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PCLinuxOS Logo
Screenshot of the PCLinuxOS KDE edition
Developer Bill Reynolds aka "Texstar"
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release October 2003
Latest release 2014.12 / December 18, 2014 (2014-12-18)
Update method APT-RPM
Package manager RPM
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Userland GNU
Default user interface KDE Plasma Desktop
License Various
Official website

PCLinuxOS, often shortened to PCLOS, is a Linux distribution, with KDE Plasma Desktop as its default user interface. It is a primarily free software operating system for personal computers aimed at ease of use. It is considered a rolling release.


  • History 1
    • PCLinuxOS 2007 1.1
    • PCLinuxOS 2009 1.2
    • PCLinuxOS 2010 1.3
    • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 1.4
    • PCLinuxOS 2011.6 1.5
    • PCLinuxOS 2012 1.6
    • PCLinuxOS 2013 64-bit 1.7
    • PCLinuxOS 2014.7 1.8
  • Features 2
  • Other versions 3
    • KDE Fullmonty (FM) edition 3.1
    • LXDE edition 3.2
    • Mate edition 3.3
    • Third-party distributions 3.4
  • Release history 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Other projects 7
  • External links 8


The precursor to PCLinuxOS was a set of RPM packages created to improve successive versions of Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva Linux). These packages were created by Bill Reynolds, a packager better known as Texstar.[1] From 2000 to 2003, Texstar maintained his repository of RPM packages in parallel with the PCLinuxOnline site. In an interview, Reynolds 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."[2]

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 in late in 2006 for PCLinuxOS 2007. In the releases before 2007, it was normally necessary to perform a re-installation.

PCLinuxOS 2007

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 to 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.

PCLinuxOS 2009

The last version of the 2009 Live CD, PCLinuxOS 2009.2, was released on June 30, 2009.[3] 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.

PCLinuxOS 2010

The 2010 version of the Live CD was released on April 19, 2010.[4] It includes the new KDE SC 4.4.2, a new graphical theme and a new version of the Linux Kernel (Kernel 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.

PCLinuxOS 2010.1

Version 2010.1 was released on May 5, 2010. Changes made since last version:

  • [The] Kernel has been updated to version
  • KDE Plasma Desktop has been upgraded to version 4.4.3.
  • Support has been added for Realtek RTL8191SE/RTL8192SE WiFi cards and Microdia webcams.
  • Vim console text editor and udftools has been added.
  • Fixed CD-ROM ejection when using the Copy to RAM feature.
  • Fixed KDE new widget download. Updated nVIDIA (195.36.24) and ATi fglrx (8.723) drivers.
  • Updated all supporting applications and libraries from the software repository which include security updates and bug fixes.[5]

PCLinuxOS 2011.6

PCLinuxOS 2011.6 version was released on June 27, 2011.

PCLinuxOS 2012

PCLinuxOS 2012.02 version was released on February 22, 2012. Later another maintenance release was made on August 22, 2012. Major changes compared to 2011 release are:

  • Kernel has been updated to version 3.2
  • KDE version 4.8.2
  • nVIDIA and ATi fglrx driver support.

PCLinuxOS 2013 64-bit

PCLinuxOS 2013 64-bit first version was released on April 10, 2013.

It featured:

  • Kernel 3.2.18-pclos2.bfs for maximum desktop performance.
  • Full KDE 4.10.1 Desktop.
  • nVIDIA and ATi fglrx driver support.
  • Multimedia playback support for many popular formats.
  • Wireless support for many network devices.
  • Printer support for many local and networked printer devices.
  • Addlocale: allows you to translate PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages.
  • LibreOffice preinstalled.
  • LibreOffice Manager can install LibreOffice supporting over 100 languages.
  • MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a LiveCD/DVD.
  • PCLinuxOS-liveusb – allows you to install PCLinuxOS on a USB key disk.

PCLinuxOS 2014.7

The new version was released on July 7, 2014.


  • kernel 3.15.4 for maximum desktop performance.
  • Full KDE 4.12.3 Desktop.
  • Nvidia and ATI fglrx driver support.
  • Multimedia playback support for many popular formats.
  • Wireless support for many network devices.
  • Printer support for many local and networked printer devices.
  • Addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages.
  • LibreOffice Manager can install LibreOffice supporting over 100 languages.
  • MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a LiveCD/DVD.
  • PCLinuxOS-liveusb – allows you to install PCLinuxOS on a USB key disk


PCLinuxOS places specific emphasis on desktop computing, concentrating its efforts for 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 to a local hard disk drive or USB flash drive. Since version 2009.1, 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.[6] The entire CD can be run from memory, assuming the system has sufficient RAM. PCLinuxOS uses APT-RPM, based on Advanced Packaging Tool (or APT), a package management system (originally from the Debian distribution), together with Synaptic Package Manager, a GUI to APT, in order 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 own personalized Live CD, using the mylivecd tool.

PCLinuxOS maintains its own 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 own menu arrangement, custom graphics, and icon sets.

Other versions

There are several community projects associated with PCLinuxOS.

KDE Fullmonty (FM) edition

KDE FullMonty (Live & Install DVD) is a regular PCLinuxOS KDE installation, but is modified to include a special desktop layout and many additional applications and drives preinstalled. It is available as either a 32- or 64-bit edition.

FM applies a new concept: activity-focused virtual desktop layout, which is designed to address typical user-needs/tasks, make their life easy, and working on the computer straightforward and fun. It has 6 virtual desktops:

The idea of the FM concept is to provide the best out-of-the-box experience in an intuitive, thematically organized desktop setup. FM is designed for Linux beginners and newcomers from other operating systems. The typical user is provided with a cream of the crop selection of activity-related applications available in PCLinuxOS. The most popular ones are easily accessible from the respective virtual desktop and many more applications can be accessed from the PCmenu. The variety of applications in FM serves several purposes: advertising those applications to users; stimulating the comparative usage of these applications in the forum, learning about and discussing specific application features, and finally helping deciding on and providing constructive feedback on finding the most popular application for a given task. FM should facilitate the entry into the Linux desktop experience and provide an intuitive and easy to use working environment.

LXDE edition

The “Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment” is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment. Maintained by an international community of developers, it comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM than other environments. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications, such as netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers.

Mate edition

The newest edition of PCLinuxOS incorporates the MATE desktop environment, announced on the 3rd July 2013. PCLinuxOS Mate ISO's are now available in both 32 and 64bit flavors. These ISOs are small enough to fit on a standard 700 mb CD or a small USB key. Features: Mate Desktop 1.6.x, Kernel 3.4.52, Pulse Audio enabled by default, Udisks2, Hal daemon turn off but still available as a service if needed. All of the Mate desktop applications plus Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin and Skype. Clementine and VLC multimedia players. PysolFC for recreation.

Third-party distributions

Because PCLinuxOS includes the mklivecd script, there have been several third-party distributions over the years based on PCLinuxOS, though they may only mention that connection if they follow strict guidelines. Currently PCLinuxOS Gnome Edition is the premier example.

Release history

Almost all major releases have been accompanied by new boot-up and login screens, along with some changes in icon sets, and login sounds.

Version Date
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
P.81a 2005
P.8 2005
P.7 2004
P.5 2004
Original Release October 2003

See also


  1. ^ " Top Ten Distributions - An overview of today's top distributions". Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  2. ^ "Experiment: Interview with Texstar of PCLinuxOS - Yet Another Linux Blog". 8 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  3. ^ "Distribution Release: PCLinuxOS 2009.2". 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Distribution Review: PCLinuxOS 2010". 
  5. ^ "PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE 4 Edition". 
  6. ^ UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads Retrieved on 2009-5-1

Other projects

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • PCLinuxOS official website
  • PCLinuxOS Magazine
  • PCLinuxOS at DistroWatch
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