Somehow, I had managed to overlook the release of a new base image for PCLinuxOS. It might have been the recent very bad news for the developers and contributors, or it might have been my own inattentiveness. But whatever the reason, I don't recall seeing anything about it either on the PCLinuxOS web page or on Distrowatch. So, I have done some catching up this weekend.
FIrst, the KDE or LXDE versions can be downloaded from the PCLinuxOS mirrors. The ISO images are compatible with the unetbootin utility, so they can easily be converted to LiveUSB sticks. From that point, installation is smooth and easy.
Over the weekend I have installed this new release on everything around here, from my new Samsung P580 laptop (on my desk) to my trusty HP 2133 Mini-Note. Everything works just fine. Here are a few notes:
- The PCLinuxOS installer still insists on creating an xorg.conf file. This is fine as long as it gets it all right and works. Unfortunately it got the resolution wrong on several of my netbooks (it seems not to understand 1366x768, is my guess). The solution is simple - just delete (or rename) the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Alternatively, edit that file and fix the resolution, I suppose. But the X Window System has been able to figure out the necessary driver and the correct resolution on its own, without an xorg.conf file, for quite some time now. The only exception might be if you have a high performance graphic adapter which can use a proprietary driver (nVidia or ATI), and you don't want to use the FOSS drivers which X will choose by default.
- On the 2133, it uses the broadcom-wl (sta) driver, and I prefer to use the b43 driver. But I couldn't figure out how to switch drivers, and it seems to work just fine with wl, so this is no big deal.
For some added fun, go to the Panel Tool Box (the cashew at the right end of the bottom panel), choose "Add Widgets" then *Get New Widgets", then "Download New Plasma Widgets". In the search box enter "CpuFreqDisplay", and install the widget that comes up. Then go back to the Add Widgets function, and add that widget to your panel. That gives you a nice colorful display of the CPU speed as it is adjusted on demand. Enjoy!