Preview: I take the PCLinuxOS plunge

I don’t know what took me so long. After unseating Ubuntu from the No. 1 spot on Distrowatch months ago, PCLinuxOS has shown no signs of folding in the face of all things Feisty and Gutsy.

Even my co-workers (OK, co-worker, in this case the Los Angeles Daily News’ City Hall reporter Rick Orlov) are telling me how great PCLinuxOS is. Even Scott Ruecker, master of LXer, has sung its praises.

But I’ve been running Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy, Damn Small Linux, Slackware, Knoppix … everything but PCLinuxOS. OK, I tried it on my converted Maxspeed Maxterm thin client, but it wouldn’t boot.

But today I took the PCLinuxOS 2007 CD, burned CDs of the project’s GNOME and MiniMe images and started feeding them into the $0 Laptop (Gateway Solo 1450).

I’ll go into detail with a full review in the days ahead.

This week’s Distrowatch Weekly is PACKED with news

There are quite a few good Web sites for free-software users, but when it comes to sheer volume and organization, Distrowatch tops them all. I don’t know how Ladislav Bodner does it. He tracks many hundred Linux and BSD distributions, plus the applications that go into them. I hope he’s making a mint, because otherwise there’s little to no justice in the world.

Anyhow, the latest edition of Distrowatch Weekly is bigger than usual — there’s a lot going on in the Linux and BSD world.

I plan to blog individually about a half-dozen or more of Ladislav’s news items, but in the interest of remembering what they were, here’s what caught my eye:

Darkstar Linux is an easy-to-use variation on Slackware

PCLinuxOS releases a “MiniMe” live CD with minimalist KDE desktop

PCLinuxOS announces $150 computer with PCLinuxOS installed

A new distro, Damn Small BSD, promises a 50 MB live CD based on FreeBSD. Few other projects have me as excited as this one, especially now that so many other BSD distros are going DVD only.

There’s way more news than this. Keeping up with Distrowatch is one way to stay on top of it. (And don’t forget LXer, where links to everything open-source are updated many times a day.

IT Toolbox evaluates Linux distros, Kubuntu comes out on top

A pretty good review from IT Toolbox looks at a whole bunch of Linuxes on a good smattering of hardware. Reviewer Mike Kavis really likes Ubuntu and Kubuntu — because they work. He also has good things to say about Mepis and PCLinuxOS, and not-so-good things about Fedora and OpenSUSE.

I agree, for the most part. I’ve never been a big Kubuntu fan. If I’m going to use KDE, I want it to be really KDE-like. That means Slackware or Debian … or SimplyMepis if I had a whole lot of power (Mepis is simply slow, in my tests).  Mike, however, considers Mepis to be faster than Vista. I don’t know what that says about Vista … or Mepis.

Maybe it’s time for another try at SimplyMepis on my Gateway laptop. But Debian Etch and Ubuntu Gutsy are running so well, I’m loathe to tinker with success.