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Testimonial: All Roads Lead To PCLinuxOS

by hunter0one

I'm a lot younger than most of the community here, so my first experience with Linux was when my uncle suggested that I try it in 2016. Soon I would flash my first distro onto a USB and put it on an old Toshiba Satellite. That distro was Linux Mint. I immediately fell in love, especially with that skeuomorphic Mint-X theme at the time! However, there were so many things I wanted to use that weren't on LM at the time, so I would soon install Manjaro on a newer laptop that my uncle had given me. I would hop around between Manjaro, Kubuntu, and even Lubuntu (when it was still LXDE), but I eventually came back to Manjaro because it was cutting edge. That all changed when an update to systemd broke Manjaro and Arch Linux for a bunch of people, including myself. At the time, I didn't know how to recover from that, so I lost everything that was on there.


It turned me sour against Arch and systemd because this supposedly user-friendly init turned out to be not so user-friendly, and not even mentioning how long it took to start up and shut down. From then on for me, it was systemd-free, more stable distros, such as Void Linux, Devuan, and Slackware.

It was around this time that a transition happened where they started to drop ConsoleKit in favor of elogind, an extracted version of systemd-logind. I started running into all sorts of weirdness when I used to be able to use a desktop application with no problems, for instance Network Manager and file managers would quit working because somewhere down the line they were wanting elogind. Even DBus would rely on elogind, and this meant you could no longer use what was working fine forever because the developers decided to bend the knee and adopt another part of systemd. I ended up getting sick of Linux, and switched to FreeBSD for a while. This gave me that feeling I used to have with Linux before systemd took over. The problem was that FreeBSD doesn't have the kind of hardware support as Linux, nor does it seem like it will for a long time.

I would hop back and forth to Linux, but even on the supposedly "systemd-free" distros like Devuan, removing elogind meant compromising the entire desktop. You couldn't use Network Manager or have a thumb drive automatically show up in the file manager, and trying to package my own stuff for Devuan and Slackware to mitigate this made me tear my hair out. I would start to gain a passion for packaging at this point, though, and I've almost evolved into full Linux wizardry.

Then I discovered PCLinuxOS when looking for distros that are truly systemd-free, and one that is just cutting edge enough to not break down similar to Void. I was blown away with it and can't believe I never heard of something that's been around for longer than most of the distros I used. I can't even think of any chat room or forum outside where I've heard people talk about it, and it's a shame because I would love to see the future success of this distro. Also, I really enjoyed making RPM packages, especially compared to debs or Xbps. For the past year or so I would still distro hop a little just out of habit because I've done it for so long (mainly out of curiosity of how everything works under the hood), but I think I've settled on PCLOS until I either make a distro of my own or FreeBSD gets better hardware/networking support. PCLOS is the joy I had when I first installed Linux, sane packaging and none of that systemd bullcrap. I really feel like anything is possible here. That's my testimony.

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