Pardus 2011.1 Package Manager Settings

Pardus is a Linux distribution developed in Turkey. To be specific, it is developed and maintained by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE), an arm of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). It is a desktop-oriented distribution based on KDE, the K Desktop Environment.

This article presents a review of the latest stable release, Pardus 2011.1, which was made available for download on July 12, 2011. It is the second this year and judging from the distribution’s recent release history, there should be one more before the end of the year.

Installation Program and Installation Process: New to the boot menu of Pardus is a rescue mode, and a “nolvm” kernel parameter, which is used to instruct YALI, the installer, to not use an LVM-based partitioning scheme is any of its automated disk partitioning methods. Type “yali=nolvm” as shown below at boot time, if you do not want to use LVM. Though I do not know of any good reason to not use LVM, especially if the installer supports it.
Pardus 2011.1 YALI no LVM

LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, is the default disk partitioning scheme, and by default, the installer creates separate logical volumes for / – the root directory, Swap and /home. The only drawback with the default LVM scheme is that the installer allocates all available disk space to the logical volumes.

The recommended disk allotment scheme when using LVM is to assign just enough disk space needed to install the system because the logical volumes can always be resized at any time. On the Alternate text installer edition of Ubuntu, for example, the installer will give you the option to choose what percentage of the available disk space to allocate to the Logical Volumes. After installation, the unused disk space in the Volume Group will be used to resize any Logical Volume that needs the extra disk space. On YALI, it appears that the default disk space for the root Logical Volume is 50 GB because on two test installations, one in a virtual environment with 100 GB of disk space, and the other on real hardware with a 320 GB hard drive, the disk space allocated to / is just that – 50 GB. And this is true whether LVM is used or not.

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I think assigning 50 GB to the root Logical Volume is mostly a waste of space because even if you run the same system for the next ten years, I doubt that you will even approach 50% disk usage on that Logical Volume. How to configure LVM on Pardus 2011 gives a step-by-step guide on the proper configuration of LVM (on Pardus).

If you pass the “yali=nolvm” kernel parameter at boot time, and you choose of the automated disk partitioning methods on a disk with no existing operating system on it, the installer will create three primary partitions and one extended partition. The file system, disk space allocated and usage on such an installation is shown on the image below. Other Linux distributions that I have reviewed tend to create the first partition as a primary one, then create the other partitions as logical, leaving two primary partitions unused, in case you need to install another operating system that will not boot from a logical partition.
Pardus 2011.1 YALI no LVM Disk Partitions

Other than ext4, the other Linux journaling file system supported by the installer is ext3. Btrfs and nilfs2 have not yet come to YALI. A new installation of Pardus 2011.1 takes up a little bit more than 4 GB of disk space and GRUB Legacy (version 0.97) is the boot loader used.

While YALI supports LVM and RAID, it lacks support for disk encryption. A check box at the disk partitioning methods step similar to what I added to the image below I think will be the best method of adding that feature to the installer. Also, it would be a good idea to give users the option to review (and modify, if necessary) the default partitions. Presently, once you select one of the automated disk partitioning methods, you have no chance to review the partitions. These two ideas were borrowed from Anaconda, the Fedora system installer. How Fedora protects your data with disk encryption shows how disk encryption and partition layout review are implemented in Anaconda.
Suggestions for YALI on Pardus Dama Dama

At the user account setup step, you have the option to add the user to the wheel group. This is the same feature that made its debut on Anaconda with Fedora 15. (See Fedora 15 KDE review for a screenshot of this feature in Anaconda.) A user in the wheel group can perform system-wide administrative tasks by authenticating with that account’s password rather than with roots password.
Pardus 2011.1 Dama Dama User Setup

Related Post:  Pardus 2009 review

Desktop: Pardus 2011.1 is powered by KDE 4.6.5. At first boot, the first application window you will see, other than a message prompt telling you something about synchronizing the contact address book, is Kaptan’s start page. Kaptan, Turkish for captain, is the desktop settings application for Pardus. It is the best of its kind, but it is not perfect. The main issue with it is that it does not keep state. By that I mean that the selected options will not remain selected the next time kaptan is run. And it can be run at any time, not just at first boot. Screenshots of the steps in Kaptan may be viewed here.
Kaptan on Pardus 2011.1 Dama Dama

This screenshot does not show the default desktop wallpaper and menu, but just what I chose while running Kaptan. If you failed to run Kaptan on first boot, the default wallpapper is pitch black, and it does not look good. The menu shown here is called Lancelot, one of three menu styles available from Kaptan. It is obviously better than Classic menu, but also the Kickoff style because menu entries are not buried out of sight with each mouse click.
Pardus 2011.1 Dama Dama Desktop

Lancelot is highly configurable, and one option makes it possible for subcategories to open in a popup column. A screenshot of how the popup opens when you click on a sub-subcategory is shown here. If you must choose to use Lancelot, be aware that newly installed applications will not show until after a reboot. I do not think that I have observed that with Lancelot on any other distribution. But that is what happens with Lancelot on Pardus 2011.1.
Lancelot Menu on Pardus 2011.1 Dama Dama

There is an entry for the Package Manager is all but three (Utilities, Settings, Education) of the application categories, so that when you type the search string shown in the image below, you get these cute little icons staring back at you. With an entry for the Package Manager in the Favorites column, is it really that necessary to have one in almost all the application categories?
Search on Lancelot on Pardus 2011.1 Dama Dama

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17 Responses

  1. This is very misleading review.
    If it was called
    “Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) INSTALATION 201403 review”
    OK
    But still it is not incorrect.
    It does find other Operation systems and install along side with a boot menu which lets you choose which system you wish to use.
    Of course you must have some basic knowlage of disk paritions and I agree the installer could explain more clearly about assining “/” , “home” and “swap”.
    But most new users have a single disk and singe partition and just as installing windows hit “ yes” to each stage and it all gets done for you.

    I switched to LMDE some 4 years ago and have found it to be by far the best distro for anyone knows nothing.
    Boot from stick or DVD and all you need to do is type in wifi code ( if not on LAN ) and you can use everything out of the box.

    Install may require a little bit of help but so do many people installing windows.
    99% of the time you don’t need to install any drivers and to work with the software manager is now as easy as google play for andriod with one exception every thing is free with no in app purchasises!

    Anyone I know that has XP, I tell them to just install LMDE with cinamon desktop.
    Only hear positive feedback and as far as updates go, I only have to say “ yep you can do it” that or 10 mins on teamveiwer and there good to go……..

    As for the firewall …..I never use one if im behind a router with one built in anyway !
    But I do have to agree that a GUI for a firewall that is added in the install would be a good thing ( OFF by default ).

    Games …..hummm there are so many to choose from I don’t see which if any should be there by default …and just a few clicks in the software mangager and you can install one in seconds and play with out a restart. And as far as which apps are already there, well most home users don’t need more then whats there!

    All in all you raise a couple of good points but missed the target completely…….
    LMDE is fast, plays almost all media content, never needs to be reinstalled or cleaned up and all this out of the box for free!

  2. The Dude who wrote this “article” is a complete dumbass. He has no idea about LMDE and its Pro’s. What a N00b!

      1. I agree with author. Installer is a joke. And he gets the typical linux reply…

        “My cars gas gauge doesn’t work.” …

        “oh don’t be a pussy, all you have to do is google for an hour, take a guess at which one is the right solution, then crawl under the car and attach a hose from the axle to the exhaust, replace the screw in the transverse (if you have the 2010 model with A series) and then something else I forgot, just google it. Oh your engine doesn’t have the special lifters? then you need to pull out your power steering and change the o-rings first or it won’t start, unless you are a n00b.”

        1. All that to support the author for not trying a right-click?

          It’s not as if the inexperienced users would manage to install LMDE (or another OS) without messing anything up considering you have to know what partitioning is, but if you know that stuff, chances are it will cross your mind to perform a right-click where it’s needed.

          The installer can clearly be improved but to complain about some as simple as that… it unnecessarily dumbs down a review.

  3. LMDE 201403 is awsome. It just rocks and I’m an LMDE user for the past more than 3 years and I love LMDE. Minor issues may be there but then also it has improved a lot over years and getting better day by day.

  4. «… And the more I think about Linux Mint Debian Edition … the less I see a need for its existence …»
    lmde is the only desktop operating system i know that really works as rolling release. Ubu upgrade to the next release only works when you don’t change anything in the meantime, so not usable. Didn’t try the standard Mint releases, but I doubt, as it is based on ubuntu. lmde rolling works here in the family now for 2 years without any upgrade problems.

    So, can you offer an other rolling release desktop operating system working without any problems for more than two years?

    1. LMDE is not a true rolling-release distribution. From the project’s website, “Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is a semi-rolling distribution based on Debian Testing.”

      Looking for a true rolling-release distribution? Try any desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. Antergos and Manjaro are good examples, though each has its pros and cons.

      I could also throw in Chakra in there, but it has more cons than pros.

      1. LMDE gives you twice a year ~1.2GiB of upgrade that really works without any problem over years. Security relevant stuff will be delivered when available.

        ANY archbased distro I tried up to now breaks at lest twice a year, delivering a brick.

    2. Hmm, I’ll have to agree for the most part with finid on this one. If you want a truly rolling Debian distribution there’s nothing better than rolling with Unstable/Sid. LMDE is only half-way house and quite pointless in my view, but I understand that there are people who are more comfortable with a more managed process. If addressing that group one would think a friendlier installer would be a high priority.

      Why do Debian-based distributions insist on writing their own installers when the original has what they are lacking and is so easy and straight forward. Then again, I was happy with Debian’s old non-gui installer too. Together with the Anaconda installer and Slackware’s

  5. LMDE is an approachable Debian distribution with the polish of Mint and without many of the less desirable choices made by Ubuntu. Agree it is not ideal for new users.

  6. Too bad you had a rought time with the partitions, but all you had to do is right-click a partition to assign it to / or /home. I’m not finished yet with reading, so I’ll get back to it. 🙂

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