PCLinuxOS 2014.04, a free Linux distribution aimed at desktop computers and laptops and relying on KDE, has been officially launched and is now available for download.
PCLinuxOS comes with numerous flavors, but the default one is actually KDE. Just like Fedora, which uses GNOME, and Linux Mint, which uses Cinnamon, the PCLinuxOS Linux distribution is based on KDE.
Unlike other distributions that also integrate KDE as the default desktop environment, PCLinuxOS provides a customized experience. Most developers and maintainers out there don't bother too much with KDE and they usually choose to offer a KDE desktop that resembles the stock one. On the other hand, the PCLinuxOS developers customize the desktop to quite an extent, and it looks unique and is easily identifiable.
“KDE’s focus is ease of use, stability, and first-class internationalization and accessibility support. KDE is Free and Open Source Software and provides all of the common tools computer users expect of a modern computing environment, such as e-mail, web browsing, file management, multimedia, and games.”
“The KDE MiniMe iso provides a basic KDE desktop and is intended for advanced users who know how to fine-tune their system. To keep this iso small no printer drivers are included. The KDE Full Version iso provides a standard KDE desktop with many popular applications and out-of-the-box driver support for generic desktop computing,” reads the official announcement.
The developers decided to integrate a slightly older Linux kernel, 3.12.16. This branch of the kernel has been around for some time and it has already received a number of updates and improvements. Linux kernel 3.13.x is considered to be an LTS version (long-term support) and this might be the reason why the developers chose it instead of opting for a newer release, like 3.14 for example.
PCLinuxOS 2014.04 uses KDE SC 4.12.3, which is also not the latest version that you can find. Users will be able to upgrade the KDE version from the official repositories.
A number of packages have been integrated by default, such as ark, clementine, digikam, gimp, GoogleEarth, kwrite, ksnapshot, okular, LibreOffice, ktorrent, Thunderbird, Firefox, pidgin, shorewall, smb4k, synaptic, tvtime, xchat, and vlc.
Users will also be able to install 13,500+ additional programs from the official repositories by using the Synaptic Software Manager that is included by default.