Linked by Wyatt Preul on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 18:21 UTC
Linspire As a result of a disfavor I have for Microsoft, switching to the last week's free copy of LindowsOS was a viable choice for me (while in the past I have used Slackware, Mandrake, FreeBSD etc). Therefore I downloaded and burned LindowsOS 4.5 Developer Edition to CD.
Order by: Score:
My experience
by RK on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 18:35 UTC

Having a computer that was leaving my possession I figured I could quickly try the Lindows CD that I downloaded last week as well. After a VERY slow install the computer would not boot, it just hung at the Lindows logo and wouldn't proceed.

Diagnostic mode wasn't much help, and being unable to see the text messages during the boot sequence I had little clue as to how to diagnose the problem. I considered my first experience with Lindows an unfortunate failure. I know that this computer was Linux friendly because it had been running Redhat 9 for quite some time without a problem.

Maybe I'll try again some day when I have more time.

I must admit that the install was very slick and easy to use though. ;-)

by linux_baby on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 18:42 UTC

I didn't get a successful installation. Installation finished well allright, but it wouldn't boot. Dunno why, and I stopped trying after the 4th installation. I think its great that they are trying to make things easy and straightforward for non-techie persons, but the advanced installation option ought to have more choices. Even windows dual-boots.

I find it HIGHLY unlikely that you can't afford $50 for CNR. I'm pretty sure that you've bought at least one piece of software this year. And mostly that cost close to that $50.

Since you like Lindows so much (so do I) and most likely want them to continue existing (so do I) then the only way to do that is to make sure they don't go bankrupt. Which means shelling out the $50.

I agree 99.9% with this article
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 19:10 UTC

I agree almost 100% with the author as I had the same opinions on Lindows. My only beef with Lindows is the pricing. I understand, and like the idea, behind CNR. It could possibly be the leader in Software on Demand, but I don't think the buisness model of $50+ for an Operating system and then $4.95 a mo. for software is a good model. If the operating system was cheaper, say $19.99, then this would be an outstanding price.


you have a better option
by Tudy on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 19:11 UTC

there are still around 30 lifetime memberships available thru, so if you want to support Lindows and get all the next Lindows OSes for nothing plus CNR access for life - shell out 100 bucks. They deserve our support. Market share for Lindows means also market share for Linux. You might wanna buy a membership even if you don't like the actual LindowsOS 4.5... but so you will get to try the next LindowsOS vs.5 which you might like a lot (Kernel2.6.x, KDE3.2,ReiserFS4,etc)


Lindows Lifetime Membership
by Bob Leslie on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 19:31 UTC

The most cost-effective way of purchasing Lindows is with a Lifetime Lindows/CNR membership for $100US.

Here's the link:

But hurry, there are only a few memberships left!

Thanks for the review...
by Kevin Carmony on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 19:55 UTC

"I was a little put off by some of the lack of software found in Lindows, but I had to remind myself that this was the developers version. One example was mplayer and openoffice. I wish that these would have been included..."

Correct, that's because you were on the Developer's Edition. With your free account, you can also choose to use the regular edition, which does include OpenOffice and MPlayer.

"The CNR is exciting, I only hope that the fine people at Lindows will be gracious enough to provide me with free use of it (afterall I am praising your company)."

OK, seems fair enough. I'll email you to get you a free CNR account. I think once you start using CNR, you'll agree it's well worth the fair price we charge for this service. We hope you'll agree it's a fair price to always have one-click access to updates, the latest versions of software, huge discounts on commercial software, etc.

Thanks again for taking a look at LindowsOS.

Kevin Carmony
President,, Inc.

Re: I agree 99.9% with this article
by Tyrone Miles on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:02 UTC

Come on you can't tell me that $50 for the OS (Which you get 2 releases so you are really only paying $25 a release) and $4.95 a month for CNR (Which you don't have to use. You can go to or or even use APT if you want free software) is high in cost.

Lindows is not perfect but as they said they are really trying to sell to the pre-loaded PC market! Not really to the home installer (yet) Most of their business is coming from people who buy Lindows pre-installed or people who have techs install it (Which is where most of Apple and MS's business comes from!)

I mean with the Mac OS costing $129 and then $100's of dollars for each piece of software and XP costing for home $199 and for pro $299 plus $100's of dollars for each piece of software there is nothing to compare. Plus the $4.95 a month covers e-mail support on top of software.

But I assume most people steal Windows and Office anyway so I guess $100 a year is costly. LOL!

by Kevin Carmony on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:08 UTC

"I don't think the buisness model of $50+ for an Operating system and then $4.95 a mo. for software is a good model. If the operating system was cheaper, say $19.99, then this would be an outstanding price."

Keep in mind, 95% of the people running LindowsOS got it free, pre-installed on a computer. Only a small percentage of people using LindowsOS know how to download an .iso, burn a CD, and install an OS. They simply are running LindowsOS because it came preinstalled on their system, so they only see the $50 price.

Kevin Carmony
President,, Inc.

$50 is a reasonable price..
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:28 UTC

For $50, users get:

- One year of OS updates (minor and major)
- Access to about 2000 software programs all installable with one click via the CNR Warehouse. See:
- Discounts on many popular commercial Linux software titles

LindowsOS is a very economical desktop solution. Yes, it's not 100% free so some Linux users see this as too expensive, but they don't understand the economics of running a software company.

Linux needs a successful desktop software company to compete with Microsoft. Bankrupt french companies just won't get it done...

RE: Cost
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:52 UTC

Keven and everyone who commented on my response, thank you for the clarification. I did not research before coming to my opinion and I wasn't aware of the value you get when purchasing the Operating system plus membership. Sorry for posting an uneducated statement. After receiving clarification I am very impressed with what is offered at the cost to the consumer!


A few thoughts
by seakryan on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:52 UTC

It is a good idea to check the stats of your machine and see if it matches the hardware requirements. (800mhz CPU / 128 mg memory) There is a bit of flexibility, but I have found that if you increase the memory - you can compensate for the CPU.

It has been my experience with Lindows that it does not play well with more than one hard drive in dual booting. I admit this is a downside for me - but I have had very few problems partitioning and installing on the same drive. One thing to watch out for is: Lilo is the Lindows boot manager and it installs automatically on the MBR. If you are planning to use more than two OS's on the hard drive - you better know what you are doing.

I've gone to College myself - Unless Mommy and Daddy are rich, it is NOT easy coming up with $50.

The Lindows Forums can help most people who have install problems. The folks are very helpful and quick in responses.

I also like Lindows
by Marcus on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 20:54 UTC

While I found the article a bit on the terse side, I agree with most of the points he makes. I've installed several versions of Linux and ended up with Lindows after all.

I currently use it for a personal server--I've disabled the Lindows firewall and installed my own using apt. I use the built in tools Lindows provides to easily connect to my windows boxes.

I also like how when you install something it puts an icon on your desktop. I know this seems simple, but there have been too many times when I've installed something using apt-get only to find I wasn't sure how to run it... (typing the name of the application from the command line does not always work). Having an icon on the desktop is nice. Having it automatically show up in the menu is nicer.

Lindows is nothing to laugh at--it's full powered Debian with an easy, bloat-free install and several nice control-panel-type tools built in. I like it.

Right now the thing holding me back from Linux is not the OS, it's the lack of native software that will do the things I need to do most efficiently - see When that day comes, I think there's a very good chance I'll switch over to Linux/Lindows as my principal OS.

Keep in mind
by Daniel Paquet on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:02 UTC

But keep in mind that you have the developer version so that by not including some software is okay, since you are facing more experienced players with Linux so thay can handle to install some apps that they want. Cheer nice review !!! ;)

RE: Thanks for the review...
by SEC on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:17 UTC

"We hope you'll agree it's a fair price to always have one-click access to updates, the latest versions of software, huge discounts on commercial software, etc."

This is the one thing that has so far disuaded me from getting a CNR membership...the software _not_ being the latest versions. For example, the version of Evolution in CNR is 1.2.x and not 1.4.x. I realize I can use apt-get, but would like to remain consistent and use CNR.

If I'm wrong and am missing something, let me know.

Thanks for the download.

by Kevin Carmony on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:17 UTC

"After receiving clarification I am very impressed with what is offered at the cost to the consumer!"

It's rare a story or review gets everything exactly right, so no worries. Most of your review was fare and accurate.

I'm just happy anytime I see dialog and discussion, as it helps educate us all.


Kevin Carmony
President,, Inc.

CNR Warehouse Updates
by Kevin Carmony on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:25 UTC

"For example, the version of Evolution in CNR is 1.2.x and not 1.4.x. I realize I can use apt-get, but would like to remain consistent and use CNR."

One of the challenges we have had in the past with CNR, was multiple versions of the software. The next version of LindowsOS, 5.0, fixes this. In 5.0, the CNR architecture has been completely overhauled to allow for multiple warehouses. In other words, the way it is presently, we can't push certain new versions of software to the warehouse without breaking things. KDE apps are a good example. Some only work with certain versions of KDE, which means they will only work with certain versions of LindowsOS.

5.0 solves all this in a big way. It allows us to have UNLIMITED versions of our warehouse. For example, those running LindowsOS 4.0 would see one warehouse, those running 5.0 another, those beta testing 6.0 another, and those working at a particular large corporation with proprietary software just for that company could see yet anther.

Once this new design is in place, look for the CNR Warehouse to be on the leading edge with product updates. We agree this is key if we're to earn your $50.


Kevin Carmony
President,, Inc.

my beef with lindows
by Matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:25 UTC

i installed lindows as well after the free trial they gave us, and reached a few conclusions.

1) its really not as evil as i thought they were before ;-)

2) has the potential to be the greatest newbie distro ever.

3) i cannot use a linux distro where i cant get gnome up and running, at least until kde puts some work into their UI.

now, im not trolling. i honestly think kde is quite powerful, and very impressive, but i also find that gnome fits my style of working so much better then kde. its just a matter of preference.

my only question is why (with the exception of redhat) are there no user friendly gnome based distros? honestly, i think that gnome is MUCH easier to figure out then kde. there is a saneness in configuration and options that just isnt there in kde. there is an overall feel of polish and cohesiveness in gnome that is pretty much only because of their HIG work they have put in recently.

I honestly think that kde has potential to become better then gnome in pretty much every way. but at this point, gnome is far easier to use and more esthetically pleasing. lindows did some great work with kde, they really did. but i have become used to applications just "feeling" the same. in both windows and apple, apps feel the same because of both HIGs and the api itself enforcing the rules. gnome was the first DE on linux to give me the same experience, and now that i have had it, i cant go back or recommend it.

anyways, at first i thought it was just what i was used to, and that really kde is actually easier for noobs. then what really blew me away is one night, my roommate (who is totally and completely technologically incompitant) boots up my pc into linux to play some enemy territory. he asked me what "lindows" was, i told him it was another linux distrobution. he goes "man, it looks cheap. you should reinstall fedora. fedora was nice" now, he has seen slackware, fedora, and debian installed on my machine, all with gnome. lindows was his first encounter with KDE.

after i stopped laughing, i asked myself what i am asking you guys. why in the world do newbie distros choose kde pretty much exclusivly?

Noooooo..... really??????
by sdf on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:28 UTC

>> its really not as evil as i thought they were before ;-)

I could never understand why on mother earth people would bash lindows like it was some kind of closed project. jeez people... your like babies, you have to be bottle-fed truth.

@kevin carmony
by Matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:33 UTC

I also just wanted to say that personally, I think your strategy of giving away Lindows to the more techie crowd is a great idea. I know for me at least, it did clear up alot of the issues I had with your product. just wanted to say thank you, and that it does make a difference to see a linux company we all saw as a corporate "money over everything" type attitude actually make an effort to get us to understand where you are coming from.

Suggestions for future LindowsOS'es
by ealm on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:37 UTC

I'm a Lindows user (ChoicePC) and insider since 2 weeks ago.
The OS is awesome but maybe the most valuable strength of is it's sence for business. You guys do things right in almost every area where Commodore, IBM and Be Inc failed. I have high expactations for the future and became an insider in order to be part of the process getting there.

I have just now put up a list of suggestions for future LindowsOS versions. All might not be applicable already for 5.0, but are desireble for the future.

See you in Lindows forums!

Lindows is important
by Udo on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:40 UTC

I think Lindows serves a good purpose in the Community. Linux gets a lot of PR because of Lindows.
My Dev. Edition installed terribly slow ( hours ) in MS Virtual PC 2004. But maybe that is intended ;-) ( by M$ ).

I also like that Kevin reads these comments. It is good to see that they care. And "sponsoring" guys that write favorable review will probably condition reviewers the right way ( for lindows )

I will stay with Slackware + Kernel 2.6.1 + Dropline + KDE 3.2 RC

v RE: Noooooo..... really??????
by Matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:48 UTC
RE: Noooooo..... really??????
by ealm on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 21:56 UTC

you pay fifty dollars a month for synaptic

Lindows doesn't use synaptic. it uses CNR which costs $4.95 / month

lindows takes credit for the work of other projects

I can give you two examples of the opposite - Xandros and Crossover Office who doesn't credit Lindows.

lindows uses code, but doesnt give back

You're wrong again. Would be exciting to here an example of this behaviour too?

lindows strongarms newbies into paying for free (as in beer) software

You pay both for commercial software by and for serivces like CNR. You don't pay for free software.

I hope both previous and this post gets moderated down!

RE: RE: Noooooo..... really??????
by Matt on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:12 UTC

right or wrong, good or bad, this is the previlant attitude.

did you even READ that?

I was talking about what most people think about lindows. if you actually read that post and the previous two, you will see that i no longer take that attitude based on what i have read.

if you read as much about linux as i do, no matter how many distros you try, there are alwas a few you sort of make conclusions on based on what people tell you.

now because you seem to have had problems reading my last three posts, ill spell it out for you here:


did you manage to catch that? or did you get stuck on the second paragraph like the last time?

@Kevin Carmony
by anon on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:20 UTC

If I may make a suggestion regarding your hardware compatibility listing, I would suggest that this area needs improvement.

I wanted to tryout Lindows on my Laptop. So I checked out the hardware compatibilty section for my PCMCIA wireless card which is a D-link 650. (Yes, there are several different versions of this card.)

Your site lists several manufacturers and models apparently listed only with the help from people who have already tried Lindows and have made comments. Many (if not most cards) are listed as "known to not be compatible". There are conflicting entries from people who have had success and those who haven't for the same card. This information is not very helpful. Lindows is charging for a product and, therefore, it should do its own tests and make recommendations on specific hardware (for those of us who are installing). There shouldn't be any question that something won't be compatible before purchasing.


Best in the world...
by Panna on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:25 UTC

sure Lindows is or will be the best OS in the world..
That's for sure!
Perhaps I should boot Freebsd and solace this miserable OS.

A great..absolutely great review.
I hope there will be more stuff on this high intellectual level.
And Lindows is gaining everyday more sympathy to me.
I'll keep windows as desktop for some days....until I can purchase a G5...

Lindows Qestion
by VoidLogic on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:32 UTC

I bought a Lindows computer for my grandpa, but I needed to load Win2k on it so he could use his software. I went to load windows from the Wintergreen recovery CD and it will not load. I even made the drive paritionless. How do I get Lindows, do I have buy it again?!

v blah
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:54 UTC
RE: Noooooo..... really??????
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 22:59 UTC

"you pay fifty dollars a month for synaptic"

Point A: CNR is not apt.
Point B: It does not cost $50/month.

"Lindows takes credit for the work of other projects"

HAHA! Lindows gives back COLD HARD CASH to open/free projects, including Mozilla, Nvu, KDE, Reiser, Gaim, and also provides COLD HARD CASH to &

"Lindows uses code, but doesnt give back."

So I guess that COLD HARD CASH doesn't count as giving back? How much do you give to these projects in a year, by the way?

"Lindows strongarms newbies into paying for free (as in beer) software"

Puhleez! Do you bother to read anything at all? First of all, there is no rule or law against selling free software. How do you think the other distributions make money? Second of all, what Lindows mostly sells is the CNR service, a convenient and brain dead way to install apps for newbies. Obviously you have not bothered to read about any open source business models, wherein the software is free and the services around it are sold.

"if you think im wrong from drawing those conclusions, i really question where you do your reading"

And I question your comprehension skills as well as from where you could possibly be getting your information.

Trust me, I am no Lindows fanboy, having never used it and I doubt that I ever will, since Gentoo is my present flavor. However, Lindows WILL put Linux out into the hands of the masses at a fair price. And Lindows WILL give back to the community. I would hope this would be commended rather than trashed.

Re: Lindows Review
by Steve Harris on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 23:26 UTC

After I had a major crash on my Windows XP Pro, was out of the US, and did not have the install disks, etc. LINDOWS really saved the day. I was able to download and burn a 4.5 Lindows CD. Because of the Click and Run, I was able to download and install of the software that I need to keep doing business. Not only that, but if you run more than one computer in your home, you can get the software on all of them without a zillion CD's.
I got my laptop up and running, as well as my home server on Lindows.
More work is need on the hardware drivers, but the program does a good job of recognizing the major items.
I wish that this was available when I had to leave Windows 2k as an operating system.
Standing Ovation for LINDOWS!!!!!

My Mum and I use Lindows4.5
by Paul on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 23:51 UTC

I now use Lindows 4.5 as my primary OS for LapTop and Desktop, the ONLY thing that keeps me on MS is the games, as soon as Battlefield /Counterstrike are ported over to linux then the quicker I can get rid of MS.

Until Lindows came a long I was a MS user. I have NO linux knowledge and neither do my parents, but we are both on Lindows 4.5 without any issues at all and I am now picking up the Linux lingo. Cool eh?

CnR - is great for people like me who dont know how or cannot be bothered to download and build/complie stuff. I have no problems in spending $50 year for this.

Keep up the good work, and I hope it all works out for the best on March 1st 2004 - we do need some MS competition and choice. I cannot wait to see Lindows 5.

by Matt Lacey on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 00:08 UTC

Oh dear, I installed the version they released free to us (osnews readers that is) the other day and following installation it didn't boot. Rescue mode did but I really couldn't be bothered to find the problem.

Slackware boots after an install, ok not to a gui either but then it doesn't pretend that this is the default option. Sorry, but Lindows failed where Xandros ruled.

RE: My Mum and I use Lindows4.5
by ealm on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 00:08 UTC

...the ONLY thing that keeps me on MS is the games, as soon as Battlefield /Counterstrike are ported over to linux then the quicker I can get rid of MS.

Check if they are supported by WineX:

by cmit on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 00:17 UTC

"I am currently looking for a job, so please feel free to email me at either and I will provide you with my resume." ;-)

To be fair to Lindows - they are a business and they are playing the same marketing games as the big boys from the M$ world ? singing the tune that will be most pleasing and safest sounding to the M$ Windows newbie, and at times most of us who have been using various Linux distros for a while, can see through the marketing tactics. Lindows did not make these rules ? they just seem to be geared to play the game( good on them - ?when in Rome do like the Romans?).
Perhaps if Lindows stopped the marketing hype and ceased patronizing us when posting reviews on not so ?un-initiated? websites( why would you want one of these reviews posted on the likes of Newsforge every 2 days? ), then people would stop mistrusting Lindows and start appreciating it for what it is.
I have never tried the LindowsOS but have visited the site on a few occasions and I have to say that they are marketing themselves excellently to the M$ newbie ? I was particularly impressed by the flash tutorials and since seeing them I can not understand why can't every other commercial distro make some also.
I do not deny the fact that LindowsOs could be or is a great OS or that it does what it set to do, but if you wish to market it to any other users than the above mentioned target, then you have to speak to us frankly in terms of what Lindows can do that my Mandrake distro can not do for me and the likes of me. Does it give me the freedom to use any Window Manager I wish to? Why do I need to pay such a high price for free softtware that I get with my Mandrake distro for? Before replying to this, please consider the fact that you are trying to sell it to us who know what software we want and do not find it so difficult to install an rpm from the excellent rpm managers that come with some of the top distros. Without a doubt, if I was a newbie I would gladly pay the relatively small price that would mean dispensing with all the headaches that come with getting programs to do the job.
So please ? if you wish to market your OS every time you release a new version, try to play by ?our rules?. ;)

Great OS
by Jasem Mutlaq on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 00:30 UTC

Lindows is a great OS for newbies and developers alike. However, I tried to install LindowsOS 4.5 on my new Sony laptop and it would hang during the install; I even tried the "laptop" edition with no avail. SUSE 9.0 installs swiftly on my laptop.

But I'll wait till they release 5.0 with Kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2! It should be exciting when they release it.

by Anonymous on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 00:40 UTC

"if you wish to market it to any other users than the above mentioned target,"

I really don't think Lindows is aiming for our 3% geek market, although I could be wrong.

"Does it give me the freedom to use any Window Manager I wish to?"

IF Lindows is selling to total newbies, should it?

"Why do I need to pay such a high price for free softtware that I get with my Mandrake distro for?"

If you installed Mandrake, then you had to partition your disk. My guess is, Lindows is aiming for those who don't know what a hard disk is, much less what a partition is. By the way, are you a member of MandrakeClub? If so, how much does it cost per year?

"Before replying to this, please consider the fact that you are trying to sell it to us who know what software we want and do not find it so difficult to install an rpm from the excellent rpm managers that come with some of the top distros."

Are you sure Lindows is trying to sell it to those who know what software they want and how to install an rpm?

Joe and Jane Sixpack don't know what an rpm is and probably don't want to know. Let's not confuse them further by making them choose from 384 different window managers.

"if you wish to market your OS every time you release a new version, try to play by ?our rules?."

The geek market needs to know about Lindows for one reason and one reason only. When grandma calls us asking to remove the umpteenth virus de jour from her windows box, and we are tired of doing this every other week, then we, the geeks, will know exacty how to solve grandma's problem once and for all.

J.A.M.D. for grandma
by Anonymous on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 02:12 UTC

"The geek market needs to know about Lindows for one reason and one reason only. When grandma calls us asking to remove the umpteenth virus de jour from her windows box, and we are tired of doing this every other week, then we, the geeks, will know exacty how to solve grandma's problem once and for all. "
I'll second that.
Also I've found J.A.M.D. linux is even easyer to "deploy" on grandma/gramdpa/newbies systems.Hassle free distro - no doubt.

Looks Good
by Greg on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 02:41 UTC

Lindows Looks great!

However I ran out of time for this coupon! School messes everything up!

I hope I will be able to try this OS sometime in the future!

@Kevin Carmony
by Anonymous on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 03:13 UTC

Never thought i would do this....but i am now a lifetime LindowsOS member and what drove me to do that was the free download offered here (good strategy). I've been using linux off and on for about 6 years now and i just have to say i was stunned at how Lindows nailed all my hardware and how fast it ran...great job. Even though this is geared towards new users i guess i will be formatting Gentoo off in favor of this, its to easy not to use. Thanks Kevin

General Comments
by markjensen on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 03:34 UTC

I think most of us 'experienced' Linux users have looked down upon Lindows for what we saw as "flaws" or other problems.

Until I had a co-worker come up to me and tell me how wonderful he thought Lindows was, andhow he has completely dumped Microsoft (doesn't a Lindows license allow you to install on multiple PCs you own?), I thought that maybe it deserved a reserved opinion that would not be so negative, yet not positive, either... However, I wasn't about to shell out the money to buy a Linux distro that I knew I wasn't going to use (already being a Linux user), just to take a look for myself.

Then, I read the article here on OSNews with Kevin, and it seems that most of the negative 'word of mouth' was based un misunderstanding, or past direction of Lindows that was dropped (e.g. Windows compatability). And the offer to download it for free (as in beer!) could not be passed up. I downloaded it and installed it on my son's PC. It is a terribly underpowered PC, but he is only 9, so it isn't such a big deal. Lindows installed wonderfully on his machine. It ran as slow as molasses due to being under-RAM and under-CPU, but I got a feel for it. It really was easy to install and to use.

An earlier poster said it best when (s)he commented that Lindows isn't designed for seasoned Linux users. It has a much LARGER market in mind... One that already has a lock on 90-some percent of home desktops. ;)

My opinions on LindowsOS have come around completely, and I have a legal licensed edition to show people to spread the word.

Good Job, Kevin and the rest of the LindowsOS team!


To Kevin Carmony
by Bharat on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 03:57 UTC

if u make it very simple for ppl to package their applications to work with Lindows, then more ppl would do so. And if that happens it could well become a sort of defacto std. for desktop linux not because more applications will run on it, but because the installation hassles disappear.

I was actually thinking about CNR. Suppose i were a developper of an app, and I wanted it to be made available through CNR. If u had the option of allowing other ppl to set up repositories, then anyone could set up a rep. And perhaps he could provide a link on his site which would say "Add to CNR" or something, and if one were to drag and drop it on CNR, the repository would get added and the applications available would get updated.

This is easy enough for grandma to do. No editing text files. And ultimately i am thinking of the amount of ppl who would actaully welcome something like this. This is what I would expect a company like apple to do.

The only question is whether lindows wants to do this. There will be ppl who will figure that subscribing to CNR is not worth it and would rather use free repositories.

But if lindows can basically put a big message like "These repositories are unsupported by Lindows YOU ARE TAKING A BIG RISK or something to that effect, then joe sixpack probably would be scared and stick to Lindows' own repository.

But then I am not so sure. There are ppl who would prefer free because its free and the don't have to cough up any cash.

I know that developpers wouldn't bother and would go ahead anyway with the free reps. Even now some ppl connect to the debian reps and apt-get on top of lindows.

The advantage here would be a beginning for a easy consistent packaging format combined with marketing machine which could spread word about this packaging system being the greatest thing in the world (Which according to me is the truth ;) ).

The next step would be supporting stuff like autopackage. I think if your distro had a solid base for installing external packages from other ppl that arenot available through click and run then it will truly challenge windows, which it seems is your aim.

I suppose u can only take this up when lindows becomes a lot more popular. Oh well I guess the timing would be crucial.

But I think at somepoint u will have to take this gamble. Your approach is perfect for your present target market, but at some point aren't u planning to diversify? If that is the case ,wouldn't laying a foundation for that at this stage be better? Rather than saying no this my target market and that's all i will plan for?

Look at microsoft they are having security problems chiefly because they never took that into account in the very beginning.

PS: Couldn't u change the normal log as root business? How about doing it like ark linux and logging as a normal user? Special tasks like installing an app or something would flash a dialog asking for a password. A message could explain saying that since there are so many viruses out there, the OS is just making sure that is the user and not a virus that is iniating a system-wide action.

If I know Joe Sixpack he would actually get impressed about such a thing, and it would give him "bragging rights" over his friends who use windows ;) ).

Lindows first impressions
by bb_matt on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 08:56 UTC

They say first impressions are often what makes your mind up about something.

If that were the case, I'd throw the newly burnt Lindows 4.5 Developer edition in the bin right now, but I'm willing to try again.

I booted the Lindows install from CD and was presented with a fancy (for old DOS 8-bit games that is) fading effect into a Lindows boot screen with a logo and two options :-

1. Install
2. Diagonostics

Being the geek that I am, I immediately went to diagnostics, which looks like familiar Linux booting up, with a few differences.

I noticed that it had trouble installing my hotpluggable services, but I never use that anyway.

Then I noticed something unique for a Linux install - it installs the official Nvidia drivers for Linux - I noticed that because I saw the customary warning when you install the Nvidia module

Anyway, I finally ended up with a terminal that said something like:-

Hit exit to quit or startx to start the lindows installer

Ok, I type startx

I'm presented with a black screen with gibberish characters on it - looks like X windows which the installer no dought runs on has crashed.

Ok, lets try again with a default install.

I reboot and this time I start the installer the normal way.

So far so good. I've got the lindows logo with a status bar indicating that the installer is starting up.

It starts up, but once again I'm presented with a screen of gibberish.

Lets reboot and try again oops, same problem. Num Lock still works, so it means the system hasn't totally crashed, but a screen full of gibbersh doesn't make an install easy.

I leave it for 10 minutes.


I suspect what Lindows has done is to try to load the official Nvidia drivers or the XFree86 Nvidia drivers for the install instead of choosing the safe option of standard Vesa drivers which all modern video cards support.

If this is the case (and it appears that it is), it's a huge error of judgement by Lindows as the Nvidia Linux drivers are very fickle and often throw up errors like this.

Just to add some boring geekness into the mix, my work system will run on the Nvidia drivers, but only if I add a line to the X windows configuration file, XF86config, to tell the Nvidia module how to use the AGP slot.

I'll try again at home tonight...

Flaws ...
by Louis Guerin on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 11:22 UTC

There's only one real flaw which really needs mentioning before I'll roll my eyes and call for the next distro - and that's root-as-default-without-password.

If LindowsOS did manage to become the one distro which breaks into the mainstream, it'll just make crackers and virus writers' lives that much easier to adapt. And its users will be left thinking "Huh? I thought this made us immune to viruses?"


Oh, and ...
by Louis Guerin on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 11:24 UTC

... I hope LindowsOS doesn't start sshd by default. That would really be asking for it.


My experience...
by blixel on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 12:16 UTC

I'm willing to try just about any distro once. (At least the "normal" ones. Some are too specialized and/or feel like they are just a toy project that will be gone in a month. I don't mess with those.)

So when I saw I could download Lindows 4.5 and give it a try, I - like many of you - thought "why not?"

I filled out the form, clicked the link to proceed to the download, waited in line for a couple of hours and downloaded the ISO when it was my turn. I md5sum checked it to make sure it was valid. All good. I burned the CD using Nautilus' built-in CD burner (have never had any problems doing it that way) and 5 minutes later I had a Lindows CD.

I left it in the CD-ROM drive and rebooted this computer. When I got to the hard-drive selection, I noticed that my /dev/hde drive wasn't listed. It only showed /dev/hda and /dev/hdb. That meant that Lindows wasn't picking up my PCI Promise IDE controller. At that point I didn't feel like digging around on google trying to find if there was a way to pass an argument at boot time to make it see my card ... so I took the CD out and rebooted.

I carried the CD over to my spare machine and figured I would give it a go on there. The installer saw the two drives in that machine with no problem. I picked the second of the two and allowed it to blow away the FreeBSD installation I had on there. The installation appeared to be going well but at 90% it popped up an "Unknown error" (255). The only option was to click "OK" so I did. At that point the installer stopped and told me to take the CD out and press any key to reboot.

Since the install failed, I left the CD in and went through the installer again hoping to get different results. (I didn't. Same error right at 90%.) At that point I was tired so I went to bed.

Today I put the Lindows CD in this machine and mounted it. I then mounted the ISO image as a loopback device and ran "diff" on the CD and the ISO image. I got an I/O error on the CD. So I tossed the CD out thinking the burn was bad and proceeded to burn a new copy. This time I used the cdrecord command from the command line so I could see more details. The burn went well. When it was done, I "diff"'ed it with the ISO image and this time I didn't get an I/O error. "diff" reported no differences.

So I figured that was the cause of the problem. I took the CD back to the other computer, went back through the installer and ended with the same results. Installer dies at 90% with an "Unknown error"

So that's it for me and Lindows. Too bad really. I'd like to have at least seen it.

RE: My Experience
by nogeek on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 13:09 UTC

I had the same 255 error so I went on the Lindows forum and apparently there is a known bug: if you don't enter passwords when asked during the install the installer will run fine. Then just enter the root password etc on first boot. I was impressed with Lindows actually and will be recommending it to every Windows 98 user in a five mile radius--they all seem to see me as free tech support. But it wouldn't operate my wireless PCMCIA card easily, I was behind with work and needed the laptop working. I'm back with Mepis, which is buggy (to be expected) but completely stable and usable.

Paying for CNR? No problem.
by ammoQ on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 13:57 UTC

I am currently a Mandrake user and happily pay for the silver level membership in the Mandrake club. This is even more expensive than Lindows' CNR. There are some reasons why I pay.

First of all I accept that a commercial product and commercial service costs money. Of course you can go with Debian etc. for free but that's your decision. This is not a lock-in situation. As long as I like the product, I support it with money.

Second, I see that many of the commercial distributors donate a lot of money to free projects. So instead of donating for all the free programs I regulary use, I give money to the distributor so many projects get a part of it.

Third, there is a tendency that free projects make software powerfull, but it takes commercial distributors to make it user-friendly. I have no problem with the command line, I sometimes install software with configure;make;make install - but I also like to install most software using a fine GUI.

re: Kevin Carmony
by rockwell on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 14:27 UTC

//OK, seems fair enough. I'll email you to get you a free CNR account.//

For Pete's sake .. if all I gotta do is praise Lindows up-n-down to get a free CNR subscription ....

by Anonymous on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 18:50 UTC

Worst review ever. It's nice to know the author is a medium build brown haired 20 year old, but it would have been even nicer to know what "Naming" he was talking about. I don't know anything about Lindows and he just kept going on about "Naming is familiar to Wintel" but, uh, what the hell? It seems like a nine year old wrote details at all about anything. kthxbye.

My .ISO was damaged for some reason....Too bad too, I wanted to try it....

About the ISOs
by Ressev on Tue 3rd Feb 2004 21:24 UTC

Could have been a bad Download.

Try re-downloading it and burning it. My copy installs fine.