Unlike the previous 11.10 release which never reached a stable state (because Pinguy didn’t consider GNOME Shell 3.2 stable), Pinguy OS 12.04 will have a stable release.
So I installed it to a USB drive and tested it.
When I first loaded Pinguy up, my immediate thought was that the desktop was cluttered. Many Linux distros take great care to not overly clutter the desktop with icons and toolbars, but apparently that’s not the case with Pinguy. Now, most Live-CD’s place an icon on the desktop to “Install the OS”, so I’ll discount that one being there. But in addition to that one icon, there was also an icon for Examples, Language Support and Additional Drivers. These icons on most distros don’t appear on the desktop, but are usually tucked away in some menu somewhere in case you need them. With the desktop already packed with TWO Docky bars, the extra icons on the Desktop make it seem very cluttered.
Pinguy comes loaded with a bunch of extensions which can be enabled or disabled using the gnome-tweak-tool. Most of them seem to work, but there are a few that will not enable due to unmet shell dependencies.
While the Hot Corner was disabled, I discovered it is still possible to access the GNOME3 Dash by hitting the Super-key. Then all the open windows are spread, and you can access the GNOME3 Dash menu from there.
I think it’s interesting that Pinguy decided to use GNOME Shell 3.4 to develop their desktop on, as they’ve taken great steps to make it look as un-GNOME3 as possible. From disabling the Topleft Hot Corner, to using Cardapio in place of the Dash, to using a double Docky setup in place of the GNOME3 dock, this distro has the feel of GNOME3 without some of the immediately obvious benefits of GNOME3. I suppose the reasoning was that is would be more stable based on GNOME3 than on Unity.