Thursday, August 20, 2009

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Minime Review

default pclinuxos 2009.1 minime desktop

pclinuxos 2009.1 minime default desktop

Macho Man

I am a copy writer/editor by profession who is deeply into Desktop Linux. Is not it machoistic? I love to make/break praise/rant Linux. To pursue this I try each release of popular distributions. But everytime I come back to PCLinuxOS. This time I am trying PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Minime - my personal favorite (read on, I will tell you why) from PCLinuxOS bandwagon.

Mean Machine

Hi there you techies who run after quad cores! I still believe a Celeron 530 1.73 chip is fast enough for a home desktop. And it's 64-Bit too. To me it's the meanest machine. It has tested some 200 distros and still running fine! Specs: 1 GB RAM, 1.73 GHz Celeron M 530 CPU, Intel GMA 965 Graphics, Intel HDA 8 Audio, Broadcom 4311 Rev.2 WLAN Card, 80 GB HDD.

Mini-Me

My personal favorite! Why? Because it's the best, the smallest and the most perfect distribution. What's more, it gives you complete freedom to add whatever you like and make it fit to you personality. That's why the name - Mini-Me. It gives a bloat-free linux experience.

The Review

I have tried them all - Fedoras and Ubuntus. Sometimes a release comes great but most of the time they are buggy. Even a better Fedora runs out of order after some odd updates. But here is PCLinuxOS that provides great releases every time and the nicest updates everyday. Now onto the review.

When I popped up PCLinuxOS 2009.1 MiniME the boot chooser seemed looked little different from its 2008 edition. Yes there is a copy2ram option. I tried it. But sadly it did not work. Except that it booted up quite well. It took some 2 minutes to boot the liveCD. Upon booting Minime 2009.1 gave one more surprise - the update notifier.

Like it's predecessor it has no extra frill (or bloat). Just configure your internet and pull in whatever you like (except openoffice) from synaptic. Kde menu >> Office section has a link GetOpenOffice to grab openoffice 3.1.

Without doing adding/removing packages I thought it better to install and went ahead. Installation took some 10 minutes only.

Here is the list of packages I pulled in from repo to fully load my MiniMe.

OpenOffice 3.1
Kchmviewer
Unrar
Karchiver
Kpdf
Kcalc
Artha
K3b
Kpowersave

Firefox 3.5.2
Skype
Kopete
Kget
Ktorrent
Ksirc

Smplayer
RealPlayer
Amarok
Gimp
Gwenview
Ksnapshot
avidemux-qt
qt-recordmydesktop
libdvdcss2
vcdimager
Krec

The above are a regular mix of applications that I install on Minime. This time Artha came as a surprise. It is a really great wordnet frontend that's Linux's answer to WordWeb.

If you are a regular home desktop user you too can pull in just the above packages onto your Minime and get a real mean slim fast kde home desktop.

The Surprises


Even after installing all these packages my Minime consumes only 2 GB of hard drive space, giving much space to do whatever I like. The freshly installed desktop took only 250 MB RAM! Another pleasant surprise of this minime release is its power management. Right after I installed kpowersave package I was surprised to see the system running cool like a cucumber by utilizing p4_clockmod settings under ondemand cpu governance. It's first time ever happened on this notebook. Previously I had to manually set up cpu-scaling to run this machine optimally cool.

pclinuxos 2009.1 resource consumption on a freshly booted system

resource consumption of pclinuxos 2009.1 minime on a freshly boot system

pclinuxos 2009.1 minime power management on a celeron m 530

power management of my celeron m 530 cpu on pclinuxos 2009.1 minime

The Looks

PCLinuxOS is not a cosmetic distribution. No wonder, it sticks to those crystal icons which you can easily replace with better-looking ones from kde-looks.org. Besides that, the default wallpaper, bootsplash and kde-splash are simply marvelous. They look way better, polished and professional than the previous releases.

What I liked most in this distribution:

1. Inclusion of Update Notifier option.
2. Availability of OpenOffice 3.1, Firefox 3.5.2, Artha and many other useful packages in the repo.
3. Bloat-free attitude of Minime like its predecessors.
4. Adherence to KDE 3.5.10 + 2.6.26 kernel.
5. Stunning default wallpaper, bootsplash + ksplash.

1 comment:

Apoorv Khatreja said...

I didn't even know that a MiniME had been released. The last PCLOS distro I tried out was 2009.1 full. I liked it, but I've always preferred MiniME's for the obvious reason that you too stated, the lack of any bloat. I like to customise my desktop too. A list of packages I usually install can be found here - PCLinuxOS Rediscovered

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