|Developer||Bill Reynolds aka "Texstar"|
|OS family||Linux (Unix-like)|
|Source model||Open source|
|Initial release||October 2003|
|Latest release||2023.07 / 30 July 2023|
|Update method||Rolling release|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
PCLinuxOS, often shortened to PCLOS, is a rolling release Linux distribution for x86-64 computers, with KDE Plasma, MATE, and XFCE as its default user interfaces. It is a primarily FOSS operating system for personal computers aimed at ease of use.
The precursor to PCLinuxOS was a set of RPM packages created to improve successive versions of Mandrake Linux (later Mandriva Linux). These packages were created by Bill Reynolds, a packager better known as "Texstar". From 2000 to 2003, Texstar maintained his repository of RPM packages in parallel with the PCLinuxOnline site. In an interview, Texstar said he started PCLinuxOS "to provide an outlet for [his] crazy desire to package source code without having to deal with egos, arrogance, and politics."
In October 2003, Texstar created a fork of Mandrake Linux 9.2. Working closely with the Live CD Project, Texstar has since developed that fork independently into a full-fledged distribution. The initial releases were successively numbered as "previews": p5, p7, p8, up to p81a, then p9, p91, p92, and p93.
Although it retains a similar "look and feel" to Mandriva Linux, PCLinuxOS has diverged significantly. The code was officially forked from Mandrake 9.2 into an independent project in 2003. After three years of continuous development, the developers took advantage of further development in (the renamed) Mandriva late in 2006 for PCLinuxOS 2007. In the releases before 2007, it was normally necessary to perform a re-installation.
For 2007, PCLinuxOS used a one-time source code snapshot from Mandriva to produce a new independent code base (no longer a fork of Mandriva). This implied a shift to a more modern code, which required a complete reinstallation of this version. The new version featured a new look and built-in 3D effects. A new logo was also designed for the new version and was incorporated into the boot screen. A new login screen was designed, entitled "Dark". The final/official PCLinuxOS 2007 version was released on May 21, 2007.
The last version of the 2009 Live CD, PCLinuxOS 2009.2, was released on June 30, 2009. Improvements included bug fixes, new backgrounds, sounds, and start-up screen, as well as quicker start-up times. It was the last PCLinuxOS live CD to ship with K Desktop Environment 3, and the last of the PCLinuxOS 2007 backward compatible series.
Remasters of PCLinuxOS, featuring the Xfce (Phoenix), LXDE (PCLinuxOS-LXDE), and Gnome (PCLinuxOS-Gnome) desktops were also made available.
The 2010 version of the Live CD was released on April 19, 2010. It includes the new KDE SC 4.4.2, a new graphical theme and a new version of the Linux Kernel (Kernel 220.127.116.11). It is also the first PCLinuxOS Live CD to include the ext4 file system support. This version required a complete reinstall of the operating system.
While a version of PCLinuxOS that features the GNOME desktop environment was introduced in 2008, the 2010 version is the first one to not only offer the KDE Plasma and GNOME versions, but also versions with Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, and Openbox.
Version 2010.1 was released on May 5, 2010. Changes made since the last version:
PCLinuxOS 2011.6 version was released on June 27, 2011.
PCLinuxOS 2012.02 version was released on February 22, 2012. Later another maintenance release was made on August 22, 2012. Major changes compared to the 2011 release are:
PCLinuxOS 2013 64-bit first version was released on April 10, 2013.
The new version was released on July 7, 2014.
PCLinuxOS places specific emphasis on desktop computing, concentrating its efforts on home or small business environments, hence paying less attention to other more "traditional" uses, like servers, although packages for most server tasks are available.
PCLinuxOS is distributed as a Live CD, which can also be installed on a local hard disk drive or USB flash drive. Beginning from version 2009.1 PCLinuxOS provides a USB installer to create a Live USB, where the user's configuration and personal data can be saved if desired. A live USB of older versions of PCLinuxOS can be created manually or with UNetbootin. The entire CD can be run from memory, assuming the system has sufficient RAM. PCLinuxOS uses APT-RPM, based on APT (Debian), a package management system (originally from the Debian distribution), together with Synaptic Package Manager, a GUI to APT, to add, remove or update packages. If there is enough memory on the machine, and an active network connection, the Live CD can update packages. PCLinuxOS is also designed to be easy to remaster after installation, creating one's personalized Live CD, using the mylivecd tool.
PCLinuxOS maintains its software repository, available via the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) and its Synaptic front-end, completely replacing Mandriva's urpmi. This means that an installation could be continuously updated to the latest versions of packages, hence sometimes forgoing the need to re-install the entire distribution upon each successive release. Other differences include its menu arrangement, custom graphics and icon sets.
On May 10, 2016, main developer Texstar announced the end of support for 32-bit versions of PCLinuxOS. As a result, 32-bit ISOs of the distribution, official 32-bit package updates, and forum support became unavailable. While this doesn't prevent unofficial support, following the announcement only 64-bit ISO images and package updates are available through the official webpage and channels.
There are several community projects associated with PCLinuxOS.
The Trinity edition of PCLinuxOS comes in two flavors. "Mini" is a minimalist ISO intended for those who want to customize their desktop with only the programs they want. "Big Daddy", on the other hand, comes with many programs pre-installed, including, but not limited to multimedia codecs and office software.
The LXQt edition on PCLinuxOS comes with LXQt's suite of applications and several third-party applications pre-installed.
KDE FullMonty (Live & Install DVD) was a regular PCLinuxOS KDE4 installation but was modified to include a special desktop layout and many additional applications and drivers preinstalled. PCLinuxOS officially discontinued the FullMonty edition in 2017 due to KDE developers discontinuing support for KDE4.
Because PCLinuxOS includes the mklivecd script, there have been several third-party distributions over the years based on PCLinuxOS, though they are permitted to mention that connection only if they follow strict guidelines.
Almost all major releases have been accompanied by new boot-up and login screens, along with some changes in icon sets, and login sounds.
|2023.07 KDE, MATE, and XFCE||July 30, 2023|
|2022.12 KDE, MATE, and XFCE||December 12, 2022|
|2022.01 KDE, MATE, and XFCE||January 8, 2022|
|2021.11 KDE, MATE, and XFCE||November 5, 2021|
|2020.1015 KDE||October 15, 2020|
|2020.01 KDE||January 14, 2020|
|2019.06 KDE||June 16, 2019|
|2018.06 MATE||June 1, 2018|
|2018.06 KDE||June 1, 2018|
|2017.07 KDE||July 2017|
|2017.03 MATE 64 Bit||March 17, 2017|
|2017.03 KDE Plasma 5 64 Bit||March 2, 2017|
|2017.02 KDE Plasma 5, MATE 64 Bit||February 10, 2017|
|2016.07 MATE 64 Bit||July 6, 2016|
|2016.03 KDE, FullMonty 64 Bit||March 8, 2016|
|2014.12 KDE, FullMonty, KDE, LXDE and MATE 32 & 64 bit||December 18, 2014|
|2013.12 KDE, FullMonty, MiniMe, LXDE and MATE 32 & 64 bit||December 3, 2013|
|2013.7 KDE 32 & 64 bit||July 17, 2013|
|2013.7 LXDE 32 & 64 bit||July 7, 2013|
|2013.7 Mate 32 & 64 bit||July 15, 2013|
|2013.7 KDE-MiniME 32 & 64 bit||July 7, 2013|
|2013.7 Mate 32 & 64 bit||July 3, 2013|
|2013.6 Full Monty 64 bit||June 17, 2013|
|2013.6 LXDE 64 bit||June 17, 2013|
|2013.4 64 bit||April 10, 2013|
|2013.4||April 4, 2013|
|2013.2||February 1, 2013|
|2012.8||August 22, 2012|
|2012.2||February 2, 2012|
|2011.9||September 23, 2011|
|2011.6||June 27, 2011|
|2010.12||December 15, 2010|
|2010.10||October 28, 2010|
|2010.7||July 5, 2010|
|2010.1||May 5, 2010|
|2010||April 19, 2010|
|2009.2||June 30, 2009|
|2009.1||March 11, 2009|
|2008 "MiniMe"||January 7, 2008|
|P.94 "2007"||May 21, 2007|
|P.93a "Big Daddy"||August 21, 2006|
|P.93a "Junior"||August 9, 2006|
|P.93a "MiniMe"||August 4, 2006|
|P.93 "MiniMe"||April 21, 2006|
|P.92||November 21, 2005|
|P.91||July 7, 2005|
|Original Release||October 2003|