Security: Although a new installation of Pardus 2011 has just one open port (631, the CUPS port), it has a very weak security posture. Aside from the firewall, which is not even enabled out of the box, other security tools, like SELinux and Apparmor, available out of the box on Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora, are not even available in the repository.
If you must run the openSSH server, be aware that applications coded specifically to protect the SSH server from brute force attacks are not available for installation. I am referring to an application like DenyHosts or any other with similar features.
Hardware and Media Detection: Like Linux Mint, out of the box, Pardus 2011 just works. There are minor issues here and there, but for the most part, the system just works. For one, connect a printer to the system, and it is auto-configured. And thanks to Avahi service, printers connected to other computers in the local network are also automatically configured, if they are online.
Want to play an encrypted DVD video? No problem, not with libdvdcss installed by default. To play audio CDs, KsCD is the only Device Action available for playing audio CDs in the Device Notifier Settings even though Clementine, a much better and fully-featured audio player is installed.
Final Thoughts and Suggestions: Our digital world revolves around apps, applications, software, packages, or whatever you want to call it. And the more that are available, the merrier. Unfortunately, Pardus comes up short in this area. I understand that it is still a relatively young distribution, however, a lot more effort needs to go in to ensuring that the most common applications are available in the repository as soon as a new version is released.
Applications aside, here are a few suggestions (these are suggestions. If they sound otherwise, blame it on the weather – it’s freezing here):
- Since LVM is the default disk partitioning, system-config-lvm should be installed by default.
- More users, especially those who must encrypt their hard drives, can be lured to Pardus if the installer supports disk encryption. Further, I think a disk encryption option similar to the one on Fedora, and the one that will be available on the next release of PC-BSD, is the best way to implement disk encryption on an installer.
- When a user selects an automated installation method, the installer should provide an option to review the partitions created before the installation proceeds.
- Firewall Manager should be enabled and configured out of the box.
- On YALI and on the User Manager, the minimum password length enforced should be increased to six or eight, rather than four. The reason, I think, is obvious.
- Every modern desktop computer should have a webcam application installed by default. Cheese is in the repository, but it should really be installed by default.
Resources: Pardus offers 32-bit and 64-bit Install and Live DVD ISO images for download. Keep in mind that the Live image is just that – a Live DVD ISO image. It does not offer an installation option. There is a Turkish language forum, but there is an English language forum here, if you need help with any installation or administrative aspect of Pardus.
Screenshots: Enjoy a few more screenshots from my test installations of Pardus 2011.
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