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PinguyOS 11.04 Review

PinguyOS is the distribution made for everyone, the out-of-the-box functionality of PinguyOS makes this distribution a perfect choice for Linux newcomers. The massive list of hand-selected applications ensures that users get the best possible experience no matter what they plan to do. Though if you prefer a minimalistic interface, or if you are picky about your applications, PinguyOS may not be the right choice for you. The polished interface is highly functional and easy to navigate. And I feel that the Conky system monitor is a tool that is missing on most distributions. So if you want a full featured distribution that holds nothing back try PinguyOS 11.04 today.

PinguyOS 11.4 Features


  • Available for download in 32 bit or 64 bit versions.
  • A larger download of 1.6 or 1.7 gigs for the ISO, you'll need a DVD. But the download speeds are fast!
  • Very little post-installation configuration is necessary.
  • The Gnome control center makes all of your configuration settings easy to reach.
  • Preconfigured support for SAMBA, Flash, audio and video.
  • The easy installation process means anyone can try it.

PinguyOS 11.4 Applications


  • Conky System Monitor
  • Shutter
  • Xpad
  • Shotwell Photo Manager
  • Empathy Instant Messanger
  • LibreOffice
  • Docky
  • Gnome Terminal 2.32.1
  • PlayOnLinux
  • Firefox 4.0.1
  • Deluge BitTorrent Client
  • Rhythmbox Music Player

PinguyOS 11.04 Installation


PinguyOS Screenshot

After booting up the PinguyOS 11.04 LiveCD you will come to the live desktop where you will see an icon that will help you start the installation process.

Installation details

When the installer starts you will be asked to confirm the language you want the installer to use. Now you will see an installation checklist with a few options, you can accept third-party packages or receive updates during installation, when finished press forward.

 

Final Stages

Next you can select your partitioning options. The installer will then give you time to choose your location, keyboard layout, and enter your user login details. Then the installer will finish copying all the files and after a short wait you will be asked to reboot.

PinguyOS 11.04 Desktop


It looks good, it feels good, and it works good. The login screen is fairly simple, just select your username, enter your password and press login. You will then arrive at your new desktop environment.

Navigating The Desktop

For new users there are several launchers with tooltips to help get you started. For everyone else there are menus in the top left corner to start hunting for your applications and customization options.

PinguyOS Screenshot
 

A Deeper Look

The system notification area is fully loaded with various tools and toys that should help you out. I feel that the biggest flaw is the unified window menus that now appear along the top panel, the one thing I could never seem to adjust to. PinguyOS looks particularly well after some minor customization.

PinguyOS 11.04 Menus


PinguyOS Screenshot

All of your application and options menus can be located in the left corner of the main top panel. The menus are layed out much like you will find when using Mint 11 Gnome. The Gnome 3 Dash menu has not yet been incorporated into PinguyOS, a good choice in my opinion.

Menu Contents

The main menu tab contains your places, applications, and your system menu all visible at the same time which is convenient. There is also a sub menu for your favorite applications.

 

PinguyOS 11.04 Panels


As for the PinguyOS 11.04 Panel selection you will find a 2.3x style Gnome panel that functions similarly to the Linux Mint menu structure. The main panel holds your menu icon, a system monitor, some notification icons, and your user chat menu on the far right side.

Panel Details

Menus for all open windows will now appear in the main panel also much like Mac OS. All of the usual panel applets are available to add to your panels as well.

PinguyOS Screenshot
 

Too May Panels?

PinguyOS 11.04 also comes with Docky installed, Docky is the stylish panel along the bottom of the screen. From the Docky panel you can launch your favorite applications, add new launchers at any time. There is also another floating panel on the left side of the screen with a few Nautilus launchers.

PinguyOS 11.04 Software


PinguyOS Screenshot

To manage installed software when using PinguyOS you can primarily use the Synaptic package manager, Synaptic handles Debian packages. The Linux Mint installer or the Ubuntu software center are also available.

About Synaptic

Find Synaptic in the system section of your main menu, click on the package manager button. You can use Synaptic to install new software, or just to keep your system up to date.

 

How It Works

You can even manage your software sources and repositories using Synaptic. Users trying Linux for the first time should have no troubles, search for the package you want, highlight it for installation and click apply.

PinguyOS 11.04 File Manager


You will find Elementary Nautilus as the default file manager in PinguyOS 11.04. Elementary is just a simplified version of Nautilus which maximizes space and distractions.

About Elementary

Elementary can be reached using any of the folder launchers in the floating left hand panel, or from the places section of your main menu. The Elementary Nautilus window looks much the same as regular Nautilus when using PinguyOS.

PinguyOS Screenshot
 

Understanding The Interface

You will find a panel along the left hand side that displays some important folders, connected devices, and your network folders. You also have a minimal taskbar with a few basic functions, and your file or folder display area on the right.

PinguyOS 11.04 Themes


PinguyOS Screenshot

And when you check you the default themes, as I'm sure you will, you will find several to choose from. Many of the themes specially created for PinguyOS. But many of the themes are simple remixes of the Equinox theme which is actually quite attractive.

Customize Your Themes

If your into customization PinguyOS also offers the ability to customize the available themes or create and save your own. Look in your main menu for the control center and open your appearance settings to find these options.

 

We Want Wallpapers!

Tragically there are no extra wallpapers to be found but as usual on Ubuntu derivatives you can click get more themes or wallpapers online to automatically open a browser so you can find more.

PinguyOS 11.04 Synopsis


Despite the desktop being a bit heavy, this distribution functioned extremely well during my tests. Everything is fully functional after installation which makes this an excellent distribution for new users. Unfortunately this may not be the wisest of choices if you have a fairly out-dated machine. Though the machine I used for testing was far from top of the line. The application roundup is well-chosen, and many of my favorite tools are already installed. Grab yourself a copy of PinguyOS 11.04 today.

Helpful Links

PinguyOS Homepage
Download PinguyOS