It’s often said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If that’s the case then the developer of Pear OS 8 truly loves Apple and its products. Pear OS 8 is probably the closest thing any Linux user will ever come to getting a Linux distribution from Apple.
Pear OS 8 blends the look and feel of Mac OS X and iOS 7 into Ubuntu. I know that the very idea of this will probably shock some Linux users. Apple is probably the exact opposite of Linux in terms of openness and so making a Linux distribution that essentially mimics Apple’s products might be considered over the top, to say the least. Some might even think that the Pear OS 8 developer jumped the shark in a big way.
But there might also be folks out there who would appreciate a desktop Linux distribution molded in the likeness of OS X and iOS 7. So Pear OS 8 might be very appealing indeed to them.
What’s New in Pear OS 8
I was not able to locate a list of new features for Pear OS 8. The closest I could come was this page on the Pear OS site. If you have a full list of new features, please post it in the comments below. Thanks.
System Requirements for Pear OS 8
I also could not find a defined list of system requirements for Pear OS 8. This, along with a complete list of new features, is something that the Pear OS developer should consider adding to their site.
Linux Mint is an excellent model for this, the Linux Mint developers always make it very easy for users and reviewers to know what’s new and what is required to run the new distribution.
Since Pear OS 8 is based on Ubuntu, use that as a baseline for system requirements for this release.
Pear OS 8 Download
You can download Pear OS 8 from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 1.13 GB. Pear OS 8 is available in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. I used the 64-bit version for this review.
Pear OS 8 Installation
Pear OS 8 uses the Ubuntu installer, so it’s quite easy and fast to install it. You can download updates and add third party software during your install.
Pear OS 8 is also a live distribution, so you can run it off a disc before actually doing an install on your computer.
The Pear OS 8 Desktop
The Pear OS 8 desktop looks like a blend of iOS 7 and OS X since it seems to contain icons from both of Apple’s operating systems. If you’ve used OS X or iOS 7, you’ll be able to spot the icon similarities right away.
As soon as I saw the desktop I started wondering when Apple’s lawyers would be sending the Pear OS 8 developer a letter expressing their displeasure. Apple has never taken kindly to those who…er…borrow their intellectual property so it would not surprise me if the Pear OS 8 developer ended up in hot water with their legal department at some point.
At the bottom of the desktop is a Dock that is very similar to what you see in OS X Mavericks. You’ll see application icons, system settings, the trash can, the Finder, and even a Launchpad for applications.
At the top is a menu bar that also resembles the one in OS X. It even has a similar notifications icon to the far right. The wallpaper also bears an eery similarity to something that Apple would include in its desktop operating system.
Pear OS 8 also includes a desktop configuration tool called My Pear 6. It lets you easily change the Dock, Notifications, Hot Corners and Desktop. The Theme tab wasn’t functional when I looked at it, but it had a “coming soon” message on it, so no doubt we’ll eventually see that added to Pear OS.
You will also find an icon for Clean My Pear, a tool designed to help you clean up your Pear OS 8 system when needed. It offers an automatic cleanup, internet cleanup, system cleanup and trash cleanup.
Linux Software Included in Pear OS 8
Here’s a sample of the linux software included in this release.
Available in the Pear Software Center