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Pinguy OS 12.04 Review

Mon May 28, 2012, 4:50 PM
Saw this on webupd8 the other day.

Pinguy OS 12.04 beta, based on Ubuntu 12.04, is now available for download. Unlike the previous 11.10 release which never reached a stable state (because Pinguy didn't consider GNOME Shell 3.2 stable), Pinguy OS 12.04 will have a stable release.

The latest Pinguy OS 12.04 LTS beta uses GNOME Shell 3.4.1 as the default desktop environment with quite a few extensions installed by default, such as: Weather Indicator, Cardapio Menu, Classic Systray, Native Window Placement, Workspace Indicator, GPaste, User Theme, System Monitor, Media Player Indicator, and many more.

Like in the previous release, Pinguy OS 12.04 beta uses Cardapio, a cool, highly customizable application menu as the default menu, replacing the GNOME Shell Activities Overview. You can, however, disable Cardapio and re-enable the Activities Overview and Dash, by using GNOME Tweak Tool which is installed by default.

So I installed it to a USB drive and tested it.
My impressions?

When I first loaded Pinguy up, my immediate thought was that the desktop was cluttered. Many Linux distros take great care to not overly clutter the desktop with icons and toolbars, but apparently that's not the case with Pinguy. Now, most Live-CD's place an icon on the desktop to "Install the OS", so I'll discount that one being there. But in addition to that one icon, there was also an icon for Examples, Language Support and Additional Drivers. These icons on most distros don't appear on the desktop, but are usually tucked away in some menu somewhere in case you need them. With the desktop already packed with TWO Docky bars, the extra icons on the Desktop make it seem very cluttered.

Pinguy comes loaded with a bunch of extensions which can be enabled or disabled using the gnome-tweak-tool. Most of them seem to work, but there are a few that will not enable due to unmet shell dependencies.

While the Hot Corner was disabled, I discovered it is still possible to access the GNOME3 Dash by hitting the Super-key. Then all the open windows are spread, and you can access the GNOME3 Dash menu from there.

I think it's interesting that Pinguy decided to use GNOME Shell 3.4 to develop their desktop on, as they've taken great steps to make it look as un-GNOME3 as possible. From disabling the Topleft Hot Corner, to using Cardapio in place of the Dash, to using a double Docky setup in place of the GNOME3 dock, this distro has the feel of GNOME3 without some of the immediately obvious benefits of GNOME3. I suppose the reasoning was that is would be more stable based on GNOME3 than on
Unity. ;p

One serious issue though. When I went to take a screenshot of the OS to put a picture in this journal, I discovered that the Os doesn't respond to a press of the PrintScreen button. So I went hunting for a screenshot program. One program, called Shutter, comes with Pinguy. However, every time I went to make a screenshot, CPU and RAM usage climbed to the point where the system froze and I had to hard-shutdown by holding down the Power button. This is the reason there is not a screenshot included with this review. I am unaware of any reason this should happen, so I'm going to assume it was a flaw on my USB stick and make another Pinguy installation on a separate stick.

Skin made by pikadudeno1
with love ♥
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Shonedogen Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have just installed Pinguy OS 12.04 a couple of days ago and was pretty impressed by a few things, like Conky and the fact that Clementine comes already installed. Plus I have a multiboot system with Windows and six other Linux distros and Pinguy was the very first Linux distro I ever installed where VLC will play dvds perfectly without adding any additional codecs or having to configure anything. Not even Mint would play dvds perfectly right out of the box.

Other than that, there seem to be a few bugs that still need to be worked out, like occasional freezes such as you mentioned in your review and at least one issue with running Chromium (my preferred browser). But I like this distro an awful lot and I am pretty sure I will be sticking with it for quite a while! :thumbsup:
exarobibliologist Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
hazlenutx2 Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sounds like you're having a blast. ^^
Astral-1 Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Thanks for the info
satya164 Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh. Tried with the Gnome Screenshot program?

Btw I think they should better use Cinnamon as base than Gnome Shell, because their modifications seem to be more closer to Cinnamon than Shell.
exarobibliologist Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
I agree with you; Cinnamon as a base would likely be more stable than GNOME Shell with 3 dozen extensions.
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