PCLinuxOS Mini Xfce Edition

I have been writing about why I jumped from Ubuntu-derived Linux Lite to PCLinuxOS. Linux Lite – with addition of a vitally important safety feature from the awesome and venerable Ralphy’s own repository – is by far the best newbie-friendly distro for older hardware I have ever had the pleasure to use. Just one issue: It’s “daemon possessed.”

And I don’t mean it’s administered by a Ferengi starship commander, either. A daemon is a program that runs in the background. Every decent operating system has daemons, or it would hardly be useful for us ordinary mortals. But this one particular daemon, named systemd, is a dangerous, invasive, “supervisory” one that does more than just initialize programs and applications and allocate the proper resources to them. It oversees, overrules, overextends, and keeps a record of every process. It has many security vulnerabilities and other issues that sent me fleeing away, at least until it can be tamed and put on a leash or something, if ever.

I wanted a Linux distribution that was not only not possessed by that evil daemon, but also beginner-friendly and technophobe-friendly. Salix would have sufficed in the first department, but not really in the second. A little more research and I re-discovered PCLinuxOS. There’s a nice community Xfce edition with lots of extra stuff in it that I actually don’t need or want, but that is true of every newbie-friendly Linux mixture. I found a “Xfce mini” edition, put together by the revered and praiseworthy Ika, a long-time member of the very loyal and enthusiastic PCLOS community. I installed it today on the old laptop and just wanted to describe the experience a little, for the benefit of any readers who are looking to escape the systemd threat without losing the simplicity and “friendliness” of wonderful Linux distros like Mint, the ‘buntu family, LXLE, Linux Lite, ElementaryOS, and many more built from Ubuntu. For them, if they have decent hardware that isn’t more than a couple of years old, there is the flagship KDE edition of PCLinuxOS. It has it all! I prefer the lightweight, infinitely configurable, and super-simple Xfce desktop. It’s the default desktop of Linux Lite, and also the default desktop of several Linux distributions meant for use by children! So it’s not complicated, but it’s powerful, simple, and nimble on older hardware. The Xfce flavor of PCLinuxOS is available in two different forms: The standard one is basically kinda sorta PCLinuxOS with Xfce tied on. The “mini” Xfce version has few installed applications, just enough to run it and then install the software you really want and prefer to use. It uses Synaptic Package Manager (yeah, you read that right, Synaptic, even though it’s not Debian or Ubuntu-based) to update and install software from a vast, hyooooge, very extensive repository! It even has Seamonkey! Cool, no adding PPAs and all that high-risk nonsense. LXLE has like six or eight added PPAs besides Ubuntu’s, just to get the latest versions of LibreOffice, to make Seamonkey available to their users, and the latest daily builds of other popular software. That’s nice, but the more PPAs you add to an Ubuntu-based OS, the greater the risk of something breaking when installed and/or updated. My other complaint with Ubuntu-based distros is the inexplicable presence of beta software in a distro intended for novice users! I just think that is unconscionable. Systemd, by the way, is beta quality even if it’s not billed that way.

Okay, end of lecture on why I switched (and why others should, in my opinion). Now the good part.

The Xfce Mini Live USB cranked right up and ran fast and responsively in Live mode. Installation may be unfamiliar to folks who are used to the Ubuntu-based stuff, but it’s pretty easy. Clicking on the “install PCLinuxOS” icon brings up a nice step-by-step set of instructions. The DrakLive installer uses GParted, but helps the user along. BACK UP ALL YOUR STUFF to an external media first!

I don’t do the dual-boot thing, and I didn’t install PCLOS alongside another distro. So I chose “custom partitioning.”

A swap partition, traditionally about 2X your computer’s RAM. I gave “/” 20 Gigabytes of space on my HDD, and all the rest of the drive is “/home.”
WORD OF CAUTION: If you already have a /home directory on the drive that you used with a different distro, format that sucker! “Foreign” settings and stuff will definitely interfere with PCLinuxOS default settings. Keep your documents, pictures, videos, browser / email profiles etc on external media to use after installation.

Now tell the installer what bootloader and device you want to use. The default is Grub on the hard drive.

Now the magic happens!

Ohhhh, it’s wonderful! The entire process from start to finish took under 10 minutes on my laptop. My only issue was that I needed to use my little non-proprietary USB wifi dongle to get an internet connection. That’s common with the stupid Broadcom wireless hardware in Dell computers. Not a show-stopper really, just a minor annoyance. Easily fixed after installation. On a desktop with a wired internet connection, no issue at all.

Then reboot when it’s finished, but do not remove the Live media (USB or DVD) until prompted to do so.

On first boot, you’ll choose your root password and set up a user (with a different password – this ain’t Ubuntu!). Log in and enjoy!

The mini Xfce version has enough to get you going. First thing: Update! You can do it when prompted to, but on the mini you’ll want to open Synaptic and choose your favorite apps. I install Seamonkey, ddCopy, xournal, Faenza icon set, and a few other favorites. LibreOffice isn’t included in the mini version, so install it from Synaptic if you want it. GParted and ddCopy do what Mintstick did in Linux Lite (and Mint), so I’m comfortable with that. This is a truly customized mixture, and the cool thing is, you can use MyLiveCD to roll your own custom-made, just-the-way-you-want-it iso to install on another computer. It does what Systemback did (and by the way, Systemback is about to lose it’s maintainer, so it may not be available in the next LTS releases of Ubuntu and it’s derivatives).

I’m just enjoying this so much, and I feel so much better to have exorcised the systemd daemon from my OS.

Ready for What, Exactly?

Why “Kiddie” Linux Distros are Awesome

In a Diaspora post, a user shared this Linux humor post, which I “liked” and am re-sharing – with a little twist:

There’s an assumption in the comic that the “kids” will “grow up” to become super-duper master geeky techno-wizards with “mad programming skillz” and create a master race of sentient androids or something.

I say, in reply to this assumption, “until you are ready:”

Ready for what? Some of us are just ordinary users who surf the ‘net, write letters and term papers, share e-mail, watch videos, and play games. It’s all we did on Windows or Mac, and it’s all we care to do on any OS. We run applications, not the operating system.

Ready? To do what, exactly, besides customize / personalize the desktop, and install peripherals like printers, speakers, joysticks and stuff? The most inexperienced novice can do all those and keep everything updated effortlessly in the “kiddie distros” as they have been called. And you can add Linux Lite to that list – and you see what all the “kiddie” distros have in common? They are Ubuntu-based. More than anyone else, Canonical (Ubuntu) has brought Linux to us ordinary, non-geeky mortals and kept thousands if not millions of computers out of landfills. Others are doing similar work! Salix, for example, is doing for Slackware what Ubuntu did for Debian. And it’s crazy simple to use even though Slackware is certainly not (I just wish Gnome stuff was available in Slackware!). Even Arch has a derivative or two that are made for simplicity and “friendliness.”

I have installed and used at least a dozen distros, from Debian and Ubuntu (and derivatives including Mint, ElementaryOS, LXLE, and Linux Lite) to Salix and even the newcomer, VoidLinux. I’m not a novice, but in the end I’m really “just a computer user” and I really only want to get my school work done, surf a little bit, blog a little bit, play a little bit, and listen to a little music. Why make it complicated?

The funny thing is, a whole lot of very gifted geeks worked very long and hard to make Linux available and usable by us “ordinary desktop users.” And many of us ordinary mortals are grateful, supporting our favorite projects with translation help, monetary donations, and getting the word out.

And a whole lot of very gifted geeks use the same “kiddie distros” as we mere mortals do, either to help develop them further or just because they want to run applications instead of the OS for ordinary tasks.

– An unashamed “kiddie distro” user

A Kid Wins Linux Converts

I found this gem on line and repost with permission of the author, a14-year-old home user of LXLE:

My Parents Want LINUX!
by “Jamie”

How cool is this? I came home from school today to find my mom sitting in front of my computer on the phone with someone, asking questions about Linux. She and Dad go on my computer alot so I wasn’t worried they would find anything embarrassing (yet, but I just started high school so maybe soon lol), but I’m thinking maybe she thinks she broke something. Really though, I don’t think Mom and Dad could break anything on my computer on accident anyway because they don’t know the root password. So I sat down and listened.

“Well then why is my computer so much slower than my son’s when it has 16 gigs of RAM and a quad-core processor?” she thundered at some poor Indian guy on the other end.

“We gave him that old boat anchor six months ago because it’s old and underpowered and won’t run Windows anymore. He’s done something to make it run circles around my brand new one! I have stuff to get done and I have to borrow my son’s – what do you call this Jamie?”

“It’s Linux, Mom.” I said, trying not to grin too big.

“Linux! I want that on my computer!”

A long pause, then Mom’s face starts turning red. “What do you mean you can’t do that? You’re the professional and I have to have my computer work done by my 13 year old?”

“I’m 14 now Mom…”

“Shhhh!” Back to the phone, “Well?”

Another long pause, a quiet end to a frustrating phone call, and then Mom drops this bomb:

“Your father and I want you to make our computer do what yours does. Please.”

Stunned silence

“Jamie?”

Big huge grin that won’t go away. I don’t even think a root canal could take this smile off my face right now! So I have to do some reading and make sure I know how to do this dual-boot thing. But in the meantime Mom is running LXLE on her computer from a live USB drive and singing a little song that goes like ZOOM ZOOM ZOOOOOOOM!

This makes me a happy boy!

#Linux #Ubuntu #Windows #parents #happy #singing #dancing #iamsofreakingoutrightnow

This is better than anything I’ve posted to this blog. Maybe I’ll recruit this kid as a co-contributor!

More Eye Candy for the Linux Desktop

It’s called Mascopix, and it can be downloaded from this web site or if you are using Ubuntu or an Ubuntu derivative you can find it in the Universe repository. At the moment I’m using the ultralight LXDE desktop on a Lubuntu re-spin called LXLE. It’s minimal and plenty fast, but it needs a little eye candy to make it nice looking and – I admit it – a little bit playful for the kid in me. So besides the screenlets I described in a prior post, I’ve added this cutesy little animated “window sitter:”

The big picture:

She blinks her eyes, sips a drink, or folds and unfolds her arms while looking out at me from her perch atop an open application window. Installed from the Ubuntu Universe repositories, Macopix is still incomplete. In addition to installing the package, the user has to download the “mascots” and configuration options from the web site in the form of a tarball. The good news is that the user doesn’t have to unpack the tarball, only “point to it” and let Mascopix automagically unpack and install them. There are dozens of mascots to choose from too!

I removed the Conky applet that ships with LXLE because it was too small for my old eyes to see without glasses and a couple of attempts to change the font size and other settings – even with directions from a forum thread – fell frustratingly short of expectations. And if I want a conky-like screenlet to tell me about RAM and CPU useage and stuff I can add it to my other screenlets without having to figure out Conky. But I sincerely doubt that my little “window sitter” uses much in the way of system resources. There has been absolutely no loss of speed or system responsiveness with this playful addition to my Linux desktop.

Eye Candy and Dual Booting

So this morning I suggested a few alternatives to the Xfce4 panel weather plugin that has stopped working, temporarily I’m sure. It might even be fixed by the time I finish writing this post. That’s how cool Xfce is, and how on-top-of-everything the MX-14 team is.

This one is called screenlets, easily installed on my favorite distro through Synaptic. There are actually several different weather screenlets! So you can choose one that fits your own desktop, make it whatever size you wish, and put it wherever you want it. I could have put mine right above or below the panel so it would look just like the broken Xfce applet! But I like my eye candy big and pretty. Like this:

That’s the classic Mepis wallpaper I love so much, dark and deep and mysterious-looking. I chose a pretty weather applet, configured it easily using my zip code (you can’t tell it’s October here, can you?), and made it just the right size to match the clock (again, one of multiple clocks to choose from). You can add “quote of the day,” or “This day in History,” one of a choice of calendars, post-it notes, maps or a globe, a ruler, calculator, whatever stuff you might find sitting on your desk in the office or at home. Lookie here at all the choices you get!

I don’t even know what all of these things even do! But they hardly use any CPU power and don’t slow down my “user experience” any little bit. They’re just fun eye candy things to play with if you like this sort of thing. I just counted seven different clocks to choose from! And five weather applets to choose from – unless that “dayNight” screenlet is also a weather one. A couple of different kinds of post-it notes that you stick right on your desktop too. Calendars, maps, and monitors; lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Two Favorites Side By Side – Differences that Matter, Differences that Don’t:

I’m still dual-booting MX-14 (see my earlier post about this delightful distro that combines the old Mepis magic with the simplicity of the Xfce desktop on Debian Stable) with LXLE (a totally awesomeful respin of Lubuntu with almost none of the bugs and plenty of speed), which is magnificent compared to my last flirtation with the LXDE desktop. But Xfce still “feels like home,” and I find it easier to configure even with all the cool tools that Ronnie (the man behind LXLE) has added. I just can’t choose a favorite! So I dual boot and enjoy them both. Some differences just don’t matter to me at all, but other users might find them important. One is the boot-up thing. Both of these distros boot up in about the same amount of time. LXLE gives me a classy-looking boot screen that just looks super-awesome-cool, while MX-14 offers that boring “wall of text” that flies by too fast to read. So what. I don’t care what it looks like while booting, for goodnessakes. Both distros have wonderful, configurable panels that are quite similar and even misbehave in similar ways (like the on-again off-again weather applet in Xfce4, and LXDE’s digital clock that offers me a bunch of nonsensical characters to choose from when I want to configure it). Another difference that doesn’t matter.

Differences that do matter, at least to me, include the way that the mouse behaves in LXLE. Fully updated, LXLE 12.04’s behavior is just like Xubuntu 14.04’s was. The cursor hesitates, halts, and sometimes simply rebels against the mouse so that I have to “argue” with it, repeating mouse gestures a few times to get the stupid cursor to move where I want it. The mouse in MX is perfectly well behaved. Yeah, that kinda matters! The other difference that kinda sorta matters is the Ubuntu base versus the Debian base. I worry less about stability and reliability on MX because it is based on Debian Stable. And everyone knows it just doesn’t get any more stable than Debian Stable. But somehow Debian doesn’t seem to make as efficient use of my computer’s resources as the Ubuntu-based distros have (until 14.04). LXLE doesn’t freeze and lock up like MX-14 did before I added some RAM. I have yet to discover why. But yeah, that matters.

So I’ll just keep dual-booting and see where they both go, and report my findings here. I promise objective, measurable observation and opinion, not the rabid, defensive rantings of a distro fanboy. Stay tuned…

Linux is Outrunning My Hardware!

Welllll, my goodness.

It’s getting harder and harder to adapt really awesome Linux distros to my aging, older computer. I have tried out “Linux distros for old computers” before, and have never really been pleased with what I found. My poor old computer is slowing and locking up on my “lightweight” Xfce edition of PCLinuxOS. The issue is temporarily fixed by a reboot, so it isn’t likely a video driver issue. There’s a bit of “swappiness” going on, which is normal I suppose (“Swap” is when your computer creates “virtual RAM” on the hard drive to supplement RAM), but it slows everything – including lightweight browsers like Midori (which has the worst font rendering imaginable) and Chromium – to a crawl. Even the mouse freezes. I know, my computer is old!

Running Bleachbit helped, for a couple of days. Now it’s back to acting like Windows, slowwwwwwing dowwwwwwwn and eventually becoming unresponsive. Except that it took Windows a lot longer to decay like this. Time to face facts, I guess: My computer is probably too old and too underpowered to run any version of PCLinuxOS for the long term. So I renewed my search for a Linux distro intended for older hardware.

Surprisingly not intended for older hardware is Crunchbang Linux. It looks like it would run okay on really old hardware like mine, because it’s so minimal. But on their website (“About Crunchbang”) it says that while not intended for old computers, it’ll probably work okay on most. Two things give me pause: First it’s too close to Debian, which has been difficult on my machine. And second it’s not intended for old computers. I think I should quit kidding myself and find one that is specifically designed for old hardware.

Puppy Linux runs in RAM. Which means there’s less RAM available for applications. And you’re always running as root, which is against my religion now, having left that vulnerability behind when I quit Microsoft Windows!

AntiX works on a laptop I installed it on, but it isn’t very pretty and again, too close to Debian. Works great on the laptop, but not on my old Dell.

I could fall back on my old favorite Xubuntu, but again, it is not intended for old computers like it used to be. It’s now mainly an awesome desktop alternative to Ubuntu‘s Unity desktop. Best desktop environment I ever tried. But a bare-bones Xfce desktop is just plain ugly on Debian and minimal Ubuntu. The Xubuntu team makes Xfce elegant and awesome. Once the lightweight flavor of Ubuntu intended for modest hardware, Xubuntu has changed it’s vision to focus on the traditional desktop, not so much on conservative use of CPU and RAM.

Enter Lubuntu, the one remaining Ubuntu flavor that is actually intended for and designed for older hardware like mine. My previous forays into the LXDE desktop experience have been sketchy, buggy, and frustrating. But LXDE is undergoing rapid development and getting rave reviews lately. Another very nice thing LXDE has going for it is the switch to a Qt base rather than GTK. GTK’s evolutionis wreaking havoc with Gnome and Xfce applications, some of which worked fine on GTK-2 but haven’t adapted to GTK-3. Conflicts and incompatibility mar the transition to GTK-3, and in turn mess up desktop environments and applications that are GTK-dependent. This might be a bumpy ride for LXDE and me. But I think I’ll stick with a proven name I trust – Canonical/Ubuntu – and use whatever version of it is aimed specifically at older hardware. The only caveat: Long-Term-Support only.

Look for a review – well, more like a report – on Lubuntu sometime after the next LTS version is released.

PCLXDE

So here’s my latest experiment in Linux:

It’s PCLinuxOS with the LXDE desktop. Or “PCLXDE” for short. It’s plenty fast and all that, but really it’s the applications more than the desktop environment that make a system fast or slow it seems to me. I’m interested in LXDE because of their plans to “convert,” as it were, to Qt instead of GTK.

So far it still looks and behaves like the same old LXDE, except it’s much better behaved in PCLinuxOS than in Ubuntu or Mint. Lots better.

Panels are adjustable for geometry and opacity, color, and order of launchers and applets. But there’s no weather applet, the clock is – well, you get what you get – digital with a simple calender that doesn’t compare with Xfce’s options and integration with Orage, the Xfce calender app. But I bet when they’re all Qt-ed up it could be as spectacular as KDE, but ultralight at the same time. A rival to Enlightenment, perhaps!

I haven’t noticed any particular difference in responsiveness between Xfce and LXDE, which is what my experience has always been. Fewer features than Xfce and no noticeable advantage in speed or resource consumption. I’m not sure why PCLXDE comes with Compton, a composting window manager (like Compiz) in addition to Openbox. But it does ship with lightweight apps like Slypheed mail reader instead of Thunderbird, and Abiword instead of the heavier and slower LibreOffice suite. But installing LibreOffice is a snap with the built-in quick-installer.

This isn’t supposed to be a review of PCLinuxOS / LXDE or anything, just a little update of my Linux journey and one sidekick’s experience with LXDE so far. I have no idea why it’s so much better on PCLinuxOS than on Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. I only know that all of my previous flirtations with this desktop environment fell victim to what I call “the ‘Buntu Bug.” But apparently, only on my computer and others like it. Dells are known to be a little capricious on Linux, as Ubuntu is known to be capricious on just about any computer. 😉

I might just get to missing my old wonderful Xfce desktop enough to switch back, but I’ll always keep trying LXDE on for size every year or so, and perhaps more often as the Qt integration proceeds. Can’t help myself, I guess. Xfce has become as comfortable as old leather, and in my limited and few years of experience thus far, it seems to be improving a lot faster than it’s younger sibling.

A Linux Hitchhiker

When you think about it, computers users like me are just hitchhikers. I don’t have much to contribute, I’m just along for the ride and happy to have a ride at all. A hitchhiker usually finds himself or herself at the mercy of those he or she takes a rides from. That’s not really true in Linux like it was in Microsoft’s car. Microsoft held me for ransom. The only contribution they wanted from me was money – lots of it. And of course, I had to be a willing slave to their operating system. I found it’s demands excessive and got sick of the bullying. It’s my computer, it should do what I tell it to do, not the other way around! So I hopped out, said goodbye and stuck out my thumb in search of an alternative.

As a hitchhiking computer user, you’re not so independent unless you have skills at coding and programming and such. But fortunately not all those who offer rides are in it for the money or expertise. Many are looking for riders who are simply willing to ride along and evaluate the vehicle and it’s features from a non-technical, ordinary user’s perspective. Some Linux developers, particularly those who work in desktop projects, want to know if it’s something their friends will use, that won’t scare away technophobic parents and grandparents, that children can intuitively navigate. They need to know what unskilled hitchhikers think.

There are other things that people who pick up hitchhikers want. It’s the reason that hitchhikers suppose they have to flash some skin and act a little flirty since we think we have nothing else to offer. Like all geeks, Linux developers need affection, appreciation, and love. Fangirls and fanboys to sing their praises and make them feel successful and appreciated. Fan blogs get lots of readers and devoted fangirls and boys are rewarded with hits and listings on Linux Planet, Launchpad, Linux News and whatever else. ” Linux cheerleaders” are popular with “Linux jocks” I guess. I could be one of those if I wanted to be, and if I were to become a cheerleader and poster fanboy for a Linux distro right now, I would choose Xubuntu Linux to dance and cheer for. Because for right now, it’s awesome for me on my old hand-me-down Dell which Xubuntu has rescued from the landfill. I absolutely adore Xubuntu! But I’m not going to become one of those fanboy / cheerleaders for good reasons:

  • I may not always have this computer.
  • Xubuntu may not always work on this computer as awesomely as it does today.
  • Xubuntu has changed a lot since I first took a ride and fell in love. I still adore it, but let’s just say I’ve had to make some adjustments to our relationship.

I don’t need to be a cheerleader or have a popular, widely-read “Linux blog” to get rides. Besides, I can get rides without sacrificing my dignity, because I can write honest, articulate articles about my Linux experiences as an ordinary casual home computer user. That and an occasional donation to a worthy project is all I have to offer, and it ought to be enough. I’m not ever going to learn coding and programming because I have neither the time, nor the skills, nor the passion such work requires for boring stuff like techno-appliances and their peripherals. I just need them to work so I can pursue the things I am passionate about. My computer is just a tool, a means to other ends. I’m grateful for those whose passion provides me with such awesome tools to pursue my passions with. I have other interests but on occasion in this category I like to to chronicle my journey and tell about the rides I have shared with generous drivers, some that were wonderful fun and some that were duds. Your mileage, as they say, will certainly vary.

But remember, if you are a casual user like me, that you’re just a hitchhiker and don’t piss off the nice driver who is helping you out. Of course that doesn’t mean you have to put up with rude drivers, unsafe drivers, nasty, smelly or even boring ones. Just say thank you and hop out, unless you’re in the middle of nowhere without any other option. But with Linux it’s so darn easy to collect LiveCDs / DVDs, and you’re never out of options.

More Enlightened

So, I’m a little more Enlightened now than I was when I posted this morning’s entry. And all it took was choosing an up-to-date theme to fix my weather gadget issue and an icon-editing issue that prevented me from pointing an icon to it’s root-only-accessible command.

My current E17 desktop with everything just the way I want it:

And that’s just one of several themes available for this amazing window manager / arguably a desktop environment. Here, just for grins, are a few more:

Remember you can change anything from the wallpaper to the gadgets and icon set, and even use different ones on multiple desktops (in Linux you can have more than one – and switch between them with a single mouse action). Try that in KDE, Gnome, Xfce, or LXDE, ‘nix users!

Getting more enlightened and loving it. You will too.

It’s Still PCLinuxOS – But Xfce!

My exploration of KDE is over on PCLinuxOS. To be fair, the KDE-miniME installation disk is a minimal KDE intended for “advanced users,” but I explored for a week and found a few things far too resource hungry by the time I had it configured the way I like. It sure was visually pleasing and easy (easy but not simple – for a KDE newbie like me anyway) to use, but it did become slower with the added stuff I liked. I’m all pure Xfce now on PCLinuxOS, and it increased my speed as well as the simplicity I became accustomed to in Xubuntu.

Green is my favorite color, so I chose a simple green digital wallpaper. The icon set is Faenza (downloaded from PCLOS’s repositories along with the task-xfce4 and task-xfce4-plugins metapackages). Enable composting, make the panel invisible to show only the icons, add my favorite li’l Xfce goodies. It looks as good as Docky in my opinion, it it’s super-simple for a simple sidekick.

Now About Linux…

A conversation in one of the Linux forums I read was started by an Ubuntu user who expressed frustration at the problems he has had getting Ubuntu to work on his computer. Someone suggested that he buy a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed, that way all those bugs are worked out. Yeah, great solution – for about 6 months. Maybe three to five years if he gets one of their long-term-support versions and doesn’t mind doing without the newest versions of software.

Suddenly this rolling-release idea is a little less terrifying for me.I can’t blame anyone for being skittish about rolling release Linux, especially the all-or-nothing approach used by PCLinuxOS. But long-time users swear by it, and this distro enjoys fierce user loyalty that gives further credibility to its reliability. They have a testing team that does very thorough work, and when they do find a problem, they address it in the repositories very quickly. Stuff breaking after updating is the single greatest fear that I used to have about rolling release distros, but I’m feeling brave and school hasn’t started yet, so if I break anything there’s time to fix it in time for school.