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KEY FEATURES PCLinuxOS (PCLOS) is one of many GNU/Linux operating systems belonging to the family of Desktop distributions. Its aim is to be a friendly and easy to use operating system. It was forked from Mandrake Linux (Mandriva at present) in 2003. It’s now a fully independent distribution, although it does take advantage of a few of Mandriva’s technologies.
Supported architectures i586
Minimal hardware requirements 256 megabytes of memory
Installer - overall (9) PCLinuxOS is distributed in LiveCD form but can also be installed to your hard disk drive (HDD). You can install the LiveCD onto the HDD with a few very simple steps. There is an extra Installation Guide available in which the steps are described and illustrated with screenshots. The installer comes with a nifty partitioning tool.
Package selection (9) Live mode cdrom KDE.
Predefined package groups (9) KDE with several desktop environments available through Synaptic.
Expert mode install (9) Option available throughout install.
Graphical installer (9) Heavily modified version of draklive-install. One of the easiest installers available in Linux today.
Installer speed (5) Average. The whole operation should take no more than 20-30 min.
Graphical system management (9) Heavily modified version of Mandriva Control Center. Every aspect of PCLinuxOS can be configured graphically.
Console-based system management (0) No special tools.
Number of packages (7) PCLinuxOS comes in the form of a live CD with 2 GB of software compressed in the ISO image. There are also over 7500 packages available in the PCLinuxOS repositories which can be accessed through a graphical package management tool called Synaptic.
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (9) PCLinuxOS uses APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) for software management. It is highly likely that a great fraction of users will choose Synaptic for the purpose. It is nothing more than a graphical user interface for APT. PCLOS utilizes RPM package technology and it has about 6500 of such packages in its repository. Sure, it is not as impressive number as the number of packages in Debian's or Gentoo's repositories but in most cases it suits the needs of an average user.
Graphical package management tool (6) Synaptic is the default package manager.
System boot speed (7) Dependent on processor speed, hard drive speed and memory. Currently on a 1.8 GHz Intel Celeron processor with 512 MB RAM and 7200 rpm HDD the boot time is less than three minutes. This does not include the time between power-up and boot selection in GRUB.
System responsiveness (7) Optimized for desktop. Considerably better than Mandriva and other distributions shipping KDE.
Popularity (9) Very popular, near the top in Distrowatch ranking.
Security focus (7) Integrated Firewall Shorewall. Shorewall is a Netfilter (iptables) based firewall that can be used on a dedicated firewall system, a multi-function gateway/ router/server or on a standalone GNU/Linux system.
Stability and maturity (5) Very stable and adapts very well to both new and old hardware.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (0) No.
Is the system localized after installation? (0) No.
Is manual system localization easy? (9) Yes, through the use of Synaptic.
Support for restricted formats (8) The support for multimedia is a strong point of PCLinuxOS. It supports all common multimedia file formats. It has no problems playing mp3, wma, ogg, mp4, avi, wmv, and mov files. PCLinuxOS is distributed with Java, Flash and mplayerplug-in for Firefox Internet multimedia are well supported by the system. The infamous win32-codecs package (containing proprietary codecs) and libdvdcss2 library (decoding protected DVDs) are not present in the system for legal reasons. They are available in the repositories, though.
Sagem DSL modem support (7) Graphical setup is available.
Alcatel DSL modem support (7) Graphical setup is available, 3rd party drivers may be needed.
ISDN support (8) Provided by default.
Wireless support (7) Graphical installation for most of wireless cards.
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