Pardus

Every now and again, my laptop breaks in some interesting kind of way (it’s old, but I’m sort of fond of it as it’s light and has five hours of battery life from each of two batteries and I’m a poor impoverished student). This normally results in me replacing some component and then, if needed, doing a software re-install.

I recently had just such an event and decided to try out a few other distros rather than just install Fedora that I’ve been using for a number of years. I asked for distro recommendations a while ago and decided to follow some of those up. I’ll spare you the details of those that didn’t make the cut and move on to the distro from which I am currently typing this, Pardus 2009.

Install and first impressions

I first tried the Pardus 2011 beta, but the installer crashed, so I moved on to Pardus 2009.2 (as an aside, few distros will boot from CD on my laptop as they tend not to recognise the CD drive in its docking station, so I did a USB stick install). The installation was not very fast, but was very easy and nicely presented.

After rebooting, I discovered that Pardus has Plasma Desktop 4.4 (I should have expected that from the 2009 bit) and some – imho – ugly desktop icons. However, they were easily changed back to the Oxygen ones. I’m always mystified when distros change the default KDE styles nowadays, but that is just a personal preference.

Cool Package Management

Pardus Linux 2009 Banner

Pardus 2009: Impressive

So far, Pardus has been a joy to use. The admin tools are great, it seems stable and even has what seems to be an early version of a NetworkManager Plasma widget that works well and looks good (configuration is not as intuitive as in Plasma 4.5’s widget).

One thing that really impressed me was when I tried to run KWord from KRunner. It wasn’t installed, but instead of showing no matches, KRunner showed an option to install KWord. I clicked on that and a few clicks and a password later, KWord was ready to go. I tried typing ‘Kate’ in KRunner and the option to install the KDE SDK was presented, so it can even search within packages, instantaneously. I haven’t seen this anywhere else and to me it is really cool. The package manager itself seems quick and quite well designed – for speed and information I prefer it to KPackageKit which is what I’m used to on Fedora (though on Fedora I often just use Yum directly, particularly for tasks like updates).

The world of 4.4

It’s only a few months since Plasma Desktop 4.5 was released, but I’ve been surprised on Pardus how much I am missing the features and enhancements that I have got used to. Manipulating widgets in the panel is more difficult. KRunner seems a bit big. The Network Management widget is not as good.

There are other things too, in the apps. I can’t get directions from Marble any more. WebKit is less accessible if a page won’t load correctly in KHTML.

In terms of KDE software, it’s just not quite as polished and as nice as what I have become used to.

Stick with Pardus?

There is plenty to like about Pardus, although at heart I’m probably someone who would prefer to have the latest software and accept a few rough edges (Fedora…).

I think I will stick with Pardus on this laptop, for a while, and see how it goes. If I ever get around to my long term plan of upgrading my parents’ computer from Windows XP then Pardus could be a strong candidate for that too. It’s impressive.

17 Responses to “Pardus”

  • what says:

    Hi,

    couldn’t you, now that you _have_ installed Pardus and are no longer dependent on a crashing installer, upgrade the installed version to the 2011 beta?

    Kind regards,

    Malte

    • Stu says:

      Good question ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m very new to Pardus, but I guess it would just be a case of pointing the package manager at a repository for the beta and just do an upgrade?

      • vivek says:

        I think Pardus has a distribution upgrade option – something like “pisi dup”.

        • sw says:

          You are right – with “pisi up” You can update and upgrade from Pardus 2009 to 2009.1 and 2009.2.
          A upgrade via the GUI of pakage manager does the same job.
          But You canยดt got from Pardus 2009.2 with that option.

          When You want to upgrade from 2009 to Pardus 2011 You have to use a special upgrade manager. This program/script will do all the necessary stuff and adjustments.

          CYA

      • sw says:

        A special upgrade manager will do the job.

        Just install and start the upgrade manager and after a while You will have Pardus 2011 running. The upgrade manager will be available after the official release of Pardus 2011 in december.

        It is not recommented to upgrade manually! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Markus says:

    Pardus uses “Network-Manager” (with a dash in the middle). It’s their own Python-based solution (the back-end is older than NetworkManager without the dash) that just happens to use KDE’s artwork and therefore looks similar to KDE’s Network Management.
    I’m not aware of any plans to either port their infrastructure to be used as Solid back-ends and then ditch their specific Network-Manager front-end.

    Pardus is a very nice distro. I evaluated it for a while but found it to not suit my needs. While the default package is awesome, is has the same problem as any other smaller distribution: Some more exotic applications are not packaged in the repos. That is not a problem for users of Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, or openSUSE.

    • Stu says:

      Ah, you’re right – as you already know, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ That would also explain why I had not come across it before.

      Re the exotic apps – yeah, that’s been a reason for me sticking with the big distros mostly, as I need a few slightly obscure apps for science stuff.

      • vivek says:

        I thought Pardus 2009.1 was probably the most polished KDE distribution at the time, and relatively light as well.

        I liked their “welcome to pardus” setup program (Kaptan?), and I found them to be one of the only distributions to make an effort to allow a variety of theming options. In one click, you could pick a red, Bespin-window theme with the panel at the top of the screen and a matching wallpaper: Bosporus bridge at night. In other distributions, making those changes takes about 10 different steps.

        I ultimately stopped using it for the same reason mentioned above – easy access to other packages. In my case, it was drivers for a Brother printer – the company provides .deb and .rpm drivers, but I couldn’t figure out how to install those in Pardus, and I didn’t have the energy to figure it out. I wonder if the opensuse build service can (or could be made to) build packages for Pardus. So try it out and let us know if Pardus has overcome that problem!

        • Stu says:

          Will do. I don’t actually need so many exotic apps on the laptop, but will probably need things like SciDAVis (which I just found should be in the repoos – http://bugs.pardus.org.tr/show_bug.cgi?id=8620 – but can’t see in the package manager, so I’ll look into that)

          • kobzeci says:

            Hi,

            Pardus repos are sufficient but are not rich as the major distros yet. Developers are working hard to increase the number of the pisi pacakages.

            Stable repo consists main and stable apps. There is also a contrib repo, which is maintained by contributors including lots of apps and packages.
            Furtermore, for exotic apps, Pardus has a web interface for its packages,http://packages.pardus.org.tr/

            Besides stable and contrib repo you can see the “Devel” repo and “Playground” Repo. Devel repo consists new packages, playground repo, which is developers playgrond for package building consists these exotic apps. You may build your own pisi packages from the sources. You can easily find the packeges from the wen interface an following the path Sources->Build files for the mentioned package
            ie. for bangarang open console and get root permissions then:
            “pisi bi https://svn.pardus.org.tr/pardus/2011/devel/multimedia/sound/bangarang/pspec.xml
            This will build bangarang pisi package.

            Users may add the Test repo too, which consist new packages are to be tested and the fresh and exotic apps.(at their own responsibility). I am using test repo, which packeges like SciDAVis are freshly presented before stable repo.

            http://en.pardus-wiki.org/Contrib_repository
            test repo address for Package Manager: http://packages.pardus.org.tr/pardus-2009-test/pisi-index.xml.bz2

            Best regards,

          • Stu says:

            @ kobzecki

            Thanks for the extra info, I’ll check those out. From what I’m hearing I think I’ll be using Pardus on the laptop for some time and seeing what is possible.

      • sw says:

        You need exotic apps? No problem ๐Ÿ™‚

        After You created an accout at the Pardus Bugtracking System You can ask for a package of Your exotic software. Meanwhile there are some user controlled repos available where You can also ask for a pisi package.

        The founder of the german pardususer community wrote a detailed description how to create a pisi package. With that document also unexperienced people with very less programming skills are able to build packages.
        Unfortunately at the moment the document is only available in german language. :-/

        • sw says:

          Sorry – I forgot to write something about Your brother printer.

          It is not a big deal to copy rpm files manually to a Linux system.
          With the tool “rpm2targz” You can convert rpm files to packed targz files. After that just copy in admin mode the files into the given directory and You are done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sw says:

    Thanks for Your review. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Iยดam using Pardus since 2008.2 and it is nice and impressive to see with every version how things going better and better.
    The package manager of Pardus 2011 will have some new features compared to the 2009 version.

    The head of the Pardus project announced that the number of payed developers (20 in July 2010) will grow up to 50 by the end of 2011
    So the future seems to shine bright for Pardus: http://blog.radiotux.de/2010/06/13/interview-with-erkan-tekman-about-pardus/

    More information about the project: http://www.osor.eu/case_studies/a-new-kid-on-the-block-the-turkish-pardus-linux-distribution

    In my opinion Pardus deserves more attention and publicity. It is simply underrated.
    Interview with Sebastian Kรผgler (pdf): http://www.pardus-edergi.org/files/sayi-13/interview_sebas.pdf

    • Stu says:

      Thanks for the extra info ๐Ÿ™‚

      50 paid developers by the end of 2011? That makes me think it is unfair to keep referring to Pardus as a ‘small’ distro. I’d be interested to see how that compares to some of the ‘big’ distros.

      I agree Pardus should have a higher profile (it recently did quite well in the Linux Journal readers’ choice awards though…). Its public funding makes it very interesting.

      • sw says:

        You are very welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I give not too much about such choice awards, because imho they might be not very representive.

        • Stu says:

          Sure – and they are easily manipulated. It’s really more that featuring in the awards might raise Pardus’ profile a little, rather than the awards meaning much themselves