Linked by Michael Valentine on Thu 12th Feb 2004 20:05 UTC
Linspire I received LindowsOS 4.5 for free when Lindows offered it through OSNews.com. I decided to break the review into five scored sections: Installation, First Impression, Usability, Support and Long Term Use.
Order by: Score:
I'm glad someone got it
by Sean Rose on Thu 12th Feb 2004 20:15 UTC

I'm glad someone got it. The servers kept timing out on me. Trying to download it a couple days later just yielded "You are not authorized to download this." Which means - free as in - I don't have anything I didn't have before....

re: Sean Rose
by Nate Downes on Thu 12th Feb 2004 20:22 UTC

Same here. I really wanted to try it too!

Nice review
by Mr. Banned on Thu 12th Feb 2004 20:32 UTC

Not too in depth, but I don't think that's what the author was going for anyway... Just an account of his experiences and thoughts regarding Lindows.

As for those who couldn't download it, I also faced that same dilemma, but was able to create an account and return to the site about 2 weeks later to download it. If you've created an account and added it to your "shopping cart" at the time of this offer, you should be able to do the same.

I would like to see someone offer something a little more in depth, such as "How does the Developer Edition compare to the standard and such", in addition to something about actually using the Dev. edition to develop for Lindows.

These aren't complaints with this particular review... Just something I'd like to see covered in a future review.

As for my thoughts on Lindows... I haven't had a chance to install it yet. The CD's burned and all, but time seems to be tight for me as of late.

Oh! The one slightly humorous thing about this review for me was the repeated usage of "mayor" instead of "major". I'm assuming that's an "oops" though.

Nice review
by Michael Valentine on Thu 12th Feb 2004 20:56 UTC

"Oh! The one slightly humorous thing about this review for me was the repeated usage of "mayor" instead of "major". I'm assuming that's an "oops" though."

Yes I caught this a little late. I guess my only excuse to my spelling mistakes is that English is my second language. ;)

Not good for non-english languages
by capellen on Thu 12th Feb 2004 21:07 UTC

Thanks to osnews.com, I was informed in time and lucky to get the chance to download Lindows both Developer, Full & Live edition. However, in comparision with Redhat, Fedora, Mandrake, Suse & Lycoris, I was dissapointed. Lindows was working properly only in English, and most of the software, I was used to install for free with competetive distros, was available only thru internet as a paid "CNR" sevice. My opinion - LindowsOS is very similar to Windows XP English Edition with OSL (leased licence with annual fees & guaranteed up-to-date)...

Security?
by Anonymous on Thu 12th Feb 2004 21:16 UTC

How's the security? Although now, finally, users are encouraged to create an account besides root, I still have doubts about the security of the rest of the system.
It's still a shame that users aren't told that they have to create a regular user account. It would be good if that would happen automatically during install, perhaps even disabling root logins, and reliying on sudo (or a gui wrapper if you want) for all administration things.

What servers are running by default? What ports are open? Are there, like in eg. Windows, default accounts, with probably easy passwords? (things like a guest account or such). Is it easy to disable these defaults? Is the user told to do so?

I hope Lindows has progressed, as in my last experience with it (long ago) it seemed to combine the insecurity of Windows with the lesser userfriendlyness of Linux... Hopefully that has changed

Great Article
by raydi on Thu 12th Feb 2004 21:37 UTC

Like you, i was not very impressed with xandros 2.0. Rather than go into specifics i will agree with you on lindows. It is now my basic os for home. I still boot into windows for x-plane but thats about it.
I found lindows to have excellant support response, i enjoy the ease of loading programs that i need via the cnr, the desktop looks and feels perfect, and last like xandros there is a great support forum.

Lindows
by tonywob on Thu 12th Feb 2004 21:42 UTC

I managed to download the developer edition of Lindows and installed it on an old P2 machine which previous had Debian Woody on it. At first I thought it was okay, although it took hours to boot and I later found out that it was loading every module under the sun. Unfortutanely for me I didn't like it, it seemed bloated and the CNR wizard kept popping up and annoying me. I was amazed to find out it was just a demoed down version of Debian Sarge which I was able to update using apt-get. I later tried out Mandrake 10.0 Beta which I was extremely impressed with, and for the price Lindows charges for their OS, they should take a lesson from Mandrake.

I really do hope though that Lindows progresses and that they lower the price a little, after all they are charging you to download what is essentially free software.

RE: Sean Rose & Nate Downes....
by JJ Horgan on Thu 12th Feb 2004 22:04 UTC

Hmm...this happened to me, except my .ISP was corrupt and of course, I could only download it once.....

A trend perhaps?

Grading Scale?
by Kai on Thu 12th Feb 2004 22:20 UTC

I used the following grading system:
A+ = 100, A = 95, B+ = 90, B = 85, C+ = 80, C = 75, D+ = 70, D = 65, F = 60


Funny, he types out the grading scale, but didn't give anything less than 90...

about Lindows Xandros and others...
by ykpaha on Thu 12th Feb 2004 22:43 UTC

I have downloaded this version (thank you for your interview)and indeed tried it.
But despite the hard work done by these distro to ease the use of linux I do not realy see the meaning of going "like winXP".
Of course it looks alike of course it behave the same way but..For me it is better to interrest people to go more in the Linux way of life than to copy what's wrong elsewhere?
Quid if you try to improve your desktop quid of the tools running under kde3.1 if by chance or curiosity you go on 3.15 or more ?
You have to wait a new release...(and of course pay for it )
No sorry I prefer to see people trying linux with Mdk or Libranet it is more open minded..
Or more there is actualy a debian based Linux "MEPIS" easy to install and with all the tools needed to beguin with.
Without downloading asking permition to do this or that.
Linux is free and must keep this treasury.

(sorry for this bad rusted english)

Lindows
by Anonymous on Thu 12th Feb 2004 23:05 UTC

I got to the site in time and downloaded the iso from lindows ok, But the dam thing will not load on my laptop.
I hope version 5 will be better

Not to sound like a jerk or anything...
by Jace on Thu 12th Feb 2004 23:23 UTC

...but just how many people who downloaded the free OSNews.com-sponsored version plan to do reviews of it, anyway? ;-)

I know I don't plan to write one... I've not even tested it yet :-O

Doh
by Matt Lacey on Thu 12th Feb 2004 23:38 UTC

I got the free download and tried to install it as I was writing my review for Xandros 2.0 at the time - thought it might make a nice comparison.


Unfortunately Lindows failed to boot after install and although it would boot to a console I really couldn't be bothered to fiddle around with an unfamiliar distro.

Those who didn't get it last time
by Tyr on Fri 13th Feb 2004 00:09 UTC

Get 'Developer Edition 4.5' here :
http://www.nvu.com/landing_page.html

Coupon, offered by Nvu ( http://www.nvu.com ) valid until feb 24.

Thanks for the review
by Kevin Carmony on Fri 13th Feb 2004 01:25 UTC

Thanks for taking a look at LindowsOS and sharing your experiences. Yes, we're not perfect (yet ;-), but we're working hard to move in the right direction.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
President, Lindows.com, Inc.

General feeling
by IS on Fri 13th Feb 2004 02:26 UTC

I was disappointed with the LiveCD which was english only (unlike Knoppix) and failed to connect to the internet using an ADSL USB modem (unlike Mandrake Move). It didn't even detect it =/.

By reading some of the comments here, I get the feeling that we'll have to wait for 5 to get a multilingual environnement that works on more systems.

Fun Lindows Fact
by Mr_Dobolina on Fri 13th Feb 2004 02:28 UTC

Instead of CNR, just start a shell, su, and use apt to upgrade.
No pay.

More Fun Facts!
by Kevin Carmony on Fri 13th Feb 2004 03:36 UTC

Instead of going to a barber, cut your own hair. No pay.

Instead of going to McDonalds, cook your own burger. No pay.

Instead of buying bread, grow your own wheat and cook your own. No pay.

Instead of buying clothes, sew your own. No pay.

Instead of hiring a baby sitter, watch your own kids 24/7. No pay.

Instead of Evian, bottle your own water. No pay.

Instead of Jiffy Lube, change the oil in your car yourself. No pay.

=)

"No pay" only means "free" if your time has no value.

Kevin

I agree with Kevin
by Joel Caulkins on Fri 13th Feb 2004 04:22 UTC

Kevin, I agree with you, if a person wants to spend all their time tring to figure out dependecy hell, and put up with the outdated software in the Debian repository , then go for it. I don't think that $4.95 a month is all that bad for upto date software. The only comment I had, was that Lindows 4.5 Devel. seemed to be a resource hog on a Atholon 1.4 gig system with 256 meg of ram, maybe 5.0 will be better, but otherwise I loved it. Thanks Kevin, at least not everyone is ungratefull.

RE: Fun Lindows Fact
by Mr. Schnieder on Fri 13th Feb 2004 04:28 UTC

Mr. Dobolina, Mr. Bob Dobolina,
Using apt to upgrade means it costs Zilch.
Zilch.
Zilch.
;)

RE: Fun Facts
by Smeggy on Fri 13th Feb 2004 05:18 UTC

I agree with Kevin too. To all the *cough* morons *cough* I mean, users, who crop up in every post about LindowsOS I see on the net that suggest using Apt-Get to avoid paying for CNR. Get real. Using Lindows without CNR is like having a TV with no facility for an aerial. The CNR service is good value (you CAN'T argue with that), even moreso if you go for one of the spiffy Lifetime subscriptions. And like the review says, it is the best way bar none to install apps on any OS. It's fast, allows for backups, it has a nice friendly GUI, it has apps to do almost every conceivable task a workstation user could need (To the people who complain of the out-of-date-ness of CNR warehous... what difference does it make? I guarantee you, 99% of the apps there are just as stable and have all the features you'll ever need as the their latest version.) I encourage everyone who has turned their spoilt for choice (AND THATS A GOOD THING) Linux nose up at LindowsOS to give it a go when these free coupons come around and also to give CNR a try (I believe they offer a trial.) If you're like me and the thousands of others who enjoy the convenience and power of LindowsOS and CNR you'll probably love it.

Have fun.
(I don't have any association with Lindows, I'm just a very satisfied customer.)

Another perspective
by Phobos on Fri 13th Feb 2004 06:12 UTC

I played with it for a day. The boot times were horrible.

It didn't like my 8MB Matrox video, so my max resolution was 1280x1024@76. On a 21" Trinitron, it looked as bloated and funky as XP.

Once running it was OK. but it was nothing spectacular.

I downloaded and burned Mandrake 10 Beta, and it is a vastly superior environment. The 2.6 kernel works perfectly and is very fast. YMMV. But, for an experienced user, or anyone not totally clueless,, Mandrake or Fedora are vastly superior.

Not for me, but good luck
by Gerhard Olsson on Fri 13th Feb 2004 06:52 UTC

First: Thanks to Lindows.com for giving me a chance to evaluate the product. I wish Lindows the best of luck in being commercial in its market space. This giveaway I believe is a good relation shaper with the rest of the Linux community, the non-core target. (Admitt it: if you read OSnews, there is a geek in you.) Lindows is competing with XP more than pure Debian.

The installation went mostly well (see below for the exception), it even installed the drivers for my ATI 9800 from ATI. The distro look nice and behaves well too. CNR is probably fine if you wants something that mostly works (but it may not be the latest version).

That said, Lindows is not for me. I like to play around with several distros to try out new features but still have a stable distro. Lindows did not go well with this.
First it installed LILO by default (which is fine), but not just at installation: At every startup. (I had to rename lilo executables to avoid this).
Second the startup hangs when Lindows try to mount my other Lin partions. This means that I can not boot graphically but have modified parameters (in grub). (I have not bother fixing this, ctrl-D is OK)

CNR
by ASk on Fri 13th Feb 2004 09:57 UTC

You can still use apt-get in Lindows, nothing prevents you from doing it. Just uncomment the lines in sources.list. So it's a tradeoff between being held by hand and user-friendly interface (although with aptitude or synaptic, you would get a very user-friendly interface as well) and monthly payments.

Also, regarding that nvu coupon, it's better to be safe and 'buy' it now, because afterwards, you can get it whenever you wish/have time/until the Lindows company goes bankrupt

RE: Another perspective
by ealm on Fri 13th Feb 2004 10:43 UTC

I played with it for a day. The boot times were horrible.

That's an issue being worked on.


It didn't like my 8MB Matrox video, so my max resolution was 1280x1024@76. On a 21" Trinitron, it looked as bloated and funky as XP.

Did you try adding a higher resolution to XFree86Config?
Have you reported this problem at the Lindows forum?


Once running it was OK. but it was nothing spectacular.

LindowsOS isn't about being "spectacular" - it's about getting your job done easily.


I downloaded and burned Mandrake 10 Beta, and it is a vastly superior environment. The 2.6 kernel works perfectly and is very fast. YMMV. But, for an experienced user, or anyone not totally clueless,, Mandrake or Fedora are vastly superior.

As you say yourself, it's a beta and it's not fair comparing it to a stable product.
My experience with Mandrake 10 beta 2 is that the installer crashed while installing LILO.
LindowsOS 5.0 beta testing will start next month and I think THEN we can start comparing with Mandrake 10...
Anyway, Mandrake has never been as easy as LindowsOS. In mandrake I still have to get USB mass storage working and it has never set up my synaptic touch pad's scroll function.
Installing apps isn't as straight-forward as with CNR and the installer is far too complicated for most computer users.
I'm not gonna say Mandrake isn't any good for the group of people it aims though - advanced computer users and Linux users with at least some linux experience.

Anyway, LindowsOS 5.0 will sport kernel 2.6, XF 4.4, KDE 3.2 and Reiser4!
Also coming along with LOS 5.0 is a new CNR warehouse that will kick butt!

This spring will be interesting in the Linux Desktop OS world.

In regards to paying for Click'n'Run
by anon on Fri 13th Feb 2004 10:56 UTC

I agree people should stop their whining. It is Lindows' bandwidth and $4.95 seems hardly unreasonable, especially to Windows converts used to handing over hundreds of dollars a year for software.

I agree with one point of contention in the article: Lindows needs to tone down the excessive branding. Granted, i've only seen screenshots, but they're pretty ghastly. The really need some good art designers it seems to tone things down and make the look more minimalistic and not so in your face. Sort of an eyesore at the moment.

RE: In regards to paying for Click'n'Run
by ealm on Fri 13th Feb 2004 11:33 UTC

...The really need some good art designers...

I got good news for you then:
https://forum.lindows.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=165976&page...

apt-get
by matt on Fri 13th Feb 2004 11:48 UTC

Apt-get on Debian works great. However, Lindows is not completely Debian compatible, so you are likely to run into problems. Some packages that Lindows uses are highly modified from the standard Debian ones. In fact, the sources.list file on the 4.5 Developer edition has no sources, only a warning that if you try and use apt you will screw things up. Lindows ensures that you will save a lot of time with CNR because they hobble apt. The person above who said you would waste time with "dependency hell" has obviously never used apt: resolving dependencies automatically is what is does ;)

If you want a desktop system and want to keep using apt, buy Libranet which promises "100% debian compatibility"

apt-get
by Michael Valentine on Fri 13th Feb 2004 12:44 UTC

Since I wrote the review another week has passed and I'm still very happy with Lindows. I also started using apt-get after pinning Lindows and CNR packages and so far no issues with Lindows at all. Without pinning, yes the system would most likely loose it's Lindows customization but would most likely still work. The only real issue that has cropped up is that I'm not able to use my DVD burner since Lindows is based on KDE 3.01 and the newer versions of K3B need a higher version of KDE. I managed to apt-get the DVD Burner packages however and got it to work from the console, so minor annoyance but no big deal. I can wait for 5.0! Hey Kevin, how can I become a Beta Tester? ;)

"tone it down"
by Ashley on Fri 13th Feb 2004 12:48 UTC

Great review Michael. I was interested to see that you thought Lindows could "tone it down" a little with regards to their advertisng throughout the system.

Actually this is a big issue for me, I just think the disto is a too loud in its colours, and I really dislike all the internal ads for CNR, lindows etc. Just a bit too cheesey. Solve this problem, and improve windows networking capability and I will switch from Xandros to Lindows.

This is a shame, cause Lindows is an excellent distro and this is such a superficial thing. Perhaps lindows could look at developing a more neutral but sophisticated theme in the near future and tone down the ads a little.

"tone it down"
by Michael Valentine on Fri 13th Feb 2004 14:05 UTC

The CNR menus all over and "Lindows" pasted all over. I would suggest replacing Lindows on the Wallpaper with just their Logo, small in the corner or just leave it out. Also remove the CNR submenus or offer it to be removed with the initial setup wizard. Some like it, some not. I would also like to see the ability to turn CNR off and on as the user needs it. There is a program offered on one of the Lindows sites that does just that. Other than the VPN and DVD burning issue I'm very happy. I will continue to use other OS's but I think I found a permanent home with Lindows, especially if 5.0 keeps it's promises.

Nice Review
by gabbman on Fri 13th Feb 2004 15:23 UTC

Micheal, it's nice to see a review based on an honest enthusiastic surpise of the overall effectiveness of the 0/S.
Well done and kudo's.

CNR Stuff
by Al Hartman on Fri 13th Feb 2004 16:33 UTC

The other value in paying for CNR is to support a company that is fighting the good fight...

A company that is funding and supporting major Open Source Projects like NVu, Mozilla, WINE, KDE, ReiserFS and more.

And how about just the fun of supporting a company that has the cojones to take on Microsoft world wide?

There's a lot more you can get out of paying for CNR than stuff you can get from "Apt-Get".

There's the satisfaction of knowing you're money supports the further development of Linux.

CNR in the menu
by daan on Fri 13th Feb 2004 18:38 UTC

Can't you turn off those CNR things in the Menu? I believe I saw an option for that somewhere.

For the rest, it worked rather bad on my PC, so I reverted to Debian+KDE32, but the CNR program is great and is really user-friendly.

The only thing I dislike about Lindows (and most modern OSes) is that they are so huge and slow. I have recently worked some time on a Powerbook 145 (OS 7.5; 25 Mhz; 6 mb ram, 80 mb hd) and I could:
- Run the system entirely from a 3 MB ramdisk
- Do Pascal programming with ThinkPascal
- Do C programming and multiprocessing with MacMINIX
- Write letters with Word
- Make spreadsheets with Excel
- Draw paintings using our Wacom Tablet
My current Linux distro doesn't even support my tablet, but even if it did, I don't know any modern OS that can do these things (with GUI) in so little space.

Can't you turn off those CNR things in the Menu?
by Michael Valentine on Fri 13th Feb 2004 18:54 UTC

They can be hidden or deleted with the KDE Menu Edit Tool.

They can be hidden or deleted with the KDE Menu Edit Tool.

...or else you can turn them off in the CNR config ;)

I don't get it.
by walterbyrd on Sat 14th Feb 2004 05:01 UTC

What's the big deal? Why is Lindows worth $70 + s/h + all the CNR + all the money they want for staroffice and anti-virus etc?

I tried it, it looks nice, that's about it. It doesn't do anything any better than knoppix or suse or whatever.

Boot time is very slow, it didn't load my other partitions, the install is completely inflexible - you get what you get and you don't have a choice. It doesn't work with debian's great package management system. I finally gave up on lindows when the cd-burner crashed my system - three times in a row.

Everybody goes insane thinking this is the deal of the century, when really, Lindows is no better than other distros, it just has a bigger price tag.

JMHO, of course.

Lindows Betas
by Jackie Brown on Sat 14th Feb 2004 15:27 UTC

Michael V,

This is how you get to see and use betas of Lindows...

http://www.lindows.com/lindows_home_insiders_signup.php

...don't forget the fee of $$99

RE: Fun Facts
by Matt on Sun 15th Feb 2004 04:24 UTC

"I agree with Kevin too. To all the *cough* morons *cough* I mean, users, who crop up in every post about LindowsOS I see on the net that suggest using Apt-Get to avoid paying for CNR. Get real. Using Lindows without CNR is like having a TV with no facility for an aerial. The CNR service is good value (you CAN'T argue with that), even moreso if you go for one of the spiffy Lifetime subscriptions."

I agree, CNR makes people who are used to using Windows comfortable. Everything is a point and click away.

And let's not lose sight of the fact that the president of the company is listening

I am quite happily using Mandrake right now (and I make use of URPMI at command line so I don't run into depends snags that often) but I really believe that Lindows could be the killer OS that will put Linux on the average users desktop.

What Kevin is saying is right...for Lindows it's not about making us gnu/linux geeks happy and it never was. We're the beta testers if you will. It's about stealing market share from Windows.

I tried Lindows OS 4.0 and it ran flawlessly. KDE was crippled for that version, but I feel that between the fact that KDE 3.2.X and Linux Kernel 2.6.X will come preinstalled with Lindows 5.0 and the fact that Mr. Carmony HAS been taking us geeks seriously, Lindows will be a great distro and a Windows killer in a year or so.

(Heck they got time what with Microsoft dragging there feet on the release of Longhorn)


Kevin and Mike! You are doing a great service to the OSS community by making Linux easy to use for Windows users.

Keep up the good work!

Matt

Lindows.
by Hancom on Sun 15th Feb 2004 20:53 UTC

I strongly suggest to LINDOWS.COM, (Michael Robertson). Upload previous versions of Lindows (versios 2 and 3) onto the P2P networks. I currently use Lindows 2.0 on an Athlon XP 1700+ running Opera as a browser and MS-Office 2000. Haven't had to reboot on that computer since four months ago when I installed it.

I've been trying to get a copy of 4.0 and 4.5, but haven't had a chance yet. Currently 14th in line to download it. I hope to be able to get a copy of it, so that I can see if it is good and recommend it to everyone I know to try it too.

CNR
by Gary on Tue 17th Feb 2004 14:16 UTC

What is CNR?

RE: CNR
by Anonymous on Thu 19th Feb 2004 06:34 UTC

CNR = Click-N-Run

Lindows
by compunauts on Fri 20th Feb 2004 18:09 UTC

Someones comment about "stealing market share" from M$, I think Lindows is EARNING the market share with Choice and cheaper software.

To those that seem to think Lindows costs a lot ... DUH try M$ or any other OS. $100 for a lifetime subscription to CNR includes all releases of all versions of Lindows and all the software you can download. I paid more than that for Windows 95, almost that for the last DOS 6.2, more than that for XP and got no other software included with any of em.

I do not have a running Lindows system even tho I have attempted to install on several machines. My main machine would not internet (modem issue), drives and printer worked great. My laptop only ran 800X640 and again no modem or sound. Tried an older PI took longer to install than I was willing to wait so killed it. Attempts on new COMPAQ with W2K failed (couln't boot from CD nor change that). Runs great on two machines (not mine) from the CD but what can you do with that other than see it run.

Lindows
by compunauts on Fri 20th Feb 2004 18:13 UTC

Someones comment about "stealing market share" from M$, I think Lindows is EARNING the market share with Choice and cheaper software.

To those that seem to think Lindows costs a lot ... DUH try M$ or any other OS. $100 for a lifetime subscription to CNR includes all releases of all versions of Lindows and all the software you can download. I paid more than that for Windows 95, almost that for the last DOS 6.2, more than that for XP and got no other software included with any of em.

I do not have a running Lindows system even tho I have attempted to install on several machines. My main machine would not internet (modem issue), drives and printer worked great. My laptop only ran 800X640 and again no modem or sound. Tried an older PI took longer to install than I was willing to wait so killed it. Attempts on new COMPAQ with W2K failed (couln't boot from CD nor change that). Runs great on two machines (not mine) from the CD but what can you do with that other than see it run.

But I believe in Lindows, the CHOICE is worth the $100 if I never get it to run. The future just has to be better than M$ forcing their s&*()*()&^ down my throat. I have RedHat 6 and Mandrake 8 running on old PI machines but have never learned enough about Linux to really use them for anything.