...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.
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.
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.
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?
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