I have been a fan of Enlightenment for a long, long time. It's one of the most elegant desktops available today. But not only is it elegant looking, it's a joy to use, more flexible than most desktops, and lighter weight than the "big 2" Linux desktops.
The only problem with E17 is the installation. Getting this desktop installed on some distributions is a nightmare at best. So when there is a distribution that ships with E17 as the default, I always give it a good look see. One of the newest options for this is PCLinuxOS - Enlightenment edition. I thought I would share my thoughts on this special distribution.
Besides the ever-wonderful E17 desktop environment, you will enjoy the following on the PCLinuxOS E17 edition:
- Kernel 22.214.171.124-pclos6.bfs.
- Nvidia and ATI fglrx driver support.
- Multimedia playback support for many popular formats.
- Wireless support for many network devices.
- Printer support for many local and networked printer devices.
- Addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages.
- GetOpenOffice can install Open Office supporting over 100 languages.
- MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a LiveCD/DVD.
- PCLinuxOS-liveusb – allows you to install PCLinuxOS on a USB key disk.
- ark-4.5.3 – Archiving Client
- choqok-0.9.92 – Microblogging Program
- clementine-0.5.3 – Music Manager
- digikam-1.5.0 – Photo Client
- dolphin-4.5.3 – File Manager
- drakconfig-12.17 – Computer Control Center
- dropbox-0.7.110 – Online Backup Storage Program (2 gig free)
- firefox-3.6.12 – Web Browser (Chromium and Opera also available from repository)
- gimp-2.6.11 – Graphic Drawing Program
- gwenview-4.5.3 – Graphic Viewer Client
- k3b-2.0.1 – Burn CD/DVDs
- kcalc-4.5.3- Calculator
- kwrite-4.5.3 – Text Editor
- ksnapshot-4.5.3 – Capture Screenshots
- ktorrent-4.0.4 – Bitorrent Client
- liveusb-0.7.4 – Put PCLinuxOS on USB key disk (New on LiveCD)
- okular-4.5.3 – PDF Viewing Program
- nscd-2.10.1 -Caches name service
- pidgin-2.7.4 – Instant Messaging Program
- shorewall-4.4.11 – Firewall
- smb4k-0.10.9 – Samba Share Client
- synaptic-0.57.2 – Package Manager
- thunderbird-3.1.6 – Email Client
- tvtime-1.0.2 – Television Viewing Client (Requires a TV tuner)
- vlc-126.96.36.199 – Multimedia Video Program
- xchat-2.8.8 – IRC Chat Program
As you can see, oddly enough, PCLinuxOS E17 edition is heavily dependent upon KDE, as it is filled with KDE applications.
What you will not find, strangely enough, is an email client. You will also notice that PCLinuxOS E17 edition does not pre-install OpenOffice. You actually have to do this installation yourself. I have to admit I was a little shocked at the decision to not include a mail client and and office suite. Yes, KWrite is included, but why not add the entire KOffice suite so the distribution is complete?
What it looks like
Figure 1 shows what the default PCLinuxOS E17 desktop looks like. The only thing I have done is install The GIMP (in order to take a screenshot).
As you might expect, the desktop behaves very much in the way a standard E17 desktop would. The only thing missing (from my perspective) is the Ecomorph module. If the makers of this distribution want to take this to another level, they should consider adding that particular module to give it a broader appeal (with a great 3D compositing engine).
How it performs
Even using this distribution in "live form" you immediately feel that you are using a distribution built for speed and simplicity. What really surprised me was how stable the distribution was. With serious claims of HEAVY DEVELOPMENT you would think PCLinuxOS E17 would be more prone to bugs than it is. I have yet to come across one (other than the lack of an office suite and mail client - but you can't really call that a "bug").
Who should try it
If you are one of those that prefers an alternative desktop, or if you've been wanting to give E17 a try, this might be your best bet. Since PCLinuxOS is one of the most user-friendly distributions, you will get the Enlightenment experience with little to no headache.