Back in July 2006 I began looking for a Linux build Alvis could cut her teeth on, but would require minimal support on my side. We had a older Dell hand-me-down system she was going to use and it wouldn't (realistically) handle XP and I wanted something pretty "safe" for her to use.
We were impressed with "Wizard's Kid-Safe Live CD" but eventually I decided to install the PCLinuxOS .93 distro it was based on.
Yes the latest "Feisty Fawn" version of Ubuntu Desktop Edition is slowly overtaking the world, but it just still isn't quite my cup of tea. I don't have anything at all negative about it; it's a great distribution and the folks are hard at work making each version even better than the last.
And Alvis's pc has been humming fine ever since.
Enter PCLinuxOS 2007 - sort of...
So early this year, announcements came of the PCLinuxOS 2007 version update.
Some screenshots and a brief review from KnoLinux show just how absolutely stunning this new version release is: PCLinuxOS 2007 -- Finally someone gets it. And TuxMachines.org has another nice review of its highlights: PCLinuxOS 2007 Beta 2 (Test 1).
I've been playing with each progressive release candidate version and have been quite enthralled.
I was waiting till a final release version came out and my last one was RC2 (RC3 is the latest as of this post).
It ran on Alvis's system like a champ, and the LiveCD had great performance and hardware compatibility.
Houston, we have a Problem
Only it seems that a series of unfortunate events led the the (temporary) demise of the PCLinuxOS site.
Fortunately, the PCLinuxOS crew have been using a Google Notebook page to keep fans and the public advised of their progress.
The latest word (as of today) is that the PCLinuxOS website will be back in action Sunday or Monday (hopefully). Good news, as I am still waiting for RC4 to be released.
Enter SAM 2007
Meanwhile one of the network analyst guys on our team knew of my love of PCLinuxOS and found the SAM distribution bringing to my attention.
This is built off of the same PCLinuxOS 2007 distribution, with some tweaks.
Since I was already pleased with that version, the SAM distribution seemed like a nice fit. I tried the LiveCD on Alvis's system and it didn't even blink an eye in complaint.
And when Alvis saw the rodent-in-a-wheel logo, she was hooked.
One Easy Installation
The installation was a breeze compared to the PCLinuxOS .93 install I did previously.
- I installed it over her previous build.
- I booted from the LiveCD of SAM,
- Selected the local drive install icon on the desktop,
- Provided the root password,
- The Draklive wizard kicked off.
- I just reused the existing partitions and reformatted them.
- Next it copied the system files to the mount partition. (It went REALLY fast compared to previous PCLinuxOS OS .93 install versions. Very nice!)
- I went with the GRUB boot loader and set the boot delay to 5 sec.
- Set a new root password,
- Added Alvis's user profile and password,
I logged into Alvis's account on reboot and rooted up to make some very minor setting tweaks. The new Control Center is really wonderful and intuitive to user. The whole system is much more approachable even for Linux noobies.
SAM also has some handy docks you can snazz up your desktop with, and some 3-D effects as well if your memory and graphics can handle 'em.
All in all it took about 30 minutes to install this OS to the drive and then Alvis and her bff who was spending the weekend with us went to town without a backward glance.
That's one well designed Linux OS system if your teen-daughter can use a Linux system without your assistance and doesn't complain about anything needed.
It comes with a wealth applications including Firefox 2, OpenOffice, and quite a few great games.
SAM We Am
So Alvis's system will now be running SAM.
I will be waiting for the PCLinuxOS 2007 final (at least as a Live CD / virtual session) when I get bored or just want to practice my limited Linux skills.
Check 'em both out. They come in default LiveCD formats so you can pop-'em in your system's CD, boot and play without impacting your installed OS system. Great for getting to know them.
Highly Valca Recommended!