PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

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PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

Postby davecs » Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:15 pm

This easy-to-install distro, aimed mainly at home users who want a simple install of a Linux system that "just works", has had an update released to preview_9. There were a number of issues in version pre_9, which affected a small but significant number of people.

I will download it tonight and add my comments, but I did, earlier this week, download the "test" version, and only one issue on my computer remained, that is that the scripts to change the monitor were buggy. This only affected a tiny number of people whose monitor is not correctly detected. Which happens to include mine! I notified Texstar and I expect this to be resolved.

Other issues affecting sound on first boot (double muted - PCM and master!) and mouse detection, had been cured.

Anyway the Live CD features UnionFS, which allows on the fly merger of directories on the LiveCD with directories in RAMdisk, resulting in lower memory overheads and thus faster bootup in less RAM, also you can update software (though only until switchoff). It features Realplayer and other multimedia stuff already built into Firefox. The software choice is great for a beginner, and there's loads more to be added via Synaptic.

It also features some stunning artwork by Jose Rangels.

I'll let you know how it goes when I've had a look at it later.

Website: http://www.pclinuxonline.com/pclos
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RE: PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

Postby A-Wing » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:17 pm

Downloaded it but haven't added it to LinuxISO.co.uk yet, got to sort that out later
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RE: PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

Postby davecs » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:55 pm

Hi, A-wing: If you keep an eye on the forums at pclinuxonline, you will know that one of the guys there regularly publishes a CD "Service Pack" for people who cannot do all the downloads (maybe on dialup). Can you get one sent over from USA when they come out and redistribute it?
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RE: PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

Postby A-Wing » Fri Jul 08, 2005 5:15 pm

It is usually available via. torrent, but the torrent has no seeds. It is easy to re-create a very up to date version by copying the apt data from the ftp site to CD. I can do this if required.
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RE: PCLinuxOS Preview_91 hits the mirrors!

Postby davecs » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:49 pm

I have now got version pre_91 up on two computers, where it is working extremely well.

My own one is as my signature, and I would like to say it "just worked" but it didn't. The villain of the piece is my monitor, a Gericom T920, as purchased in ALDI. I had it connected via the Digital lead, and I think that maybe my poor generic FX5200 card isn't quite up to the job. The maximum resolution of the monitor was not detected properly, and putting it right via the Control Centre resulted in X breaking. I found this was due to a stray "Modeline" with no arguments in the Monitor device definition in xorg.conf.

As a result of my report of this to the help forum, no less than Texstar himself has been in touch with me, asking me to make small edits to the XFDrake Perl script, as he cannot duplicate the fault on his own computers. The outcome of which is that, we have found a fix which will be incorporated in later versions. You don't get that sort of service from Mandrake or SuSE, do you?

I had a couple of other problems because the "nvidia" driver could not detect that the monitor was connected via digital, so I had to edit the xorg.conf file by hand. Today, I got so annoyed with some of the monitor's foibles that I switched off and connected it via Analogue, and guess what? It's much better! There is obviously a communication problem between the FX5200 card and the monitor throught the Digital lead.

Apart from that, the only minor issue is that I had to run KMix on first boot once installed, to unmute both the PCM volume and Master volume. That was about it.

On the other computer, my sister-in-law's, everything just worked from the word go. This computer is a PC-Chips M810LMR with an Athlon 2000XP and 512Mb RAM. They rely on dialup, but I could not get the internal AMR riser to work, trying both an rpm off the PCLOS repositories, and installing some tar.gz files the old way from the net. However, I got an External Serial Modem for under £20, and to be fair, not only did it work, once I had installed it through the PCLinuxOS Control Centre and KPPP, but when I switched to their Windoze partition to install the drivers, it worked better there as well.

So - minimal problems on two desktops, both hardware related.

The system will install on most rigs, particularly those with Broadband via the ethernet socket, with no problems at all.

As for the distro itself once up, I cannot praise it highly enough. Firefox has Realplayer working from the word go. HAL/DBUS is also going nicely, not only are media automounted, but putting in a DVD, VCD, CD-Audio, blank recordable CD etc will start an appropriate program.

Having now run the live CD, I can vouch for the change that UnionFS makes to the boot speed and it seems to run better with less audible disc spinning once up and running. The only downside to UnionFS is that it upsets Firefox. Still UnionFS is a liveCD feature, once you install it, firefox runs OK. If you want to demo Firefox with Realplayer from the LiveCD, you'll have to add "unionfs=no" to the boot options.

A very fine distro, clearly aimed at the first-time Home User, good integration, nice graphics, shows that KDE doesn't have to be too lairy, very stable indeed, well recommended!
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Postby davecs » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:55 pm

Epilogue:

My monitor was doing a lot of weird things, so I disconnected the Digital cable and connected the Analogue cable, and most of the odd things it was doing stopped. So I tried the LiveCD again just out of curiosity and not only was the monitor detected correctly, but the problems that occured when I tried to change the settings did not occur! So the fault seems to be with the relationship between my monitor in Digital mode and my Video Card. So chalk that one off!
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