I have been following Pear Linux/OS for quite sometime. In fact, in between, I used Pear OS 6, the LTS one, as my main production distro for quite sometime last year. Pear OS intrigues me primarily because of it's striking resemblance to Mac OS X and inherent simplicity of the controls. Pear OS 8, based on Ubuntu 13.04 or Ubuntu Raring Ringtail, is the latest release from their stable. Unfortunately this release comes a bit late with the Ubuntu Raring already 6+ months old and Ubuntu Saucy (the latest version) already released. So, my basic interest was how the latest release of Pear OS fare against the previous LTS release: Pear OS 6 with support till April 2017.
Pear OS 8 release states the following incremental improvements:
- New refreshing design with an intuitive and powerful desktop environment
- No unnecessary programs or trial software to slow things down
- Pear Cloud to share files across platforms
- Utility software like MyPear 6, Clean My Pear 2, etc. to provide easy customization options for users
I downloaded the 1 GB 32-bit ISO for this test, created a live USB using Unetbootin. I used a couple of laptops for this test:
- Asus K54C with 2.2 Ghz Core i3 processor, 2 GB DDR3 RAM & Intel HD 3000 128 MB graphic memory
- Asus K55VM with 2.8 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM & Nvidia GEFORCE 2 GB graphic card
I did a live boot on both the laptops and then installed Pear OS 8. The primary reason for installing in a couple of laptops is that throughout 2012-13, I used Asus K54C for testing the Linux distros and record benchmark performance. However, now with a lot of improvement going on as far as drivers for dedicated graphic cards are concerned, I intend to use Asus K55VM for all purposes in 2014. Hence, in the transition phase I am using both the laptops.
Pear OS 8 ships with tweaked GNOME 3.6.3 and Linux kernel 3.8.0. Nautilus 3.4.2. I expected Pear to migrate to the more modern Nautilus fork Files; anyway, both are one of the best file managers in business.