Xubuntu + BeOS like theme + Remastersys = PC/OS?
This must have been the briefest test run a Linux distribution had on my box. Frankly, when I noticed GRUB on the CD it already was out of the window. For good measure I continued until the live desktop, only to confirm the massive suspicion I had. This is yet another remaster posing as something new. The culprit: PC/OS. Or should the blame fall squarely on DesktopLinux who had the gall to present this as “BeOS-like distro focused on content creation“
What is PC/OS? First, let the website lingo do it’s thing:
So whats unique regarding PC/OS. Its the first Linux based distribution that provides ease of use out of the box. It provides all multimedia codecs out of the box, an easy to use and simplified interface. Great compatibility with older hardware to help you extend your hardware and software investments…
Now, what is it really: PC/OS is a straight-forward Xubuntu with a BeOS-like slapped on it, some minor customizations to the panels and the builder used Remastersys to make a distributable copy of his own desktop. So, please, enlighten me, make me understand: what is so fracking unique about PC/OS? How can anyone with a sane mind use the phrase: “It’s the first Linux based distribution that provides ease of use out of the box.”? It’s Xubuntu first, last and in the middle. Right, it comes with “ubuntu-restricted-extras” pre-installed.
But hey, everyone is entitled to do his or her own thing, label it and redistribute it. In all fairness, PC/OS gives glory to it’s Ubuntu roots:
PC/OS roots are derived from the Ubuntu distribution. Ubuntu is created and maintained by Canonical Inc. and has a vast community support system. By basing PC/OS on this outstanding base we cover two grounds, a lot of the problems and fixes are in line with Ubuntu. Many fixes for Ubuntu and Xubuntu work on PC/OS. All software compiled for Ubuntu runs on PC/OS and should anything happen to PC/OS users can still get their fixes from Canonical and maintain their distribution and makes the migration smoother.
Wow! Am I glad that Ubuntu gives such a strong support for PC/OS….
Now, BeOS was an amazing operating system with stunning performance that made it stand out from the crowd. It wasn’t the yellow menu bar on each window that stunned people, it was the way it worked that did that. From my perspective, the following quote is nothing less of a major insult:
PC/OS does not aim to be a ground up reimplimentation of the BeOS but to be as simple to use as the BeOS was. The XFCE desktop is light,modern and powerful. It can be used to power the newest workstations as well as older hardware allowing you to get the maximum potential out of your investment.
It is an insult to BeOS and an insult to the Haiku team that is working amazingly hard to get a proper rebuild of BeOS. If you do anything less don’t even start using the name of Jean-Louis GassÃ©e somewhere in the context of what is not even a mediocre attempt to get close.
But, again, everyone it entitled to do his/her own thing, label it and distribute it. At least the remaster creator understands the GPL:
OK, since source code availability now seems to be an issue I have decided what to do here to make my users happy and what would be feasible for myself. The GPL doesnt say I have to provide a repository, so it will be a soiurce DVD, if you want a copy of media mailed to you it will be $30.00 US, the GPL says I can charge a fee. This will be available at the end of this month.
These kind of words start ringing familiar bells about another failed remaster, the name of which I won’t mention since I don’t have time for another round of discussion about that one.
PC/OS comes in various flavors (desktop, desktop light, server, eeepc), but the naming conventions that are used make it pretty hard to decipher which you need to download. But I managed to download the desktop edition for the very, very short test run. Had it been presented as a customized version of Xubuntu, simply because it can be done and to give something of that BeOS look-and-feel, it would have been a nice experience. It would have been a tale of the freedom Linux provides do really scratch your own itch. But it wasn t presented that way.
The DesktopLinux article, which seems more of an advertisement than a proper review of a Linux distribution, just set me on the wrong track. The author, Eric Brown, should have at least have taken the time to download PC/OS and check whether the BeOS references (which he likes to show off throughout the article) were anywhere proper. It wasn’t. PC/OS has nothing in common with BeOS, Zeta or Haiku except for a custom Xubuntu theme. Not even a PowerPC version of it would bring it a step closer. If DesktopLinux has a few more of these bogus reviews or articles it will without a doubt build up some serious credibility issues.
Edit The Linux Journal referred back to the original DesktopLinux article. You can find it here with the title PC/OS resurrects BeOS for a new generation. The opening quote is a tell-tale in itself:
As many loyal readers will know, the brilliant-but-before-its-time BeOS operating system is near and dear to our hearts here at LinuxJournal.com. This being the case, we were overjoyed to learn that a new Ubuntu derivative labeled PC/OS is bringing back echoes of those bygone, halcyon days of BeOS glory.
Another news editor copy/pasting his way through life….