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I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.

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...PCLinuxOS just blew me away with its professional appearance and hardware compatibility...Anybody use this distro?
-sajman99 (December 21, 2009, 03:53 PM)
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I'll +1 that. :Thmbsup:

PCLinuxOS is another good first choice for first-time users.
I've found it works very well on otherwise problematic 'last generation' laptops. It inherits all the stability of Mandriva, which it's based on, but adds a few touches of its own.

Nice choice of desktop managers too.  :)

A very civil and helpful user community can be found over in the forum. (Note: Be sure to read the PCLinuxOS Usage Rules and How to Ask Questions the Smart Way threads before posting in order to enjoy the best experience. They can be found in the Usage Rules PLEASE READ section of the forum.)

What sajman99 said. That's probably the main feature that lures me to Linux -- a distro for everyone. Whether you're into video editing, programming, cloud computing, netbooks, long-term stability, or bleeding edge tech, there's a distro tailored for the way you work. PCLinuxOS has long been a favorite among many. Here's my desktop with Chrome and FileZilla running and it looks a lot like any other OS on the surface.

I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
(click for larger)

Thanks for the tips, Zaine.

So many things to try!  This will probably be a longer experiment than I anticipated.  So it seems like I have to not only be open to different programs, but to different distros as well.  I may have to use multiple distros to cover all the things I like to do.  What's the most pain free way of switching between distros?  Using virtualization software, or multi-booting, or some way else?

Multi-booting sucks - virtualization to find something that fits your needs is much nicer, but of course virtualized won't run as smooth as on real hardware. So start by judging on features and user friendliness/whatever, not performance.

The only problem with virtualization is that it introduces its own complications and issues to the mix.

If you read the bulk of the slam reviews against Linux, you will find that about 90% of them were written by somebody who is having trouble getting it to run smoothly on one of the following:

* a virtual machine
* a low-power netbook
* a tricked out multimedia laptop with the latest and greatest hardware
So unless you're experienced with running virtual machine environments, just be aware that what you experience in that environment will not be the same as your experience on native hardware. The reason I bring this up is because I'm constantly annoyed by people who write negative reviews about NIX after having only run it on a VM. To my mind that's no different than criticizing a Windows app after only testing it on a Macintosh under Parallels or CrossOver.

(The same goes for my attitude about the validity of broadly judging a general purpose distro after installing it on either an extremely low or high end laptop. But that's a subject for it's own rant!  ::)  ;D)

If you want to evaluate without installing, I think you're better off just sticking to the "live" versions until you're ready to give something a real run for your money. I'm a big fan of using swappable HD-drive trays for testing different operating systems. But that's probably overkill for most people. Live versions will give you a decent feel for the distro's user experience without introducing any oddities that installing to a VM can often bring.

Just my 2ยข  :)

P.S. I'll half agree with f0dder on an earlier point he made. Multibooting Linux and Windows does leave a lot to be desired. But multibooting different versions of Linux works just fine thanks to the way the boot process gets handled in that environment. NIX isn't jealous of other operating systems, nor does it insist on being the primary one.

And since you can share the same HOME directories and SWAP file among multiple installations, it doesn't waste very much space. Many Linux users do just that when they want the best of KDE and Gnome without the risk of one set of dependencies screwing up the other. It's also a great way to keep a working  'test' and 'real' installation on the same machine.

Something to think about. 8)


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