PCLinuxOS: Quick Review and Installation Guide

LinuxBytes: PCLinuxOS is one of the best Linux distributions that aren’t as popular as Debian based Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Zorin. In this article, we will tell you everything about PCLinuxOS and if you are interested you can give it a try by following the installation guide.

PCLinuxOS, a Linux distribution that isn’t usually found across discussions that happen in the Linux community. PCLinuxOS is a very good, to be particular very stable Linux OS that is ideal for personal use on Desktops and Laptops.

PCLinuxOS was a very popular Linux distribution for beginners a decade ago, but unfortunately, it hasn’t inherited the same popularity, unlike its stability. Just like Linux Mint and Zorin today, PCLinuxOS was a great switch from Windows XP back then.

Back then it was one of the very few Operating Systems that came pre-installed with all basic software application that are required for a beginner. Even now the latest version of PCLinuxOS has everything a regular user needs and the best part they come bundled by default.

The list of applications includes VLC, KODI, Spotify, Firefox, Teamviewer, Audacity, Libre Office and GIMP which are commonly used Linux tools.

To be honest, back then it was PCLinuxOS that welcomed me into the world of Linux and recently when I came across a news article about the latest version of PCLinuxOS I thought of giving it a try and shared my experiences through this article.

Here below in the quick review of PCLinuxOS, you can check out everything about the stable PCLinuxOS and my hands-on experience without.

Quick Review of PCLinuxOS

Desktop KDE Plasma, MATE, Xfce
Ideal For Beginners, Low Hardware

My first impression after the first boot of PCLinuxOS is that it still looked very clean and minimal. It doesn’t have all the fancy animations that are found in the latest Ubuntu based distributions.

It lacks modern GUI but that is compensated with good performance and even worked on low end hardware without any hiccups.

The latest version of PCLinuxOS provides options to customize the look and feel of your desktop.

At present, the PCLinuxOS is available with KDE Plasma, MATE and XFCE desktop environments and I tested with the MATE Desktop which is quite good.

The MATE Tweak tool allows you to customize the look and feel of the interface so that you don’t get bored with the old interface.

PCLinuxOS With MATE Desktop
PCLinuxOS With MATE Desktop

Performance and Stability

Performance wise PCLinuxOS worked like charm without any lag. I tried opening multiple applications like Firefox, VLC and Libre Office all at the same time and found no performance or crash issues all the while using them simultaneously.

I tried it on a Virtual environment by allocating 3 GB RAM and 20 GB Storage and the experience was quite good.

Multiple Applications
Multiple Applications


When dived deep into the catalog of applications I was surprised to see all the most used and popular Linux applications were pre-installed by default.

It has a VLC media player, KODI, Spotify for entertainment needs. GIMP, Libre Office for productivity and Firefox, Thunderbird and FileZilla for connectivity. You can also install Chrome on it.

The MATE version is packed with the Caja file manager which is the one present in Linux Mint. So you can enjoy the same experience.

Apart from these pre-installed applications, you can install other Linux Packages by using the Synaptic package manager, which is the default package manager in PCLinuxOS.

On PCLinuxOS, you can choose to install your favorite applications from over 12,000 rpm packages present in its software repository. Additionally, it also supports the use of APT, the package management tool that is popular with Debian based Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

So you don’t have to worry about installing your favorite Linux applications.

PCLinuxOS Applications

Settings and Customization

Though the interface looks a bit old, it can be customized with the help of the latest themes available. The OS comes with the MATE Tweak tool and lets you customize the skins of windows and panel layouts.

The look and feel can be easily customized according to your preferences and it has a dark mode as well.

Dark Mode
Dark Mode


One of the primary reasons to recommend PCLinuxOS is that it comes bundled with many Linux applications and is a great choice for beginners as it gives quick access to the world of Linux until they dig deep.

It has applications like VirtualBox to try other operating systems with ease. Overall it was a good Linux distribution to give a try particularly if you are limited by hardware and don’t like a sluggish performance on your old hardware.

PC Linux OS Download

If you are interested to give PCLinuxOS a try you can download the latest version from the official website. You can directly navigate to the download page by clicking the below button.

There you can choose the Desktop Environment you want and proceed to download. The latest version of the distribution has only 64-bit available and if you are using 32-bit hardware then you can’t get the latest LTS version.

PCLinuxOS Installation

After downloading follow the below installation guide to safely install the latest version of PCLinuxOS on to your system and try it to see its performance.

Step 1: Creating a Bootable Disk

After downloading the ISO file you need to create a bootable disk to install the OS to your machine. A bootable disk will help you install the OS and it will also let you try the OS even without installing with the option of Live CD.

To create a bootable disk for PCLinuxOS, we recommend you to use a Pendrive with at least 4 GB capacity the size of the ISO file is around 2.3 GB.

You can use tools like Rufus or Etcher to create a bootable USB drive. If you don’t know how to create a bootable disk you can follow this detailed guide which is pretty much similar to every Linux distribution.

Step 2: Installing PCLinuxOS

On successful creation of Bootable disk, plug it to your PC and access your boot menu and boot your PC from the USB drive.

This will take you to the boot screen of the OS and from there you can either choose to install the OS or test its feature by the Live Boot option.

PCLinuxOS Boot Screen
Boot Screen

Step 3: Finishing the Installation

If you choose to install then follow the on-screen instructions and navigate through the installation procedure which isn’t that complicated. You can refer to the below images if you need any help.

You can install it alongside your current Linux distribution or dual boot it with Windows. You can also install it as the only operating system and we will only recommend this option if you are planning to install it on your old laptop or PC and not on your work laptop.

PCLinuxOS Installation Wizard
PCLinuxOS Installation Wizard
PCLInuxOS Language Settings
Choose your Keyboard language
Boot loader selection
PCLinuxOS Installation!
PCLinuxOS Installation!


Overall this is everything you need to know about the PCLinuxOS, which is a good Linux distribution and you can learn more about the Operating system in our upcoming guides about this old and stable Linux distribution.

Meanwhile, to know the latest updates and what’s happening the FOSS world bookmark us and follow us on social media.


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2 Responses

  1. Diego Azeta says:

    PCLinuxOS is a great distro. I’ve just installed Xfce Mini and it was smooth sailing. Everything works right out of the box. This is a fantastic alternative to Ubuntu-based distros that, unfortunately, have been plagued by bugs lately.

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PCLinuxOS: Quick Review and Installation Guide

by LinuxFlips time to read: 5 min