Distro Review: Pardus Linux 2009

PardusLogoThis week I revisited a distribution I first wrote about back in 2007, Pardus Linux. It’s developed by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptography, it has its own package management system called PISI (Packages Installed Successfully, as Intended), and it’s not based on any other Linux distribution, which makes quite a change these days. I was eager to see how it had developed since our last encounter.

Vital Stats:
Distro Base – Unique (It’s a custom Linux distro)
Packaging – .pisi (Managed by the PISI utility)
Linux Kernel – 2.6.30.4-125
Default Desktop – KDE 4.2.4

Installation:

Partitioning

Partitioning

I downloaded the International installer CD and not the LiveCD, having made a mistake with that last time I tried Pardus. Things may have changed by now but at the time I downloaded the LiveCD only to discover you couldn’t install from it, it really was just a LiveCD. Booting up the CD I was greeted with a funky looking menu, not the most technical description I know but the design is very slick. You’re quickly prompted to accept the GNU GPL first up. Not all distros ask you to do that but I think it’s a good thing. Most new users will just accept without even reading a line, we’ve all become conditioned to do that over the years by 50 page license agreements. But if one person takes the time to read a little bit and actually learn what the GPL is, I think that’s positive. The next step is to check the integrity of the installer CD, something I don’t often bother to do but I probably should. This took about 5mins scanning the disc and checking, after that you can begin the install proper. There’s a series of screens asking you all the usual questions: keyboard layout, time zone, user details, root password and more. Then it’s time to sort out your hard drive partitions which is always a key facet of any install. The GUI looks nice but I must confess I found it a little confusing at first in manual partitioning. You click on a partition and set it up but if you then click onto the next partition without first pressing apply, all your selections are lost. It took me a minute to work this out and it seems a bit counter intuitive from a HCI point of view. Nevertheless I got to grips with it and I like the way it gives you sensible descriptive labels in the options. Instead of saying  / or root for your system drive you choose “Pardus system files”, which might be a bit more obvious to some new users. Plain English is always a winner for me. I chose to make my root… sorry “Pardus system files” partition 12gb as I normally do and formatted it as ext4, the default option. I had to manually choose my swap partition and set it up though, this is often detected by other distributions, even under manual partitioning. I laid out the partitions as I usually do on this machine (Dell XPS m1330n):

12gb / (root) – formatted as ext4 in this case
4gb swap
140gb /home – formatted as ext3

Note: If you’re looking at the slide show and wondering why the partitioning shots don’t look right, it’s because I used a VirtualBox install later to get screenshots of the installer.

pardus2009_12

Installing

With my partitions in order I was only left to chose where I wanted GRUB installed and check over the details I’d entered. I then started the installer on its way and sat back to see how long it would take. It actually presents you with a nice looking and informative slide show about Pardus 2009. I watched it for about 5 minutes until it looped back to the first slide again, but it did make a nice distraction. All in all the installation took about 25mins, not the quickest I’ve ever done but still fairly respectable. The YALI installer itself feels very polished and certainly looks good. Apart from a few minor UI gripes I’d say it’s up there with the best of them. The sarcastic name “Yet Another Linux Installer” appeals to my sense of humour too.

FULL INSTALLATION SLIDE SHOW 43  PICS

Configuring the system:

A Hoy Kaptan

Ahoy Kaptan

This release of Pardus comes with KDE 4.2.4 on the desktop and it’s no secret that I’m a Gnome fan, but I’m also an open minded guy and I figured I’d give it my best shot. The first thing you notice on logging into your new system is a tool called Kaptan (Turkish for captain apparently), which aims to help you through the process of personalizing things. It used to be called Kaptan Desktop and I remember joking in previous reviews that he must be some sort of super hero, in fact he looks more like Captain Birdseye for anyone who gets that reference. It might be a UK thing. Looks aside he does his job very well, taking you through a series of screens where you can choose a theme, a menu style, add Internet connection settings and many other things. I found it very cool to be able to make the desktop feel like my own straight away. Perhaps other distributions aiming at the novice user should implement some kind of welcome wizard as well, some offer a welcome pop up with a few references but nothing on this level. It might help people settle in. The default KDE4 menu is something only a mother could love, but she still couldn’t use it in my opinion. Sorry, it’s just too fiddly and complicated, it takes 4 clicks to get down to anything useful. So I chose the Lancelot menu instead. It reminds me quite a bit of the SLAB menu in OpenSuse or perhaps the MintMenu from Linux Mint. As I progressed through the Kaptan screens I chose a theme with the KDE tool bar at the top of the screen and added some information about my wireless network. I also ticked the box at the very end marked “Add Contrib Repositories”. This gives you all the community maintained packages in PISI and vastly broadens the range of available software. I’ll talk more about PISI later. Things were looking good so far but as I tried to go online I realized I wasn’t connected to my wireless network. This seemed odd as I’d definitely entered all my details correctly in the welcome wizard. Opening up the system settings tool I quickly found the “network manager” applet. The wireless profile I’d created hadn’t been saved and I was left scratching my head. It seems much like the partitioning UI I’d misread before, if you don’t click apply before you click next it doesn’t save your data. I entered the details again being careful to press apply this time, I was then prompted for the root password and asked to confirm again. After that the wireless details were saved and the network connection came up fine.

3D Desktop Error

3D Desktop Error

Next I wanted to see if my Nvidia card was using the restricted 3D drivers or not, the screen resolution was correct but enabling 3D desktop effects failed, so I knew the binary drivers weren’t installed. It turned out this was pretty easy to fix and by typing the search term “nvidia” into PISI I was able to find some kernel modules and drivers quickly. I installed the most recent one I could see, which looked a bit behind the current Nvidia releases but I wasn’t too worried about that. After logging out and restarting the X server a reassuring Nvidia splash screen came up and all was well. I turned on the 3D effects in KDE4 and I have to say they’re very slick. Not quite as heavy duty as the Compiz effects I often use and a bit lighter on resources. It’s nice to see that multimedia codecs, Flash, Java and other such things are included here. I know that’s a philosophical problem for a lot of people and I’m with them on that, but since this distro is aimed at the average user they just want their stuff to work without hassle. We can pitch the Free Software arguments to them later I think, once they’ve had a chance to get their foot through the door. The latest Firefox 3.5 is also present by default.

PISI Package Manager:

PISI At Work

PISI At Work

I briefly mentioned PISI before but I thought it would be worth taking a more in depth look. It’s the package managing utility in Pardus and it’s completely custom built, using its own package format to boot. No pun intended. The GUI looks quite similar to the utility you get for this in Mandriva with possibly a passing resemblance to Synaptic too. It actually works very well and installing new software is simple, provided it’s in the repos. I found with the contrib repository enabled I had a very respectable selection of software at my disposal. I installed Checkgmail, VirtualBox, Pidgin, Audacity, VLC and much more with just a few clicks. There were some things I couldn’t find however such as Terminator, Gwibber, Avant Window Navigator, gPodder and Tasque. Some of those are Gnome apps and maybe this is the reason, I’ll discuss some of the KDE alternatives I found in a minute. One problem I have with PISI is another slight GUI oversight in my view. It has 2 main views, packages available and packages already installed. This seems sensible and I have no problem with that in principle, but when you do a search for something, such as “nvidia” for example, you have to switch view panes and search again to see if the package you’re thinking of is installed, not installed or even available to install at all. I prefer the way Synaptic shows you all the results in one list with a simple mark next to the packages to tell you if they’re installed or not. This kind of approach to search results would be a big improvement and save time too. Other than that very minor annoyance on my part PISI worked well, kept me up to date pretty easily and installed packages without fuss. You can’t say fairer than that.

Learning To Love KDE4:

KDE4 Run Dialog

KDE4 Run Dialog

OK so “love” might be a bit of a strong word, but for an old Gnome fan like me KDE has never really sat comfortably on my desktop. I found as the week went on though that I got more comfortable with it and found new ways of working. For example I mentioned earlier that I couldn’t find Gwibber in the repos, this is a major problem for a compulsive microblogger, but help was at hand. After some tips from people on Identi.ca (via the web interface obviously), I discovered that the bizarrely named Choqok is the microblogging client de jour on KDE. I fired it up and at first I hated it if I’m honest, mainly because it shows your different accounts in individual tabs and you can’t see all your messages in one go. As I used it more though I got used to this way of doing things and after a while its become natural. It’s so much more stable and quick than Gwibber and with some advanced features thrown in, I was very impressed. Other minor changes were the fact that I couldn’t find AWN and install it from the repos. I may have been able to do so from source but decided to try a different way of working. When I want to open an app now I don’t go to the menu or look for a dock, instead I just press ALT+F2 to call up the run box. You can do this on any system I know but the KDE4 version is very slick. It predicts what you want as you type and has cool animations. It reminds me most of how I would use Gnome Do on Gnome actually. The KDE desktop widgets are something I couldn’t really see the point of at first, I’ve often made jokes that calling them Plasmoids sounds more like something you should go and see the doctor about. I added a weather widget and system monitor though and it started to make a lot more sense. I looked through the variety of widgets on offer and grabbed a Gmail checker for my desktop too. It’s easy to go overboard and fill your desktop with rubbish but if you use them wisely the Plasmoids are very cool and can be useful.

Choqok

Choqok

I even like the Dolphin file manager and I found mounting network shares and saving them was easy. A little more like the old Windows Explorer way of working, adding network folders and such, but it’s easy to do. I used to hate using Konqueror for file management and that was probably one of the major reasons I couldn’t stand KDE. It seemed such an unwieldy beast and it tried to do everything at once rather than just being a file manager. This is an accusation often levelled at KDE itself actually, that it tries to be all things to all people, giving you so many different ways of doing any one task you get swamped and confused. I’ve found it to be like that myself at times in the past and I don’t know if I’ve changed or it’s KDE that’s changed, maybe we both have. I found this much more comfortable and productive. I even scared a few people on Identi.ca by posting that I was really getting into KDE4 now. I’m not 100% converted by any means but I think KDE4 is taking shape after a rocky start, and this is version 4.2.4 not the very latest 4.3 release. It has wet my appetite to try that out and see how it fares. I was impressed at how well the system went to sleep and woke up again when closing the lid. I must have done this 100 times over the course of the week and it never failed me once. Little touches like the KDE plugger applet are also very handy. When you plug in any external device it pops up in the tool bar and helps you get things done. It’s not all sweetness and light though as I found the desktop can slow down and feel sluggish at times, but this problem was pretty isolated. KDE4 is a pretty heavy duty desktop and probably not for a slower machine, but on modern hardware it’s great. It’s fair to say that this is the most fulfilling KDE experience I’ve ever had, and I’ll be monitoring future releases with interest.

ALSA Problems:

ALSA Problems In Audacity

ALSA Problems In Audacity

I edited a couple of podcasts in Audacity over the week and I found there were a few issues with ALSA. Some things I haven’t seen in a while actually. It seemed to involve Pidgin grabbing the default ALSA device and not letting anything else see it. So when I opened up Audacity I couldn’t get any sound output if Pidgin was running, and it usually is on my desktop. This is not really a criticism of Pardus in any way, it’s a long standing design problem with ALSA. Once a program is using an ALSA device its tied up and that’s it, others can’t use it. On most systems something like Pulse Audio is used now on top of ALSA to solve this problem. I’ve had my issues with Pulse but I have to say having not seen this ALSA problem in a couple of years and largely forgotten about it, I should probably be more grateful to Pulse Audio. I didn’t see the same problems between many of the KDE programs, it seemed to be just Pidgin. The default IM client in KDE is Kopete and I’ve tried that but I still much prefer Pidgin. Perhaps Kopete wouldn’t have had the same sound problems. I found I could fix things by closing Audacity, setting Pidgin to mute sounds and then reopening Audacity. After that it could see the main ALSA device was free again, but it was a bit of a pain.

Conclusions:
Ease Of Installation & Setup: 4/5
Stability & Speed: 4/5
Community & Online Support: 3/5
Features: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

pardus2009_39

My Finished Desktop

Overall I had a lot of fun with Pardus and it may even have finally taught me the virtues of KDE, which was no small task indeed. After a week or so on this system I’ve been able to do everything I’ve needed to, producing podcasts, writing and getting on with other general dev work, so I can’t complain at that. I like Kaptan, PISI and YALI a lot. There are many great little custom tools here and I think the developers are taking things in the right direction. The fact that its not based on Fedora, Debian, Slackware or whatever else probably endears me to this distro. I like to see people trying new things and when you look at what’s actually been achieved in a short space of time it’s amazing. The packaging system works very well and that’s impressive for a relatively young development.

Guake Dropdown Terminal

Guake Dropdown Terminal

I did have to work around the lack of some apps I use heavily. I installed Guake to help do things in the terminal without Terminator, and I also managed to install Gpodder from source to get all my podcasts. Gpodder ran very well in fact and this only confirmed my love of Python, it just runs everywhere. There are some things that could be improved in Pardus. I mentioned some of the UI problems I had, this might just be the way my brain works but some things seemed more convoluted than they needed to be. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a few tweaks though and hopefully we’ll see this in future. The overall feel of the distro is friendly and inclusive, I like that. There are some good online resources with a forum, wiki and IRC channel should you get stuck, and the documentation is pretty good. There’s even an online beginners guide for anyone daunted by their first encounter with Pardus. With so many other Linux distributions already out there fighting in a crowded market it may be tough for Pardus to find its niche, but they’re doing a very good job. I always have time for people who push the boundaries and try new things, without that attitude we’d never advance. I wouldn’t have a problem recommended this distro to most users and I think perhaps novice Linux converts are the best market for it. It’s going to be hard to compete with the amount of packages and how-to guides out there already for the likes of Ubuntu but in time I think this distro could grow well. It offers something different and in a world filled with Ubuntu remixes and Debian clones a little diversity isn’t a bad thing. If you fancy spicing up your like with a little Turkish flavour give Pardus a spin, it’s well worth it.

DOWNLOAD PARDUS FOR YOURSELF HERE

Upcoming:
I was contacted by some people involved with SAM Linux and asked to review it, so I will endeavour to do that next. I’ve also been prompted many times about finally getting onto BSD and I will try to do that too. I’ve had good fun on Pardus and I may look for something that has KDE 4.3 to see if my romance with the desktop is really love, or just a short lived infatuation. You’re welcome to join me next time for the journey of course…

About Dan

Hi I'm Dan, I'm the nutter who creates the content here and oversees things. You can read more about me on the biog page if you like. Thanks :)
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40 Responses to Distro Review: Pardus Linux 2009

  1. Really well-written and thorough review! Thank you! With a review/guide like this, I think I’ll give it a go.

    “I didn’t see the same problems between many of the KDE programs, it seemed to be just Pidgin”

    Sounds like the same issues I had with Gusty/Hardy back in the day. Curious if you were using 2.6.1 that was just released, or the 2.5.x flavor. Pidgin/libpurple has always given me issues.

  2. Dan says:

    @Dan – It was Pidgin 2.5.8 but I haven’t seen these ALSA problems in about 2 years. Pulse Audio fixed it for me in Gnome. Thanks for reading and also for the kind words :)

  3. Sertse says:

    Hi, about the Guake comment, Pardus includes by default Yakauke, which is the KDE equivalent. It’a drop down terminal and it capable of spilting etc.

    Glad you found your Pardus experience positive though :)

  4. Markus says:

    Very nice review. I have some comments, though:

    1.) The KDE equivalent of Guake is called Yakuake.

    2.) Pardus’ KDE has some backports from 4.3. For example the image thumbnails on folder icons.

    3.) I like the default “start menu” (Kick Off) and I’m not its mother or father. ;-)

    4.) A possible candidate for review with KDE 4.3 is the upcoming new Alpha version of Chakra (due sometime in September) — based on Arch. As far as I’ve read, it diverges quite a bit from KDE’s upstream defaults. That’s not a bad thing — IMHO that’s actually what distros are for: Modify the defaults to target specific user bases, because nothing fits all. ;-) You should just take it into account, if you are going to review Charka.
    Other options are Mandriva 2010 (October), openSUSE 11.2 (November), and Fedora (also November).
    If your main motivation is just KDE 4.3, there are also unofficial openSUSE 11.1 ISOs with KDE 4.3.
    I strongly advise not to use Kubuntu for a KDE-focused review. Canonical has a long history of shipping not-ready beta software as part of Kubuntu’s default installation (the KDE3 version of Dolphin in 8.04, Adept 3.0beta package manager in 8.10, Printer Configuration in 9.04, and it looks like they’ll ship Arora (can’t even save PWs) as default browser in 9.10).

    • Dan says:

      @Markus – Thanks for the points. I reviewed Chakra in full a couple of months back, you can find it here. My comments about Kick Off are only a personal opinion, I know lot’s a people like it. Just not for me ;) Thanks also for the suggestions of future releases to try. I know Kubuntu is not too popular in the KDE community, it’s seen by a few people as the poor relation of Ubuntu it seems. At least that’s the impression I get from people I’ve spoken too anyway. Hopefully I’ll get chance to see for myself soon.

  5. Nobody Important says:

    Great review. Perhaps I liked it more because it was watching the video game review show Zero Punctuation for an hour and imagined your writing as being read by its lightning fast Australian accented host.

    I ran into the same conclusions you did: Pardus is polished, clean, and all around lovable. Unfortunately, I need a big repository to be happy, so I migrated by KDE 4 fun over to Fedora 11, which is swimming along rather well. In any case, Pardus has a nice big spot in my heart (especially back in its KDE 3.5 iteration) and it’s a vastly underrated distro, especially for newbies.

    Also, your KDE 4 layout and colors are collectively positively trippy.

  6. makosol says:

    Instead of Guake, you could have use Yakuake, which is the same thing, but for KDE4 and in the repositories.
    Pardus 2009 is indeed a very great distro !

  7. I am surprised with your points that you give such high marks. As I said, I really found it clunky – but maybe that’s just the combination of me and KDE4.

  8. AmblestonDack says:

    I installed Pardus 2008 on my daughters PC 8 months ago and when 2009 was released I upgraded her PC to it. She’s by no means a geek or a techno nerd, but took to it like a duck to water. She’s been able to do everything that she used to do on Windows with Pardsu (except of course get virses which was the reason for her PC getting Pardus in the first place).

    I’ve since setup a family laptop with Pardus 2009 on it and so far no one has complained or moaned that they cannot do anything on it. The best comment came from my father in law who purchased his first ever PC (a laptop) at Christmas, which was, wow I love what you have done to Vista, how can I get my laptop to be like that?

  9. Dan says:

    @makosol – Thanks for the tip, will try that. A native Qt version would be a lot better I think.

    @mjjzf – I know you had some issues with this release of Pardus but I’ve found KDE4 runs surprisingly well for me. I had a very occasional slowdown when doing my usual 50 tasks at once, but that happens with most desktops. I guess it’s really down to a combination of your hardware and personal preference. It’s not for everyone. I’ve not been much of a KDE fan myself in the past so I know where you’re coming from, but I was surprised how well this fit with me.

  10. If you enable the contrib repository you should find GNOME for Pardus as well as Xfce. I’m actually running Pardus 2009 with an Xfce desktop on my netbook and I’m quite happy with the results. It’s the first distro I’ve tried (other than the preloaded Ubuntu 8.04 LTS build) where everything on the netbook “just worked” right out of the virtual box.

    • Dan says:

      @Caitlyn – Thanks for the tip. A few people told me they’d installed Gnome on Pardus but I wanted to give the default desktop a good test. It’s great to have so many options though, the beauty of FOSS :)

  11. ZBREAKER says:

    Nice review Dan. Refreshing to see a dedicated Gnome guy warming up to KDE. However I see you’ve made your desktop as “Gnome-like” as possible…the beauty of linux.

    Always keep an open testing partition on my box and will probably give Pardus a spin based on this.

  12. Emre says:

    Hi, did you try to set audio output to “automatic” in pidgin, it seems to solve that issue. When you choose “alsa” or “esd” i found it to be a bit problematic.

    Other than these, I love Pardus :)

    • Dan says:

      @Emre – I’ll check it now, good idea. I thought I’d set it to automatic but I’m not confident now. Could be a good idea, and yes Pardus is great :)

  13. Hezy says:

    Dan, Thanks for the review.

    Pardus seems to be a very interesting distro. The Kaptan wizard is a great idea, and all distros intendig to attract non-expert users should have a similar feature.

    I wonder how well known Pardus is in Turkey. It would be nice to talk to one of the developments, or someone from the Turkish users community. Maybe you should try to interview one of them on Linux Outlaws.

  14. Dan, I spent a good six months running OpenBSD as my primary desktop (first with Fvwm, then Xfce), and it worked pretty well. There are a few spots here and there where you have to do manual configuration (there’s no network-manager utility … and the networking in the BSDs works differently than in Linux).

    But it’s kind of refreshing to build up the desktop on your own. It’s the same kind of thing with FreeBSD and NetBSD. They come in a pretty minimal state.

    I’ve built up Debian the same way. These days I’m too lazy, but I expect I’ll get back to BSD at some point. I’d like to give FreeBSD a good go — I suspect that the desktop experience is somewhat easier.

    You could try PC-BSD, which is a KDE-based full install of FreeBSD.

    One thing that’s nice about all the BSDs is that the documentation is plentiful and of high quality. Between the huge FAQ and the very detailed and example-filled man pages, I was able to get around in OpenBSD very well.

    But beware the mailing lists. Ask a question they think stupid or answerable in the man pages or FAQ and you’ll need asbestos undies. Otherwise there’s a lot of deep knowledge on openbsd.misc …

    Another place to get help for all of the BSDs is daemonforums.org. It’s a lot less treacherous than the mailing lists.

    As for me, my attempt at an in-place upgrade from OpenBSD 4.4 to 4.5 pretty much failed (most users reinstall every six months and don’t bother with what I consider a tortuous upgrade), and I moved to Ubuntu 8.04 ASAP so I could keep on working.

    You can’t beat the reliability of 8.04, and all the Intel video issues of late have kept me running it. I have a Debian Lenny test system set up as a backup, but that install could go in favor of either another BSD or very likely the new OpenSolaris (if it can deal with 512 MB of RAM, which I suspect it cannot …).

    So if you do have a spare machine, running a BSD is something you should definitely try. I suggest starting with FreeBSD — I think that’s the easiest one to deal with on the desktop.

  15. Gen2ly says:

    Great review. This has always been one of those back-burner distro’s that I’ve been keeping my eye on.

  16. Dan says:

    @Steven – Thanks for the BSD tips :)

  17. I echo Steven’s comments on using the BSDs. Also, I agree that one should phrase a question to the community carefully. I remember an IRC discussion about how to do something, and I described how to do it in Linux. A couple of guys tried to help me, and the rest nuked me so bad I could barely keep up reading from those who offered me advice.
    But there are some very helpful and scarily competent people there. Personally, I find some of the BSD settings a bit difficult and some of the ACPI documentation had me… let’s just say “puzzled”.
    Also, there were some things I found a little tricky with focus and mouse handling under both OpenBSD and FreeBSD. Now, the point where FreeBSD really shines is using Ports, that is, building from source. It is very easy to do. But if you have old iron like I do, it is not worth much. OpenBSD takes the opposite approach: The basic assumption that they packaged the software right and you shouldn’t start trying to pull things in on your own, because it already works, and if you want to add something else, you are most likely wrong. There is a Ports tree, but that is in case of emergency.

  18. Dan says:

    @mjjzf – Thanks for the information on BSD. I’ve heard some of the mailing lists and IRC channels require asbestos pants just to enter. I’m not sure how I’ll get on with that, I expect a Linux evangelist like me will be public enemy number 1. We’ll see

  19. Mike Dinon says:

    Hi Dan, great review. I am glad that someone so deeply attached to GNOME was able to give KDE a fair shake. I think all the gnashing of teeth and vitriol over KDE 4 has been ridiculous to say the least. I am running KDE 4.3 on fedora and I find it very stable and productive. I thought that the following section in your review is actually an accusation levelled at Linux in general rather than KDE: “It seemed such an unwieldy beast and it tried to do everything at once rather than just being a file manager. This is an accusation often levelled at KDE itself actually, that it tries to be all things to all people, giving you so many different ways of doing any one task you get swamped and confused.”. I hope you try out FreeBSD in your next review and when openSUSE 11.2 is out I hope that you review that as well. Keep up the great work.

    • Dan says:

      @Mike – Thanks, I suppose you could right about that accusation being leveled at Linux as a whole as well. I don’t agree with it myself but then I’m a Linux fan so you wouldn’t expect me too. I will look at OpenSUSE again when a new release comes out sure, and hopefully a BSD too.

  20. anted says:

    Don’t forget to visit Pardus WorldForum!

    http://worldforum.pardus-linux.nl/

    :)

  21. kounryusui says:

    A late comment. Especially if one is to consider that I kept lobbying Pardus every time a suggestion for the next distro to review was asked for.
    Nice read and all. Glad that a KDE distro hasn’t scared an avid Gnome user like you away. One never knows if some day it won’t be necessary to follow the same path into the realm of the omnipresent capital K. And for a project that is only 6 years old Pardus seems to be doing fine.
    I also like it for being an independent Linux project and not an offspring of the RH/Debian/Slackware/… This makes the Linux ecosystem more healthy.
    And isn’t the manual partitioner just following the command line partitioner tradition of making your choices first and then applying them?

  22. Dan says:

    @kounryusui – Thanks. With regard to partitioning, maybe you’re right but I’ve never used any other GUI partitioner that works like this. That’s not to say there aren’t any, just I haven’t seen them and I’ve used a lot of distributions. I also like that this is a custom distro, it makes it something different.

  23. John says:

    I think the best Pardus so far is version 2008.2 with KDE3.5 very stabile and easy to use.
    2009 have som known bugs and problems that are not solved yet.(network and updating/Pisi troubles)
    Probably will not be fixed completly until version 2009.1 with KDE4.3
    I guess KDE4.2 was more complicated than the developers first think.

  24. Ken says:

    I really enjoyed reading your review and like you prefer to use gnome-do when I can. I have taken up Pardus as my preferred OS.

    I tried your suggested alternative, Alt F2, but that is not as expansive as gnome-do.

    My questions this: is it possible in any way to install gnome-do and have it function correctly on Pardus. If so, how?

    • Dan says:

      @Ken – The run dialog doesn’t give the same amount of advanced options as Gnome Do no, I only use the simple functions so it’s enough for me. You should be able to install Gnome Do on any system which has all the dependencies. Mono is the main one, it’s a mono app. You will also need some Gtk stuff I expect. There might be a package for Pardus, search the repository. If not, you might be able to build it from source. I’ve never tried that with Gnome Do so can’t offer any tips though sorry. Check out the Gnome Do website and see what instructions they have for building from source, but only after you’ve looked for a Pardus package first. You could also find the appropriate IRC channel for Gnome Do and ask people in there. It should be listed on their website. Good luck!

  25. John says:

    Pardus 2009.1 coming very soon:
    http://worldforum.pardus-linux.nl/index.php?topic=2982.0

    I looking forward to test it.

  26. Pingback: Anonymous

  27. George says:

    Also looking forward to 2009.1. It cant’t be long…

    Here is a collection of Pardus Reviews.

    http://www.pardusianer.de/node/55

    Thanks for your article!

  28. David says:

    Dan,

    Many thanks for your thorough review. I’m on the verge of giving Pardus a try and this helped give me a better idea of what the experience might be like. (I’m familiar with KDE 3.5.x but haven’t yet experimented with 4.x).

    I’m not sure how KDE 4.x will run on my oldish desktop hardware; the only way I’ll know is to take the plunge and install it. I’m also a bit concerned about Pardus’s use of grub2 as the bootloader, and whether it will detect my two other Linux distros (Ubuntu 8.04 and PCLinuxOS 2009) and actually boot them.

    Pardus sounds like it’s something of a “sleeper” distro that is definitely worthy of more exposure. (It’s interesting that in your sample desktop screenshots, the wallpaper seems to be artsy photos of Turkish landscapes … free armchair travel). :-)

    Thanks again!

    • Dan says:

      @david – Pardus is definitely well worth a look, it’s a great distribution and more people should know about it I agree. Not sure how you’ll get on with GRUB2 but I hope it all works for you, just be sure to get plenty of backups before experimenting. That’s my golden rule, as long as everything is backed up you have nothing to lose but a bit of time. Good luck!

  29. Emir says:

    Hello and thak you for your review.

    I’m Turkish and I’m following the Pardus Project from the beginning. It’s a well know project in Turkey and because it’s supported by goverment it’s being used by goverment branches(not most) and universities(some) in Turkey. And it has a huge community. http://www.ozgurlukicin.com (Which means “for freedom”)is Turkish Main page for this community.

    For other people’s thoughs I could say you need to know what is Pardus’ focus group. Pardus is for the people who know how to use a computer with avarage skills(Who can power on a computer, who knows how to open a borwser etc..). It’s not intented for power users or IT experts (this doesn’t mean it is not usefull for them but it’s a matter choice).
    I’m going to be honest and objective about it but it is by far my best choice because every now and than you get hardware driver errors and other stupid minor or major errors with every distros. For example I installed the new Ubuntu 9.10 on my Acer 6930g and I couldn’t even start my wi-fi and ethernet, same goes for SUSE, in Mandrake 2010 I managed to use my wi-fi but it was painfull to beable to get sound working. In Pardus I get my notebook working out of the box and start using internet and listening my tunes…
    But I couldn’t manage to get Pardus working on my old AMD destop with Raid 0 specs. So I installed Mandriva 2010 instead.
    I don’t need to get confused in Pardus because of those restiricted codecs or drivers i search for the needed in Pisi and jobs done.
    You can say it is same in others but than I’ll say not like Pardus. You won’t understand me untill you try it your self. Yes there isn’t a very big repository but it’s a very usefull repository and this is also because although Pardus is goverment supported it is developed by a hand full of people and it is using it’s own packge system Pisi.
    And Pardus is the most community driven distro out there I’m able to use although it is goverment supported. You have an idea or you need something to be added to new version leave a comment in the forums and developers will answer your commet if its possible to fit that in new version or not or how to fit it.
    As you can see it’s a matter of choices about finding which distro you feel comfortable. But try Pardus you wont regret it.

    Thank you and Thank you Dan for your review.
    P.S. one more thing don’t hesitate to use Turkish forums of Pardus. Community is very friendly and know English mostly. Lots of people will help you for solving your problems.

  30. I’m glad I stumbled upon this review even though it’s old. I’m trying out Pardus 2011 at the moment and I must say that I’m deeply impressed! Thank you for your blog!

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