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Pear Linux Comice OS 4 beta 1 review

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Back on December 17 2011, I published a review of a new Linux distribution named Pear Linux OS Panther 3 (see Pear OS Linux Panther 3 review). It is based on Ubuntu Desktop and has a desktop interface fashioned after Apple’s Mac OS X. It had its faults, but it was a refreshing take on the Linux desktop, especially for one powered by GNOME 3.

That first release was code-named Panther, after Mac OS X 10.3. Subsequent releases were supposed to be code-named after the corresponding Mac OS X version. So the next version, Pear Linux OS 4, would have been code-named Tiger, after Mac OS X 10.4. But that was last year. This year, things have changed – slightly.

The distribution now goes by a slightly different name – Pear Linux Comice OS, and the latest version is Pear Linux Comice OS 4. Pear, we all know, is a fruit, and Comice is a variety of pear, a European pear. The interesting thing about Comice OS 4 is that it was announced (via email) on February 9. Then on February 10, an update was hurriedly pushed out after several bugs were discovered in the first release. That update was called Pear Linux Comice OS 4-b. The next day, February 11, it was announced on Distrowatch as Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Beta 1. That is the brief account of how Comice OS 4 became Comice OS 4 Beta 1. It is like walking backwards, but you have to give the developer credit for an error and going back to the drawing table.

Since what we currently have is a beta release, and I do not normally review non-stable releases of distributions, consider this article not a full review (it is not), but a preview review. Does that make sense? Even if it does not make sense, please continue reading. At least you will have an idea of what to look forward to in the final stable release, that is, the real Comice OS 4.

Comice OS 4 beta 1 uses the same installation program as Ubuntu Desktop, the distribution it is based on. So, there is nothing new to report there other than the fact the minimum recommended disk space for installation is 7.2 GB, and that a new installation takes up a little bit more than 6.1 GB of disk space. For a distribution that uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment, that is huge. But disk space is cheap, so that is nothing to fret about.

At the login screen, you have the option of logging in to Comice OS 4 or Comice OS 4 Classic. What is the difference? Well, Comice OS 4 Classic (I do not know why it is called “Classic”) is the one you want to choose (it is actually the default). And that is because it works. It gives you the desktop experience that you expect from a desktop operating system. This screen shot shows the default desktop. Though it is GNOME 3, it is a highly customized GNOME 3, offering a better experience than the un-customized GNOME 3.
Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Desktop

This is a screen shot of the desktop when you select Comice OS 4 from the login screen’s session menu. Notice that there is no top panel and the dock does not have the animated icons of the Classic desktop. The desktop is barely usable. Luckily, it is not the default.
Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Desktop Non-classic

This one is of the desktop showing the Launchpad, a menu just like that of Mac OS X. Other than that duplicate entry for Evince Document Viewer, which you can see in the middle of the screen shot, it looks cool, though, I think Takeoff Launcher is better.
Comice OS 4 Launchpad

Comice OS 4 beta 1 comes with just enough applications that most people would need. The rest you can install from the Pear Appstore. This is a screen shot of the Appstore’s main view. If you intend to download and test this release, be prepared for frequent crashes of the Appstore.
Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Appstore

This is a screen shot from the lower half of the same view above. Though based on Ubuntu, Comice’s Appstore, like most of its interface, seems to have been inspired by Mac OS X’s, and I actually like it more than Ubuntu’s Software Center.
Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Appstore View

Listing of applications by category.
Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Appstore List

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14 Comments

  1. swarfendor437 says:

    Forgot to mention – it is now a ‘final’ both 32-bit and 64-bit and there is a netbook edition but there are still issues with overheating due to Linux Kernel writers not being able to address this issue – suspect change in patented hardware could be an issue?

  2. swarfendor437 says:

    The website has changed – download links will be from the pages here:
    http://www.pearlinux.fr/

    There were some issues with the Deepin software center but never had any issues with 2.2 – have upgraded to 2.5. Deepin allows rebranding from what I can gather that is all that is different. Looking good so far!

  3. swarfendor437 says:

    Hi everyone, don’t know about where things have come from but David is doing quite a good job so far, along with 20 Devs. It has been taken off general distribution for the Devs to do Beta Testing before Alpha is released, probably sometime April. I believe the desktop is Pantheon (well I thought 3 was anyway) and it is based on Ubuntu (but nicer in my opinion. I like it so much I contributed a Wallpaper for it based on free image on the net and free text on the net. I don’t know about the above desktop image but the official Comice OS4 Wallpaper is a picture of a Dandelion bottom left with Dandelion seeds blowing in the wind – the seed being the Comice logo of a bitten pear. It is so refreshing to see a nice desktop. My advice to the reviewer (as you probably don’t visit the forum!) is after install before anything else run ‘sudo apt-get update’ before using the App Store. Enjoy!

  4. Interesting description. I like to see clearly.

    • Stephen Green says:

      At first I thought, its something wrong on my end, I’m not at home with FIOS, instead I’m in Florida with XFINITY,so the issue with this download got me. Then I checked it out elsewhere and found out it was another poorly developed Ubuntu derivative. Being something of a distro junkie, you could say I was disappointed.
      And VISION should always be clear..

  5. Stephen Green says:

    Hey how can anyone comment on something that is not available in the USA. If any available links to download can be found that actually work, it takes all day AND its not a usable image. Where did you reviewers got a working copy from.? I’m waiting for a reply..

  6. ryan says:

    For everyone thinking that is Deepin’s and etc… it is. Pear OS really takes almost all the stuff included and just re brand it as their own. Heck, I bet they didn’t even design that background, they probably just stuck their logo on it.

    • finid says:

      If the Deepin software manager is published under an open source or free software license, then it is perfectly ok for Pear’s developer, or any other developer, to rebrand or even fork it.

  7. Myles Fister says:

    Is that not the deeping software center from deepin linux. I believe they are the ones who designed and wrote it not pear os.

  8. whitehoed says:

    the pear appstore just looks like linux deeepin software centre. is it a fork?

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