I saw an interesting comment on this blog (browse it here). The person talked about remastering a linux that would be the real answer to Black XP. Good idea! After going through his comment I browsed web for that Windows and came to know that it is a remaster (nonetheless a pirated one) that is very convenient for home users. It is an unattended version that includes as much bells and whistles as possible. Some of those are: Tuneup Utilities, Acrobat, WindowsBlinds, Sun Java, IE7, Firefox and Thunderbird, K Lite Mega Codec Pack, Windows Media Player 11, Nero Lite, ZoneAlarm, BlindWrite, UltraISO, Quicktime Alternative, WinRAR and Windows Vista themepack plus extra widgets . Had it packed something more such as MS Office, Photoshop, DVD Ripper and Player, it would have been a great bundle for every Windows user. However, it's still good.
Now what about packing those punches (software) into linux or more specifically PCLinuxOS? Is there any such Linux that is full with all these necessary software so that a user need not have to download a single stuff from web?
The answer is Yes and No. PCLinuxOS loads a lot of stuff in just one CD – a good office suite, a good selection of media players, a cd/dvd burner, a terminal and a fairly good number of internet applications. One of its remasters, Granular Linux had really done good job offering a nice selection of apps in its Funworks release, though I am not quite aware of its present release. Of other linux desktops I found Linux Mint and Mepis to be complete desktops that add a lots of proprietary stuff. Mint has gone bold to add libdvdcss and unrar in its Daryana release. And everybody knows Mepis has always tried its best to punch as much as it can despite some hue and cry from FOSS people.
In my opinion, the power to choose and install software should be at users end because everybody is using it anyway and exclusion of some proprietary stuff like mp3 and dvd playback and rar/unrar only adds to user annoyance. That's it. For example Fedora does not pack any proprietary stuff but is there any Fedora user who has not added those proprietary stuff after installation? I just wonder who will keep oneself away from them when mp3 and dvd video have become major commodities of entertainment.
It would really be very good if a desktop linux distribution comes with Mac OS like philosophy. I mean it would be really very good if Linux becomes as stable and polished as Mac OSX (deep inside it remains bsd core) with options for installing proprietary software the way it's possible in Mac OS.
Ok. Let me dream of a PCLinuxOS remaster that will outdo any other OS under the sun if it includes following stuff:
Office Suite: OpenOffice (excluding draw, math, base and web, as there are better apps for these purpose)
Internet: Firefox, Thunderbird, Transmission, D4X, Skype, Pidgin.
Graphics: Gimp, Inkscape, Blender
Sound and Video: VLC, Audacious, Realplay, Totem Xine, Acidrip, Audacity, WinFF, plus libdvdcss, recordmydesktop or xvidcap and cdfs.
Accessories: Isomaster, unrar, gnochm, brasero
- Lastly a Mac Aqua like desktop environment, may be the linux aqua will differ in look but it sould as stable as Aqua. Everybody knows Linux desktop environment breaks quite often if somebody tinkers around.
Even PCLinuxOS or a remaster of it can add all these stuff into one CD, if it exclude some less used features such as wallpapers, a few icons and themes and 3d desktop stuff and follows one application per task philosophy. It seems most desktop linux distros still come with some apps/packages that a very few people use and excludes many useful apps mentioned above.
There is in fact a pclinuxos remaster with includes all these goodies and more. It includes: Wine, w32codecs, dvd playback, ntfs, openoffice with office 2007 file support, emulators, games, amarok & banshee, latest firefox & thunderbird, pptp support, windows shortcut key pre-configured, compiz-fusion and a lot more to name!