Using Linux needn’t be tricky, as this distro proves.
This one-man distro, developed by an army of contributors, is available in several varieties depending on your choice of desktop.
The hardware detection prowess of the distro leaves no room for complaint; PCLinuxOS supports a wealth of video cards, including Nvidia, ATI, Intel, SiS, Matrox and VIA, and there are tools for working with HP, Epson and Lexmark printers.
You can configure these and other hardware from the easy-to-use administration centre. There’s no dearth of apps in the distro, although AbiWord is supplied instead of OpenOffice.org.
For your convenience, however, there is a GetOpenOffice menu entry that will fetch and install the OpenOffice.org suite. Firefox is equipped with plugins to play files in formats such as DivX, RealPlayer, QuickTime, Flash and Java.
To enhance your multimedia experience even further, there’s Gsopcast for watching P2P TV, Me TV for viewing DVB broadcasts, Imagination for creating DVD slideshows and the Floola iPod manager as well.
If you want to share files, there’s the Dropbox client and Tucan Manager. For running a clean ship there’s Bleachbit to remove junk, the Nixory anti-spyware client, and Dupeclean to remove older versions of apps. To give you easy access to your online accounts, there’s the Pino Twitter and Identi.ca client. Synaptic does package management, plus there’s an app for selecting the fastest repository.
PCLinuxOS has tons of documentation as well as active forums, IRC channels and several mailing lists, so it’s easy to get some help if you need it.