As I discussed in my last post, just getting to the point where I had actually booted into a working Linux environment seemed a rather difficult task. But, nontheless, there it was, Kaptan asking me for information.
Kaptan is Pardus‘s welcome screen, and it allows you to select the way your mouse (or trackpad) will work, the desktop theme, the way menus will work, and other initial settings. It’s slick, and seemed to work with no problem.
The other thing you’ll notice with Pardus is that it uses the KDE environment (the official release says KDE 3 is installed by default), which some people don’t like. I am somewhat ambivalent. It definitely looks similar to XP (and you can make it act like Vista), but it also appears to be more extensible than either. What I like about it is that the network icon on the bottom right-hand side is right there to click on, and I was able to set up my wireless network by entering in the WEP key. And it worked. “Out of the box.” Fantastic! Now, that’s why I chose Pardus in the first place, because I had read somewhere that it may be one of the only distros that plays well with my particular card. And true to form, it worked perfectly.
So I launched Firefox, and the next thing I knew I was able to bring up pages. What a nice thing to be able to do. Flash was also preinstalled, because pages with Flash objects were not presenting any problems. Now, certain things about Firefox for Linux bother me a little. For example, I’m used to being able to click on the address bar once and have the whole address get highlighted. That doesn’t happen for me. Also, double-clicking on just part of a URL doesn’t segregate just that part of the URL. (e.g., if I double-clicked on cmchoatelaw in the URL above, I’m used to it highlighting just cmchoatelaw, so that I can replace it with www instead if I need to log in to WordPress.) But these are minor complaints.
Other things that are nice about Pardus:
Frozen Bubble game, which is ridiculously addictive; GIMP; codecs; Karamba Themes; Amarok; TASMA; PiSi (though it is bereft of certain things); Turkish support; it’s built from the ground up (i.e., not based on another distro); OpenOffice.org; and a bunch of other stuff.
What’s not so great? OpenOffice.org. This is because it isn’t the most recent version (3.1) but rather is v2.4. Not the biggest deal-breaker but it would be nice to have the most recent version of the suite. It’s common knowledge that installing software on Linux is a lot easier when you’re using a package manager, and PiSi does a good job of doing that with the software in its repository. The problem is that OOo3.1 isn’t in the repository, near as I can tell. There’s a PiSi link out that apparently you can use, but from what I’ve seen it’s somewhat crippled. And trying to install OOo3.1 without a package manager has proved to be a nightmare, with it not recognizing that I actually DO have a directory called usr/java on my system. But whatever. It’s an irritation, but it was free, you know?
And I apparently only need to wait a few more weeks for Pardus 2009 to come out, which apparently has these improvements:
Latest stable release of KDE family version 4.2.4 is available with enhancements for Pardus. Pardus 2009 Beta comes with many new features of base tools PiSi and COMAR, the installation program YALI, Pardus manager family and KAPTAN. The new version contains up to date packages like KDE 4.2.4, Linux kernel 2.6.30_rc8, OpenOffice.Org 220.127.116.11, Mozilla Firefox 3.5 RC1, Gimp 2.6.6, Xorg 1.6.2pre, Python 2.6.2 and many more in just one CD. (From the main Pardus site)
Pardus also has the benefit of feeling swifter than XP; I get less hiccups with it than I was having with XP, but to be fair, I have far fewer things installed at this moment. We’ll have to see if that makes a difference as I play with it some more. One thing I know for certain, though, is that I feel like I could use Pardus every day if I wanted, and I think that’s saying an awful lot.