Pardus 2008 Review

After giving this distro a few days of use, one word comes to mind: "polished."

Pardus 2008 is a Linux distribution created by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. At its core, it is a Turkish language OS, but the English version shows no lack of attention. It is a KDE-based distribution, and while I'm not a KDE fan myself, the ease-of-use of this interface blew me away. It is clear that a lot of attention went into making almost every aspect of the system professional and easy to use.

Installation


I typically don't judge an OS based on how easy it was to install - some users may never have to go through this step. Pardus does not offer a Live CD, to try out the system before you install, so I had no idea what to expect. However, the installation was easy enough to complete.

GPL Agreement

I was a little thrown off at the beginning - the installer started in Turkish - but English was just a key press away. You are then immediately greeted with a GPL license agreement (above) followed by the standard installation steps: timezone, user information, and partitioning. The partitioner was simple enough to use, offering to automatically partition your drive if wanted.

A page appears allowing you to create as many users on the system as you want, right from the start. It also allows you to set any of them as system administrators, but get this: the next page also asks for you to set a root password. I don't like enabling root access on a machine, but it does have its uses. However, if I've given someone system administrator privileges on the previous page, why should I have to define a root password as well?

Adding system users

After those steps are completed, Pardus begins to install the system to your HDD. One minor problem that irked me was the progress bar: it would take 10 minutes to reach 100%, but then it jumps back to 0% to configure installed packages. It doesn't affect anything, but it can be a little confusing/annoying. Then again, what installer in the world actually has a working progress bar?

Booting


Once installed, the system restarts and loads the Pardus-customized GRUB. You don't get a standard black-and-gray bootup menu, but rather a less scary Pardus-themed menu. It may be a small customization, but it is a big feature in terms of usability.

The system continues to boot with a Pardus splash screen and login screen. The login allows you to visually select what user to sign in with. Even though the root user is able to log in, it is at least hidden from the user here.

Right upon first login the user is greeted with a welcome wizard dubbed Kaptan. Kaptan helps you set up your mouse, display, look and feel preferences, and network and package settings. Each step gives a visual preview of changes, which are then applied as soon as Next is clicked.

Pardus Kaptan Wizard

The Network step seems shaky. It integrates with Pardus' own custom networking applet, but it is slightly confusing to configure at first, which brings me to another point. Every step of Kaptan that changes a system setting, from networks to packages, will ask you for your user password. You can set it to remember your password, but it doesn't take effect for different controls. By the end of the wizard, you'll have typed in your password three or four times. This is more of a PolicyKit (a sudo-like mechanism) bug than Pardus' fault, but it is still an annoyance nonetheless.

Settings


The desktop at first glance is a generic KDE desktop with the default Kaptan options. On the contrary, tweaking your desktop and system to your liking is not done with KControl, but with Pardus' own TASMA. It is similar to KControl in interface, but provides options in a less complicated manner. (Yes, I am one of those people who thinks KDE provides too many settings.) It's pretty simple to use, and includes everything from networking to desktop settings. There were also some pretty cool gems included, however, such as a GUI GRUB editor, and even a snapshot-style system restore panel. The latter definitely can be of use in those situations where you know you've messed up and just want to hit "Undo."

TASMA, like Kaptan, also heavily integrates with PolicyKit for providing access control in settings for defining who can change what. This is a plus, but is also the same annoyance seen in Kaptan: Every time you change a system setting, you have to type in your password. Again, I'm sure that as PolicyKit develops this won't be an issue, but for now, it's a bugger.

Package Management


You won't find apt, yum, or emerge here. Instead, you'll be greeted with PiSi, another custom Pardus application. PiSi is pretty straightforward to use, and already has a good amount of packages made for it. It works similar to apt or yum: Applications are fetched, along with dependencies, from a central repository. One thing I didn't find was the ability to add a third-party repository. But for being written in Python, PiSi operates quickly with installations.

Pardus PiSi

Overall


Pardus 2008, to a green user, is your average desktop environment. Many of the gems of the system lie under the hood in utilities like TASMA and PiSi. It's an easy system to get started with, but has some odd quirks such as PolicyKit problems and the somewhat hidden root account. In the end, it's clear that a lot of effort went into making Pardus a usable desktop for anyone. If you haven't already, go check it out.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord - http://jacob.peddicord.net/

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

Home » Articles »

Discussion: Pardus 2008 Review

  1. Diego (guest)

    # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 12:01 AM

    "But for being written in Python, PiSi operates quickly with installations."

    FOR BEING WRITTEN IN PYTHON it rocks. Tell me what interpretted language is better than the completely standard and human-oriented python.

    Also my tests shows that it is not much slower than standard C. http://code.google.com/p/languagebenchmarks/

    <em>[ :) -Jacob ]</em>



  2. Ezsit (guest)

    # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 05:50 AM

    "The desktop, for all intensive purposes, is a generic KDE desktop..."

    The correct phrase is "for all intents and purposes". Sorry to pick on the language, but that phrase is commonly misused and abused. Sorry to say, even the correct phrase does not make sense in the sentence you wrote. I am only trying to help so you do not embarrass yourself with misused phrases.

    <em>[ D'oh! Thanks for pointing that out. I always make that mistake. -Jacob ]</em>



  3. Akram Shaikh (guest)

    # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 06:34 AM

    "However, if I’ve given someone system administrator privileges on the previous page, why should I have to define a root password as well?" For some reason if you wanted to delete that account - the account with administrative privileges.



  4. # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 07:02 AM

    [...] Pardus 2008 Review Pardus 2008, to a green user, is your average desktop environment. Many of the gems of the system lie under the hood in utilities like TASMA and PiSi. It’s an easy system to get started with, but has some odd quirks such as PolicyKit problems and the somewhat hidden root account. In the end, it’s clear that a lot of effort went into making Pardus a usable desktop for anyone. [...]



  5. davemc (guest)

    # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 02:16 PM

    What is the point of this distro?.. What are the goals?.. Are the devs trying to unseat the big dogs like Ubuntu or Fedora on Distrowatch or what? If so, they still have a very, very long ways to go. Do they have proprietary aims? Just really confused here as there are already a few Distro's that have all the same bells and whistles under the hood but are older and much better supported and well established (SuSE, Mandriva, MEPIS, PCLos - for better GUI tools). Its just that, in this day and age of copycats and wannabe's in the Linux world, a start up Distro needs to do something never done before, completely unique and even revolutionary, to really turn anyone's heads. Pardus IS a good Distro as far as start up's go, but it has nothing over any of the more well established, more refined and better supported big names.



  6. john (guest)

    # Posted on 30 July 2008 at 06:26 PM

    davemc - Check DistroWatch. Pardus has been around since at least 2005. They are certainly not a startup/copy cat. As far as their goals.... I don't have time at the moment to go checking their site out, but from their backing I would say its probably got something to do with education and maybe with potentially building a system for use within their country. Its the beauty of Linux! Any country, state, business, or individual can customize and share their 'flavor' of Linux with those who are like minded.



  7. Sancar (guest)

    # Posted on 31 July 2008 at 04:26 AM

    Some of the more specific goals are making a Turkish linux distribution that solves problems and make improvements in localization in Turkish. I think this project is a good combination of reusing and starting from fresh. I've seen a lot of distributions whose only contribution comes as a theme and look/feel of the desktop. Pardus does reinvent the wheel in parts of the OS such as the packaging system and init system(MUDUR) which both use python I believe.Take a look at this article if you're interested http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/projects/comar/SpeedingUpLinuxWithPardus.html IMHO, people in Turkey are not aware of the open-source world, perhaps this project will increase awareness. You probably have guessed correctly that I'm Turkish



  8. poindexter (guest)

    # Posted on 31 July 2008 at 04:39 AM

    This is a pure OS, it is not {like Many} based or forked on other distributions. I have used PCLOS and MINT. On my Toshiba laptop Pardus is the first Distro to work out of box for everyting I need wthout any command line stuff



  9. Baris (guest)

    # Posted on 31 July 2008 at 07:54 AM

    As far as I remember there was a choice to add contrib repo in Kaptan, and in PiSi's GUI or from pisi cli



  10. davemc (guest)

    # Posted on 31 July 2008 at 07:55 PM

    "Sancar wrote:

    Some of the more specific goals are making a Turkish linux distribution that solves problems and make improvements in localization in Turkish."

    That makes some sense. There are other localized remakes about, but Pardus is really unique because it is not really a remake, but a hybrid of sorts. It is a well done Distro, and many props go to the Devs for their efforts.



  11. Sean (guest)

    # Posted on 01 August 2008 at 11:58 PM

    Thanks for review. To digg this review... http://digg.com/linux_unix/Pardus_2008_Review_4

    To check out more reviews on this distro... http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=pardus



  12. # Posted on 11 December 2008 at 07:11 PM

    [...] Jakob. “Pardus 2008 Review”. FOSSwire: http://fosswire.com/2008/07/29/pardus-2008-review/ [...]



  13. Made Angistra (guest)

    # Posted on 19 February 2009 at 11:41 AM

    where i can find tips and trick to using pardus??



  14. ghandi (guest)

    # Posted on 26 December 2009 at 01:58 PM

    davemc said:

    What is the point of this distro?.. What are the goals?.. Are the devs trying to unseat the big dogs like Ubuntu or Fedora on Distrowatch or what? If so, they still have a very, very long ways to go. Do they have proprietary aims? Just really confused here as there are already a few Distro's that have all the same bells and whistles under the hood but are older and much better supported and well established (SuSE, Mandriva, MEPIS, PCLos - for better GUI tools). Its just that, in this day and age of copycats and wannabe's in the Linux world, a start up Distro needs to do something never done before, completely unique and even revolutionary, to really turn anyone's heads. Pardus IS a good Distro as far as start up's go, but it has nothing over any of the more well established, more refined and better supported big names.

    You are a Phucking idiot. Pardus is written from the ground up. It isn't based on any other distro. That by itself is unique. It uses it's own package management PISI, and many other utilities that is unique only to Pardus..... damn phucking idiot.... Pardus more than any other distro released at that time, came with something new .. talking bull$hit.. u damn idiot!



Home » Articles » Pardus 2008 Review

Sign In