A Look at Pardus 2007.3 Lynx
Pardus is a Linux distribution developed by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptography. I'd never seen it before this week and only heard the name briefly in passing, so I had no idea what to expect. There were a few things that immediately stood out about Pardus for me, though: it has its own package management system called PISI (Packages Installed Successfully, as Intended), it's pretty new on the already crowded Linux distro scene but not based on any other distro, and it contains some really interesting developments. I spent a few days with Pardus and here's how I got on.
Distro Base: Unique (It's a custom Linux distro)
Package Management: .pisi (With the PISI utility)
Linux Kernel: 188.8.131.52-86
Default Desktop: KDE 3.5.8
I downloaded the LiveCD version of Pardus 2007.3 and fired it up on my system. It worked perfectly, and after choosing my language (Turkish is the default, obviously), I booted the system. After a few minutes I was greeted by a KDE desktop and a nice little set-up applet called Kaptan Desktop, I wondered if maybe Kaptan was some kind of open source superhero but didn't ponder it too long. I configured my mouse, keyboard, and network connection with the wizard.
At this point, I looked on the desktop for an install icon as you would normally get with the live versions of distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, and so on. I couldn't see one and a quick look at the Pardus website confirmed that I'd made something of a blunder in downloading the live version as it cannot be installed as a full version.
To be fair to the Pardus developers, it did say that in bold on the website, somehow in my rush to download the distro I missed it the first time. So don't be impatient like me and read the text properly. After a few hours downloading the install CD from a mirror, I was ready to try again.
This time after selecting my language options I was greeted with an installer straight away. I'm not usually one to worry much what things look like but I have to say the graphics and custom artwork right through Pardus is really nice: lots of nicely drawn little cartoon icons that appealed to me.
I sometimes have trouble with the APIC controller on my motherboard and often in distributions like Ubuntu I have to boot with the "noapic" option to get anywhere. Pardus didn't seem bothered by this, however, and it flashed up a brief warning then carried on about it's business.
The installer was pretty intuitive and easy to use, there were also some nice little touches like the simplified partitioning options. I like to have my system root and home directories on different partitions, which isn't hard to do but usually involves selecting where to mount different partitions and so on. Pardus had an option which said "Install system and user files on different partitions" and with one click of the select box, it knew what I wanted.
Like many other things in Pardus, the installer has been custom built for the distribution; it's called YALI (Yet Another Linux Installer) and I was very impressed by it. The install took about 20 minutes in total, which is quite respectable especially since it included formatting a 200gb hard disk. The documentation for Pardus is very good, I must say, and the wiki is very well maintained. There's even a screen-by-screen install guide for anyone who might be a little nervous of the install process.