The title of this article is deliberately vague and it will become clear why later on.
A little while back I wrote an article in which I stated that I think PCLinuxOS is better for Windows XP users than Ubuntu.
Without going into too much detail the reasons are as follows:
- PCLinuxOS with the MATE desktop is more likely to run on the same hardware as Windows XP than Ubuntu with the Unity desktop.
- PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distro and if you are using Windows XP you don’t like to replace your operating system often. Therefore PCLinuxOS keeps you up to date without upgrading.
- The MATE desktop is going look more familiar to a Windows XP user than the Unity desktop
- Unity incorporates adverts into the interface and whilst they can be turned off this can be a turn off for some users. PCLinuxOS doesn’t have adverts
- Things just work straight away with PCLinuxOS without having to install things like Flash, Multimedia Codecs etc.
Whether you agree with the article or not I think the reasons were well defined.
The PCLinuxOS article was discussed by the Mintcast team in episode 193 of the podcast.
I have been meaning to write this response for a number of weeks but now I have finally had the time to do so and with Ubuntu 14.04 fresh out of the blocks it seemed like a good time to release it.
In Episode 193 the Mintcast team were joined by the Linux Luddites.
With regards to point 1 the Mintcast host seemed to agree that MATE is lighter than Unity and therefore more likely to work on older hardware.
A follow up point was made that Xubuntu and Lubuntu would equally work on older hardware and I would have to agree.
Point 2 kind of covers Xubuntu and Lubuntu though, especially at the time of writing. Ubuntu has an LTS release every 2 years and therefore so do Lubuntu and Xubuntu.
If I had advocated Lubuntu and Xubuntu at the time that article was released then those users who had moved from XP would now be required to upgrade to 14.04 as the 13.04 and 13.10 releases have short support cycles.
In addition to the release and support cycles I would also say that Xubuntu and Lubuntu require more work to get started than PCLinuxOS.
“This guy, Gary Newell, seems to live in a parallel universe where Linux Mint doesn’t exist”
I found the above quote quite amusing. The article has the title “5 Reasons Why PCLinuxOS is better for Windows XP users than Ubuntu”. It has absolutely nothing to do with Linux Mint and this is why I never mentioned Linux Mint in the article.
I am of course well aware of Linux Mint and have written reviews consistently over the years including
I also have a review of Linux Mint 16 MATE that I am preparing to release in the next couple of weeks.
With regards to Linux Mint it was mentioned that 4 out of 5 of the points relate equally to Linux Mint as they do to PCLinuxOS.
This is indeed true but there is one reason left as to why I recommended PCLinuxOS and not Linux Mint.
Linux Mint will be a great choice for Windows XP users in a couple of months time but it would be silly to suggest Linux Mint 16 to users who haven’t updated their operating system in over 10 years because they would need to upgrade again in a matter of a few months time.
It would make much more sense to recommend Linux Mint when the LTS release comes out later on this year.
It was mentioned during the podcast that one of the Luddites had tried to dual boot PCLinuxOS with Linux Mint but when they rebooted the computer PCLinuxOS failed to boot.
From the failed install it was determined that it is laughable that I could come to the conclusion that PCLinuxOS would be good for new users.
I have to disagree entirely with this statement.
I wrote a guide showing how to dual boot PCLinuxOS with Windows XP and it was a very easy process. I have since tried and succeeded getting Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS to dual boot using a very similar technique.
By and large the criticism of my original article was constructive even if I disagree with many of the points raised.
The one point I didn’t really like was when it was mentioned that the article was link bait to link to the other articles I’d written about PCLinuxOS.
I don’t like the term link bait. Surely every person who writes an article on a blog wants people to read it. I think the 5 reasons were all reasonable and even if you don’t agree with them there was value to the article.
It is common practice to link to other items within blog posts and so having written articles showing how to install PCLinuxOS it would be silly not to link to them as they might be useful to people who decided on the back of the post that they would like to try PCLinuxOS.
Regular readers will know that I tend to write a series of articles at a time. For instance
recently I have written a review of openSUSE with a number of follow up
posts. They aren’t designed as link bait but as a method of providing a more complete overview of the distributions.
I found it strange when it was mentioned that I had a vested interest in writing the article about PCLinuxOS because surely by appearing on the Mintcast podcast the Luddites had just done the same thing. They had a vested interest to talk about Linux Mint.
This is not an attack against the Mintcast podcast or the Luddites as I like listening to their podcasts and I listed both of them in my top 9 Linux podcasts article.
I did feel it necessary to respond to their critique though as I felt many of the points weren’t valid or needed qualifying.
As for the title of this post, that is definitely link bait. A title so vague that it draws people in.
Thanks for reading