Linked by Ross Edwards on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 19:32 UTC
Xandros What happens when a user moves full time to Xandros? How the technical and third party software support works out of the Canadian Linux distro?
Order by: Score:
Never install 3rd party
by Lean Fuglsang on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 19:49 UTC

A common misunderstanding for people comming from the windows world, is that they think they can install third party software.
Doing this is really not helpfull in any way.

Think about a distribution as a polished collection of software. Only the distributor knows how the pieces are tied together, _because_ it is polished.
And also because you can not make new fundemental chances without breaking everything.
A distribution _knows_ which changes they make, and can compile all their software.

So to make a long story short, never install third party software, use the package manager.
If your third party software isn't in your distribution, either wait or send emails to your distribution.
This is how software is supposed to be developed and used.
-It has to be as easy for the user as possible. Xandros is just doing the sensible choice of making your PC as easy as your playstation.

Re: Never install 3rd party
by Dark_Knight on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:05 UTC

Even though the writer of the article had a bad experience attempting to install 3rd party software that is no reason to advise him not to. Most of the software found in distros is 3rd party. Do you think Novell/SuSE, RedHat, Mandrake, etc make KDE, OpenOffice, etc? They may contribue something to make the tool/app integrate better but that's it.

The error some new users make is thinking installing programs for Linux is unified which is not true. Some distros are based on Debian and others on RedHat. Even though I use SuSE I could install a RedHat rpm app but I would rather use an rpm that is made specifically for SuSE. This is the big issue I have with Linux by not having better unified installations of apps. Hopefully this will improve since Novell decided to release YAST to Open Source development. That move may just provide a better standard to benefit all users of Linux which is what we need.

RE: Never install 3rd party
by CharAznable on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:07 UTC

True, installing 3rd party software can potentially break your distribution, screw up package db's etc.

This in itself is one of Linux's biggest problems, IMO. I've spent countless hours chasing dependencies, and trying to find just the right package for the right distribution only to find sometimes that it doesn't exist.

Interoperability between distributions is really not as good as it could be.

I know, a common package format that reduces dependency hell is too much to ask.

Memory etc
by mindwarp on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:07 UTC

"Two other issues I've had with it are that for some unknown reason it uses the entire ram, 386 Megs or whatnot, which I have. Why is that?"

It is because linux caches commonly used data to increase performance. If your computer wasn't using all the ram, then your operating system wouldn't be doing its job.

Xandros Support
by corky2023 on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:08 UTC

I agree with you about the Xandros and their support. Their e-mail support was very friendly and helpful, but sometimes it took weeks to get a response from them. And the Xandros forums were a mixed bag. Some people were very helpful, while others were quite rude and insulting. Their attitude seemed to be, if you have any problems with Xandros, it must be YOU. It can't be Xandros. And I wasn't installing any third-party software; just trying to get the included ones or the ones I downloaded through Xandros Networks to work.

Xandros is a good distribution, and it has potential. But they've got a little ways to go. If they can continue to improve on what they're doing I think they'll be fine. I wish them well, but I feel there are better distributions out there today.

by Nathan O. on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:10 UTC

It's worth noting that a Linux system uses as much RAM as possible to cache things, so that the system goes faster. If you're running top, there's a whole other number right next to the RAM in use that indicates how much RAM is actually being used by the system, not just cache.

Also, re: Never install 3rd party:

That's not how software is "supposed" to be developed. If we all had better standards, things would work better. For example, Lindows is based on Debian. They change a number of things, none of which require that you break compatibility with Debian proper. Still, if you try to use apt at all, you're likely going to break the whole system.

These sorts of things don't happen because the distro is that much more "polished," they happen because Red Hat, MDK, XanderOS, Lindows, Lycoris, etc. want the software you run to be uniform. If you were free to install anything you wanted whenever you wanted HOWever you wanted, they'd have a hell of a time offering you support. They distance themselves from other distros for this reason and also in order to, well, distance themselves, make a unique product out of generic apps.

Take a look at Red Hat. They're such a de facto standard that you can get practically any program in rpm form. This rpm might be completely out of whack except on a Red Hat / Fedora system. Debian; same thing, de facto standard, can get everything made for Debian.

I like Slackware because while there aren't a lot of packages out there, they're all built with the idea in mind that if you end up needing to compile something from sources, the src tarball is going to expect certain libs and components to be in certain places. Other distros may put them in distro-specific places. Slack puts them where the lib's maintainer defaults them to, usually.

Re:Never install 3rd party
by baba on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:10 UTC

Well if a distribution is just a "collection of software" the collection of Xandros is fine but dammed tooooo small:

e.g. no official tetex, pybliographer in the supported repository, a stable but old version of bzflag that you won't find any server with active players, no koffice at all, no abiword,no k3b (so no DVDburning as their XFM does only burn CDs)...

Ross Edwards review shows up the main points: Xandros is a very fine polished as long as it fullfills the needs you have -> IMO these are:

classic office stuff -> OpenOffice or StarOffice (in the business edition), scanning, copy images from your digicam

transition from Windows for office-stuff -> crossover (eg. MS Office, Visio)

transition from Windows98 -> Xandros is Win4Lin-ready (kernel patch already applied)

basic data manipulation -> XFM with ist automounting for for removable devices, neat Samba/Network integration, basic cd burning insode of XFM

basic web-stuff -> mozilla, kmail, evolution (NO kontact)

If you need more -> be aware that you have to compile all the stuff you need by your hand -> Xandros V2 is based on Debian sarge snapshot -> BUT Debian sarge is a moving (!) target, you won't be really able to use the repository from debian, as this will update tooo many customized stuff from Xandros.

This was better under Xandros Version 1 (which was based on woody an thus it was safe to use all missing apps from woody repositories)

Even with pinning under Xandros2 you won't be happy using other repositories -> so in the end: compile missing apps from scratch ;)

by rain on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:14 UTC

I do think Xandros is a truly great distribution and probably one of the most useable out there.
Overall I give it 5 out of 10.

Does that make sense? if you give it 5 out of 10 then it's not really a truly great distribution.

I agree that installing apps should be a lot easier in linux distros, having to browse around for distro specific packages isn't fun either. Couldn't they agree on some standard using variables? or what exactly makes the difference between mandrake and rehat rpms for example?

Defeats the point?
by TLy on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:22 UTC

If you're tied down and must obey the packages a distro dictates, doesn't that sort of defeat the point of "free software" as in freedom to install/use whatever software you want?

I remeber using KDevelop on Mandrake, there was a few dependencies that Mandrake just didn't make an RPM for. Luckily those packages were optional and not show stoppers. But then I tried Debian and later Gentoo, those of which have a much broader library of packages, and now those optional packages are available to me.

Novell bought SuSE and Ximian. I thought they would focus on Gnome as the primary desktop for SuSE (for some reason I just associate Ximian with Gnome). But SuSE has been more of a KDE distro and I thought I heard somewhere that Novell wants to really focus on KDE as the desktop of choice for SuSE. Now hypothetically speaking, what if Novell decides to make SuSE a KDE-only distro? If they're already doing this, I feel silly for not noticing, but it helps me make my point. SuSE users update their systems using RPMs made specifically for SuSE. What if Novell takes Gnome RPMs (or all the other DMs) out of their RPM repository and you're forced to use KDE? What if they decide "no more GTK+". But I want to use Mozilla, however with just Qt/KDE I'm stuck with Konquer. Then it starts to sound like Microsoft just a little.

I know my example here is of an extremist, but I just want to reaffirm the need of users to install third party software even if the distro maker doesn't include it in their package management system. Worst comes to worst we can still compile from source and let the make script figure out where to put/find files.

im the author of the article
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:23 UTC

One of the reasons I wrote this review was because I wanted to get other peoples opinions. I've been trying to get into linux for a while now. I tried Red Hat a few years ago and used it for about a year. Then I got tired of it and moved back to windows 2000.

But Im a software developer and like playing with new toys and have been impressed with where linux is going. However after trying a few different versions I was just left wanting.

I think xandros does a few things nice. But as has been said third party software is just no fun to run and im sorry to say but the idea that you shouldnt install it simply makes no sense at all. How is linux going to survive on the desktop if you cant install anything on it???

At the same time this does seem to be the xandros policy. And as someone said above if you have a problem with some software they treat you as if its your fault for even trying to install it. I mean how dare you!

The Xandros Netoworks was really nice when I first tried it but then they did some weird update which forces you to register which I have no desire to do. Oh and by the way the Win4Lin from my understand is just a trial.

Some other problems I had with the system had more to do with linux itself than anything. For example I noticed after I installe dit my processor starting making noises ever 5 seconds. After doing some research I found out this
is a ReiserFS issue.


The long and short of it is that I moved back to windows 2000 again and will use that for now. I do look forward to the version three. If they made xandros more open to "hackers" then I think it would be a really just darn cool system. The isse though to me is that ive heard that several free versions have very good software repositories and VERY good spport from their user communities.

So if thats the case then why bother paying for a distro that doesnt have any of this.

But thanks fo the feedback. This is far better than any I got in the forums.

Re: Never install 3rd party
by Traal on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:25 UTC

Does anyone know if VMWare comes with Xandros or if it's in Xandros Networks?

If so, Xandros has some responsibility to support it, and the article points out a deficiency in this area.

If not, the article points out a shortcoming in either VMWare (for not compiling right) or Linux in general. Saying that you can't just install 3rd party software in Linux like you can on Windows is just a cop-out.

if you give it 5 out of 10 then it's not really a truly great distribution.

When all the others are rated 4 and below, 5 is positively outstanding! :-)

just as a sidenote...
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:26 UTC

My main gripe was not completely about having problems installing "third party" apps. I havent read the edited version and maybe they cut out some issues I had but i;; put some others here.

Support leaves something to be desired.
Slow system response.
While XFM is good at what it does it doesnt seem to be customizable.
Xandros Networks works good on some things but trully lacks in others.
Doesnt include many libraries to allow for "playing" around with developer tools.

Also I did say at least originally that 5 /10 was probably a little harsh. That mainly came from my experience with the technical support forums.

there were poor reviews????
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:28 UTC

"When all the others are rated 4 and below, 5 is positively outstanding! :-)"

Where did you see these?? Every review I found was glowing and said it was one of the best distros out there which is why i tried it.

Can you provide links???


Speaking of Microsoft.
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:33 UTC

When I first installed Xandros and checked out their forums there was a posting entitled, "Xandros is a Microsoft Conspiracy. I didnt really read any of it but I chuckled. I like to read the criticism of any system or software first so I know what to expect.

Well after using it I'd actually almost have to agree. When I mentioned my issues in their forums they basically said that Xandros is designed for people who dont plan to do anything outside of whats installed.

I guess thats ok especially if its geared towards home users. But how many "business" users who apparently they are trying to gear this to are like that?

So I started thinking this kind of sounds like vendor lock to me and isnt that what people are complaining about with Microsoft and the reason they are moving to Linux???

Some people really seem to like the system though.

Re: there were poor reviews????
by Traal on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:37 UTC

Where did you see these?? Can you provide links???

Sorry, I assumed the author's own "4 and below" ratings for the other distributions mentioned in the article (Red Had, SUSE, Slackware, Gentoo, Debian) which he either wasn't able to install or which just didn't work out for him.

The Inevitable Solution?
by Tim in VA on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:43 UTC

You know, I don't mind admitting that I keep two PCs running side by side - - Redhat on one, Windows 2000 on the other. Both at home and at work. It's been pretty much this way going back to Redhat 2.0 and Windows 95. I just find that, as much as I truly enjoy Open Source software and revel in every OSS triumph reported here, at Slashdot, etc., I STILL need my Windows box. I did the VMWare thing for a while, but it just wasn't the same as keeping two boxes connected by KVM.

Hey, hardware is cheap these days. Keeping more than one PC doesn't cost so much, and even space isn't an issue with all the tiny Micro ATX stuff that's out there. If I had to give up one of my machines, it would be a Windows box, for sure. Fortunately, I don't have to make that choice.

by Doug Swain on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:47 UTC

You never really specificed what version you were using, Business 2.0, etc. I'm curious to know which one you were using, cause I'm booting Business 2.0 right now (trial that is)

by jbett on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:51 UTC

Exactly I have 1gb of RAM in my system, linux is using about 690mb of it, and it indicated in top that 450mb of that is kernel cache. So hopefully this will quell anybody coming out and flaming against linux for ram usage. No matter how much ram you have linux will utilize a large portion of it for cache. For users without much ram don't worry about it because Linux doesn't hog the memory it still shares what is needed with loading applications.

RE: re
by B.Smith on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 20:52 UTC

If you seriously want to try Linux, it looks like your only feasible option to begin with is Lindows. It has all the power of Debian (in the developer edition) and the flexibility of choosing either the CnR warehouse OR the standard Debian repositories. One or the other, since the std. Debian sources will crush CnR like a bug.

But on the other hand, Lindows is a standard, albeit dated, version of Sarge anyway. And the Developer version of Lindows has all the tools you need to recompile the kernel, compile and install software from source, etc. Plus the CnR repository is several times the size of the Xandros Network, and IMO simpler to use.

Xandros is beautiful to look at and does a wonderful job for beginners. But you are right, it doesn't seem flexible. One other point to keep in mind, the Lindows forums are among the most friendly, helpful and patient user forums I have ever seen. I have never seen one of the regular users flame or diss anyone at all. NObody, no matter how obnoxious. Not even me.

And the Big Cheese in Lindows customer service makes regular appearances there (even on holidays). Give Lindows a little more of a chance, much of what it offers is not obvious at first look. For a Linux beginner who wants to learn, you can't beat it.

Install Libra
by pixelmonkey on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:00 UTC

If you want an easy install process and access to every de/wm, install Libranet.

Xandros feels more "polished" out of the box with its XFM and hacked KDE, but when you use it for more than a month you realize it's really just a bunch of polished hacks. If you want to be fully Debian compatible, but get up-and-running faster than boot-floppies will let you, and have access to cedar, Libranet's repository which contains a sort of stepping-stone between testing and unstable branches of Debian, then Libra is for you.

Try it out.

(note that I technically no longer use Libra, I use Debian unstable, though I still have Xadminmenu installed, which saves some time sometimes. But there were no "dependency" hells in dist-upgrading to unstable for me).

What about SLackware, gentoo, and non debian distros?
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:07 UTC

Ok so ive heard Lindows and Libranet mentioned and will consider them but what about the others such as Slackware and Gentoo?? I have heard that Debian has become one of the standards and thats why distros such as Xandros are based on it. Is that true???

interesting review
by segphault on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:11 UTC

I found this review particularly useful, because it illuminated many of the problems faced by users preparing to make the transition. I am a distribution freak, and I love playing with as many different versions of as many different operating systems as I can get my hands on. The vast array of available linux distributions, each with its own set of peculiarities often illicits the question, 'well, which one is the best?'

I had to laugh the other day when a friend of mine made the frustratingly common mistake of assuming debian was 'outdated' because it is in release 3, whereas redhat is in version 9.

What most windows users fail to understand is that the diversity of linux enables users or organizations to choose particular distributions or kernel versions based on specific needs or preferences.

Asserting that any one distribution is 'better' than any other, or even that any particular unix based operating system is better than any other unix based operating system, violates the benefits offered by an inifinitely customizable and infinitely adaptable platform.

I have been thinking about writing an article about distribution diversity, which will endevour to illustrate how the seemingly endless parade of schisms and the perceived absence of cohesion are in actuality a large part of what make unix derivatives so powerful. I would like to addrses the particular benefits of particular systems, and look at some not-so-common posix compliant operating systems that can serve highly specialized needs while also providing a means of using common, standard linux products. (QNX is a good example)

Additionally, i'd like to get into the specifics of what 'posix compliance' really means, I would like to explore the ways in which a modular kernel contributes to the expandibility and diversity of distributions, and I would like to look at how modern microkernels augment the modularity of a kernel.

I actually concieved the possibility of such an article while reading this review, which is why I am rambling about it here. ;-) If anybody has any feedback, comments, ideas, etc, I would really appreciate hearing them. I am particularly curious about how many people would find an article on the subject of distribution diversity to be interesting or useful. I may end up writing it as a series of lengthy blogs, or something. If you are interested in reading it, you can email me.

-- SegPhault

An article about distros.
by re on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:27 UTC

I was considering the same thing in fact I was considering putting up a web site detailing all of them in a sense. I had heard the "whats the best distro" issue for a while and came to realize there is no best distro. What there are are different types of distros ranging from newbie to advanced with everything in between.

One of the reasons I was critical of Xandros was that they seem to market towards somewhat advanced but in truth are really much more newbie oriented.

There are alot of distros out there and its somewhat confusing to weed through them all. Plus perosnally I dont have the time to keep istalling and uninstalling them every couple of weeks. But I know that each distro is geared towards a different set of users and if i knew which ones off the bat it would save me much time.

Re: Never install 3rd party
by Darius on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:35 UTC

This has been my biggest frustration with Linux. Some of the 'easy-as-pie' distros are simple enough to install and set up, but the package repositories are sorely lacking. Once you go to something like the 'pure' apt-repositories, you find a mismatch of software - some apps have the latest version and some apps have way out-of-date versions, so then you gotta go 'repository hopping', knowing that going outside the sandbox is probably going to break something.
In Windows, I normally just go to the app's website, download setup.exe and install. So, I guess maybe I've just gotten spoiled by that - when I download a Win32 app, I never have to stop and think "Is this going work?" The only exception to this rule is when installing two of the same type of app that are both resident.
Seriously, something needs to be done in the Linux world to build a type of package and have it work on any package manager. Some people would argue that "It's always good to have more than one way of doing things." So then, tell me this .. outside of compiling from source, how many different ways are the to package something just one way and have it work for any distro that it is compatable with?

Why I Use Xandros2
by MrX on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 21:44 UTC

I've been using Linux on and off since Redhat 5, and have used every windows version since 3.1. I've used a host of different distro's, Mandrake, debian, libranet, gentoo, slackware, Arch, and other less known distros.
They all have aspects that I like and dislike, the long and the short of it is, that there is no 'perfect' distro out there. I think the problem is that Linux gives us so much choice, that users are in a constant state suffering 'the grass is greener' syndrome, where you are sort of happy with what you are using but are sure there is something better.
I really like slackware and Gentoo, they are fast and stable, offer the latest bells and whistles, Libranet is easy to install and can be upgraded to pure debian, Arch is small, fast and up to date, Mandrake and Fedora are easy to use and set-up.
I found gentoo a pain to set up printing and using my digital camera as a user was a no-go, I had a problem with libranet and very poor disk perfomance, I couldnt play dvds.
Similar niggly problems with other distro's too. They all needed tweaking and searching forums to get them the way I wanted, I have a very basic setup, printer,camera,dvd,cdrw,usb mouse,ide drives. Xandros is the only distro I know I can easily and quickly install on my harddrive and have work right out of the box, mouse,printer,camera,nvidia card, all i have to do is right click on the desktop, go to properties and adjust my screen resolution. simple.
Networking is go, I dont have to mess with my fstab, or xfreeConfig, or create a lilo.conf Harddisk performance is better than any other distro I have tried. I can rip cd's straight to mp3 using the file manager, I can burn iso's and copy to cdrw without any setting up of drives, permissions.
Xandros networks provides me with evolution, firefox installs and runs fine, xine is great,kopete is fine, it doesnt crash, sound is great, openoffice is there and ready to go after i setup my printer with a few clicks.It just works and does what it is designed to do. How many other distros do you know that you can wipe out your Xconfig, reboot and have the operating system rebuild it and work perfectly as it reboots?
If you are a Hacker and love to tweak your system, then you dont use Xandros. It is designed to be easy to install,setup and maintain. It is designed for people who are not computer geeks, there are plenty of other distros out there that cater for you.
Dont diss it because it is not a development workstation,or not designed to be used as a server,it does what it is meant to do.
There is now a trial version available for download, give it a try and see what YOU think, and then make your decisions on your own personal experience, not the writings of others.

a 3rd party software friendly distro
by MobyTurbo on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:07 UTC

A lot of people out there are complaining about third party support. The problem is often picky package managers that cause incompatabilities when their dependency management inevitably breaks.

Slackware's packaging system, which some people think is outdated, is actually simple. It provides what you really need for adding packages, and stays out of your way if you install from source (or create your own Slack packages from the source using checkinstall to have the best of both worlds). Slackware is by far the most friendly for installing third-party software because of it's minimalistic packaging system - a system that installs, upgrades, and removes - and leaves the dependency matching to those few times that you *truly* don't have a library after a full (their "full" is smaller than something bloated like modern versions of other major distributions) installation of Slackware.

If you want some dependency matching, however, there are third party programs that will do that for you if you prefer to have something like Debian's apt-get. That's good for tracking -current, but since I'm on dial-up and 9.1 is plenty current enough for me at this time I don't bother with that, I upgrade from the /patches directory on Slackware mirrors instead.

Also you mentioned you're a developer, Slackware is handy because it is oriented towards a Unix programmer by having all the development and other tools useful for someone who "wants Unix" rather than someone who just wants "Windows without the BSOD." (Because if that's all you want it's more than likely that you will be happier with Windows XP itself IMHO, though it is possible to run something expensive like VMWare to emulate it perfectly.)

Re: Slackware
by Darius on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:19 UTC

Slackware's packaging system, which some people think is outdated, is actually simple. It provides what you really need for adding packages, and stays out of your way if you install from source (or create your own Slack packages from the source using checkinstall to have the best of both worlds)

The problem with Slackware is the same as the others - where do you go when the package you're looking for isn't in -current or on
The other problem is that once you decide to go with Slackware, you lose a lot of the ease-of-use that newbie-friendly distros provide.
While it's true that Slackware is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, the learning curve is not something most of us care to deal with.

Re:Never install 3rd party
by Bear on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:21 UTC

i recently installed Xandros Ver. 2 on my laptop which worked much better than fedora core ( I am new to Linux ) at detecting my hardware and I don't have to mount and unmount drives. I have also installed the Debian version of k3b ( which I downloaded ) and it seems to be working just fine.

Lindows CNR
by Dan G on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:29 UTC

I had never thought much of the Lindows cnr service, but I suppose this review has shown its true value.

It would be ideal for people who do not have the experience or will to deal with dependencies.

On another note, I would suggest you try slackware again. Upon install it does take some configuration, especially with "special" hardware. It is after that that the "it just works" comes in -- very few suprises from then on.

Slackware has a pretty good support community at

Some comments...
by tbscope on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:35 UTC

quote from the text:
"What surprised me though is that instead of helping me in their forums a user just came up with the "Xandros didn't make VMWare so why should they help you". I had seen this before in other forums and this attitude simply leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Fine I don't expect Xandros to create a patch for me but the Linux communities is about the users helping each other out. "

If you have two cars, lets say a Fararri and a Porsche.
If your Ferarri is broken, you don't go to the Porsche dealer to fix it or help you fix it, you go to the Ferarri dealer.
So the correct place to ask for VMWare help is the site of the authors of VMWare.

quote from the text:
"Two other issues I've had with it are that for some unknown reason it uses the entire ram, 386 Megs or whatnot, which I have. Why is that? I don't understand this. Also I decided to use ReiseFS as the file system and now it is read or writing to the hard drive every five seconds. It's annoying! Another thing is that for some reason the screen size can't be adjusted. It's ok by default but a little small. "

I use ReiserFS and it doesn't use the HD every couple of seconds.
Maybe, because you say the system occupies all your ram, it's the virtual memory.

by Brian on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 22:44 UTC

RE: What you're looking for as far flexible goes is Mepis, it's also a Debian base and you can use apt-get that will work without breaking anything. So if I were you I would try Mepis.

RE: Lindows CNR
by Scott Bargabus on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 23:02 UTC

"I wasnít really all that into Lindows"

What was the problem with Lindows? I realize it's not for everyone, but it seems like it should work for you.

Installing Software on Xandros
by cc on Fri 2nd Apr 2004 23:11 UTC

There are two sources of "third-party" software for Xandros. The first is the official Xandros repository. Everything in this repository is officially supported by Xandros. The other is the Debian repository. This steps out of the realm of software supported by Xandros. If you are adventurous, there is an option in Xandros Networks for enabling this feature. But you should know what you are doing, and you should have your apt setting "pinned" to prefer Xandros packages over Debian ones (see Xandros forum for details).

Regarding VMWare, this is not a free, open source product. This is a commercial, proprietary product. Would you call Microsoft if you were having problems installing Quicken?? I don't think so. Then why do you blame Xandros for your problems installing VMWare? A quick search of the VMWare website shows several entries regarding Xandros:

And with respect to header files, I'm typing this on a new XP system. It has only a handful of header files installed. If you want header files, you normally have to install a development environment. Again, I don't believe this is Xandros's responsibility any more than it it MS's resposibiliy to provide a full development environment with every installation of XP.

Its seems that your frustration has led you to something of a double standard.

Response to Writer
by Paul on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 00:04 UTC

Two things should be said.

1. Xandros is not a developer-oriented distribution. It's a distro for newbies who need office and Internet apps.

2. Linux is not an alternate platform for running Windows applications. Lack of cross-OS compatibility is the software vendors' fault, not the fault of Linux.

That said, I wonder if the writer actually gave Mandrake a fair shot. The installation is great, with far more software, and a cheap Mandrake Club subscription ($5/month) gives you access to tons of RPMs from the latest and greatest Linux software, guaranteeing compatibility. I use some fairly diverse software, and I haven't had any problems yet.

I've also had good success running certain Windows apps (like Photoshop) under Crossover Office, and other Windows apps under VMware. Mandrake's package manager lets you easily install the kernel header files, so VMware can be installed. If this newbie can do it, almost anyone can. I find I can multi-task big Windows applications in Wine and VMware faster than I was able to under Windows 2000. Linux's resource management is just that much better.

PS Linux uses all your RAM because un-used RAM is *wasted* RAM. Windows hasn't figured that out yet. You see, Linux keeps all kinds of things cached in memory (like recently used programs) just in case you'll need them again. The memory is instantly recoverable when a new program needs it. Smart, huh?

PPS When on earth is OSnews actually going to start proof-reading its submissions? There are so many blatant typos, that many of the articles look like elementary-school essays. Professionalism starts with details.

Xandros Forums
by pollycat on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 00:05 UTC

"Unofficial Xandros Forums which is somewhat helpful if not very juvenile in both form and functionality.

So after checking it out for a few days and seeing some people getting decent help and some being treated in ways I find disgraceful..."

This is correct, the Xandros Forums are generally hostile if you question the distribution in any way. The best way to get assistance there is to write a paragraph or so of gushing praise for Xandros before asking your question.

Regarding vmware and third party software.
by re on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 00:12 UTC

I wouldnt expect them to come over to my house and
figure out how to install it for me but this attitude
that well Xandros did build it so why should they
support it sounds more like microsoft than a vendor
of supposedly open source software.

Sure they are proprietary but at the same time
they are supposedly selling an "alternative" to
microsoft. Yet from all appearances everything
is exactly the same as microsoft so what exactly
is the point??? Besides the virus protection
the fact that yes Xandros does automatically
recognize mauch hardware right off the bat and
XFM does some good things, but other than that
you're still locked into the Xandros world for
better or for worse. ANd doesnt that defeat the

SO what I was saying in the review is simply that
Xandros definitely has some pluses. And it works
for some people. And thats great. But for some
people other distros will work better.

RE: re
by mike on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 00:15 UTC

If you want a nice distro to play around with, many come in bootable cd format, with options to install on the hard drive.

I suggest Morphix, Knoppix, and Slax to try.

30 day trial v.Pro
by Annon on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 00:55 UTC

Yesterday I noticed the free 30day trial offer from Xandros, and I couldn't resist. The Download hit about 372kb, without Bittorrent - painless. I burned the CD and checked it out in my file browser. I couldn't believe it. Practically the whole distro is .deb packages. I installed Xandros and everything looked great. I put it through its paces and realized quickly it had some deviations from the way most Debian systems are laid out, but their file browser made it easy to get around and see where everything is kept.

I threw in these lines in the /etc/apt/sources.list file:

# Unstable
deb unstable main contrib non-free
deb unstable/non-US main contrib non-free

I then did the old "apt-get update" command followed by "apt-get install Synaptic."

After that I installed KDF, which also installed some dependants that brought on board all those wonderful little KDE tools that Xandros is missing. KDF simply made it easier for me to mount and unmount the cdrom. Why? Why? Because Codeweavers CrossOver Office kept puking on my Office 97' install. I then simply mounted the CD manually and used CrossOver to get to the setup.exe file on the Office 97' CD. From there-on it worked without a hitch.

After installing KDF, I realized that this Debian in disguise, with the right Apt sources.list entries and Synaptic running is as compatible and easy to update as any other Debian I've seen. In other words, so far, nothing I have installed while using apt has broken the system. Even the Launch Menu is updated each time.

With this in mind, I rebooted over to my Knoppix partition, threw in the Xandros CD and did an "apt-cdrom add" and, guess what? The .deb packages are just as compatible in reverse. The packages all showed up like good little .deb's in the Synaptic package list. I already own CrossOver Office, but I wanted to see what would happen, so uninstalled it, and then reinstalled it directly from the Xandros CD. I have still not stopped playing with this CD. The Xandros file manager is now on my Knoppix install (without CD recording "yet"). I still like the Konquorer file manager better, and will eventually boot the Xandros file manager to the curd as being just another novel experiment.

If I had not already paid for CrossOver Office and Plugins, well, let's just say that others might just find this a way to exploit Xandros' generosity. The only thing I can say is that these companies must have something really new and good waiting to be released, or why would they simply throw out the baby with the bath water. I wonder if Codeweavers realizes that Xandros is giving away CrossOver Office .deb's? Maybe the new Sun/Microsoft-y relationship is worrying a few Linux distro folks, and they figure on jumpstarting their exposure like Lindows did with their free download a couple of weeks ago? At least Lindows didn't put a timer on theirs.

Some "minor" bugs in the installer
by Zeke on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 01:26 UTC

I used Xandros 2 for about an hour or two before reverting back to SUSE. It didn't really offer me anything over SUSE besides the auto-mounting and built-in cd burning (both of which will be in SUSE 9.1, well at least the automounting for sure). I already have Crossover since I bought the SUSE Wine Rack which includes Crossover, Winex, and MarbleBlast. The thing that really irritated me about Xandros was the slow start-up, it didn't include stuff I needed, from what I saw in Xandros Network there wasn't much there and I couldn't get apt to install synaptic after adding the sarge repositories.

The thing that really killed it for me was that when I installed it I added mount points for my windows partitions. I clicked on set mount point for both and didnt think anything of it, I guess "set mount point" and "format partition" are the same to Xandros Developers. Maybe I'm just not thinking the right way. I went back to install it again since I didn't install the bootloader because I didnt want to screw up NT Loader for XP, what a shock I was in when I rebooted.

Needless to say I had to reinstall just to install the bootloader (hey I came this far to try it out, might as well now) and when I went back to the partition setup, I saw that there is a little check box you have to uncheck when you mount partitions if you don't want to format it. I think I will just keep to SUSE which automatically recognizes my partitions for me. I am also looking for a cheap pc just to test distro's with so things like this wont happen again.

Why Is He Bothering?
by Richard Steven Hack on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 02:21 UTC

"I started with Red Hat which didn?t work for me then tried
SUSE which was ok but also didn?t do it for me as did > mandrake. Thought I'd tried something more for "power" users like Slackware and couldn?t get it to install which bothers me because I've read of many people saying how easy it is and how great the OS is. Tried Gentoo and didn?t get anywhere with it. I also tried Debian and couldn?t figure out how to get that going either."

In other words, he couldn't get ANY of the distros that fifteen million people are using working, and he thinks he can do better with Xandros?


Who writes this nonsense at OS News? Better, who is the editor?

BTW, Xandros is designed for the Linux novice, not somebody looking to be a "power Linux user", so the relatively restrictive set of software installed is quite reasonable. This distro is for people switching from Windows, primarily. And most of those people do not need six different text editors, four different image programs, ten different ways to grep, and the rest of the stuff in Linux that Linux users don't mind having around. I've got five gig of Linux software I haven't even installed yet. Xandros target market does not need all that until they get used to Linux, so complaining about it is pointless.

I tried Xandros in V1.0 and V1.1 and it is a nice distro. V1.1 for some reason broke Xandros network on my system as my DL speed dropped to less than 10K on a cable connection. they never did figure out why so I stopped using it. You might want to take a look at Libranet. I have had very good luck with it and installing new programs never gave me any trouble.


Xandros target audience
by Ashley on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 03:32 UTC

Xandros is exceptional at covering 90% of the functionality of most users with minimum hassle.

As for third party apps from non-Xandros sources:

I've always had good luck:

Just don't replace their kernal, as it heaviliy customised. Don't update KDE cause everything else is built off that. I can understand the writer's frustration at VMware. Ultimately though, Xandros is really hunting for the corporate user. They are gunning for the big 10000 seat deals at corporations. These guys don't need vmware for the average desktop user.

Companies like SUSE, do cater more for the technical guys...

With regards to windows compatibility:
My MS2000 works like a charm.
My win98 can print via my Xandros via the network
Netravers installed without a hitch. You can even download a demo version via Xandros Networks to see if you like it or not.
Its a piece of cake to share drives over a windows network.

By linux standards thats pretty windows compatible.

Take your time and learn how to use and enjoy linux
by monkymind on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 04:03 UTC

Many new linux users seem to share common problems/ misconceptions :

1) It's not how they thought it would be / should be

2) First impression are - it's too windows like but not as good

3) Tried RedHat Mandrake & SuSE but all have dependency issues (it's not double-click like setup.exe)

4) Can't install non-newbie distros - debian slackware gentoo etc

5) I'm a Windows poweruser but my after a week of using linux my criticisms/reviews are met with derision & hostility

6) etc 7) etc

It may be instantaneous or it may take a few years but eventually most people find a distro they like (even create their own).

While it can look a little like windows on the surface and it does seems there are too many distros (all apparently doing essentially the same thing) part of using linux is "exploring the various options & tinkering here and there".

After a while an affinity with a particular version/variation of linux and associated support community will develop.

IMHO If you put the same amount of time and effort into linux as you did into becoming a windows poweruser - the reward will be as if not more satisfying :-)

Hang in there ........


Can't say much about Xandros as I haven't used it personally, but i've heard bad things about their forums, and i've also heard bad things about how easy it is to break Xandros if you tamper with apt-get or /etc/apt/sources.list too much. That's just not acceptable.

Sure you can all harp on about 'it's for a Linux newbie who doesn't play with their system and doesn't wanna upgrade, or doesn't want 4 media players", yada yada yada That's still an unnacceptable attitude. Changing your distribution so that it's not compatible with the 'other' distribution that it's built on is imho a form of vendor lockin. Lindows is the same, and it's why I refuse to use their products.

Slackware is a bitch to install. Plain and simple. Debian is easier, but still not the best. Haven't tried Gentoo yet, but i've heard it's good. Redhat, Mandrake et al are good, but I dislike the rpm package management system. It's crud for want of a better word. I've used my fair share of distros, and i'm solidly conversant with Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS (both 9 and X).

I've settled on using Libranet. Why? Great support. great user forum, easy to install and setup, nice, commonsense touches and addons/additions by the developers. FULL compatibility with Debian repositories. And it just works. Fantastically. Of course i've had to 'fiddle' with my Libranet system to get things exactly the way that I want, but as one poster said, if the typical windows power user spent as much time customising their Linux system they'd be surprised at how good it is.

I've emailed the author of this article, suggesting Libranet as an alternative. I'd suggest others try it. Don't base your full judgement on 2.7 classic please. It's free to download, but it's an older version of Libranet. 2.8.1 is again, even better. You could in theory, download and install 2.7 for free, get the Libranet addons, then use apt-get to cleverly get up to the latest versions of applications/packages. The choice is yours.

Libranet isn't free (2.8.1 that is), nor is it cheap, but it is good. No - it's great. It's the first distribution that i've used that has totally allowed me to forget about Microsoft Windows and do EVERYTHING on my Linux box. I think that just about says it all, doesn't it?

Dave W Pastern

PS no I don't work for Libranet. I'm just a VERY happy user. I'll recommend Libranet till the cows come home, because simply it deserves to be recommended.

Re: David
by insignia! on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 05:50 UTC

"Can't say much about Xandros as I haven't used it personally, but i've heard bad things about their forums, and i've also heard bad things about how easy it is to break Xandros if you tamper with apt-get or /etc/apt/sources.list too much. That's just not acceptable.

Sure you can all harp on about 'it's for a Linux newbie who doesn't play with their system and doesn't wanna upgrade, or doesn't want 4 media players", yada yada yada That's still an unnacceptable attitude. Changing your distribution so that it's not compatible with the 'other' distribution that it's built on is imho a form of vendor lockin. Lindows is the same, and it's why I refuse to use their products. "

You are definitely NOT Xandros' target user base, no offense.

RE DAvid
by MrX on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 06:11 UTC

Again, another user with no Xandros experience saying how 'unacceptable" it is. Please try the distro before giving your 2 cents worth on what you think of it, it really does make you sound just plain silly.

HOWTO: Ask for help on a user forum.
by MrX on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 07:05 UTC

To make your user forum experience more enjoyable, here a few what and what not to do's when posting.

What not to do:

subject: This distro is crap.
Hello, Ive installed {insert distro name here} and all I can say is how disappointed I am. It just does NOT WORK!!. I've heard about these forums, so I know I will just get hostile replies, and I wont be using it or recommending it to ANYONE.
My Acme splutterbox USB gadget works great under {insert distro name here} but it wont under {insert distro name here}.
I demand that this is FIXED IMMEDIATELY.

Needless to say you may get a couple of posts telling you exactly where to stick your usb splutterbox.

What to do:

Hi all, Ive just installed {insert distro here} and I have a problem, maybe someone here can help me.
{give full details of problem, device and hardware if neccessay}

Its really quite simple, and takes a lot less typing doing things this way:o)

Hope some of you have found this educational.

Yes, MrX!
by Davepet on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 09:47 UTC

If you post a polite request for help, that's what you'll get.

If you post your attitude, you'll get a dose of someone else's attitude back.

That's just human nature at work.


by rob on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 14:50 UTC

The problem with many distro's that look as easy as windows is that users get to expect it to function like windows.

Is VMWware part of the Xandros Distro? I didn't know.. If it isn't than why do you bring it up.. if vmware doesn't work on windows would you be able to get microsoft's support on that?

The rest of the comments on Xandros are mainly about installing the other packages which are really from the Debian project, and if you read the notice (i don't know whether this notice has been there when you installed it) says clearly:

Caution: Xandros does not guarantee nor support applications installed from sources other than the Xandros Distribution site. Applications installed from other sources may cause previously installed applications and your system to stop working correctly.

Also, you said these distributions are not for power users. They are.. but it is at your own risk to tweak the system. You see, a distribution holds alot of software that is customized for a particular distribution. If you go and install newer versions, they won't be customized for your distribution and may change the whole thing.
So if you upgrade KDE in Xandros from a Debian mirror instead of Xandros repository, you'll get the Debian installation of it, which may change alot of the appearance obviously.

And that vmware stuff required linux kernel header files I guess.

RE: Take your time and learn how to use and enjoy linux
by rob on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 15:10 UTC

Very very well said.

The newbie distro's look like windows but are technically *totally* different. So if you stick to the rules of the newbie OS, everything is fine, but if you do something outside that you slip and fall a 1000 miles deeper and this is the real poweruser linux world where you can take advantage of if you give it a chance as much as you gave windows a chance. From then on you are a computer knowno, if you can't accept his then you can't master it.

by r on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 15:20 UTC

you said you couldn't see which version..

well it wasn't too hard to figure out; settings->expert view
Then if you click on a package it gives you all the information you need:

20.48 KB

Time estimate:
00:00:05 at 28.8 kb/s, 00:00:02 at 56.6 kb/s

Installed size:
76 KB

Currently installed:


How hard is that..
This is not a flame, just want to correct this for you.

VM Ware
by corky2023 on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 15:32 UTC

Paul wrote:

Regarding VMWare, this is not a free, open source product. This is a commercial, proprietary product. Would you call Microsoft if you were having problems installing Quicken??

His actual original statement was:

What surprised me though is that instead of helping me in their forums a user just came up with the "Xandros didnít make VMWare so why should they help you". I had seen this before in other forums and this attitude simply leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Fine I donít expect Xandros to create a patch for me but the Linux communities is about the users helping each other out.

He was referring to a remark made by a user on Xandros Forums; not Xandros Support.

Re: misunderstanding
by Brad C. on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 18:59 UTC

"The problem with many distro's that look as easy as windows is that users get to expect it to function like windows."

Exactly, this is why I wrote this article on my site:

Linux != Windows

I can't stand distro's that almost seem to go out of their way to make everything "look" like's stupid and
unprodcutive....Linux is NOT Windows and should have it's own identity. Windows is not the epitome of "ease-of-use" anyway

Re: misunderstanding By Brad C.
by monkymind on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:20 UTC

[i] I can't stand distro's that almost seem to go out of their way to make everything "look" like's stupid and
unprodcutive....Linux is NOT Windows and should have it's own identity. Windows is not the epitome of "ease-of-use" anyway[i]

You don't seen to realise that on linux the "windows like look" is just the starting point not the end point.

You would not be able work out how to use my customised desktop. It's evolved over time to suit my preferences and the way I like to do things. "Ease-of-use" for me! ;)

All the main distros use a familiar interface - so everyone can find their way around and be productive as soon as possible. It's up to you to make it look and work the way you want it.

At the moment you're the one who is approaching it with a windows identity.

Look deeper - there are a wealth of window managers, interfaces and ways of completely changing their look and functioning. Move on from the superficial "it looks like windows" and learn to create you own linux identity.

Again I stress - take time to learn it and you will discover how interesting and flexible it is.


RE DAvid
by David Pastern on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:45 UTC

Well i'll reply to the try it before you dare make a comment on it comment:

I think I'm well versed enough with Linux to be able to read various informations and reviews on Xandros (or any other distribution thank you) that give me a reasonably good understanding of the raison de etre (I think I spelt that right) and it's strengths and weaknesses.

Linux shouldn't be dumbed down and limited like Xandros and Lindows do. For sure, have good UI tools to help administer the box for those that don't like to edit .conf files. I don't have an issue with that. A linux distribution should be a linux distribution, where the USER can make the choice to dumb it down if it suits their needs. That means that ANY type of user can pick that distribution up and use it and tailor it to their needs and user abilities.

Whilst a user on the Xandros forums saying 'Xandros didn't make vmware so why should they help you?' isn't really Xandros technical support fault (nor does it make it any worse), the forum administrators should have removed that comment for being rather rude. Waiting 2 weeks for a vague email reply on a support question is disgusting. Even Microsoft does better than this. I've found Redhat, Microsoft & Libranet to offer excellent support. Suse support was disgusting. And yes i've paid for various Linux distributions thank you, so I think I can reasonably expect some degree of support - not just 'go away'.

As an exampe, Libranet has a page for vmware (on 2.7):

It was a user contribution that was deemed good enough to put up for others to use by Libranet. How GOOD is that?

I *know* i'm not the type of user that Xandros is wanting, but neither is the reviewer/author of the article. Ease of use should not be confused with limiting the software or 'dumbing' it down so that a power user finds it useless to use. THAT is my point.

Dave W Pastern

Xandros Networks= Basically no good
by Tom on Sun 4th Apr 2004 04:10 UTC

I have Xandros Ver 1. My experience with Xandros networds is more or less the same. They take the great backbone of APT and ruin it by making everything in their distro dependendt on everything else.

Example: I don't like kdm- can't select the WM you want for each session. But try uninstalling it and you end up uninstalling KDE or something- been too long since I switched, but basically I found they made packages that were not dependent on each other dependent so that you had to get the packages from Xandros, not standard Debian archives.

For me, that was the end

I use Libranet. Somewhat polished debian, easy install, and if I want the lastest stuff, it won't break my system

good usability
by ArturNT on Sun 4th Apr 2004 04:21 UTC

Slackware with Dropline Gnome provides very stable usability, with ability to use any software packages you want(tgz, rpm, deb or source) you want. I haven't tried Xandros, but it looks promising.

RE: monkymind
by Brad C. on Sun 4th Apr 2004 05:30 UTC

"Again I stress - take time to learn it and you will discover how interesting and flexible it is."

what are you talking about? you have totally missed the point of my statement and my article if you think you need to tell ME that....

i have learned it, i have figured it out, i have been for the last SIX years!!! It is the OS I use a majority of the time at work and at home. I am currently running Fedora Core 1, Red Hat 9, SuSE 9.1, and Sun JDS (all on differenet machines between work and home) I have swappable hardrives for testing others which currently contain Xandros 2.0 standard edition and Mandrake 10 Community.

My statement and article on my site were about distributions that intentially create a default "look and feel" that completely and ridiculously mimics that of windows (Lycoris anyone?) Xandros first release was such a rip-off of the old and out-dated win95 look it wasn't even funny...Xandros 2.0 is somewhat better.

Throwing Linux in somebodys face and making it look like windows, letting the user even think that their experience is going to be exactly the same, is pathetic and lazy.

and again i re-iterate the original quote i was commenting about:

"The problem with many distro's that look as easy as windows is that users get to expect it to function like windows."

To which i was stating my agreement....
It's about miss leading the it again and maybe you will get a clue about what i am talking about...the situation has gotten slightly better since the time i wrote the article on my site, and yes i KNOW of all the many window managers and DE's (hell, i used blackbox and Enlightenment for almost two years) but that is not the issue.

The issue is that Linux and Windows and different beasts, people even thinking about switching should not be lead to belive otherwise. That DOES NOT mean the transition has to be difficult or that Linux will be hard to use, it just means it will be different and not everything should be "like" windows...different is GOOD!

by Robo on Sun 4th Apr 2004 06:51 UTC

I havn't had a problem with any of the software via Xandros Networks. All the author wants is Windows which is why he thinks it should have come with VMWare or Win4Lin.

You can do many things with Debain ...
by Slackware is not hard to use on Sun 4th Apr 2004 13:56 UTC

But, I tried Xandros, its a really good distro, you dont want to know how long it takes to get a system Up , with X Windows etc.. Again it depends, what it should serve you with, I use RedHat for servers and work, FreeBSD for Proxies, and for old Hardware... Slackware is great to and also Debian, but if you want technical support , use RedHat, then again , I preffer it as a server, not a media station for home.. personally , I think Xandros have done allot of work, and I salute their work, because its very hard to make such a user friendly/stable/ Windows friendly distro..... I give them 100 points ,they brought Linux to the kind of people who dont even care to read these articles... and that is the point in Linux VS Microsoft..

by Andrew on Sun 4th Apr 2004 16:46 UTC

Win4Lin trial version is available via Xandros Network....If you want the full version you have to buy it, but you don't need to recompile the kernel.

So I'm not sure what the author is talking about there.....

First Impressions of Xandros
by NomdeGuerre on Sun 4th Apr 2004 18:46 UTC

I downloaded the trial version of the Business Edition and gave it a shot. Here is the initial experience out of the box

1. The installation is quite easy and quick - about 10-15 minutes. Detects most hardware but it has not detected my Epson Perfecton 1260 Scanner and I cannot use it. The scanner has been detected by every other distro I have tried - even Slackware.

2. The file manager is very good. It does look like modified Konqueror but Xandros evangelists claim it has been developed from scratch. So probably it is a Xandros original.

3. The Xandros Network is a good tool as well, but it has a very limited choice of software available for installation and installing non-Xandros packages can easily break the heavily customized distribution.

4. The only media player that is installed is Xine. But no plugin is installed so one cannot play any streaming media. RealOne is available from the Xandros Networks but installing it does not install any plugin either. Xandros should have installed Real player along with its plugin so that one could at least play real media files. The RealOne plugin is known not to work.

5. Mozilla is the default browser. I like to install extensions like mouse gestures but my attempts to install any extension failed. Allowing read/write permission to chrome and its sub-directories did not work. So no Mozilla extensions.

6. I tried to run some applications lke KWrite from the console as root. But I got the message - could not connect to X Server. In other words, no GUI application can be invoked from the console as root. One can invoke GUI applications from console only as a normal user. I went over to Xandros forums to check if other users had faced a similar problem and sure enough I found it being discussed with no solution proposed.

For a distribution that claims that it is directed at users who do not want to tweak their installation, it is a poor experience as they will be limited by what they get out of the box. A good file manager cannot compensate for all other glaring shortcomings. Being focussed on providing a Windows look and feel above everything else eventually amounts to doing their users a disservice. It is the entire experience that ultimately determines the usefulness of a distribution.

Linux Vs Windows
by Chris on Mon 5th Apr 2004 05:55 UTC

Hi all.

I just read the article and I find one of the most common problems with us ex-windows folk is that we barely give Linux a chance to show us what it's capable of.
I have used Windows for 8 years and have only started using Linux in the last 2 months....It take quite alot of "re-thinking" and ditching the old style of the MS way.

For the likes of Xandros, I have been testing it for 2 weeks now - does it have it's issues? Yes, as does any operating system, but the short fall is my lack of understanding. Give me an installation issue in windows and I'll have it nailed in next to no time - whether it be system files/registry - but same applies to Linux and it's variants - it takes time to learn.

So to say those systems are disappointing, in my personal opinion is very biased and unfair.
You take a Linux junkie, if that's all he's ever used, and odds are, he'll be stuck as hell in windows...what do you mean 'ls' doesn't work? ;)

any change from 0.02 cents?


RE: First Impressions of Xandros
by Andrew on Mon 5th Apr 2004 12:01 UTC

NomdeGuerre Stated:
"I tried to run some applications lke KWrite from the console as root. But I got the message - could not connect to X Server. In other words, no GUI application can be invoked from the console as root. One can invoke GUI applications from console only as a normal user. I went over to Xandros forums to check if other users had faced a similar problem and sure enough I found it being discussed with no solution proposed."

Here is the solution to that problem:


RE: im the author of the article
by Piotr Sidorowicz on Tue 6th Apr 2004 05:38 UTC

Just thought to throw in my $0.03.

Unfortunately every OS has its good and bad sides. Linux distributions are no different. Each has its quirks, but all shield well from viruses, BSoDs, etc. while delivering a lot of value for the money.

However as with anything new, it takes some time to get used to a new environment. Software installation is not as trivial as in Windows, but is not that complicated either.
Even compiling from source (often the simplest way of avoiding dependency hell) is as easy as 1) ./configure, 2) make, 3) make install.

Perhaps the author should look at some lesser known distributions, such as Mepis or Knoppix. Both are Debian based Live CDs that offer the option of hard disk install. The advantage is two-fold: these distros can be "test driven" without the hassle of installation and once installed the user can make use of Debian's apt-get utility that truly makes software updates/installs quite painless.
Mepis should be seriously considered by those who use NVIDIA video cards, as it automatically installs appropriate drivers. It also got the winmodem on my laptop to work. Knoppix on the other hand is renown for its hardware detection prowess an a large selection of software titles.
Both are worth a test drive.

That said, I sign off wishing the author success in finding his favourite Linux distro.

3rd party software
by codeboy on Tue 6th Apr 2004 05:41 UTC

About the problem installing 3rd party software: my impression is that Xandros is designed for corporations where they have a fixed set of programs they want you to use, and they don't want you to install anything else.

Maybe you could get some help installing Debian, since it has many thousands of certified softward packages, and an extremely effective software installation system.

Mandrake is your best bet
by Grand Wazoo on Tue 6th Apr 2004 06:01 UTC

Xandros is waisted years of some short-sighted developers, and that goes for most of the "propietary biased" distros around !!
I've been using Mandrake from version 7 when I switched of from Redhat. Improvement in functionality was remarkable comparing to RH. There's been issues in many things, but nothing I couldn't fix (except Nvidia's stinking drivers) and I'm not really a geek. Mandrake's urpmi installs RPMs and resolves depedencies. Mandrake is highly developed but still also highly customizable distro and truely committed to GPL. Gnome libraries are important, but Gnome as desktop sucks. Gnome's graphical appearance is like house abandoned ten years ago and in some places it reminds me (like zombie) from that awful OS/2 desktop. By the way if you have limited power in hardware, use ext2 (not journaling) for filesystem and use other than Mandrake Galaxy theme -> system's responce will be twice better.

power user?
by iain_peters on Tue 6th Apr 2004 08:36 UTC

"That said I have been somewhat dissatisfied with many of the major distributions out there. They all seem to be "windows" like without actually being useable and most have seemingly left out the power user completely. "
well.. if you couldn't find the "power user" capabilities of red hat, suse etc then you aint a power user, maybe one step up from a user.
What is "without actually being useable"????