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Pardus 2011 Beta Review – the most exciting distro of the year?

by Dmitri Popov

The latest beta release of Pardus Linux sports a slew of tweaks and under-the-hood improvements. But does the new release make the distro a viable alternative to the Ubuntus and Fedoras of this world? Dmitri Popov investigates…

This article is due to appear in issue 95 of Linux User & Developer magazine.Pardus 2011 Beta Review - the most exciting distro of the year? Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Pros: Improved installer and package manager, numerous tiny but important tweaks, the latest version of Firefox and LibreOffice.
Cons: Currently a limited number of packages in the official software repository.

Using the same distro for a prolonged period of time is like eating at the same restaurant every day. Sure the food is fine, but sooner or later you’d want to try something different. If you’ve reached that point with your favourite distro, the latest beta of Pardus may whet your appetite. While this Turkish-born KDE-based distro may not (yet) enjoy the same popularity as Ubuntu or Fedora, it has all the qualities required to enter the exclusive club of mainstream Linux distributions. And if the latest beta of the up-and-coming Linux distro is anything to go by, Pardus 2011 is ready for admission.

Pardus 2011 Beta Review - the most exciting distro of the year?
The PiSi package manager now supports ratings and screenshots.

So what does the beta release of Pardus 2011 have to offer? Quite a lot, actually. The first thing you notice when booting the installable version of Pardus 2011 is the revamped YALI (a.k.a Yet Another Linux Installer) tool which makes the installation process rather trivial. The installation process itself is a lengthy affair (it took about 30 minutes to install Pardus 2011 on our test machine) compared to Ubuntu, but there is an explanation for that: Pardus comes with a broader range of bundled software which, obviously, takes longer to install. Also, unlike Ubuntu, YALI automatically detects and installs proprietary hardware drivers, as well as multimedia codecs, a Java runtime environment, the Flash software, and other useful stuff. This may not please open source purists, but will definitely appeal to users who want everything working right out of the box.

Upon the first boot, the system launches the Kaptan configuration tool which walks you through the process of configuring your system. Kaptan lets you select the desired KDE menu (you can choose between Kick-off, Lancelot, and Simple menu), pick a desktop theme and wallpaper, add a picture to your user account, and enable the smolt tool (it sends your system’s configuration data to Pardus’ smoon server).

Pardus 2011 Beta Review - the most exciting distro of the year?
Pardus 2011 beta sports an improved YASI installer.

Continue to page 2 – verdict

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Fedora 14 review
openSUSE Milestone 2 review

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    • Ahmety

      First of all, thanks for the nice review.
      I am using Pardus 2011 Beta x86_64 version now. Because of my luck, although it is still beta, all hardware works properly :)
      It has nightly updates. So the softwares in repository are increasing everyday. For example digikam and frozen bubble are in repository now.
      I am waiting for them to add contrib repository to install amsn and skype.

    • Znurre

      I used Pardus in the past for a long time, but the thing that finally got me to switch to ArchLinux (which I am also using right now) was the fact that Pardus isn’t enough “bleeding edge” for me.
      Packages like KDE are usually not updated between major versions within a Pardus release, and thus I found myself with a KDE 4.3 release with a few backported features from KDE 4.4, while KDE 4.5 was already released.

      Except for this, it’s by far the best KDE centric distribution out there, and I would say it’s even easier to install and use than Ubuntu.
      I am a big fan of the fact that basic development packages are installed from the start, which makes compiling software a breeze.

    • Pingback: LXer: Pardus 2011 beta review - oBlurb

    • http://writtenandread.net Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér (mjjzf)

      While I am not a KDE user, I can certainly encourage anyone who is (or can be persuaded) to look into Pardus. A distribution with a solid base and interesting infrastructure and backing, Pardus has the potential to be *very* big.

    • http://lnux.wordpress.com kelisa

      Beeen there using 2009.2. Pardus is for user who dont care too much with latest update. It more like stable release.

      U need Development tools because some time u need instal some softwware from source code. Official repo and comunity repo missing some not so popular apps.

    • FabriceV

      Year after year, Pardus is positively reviewed. But year after year major drawbacks are still present :
      - lack of softwares
      - outdated softwares
      - limited communities
      - sometimes, missing translations
      - bugged KDE (mainly in the past) and bugged KDE softwares (present)
      => Pardus will durably stay marginal… The project needs a larger base of contributors. The only way is that other country than Turkey collaborate : become an European project?
      => Unfortunately, you can not have Pardus with the mature rolling release system of PClinuxOS (just awful compare to a modern and integrated distro like Pardus).

    • John

      After all it is a beta release. Wait to the final version, then it will be more programs to use from the pisi.
      They will also employ more developers to the project. From around 20 now to around 50 people. So it will be more English/international focus than before.
      I think if you download the international iso its about 11 languages now so you can not say its only a Turkish distro.
      The final version will be later that planned as I read at Pardus World Forum:

      “We decided to make changes in Pardus 2011 release dates taking into account
      date deviation and ambiguity at stable versions of Firefox and LibreOffice
      which are the most important applications used in Pardus and also
      estimated date of the new kernel release that provide more device support and
      improvement.

      As you know Firefox 4.0 version was postponed recently to the begining of the
      2011 [1] and we have not wanted to include the old version of the browser that
      we given our users the opportunity to experiment at Pardus 2011 Alpha and
      Beta releases. In addition, LibreOffice project which is creating momentum in
      the open source world and offering more free office applications with codes
      and the development process based on the OpenOffice project, needs little more
      time to become more stable. We also want to include the latest release of the
      kernel (which is in release candidate state now) to Pardus 2011.

      Because of the required time for these components to become more stable will
      be used in order to test more our own managers and tools, at the last stage
      more up-to-date and more stable version of Pardus will be prepared.

      The new release dates are as follows:

      Pardus 2011 Beta 2: 2 December 2010
      Pardus 2011 RC (Release Candidate): 30 December 2010
      Pardus 2011: 20 January 2011″

    • Conrad

      I also used Pardus 2009.2 and i must say it is one of the best distrubion i have ever used. First of all the detection of hardware is excellent, maybe the best. And also installing Pardus is a piece of cake. These are so important factors to gain more Linux user and expanding the community. For me the main drawback of Pardus is, like others, lack of some popular software. If Pardus team work more harder, i believe Pardus may become the first linux distrubition.

    • xtropx
    • Alan

      I tried SuSe, then Ubuntu and now I am an Pardusian as Pardus is by far the best and easiest to use distro I ever tried because every piece of my hardware works fine right after installation and it is rock stable with zero downtime. Great stuff indeed.

    • nasrullah

      Pardus is doing his way to become number 1 distro…..bravo to all contributors and devellopers

    • Xaviertepes

      Perfect installation from the get go. I have used Mint 10, Ubuntu ,PClinuxos & several other OS’s. Have always had a problem some where. Most problem was with sound as I use sound blaster audigy se sound card. If it wasn’t that it was setting up network printer. Yes Im new to linux but learning quickly. Thanks Pardus for making it a bit easier.

    • Pingback: Pardus 2011 Release Candidate is out now | Linux User

    • peteres

      Pardus is the best KDE distribution. I am using 2011 64 bit beta now. Everything is OK! Pardus is far more superior!

    • Pingback: Prime impressioni dopo l’installazione di Pardus 2011 « SimpliX SoftWorks – la collezione software ideale

    • http://martinamca.blogspot.com/ martinamca

      I don’t know if Pardus is the best distro, but i know that with Pardus is, with 2011 release, is very very good distro. It is much more stable with KDE 4.5.5, easy to install, easy to use. Anyone searching for some distro should give Pardus 2011 a try. I guess you won’t regret it.

      By the way, Turkish community is somewhat crowded and good but the is not much of an international community. Whatever, give this a shot.

    • http://just-thinkin.net Kirk M

      Installed Pardus 2011 RC in another partition on my hard drive (Linux Mint 10 being my main OS), very impressed so far and it’s easily updated to the final version. Somewhat disappointed that there’s apparently no way to install either Skype or Google Earth and I need both for both work and home use.

    • goomer

      Looks like just another toy to play around with for a few hours, then back to Windows. I’d wish the Linux community managed to agree on the basics and give us a real alternative to Windows that doesn’t involve buying a Mac.

    • Ahmety

      @ Kirk M
      I think you are using 64 bit version. Because of some dependency issues, some programs like wine and skype are only available in 32 bit version.

      @ goomer
      You may be right about basics. But this toy is something i play around with, for a few years which takes only a restart to turn back to windows. So, not a big deal. Consider it as an additional choice. Be optimistic ;)

    • Pingback: Prime impressioni dopo l’installazione di Pardus 2011 | SimpliX e la collezione software ideale

    • http://ofwineandwarcraft.blogspot.com Linux Learner

      I’m going to contest only one assertion, regarding FireFox 4.0b8.

      CrunchBang 10 “Statler” shipped with IceWeasel 4.0 Beta back in 2010.12.05. #! is 18 on the list at DW, while Pardus is at 31. As of this moment, #! has IceWeasel 4.0b9.

      One of these days, I’ll probably give Pardus a try, when I want a KDE distro different from openSUSE and PCLinuxOS.

      Speaking of PCLOS, they also install LibreOffice. Bill Reynolds uses a script called lomanager to download, install, and update from the LibreOffice repositories. I’d have to search to find the exact date lomanager replaced the script that did the same thing with OOo, but it was in January.

    • Pingback: Pardus 2011 发布 | I, KDE

    • barcelona

      I installed Pardus on my box last week because I needed an OS to replace Ubuntu. What can I say? I am impressed. Pardus is just fab:)

      The only issues:
      -The package manager needs a rethink, its a bit complex not as straight forward as Ubuntu’s.
      -There’ a whole lot of services installed by default- I would have preferred a way to uninstall the ones I don’t need – the package manager isn’t really helpful.
      -I didn’t like the default PDf reader, its a bit complex.
      -I installed Acrobat reader following instructions on the How To page for Pardus. The installation was successful but Acrobat doesn’t work. Since I had to install using a bin file and not the package manager I haven’t been able to locate the program using package manager to uninstall it.
      -I was wondering if there’s any way of uninstalling the development tools- I don’t need them.

      Using KDE:
      KDE isn’t that bad. I’ve never used KDE before and its different from Gnome but I reckon its cool. So far I’m liking it really.

      Stability:
      The OS is stable, so far I haven’t had any issues with processes crashing.

      IMHO Pardus is better than Ubuntu – on a desktop PC i.e. and I’d highly recommend this OS to Ubuntu users who are disappointed with the unity implementation.

      Cheers

    • godahel

      Simply the best for me !