Linked by Barry Smith on Mon 5th Jan 2004 06:39 UTC
Xandros This article is the fifth and final installment of my series on Debian-based commercial distros in a Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) environment. It has been a wild ride (see OSNews' archives under the "Features" menu for the previous articles of the series), and I would rather eat my weight in jelly beans than go through that again. But I think it was worth it. We will see in this article Xandros being reviewed and compared to all previous distros I used and reviewed the past 2-3 months.
Order by: Score:
Let me be the first to say.....
by blah on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:15 UTC

Great Job...you know you should be a technical writer.....Oh wait :-)

Oh quit it...
by Alex on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:37 UTC

" Along the way I have tried to describe my experiences with each distro, the good and the bad. I have been cussed & criticized by some people for daring to mention flaws in their pet distro. I have been accused of favoritism for mentioning that a particular distro excelled in some particular area."

Now here your just trying to put on the face of a daring pioneer. A lot like the face Bruce Perens tried to put (http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/view/270). The reality of the matter is that you were clearly being biased in many areas of your reviews inw hich your arbitary rating system was judging the same problem differently in different distributions or some were marked down twice for the same thing. You might be right about a select few, but most people clearly pointed to your errors and the lack of depth in some of your reviews. I am not saying you did something wrong, it is after all your personal experience made for you, but that does not mean you were fair. Get over your attitute of "I am right but people just say I'm not because their biased, not because I might be or I might be doing something wrong."

 re:Oh quit it...
by blah on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:50 UTC

I think if you read farther, you will find he addresses this. he did say that he received constructive criticism, but many of the negative communications were just Zealotry filled dribble, sort of like attitude you are vaguely mirroring right now.

CNR Express
by Kevin Carmony on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:53 UTC

You should check out CNR Express. It's been out for a long time and allows for quick install of big programs (StarOffice, OpenOffice, Doom, Quake, etc.) in under 3 minutes for modem users.

http://lindows.com/cnrexpress

CNR Express also allows users to create their own local "repositories" for packages (via CD's they burn, a local area network, etc), making additional installs very quick, even for modem users.

Please keep in mind that LindowsOS is designed for the AVERAGE computer user. 95% of computer users have never installed an OS in their life, let alone know how to solve dependency problems. We're trying to achieve ease-of-use and stability with CNR.

For OS News, these reviews may be applicable, but for the 95% of the rest of the world, their criteria will be very different. Put the average computer user in front of any Linux distribution, have them go to http://lindows.com/filetypes, and watch what happens.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
President, Lindows.com, Inc.

About darn time..
by Babcocca on Mon 5th Jan 2004 08:00 UTC

I fully agree about the worst enemy of the linux community..is the linux community. Isn't it suprising that after working with distro after distro that the top two distros are not free? Imagine that! Pay me! I want to eat, pay my morgage, truck, etc!

RE: CNR Express
by Babcocca on Mon 5th Jan 2004 08:07 UTC

I have also checked out Lindows, Xandros, and many other distros. For my commercial customers, it is most likely that I would recommend Xandros. This is largely due to Codeweavers out of the box. Office is the standard. In my opinion, Star/Open office sucks. The ability for my customers to use something so smooth as Xandros AND use the industry standard, MSOffice, is very wonderful.

Just a point of honest criticism while I digest:)
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 08:33 UTC

I throughly enjoyed your review once I finished it, but frankly at just under half way through I was dead sick of it. Your review got terribly redundant when it came to customer support. It's not that I don't agree with you, however irrelevant that is, but that you got so wound up in how you felt about it all that you kept making the same point over and over and over and over again. IMO it would have been much more appropriate to write a completely seperate article focusing on customer support in Linux Distros today than to include it in the scope for this article. I wasn't expecting a full on lecture that dregs on for a couple pages - I wanted to know how XandrOS stood up compared to the other distros you tried and how you felt about it. When you got around to that, it was great imo - but I just can't help remembering myself thinking with a sick feeling in my stomach 'Alright already, he made his point, when's he going to get on with it?'

I don't mean to be too harsh, I just hope this bit of criticism helps. For whatever it's worth - thanks for the time you've invested in your shootout, I've read each one and enjoyed each of them very much. Kudos to you, and I look forward to read more of your writing in the future.

Good articles, good comments, good choices
by pollycat on Mon 5th Jan 2004 08:41 UTC

I've enjoyed following this series. The writer is entertaining and exhibits a lot of plain old common sense in what he has to say. I think he reached his final decisions thoughtfully and logically (and, I have to say, I agree with him - Libranet wins hands-down for me too, for very similar reasons as expressed by the author.)

Thanks a bunch for this "shootout"!

Sarge/sid
by anarchic_teapot on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:14 UTC

"(As a side note, am I the only one who is getting nervous about the way Sarge and Sid are getting so tangled up in the latest distros? I have reached the point that I am almost afraid to try upgrading a Debian-based distro for fear of crunching half a dozen major dependencies and destroying my whole installation. For a while I seriously considered going back to Woody and staying there until the storm passed. All I want is to keep my kernel, video and applications up to date. Is that too much to ask?)"

Believe me, son, you're not alone! I've got sarge and it's been merrily crashing (in some cases full system crashes) for the past fortnight.

It would have been nice, however, to have included distros that aren't x86-only.

World-Class Customer Support
by Kendall Dawson on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:20 UTC

Barry,

Thank you for the review and for the opportunity to respond. We are working hard to improve email and forum support response times at Lindows.com. I will discuss the concerns that you mentioned here with the VP of Customer Service. We are committed to offering World-Class Customer Support at Lindows.com.

I invite you to view our pledge here:
http://info.lindows.com/pledge/Customer_Care_Pledge.html

We appreciate your feedback. I look forward to reading about your future experiences with LindowsOS.

Kendall Dawson
Community Liaison, Lindows.com Inc.

Interesting
by 2k3 on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:21 UTC

"I haven't found one single distro that worked properly out of the box on both of my systems." I have had a simmilar experience on my computers, not a good statistic IMHO.
BTW $100 for the distro is way too expensive. Linux distros have more frequent release cycles than windows, sometimes releaseing every 6 months vs MSFT's 2 year upgrade cycle. Even Libranet is $80. Linux is one area that could use company mergers becasue all that money seems to be going to seperate recreations of the wheel. I would also like to say that on the +/- scale I am throwing this review a -2 for bashing windows. I don't know what is so different about some of your systems but I have never had stability problems with windows. The few stability problems I have had are usually caused by buggy third party software.

Why is it acceptable to bash winodws but wrong to point out any flaws in Linux? There are many flaws in Linux and if I compiled them into an article and asked that it be published it would be deemed flamebait and never get posted. Linux is about free (speech) but Linux zealots are usually the first to try and prevent someone from speaking freely.

Joy Joy, Happy Happy
by John Blink on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:40 UTC

Happy Happy, Joy Joy is the way I remember it.

Also great article, I give you a +1+1-1-1+1 for no particular reason ;)

screenshots?
by th on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:28 UTC

any screenshots from these distros? boring to read an article without screenshots!:)

Informative.
by Josh on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:30 UTC

The article I have to say was at least informative. It was a good desktop only shootout. It didnt review the likes of SUSE or Mandrake but the ms user freindly ones. I found the information about Xandros's EULA interesting and at least might affect my attitude about using it later on, though most ms to lin SOHO users probably would care less since they just click accept. I agree that documentation is always important and its a shame that most places dont plain offer it with their software no more, lol the documentation that came with DOS it seems is thicker than the ones carried on most modern oses now a days. Not that its a problem in the long run since people will simply learn to live without documentation though I hear SUSE has some nice documentation as one of the few that contains them.

Corel Linux
by Kingston on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:58 UTC

I remember when it came out, I thought it was the greatest thing since I learned of OSS. Then Corel (being the whores of the software industry that they were) dumped it for a small amount of money, and I stuck with Red Hat until I found BSD. If Corel had stuck to their Linux plans, theirs could have been great I think.

But the fact that each time, there have been people from Lindows responding here directly. Hell, twice in this first 15 responses it has been them addressing or saying they are addressing issues. Courteous and responsive and fast.

Whatever you may think about their OS, *THAT* is the way to do it.

Well done, Lindows.

About Libranet's documentation...
by Gonzalo on Mon 5th Jan 2004 11:16 UTC

Libranet 2.8 includes... the back of the CD sleeve is printed with some basic instructions and that's it.

It's similar to Mepis' two pages, though this would be only around 1 page.

Seriously OT - RE: 2k3
by Sure on Mon 5th Jan 2004 12:00 UTC

>>Why is it acceptable to bash winodws but wrong to point out any flaws in Linux?<<

Why do you call pointing out flaws in MS Windows or MS businuess politics "bashing Windows"?

>>"I haven't found one single distro that worked properly out of the box on both of my systems." I have had a simmilar experience on my computers, not a good statistic IMHO.<<

I haven't found an operating system that worked properly out of the box on my system yet. Not a good statistic, if you ask me. But i guess that's the price you pay if you use cheap commodity hardware. I found GNU/Linux (Debian in my case) to be more responsive to my attempts to fix the little "inconveniences" than other solutions. Those insisted to revert to their original state. Bothersome.

>>BTW $100 for the distro is way too expensive. Linux distros have more frequent release cycles than windows, sometimes releaseing every 6 months vs MSFT's 2 year upgrade cycle.<<

I agree, $100 is too expensive for most software, if it excludes service and support.
Then i would like to point out that most of the "box-only" GNU/Linux Distros (Xandros, SUSE, etc.) have a yearly release schedule.

A bit too long for my taste.
by dukeinlondon on Mon 5th Jan 2004 12:35 UTC

I don't care too much about the author's digression. It is rather distracting and so very personal that I have to disagree with a lot of things, especially the part about the distros competing between themselves as much as with Windows: the linux market will only grow significantly if a large number of windows users get interested in Linux. If won't make much difference to Xandros that all Lindows users defect to them but it will be some effort. But any small number of Windows users adopting Linux will make a BIG difference. Granted distros still compete against each other to get the biggest slice of these new customers. But normally, industry lobbies (ever heard about the Agro business ?) fight united to make their common market bigger and make internal competition less cut throat. Linux companies (and the author) don't seem to get it.

I regret that the application offering is not covered because if Linux has got a killer feature, it is the breadth of apps available at no extra cost and how well they work on the distro,i.e. whether the mime associations are correct, whether the apps chosen accept drag and drop from each other and so on and so forth.

Otherwise informative thanks for the time spent. I need to read the libranet review. It's the debian distro that tempts me most.



Good review
by Joe on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:00 UTC

I agreed with almost everything in it. However, I think that Xandros would be easier for a beginner. For an intermediate and up, Libranet is the best distro. It's convenient and doesn't bastardize everything like Mandrake, SuSE and Red Hat.

Possibly Unrealistic Expectations
by Mutiny on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:04 UTC

I'm not tearing the article apart, I really liked it. I'm merely trying to point out a few things that the author may not have considered.

In the case of hardware detection, I think that the author might be a bit unrealistic. That is one strange video setup he has.

Some of the distros picked up the onboard, others the PCI video card. The "normal" replacement video card would be an AGP card, although this motherboard may not include an AGP port. An AGP card will disable the onboard video and make many of the problems go away.

I would not be suprised if there were BIOS settings that could help the situation. Setting the BIOS to use PCI before AGP video might help. Also, since Xandros detected both as available, he should check for a BIOS setting or jumper to disable the onboard video.

IMHO, Xandros seemed to do the logical thing and should be commended if both video cards were actually usable. Autodetecting and enabling Xinerama is a neat trick that I would like to learn. Most other distros have trouble with a single monitor.

As for 3D, part of the problem is a fundamental one with OSS in general. The software is so fragmented that few applications work well together, much less getting DRI modules for the kernel to work with XFree.

XFree seems to close every attempt at true integration, while Linux changes the kernel around seemingly to avoid the possibility of ever having a driver that is not compiled directly for this configuration along with the rest of the kernel.

Including 3D in a SOHO distro is of questionable use other than for games. On top of that, you don't want a customer to use it, then upgrade the kernel for a security (or other) problem and be left with a non-functional desktop just because the modules no longer match. Upgrading XFree could also break the same things. 2D is a much safer, therefore cheaper, solution for a commercial disto.

I do see that this is a failure, however, I have to give them all some slack on this one due to the fact that no one, AFAIK, can pull this off 100% at this point in time. It will be a major step for Linux when someone makes this a non-issue.

In either of these cases, I doubt that any version of Windows would have produced better results and usually worse. Not a bad showing for Linux, but still room for improvement.

As a coordinator for a SOHO distribution, I know that it isn't as easy as it looks. I will definately keep his points in mind.

Lindows
by Marc on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:20 UTC

I can't see the Spam for Lindows here being more, at every
Review when the Name Lindows felt. Xandros IS for me the much
better Alternative as Lindows, and has superb Userforum Support.

v About Lindows
by Marc on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:25 UTC
What the Public Wants
by John van de Ven on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:42 UTC

Have we all forgotten that one of the reasons MS Windows is widespread (90% worldwide use on desktops) is it'a ease of use. Thats right, all you have to do is click and go with everything. From PC installation to maintenance, software installation and running programs. THATS WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.
The closest installation to match this feat is Xandros. At least there is a linux vendor who really does understand the ethos of the general public. If all Linux distros would think like a customer, I bet that their OS would be close to MS standards on ease of use.

WOW!!!
by Tudy on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:43 UTC

How many pages has this guy written for the Xandros review??? Around 8, right? Look at his earlier reviews on Lindows, Mepis or Libranet, I recall some of them were like only 2 pages long. Is this a decent/fair comparison between them??

Don't get me wrong, I dont have anything against Xandros. In fact, I'm writing right now from within my Xandros 2 Desktop. But how can he say that this is a fair comparison when he dedicates so much time to one distro, and far more less to the details of the others.

:::PROUD TO BE LIVING IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:::

Shots
by Rich on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:45 UTC

Ratings for this review:

+ long text
+ descriptive

- screenshots
- screenshots
- screenshots

Customer support
by Ivan Obelovic on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:56 UTC

Good article. Regarding the customer support, shouldn't you be comparing the response time of the customer support of those distros under the same condition? I mean, you sent your support request to the other distros not during the holidays (I guess), therefore they replied sooner (with exception of MEPIS, I guess, I think you will get prompt reply even in the holidays... the beauty of "labor-of-love" operations).

Just my 0.02 euros.

Fan-Bloody-Tastic
by Rodney Mcdonell on Mon 5th Jan 2004 14:56 UTC

Fantastic job, and i'd have to agree with you on you'r final decisions. If i ever have to tell someone to get linux or try it, libranet is the go.

I myself use debian and i dont think i'll ever switch. I thought linux was crap after i tried redhat although now i know a little more than i did back than, Debian is a great system.

Now that you've chosen you'r favourite OS, maybe you should do a series on hardware choice? Run librarnet on different hardware platforms to find the most superious? AMD->Intel etc... or maybe you dont have that much money ;)

I dont think you'r scoring was bad at all, maybe a little weird, but its your opinion on your hardware and your giving it as a users perspective and its a good one.

Thanx for the series, i've enjoyed it heaps!

Eugenia
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 14:59 UTC

This is Slashdot material at its finest:
Well, I left Microsoft because it crashed early and often, because it picked up virii more readily than a classroom full of 6 year olds, because it bogged down my system to an incredible degree. But mostly I left Microsoft because I got tired of paying Danegeld. Extortion. Protection Money. I got tired of being locked into obligatory upgrades and proprietary file formats and activation codes that force a user to beg a faceless stranger for permission to use his own hardware. I got tired of asking permission from Microsoft to do whatever I want to do with the computer I paid for. I got tired of Microsoft's casual assumption that owning the license to the operating system gave them a license to tell me what I could, or could not, do with my hardware. I got tired of the uncertainty that comes from not knowing what hoop Microsoft was going to force me to jump through next. I got tired of doing things the Microsoft way simply because no other way existed. Now another way does exist. Where do I go from here?

If that was a comment here it would be modded down, so how did it make it as a posted story?

"If that was a comment here it would be modded down, so how did it make it as a posted story?"

Maybe becasue all he said was true?

- Vecc

XAdminmenu
by TheDude on Mon 5th Jan 2004 15:43 UTC

I don't believe XAdminMenu is released under the GPL so Barry's comment about Libranet being completely free code is wrong. XAdminmenu does rock , however.

Your Xandros Review
by Frederick Berenstein on Mon 5th Jan 2004 15:55 UTC

Thanks for your lengthy and detailed review of Xandros v 2.0

I am sure that your thoughts about support will be taken to heart. We are always looking to improve Xandros and our responsiveness to our custoemrs in any way we can.

The delay regarding the shipping date, however, had nothing to do with wanting to get version 2.0 out before Christmas. The original shipping date had to be postponed because the initial run of CD's from our fulfillment house were defective. This caused a delay while they identified their manufacturing problem and rectified it and sent us new Cd's to certify.

Hoping to hear more from you in the future.

Best regards,

Frederick Berenstein, Chairman
Xandros

Has it's pro's and con's...
by Alex de Landgraaf on Mon 5th Jan 2004 15:57 UTC

Lots... of... text... must... force... self... to... read... *snore* ZZZzzz...

Seriously, I found your review between these 4 commercial distros pretty interesting, if only for the feature-comparisons. Would like to echo that throwing a few screenshots in would make it a more interesting read and that this last one was a bit too long compared to the others (That people like Warren don't have a social life isn't a surprise, fooling around with livecds is very addictive and will lead to the same symptoms as stated in the article ;) Besides that, the articles do give a good view on how a regular user must cope with the good and the bad of their OS. Kudos to Libranet for their nice and stable distro, they underline the fact that normal users don't need the latest versionnumbers to Get Stuff Done(tm). Something a lot of us tend to forget. Guilty as charged.

Pity that most of these commercial distros don't release their source under the GPL (in comparison with Mandrake, for example. Warren has seen the light: Thy giveth and Thy taketh), but from a business perspective it's probably healthier for the company, *shrug*. Besides, us non-commercial distrobuilders enjoy reinventing the wheel anyway, keeps us busy. I thank Xandros, MEPIS, Libranet and Lindows for the diversity they create in Distroland and wish them well!

Cheers,

Alex
morphix.org
(Can't let the Lindows guy make all the comments, just had to post ;)

Excellent Rant Against MS
by Ranty on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:05 UTC

Excellent article. I'll credit minor redundancies as a sign of sincerity. As another OS News poster mentioned, this stuff could be Slashdot.

>> ... I left Microsoft because I got tired of ... Extortion ... of being locked into ... upgrades and proprietary file formats and activation codes ... beg[ging] [MS] for permission to use [my] own hardware. <<

Yes! Thank you!

IMO, it almost doesn't matter which distro one chooses, as the majors are all evolving quickly. There is no accounting for taste. "Mainstream" America proves that over and over. Tech support is very important. Politics can be (depending on your tastes). But no matter how appealing a distro is (CNR, Apt-Get, etc) to you, for whatever reasons, it is nothing without the best possible production applications. In this area Linux is way, way, behind.

Re: WOW!!! @tudy
by debian_semi_guru on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:33 UTC

Did you even bother to read the article? most of it was the author's comments on linux in general, his opinions on various linux philosophies, and so forth.

the actual xandros meat of it so to speak, would only compose of a couple of pages max if you compiled it all together.




"How many pages has this guy written for the Xandros review??? Around 8, right? Look at his earlier reviews on Lindows, Mepis or Libranet, I recall some of them were like only 2 pages long. Is this a decent/fair comparison between them??

Don't get me wrong, I dont have anything against Xandros. In fact, I'm writing right now from within my Xandros 2 Desktop. But how can he say that this is a fair comparison when he dedicates so much time to one distro, and far more less to the details of the others.

:::PROUD TO BE LIVING IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:::"

RE: Excellent Rant Against M$
by EightiesDude on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:35 UTC

Loved your articles about all the distros you reviewed. The rant against M$ is classic. I do as well say a big thank you for that.

Reading the responses it is cool to see some of the people that are part of the distros are reading and writing. Very cool indeed.

I have used Linux since 1998 and will continue to do so.

but I would have liked to have seen knoppix and knoppix based distros(morphix, gnoppix, etc).

Comparing the reviews
by Ripcrd6 on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:47 UTC

This was a pretty good wrap-up to the series and I think you stated at the beginning why it was so long. You compared all the distros at the same time as reviewing Xandros. I was glad to read about some distros I had never tried before. I've read tons of reviews on Red Hat, Mandrake and Suse. They are after all the top three right?

After becoming a Morphix user and finally getting a useable Debian installed (and now I'm a moderator on Morphix.org too, hi Alex) I finally see what my friends using Debian have been raving about. It's great, updates are easy, sometimes stuff breaks, but it's easily fixable. Someday, all Linux distros will probably be LiveCDs with an option to install, because it works great. They just have to remember which modules you had working for your installed hardware and improve hardware detection after install. That said, I think Debian is the future in one form or another for me and for a lot of people. It's the most open, most stable and the most responsive distro I've tried. If we could just get some of those cool tools the Libranets and the Morphixes of the distro world have created rolled back into Debian. It would be great to have the best tools available to the Debian community at large.

Anyway, great read. I'll be trying out Libranet in the near future myself because of your review. I'm glad you took my suggestion about settling w/ a distro for each PC. In the long run you may just find yourself turning them both into standard Debian boxes via apt-get. Good luck with your new Linux Boxen.

Brian
--------------------------
Somewhere there is a village missing an idiot.

RE: Oh quit it...
by Bill Leeper on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:49 UTC

"Now here your just trying to put on the face of a daring pioneer. A lot like the face Bruce Perens tried to put (http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/view/270). The reality of the matter is that you were clearly being biased in many areas of your reviews inw hich your arbitary rating system was judging the same problem differently in different distributions or some were marked down twice for the same thing. "

Actually, I don't recall him ever saying he was trying to be fair or impartial. I enjoyed the series simply because he had a lot of good points about tje Linux Community in general and about the different distros. And there is no such thing as a completely unbised review. Human nature precludes us from being totally objective.

All in all, it was fun reading. I have found many of the same problems trying to find a Linux distro to settle on in my journey away from Windows. For the time being I have settled on a Mac for my main machine and my Windows box is becoming a multiboot system for Linux.

The author is right on about one thing. One of the biggest roadblock to Windows users switching to Linux is the people in the Linux community who seem to be set on driving away anyone who does not want to become a Linux geek. Until Linux becomes completely transparent to the new user, meaning that they can sit down and not realize that the underlaying OS is not Windows, you are not going to see mass defections from Windows. Better the devil you know than the one you don't...

Bill

Support Review
by Jason Lotito on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:50 UTC

I had mentioned in a previous article about the author's inability to use the support, or at least write about it. The fact that he has written about it here, and describes what he experienced is refreshing. I don't know if my comment influenced him in such, but it's nice to see.

for Debian_semi_guru
by Tudy on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:05 UTC

Yes, I've read the article. That's my opinion about his articles, you would understand if you would have read the previous articles. As I recall, Lindows was devoted something like 4 pages, Mepis only 2, and so on. Even if he wanted to share some thoughts on linux in general in between lines of the Xandros article, I still think he has rated the distros not accurately. What's your problem, man?


:::PROUD TO BE LIVING IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:::

RE: Interesting
by Bill Leeper on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:07 UTC

"I am throwing this review a -2 for bashing windows. I don't know what is so different about some of your systems but I have never had stability problems with windows. The few stability problems I have had are usually caused by buggy third party software. "

And why do you suppose the 3rd party software is buggy to begin with? Could it be because MS uses so many undocumented features in Windows itself? But you did get one thing right. Windows works great as long as you use only MS software on it. But then that is why we have other OS's. Some of us do see the world differently than the MS vision.

I would not call the article Windows bashing either. He simply decided he had had enough of Windows and was detailing his search for a replacement. I have gone through the same process in the last few months. I actually expect to spend more time being productive on my system than fixing problems that crop up. And for me Windows was not meeting that expectation. But then I may be biased. :-)

More Trolling
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:10 UTC

And why do you suppose the 3rd party software is buggy to begin with? Could it be because MS uses so many undocumented features in Windows itself?

Either back your statement up or retract it, troll.

RE: More Trolling
by Bill Leeper on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:36 UTC

And why do you suppose the 3rd party software is buggy to begin with? Could it be because MS uses so many undocumented features in Windows itself?

Either back your statement up or retract it, troll.


If I were trolling I would post my comments under the name "Anonymous:... As for backing up my statement I would suggest you try a google search on the phrase "undocumented Windows features" for starters. If you run out of reading material there let me know and I will be more than happy to supply you with more.

PS: Is this "Bob" from the BeOS forums???

Release Date
by lefty on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:42 UTC

I'm not sure if Xandros was rushed out or not, but I agree about the timing of the release date. Xandros 2.0 seems far less compatible with my machine than 1.0 did; with the exact same equipment. I won't detail the problems here, as I hope to work them out with tech support. The only response I've had from them so far in the 12 days since I installed Xandros is a suggestion that I reinstall Xandros, which I had already done to no avail. The tech support team has always been friendly and helpful, as has the User Forums. But other users shouldn't have to supplant tech support because they took most of 2 weeks off for the holidays. They should make an extra effort to support users immediately after a new release; not take time off.

Nicely Done - - Thanks for the Solid Info
by Tim In VA on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:48 UTC

I left the world of print journalism a few years back, decided to start doing it instead of writing about it where network administration was concerned. The pay 'sho 'nuff be a sight bettah. ;)

Anyway, I've not seen a better appraisal piece published anywhere. I learned network administration on Linux and NT4 simultaneously starting in 1995. I see strengths in both OSS and closed-source platforms. Those who have made extensive use of Microsoft's TechNet service know that this is the knowledge base against which all others are judged. If commercial Linux support teams can't be staffed adequately, the next best thing is a printed manual, and the next best thing after that is a deep knowledge base provided by the vendor. Saying that Usenet or the Internet -IS- the knowledge base is not acceptable. As I think you've pointed out so eloquently, widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop might well depend more on acceptable support of the product than on technical perfection in the distribution.

Nice work.

Why I don't use linux...
by Bright Wire on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:57 UTC

Windows gives me 1 screen style straightup, Linux I have to fluster through 2 (KDE/gnome). Windows installs and just gives me everything and then hides it until needed, Linux makes me pick and choose from 20 different things that do the same task but not quite. Windows just works without "dependency issues" such as newest library of such and such, Linux flakes on the installation of a single new entity. Windows auto recognizes almost everything I can buy and throw at it, Linux requies more hunting and searching and dreaded "dependency updates". I tried Linux once this year and I am in full agreement with the autor, I want the control Linux provides, but I want it in a way that works for lazy people such as myself. One last thought, in my home I want to play games, surf the web, and do new and interesting things with my computer, I do not want to resort to a second computer to research problems everytime something goes wrong. If you want linux to work then standardize it. I want one environment (gnome or KDE I don't care), I want one repository (send me to fileplanet or downloads.com perpetually), and I want everything to generally work out of the box (if not then give me a "big fluffy hardcopy manual"). And this is why I have gone back to Windows yet again, even updated to WinXP. I know what I'm getting and I know reasonably well that it works.

re: Corel Linux
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:06 UTC

Corel sold their Linux and it became Xandros. So look at Xandros

RE: Why I don't use linux...
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:12 UTC

I agree with you, but it will never happen. What you are describing (as seen in Windows) is actually hard to implement. Linux users will continue to denigrate this as being "dumbed down" or "not learning about the computer," simply because there isn't enough skill in the Linux community to make something as easy to use as Windows. I'm not talking about something as easy as Mac OSX, only as easy to use as Windows. And many geeks can't even see what the problem is. Well, don't be surprised if Linux never makes it above 3-5% on the desktop. It's been explained a million times.

this sucks
by Marc on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:22 UTC

It's a shame i posted a true statement with proven facts, about Lindows "about Lindows", and somebody here (maybe eugenia, i believe) nuked it! so far for freedom of opinion, thanks for that!

so we all know...
by Marc on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:24 UTC

..how this business goes - not the best product wins, oh no, but the one with the trickiest marketing, all the bells and whistles, and propaganda! byebye, Lindows. R.I.P.

@Marc
by Bas on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:33 UTC

>proven facts, about Lindows

proven fact 1
>Lindows has too much commecial Maketing Hype - which sucks!
whats is the fact and what did you prove?

proven fact 2
>At the Beginning, Linux sayd it'll run Windows Apps via
>Wine perfectly - now they don't even talk about this issue,
>bc it doesn't!
SO? This is standard behavior of companies not only Lindows
but also Xandros. They told me (version 1) had a nice upgrade/update tool called Xandros Network, it never worked well and certainly never had any nice upgrades or updates they told me about.

provenfact 3
>Xandros integrates CrossOver Office (latest one) flawlessly
>and runs absolutely perfectly, doing the bridge from
>Windoze to Linux - and prove concept what Lindows claimed
>long before, and never did it right!
See point 2

proven fact 4
>Lindows praises so called "Features" at their Homapage,
>for Example PopUp Blocker, which are just plain ordinary
>Mozilla Browser Suite Features.
So? it still does they job not more or less they told..

proven fact 5
>Lindows changed all ordinary KDE About Boxes to their
>own,which is for me a violating of the GPL.
Please read the GPL before you comment, KDE is even using QT tech. that is not free, besides that Lindows contributed more code Xandros ever will do.

etc...etc..

Yor proven facts stink..

I've installed X2 on a desktop and a laptop with no problems with the installs or subsequent operation. Both machines previously had X1. The X1 install failed on the laptop until I updated its BIOS which also fixed some Win2K problems; this suggestion came from another Xandros board user.

Since the release of X2, there have been a number of complaints from would-be users who have install problems and some of these have started long threads, mostly lacking in information that might help either Xandros support or other board users to troubleshoot the problem. I also do software support and moderate a user bulletin board. Fortunately, our clients don't behave like two year olds and are usually smart enough to give useful information with the complaints. Occasionally, some even read the manuals before complaining. I agree that it's unfortunate timing for Xandros to do a relase and allow their support people to have Christmas and New Year holidays - imagine, actually allowing employee holidays. In my company, we are somewhat more fortunate as our two offices, one in Russia and one in the USA have different hoiday dates by two weeks for Christmas and New Years.

I really appreciated the Xandros review, however, I do see things a bit differently than the reviewer in regards to Windows compatilibity, and networking.

As regards to Windows compatibility, I would see this as a major feature, especially for the SOHO environment. Something that the reviewer didn't mention was that Xandros Deluxe 2.0 includes a trial copy of Win4Lin, that will run for 4 hours at a time -- which is plenty for most SOHO users -- Why this wouldn't be a major feature for the reviewer, I don't know, as he mentions that he has more than one Windows machine. There are many people I know that having Win4Lin would enable them to run Linux full time on there machine, as they would no longer have to dual boot, or have a Windows machine on their network to run such programs as Intuit QuickBooks (which many SOHO's use). And like it or not, there are still programs on Windows that don't have an equal on Linux, so Windows compatilibity is a major selling point.

As far as home networking, when is SneakerNet EVER better than a real network? I personally have all my data files on my server, which is backed up regularly, and which I can access from all of my Linux and Windows machines, so I can get my data files from any machine on my network, and I always know I am working on the latest version. No worrying about, "Well I copied it to that machine... did I copy the latest version back?"

And printing across the network is easy to set up (or at least it is in my experience), and it much preferable to getting up and unplugging cables (which can damage the cables and if there is a static discharge, possibly damage your computer).

Personally, I started running DOSLinux when Windows was crashing on me more than I could handle, then I switched to Debian, and now I am running Knoppix on most of my Linux computers, and I plan to switch to ClusterKnoppix, however, I probably will be purchasing a copy of Xandros primarily because they include Win4Lin, which should enable me to completely eliminate Windows as a primary OS on any of my computers.

@Bright Wire
by Bas on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:46 UTC


Bla bla bla any intressting points or just the usual crap?
Stick to Windows but please stop commenting like a fool, who cares?

_THE_ problem of Linux
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:51 UTC

Too much choice.

Someone unfamiliar with computers and Linux does not want to choose, he just wants it to work.

A problem of Windows:

No choice.

Guess what, Windows is simpler. But the problem of choice in Linux can be solved by a distribution, like Xandros. Windows is not inherently easier than "a Linux OS", it's just that everyone is already used to it and that Linux for the desktop is just maturing. People should not want one uniform Linux OS dominating the market, especially not of a commercial company. We all know what that brings...

RE: @Bright Wire
by Josh on Mon 5th Jan 2004 18:57 UTC

I agree with Bas. If your not willing to do a bit of legwork, you arent ready for linux yet. Wait a few years when offical drivers and commerical software is more readily avaliable for linux(nativly, not via wine). For me, its fantasic. Im not really a PC gamer(all I have is UT2k3,q3, and neverwinter nights) and the apps are adequte for me or better than their windows conterparts(K3B spanks nero, xmms kills winamp).


RE: _THE_ problem of Linux
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:02 UTC

Windows is not inherently easier than "a Linux OS", it's just that everyone is already used to it and that Linux for the desktop is just maturing.

Really? When I browse to a site that uses Flash in internet explorer, I just click "yes" and the content appears. How do you do so in Linux? Can I just install any .exe file on Windows? Can I do the same with Linux software? And how about the release cycle. How often am I supposed to upgrade my Windows installation? Every 3 years? With Linux, (except server distros), it appears most distributions are on a 6 month or one year cycle.

Actually, that's Linux not being ready for people. People don't have to adapt to software. People write software for other people, not the other way around. People use what works best, and what is easiest, and what is cheapest. Price is important, but if you only have one of the three.. it doesn't matter.

LindowsOS
by Kevin Carmony on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:24 UTC

<<This is largely due to Codeweavers out of the box.>>

Two years ago Lindows.com did a "one-eighty" with running MS Windows software. We seem to be one of the few Linux distros who now believes in a COMPLETE Linux solution, not just having a Linux OS.

If someone wants to use MS Office, they'll probably just keep using MS Windows. Lindows.com believes in a NEW world, where not just the OS, but the applications are stable, secure, use open standards, and are affordable. What good is it to save $100 on an OS, only to still have to turn around and use expensive, bloated, non-secure software that follows non-open formats?

StarOffice and OpenOffice do what they were intended to do much more than WINE does what it was intended to do. We'd rather see improvements come to native Linux apps than band aids like WINE that just let MS keep charging $500 for an office suite.

As for us never talking about it, we've been talking about it very candidly since a few months after we started: http://lindows.com/mswindows


<<Whatever you may think about their OS, *THAT* is the way to do it. Well done, Lindows.>>

Thanks. We are very proud of our strong community, but we're always interested in what other, non-LindowsOS users have to say as well, so yes, we follow these things closely.


<<Lindows has too much commecial Maketing Hype>>

Thank you. We always like compliments. =)

Marketing = Education = More Linux Users = More Linux Software & Services Available = A Good Thing for Linux Users

Ignore Marketing = Uninformed Public = Less Linux Users = Less Linux Software & Services Available = A Good Thing for Microsoft

Linux needs good marketing just as much as it needs good code.


<<Lindows changed all ordinary KDE About Boxes to their own>>

We only do this if we have significantly changed a program. Any re-naming we do is to help consumers. When you go running to MS Windows users with loads of new terms (KDE, GNOME, Debian, Apt-Get, XWindows, XFree, Konquerer, Mozilla, GAIM, etc. etc. etc.), they just get confused and leave. Try visiting a foreign country where no one speaks your language. It's not a comfortable experience. So yes, we do re-name things at times from KGGOOWAB74 to "Calculator." =)

Kevin Carmony
President, Lindows.com, Inc.

Re: Screenshots
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:26 UTC

>any screenshots from these distros? boring to read an article without screenshots!:)

Xandros 2.0 Screenshots

http://www.xandros.com/dsk_dlx_screenshots.html

<<When I browse to a site that uses Flash in internet explorer, I just click "yes" and the content appears.>>

That's why we go to great lengths to make sure that all of that works fine. Here are just some of the many file types supported by LindowsOS when browsing, in emails, etc., all with no extra work required by the user:

http://lindows.com/filetypes

So yes, you can just click on a flash presentation and it plays. =)

Try it yourself here: http://lindows.com/howto (then click on the link to play)

=)

Kevin

Also, note that the GPL allows this. I can change the name of everything to "Anonymous OS" and sell it for $50 on the internet if I want to. Perhaps you should have considered a more restrictive license (if you have indeed developed anything beyond "hello world") if you don't want people modifying your source code.

RE: Good point - File type compatibility is VERY important
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:33 UTC

Oh. I wasn't referring to Lindows, I was referring to the other types of Linux that are available for free. I find that their price does not make up for their poor quality. Hope I did not unintentionally slander your fine product.

Re: LindowsOS
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:38 UTC

>If someone wants to use MS Office, they'll probably just keep using MS Windows.

Not nescessairly true at all. There's a market for MS Office under Linux and Xandros/Crossover suits that market just fine.

>What good is it to save $100 on an OS, only to still have to turn around and use expensive, bloated, non-secure software that follows non-open formats?

I notice you say *use* not *buy*. Anyone who is looking seriously at moving from Windows to Xandros with Crossover is probably already going to own MSOffice. Therefore the expense is largely irrelavent to most users.

As to why you'd use it, it's simple. I've used Word for years, it's the word processor used by most businesses and it's skill in Word, not Open Office or KOffice, that's going to be useful on the job. Word works just fine for me under Crossover on Xandros, I use it all the time. That means I don't have to learn a new program that simply duplicates the functions of a program I already know and use.

Xandros isn't perfect, but its pretty damn good.
by Sauja on Mon 5th Jan 2004 20:07 UTC

As a Xandros user and poster in the forums, I am a strong proponent of Xandros monitoring their forums instead of leaving them up to the users. By their very nature, Xandros users are less technical and not as likely to be able to provide the kind of support other disto's communities can.

Nobody has mentioned this yet, and it may not be that relevant, but the Xandros Standard Edition (as opposed to the Deluxe Edition) which doen't include Cross-Over (and doesn't have the shiny manual, is only $39.99. Which is alot easier to take, IMHO.

I have followed this series closely, (in daily anticipation of the Xandros review) and I was disappointed by the fact that the features that I love, are not a priority for Brian, Like Integration with Windows File and Print sharing from the File Manager. Oh well, at least he clearly stated form the get go that this was a review from his perspective and the criteria was solely according to his needs (and wants).

I hope, as Frederick Berenstein said, Xandros will take the necessary steps to improve support.

Sauja

I am not a user of Xandros 2.0 -- yet, but I have used 1.0/1.1.

That said, I do take exception to the "price" bashing you did on Xandros -- Xover Office is included in the Deluxe version. It is not included in the others. Compare pricing for this version of Xandros to SuSE Office (based on 8.2) -- which also includes Xover. You'll find it cheaper by $25.00 or so.

You can also purchase a "Standard" version that does not include Xover.

Price and CrossOver @Mark Grosskopf
by Sauja on Mon 5th Jan 2004 20:46 UTC

I agree (as stated above), especially since Brian glossed over the CrossOver integration as a feature that he didn't use and wasn't impressed with, then complains about the price, when the crossover license represent nearly half the cost.

Oh well.

Sauja

Oh, I've wasted my life -Comic Book Guy
by Charles on Mon 5th Jan 2004 20:46 UTC

Now you generally have to embark on a research project, visit the public library, search the web, ask questions on the user forums, beg help from your local LUG, and go earn a degree in computer science before you are qualified to open a new file and actually do anything constructive.

Damn! You mean I got this degree in computer science for nothing?

RE: Mark and Sauja
by B. Smith on Mon 5th Jan 2004 21:09 UTC

I am sorry you took it as price bashing.That was not my intent. However I will point out that the latest version of Wine from winehq will run MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, et. al. I am doubtful if there are any applications officially supported by CrossOver that can't be run under generic wine with a little tweaking.

What CrossOver offers is a convenient interface to make life easier for non-tech users. Certainly a worthy goal. But to me, I just don't need it. Aren't there some aspects of various distros that are included but you personally don't need? The thing is, anyone who wants a bound manual (which is worth at least an addition #20 in value to me) has to order the Deluxe version. Anyone who wants to be able to use the NTFS file sizing utilities needs Deluxe, and so on.

I wasn't trying to bash Xandros. It is a beautiful distro. I was making an economic evaluation of whether it would be cost effective for me personally. That's all.

B. Smith

"Corel sold their Linux and it became Xandros. So look at Xandros"

Well, uhm, yeah, that's why I made the comment guy... (or gal. Either way, you're a tad slow today ;)

v What?
by digitalbryan on Mon 5th Jan 2004 22:04 UTC
Thanx for the review and the SUV statement
by STIBS on Mon 5th Jan 2004 22:35 UTC

Barry,

thank you so much!

I'm sure, all the Team Mepis members read your articles and know to weigh all the issues you brought up. Thanks for all the pointers, we'll work hard on Mepis that it stays the SUV you compared it to and gains a bit of the Sedan and the Hotrod to make it fun to work with for every user.

STIBS
Team Mepis (lacking such a good line like Kevin ;)

Cost
by Alex on Mon 5th Jan 2004 23:13 UTC

"Cost is also a consideration. The version that I received, Xandros 2.0 Deluxe, costs approximately $100 when you include shipping. This is the one of the highest prices on a Linux distro that I know of, and is perilously close to what Microsoft charges for system upgrades"

Maybe so but have you looked at the value they are offering? The Crossover products alone equal the entire price.

Don't make statements YOU HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT
by Alex on Mon 5th Jan 2004 23:23 UTC

"To read the marketing hype, the Xandros File Manager is the crown jewel in the Xandros offering. It's Konqueror."

THIS IS TOTALLY FALSE, XFM shares NO CODE WITH KONQUEROR and is far more than a "modified window layout" it is in fact twice as large codewise

Sure it uses some KDE libraries, but it is NOT KONQUEROR AND SHARES NO CODE WITH IT.

In general this review was long but not to the point, too many unrelated thins about your ideals rather than the product etc. You also really did a very superficial job, you did not even mention the many changes in the Xandros KDE, it is almost unrecognizable, everything from the desktop menu to the control center have been changed to be more user friendly. Xandros also improved small but very important things, like the trash can which can restore files or cd player that palys from your first or second cdrom, not only first like every other Linux distro I tried.

Something of interest
by Alex on Mon 5th Jan 2004 23:35 UTC

"But for right now they are showing signs (like dropping part of their networking capability without telling the user base, and leaving tech support unmanned over a holiday following their new release, and neglecting to mention a few details about installing from a CD-ROM in their instructions) of being behind the curve. "

I believe them, I really think it was an omission that the comparrison charts didn't have the business edition. If it wasn't I'm still happy that they give a free upgrade for those who needed it.

Also on the XANDROS DELUXE 2 BOX THERE IS A COMPARRISON BeTWEEN THE BUSINESS EDITION, STANDARD, AND DELUXE.

Also oddly, many amny amny features are listed on it which i have confirmed to be there, but THEY ARE NOT LISTED ON THE WEBSITE. This includes hyperthreading support, AMD64 support and dozens of other features. Quite strange.

Here it is
by Alex on Mon 5th Jan 2004 23:42 UTC

"Actually, I don't recall him ever saying he was trying to be fair or impartial."

He did here:

"On the other hand, Xandros will get as fair an evaluation as I am capable of doing and really have a chance to prove itself against all of them at once."

Perhaps you should read the article before trying to recall something about it.

Crossover vs. Wine
by Darius on Mon 5th Jan 2004 23:45 UTC

Is it possible to get the Standard edition (or any other Linux distro for that matter) and simply use plain 'vanilla' wine to run Office XP, Dreamweaver, et? I know that Crossover makes it easier, I'm just wondering if it's possible to run these apps without it.

Hate to bash but I have to lay out how I feel.
by Ty on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:24 UTC

I am having crazy problems.

First off I was a Xandros fan, so people may remember that I am starting an non profit group and Xandros was one of the versions (With Lindows) I was going to teach to non techie people. I was really in to them and excited about Xandros 2 coming out but now I must admit that I am now in the pot of disappointed people, so much so that I would ask for a refund if I could!

How can a company go backwards and make a product that is much worst then the previous??

Let me start on the basics!

I am installing this on 2 machines. Both ran 1.1 fine. The one is my laptop which is a Gateway 400 VTX P4 2GHZ 40 GB HD with Intel nic card 256 MB of ram and built in CDRW/DVD player.

The other is a AMD 2000+ , AMD motherboard, Nvidia 64 MB video card, Intel Nic, 500 MB ram, 40 GB HD.

1. First off I didn't know that they were taking out the domain login feature that was in 1 and 1.1! I upgraded to 2 and low and behold now I can't login to my Windows 2000, NT mixed mode environment! What's up with that??? I was shocked, I never saw it written anywhere in Xandros documentation that this feature would not be in the deluxe edition! Just that alone blew my high! But I figured since I have it and I can't get a refund let me at least try it out before I go back to 1.1.

2. That brings me to point #2. When I upgraded to version 2 my nic card stopped working. Ok I know what people are going to say “Maybe you got a bad CD or download!" (Well I downloaded the iso on 2 different machines and burned it 4 TIMES!) Maybe the upgrade didn't work? So I installed the full version 3 times on my laptop but it got stuck on the boot up when trying to install on my desktop (Even though 1.1 installs and runs fine)! So I tried from the control center and from the command line to restart the Nic card and I get the error: SIOCSIFFLAGS: invalid argument! Now I know this is probably an IRQ problem or something but there is no easy way to fix this without editing files and playing around. (Hummm this worked fine in 1.1 didn't have to tweak my install like that!)

3. Well I did get Xandros 2 installed on my laptop but guess what! The file manager locks up, I can't read my NTFS partition without crashing the file manager. Can't burn a CD without crashing it. (And yes, I reinstalled, reinstalled, reinstalled till I couldn't reinstall anymore!)

Anyway back to 1.1 I go (Or on to something else) This is one of the worse releases of any version of Linux I have ever seen. :-(

(I hate to be that critical about any thing but this was a big waste of time. And $99)

(Note: After much whining to Xandros I did get the following info from them about Windows Domain support.)

Hi everyone.

To make up for our miscommunication and oversight, I will offer anyone who bought the V2 Deluxe product and need Domain and AD authentication support free upgrade to the Business product. All you will need to pay is the S&H charges - US $9.95 to US and Canada.

However, I must emphasize that we had alsolutely zero intention of deceiving anyone. It was a mere oversight that our sales and marketing team did not complete the product comparison matrix with the Business Edition as a third column at this time. They were planning on doing that when the Business Edition is launched.

Contact shop@xandros.com after the Business Edition becomes available. Once again, I apologize for our miscommunication.

Thanks,
Ming Poon
Xandros Employee

Re: Why I don't use linux...
by J. J. Ramsey on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:25 UTC

"Windows gives me 1 screen style straightup, Linux I have to fluster through 2 (KDE/gnome)."

Most of the Linux distros that aim toward ease of use make the choice of desktop for you, and you either have to jump through a few hoops to tell the installer explicitly to use a different desktop (as in Red Hat or SUSE), or you get no choice at all (as in Lindows or Xandros).

"Windows installs and just gives me everything and then hides it until needed, Linux makes me pick and choose from 20 different things that do the same task but not quite."

Again, nowadays, most of the Linux distros that aim toward ease of use make those sorts of choices for you. You have to deliberately choose the customize the list of installed packages in order to choose from those "20 different things," and in the case of Red Hat, it's more like a choice of three or four things.

"Windows just works without 'dependency issues' such as newest library of such and such, Linux flakes on the installation of a single new entity."

For me to answer this, I'd have to know what you were talking about.

"Windows auto recognizes almost everything I can buy and throw at it, Linux requies more hunting and searching and dreaded 'dependency updates'."

Most Linux distro autodetect hardware just fine, so long as there are Linux drivers for the hardware. The same can be said for Windows. The main difference is that hardware manufacturers tend to provide their own Windows drivers but not ones for Linux, so naturally Windows will work with nearly all your hardware.

"I tried Linux once this year and I am in full agreement with the autor, I want the control Linux provides, but I want it in a way that works for lazy people such as myself."

If you want too be as "lazy" as you are with Windows, Linux isn't there yet. If you are willing to be slightly less "lazy," you can manage with Lindows, Xandros, Red Hat, and maybe even SUSE.

"One last thought, in my home I want to play games, surf the web, and do new and interesting things with my computer,"

Surf the web? Linux can do that.
New and interesting things? Linux can do that.
Play games? If you are talking Tetris and Solitare, any modern Linux will do. If you want Quake and such, you'll need Lindows, Xandros, or SUSE to be "lazy."

"I do not want to resort to a second computer to research problems everytime something goes wrong."

Then get a Linux distro with a manual and phone support.

"and I want everything to generally work out of the box (if not then give me a 'big fluffy hardcopy manual')."

I do not pretend that Linux is perfect; I can name its faults better than you, and see where its failings as a desktop really are. If Windows XP works better out of the box for you, then so be it. Your problems make you a great case study in the ups and downs of Linux's usability, but do not make you an expert at Linux's faults.

xandros file manager:
by RayZ on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:27 UTC

XFM is not a modification of Konqueror, it is written from scratch by a then Corel team.

other than that, this articile is pretty good.

Re: Xandros & Wine
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:30 UTC

>Is it possible to get the Standard edition (or any other Linux distro for that matter) and simply use plain 'vanilla' wine to run Office XP, Dreamweaver, et? I know that Crossover makes it easier, I'm just wondering if it's possible to run these apps without it.

Sure, you can also install Crossover seperately if you already have it or regular wine or winex with no problems. Regular wine will run as well or poorly on Xandros as it does on any other distro.

Re: Xandros & Wine
by Ty on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:33 UTC

The main reason most of the people I know who use Xandros buy the deluxe edition is not for crossover office but for the domain support (Which was in 1 and 1.1 but no one knew would not be in 2) and for the ability to resize NTFS partitions with ease. (Can do that with the standard edition out the box)

RE: About Lindows
by Ty on Tue 6th Jan 2004 00:59 UTC

"1) Lindows has too much commecial Maketing Hype - which sucks!
2) At the Beginning, Linux sayd it'll run Windows Apps via
Wine perfectly - now they don't even talk about this issue,
bc it doesn't!
3) Xandros integrates CrossOver Office (latest one) flawlessly
and runs absolutely perfectly, doing the bridge from Windoze
to Linux - and prove concept what Lindows claimed long before,
and never did it right!
4) Lindows praises so called "Features" at their Homapage,
for Example PopUp Blocker, which are just plain ordinary
Mozilla Browser Suite Features.
5) Lindows changed all ordinary KDE About Boxes to their own,
which is for me a violating of the GPL."

Please, please get your facts straight before you go ranting and raving over and over about stuff that is not fact or is not true.
You say:

1.Lindows has too much commecial Maketing Hype - which sucks!(Ummmmm Hype or not, commercial Marketing is how you sell products. And why more non Linux users know Lindows then almost any other distro.)

2. At the Beginning, Linux sayd it'll run Windows Apps via
Wine perfectly - now they don't even talk about this issue,
bc it doesn't! (Duh if you paid attention the original plan of lindows was a deal with CodeWeavers (The same one that Xandros is in now) to work together, they could not work out a deal that would keep the cost of Lindows down and they didn't want to, like Xandros wind up selling 2 or 3 different products loosing focus on the market they are after! The HOME user Even after Lindows invested $500,000 into codeweavers)

3.Xandros integrates CrossOver Office (latest one) flawlessly and runs absolutely perfectly, doing the bridge from Windoze to Linux - and prove concept what Lindows claimed long before, and never did it right! (Intergrated? It's just installed just like anyone can go to Codeweavers and buy crossover office and install it on Lindows or Suse or Redhat or ANY version of Linux and it will work just as well as it does in Xandros. (I know I use it in Lindows ALL DAY everyday on my office computer. So I can get to our exchange server)

4. Lindows praises so called "Features" at their Homapage,
for Example PopUp Blocker, which are just plain ordinary
Mozilla Browser Suite Features. (Anyone who knows computers KNOWS it's mozilla! REMEMBER the marketing is not for the computer smart it's for the computer dumb. How about this, try to pull someone who uses IE a lot, who is not a tech off of their IE and stick them with Mozilla! See if they know or even care what the heck Mozilla is. )

5. Lindows changed all ordinary KDE About Boxes to their own, which is for me a violating of the GPL." (As long as the KDE copyright info is there (Which is is under the Lindows info) Or unless KDE has more strict copyright which says you can't change their logos etc (Which everyone does, Red Hat and Bluecurve, Xandros and their desktop etc, etc) No GPL violation as far as I can tell! Maybe someone else knows better.

If you gonna bash then come with real facts. I bashed Xandros a little but because of real problems not cause I just don't like them. Geeee!

re
by titiv69 on Tue 6th Jan 2004 01:10 UTC

As far as I know the matter is not to go on Linux or ..(I don't remember ah yes $$$$)
The matter is now to go in a better world of Linux and in that Lindows or Xandros can be a perfect link....
Meanwile it is as well correct to say that if we want to go further a lot of distib Debian, Mandrake, Red hat, Slackware,...play this to perfection up to now...
some others are rather useless just using what other are producing....

wich of them will survive?? I don't know and my wish is to see the arrogant one beeing juged not by their bank money or political involvment but realy by what they realy give to the customer that I am ,And except an ugly layout windows didn't gave anything to computer systems except what they borrow (more or less) I have to be cautious they are nervous these time)to others and appropriate as their own and finaly sell as gold.

Good Job
by ByteEnable on Tue 6th Jan 2004 02:27 UTC

This is how all your articles should have been! Good job.

RE: Xandros File Manager
by B. Smith on Tue 6th Jan 2004 04:28 UTC

It seems that I was mistaken in saying the XFM is a modified version of konqueror. If so, I regret the error. Given that I am a non-programmer I think the error is understandable. It looks like Konqueror, it acts like Konqueror, it feels like Konqueror to me, and it performs the same function as Konqueror. Ergo, I saw no reason to doubt that it was a modified version of Konqueror, just as the DE that Xandros uses is a modified version of KDE. Although the modifications to KDE are not nearly so extensive as some people have claimed.

But why would this matter to a non-tech end user like Xandros is targeting? How many non-programmers know, or care, or want to know which code base their file manager was derived from?

Most MS Windows users don't give a large rat's buttocks how a program is written or who wrote it. I know that even if I did, for whatever odd reason, possess the hindquarters of a huge rodent I would not willingly part with them in order to obtain this knowledge. I just want it to work right without pain.

But if I have offended any programers with my blatant ignorance of the finer points of file manager design, I humbly beg pardon.

B. Smith

this review is a good one...
by Vashek on Tue 6th Jan 2004 04:35 UTC

"...I agree with him - Libranet wins hands-down for me too, for very similar reasons as expressed by the author." - where was it?, or did I miss it, the author declared Libranet to win hands-down? He selected it for his primary system, but Xandros scored highest in four out of six categories that were reviewed: documentation, compatibility with Windows, networks, and hardware compatibility (primary). He also said, there’s a fair amount of subjectivity in his judgment.

I think this review is a good one, the author also tries to be as fair to each of those distros as possible. That’s all I need to know. One suggestion I would make is to try to review each distro in the context of its implementation and its running environment. SOHO environment is specific and I believe Xadros Linux is one of the better choices in that context because it tries to be more universal in their file system and Windows compatibility. Even if people switch to Linux they’ll still want to use some Windows apps or features. Since I’m IT consultant I can recommend Xandros to my customers especially on the client side of networking.

Tech support is a complex issue. From my experience, and I worked for one of the better-known Linux vendors, tech support is often driven by sales and marketing. Our second higher-up manager was in marketing. He didn’t have tech support experience but he had the power to make decisions that would affect our team directly. Faced with customer complains managers seek tech support solutions in outsourcing, which only on the surface solve something, but in the deeper sense can create problems by not being part of the company’s software development philosophy. For good tech support it is important to find people who would actually feel good about what they’re doing and the products they represent, because if they don’t their support also shows that and sooner or later customers will be negatively affected.

Exactly
by Alex on Tue 6th Jan 2004 05:32 UTC

"But why would this matter to a non-tech end user like Xandros is targeting? How many non-programmers know, or care, or want to know which code base their file manager was derived from? "

Yeah, your right, not only was that bit of information in your article, which was repeated a few times completely wrong, it was also completely irrelevant.

More coments
by Somebody on Tue 6th Jan 2004 05:37 UTC
@ "B. Smith"
by KOMPRESSOR on Tue 6th Jan 2004 05:49 UTC

But if I have offended any programers with my blatant ignorance of the finer points of file manager design, I humbly beg pardon.

B. Smith


this immature ouburst precisely sums up the problems I had with this alleged review. your inattention to detail makes your review quantitatively useless, and your childish attitude makes it qualitatively worthless. you were wrong, and you should have said so without the smug sarcasm.

this sort of i'm-always-right-damn-the-facts attitude is, aside from being the hallmark of a technology prima donna, still the leading reason that linux is a niche player.

please consider not wasting our time with anymore flamebait articles.

KOMPRESSOR

RE: KOMPRESSOR
by B. Smith on Tue 6th Jan 2004 06:58 UTC

"...please consider not wasting our time with anymore flamebait articles."

That is entirely up to you. There is a resource at your disposal which can prevent me from ever again wasting your time. The secret is....don't read them. You can really fix me that way, and nothing I can do to stop you either.

Don't read any more of my writing. Avoid exposure to it wherever you go. If someone sends you a link to one of my articles, simply delete it. Avoid my name, if you ever see it anywhere. Make a dedicated effort to not read my work, spend time and energy seeking out my articles so that you can studiously snub them.

And the beautiful part of it all is that I will never be able to respond, because I will never know you are doing it. We both win.

B. Smith

Not Konqueror
by Sauja on Tue 6th Jan 2004 13:37 UTC

That XFM is not derived from Konqueror is in fact an important point, that should be important to all users.

If XFM were dervied from Konqueror, it would have to be released under the GPL. It is not. That kind of assertion puts into question the legality of the Xandros distribution.

The ability to easily share expensive resources, like storage and printers, between existint Windows PCs and a Linux PC is of great value to a SOHO users (unlike 3D accelerated video).

XFM adds value.


Re: Re: Xandros File Manager (B. Smith)
by inflagranti on Tue 6th Jan 2004 13:45 UTC

Your whole excuse seems extremly arrogant to me. No its *not* understandable that you claim XFM is based on Konqueror. They are both file managers so of course they have very similar functionality.

Even if it was understandable you explicitly claimed in one short sentence "It's Konqueror.". You could have said "I assum", "It looks like", "Very probably". Or you could just (as a good reviewer would have done) get check the facts.

The review it self was quite well done, but things like this and your aditude especially in the last totaly ironic sentence extremly lower its value.


"It seems that I was mistaken in saying the XFM is a modified version of konqueror. If so, I regret the error. Given that I am a non-programmer I think the error is understandable. It looks like Konqueror, it acts like Konqueror, it feels like Konqueror to me, and it performs the same function as Konqueror. Ergo, I saw no reason to doubt that it was a modified version of Konqueror, just as the DE that Xandros uses is a modified version of KDE. Although the modifications to KDE are not nearly so extensive as some people have claimed.

But why would this matter to a non-tech end user like Xandros is targeting? How many non-programmers know, or care, or want to know which code base their file manager was derived from?

Most MS Windows users don't give a large rat's buttocks how a program is written or who wrote it. I know that even if I did, for whatever odd reason, possess the hindquarters of a huge rodent I would not willingly part with them in order to obtain this knowledge. I just want it to work right without pain.

But if I have offended any programers with my blatant ignorance of the finer points of file manager design, I humbly beg pardon.

B. Smith"

Similar to many reviews
by Wogster on Tue 6th Jan 2004 15:10 UTC

A couple of issues, first dealing with technical support, gee the tech support guys have lives too. Christmas is the only time of year where within 10 days you have 7 days off. I work for a courier company, and pretty much the only busimesses that are open are couriers and retailers, every one else pretty much says forget it and takes the time off. A lot of small businesses do so as well. Now only one distro was being used during this time, so it's an unfair comparison. I felt the review spent too much time dealing with an issue, that might not occur if he had tried next week.

Second, of the 500 or so reviews I have read, most of them just deal with installation, but never seem to deal with other issues. This article is similar to those other reviews, how about mentioning things like useability and the mix of applications that are made available, and how good those are. For example is there one office suite made available, or are they pretty much all made available, are those stable versions, or betas? Is it something I could put on a computer I was giving to my nearly 80 year old mom who has never used a computer? Reviews never seem to deal with these issues.

Third, Microsoft why does that name even need to appear, we all know the problems with Windows and other software from that company, other then under Codeweavers, that name does not need to come up. The Microsoft rant would have been better in a series intro. BTW ever tried to install NT? In comparison it's installer would probably display ALL of those problems at the same time.

W


















Real World Usability
by Linux boy on Tue 6th Jan 2004 15:18 UTC

To Barry and others,

I have installed, configured, and used in everyday/real world use and in the past settled for Corel Linux and today am quite satisfied with Xandros 1.x/2.x
***
Note : at work, corp policy prevents me from using linux, so I have been "forced" to put up with 2000 and now XP.
I can thus pretty adequately compare both camps.
***
I was out of work for a short while and had to use my PC as a regular user : creating résumés, planning meetings, coordinating these actvities thru IM and E-Mail, and a scheduler, which also means filling out some web-based forms made in un-nameable proprietary softwares that made it mandatory to use IExplorer ...(ugh !).

I know of no other distro that would have fit the bill quite as well as Xandros 1.0 (at that time) and 2.0 has more of the same :
1) Stable - not a single crash in months.
2) Complete - all the utilities required for everyday use were included, not ten of them - but they worked as expected.
3) Simple - never had to pull out a tech manual to do basic things, like sharing a printer, ...etc.
4) Flexible, for those annoying government and companies using .asp-based functionality - popped out the built-in codeweavers, downloaded/installed IExplorer, filled it out - presto, finished....
{all while playing my favourite MP3s or Audio-CD, not too mention my wife could switch user and pop her mail and my youngster couls also switch to their accounts and play a game of frozen-bubbles
###
try that on windows running on a P800/128mb ram, 20gb
hdd !!! }

Am I a believer - you bet I am.

PS: I am not a fanatic, they have room for improvement, like : including a gui to install scanner, webcams, digital cameras ...etc.
Also tech support should be a bit faster and more predictable - on the other hand, when is the last time you call M$ for help ?? I thought so....


Tech Support
by lefty on Tue 6th Jan 2004 15:32 UTC

Wogster wrote: "Christmas is the only time of year where within 10 days you have 7 days off.

Good point, and well-taken. That's why you don't release just before Christmas if you're planning on giving everyone all that time off. You either change the release date to something more convenient for the paying customers or bite the bullet.

RE: inflagranti and other Xandros zealots
by B. Smith on Tue 6th Jan 2004 16:51 UTC

*sigh*

I knew I was going to face the wrath of the Inquisition when I dared to criticize some areas of Xandros. Given the way newcomers who make a misstep are savaged in the Xandros forums, and the way I was also savaged in the Xandros forums, this kind of thing was only to be expected. But I honestly never expected to be tongue lashed for making a simply error in observation.

For that matter, I really am getting tired of being misquoted and taken out of context, and then attacked for something I did not say, or attacked for neglecting something that I did actually cover. On the Xandros forums there is a thread were several posters seem to have the main purpose of distorting and misrepresenting my words. This really bothers me. Mike80808 in particular has accused me of a long list of offenses, none of which are true. As would be instantly seen by anyone who actually read my words instead of blindly lashing out.

If you don't like me, fine. If you don't like my writing, fine don't read it. If you find a factual error, tell me so I can correct it. But please don't take my words out of context, twist/distort or re-write them. That bothers me.

I am not saying that anyone on this particular site deliberately did that, although I AM quite certain that some of the people making comments here never bothered to finish reading the article.

Once again, if my inability as a non-programmer to tell the difference between XFM and Konqueror offended anyone, I apologize and ask pardon. What more can I do?

I have already acknowledged the new information. I have been informed that XFM was not derived from Konqueror. OK, in that case I made an honest error. But I also stand by my position that any newcomer who looks at XFM and Konqueror would not notice much difference.

I will not dispute the issue of where the code for XFM came from, because I simply don't know. That is not my business to know. I also don't care. I have no reason to care.

All I do know is that if you set up two monitors side by side, one running XFM and the other one running Konqueror, I will bet my favorite coffee mug that a typical MS Windows user or a non-tech Linux user (like me) would have serious trouble telling the difference.

And if anyone wants to criticize my writing, please do so. But PLEASE attack what I actually did write, instead of what someone's imagination conjured up and accused me of.

B. Smith

Confessions of a Windows user and Linux Wannabie . . .
by Blkstar71 on Tue 6th Jan 2004 19:10 UTC

As one of the non-techie Linux wannabies who wants to stop using Windows after finding out about the crazy EULA rules of XP, I found this article very interesting because the author was clear about his intent from the beginning, and I think what gets lost in all of the debates about the XFM, Wine, Lindows, etc. is that Xandros did extremely well overall against the other distros he reviewed. Just because he didn't choose it for his home office, doesn't discredit the product or rule it obsolete--I believe he even makes this point. Again, it appears that the author had many more positive things to say about Xandros than anything else, and he corrected the statement about the XFM, so that's a dead issue now.

Finally, I have to admit something. I have been fed up with having to rely on Windows for many years, so I purchased SuSE 8.1 (standard and professional)when they first came out. I was so excited about the possibilites of using GPL software that I thumbed my nose at Gates; however, after a couple of months I found myself going back to XP because I could navigate around in it better and that no matter how many books and websites I visited to help me with my Linux distro, I just couldn't get it to do everything that I could do in XP.

Does this mean that my SuSE couldn't do everything that XP was doing for me? Of course not; the problem was that I did not have the background or the time to become comfortable with line commands. I really tried, but many things were just above my understanding and familiarity. So, playing around in my Linux distro became more of a hobby for me until I read about Lycoris, Lindows, and Xandros.

Whether one wants to admit it or not, the majority of "lay" computer users will gladly use a Linux distro if it presents them with a product that is familiar, reliable, compatible, cheaper to what they have been using for the past 10+ years, and it does not require them to know ANY line commands; atleast, I know I would, and this is why the aforementioned distros are music to my novice ears, with Xandros having a slight lead from the reviews I've read so far.

I liken computer users to car owners because, IMHO, they usually fall into three groups:

1. Those who only care about putting gas in the car and having it take them where they want to go. They are not insterested in knowing how a car works beyond the fact that it needs gas, its oil changed, and needs to be taken to the shop if something is wrong. This is also the philosophy of the majority of computer users.
2. Those who are a little more interested in how a car works, and are usually weekend mechanics. They like to do the simple tasks like changing the oil, the muffler, spark plugs, etc. But, they will never deal with the more intricate parts of the vehicle (e.g., engine, tranny, electrical things). Similar to those who flirt with Linux because it's something different from the norm (Windows and Mac) and is seen as a challenge.
3. Hard core mechanics that can strip a car and put it back together. They know which cars to buy that can be easily worked on without having to deal with the dealer to get the parts or service. They are also very loyal to the particlar make of car that they buy and work on. In addition, they like being in full control of how their vehicle runs and looks. This group is, IMO, the majority in the Linux community. These programmers and computer enthusiasts see the beauty in being able to be in full control of their computer and OS. They possess an understanding of the computer and OSes that people in the first group could care less about and the folks in the second group are too intimidated to explore.

Nevertheless, I think there is a bright future for Linux distros who are specifically targeting the first group, and this review also recognizes that Xandros is one, of many I hope, that will be part of that future.

Re: Smith
by Roberto on Tue 6th Jan 2004 20:17 UTC

So, you say that you want to be corrected on any factual mistakes so you can fix it, but when you are, you react by saying that the mistake is unimportant and hard to notice?

Man, maybe the guy telling you XFM was not Konqueror could have done it in a nicer way, but really, so could your reviews be written in a nicer way, and your replies could, too.

Then you go on about how both apps look alike.

How about this: XFM is not based on Konqueror. Your mistake.
No big deal. Add a footnote on the review, or whatever. Move on.

Barry
by Sauja on Tue 6th Jan 2004 20:28 UTC

Barry,

I think you are reading too much hostility in some of the posts. And flames are being fanned on both sides.

Ultimately, just as you don't care about (your words) some issues that other find important, many don't care about who won or lost.

And thats fine. But, ah yes there is a 'but', even though you clearly stated that the review was purely from your point of view and to meet your needs, the series was label as a 'Shoot Out'.

I think it's a natural reaction to condemn anyone who publicly critises our choice of OS. We all do it, Linux Users, Windows users, and especially those loser you use Macs (just kidding, sorry).

It's unfortunate that some more structure criteria hadn't been set forth from the get go. One got the impression that you had different priorities at the time you were testing the different products.

I think we all agree on the support issue, but unless someone has the exact same requirements as you they can't reliably turn your series in hopes of helping them make a decision.

I thank you for your hard work, I know I enjoyed reading the whole series in it entirety.

Sauja

I prefer Xfm
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Jan 2004 20:52 UTC

FYI, there's also another file manager called Xfm and it's a real classic. See

http://www.musikwissenschaft.uni-mainz.de/~ag/xfm/

Neither Konqueror or Xandros File Manager are based on Xfm.

Re: Savaged
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Jan 2004 21:59 UTC

>I knew I was going to face the wrath of the Inquisition when I dared to criticize some areas of Xandros. Given the way newcomers who make a misstep are savaged in the Xandros forums, and the way I was also savaged in the Xandros forums, this kind of thing was only to be expected.

I can't help but remember your post to the Xandros Forums where, as you say yourself, you were being "deliberately provocative." In most forums that's called Trolling. Maybe you got "savaged" because people on that forum didn't like being manipulated. Nevertheless people did try to help you despite your abbrasive posting style.

" I was being deliberately provocative in order to evaluate the kind of response I would get."

nice job
by jeff on Tue 6th Jan 2004 22:41 UTC

I enjoyed reading these. This last one spent quite a bit of time sort of off topic to rant on market issues. While, in general, I agree with most of what you say here, I can't say I feel like this is the most objective of the reviews. On the same note though, a friend of mine tried Xandros and couldn't get any help, nor could he get it to work on his hardware (kind of like your cd problem). He ended up selling his copy on E-Bay or something like that.

Personally, I use Debian sid, so I would be more inclined to go with the MEPIS solution (and I may just to help fund that project). I find it interesting that you mention you intend to keep the MEPIS CD around as a rescue disk during that review, but no mention at all of that feature here. Of course, you don't compare any of the products you reviewed in a "rescue" sense - at least not that I could tell.

I appreciate your reviews, they were helpful and informative to me.

Regards,
Jeff

Re: Re: inflagranti and other Xandros zealots
by inflagranti on Tue 6th Jan 2004 23:17 UTC

Honenstly Barry, is this the proper way to reply to post "Inflagranti and other Xandros zealots?". And then not even responding to what I've written. (Btw. I should not have written "as a good reviewer would have done" because the rest of the review was good)

You did not make only a simple error in observation. You stated "It's Konqueror". Thats just not appropriate to the level of knowledge you had. If you have Konqueror and XFM side by side, have a look at them and conclude that they are the same - I understand that. But if you actually test both of them and still write "(XFM) It's Konqueror" like it was the obviousest thing in the world, then you just haven't done your job right in that area.

Maybe its nitpicking, but then it should not be a big deal for you to simply admit it without writing long, ironic comments.

In general if you write a rather subjective review from a user point of view, you have to be prepared for comments which may also lack some objectivity. So was for instance mikes post. That doesn't make him a Xandros zealot, neither does that or the last comment me, because otherwise your shootout would make you a Libranet(/Lindows) zealot in the end.