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Feature: Pardus

Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

By Preston St. Pierre on August 13, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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Pardus is a GNU/Linux distribution funded and developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Pardus has its own unique installer, package manager, configuration wizard, and control panel. This originality, and the developers' attention to detail, make Pardus worth a look.

From the beginning of my experience, Pardus showed its attention to detail. The installer is so incredibly simple that even a Microsoft fan would be hard-pressed to complain. The installer hasn't changed much since we took a look at the previous release seven months ago, so I won't reiterate the process, but it's still worth mentioning how easy to use the installer is. My only complaint is that my choice of Dvorak for keyboard layout was not available as an option.

After the install and subsequent reboot, Kaptan, the initial desktop configuration wizard, appears onscreen to allow you to set up options such as background image and menu orientation, as well as your network. Like the installer, this wizard is easy to use and understand.

After Kaptan finished I ran Tasma, the Pardus configuration center. For the most part, it presented a friendly and intuitive layout for changing system options. The main problem I encountered was that when I selected "Canada" as my region, it set the language to French. Perhaps it's a bug, or perhaps the Pardus team doesn't know, but the majority of Canadians speak English as a first language. However, this was a minor issue and easily fixed. As an added bonus, Tasma let me select Dvorak as my keyboard layout.

I quickly discovered that Pardus includes all the "goodies" that distro developers sometimes avoid for legal reasons. Codecs for all my movies are included, as well as Adobe Flash and Java. In contrast to the way it behaves in many other distributions, the Flash plugin for Firefox actually played sound for me without additional configuration. To top it all off, DVDs played without a hitch. These multimedia features may not be essential parts of the system, but they can be huge annoyances when missing. It was not all fun and games, though: the Flash plugin seems to have crashed Firefox on a number of occasions when I was viewing Flash-enabled sites. The crashes stopped when I disabled Flash.

The default packages included with Pardus cover most major needs. Included are the GIMP and KolourPaint for image manipulation, Gwenview for image viewing, digiKam) for digital camera management, and Kooka for scanner management. For office needs, OpenOffice.org is included, along with various complementary KDE packages (Kontact, Karm, Kalarm, Knotes, and Kpilot, to name a few). Multimedia is well covered, with Amarok, JuK for listening to music, MPlayer and Kaffeine for watching movies, K3b and KaudioCreator for burning and ripping CDs and DVDs, and krecord for recording audio. Internet applications include Kopete for instant messaging, Konversation for IRC, Firefox and Konqueror for Web browsing, KMail, KFTPGrabber, KTorrent, and even Usenet news reader KNode. Most of these applications have been updated since the previous Pardus release, and several are the current stable versions.

While for most people the default programs may be enough, Pardus has its own package manager, called PiSi, and its own repository of packages in case you need something else. Currently there are about 1,200 packages available for install -- a respectable amount. However, since the Pardus repository can't compare to the Debian repository in size (and even that is not complete), I found a few applications and libraries not available through PiSi (such as Video4Linux Grab) which I had to build from source. The regular development tools aren't included with Pardus, but they are available for install through PiSi, which makes it a trivial task to build other applications from source. While it might be nice if more applications were packaged and offered through PiSi, it is easy to see that the workload involved in maintaining all those packages could overwhelm available resources. Given that, I think it's amazing how many packages are already available, and how up-to-date they are. With time and more users, the Pardus repositories will doubtlessly grow, and from what I've experienced of Pardus it looks like it will soon have more users.

The one truly bothersome bug I encountered was that after every reboot the number of virtual desktops in KDE returned to two. I like to have that number set at eight, and I had to redo this process at every boot. Although this is easy to change, it is an annoyance in an otherwise exceptional distribution. The other problems I encountered were temporary, as in the case of the use of French for the Canadian region, or likely the fault of the Pardus team, such as Flash crashing Firefox. The advantages of using Pardus (easy install and configuration, simple and reliable package manager, proper detection of my hardware, and a nice selection of applications installed by default) outweigh the few minor bugs by quite a bit.

My experience with Pardus was quite positive. The attention to detail, right down to skinning Amarok with the Pardus colors, is matched by the elegance of the installer and the efficacy of Kaptan and PiSi. Booting and running Pardus is quite speedy on my old AMD Sempron 2800+ with 512MB RAM; other distributions with similar features (such as Ubuntu) run slower on the same hardware. In short, I think Pardus is a distribution worth looking at for any Linux users who aren't happy with their current choice.

Preston St. Pierre is a computer information systems student at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

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on Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 141.123.223.100] on August 13, 2008 09:49 PM
These multimedia features may not be essential parts of the system

No, in the 21st century, they are. You wanna compete with the big boys, you gotta be better than they are. The other distros that whine about licensing and other stupid shit that no one else cares about don't get it. When I tried the 2007.1 version of Pardus, I was very impressed. I used it as my primary desktop for about a month, the longest Linux has ever managed to hang in there. Sounds like they've moved quite a bit forward even from that. Sad to hear that they still haven't fixed the flash issue. It's been over a year, you'd think someone would've been able to fix it by now. Yeah, yeah, I hear it starting to form in your head: Flash is proprietary, we don't have access to the code, we can't fix it, whine, whine. The Firefox team, however, has access to THEIR code and can implement workarounds. Is it an ideal solution? No, but it's a hell of a sight better than having your browser constantly crashing for no good reason. As far as I'm concerned, this is as much Mozilla's issue as Adobe's.

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Re: Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.20.255.162] on August 14, 2008 01:27 PM
What an unpleasant, self-satisfied bully of a person you appear to be.

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Re(1): Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.20.255.162] on August 14, 2008 01:28 PM
Sorry, that was aimed at Anonymous [ip: 141.123.223.100] on August 13, 2008 09:49 PM

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Re(1): Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 141.123.223.100] on August 14, 2008 05:53 PM
And your point is, little puss? See, I can use ad hominem attacks, too. I just see them as a sign of an unenlightened mind and therefore started off with a listing of the problems I saw as well as providing solutions to said problems. Attack the message, not the tone, otherwise STFU.

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Re: Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.191.215.166] on August 15, 2008 01:52 AM
Nice review. I will try Pardus one of these days.

About Flash. For me, Firefox 2.0.0.3 freezes occasionally when viewing flash. However, I use the "Flashblock" addon, which stops Flash videos from running until you click on them. So freezes are rare.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.98.198.241] on August 14, 2008 12:46 AM
Don't forget SMPlayer (http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/) and the pardus 2008 contrib-repo

For Pardus 2008

1. pisi add-repo Pardus-Contribut http://paketler.pardus.org.tr/contrib-2008/pisi-index.xml.bz2

2. pisi add-repo Pardus-Linux-Org http://paketler.pardus-linux.org/users-2008/pisi-index.xml.bz2

___________________

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

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér on August 14, 2008 09:37 AM
I thought the installer color had become... hideous. At least you only have to look at it once.
Pardus is nice, it is true. The fact that it is based in Turkey makes some things easier, patent-wise. I find it very interesting that it is a government organisation that is behind it - it would be really sweet to be part of such a project. And the Pardus tools are really very good.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 210.234.44.89] on August 14, 2008 10:58 AM
I want to try it. I installed vixta (based on fedora) but it is very havy.
Pardus is seen very ligth and fast.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 137.229.96.111] on August 15, 2008 02:21 AM
Thanks for the review. However, in future reviews, you might mention a bit more background on the distro. Why was the distro created? Are there goals that the developers are aiming for? What in particular is supposed to be distinct about it?

I could google that, of course... but I'd rather just read it in the review.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.244.110.142] on August 15, 2008 10:03 AM
You are right.
Pardus need low system requastments and hardware compability if you are only clicking to mouse.:))
Pardus need for a long time .

Why ?
Because devolopers and users gropup can not speaking .
Why ?
Pardus designed for linux coders.Not linux users.
Thank you.

What a give linux about PARDUS.

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Re: Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.172.210.37] on August 16, 2008 10:06 PM
It is easy to use for begginner Linux users I think.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.87.247.213] on August 22, 2008 09:15 AM
From the revue:
"The one truly bothersome bug I encountered was that after every reboot the number of virtual desktops in KDE returned to two. "

I am NOT having this behaviour.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.242.52.76] on August 26, 2008 05:15 PM
A very elegant distro for everyone. It would be more respected with a good "spread-the-word" policy.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.248.149.85] on August 29, 2008 09:19 PM
Best distro I've ever use. Also my ATI graphics card easly configured by TASMA only selecting the fglrx driver.
I can say it's far better than Kubuntu.

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Pardus 2008: A touch of refinement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.19.8.191] on September 02, 2008 07:01 AM
It seems that in a short time, they had a long way. On the other way, I believe that they are capable of improving Pardus more. Unfotunately, it is sure that they follow the other distros' path. Although there are some innovations, I expect more since it is surely a truth that they are capable of that.

Lastly, I would like to announce to linux world. Unfortunately, most of the works are on KDE and GNOME. But there are no other desktop environments. I think it is a must be done to develop a desktop environment that does not look like Windows or MAC; but itself.

Go Linux gooooooo :)

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