Sunday, February 03, 2013

Thoughts on Pinguy Linux

Ever since Ubuntu has completely switched to its Unity desktop (which I have to say I am not at all pleased with), I have been looking around at some different distributions.  Some have been ok, some have been quickly removed from my system (mostly for lacking any thought by the person who put it together).

Today I discovered a link to Pinguy Linux while going through the headlines on Hacker News.  A quick read of the description peaked my curiosity, so I downloaded a copy via their Torrent link.  I have to say that it was nice to see my download hit 3.4 Mb / second as the download finished in a matter of minutes.  I then created a virtual machine and installed the distribution into it.

The installation went pretty quickly and I was up and running in only a matter of about 10 minutes.  First impressions are quite important when you are trying to make a difference and this one did not blow me away.

After everything started up, I noticed that there is a dock on the left side of the screen containing folders.  Maybe its me just being picky, but I didn't want it there.  The unfortunate thing is that I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it.  For me, this was strike one. The system status app that auto runs is actually nice, keeping the user informed of processes, ram used, disk space, etc.

The next strike came when I started going through the Applications menu.  While there were plenty of apps for multimedia and such, there weren't any development type apps. I know its not a requirement for everyone, but nothing?  That wasn't the strike though.... it was when I scanned down to the wine applications menu, scanned over a couple of levels to find that Microsoft's Notepad had been installed by default.  Really?  Notepad?  I am on a Linux system that has plenty of editors available to it.  Why on Earth would I want an inferior product like Notepad?  (I say inferior, mind you, as a sign of its lacking any features, not as a slam to Micro$oft).

As I was browsing around, I noticed that the background kept changing.  They had pre-setup a rotating desktop background that cycled through pre-installed pictures. Why?  That takes up system resources that could be used for greater good.  And, when your running in a virtual machine as I am, you haven't allocated a ton of ram to begin with.  So, for me that was strike three.

All in all, if your on a fixed system, not in a Virtual Machine environment and you don't mind some of the quirks and "features" I have described (and your a multimedia geek), then maybe this is for you.  For me though, I am removing it and moving on to the next one.   The closest I have found for a distribution to switch to is Linux Mint.  We shall see though..... we shall see.

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