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Pinguy OS 11.04 review
I have been using Pinguy OS for the past week and I must say that it has a lot to offer. So what is Pinguy OS? What's the idea behind the distro? Here's a quote from the Pinguy OS website that answers both questions.
"Ubuntu is a great OS and undoubtedly the most popular and easiest Linux based Distro to use but even with its default setup and chosen programs it's still lacking functionality and ease of use for most new users. So what I decided to do was build a Distro that looks good, could do everything most user would ever want to do and that was very simple to use."
So is it easier to use? Does Pinguy OS provide a great out of the box experience? What makes this distro stand out?
Read on to find out.
Overall look and Feel
Pinguy OS looks similar Mac OS X in quite a few ways. I believe that it is a great direction to take because new users can associate Linux with the elegant look that mac OS X is known for. When I first logged in I noticed a nice splash screen which looked quite similar to the OS x splash screen. The desktop includes two docks by default. The bottom dock is for applications and the left dock gives an easy access to folders. The icon set that comes in default is not very impressive but could easily be changed in the appearance menu. (I found that Faenza icon set vastly improves the look of the distro and this also makes the left dock more pleasing to the eye) There is a conky configuration of the right side of the desktop and a conky config app is included which deserves a huge thumbs up. The top panel includes lots of add-ons which may look a bit cluttered but are easily removable as needed. The global menu-bar is also included in the top panel which increases the usable screen space. Pinguy OS also uses nautilus elementary, the famous Linux mint menu and mint updater which are definitely great additions.
There is only one wallpaper included by default but there is an add-on called "webilder" that downloads photos from Flikr and other web services. This may not appeal to some users but the the way I see it is that it is a great tool to explore new wallpapers. (Pinguy OS uses the mac OS X busy cursor (swirling round wheel) and you could fool someone in to thinking that you have a PC running mac OS X.)
The software that comes preinstalled are absolutely fantastic. The software has been chosen carefully and each category has a vast amount of 'best for the job' applications. There were some excellent applications that I haven't heard of before using Pinguy OS. This distro is definitely great for beginners who want to explore the applications that Linux has to offer. Cover Gloobus, gtkpod, XBMC and Skype are just a few of the many applications included. Some of the more impressive additions include Ubuntu tweak, handbrake, virtual box and bleachbit. Pinguy OS provides extensive support for gamers by including wine tricks, djl - game manager and playonlinux. The only application I thought that should be included was the chromium browser. (chromium can easily be added through software centre).
For a hefty distribution, Pinguy OS is quite fast in terms of application launch speed and boot-up time. I would recommend at least 2GB of RAM and atleast 20 Gb of disk space for Pinguy OS to run smoothly.
There are quite few distros out there that aims for an great out-of the box experience. Pinguy OS outdoes all of them by offering a fantastic choice of software. I would recommend Pinguy OS to any Linux user, beginner and pro alike.