The PCLinuxOS 2010.1 list of FEATURES is very impressive. Nothing surprising there, all feature lists are when any new release comes out. That’s probably why testing a release after reading such lists may result in a bit of a letdown, for the end result usually never matches the expectation. This time around it was pretty much the opposite, which is very significant considering I tested Ubuntu 10.04 just days ago.
TAKE IT EASY
I want to take a bit of time to talk about a number of tools that I
feel are great in making life easy for end users: Repository Speed Test,
Add Locale and GetOpenOffice.
Repository Speed Test runs a check on all the repository servers
available and recommends the optimum setup. If the end user agrees, the
application automatically applies the corresponding changes to the
sources list file. When done, it starts Synaptic so software can be
downloaded. I particularly liked the information messages provided
throughout. They were clearly explaining what was happening as a backup
copy of sources.list was automatically taken before actually committing
Similarly, Add Locale easily makes all the necessary adjustments to
add and setup languages. In fact, I often had issues installing Spanish
language in KDE implemenations from Fedora, OpenSuSE and even Mandriva.
It was doable, of course, but not as straightforward as in GNOME distros
like Ubuntu. Even when I managed to get it to work, not all
applications would display the right language settings. With Add Locale
it was a breeze and once again the information messages were spot on.
Finaly, GetOpenOffice is nothing short of amazing. When you run it
for the first time, the tool asks for the language you want to install,
then downloads and installs the packages and menus automatically. If run
again, the application detects there is a previous installation and
prompts the user if s/he wants to reinstall or uninstall. Nitpicking a
bit, I would say I liked how progress is shown through a terminal like
interface, but I guess standard users couldn’t care less. I think it
would look even better if a GUI progress bar was displayed, allowing for
such minute detail monitoring as an optional feature.
NOTE: I am aware not all these tools have been developed by/for
PCLinuxOS, but it is how well they have been selected and integrated
that made a very positive impression on me.
All in all, I think all three applications are a very nice step
forward towards making the Linux desktop experience accessible to
anybody. In fact, to be completely honest, PCLinuxOS 2010 is the first
distro that I feel is ready for “The year of the Linux desktop”
challenge. It is powerful yet clear and simple. There are some areas
that could use some polishing, but it is a huge step in the right
direction. Provided the hardware is fully supported, as has been the
case on all five machines I have tested it on, I really feel anyone can
enjoy PCLinuxOS 2010.1!
NETWORKING & SECURITY
PCLinuxOS 2010 also provides a very clear and comprehensive GUI
interface to setup the firewall. As expected, iptables policies are set
to accept by default, but no ports are listening. In the GUI interface
this translates to showing the firewall as disabled (the actual option
displays “no firewall”). Enabling the firewall is as simply as
un-ticking that option.
Read Full Review at Source Web Site: mohamedmalik.com