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PCLinuxOS 2K4: Mandrake Meets The Live CD 182

NoahsLinuxArk2K3 writes "For those of you who may not be familiar with PCLinuxOS, it's a Linux distro derived from Mandrake Linux 9.2, developed by none other than Texstar from PCLinuxOnline (best known for his RPM work for the same distro). The new distro is primarily a Live CD, but can also be installed to the hard drive. It is still in preview release, but at 306 hits per day, it's already #8 on the DistroWatch charts. This review is the first of its kind to surface and it is looking very promising." Update: 12/30 03:18 GMT by T : A semi-anonymous reader writes "For those who dont have a high speed connection, PCLinuxOS 2K4 Preview 4 is available from OSDisc.com for a few bucks." Probably soon it will be at cheapbytes, too.
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PCLinuxOS 2K4: Mandrake Meets The Live CD

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  • Quite Amazing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Rodrin ( 729362 )
    It's very rare to have a new linux distrobution hit the top 10 on distrowatch ever. Count this distro in your books as a record breaker. But why does it have to be based on Mandrake? Boo-hoo. =)
    • Re:Quite Amazing (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not quite true. Unusual yes, not that rare though. Yoper was in the #1 spot less than two weeks after addition to Distrwatch and stayed there for a while. Knoppix skyrocketed and settled in a 3d, I don't remember how high it got though. Sorceror linux followed the same pattern. There are probably others but since Distrowatch is /. ed I can't look at the distro list to refresh my memory.
    • Re:Quite Amazing (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      i remember about a year or longer ago when Yoper came out it made #1 for a while and i could not see what all the fuss was about as it was just another dumbed down distro (bastard child of Debian only dumbed down)

      now Yoper is barely keeping current
    • Yea because distrowatch is such an accurate measure... As its previously been pointed out, some distro called Yoper was #1 on distrowatch the week it came out.

      Some bored linux users will do anything to push their "distro of the week". Distrowatch isn't in on it and they were nice when asked about their rankings, but anyone with half a brain knows those results are far from accurate. So no, I won't be counting this distro as any sort of record breaker, at least not any type of record that matters.
      • Re:Quite Amazing (Score:4, Informative)

        by ladislavb ( 551945 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:58PM (#7832730) Homepage
        Things have improved since those days. Firstly, between 2 - 5 new distributions are added to DistroWatch every week, so it is getting increasingly hard for any of them to get to the top 100, never mind to the top 10. Secondly, the number of visitors on DistroWatch has trippled since "Yoper times" (now at over 20,000 visits per day) and it's becoming harder for one person to manipulate the page hit ranking. And thirdly, PCLinuxOS is created by somebody who is well-known in the Mandrake user community and who has a record of providing reliable enhancements for vanilla Mandrake releases.

        Yes, the DistroWatch ranking is nothing but a light-hearted popularity contest created for fun (and to laugh at those who take it seriously). In contrast, PCLinuxOS is a serious and promising distro worth watching, especially if you are a Mandrake fan.
    • why does it have to be based on Mandrake?

      Posted from the world's only 2.6-ready-OOtB Linux distribution: Mandrake 9.2. Running 2.6.0-1mdk as I type. Also running XFree86 4.4 recompiled (rpm -bb) from Cooker with no issues: if I was any more leading-edge, people would be throwing chunks of frozen foam at me. (-:

  • Holy shit! (Score:4, Funny)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:02PM (#7832168) Homepage Journal
    developed by none other than Texstar from PCLinuxOnline
    Holy crap! Not Texstar from PCLinuxOnline!!!

    This is a great day for us all.

    • Re:Holy shit! (Score:5, Informative)

      by oddfox ( 685475 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:49PM (#7832697) Homepage

      Well most anyone's that used Mandrake Linux and third-party packages will have heard of Texstar sometime during their package-seeking. Texstar is one of the biggest names in the Mandrake community, and his packages are usually of pretty high caliber. I think he may have even done packages for some other popular distros, as well.

      I'm pretty glad, myself, that if anyone was going to be making a Mandrake-based distro, it's Texstar. He seems to know his way around a Mandrake system or two.

      • Well most anyone's that used Mandrake Linux and third-party packages will have heard of Texstar sometime during their package-seeking.

        I've been running Mandrake on my server for around three years now, and I've never heard of him.

        Mind you, I don't have any cause to use any packages that don't come with the distro, so perhaps that's why? Or perhaps it's because -- even when I have sought out packages in the past (for RedHat), as a non-coder I don't recall ever paying any attention to the author/packag
        • Well, you instantly isolate yourself from Texstar's target audience when you mention "server", lol.

          I myself don't usually pay much attention to a packager's name most of the time (Although you have to admit, it's very comforting to know it's a trusted source), but in the short time that I used Mandrake (I started out w/Linux when 8.2 was hot stuff), I installed Texstar's packages quite often to upgrade software, and also get new programs.

          Sorry for the late reply, heh.

  • by Qweezle ( 681365 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:03PM (#7832174) Journal
    Mandrake has always been my favorite distro for it's useability, while still maintaining the features that a Linux guru(not myself) would love, it's truly a distro for everyone.

    But a Live CD is just awesome, think of all the new users who can try Linux for the first time, not as Knoppix, which is translated from German, but Mandrake! What a great way to learn about and be introduced to Linux!
    • by cavebear42 ( 734821 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:24PM (#7832293)
      Mandrake with its superior driver support is the way to go for a live CD. I'm excited to hear that there is interest in pursuing this type of OS. My challenge with the live CD distro is that, as I understand it, its a "take it the way we make it" distro. No matter how much you like the way they made it, it just feels wrong. You should be able to build your own cd out of the Mandrake you configured. In any case, I still await the day Linux comes in a distro Grandma can use.
    • by KeyserDK ( 301544 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:41PM (#7832364) Homepage
      Mandrake Has just relaesed a LiveCD called MandrakeMOVE. One version for use with an USB Key or one for use with no USB key.

      Another thing is that Textar is mainly releasing an bugfix/update of mandrake. Nice, but 99% of the work is done by mandrakesoft. The world of GPL.
      • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:41AM (#7833094)
        Yes, as you said 99% of the work is done by Mandrakesoft. This has been the case with every one of their recent releases. I have been a Mandrake fan for some time (I remember installing the first or second release of Mandrake when it was really just a patched, bugfixed RedHat). I still use Mandrake regularly, but what ticks me off about the recent releases is that they all seem to be about 99% of the way there, or maybe more like 95% of the way there.

        Texstar did an absolutely admirable job of packaging fabulous RPMs to fix some of the atrociousness that came with out-of-the-box Mandrake back in 9.0/9.1 (and 8.2 if I remember properly). Check out the default font configuration on 9.1 to see an example of what I'm talking about - I couldn't look at the desktop, it pained my eyes. Between Texstar's RPMs and the PLF RPMs, you can actually make Mandrake 9.1 into a usable system.

        If Texstar is going to build on Mandrake and take a 95% distro and make it into a 100% distro out of the box rather than distribute piecemeal patches fixing the things Mandrakesoft screwed up, then by all means, more power to him. That's fully in the spirit of the GPL and of Linux in general. And I should again point out that Mandrake got its start as basically a bugfixed/patched up version of RedHat - anybody else remember their first releases when it looked like they had just done a Find/Replace on "RedHat" and typed in "Linux Mandrake"?

    • But a Live CD is just awesome, think of all the new users who can try Linux for the first time, not as Knoppix, which is translated from German, but Mandrake! What a great way to learn about and be introduced to Linux!

      Yeah, but Mandrake beat them to the punch with MandrakeMove. I find it very much similar in function and feel to a Knoppix/Drake bastard child, although it lacked a bit of the applications that I'm used to with Mandrake. It was much like Mandrake Light.

    • If you want a LIVE-CD of Mandrake then go to their website and download MandrakeMove. They just released it. Two things: it is built around the USB Key and it is available through MandrakeClub.
  • LiveCD installers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AMystery ( 725537 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:06PM (#7832197) Homepage Journal
    Why aren't there more LiveCD installers? I used Knoppix [knoppix.net] as my debian [debian.org] installer and it was such a good experience that given the choice I would never go back to anything else. Text based installers are powerful, but for the pure user experience, being able to boot into a full OS and surf the web and listen to music while the OS installs in the background seems like the best way. So why aren't there more such discs? Also related, is this something other geeks would want? I can see the elitism of loving debian's old isntaller, but how much worse is a LiveCD version? Is the only problem hardware support? Its easier to have a simple installer that works on everything than try to get a LiveCD to boot? Appeal to the lowest common denominator?
    • by bfree ( 113420 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:52PM (#7832422)

      Taking Debian as an example, it may be worthwhile looking at having a liveCD net-installer image, so you can boot up into a full-system and choose to kick off a net install at any time. But on a regular installation cd, you do not want a liveCD, why? Well the point of having a cd is so you don't have to download so many packages (if any), and if you use up space on the cd with the liveCD then you will likely send more people hitting the mirrors.

      I recently had to install a system as a basic desktop. I did both types of knoppix-installer runs (debian and knoppix) and either way I felt I had a slightly mish-mashed system which I didn't really want to keep working with. So I got the latest daily image of the net-inst cd for debian-installer, experienced one minor problem (had to hand prod the network up) and had a system up under my control in no time. The old debian installer is just that, old! The new debian installer is looking great [debian.org] (providing the ports can come together) and while it may still be in development, asking why liveCD when compared to the old installer is a waste of time. Why liveCD Vs the new installer ... well I think it's a matter of horses for courses. If you want a quick means to a certain setup, liveCDs should be great, but if you want to setup a system with what you want, it's probably never going to happen from a liveCD except where the liveCD is simply a glorified front-end to the regular installer and then your liveCD has the decreased space for packages that got me started!

      • by AMystery ( 725537 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:46PM (#7832903) Homepage Journal
        Your point is valid but you miss the audience. As a computer expert you are probably comfortable with the simpler installers that just do what they need, install the OS. but for those who have just one computer and aren't really comfortable with it, having a nice friendly fully functional OS that lets them try things out, search for help online and generally be up and running in 30 seconds is a boon.

        It takes me roughly 1 hour to install any OS, windows or linux. Since I just have the one system and its getting rather old, that is at minimum of one hour when I cannot be productive computer wise. If I use a LiveCD then as soon as the CD boots I can keep going while the system installs in the background.

        Your point about space is good and I would like to see a LiveCD based Net install. That would work great for new computer users. The CD has the LiveCD image, whatever other files fit and it downloads anything else. However, the CD boots and runs and there is very little wasted space there. You copy the CD to the HDD and its good.

        a LiveCD based install just seems like the future of computer installs. Friends of mine who install windows for a living often bemoan how the installer is silent, like it would be better to have some kind of background music while it runs. That's the kind of thing that non-geek people see as progress. Also it just makes me happier, less down time, more powerful visual interface.

    • Specifically speaking to Debian I see no reason to have a LiveCD installer. With the current XFS install disc I have Debian installed in less than 10 minutes. I don't want to extend that to 15 or 20 to surf the web for 10 minutes (which I can easily do with my other machine anyways, heh). Now for something like Gentoo I always use knoppix to install it (don't like the Gentoo LiveCD much).
  • this poor pengiun [madpenguin.org] should have listened to Linus when he told him CDs aren't fish.
  • This is truly a great chance to let users of other OSs take linux for a ride, especially since Mandrake is quite user-friendly. If a user decides to install Linux on the HD, mandrake is quite newbie-friendly, pity that the current version seems to have quirky HD installer.
  • by mesach ( 191869 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:12PM (#7832229)
    It is still in preview release, but at 306 hits per day, it's already #8 on the DistroWatch charts.

    Way to shoot it directly to #1 with a bullet and a slashdotting!!!
  • Okay, sounds cool, I wanna try it, but I expect this 33k download rate won't last. Anyone have a bittorrent link?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ne faites jamais confiance aux Francais. Ils sont fromage mangeant, singes de reddition. Ne regardez jamais eux, eux des mots de pronouce correctement, la subsistance mettant le que a la fin des mots et plus mauvais de tous, ils prennent l'urine de chat et la vendent en tant que "vin". Oui, c'est un troll, et oui, j'ai employe les poissons de Babel mais qui s'inquiete quand le trollkore est sur le perdre.
    • Shut the fuck up, you Pepe LePew-hating, no-girlfriend, monkey-spanking, thumb up ass, no job, panty-peeping, live in your mother's basement, no Ma I'm not smoking anything, panty-stealing, hamper-diving, big Mac eating, left-cheek-sneak silent-but-deadly farting, skidmark wearing motherfucker. Learn how to speak French rather than using that Babelfish crap. (How's this for a native French speaker?)
  • Who cares how a no-name site like distrowatch ranks linux distros? I'm more interested in where Casey Kasem and Rick Dee's weekly Top 40 distro rankings puts them.
  • Everyone says that Linux can't be easy to use while people have to go out and manualy get graphics drivers, Java, Flash etc, loosely ignoring the fact you do the exact same thing on Windows.

    Why is this distribution any different? The legal powers-that-be in all the other distros say that they can't ship with Java/Flash/whatever. I don't ask from a "how have they done wrong" perspective; I'm hoping that there has been some background research done that could mean other distributions can start shipping wit
    • You would have to get permission to include any third party software. Permission to download isn't the same as permission to redistribute. Since they're free downloads anyways, it would be hard for the software creators to show that they were seriously harmed by your redistribution, but it's still copyright infringement.

      On the other hand, if you created a script to FTP the latest version from their own websites, and then set them up, it might pass the legal sniff test.
      • not really. with alot of the freely downloadable software, you have to click through some soft of agreement. i have no idea what they say in there, as i just want to install what i'm after. sun does this with thier java/jdk. wouldn't sun benefit from allowing distros from including the sun jdk as oppose to that blackdown (similar, but not)? heck, sun even has a click through to download their netbeans platform in binary format. i suspect their cvs servers are public, but then you're on your own.

        what ot
    • According to Texstar the distro is legitimate and it's ok to redistribute the Nvidia drivers in a free-as-in-beer distro. Mandrake didn't include it or flash in the download edition of their distro because they want the download edition to be 100% free gpl stuff.
  • The knoppix powerpc version sucked... but the idea is great for a rescue disk... I use knoppix for both x86 and PowerPC for this reason. Anybody seen anything ready for powerpc?
  • by Rick Richardson ( 87058 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @09:55PM (#7832433) Homepage
    I'd like to see an uncompressed Live-DVD with twice as much stuff on it as on a Live-CD. Anbody working on one of those yet?

    But in the meantime, anybody got a bit torrent for PCLinuxOS up?

  • If you want to download the latest version right now, you can:

    Download PCLinuxOS [ibiblio.org]

    (Hopefully, we'll have a hard time slashdotting Ibiblio.org)
  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:16PM (#7832536) Homepage Journal
    are replies to trolls, I think I should try to make a serious post. But in the christmas spirit, I have to admit that I'm very drunk at the moment, so most spelling mistakes are the results of being non-English and very drunk. And having just seen a friend run off with the only good-looking woman in the pub, and she wasn't that good looking anyway. But I'm not complaining, so this should be worth at least +2 informative anyways (at least, I'm not going to say that *BSD is dead). Alright, here goes:

    I tried PCLinuxOS a couple of weeks go. It's a live CD a la Knoppix, but based on Mandrake instead of Debian. What I liked about the distro was that it found all the hardware, like Knoppix. I also liked the fact that it was really simple to find various apps in the menues, but that's not very unlike Knoppix, is it? I use Debian ayway, so Knoppix feels quite all right to me. PCLinuxOS is good in most of the ways that Knoppix are.

    However, PCLinux were (at the time I used it, in the beginning of December) not very well localized. I'm used to Norwegian keyboard lay-out, and when I can't find the '|' and '@' symbols, I'm pretty much fucked (especially the latter. Try connecting to an email-address or a Jabber-account without '@'!). What I'm trying to say, is that it's not quite as well localized as Knoppix is. Most programmers (who use US lay-out anyway) or Americans wouldn't notice, but persoally, I get confused. In Knoppix, I just choose my keyboard lay-out by right-clicking on the flag in the system tray, and I type '@' by pressing '@'. PCLinuxOS just doesn't have that option, so it's obviously a very American product, although based on the French Mandrake. That's one point in favour of Knoppix. Oh, and when you exit Knoppix, it will eject the CD and ask you to hit ENTER before the computer turns off, as if by magic (but by ACPI/APM).

    So, personally, I don't see any reason to use PCLinuxOS instead of Knoppix, but if you use Mandrake or Red Hat, it's probably the rescue CD you want. Or if you use American keyboard layout. No matter what, PCLinuxOS has very good hardware detection, so if you can't be bothered to make your own rescue CD, you might just as well use that as anything else. It's good. Submit bug reports. I know I should have.

    And it has many of the apps you want to demonstrate to most wannabee nerds.
    • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:27AM (#7833044)
      I also might recommend trying MEPIS Linux [mepis.org] out as a great bootable CD as well as general use distro. I just discovered it recently, and I have to give it immense credit for working out of the box with all the NVidia hardware (evil-tainted driver detection and all). MEPIS gets the fact that people want easy to use and easy to install, not ideological purity. Mind you, I still use Mandrake when I'm using Linux, but if you don't have the time or patience to make Mandrake not look and feel sucky, or to make it work with your hardware, MEPIS is a great alternative (and can let you experiment with a Debian-based alternative that's very easy to test out).

      I am sure PCLinuxOS probably does as good a job, knowing the quality of all the old Texstar RPMs. I predict we'll all be hearing a lot more from these upstarts, and see them presenting a serious challenge to the most popular distros, especially with the major PR fuckup that RedHat has brought upon itself with Fedora (sorry, it had to be said) and with the middling quality of the Mandrake 9.2 release (as with the last several Mandrake releases, unfortunately - always _almost_ great).

    • Wow, good job spelling for being drunk! Does slashdot have a spellchecker now??

      Also, I must commend you for not cock-blocking your friend. Nobody likes a cockblocker, unless it's an incredibly funny story and involves a fat chick.

      • Thanks. It's always nice to wake up with a mild hangover, read slashdot and discover I've posted a comment that isn't just some insane drivel about Guinnes or whisky, but somewhat comprehensible, and even rated '5, informative'. I'd impress myself, if I didn't know that I write slowly and proof-read a bit before I submit.

        BTW, my friend claims he later rejected the woman for political reasons, so he's obviously got his own built-in cock-blocker.
  • Solution? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by 1000101 ( 584896 )
    I don't trust "e"-voting. Why? Because it has been proven to be unsafe. That being said, I still like the idea of electronic voting and think a reliable system can be developed. I'm just curious as to why a dependable and safe methodology hasn't been implemented yet. I'm not convinced the reason is because it is not open source though. That would certainly make it better though given the implications of the results. But I could probably pick ten or twenty developers off /., make it closed source, and
  • HD install (Score:3, Informative)

    by daserver ( 524964 ) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:48PM (#7832915) Homepage
    Seems the author of the review did not read the README, which clearly states that installing to HD i experimental. Snooping around on the mailinglist one can see that some work has been done in this area and that a new preview is on it's way.
  • OSDisc.com is a bit pricey if you have to pay the $4.75US international shipping rate.

    See my site for CDs at $5 Canadian/distro shipping included.
    I'm not running a real business, just trying to provide a source for cheap media for those who don't have highspeed.

    This is my way of contributing back. $5 pays for the CDs, a padded envelope and shipping by whatever method I can afford with the remaining money.
  • livecd script (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    sorry to crack this one open but it only takes 10 min to make a mandrake livecd . It here :

    The hard work is tuning it. cloop makes u for nice compression but getting mysql and apache in there is a bit harder. I've made one too ..
    So if you have time to spend , maybe spend it on a home-brew live-cd ?
    The steps:

    * install mandrake
    * install busybox and cloop
    * get the script
    * run it with some additional flags
    * burn the iso

    It's also wurth to do for pursonal use. Like, c
  • Several comments have suggested MandrakeMove as an alternative. It failed for me in an annoying way.

    On my P2-300 with an ATI Mach-somethingorother, it booted up, X11 failed to start, and then it quit! The message as to why it failed scrolled off the screen, and it didn't leave me in command-line mode or anything useful.

    OK, so maybe it can't figure out my video card but why can't it come up in VGA, or at least command-line, mode?

    I'm still dowloading PC Linux on my laptop. I'll let you know this after

  • "Mandrake is for the WinTel crowd"
    I wish we could stop parroting this old canard. It's a smear of all who run Mandrake, without any thought behind it.

    Dude, I for one run Mandrake on my machines, because, after struggling with Suse's bugs for 4 years, I'd wasted enough time on bit-twiddling. Not to mention that Suse9 is simply busted.

    Time is an important factor these days. I don't run Linux, just to spend endless hours fiddling with scripts and researching stupid mistakes. I need to get actual wor
  • by dcuny ( 613699 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:22PM (#7836209)
    I'm glad I beat the rush.

    I'm a Mandrake user, and regularly use Knoppix to access my email (in fact, I'm using it right now since I'd forgotten my Slashdot password).

    I'd taken a look at MandrakeMove, and was very unimpressed - it's basically stripped of anything useful except for a few office tools, and doesn't come with enough codecs to handle multimedia in a useful manner. In contrast, I've already burned several copies of PCLinuxOS for my coworkers - it's quite good.

    Knoppix still seems to have better hardware detection. For example, on my home machine PCLinuxOS didn't seem to properly initialize the sound card, or find my second CD ROM - both of which Knoppix does properly. And it doesn't seem to have as many developer tools, although I didn't get a chance to fully explore it. For a "normal" user, the selection seems complete, though.

    I also didn't see any way of setting up a permanent data store (like Knoppix's Persistant Home Directory). But this is a preview release, and I may have simply missed it.

    PCLinuxOS is basically everything that MandrakeMove should have been, but wasn't. Where MandrakeMove feels like crippleware, PCLinuxOS feels like a full version of Mandrake on CD - with all the eyecandy. The look and feel is awesome. I'm looking forward to the full release.

    • Correction - the audio detection does work on my machine, it just was set to a volume level of zero. KPPP works, but I had to tweak some of the settings to get it to work (it connected, but none of the applictions initially "saw" the connection).

      In contrast, Knoppix "just works" out of the box. It just doesn't look as slick.

    • From madadmin's review on Mad Penguin (http://madpenguin.org/Article757.html):

      "A feature that is being implemented (but not quite ready) is the ability to use a USB mass storage device such as a pen drive as your /home partition. This option is specified at the lilo prompt by typing:

      livecd home=usb

      When I used this option, I booted the machine and logged in as the 'demo' user with KDE.
      Immediately I received a DCOP error: "Could not read network connection list. /home/demo/.DCOPserver_localhost_
  • Very Impressed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bryhhh ( 317224 )
    I've just donwloaded the ISO and booted my wifes Toshiba Satelite A30 laptop from the CD, and it correctly detected the graphics, sound, network card and USB mouse. The distro does everything that Windows XP does, and more besides.

    You can tell that the creators of this distro have put a lot of work into the user interface. Just about everything is configurable through the configuration tools, allowing 'users' to fully configure their system without having to understand where the operating system keeps it's
  • Should read "from the I-cant-believe-it's-not-knoppix dept."
  • OK, this post is a little old. I ended up d/l'ing this live CD. It worked GREAT on my KM266 (integrated everything) based system - Knoppix doesn't get the video (fbdev works though) or sound properly. PCLinuxOS 2K4 picks it all up. Very nice. (This probably applies to other recent Via integrated chipsets too)

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley