Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another distro hop - PCLinuxOS 2007

Again and again, a new Linux distro is installed on my office PC... and for a change, its not Debian or Ubuntu based.

It's PCLinuxOS 2007, a three year old Live CD distro based originally on Mandriva and is developed by a rpm packager known as Texstar.

Actually, my first distro is rpm based... Bayanihan 3.0. Then my 2nd distro is also rpm based, Mandrake 10.1. And then I got hooked on Ubuntu primarily because of Synaptic which makes software installation a few clicks away.

Now here comes PCLinuxOS, an rpm-based that actually uses Synaptic to install applications. Huh?! But it amazingly works! No rpm hell or whatsoever!

As of now, I am pretty much impressed with this distro. Essential (some say evil) codecs and plugins are already installed out of the box... to the point that any multimedia format I threw on it played without problems (I'm starting to like KMplayer).

The PCLinuxOS Control Center (that is actually ripped from Mandriva) is fantastic. Samba is installed by default which makes file sharing with Windows PCs on a network an instant. Beryl and Compiz are installed by default, while installation of Nvidia graphics card via Synaptics is a breeze.

One thing I don't like about this distro is the menu layout. Its like a "chopsuey" of applications that sometimes it is difficult to find this and that (or maybe I just got too used to playing around with Ubuntu Gnome). And oh, another thing is that it doesn't have any game installed by default but a lot are listed at the repositories via Synaptic.

PCLinuxOS by the way uses KDE.

The community is not as large as that of Ubuntu but I am already trying to blend in with the crowd of PCLinuxOS users.

But hey, I still do like Ubuntu. Its just that somehow I just felt that PCLinuxOS offers a better out of the box experience than Ubuntu. If someone will ask me to install Linux on his laptop or desktop PC with no internet connection, PCLinuxOS would be my choice coz I don't like my friend wondering why he can't play his 3gp or MP3 files out of the box... which is already a showstopper to many to some degree.

PCLinuxOS 2007 is good for PC users who are thinking of migrating from Windows to Linux and even to those who are not so technically adept (like me!) who would want to promote Linux to their friends.

Don't just imagine there how it feels like to use PCLinuxOS on your PC, grab a copy now!

Pahabol: Our LGU here in Gerona, Tarlac will launch an FOSS IT Skill Enhancement Program thru our Community eCenter. Our goal is to promote FOSS to the local constituency. Trainings, fora, and seminars will be launched along with free internet use on Linux boxes (PCLinuxOS 2007 maybe used instead of Ubuntu). Mabuhay FOSS!

Three snapshots of my PCLinux OS:

Yakuake on PCLinuxOS in action

Wobbly windows courtesy of Beryl which is installed by default

Multimedia playback are out-of-the-box... I'm playing a .FLV file with KMPlayer.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mintified Edgy!

Last weekends, I suddenly felt like installing LinuxMint over Ubuntu Edgy on the PCs in our Community eCenter. However, I realized that all I need is the theme (not including the Biana usplash theme which IMHO sucks) and the mint tool namely mintMenu, mintDisk, mintDesktop, and mintConfig.

And then I realized that LinuxMint is in fact around 95 percent Ubuntu Edgy so why waste my time again doing a fresh install when all the codecs and plugins I need are already installed? So I did a few research and I theorized that Ubuntu Edgy can be easily mintified, so to speak.


To be able to install the mint tools, you have to add the LinuxMint Bianca repository at the /etc/apt/sources.list file.

Open /etc/apt/sources.list
$sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
and then add the following line at the end of the file...

deb http://www.linuxmint.com/repository bianca/

Please take note of the "/" after the word bianca. Save and close the file and then update packages...
$sudo aptitude update
Time to install mint tools. To make this a lot easier, simply open the Synaptic via Administration --> Synaptic Package Manager. Then search for the word "mint" (Ctrl + F then type in the word mint). Scroll down until you see the following packages: mintMenu, mintDesktop, mintConfig, and mintDisk. Select there four packages, right click then choose Install. Then click on Apply and then wait till installation is done. (You may also want to install the Bianca theme and mintWifi if you like.)

To use mintMenu, right click on a panel then Add to Panel, then scroll down to click on LinuxMint Menu. After selecting it, click on Add. You may change the word Bianca by right clicking on the mintMenu then Preferences. When a dialog opens, double click on applet_text and input any word you like.

You can now also access mintDisk via Administration. mintConfig and mintDesktop are at Preferences.

Here are some screen captures at Flickr....

I am still using the orange Human icon set but opted to use the linuxmint wallpaper plus the layout of its panel.
mintMenu, a replacement for the Gnome menu which is inspired by SUSE's Slab and based on USP.
mintDisk and mintDesktop, both imported from the Linuxmint repositories.
Beryl in action!

By the way, I had a chance to try on Envy and on Beryl. As you can see at the screencaps, it still looked yummy even only on 64 mb Nvidia video card.

Obviously, I am trying to keep myself busy to forget my disappoint not being able to install Ubuntu Feisty. Poor me!

P.S.: Thanks Dom and Chin for the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn installer!