PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

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PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby davecs » Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:45 pm

I got my March copy of LXF a month late (and then a "replacement" my original having not arrived). As someone who has installed PCLinuxOS alongside Gentoo on my Hard Drive (triple-boot with Win98SE) I wanted to take issue with the comparison between it and Knoppix in that issue.

Of course the site was closed! It's open now and I've calmed down a little, but certain things have to be said.

Yes, Knoppix has certain rescue programs on it. It is also multilingual. Yes, for a certain limited type of use, it can do something that PCLOS cannot. However, PCLOS was rated alongside it as a live-CD only, and the review said that if you want to install a distro, get one that it meant to be installed! ie, not PCLOS.

Well PCLOS IS meant to be installed. It has its own repositories, most software is up to date. It has one of the best rpm-builders in the world (Texstar, of unofficial Mandrake support fame) creating its builds, it uses the rpm-ised version of apt and synaptic to handle its software, It is stable. It has won over many people to Linux because of its simplicity of installation, integration, and ease of use.

Indeed, there is a blog on the net where a Linux user tried to convert his wife who was determined not to switch to Linux. After trying many user-friendly distros, which she criticised to pieces, she eventually made the change using PCLOS and rated it 10/10.

For the home user, I would rate it above the other rpm distros (Mandrivel, RedHat/Fedora and SuSE). It has something strangely addictive about it, too, just like Gentoo, a weird thing I've never experienced with any other distro. It has Realplayer perfectly integrated into Firefox right out of the box. It really stars on multimedia. Once installed, just add "libdvdcss0" from the PCLOS repositories and you're good to go!

Even as a live distro, PCLOS is smoothly presented, with well-organised menus. Its main reason for being "live" is so that you can test it against your hardware and for look and feel before committing disc space.

Knoppix? Well if I wanted a live CD to show off to a potential convert, unless the person in question was a young burberry-wearing male with an old Escort bodykitted and equipped with an extremely loud stereo, I would not use Knoppix to make an impression. It's about as lairy as it gets.

Anyway I did mail off a reply, rather belatedly, to LXF. They may or may not use it in the June edition.

But my point is that PCLOS is really a distro aimed at ease of use and installation, with the Live-CD aspect being to try before you commit. It's raison-d'être is not as a Live-CD.
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RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby fingers99 » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:33 pm

But my point is that PCLOS is really a distro aimed at ease of use and installation, with the Live-CD aspect being to try before you commit. It's raison-d'être is not as a Live-CD.


And you could probably say the opposite about Knoppix, although I'm currently running it as a Hard Drive install, although Kanotix is probably better suited to that.

But, for all that, Kanotix and Knoppix have one huge advantage over all rpm based systems -- not only do they have apt-get, but the huge range of Debian packages.
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Re: RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby davecs » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:28 pm

fingers99 wrote:But, for all that, Kanotix and Knoppix have one huge advantage over all rpm based systems -- not only do they have apt-get, but the huge range of Debian packages.


apt-get and synaptic work well with PCLOS as well.

OK it does not have access to the full Debian repository, but you will have to go a long way for a distro where multimedia especially "streaming", works first time out of the box like a PCLOS install. Debian has problems there due to its commitment to GPL-only, and not using other free (as in beer) licences.

It depends on your intended user, but the fact remains that LXF64 got one thing wrong: that is that PCLOS has its own software and updates repositories, and is made for installation. By quite specifically stating the opposite in the article, they have done a very good distro a great disservice.
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RE: Re: RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby fingers99 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:11 pm

Debian has problems there due to its commitment to GPL-only, and not using other free (as in beer) licences.


Not so; I have lots of stuff from unfree, including IIRC, Squeak, giflib, Grokking the Gimp, the nVidia stuff........ The old myth was that Debian didn't touch non GPL packages (in fact, that was the cause of a big bust up between RMS and Klaus Knopper -- although I don't think Klaus ever responded) but there are an aweful lot out there.
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RE: Re: RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby towy71 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:22 pm

RMS has a bust up with someone "quelle surprise" :roll: :wink:
still looking for that door into summer
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RE: Re: RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby helios » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:38 pm

Having only been a linux user for a year, I have learned quickly. My first hard drive distro was knoppix then a quick switch to kanotix. My hat off to Mr Knoppler and kano. Both are fine efforts, however there seems to be some misunderstanding in the above posts concerning PCLinuxOS. There certainly is a problem with a recent magazine article stating that PCLinuxOS was not meant to be a hard drive install. Someone round up that author and administer the proper beating. It's hard to take a publication seriously when blatent mistakes like that are made.

Now...flame suit ON: It took a friend of mine two months to even look at the PCLOS live cd. I love debian-based distros and could never see myself using anything else, however once I did install PCLOS to my hd...well opinions change it seems. First, PCLOS is only in its beta stages and out-performs many of the proprietary distros. It does this in a few ways. First, It has my nvidia drivers pre-configured and ready to go on reboot. Second, I do not have to scour the web for the proper mplayer debs or rpms to get my favorite newsclip in foxnews to play...it just works. As far as software choices go, we do very well over at PCLOS. I have not wanted for anything, and Tex makes sure the newest software is available immediately. Now, let me clear one important thing up. In PCLOS, I am just as able to use apt-get as any debian user. dpkg is replaced with a similar command and dependencies are no longer a problem. People who drag out these old arguements have either not looked at it lately or are just too stuck in their ways to admit that something else is better than what they have now. I myself was guilty of that until I finally gave PCLinuxOS a look. So, hopefully the mag will straighten out their mistake and people around here will understand that our package system works just as well and gives us just as many choices as the debian-based distros. Oh and by the way...is kanotix and knoppix still breaking after apt-get upgrade? If I remember correctly, there was a small problem with that.....

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RE: Re: RE: PCLinuxOS, Knoppix and LXF64

Postby fingers99 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:33 pm

I can't comment on PCLinuxOS -- I've never tried it and probably never will. My current set up suits me more than any commercial distro I've tried.

I do not have to scour the web for the proper mplayer debs or rpms


Just add

#multimedia
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ unstable main

to /etc/apt/sources.list and MPlayer (and all the "exotic" multimedia stuff) is yours for the asking. I thought everyone knew that ;-)

Oh and by the way...is kanotix and knoppix still breaking after apt-get upgrade? If I remember correctly, there was a small problem with that.....


AFAIK, there never has been a problem with Kanotix -- after all, it's nearly 100% Sid. The problem with Knoppix can be resolved: the answer is at the very top of /etc/apt/sources.list.

people around here will understand that our package system works just as well and gives us just as many choices as the debian-based distros.


OK, so prove it...........................
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is this a fanboi competition?

Postby helios » Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:13 pm

You are not going to believe anything I post here anyway, so my suggestion to you is make some space on your second hd and see for yourself. Thats what I did and the subsequent results led to my divorce from kanotix...Now I really, Really like kanotix, but as far as polish and ease of use, it can not compete. See, you might believe everyone who installs linux has hour upon hour to learn our processes. Let me ask you something. When you first drove a car, did you have to crawl under the dash or open the hood to get the radio to work? No, you turned a knob or pushed a button and it just worked. PCLinuxOS and mepis, maybe one or two more distros are like that...they just work. Whether you agree with it or not, the fact is that linux will never seriously compete with windows if we dont put away the "Old School" philosophies and make this OS user-friendly. Geeks and techno-freaks like me will always have gentoo and slack, but for the masses...we really need to address the usability issues. It's not everyone that has the time to spend in tweaksville. As much as I personally enjoy it, I do not think the majority of Linux converts will. I do have a question for you though...why would I want to adjust my sources.list file to make mplayer or mplayer-plugin work? Thats silly. Boot the damn machine and go to work. Hobbiests can tweak all they want...some of us don't have the luxury of time. PCLinuxOS is not a commerical distro btw...free as in beer and as in freedom. I know we all get stuck in our ways and ideas but there are times when something else just does it better. Respected magazines should know their subject matter a bit better before they publish untruths. Now THAT smacks of Fanboi-ism.

BTW...I do run mepis on my 2nd hd...Debian will always be my mistress ;-)


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RE: is this a fanboi competition?

Postby fingers99 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:23 pm

I do have a question for you though...why would I want to adjust my sources.list file to make mplayer or mplayer-plugin work? Thats silly. Boot the damn machine and go to work.


Simple really, there just isn't enough space for it on the CD. I'd guess that were hard choices to make. For example, I'd prefer to have Supertux (which is on Kanotix) and Lyx (which used to be on Knoppix and has never been on Kanopix) rather than the evil which is emacs, but whatever the choice, even compressed, 700Mb just ain't going to be enough for everything.
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bingo

Postby helios » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:08 pm

for as smart as I consider myself to be, I didn't think about that and the point is taken. What I am hoping for, and I see PCLOS heading in this direction, is a distro for the everyday user. Now I know you and I are familiar with emacs, but outside of those who use them...who else would. there are linux distros with all sorts of exotic applications on them, many of them redundant, but I guess that is what makes Linux...well Linux. I don't see it boiling down anytime soon as at the last count there were over 380 active distros. sheesh, I like choice but dang...

Now apt-get is as drop-dead easy as it can get but I think until we get point and click installation, its gonna be a uphill battle for new, steady users. I think we are seeing a general steering toward this with klik and kano's scripts. I just hope we continue to progress in this direction.

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Got the live cd, tried it, not bad

Postby ggreaves » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:34 pm

After reading all the 'hype' counter claims etc. I though I'd get the live cd of PCLinuxOS and have a go.
It struggled a bit on a Dell Inspiron 8200, it failed to start the sound on a Dell Optiplex GX1 PII 400, rather old huh. All in all not bad really. Except for the non-mouse response in Shisen-Sho after coming out of sleep state, it may very well be my choice replacement for SUSE.
BTW there is a "Livecd- Install" icon on the desktop, what does that do? :wink:
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it installs pclos???

Postby helios » Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:25 pm

As mentioned above, the magazine was dead wrong in publishing the fact that pclos was not an installable OS. I have it installed on over 20 business computers on a 3 city network...AND THAT is what started this whole thing...Linux Format stating in a head to head with knoppix that PCLinuxOS could not be installed to the HD. PCLOS kicks Knoppix to the curb as far as a hd distro...but I repeat myself

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Postby davecs » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:36 pm

I started this fight! ( :wink: )

I have both Gentoo and PCLinuxOS installed on my desktop. I keep Gentoo, and I like to use a spare partition for testing other distros, but I can't bear to let PCLinuxOS go!

I have this to say about PCLOS:

1 - Firefox has every media player needed included out of the box. Go to BBC Radio and it just plays. As does Streaming Video.

2 - It has IRC clients, File sharing clients, and a great selection of software installed. Everything seems to be aimed at integration.

3 - You can update with apt-get, synaptic or kpackage and they all have their uses.

4 - The repository is up to date. At present, there is a 2.6.11 kernel and KDE3.4, Rosegarden-4 v1.0, Scribus 1.2.1, if it's there it's nearly always up to date.

5 - It uses original artwork, there's a guy in South America who contributes loads of stuff. As a result KDE is not overblown and is toned down and tasteful!

6 - It installs from a LiveCD and there are three flavours, ATi, nVidia and vanilla.

Bad Points:

1 - On my laptop with a synaptic mouse pad, for some reason it gets the X config file a bit wrong on install, and I had to correct it in PCLOS control centre. And I had to change the choice of sound driver to get sound to work. Took me ... ohhhh ... all of 10 minutes, but I can see that it may have foxed someone with less experience.

2 - It needs 256Mb RAM to run as a live CD and that is the only simple way of installing it.

3 - On my desktop it is making it difficult for me to get Timidity++ running as a daemon.

OVERALL

It is still at a BETA stage. Texstar and his team are preparing a pre-release 0.9 which promises KDE3.4, and a kernel built around the HAL/DBUS system for mounting plugged-in devices. And in the case of writable devices, unmounting them. No more write-behind problems which is why I dropped supermount!

If you regard it as a fork from Mandrake 9.2, it has gone where Mandrake should have. There is still a little work to do, but if your hardware is amongst the majority of stuff where it works right out the box, it is just the job for a Linux newbie.

Oh, and Texstar is such a perfectionist that I don't expect we'll see anything called v1.0 until it's perfect!
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Postby ryptyde » Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:52 am

OK,my interest has been tweaked will PCLOS be on a cover disc soon?
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Postby davecs » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:52 am

ryptyde wrote:OK,my interest has been tweaked will PCLOS be on a cover disc soon?


I doubt it! Anyhow, if it is, it would most likely be a vanilla version .81a.

You can download the iso, go to the following site:

www.pclinuxonline.com/pclos

Pick the iso that goes with your graphics card: ATi, NV, or plain. Print out the installation instructions and the "cheat codes" before you start.

Wait until version 0.9 comes out any time now, the guys are just correcting a few problems and it will be worth the wait.
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