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Apr
12

Pardus 2013 Review – The mighty have fallen

by Rob Zwetsloot

A Turkish distro that’s been on hiatus for a couple of years, is this latest version a long awaited sequel, or a disappointing reboot?

After almost two years without any updates, Pardus has finally got itself a new version. Regularly appearing in our top ten distro lists, Pardus has gained an international following outside of the Turkish offices it was originally designed for. Lauded for its clean design and great selection of software, we’ve been curious to see how a new Pardus would look after two years of major changes in the Linux and FOSS landscape.

There are two versions of Pardus available, GNOME and KDE. Both are currently only in Turkish at the time of writing, however with a bit of applied thinking you can switch things to English or any other language you desire. It is a Linux distribution after all. The installer is mostly in English anyway, and after selecting the hard drive you wish to use, and/or setting up your partitions, it goes straight into basic user set-up and then file installation. This takes a fairly standard 15-20 minutes, and then restarts you back into the distro.

Debian GNOME
The current installer is mostly in Turkish

After logging in, it dumps you into GNOME 3.4 Fallback/Classic mode. This is the point that you need to switch to another language if you don’t want to use it in Turkish, however it’s a little jarring. Pardus 2013 is really just Debian with GNOME 3.4 and Pardus branding – it has none of the stuff that made Pardus a great distro to begin with. Even the decent selection of default apps that it comes with doesn’t set it apart from other, more popular distros.

It’s also not so useful if you’re wanting to use it in another language – although LibreOffice will open in English once you switch the system to it, Firefox will need to be completely reinstalled to get it working. While of course this kind of problem won’t exist in the eventual English version, it means it’s more tricky to get straight into the newer version.

Debian
There are a number of default programs ideal for office work

As we said the software selection by default is fine, surprisingly though it has full access to the Ubuntu Software Centre. This is the first time we’ve seen its use outside of not only an official Ubuntu distro, but also on a standard Debian-based distro. It has access to the same recommendations, features and paid-for software, and links in to the rest of your software sources. Synaptic is included as well, in case you prefer a purer package manager.

There’s not a whole lot to recommend in Pardus 2013. Posts on the official forums suggest that this is the future of the project, and it won’t be returning to the way it was before due to key departures from the dev team. This is a crying shame, as all it’s become then is branding, branding on a distro used by countless others, with an out-of-date desktop environment. At least it’s nice for Turkish users to have a distro that’s distributed in their language natively, but for the moment that also makes it much more difficult for the rest of the community to use.

Verdict

2/5

A once great distro is reduced down to bland repackaging of Debian that while keeping its appeal to people in Turkey, loses whatever draw that the rest of the community had to use it. It’s best to either stick with an older Pardus, or start looking for a new distro with more up-to-date software

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    • Cat

      Hi, the old Pardus with pisi, kaptan, etc continue as PisiLinux http://pisilinuxworld.org/

    • http://www.pisilinuxworld.org mozen

      Pisi Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the original Pardus with it’s famous packaging system PISI.
      PISI is what made Pardus what it once was. Pisi Linux not only brings PISI back, but comes with the latest stable versions of KDE, LibreOffice, Gimp, etc.
      A Beta version of Pisi Linux 1.0 will be released very soon.
      For more info, visit: http://www.pisilinuxworld.org and forum.pisilinuxworld.org

    • metin
    • Megatotoro

      As others pointed it before, Pisi Linux is the way to go if you want to keep your classic Pardus flavor. I’m waiting for its release myself! :)

      Now, your review seems a bit slanted in the sense that, if it is English what you want, you should have tested the “Community Version” of Pardus 2013, which is available in that language, instead of the official Turkish distro. Also, it is not entirely true that Pardus 2013 is pure Debian with Pardus branding: it includes other tools, small perhaps, but not strictly Debian-born. For example, GRUB 2 customizer.

    • Ted Wager

      I have been using Linux since the pre slackware days and have tried most of the distros since then.
      I have just installed Pardus and I find it an excellent distro and certainly one to keep..

    • xolisa

      PaRDUS should just go to Syria, how on earth do they only publish in turkish, f em, me 2 am not english but if i was to publish any thing for the world i would do it in english not xhosa.

    • Mark

      Sad to say that Distrowatch refuses to even list PISI Linux because someone trolled that it was not active, setup fake PISILinux sites, etc…and Distrowatch apparently decided they would remove it from their lists. Very sad and disappointing on the part of Distrowatch.