This post will be a review on two Linux distros…PCLinuxOS Gnome and Linux Mint. First, I would like to point out that I had PCLinuxOS before (the minime edition) and I thought it was great…especially the way I could pick and choose what apps I wanted..(genius idea, that!) So it was great anticipation that I eagerly awaited the release of the Gnome remaster. I was finally able to get it after having waited a couple of weeks and burned the iso in Brasero, my iso burning app of choice.
I made myself a shiny new boot disk and awayyyy we go!
As soon as I rebooted, PCLOS started right up. As always, I am impressed with how fast it does that! Then I had to log in (on a live CD?? how odd) with either root or guest; I chose root..password for that is root and of course password for guest is guest..simple enough..
When it started up, I was very impressed with its appearance…Simply put, I think PCLOS Gnome is beautiful..Of course, not everyone will agree; knowing how strange I am, likely 80 percent of those polled would say otherwise (well, probably not; it really is lovely) So next, I check the list of applications. The number of apps for audio and video is impressive, Exaile is included, Mplayer and such but also Compiz-Fusion (Eyecandy!! Woot!) comes installed already! The AWN dock and Cairo are on repo for those who love the dock! Opera was on repo which is awesome and to top it off, Version 8 of Flashplayer is there specifically for Opera and the problems that Flash player has been giving us Opera fans..(I swear they are doing it on purpose because Opera supports Linux) and yes, it comes with the obligatory security warning for those not in the know…All of the apps that I wanted were available and Firefox and Opera were right up to date…..So I was ready to install!
So I clicked on the install icon provided conveniently on the desktop…This is where things got shaky.
I got to get only so far before it told me I had to log out and then log back in as root…(on the live CD?? why??) so fine I did…and did….and did…and did…and finally did again….for some reason it kept making me repeat that step over and over…the last chance I gave it, it finally took and the install process finally! started…as usual the PCLOS way is a simple install and with no other problems it was done…
I fired up the Firefox only to discover I didn't have an internet connection!! How irritating!! This was only the second distro I have ever tried that failed to recognize my ethernet settings right off the bat! (The other was Puppy Linux) Easy fix for me, maybe not for a more newb newbie…Anyway, two minutes later, I am connected…Then I go to Synaptic to get my Opera, Brasero and VLC, my "Top 3 Apps I have to Have." Synaptic was very slow and once I checked the three apps and tried to apply…only Brasero was procured…The other two gave off some kind of never have I seen this before error..That, and the fact that I could not find a way to change the color resolution from 16 bit and things were not looking so pretty after that! In the end, I ditched it with a heavy heart, because after all, I had actually waited for this distro! Me! The girl who waits for very little!! I gave it an A for appearance and a D+ for performance………………………………………………….
The other distro that I am reviewing is Linux Mint…Linux Mint is supposedly a derivative of Ubuntu but I have heard it said that it is more like what Ubuntu should have been or a step to the side of Ubuntu…I made myself a shiny new bootdisk for Linux Mint and ran it..and waited…and waited..and stared at a blank screen while I waited some more…It takes a good while to run the Live CD…Once it does..well, let's just say that Linux Mint is very elegant to view. There is only one panel (Gnome by the way) and on it is a button that says the name of the distro (which is Daryna, why I don't know) once clicked, up pops a three column menu with places, system, and apps..of which you can right click on any listed app to add it to a favorites list on the next page of the menu..and of course, the apps are sorted into categories but also in alphabetical order in case you can't quite place the app you want. No problems with my internet connection. I had never used Amarok before and that was a nice treat, albeit a little heavy on the resources, so I have sinced moved to Audacious which suits me a tad better but Amarok was quite nice to use. I had no problems installing Compiz-Fusion either and had enormous fun with the Cube!! I also got the AWN dock and I sill use that always although the extras applets package is not in the repo and I have been unsuccessful getting it to run. MintInstall is a fun little feature where you type in the app you want and you get taken to the website where you then click on the app name and okay and it is installed! The only thing I have issues with is the startup hang and the shutdown hang but they are minor annoyances at worst. I am quite content with this distro. I give it an A- for appearance and an A- for performance.