribution for PCLinuxOS. Why Mandriva worked and PCLinuxOS didn’t is kind of strange.

    PCLinuxOS looks like a piece of crap when you first boot into it. It’s up to you to make it look like Heaven on Earth, which you can do, you just have to make the effort to find out how and there’s no secret password to stop you.

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  2. PCLinuxOS has been “beddy beddy good to me”, but that’s true for all the top distros out there for someone. I once encountered a computer (a Dell) belonging to a guy (my brother) that puked out PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, DSL and Fedora 7. I finally tried the latest SimplyMepis. Bingo, it ran like a champ. So the moral of the story is: Your computer might have ideas about which distro it wants to run and if you argue with it you’ll learn a lot more about Linux than you intended to.

    Try Googling your laptop’s make and model number and use quotes so your results will be more precise. Example with out the brackets [“Dell Latitude 2750” PCLinuxOS MiniMe] or [“ACPI: Looking for DSDT in initramfs” MiniMe install]. That last search item includes part of an error message. Your messages, if any, will be different of course. Learning Google is like learning foreign language after living in the country for a while. Suddenly things just start to make sense. It’s a very handy skill.

    I looked again and saw your second post. No problem, I’m glad you got it working. The information above still holds true though. If for some reason MiniMe doesn’t cut it for you, just try other distributions. That’s one of the advantages of Linux, choices.

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  3. Thanks for your help Richard. I gave PCLinuxOS 2007 a full workout. I’ll be posting my findings soon.

    Becoming a Linux user is addictive. At least the only thing I’m wasting money on is blank CDs. šŸ˜€

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