Updated: August 4, 2007
PCLinuxOS is another rising star in the Linux constellation. Based on Mandriva, PCLinuxOS aims to be a simple
distribution that reaches to the masses, allowing Windows users to easily and painlessly convert.
Compared to Mandriva, PCLinuxOS is not shadowed by the political controversy of its copyright battles over the
distribution name (formerly known as Mandrake), firings and the alleged direction in which it is headed, of
becoming more enterprise-oriented rather than community-oriented.
As a simple user, this should definitely not bother you. What more, you might find it very refreshing that
PCLinuxOS uses Synaptic as the frontend for the APT package management system, also used in Ubuntu. On the
other hand, it retains many of the GUI-oriented functions that Mandriva has, making it suitable for Linux
Therefore, in a way, this tutorial will well complement the Mandriva
tutorial I have written and posted some time ago, as well as allow you to compare the usability and flexibility
between PCLinuxOS and Kubuntu, both of which use KDE as default desktop.
Some things you should know before you start
This guide will be slightly shorter and less detailed than my previous tutorials, for several reasons: My
tutorials build one upon another; you are well advised to read them first. The tutorials are written in such a
way that they introduce new concepts and levels of difficulty gradually, allowing you to slowly progress in
your understanding of Linux. PCLinuxOS and Mandriva are quite similar. Several stages in the installation and
some post-install configurations are practically identical. While all of the stages will be mentioned here, you
can easily refer to the Mandriva tutorial for more details.
Namely, for full step-by-step tutorials into the installation of some other Linux distributions, you should
Installing SUSE Linux - Full tutorial
Installing (K)ubuntu Linux - Full tutorial
Installing Slackware Linux - Full tutorial
Installing Mandriva Linux - Full tutorial
To understand how to setup virtual machines, try VMware Player - A great
To get into dual booting, try Dual booting - Windows & Linux - Full
To learn about Linux command line, read Highly useful Linux commands &
Ready? Let's install PCLinuxOS
At the time this article was written, the current release of the distribution is PCLinuxOS 2007 Final. Like
most popular distributions, it comes with a live CD installer and offers a ready-to-go installation with lots of
goodies included, to name but a few: Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, Amarok, as well as eye-candy Compiz
3D desktop managers. These
and similar Vista-killer gems are now part of many modern Linux distributions, including Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn,
LinuxMint 3.0, Mandriva 2007 Spring, Sabayon 3.4, and others.
You can download the image from the PCLinuxOS site
Furthermore, you will need:
- A computer with a modern processor, 256MB of RAM and a CD/DVD-ROM drive.
- Optionally, a virtualization product like VMware
Player, VMware Server, VirtualBox, or others. I recommend the VMware Server, as the most wholesome
Finally, a confession. I have already written the PCLinuxOS tutorial once, for the 0.93 Big Daddy release.
However, while it waited to be uploaded, the new version (2007) was released. After consultation with people on
several forums, I decided to ditch the old tutorial and write a new one. That's about it. If you're ready, head
on to the next page.
Warning for the 56K dial-up users: For the purpose of better readability, I will use full-size images rather than
thumbnails that link to images. This may cause some slowdown during the loading of the pages.
Again, you do not have to really do any of this. You could just read and practice the next time you really
install from scratch. But I suggest you try to follow the instructions and do it for yourself. You will only
benefit from it.