17 Mar 2011

7 Surprises From Turkey

...or 7 Pieces of Turkish Delight On a DVD

I made several reviews of Operation systems originating from Eastern Europe: SLAX, Agilia Linux, Alt Linux, Austrumi. This time I will aim little bit to the South, on the place where Europe meets Asia.
How many countries do you know which are placed in Europe and Asia both? Russia? Anything else? Yes, that is Turkey. Not the most well known country in the world, although European culture would be different if this country would not exist. Byzantium, Constantinople... They are all parts of Turkish history.
Modern Turkey is different. It is fast developing and technologically progressive country. And of course, Linux is popular there too, as well is all over the world. If you have Linux fans, surely you will have your own Linux distributive. Does Turkey have one? Yes, and it is named after Anatolian leopard: Pardus.
Pardus... For Freedom...I have heard of Pardus several times before I first tried it. Although, it is not as famous as Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE. You can find different links on Pardus reviews at the bottom of this post.
This time I decided to try it myself. Current version, which was downloaded, is Pardus 2011. It weights well above 1Gb, so I could only put it onto DVD-RW disk. Thus, test could only be run on my Toshiba L500 notebook.
Looks like everything is ready. Reboot. Chose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

Nice surprises started from very beginning.
Surprise No 1. Starting screen with menu where you can see boot option, also allows you to switch language. Of course, there was English and Turkish. But they were not the only. Half a dozen languages more, and Russian is one of the available languages at boot screen! Wow!
Surprise No.2. Live mode has been chosen, and booting starts. Another nice surprise - Pardus did not ask me any other question until fully booted and Desktop Environment is fired up. Pardus uses KDE as default, which also fulfils my taste.
Surprise No.3. Third surprise was something I have never seen before. Some distributives start inquisition before the system is fully ready to use. Sometimes I almost lost my temper before distributive was ready to use. Others do not ask any questions and just boot with default options. But no one fires up the configuration master in graphical environment. Of course, you can cancel this wizard and use default options. That is nice choice, as it allows you to skip or go through configuration steps.
What is offered in wizard? Mostly non essential things like desktop image, window decoration etc. I would name choice of default keyboard layout as the most important.
As soon as I started talking about keyboard, let me mention my favourite topic. Russian keyboard layout could be configured as 1-2-3 like in any other KDE distributive. At least, I have not had any issue with this in Pardus. Not a surprise actually, but worth mentioning.
Surprise No.4. Another surprise waited for me just around the corner. To be more precise, in the right-down corner of the screen, in the notification area. I cannot tell that was nice surprise though. Pardus managed to find my WiFi card (Realtek 8191SE), initialized it. But any attempt to find network failed.
That said, Pardus left me without network connection.
That might be the same reason which I had during Pinguy test. Windows could simply switch off WiFi card during shutdown. I tried different methods to switch WiFi back on. Command ifup was not recognised at all. Command iwconfig wlan0 told me that network is already activated. But Network Manager did not find any network, although I could use Internet at another laptop at the same time. You can see my screen while trying to activate WiFi card on the right.
Surprise No.5. Next surprise I found while was trying to activate my WiFi card. Most live distros I have tried so far allow sudo command to run without password. But Pardus asks for password which is nowhere listed. Some password is mentioned here, but it does not work. Workaround exists, but it is not so obvious. Live system runs under single user pars. All you need to do to get root access (sudo) is to change password for pars. Pars itself has no password, so changing of it is just a walk in the park.
Surprise No.6. While changing password, I noticed that user management panel in Pardus is more convenient for administration than in Kubuntu. Is it another nice surprise? Probably, yes!
As network was not there, I could not test:
  • Network drive connection
  • Package installer.
It needs to be mentioned that Pardus, unlike many other distributives, is not just remix/rethink/facelift of any "big" distro. It is fully standalone distributive. And Pardus does not use any standard package management system (deb, rpm etc). Instead, developers created their own system called PiSi. The list of available packages on official site is not impressive, but still big enough.
What is included into default distro? You should expect quite a lot from such a big distributive. And you get a lot!
  • Libre Office comes as default. This is probably the first distro to include Libre Office. I earlier mentioned that OpenSuSE is the first distributive to include Libre Office in official release. But that is not true. Probably Pardus is the first!
  • Good collection of games.
  • Several multimedia players, with Clementine as default.
  • Usual Internet package: Firefox, KTorrent, mail client etc
  • Usual set of administrative tools and utilities, most of them are KDE-specific.
Surprise No.7. It is mentioned just above, but I would name it again. Pardus is first operating system to have Libre Office included into official distribution.
So, you can see that surprises are all around this nicely composed Turkish distributive. Most of them are nice surprises. The only bad one was about my network connection. But that one is very important from my point of view.
Oh, yes, and there was another surprise. Not nice, but not very much annoying. Pardus Live did not shutdown itself. I had to use Power button.

Have you used Pardus before? What is your opinion on this OS? What do you generally think about distributives which use their own packaging solutions, do they have future, or they will be eclipsed by bigger brothers?

Useful links:
http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/ - official Pardus site
http://www.osor.eu/studies/a-new-kid-on-the-block-the-turkish-pardus-linux-distribution - project background information
http://desktoplinuxreviews.com/2011/01/31/pardus-2011/ - Pardus 2011 review
http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2009/08/03/pardus-2009-review/ - Pardus 2009 review
http://danlynch.org/blog/2009/08/pardus2009/ - another Pardus 2009 review
http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT3075127327.html - Pardus 2008 review


  1. Although I mainly use Mandriva, I became a big supporter of Pardus. It's simply a great distribution!

  2. @Mechatotoro, yes this is lovely OS. I might complain about number of packages available though. Definitely less than deb or rpm ones.

  3. I've been a Pardus user since 2007, with Pardus 2007.1 Felis Chaus. I can't remember how I stumbled accross it, but I put it on my daughter's PC (Windows XP at the time) as I was fed up of doing a reinstall every 6 weeks due to virus infections. She's now in Uni, and her laptop has Pardus 2011 and she's never had a virus infection since. The beauty with Pardus was that it didn't stop her from doing anything her Windows using friends did, Facebook, Skype, listening to MP3's, watching DVD's etc. The only downside I have come accross is printing. GNU/Linux needs better printing support.

  4. @Emyr,
    Nice to hear this distro works OK for you!

  5. About the "small" number of packages in Pardus I read this comment from Pardus WorldForum:

    "One can not just compare package count from distro to distro.
    Take kdesdk for example, in Ubuntu, kdesdk is a meta package, depending on many others, while in Pardus, kdesdk contains all of the programs in one package. If that is good or bad is a matter of taste I guess.
    If you really miss a program, make a good request for it, tell them what it does, url, including links to source code, then the package count will grow.
    Be prepared to test the requested package an give feedback to the packagers also.
    Or one could become a packager"

    I have make some request myself and it works. And since the release of 2011 they had two major update packages that included more software to. So I dont realy think its so small anymore.

  6. @alatalo_john:
    Nice to hear it is working! It means that project is alive and growing! Any plans for world leadership?
    BTW, thanks for link here http://worldforum.pardus-linux.nl/index.php?topic=3724.msg19442;topicseen , if it is yours.

  7. Yes it was me that send that link before. I use the installation Pardus 2011 DVD installed as a single operating system in my hard drive, so I don’t realy know how the live version works.
    I think Pardus can in time be among the top ten in Distrowatch list. Easy to use no need to search for media codes etc.. for DVD movies and so on. Similar to Linux Mint.
    I hope they make a English version of this web page to:

    There you find most of the news that happens in Pardus. But until then I use Google translate or Pardus Worldforum.

  8. @alatalo_john: http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/ - is it much different from http://www.ozgurlukicin.com/ ?

  9. @Barnaby:
    That might be a problem, because only few distros managed to get firmware for my WiFi card so far. But since Pardus was released in 2011, I would expect it to work with 2009's hardware.

  10. Pardus Worldforum is not a official page from Pardus. But from Holland Pardus community.But its good for discussion, questions and information also.

    Ozgurlukicin.com are a offical supported/developed web page from Turkey with a monthly e-magazine to. In short more professional. And there you find the lates news and future plans for Pardus.

  11. @alatalo_john:
    I thought I mentioned http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/ and not worldforum. 8-)
    Isn't http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/ official page?

  12. DarkDuck,

    www.pardus.org.tr/eng are not so often updated (only around 2 or 3 times a year or so when they release a new Pardus version) Its more general information and download files there.
    Ozgurlukicin.com and Pardus Worldforum are the best sources to see what happens in the Pardus world.

  13. @alatalo_john:
    Ok, I understand now.

  14. Anyway those who are interested can read this study.How Pardus was developed from the beginning. Not a new article but interesting reading:


  15. @alatalo_john:
    Thanks for the link, I put it into the post.

  16. Great review! I'm glad to see you're getting the word out about Pardus. I had heard of it before but had always dismissed it as a regional distro. I'm sorry I didn't try it out sooner. It has everything it needs to be a major international distro. It just needs more exposure.

    It's in the same league as the more popular, user-friendly distros but, in my opinion, looks more professional and polished.

  17. @Craig.
    Yes, it is very well polished. And I was surprised too. You're not alone! ;)

  18. "Not the most well known country in the world, although European culture would be different if this country would not exist. Byzantium, Constantinople... They are all parts of Turkish history."
    I'm sorry, but you need to get your history straight. Byzantium was established by Greeks several centuries before any Turks came to the region. The Byzantine empire was a Greek empire that was conquered by the Turks, who then established their Ottoman empire. Constantinople was the name of the capital of the Byzantine empire, which has been renamed Istanbul by the Turks. So, Byzantium and Constantinople are in no way parts of Turkish history.

  19. @Anonymous
    Let's distinguish territory and people.
    Constantinople (Istanbul) is still part of Turkish history if we are talking about territory.
    If we're talking about people, then Pyramids have nothing to do with history of Egypt. As well as Indians are not part of American culture.
    Then.. Kiev is capital of Ukraine now, but Russia in ~800-1000 was called "Kievan Rus'" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus%27)
    Anyway, that has nothing to do with Linux...

  20. Pardus release a large update package tonight (23 march). A long list here:

    A - Added
    U - Updated
    S - Security update
    C - Critical update

  21. DarkDuck , very good review !
    Pardus seems a very promising project , and is taking bigger strides with each release .
    I have a request , and it might interest you. You seem to really enjoy kde 3 . There are a few recommended distros from me , that still ship with kde3 and other stuff latest - Please review them when you can .
    they are -

    1 Pardus Corporate 2 . It is the professional edition of Pardus 2011 which comes with the most stable and fast kde3 desktop , and other programs upto date . PLEASE REVIEW THE INSTALLABLE version if possible .you might be pleasently surprised.

    2. Puppy kde-slax remix. Yes , it is quite stable and Kute puplet build using slax packages . It's site is


    3. Kubuntu trinity edition by pearson computing , which contains their fork/continuation of kde3 on the top of latest ubuntu.

    Your reviews would be helpful to many .

    Thanks in advance , and have a good time.

  22. @Sirius lee
    Thanks for the list! I see what I can do. My pipeline looks bigger than my freetime. :-)
    Do you want to write a review yourself as guest posting?

  23. @Sirius lee:
    I tried to install Pardus Corporate 2 on my laptop. Unforunately, there was an error at the last step before installation commences. I tried it from USB stick created by dd command.
    It is so pity I could not get my hands on this OS. 8-(

  24. As late news, Pardus crew changed here in Turkey, somehow politic winds of changes are seeming to hit Pardus either.

    Little comment about situation could be: religion is the trending value all aroud the world i think, not so good!

    Right now 2012 version is available for test at ozgurlukicin.com (ozgurluk is freedom, icin is for, so it stands for: "for the freedom") But as a turkish guy i m not really hopefull to see smthng like 2011. Yet i m on ubuntu, if i happen to test i ll try to let you now.


    Ozgur (name meaning; free, liberal, what a meaningful society we r maan!) :)

    Ps: Links for new pardus, even links are not really working healthy is my observation by the way. :D
    Also a link for late pardus story from previous project manager: (need translation tough)

    1. Thanks for the update! Not very good news though...