posted by Eugenia Loli on Fri 20th Sep 2002 02:15 UTC
IconA few months ago we wrote a full review of the Lycoris Desktop/LX operating system, but many releases happened since then and some things have changed. The Lycoris folks sent us the latest official version (+ online patches), we tested it, and here is what we think about it.

Updating the OS is easy! The (very easy) installation procedure hasn't change much since the last reviewed version in March 2002, so you still get to... play Solitaire while the OS is being installed. This time the Lycoris icons (and not the older Redmond Linux ones) are in place in the installer and the OS itself.

I had two major problems installing Lycoris this time. While booting off the CDRom, Lizard, the installer would just freeze. The reason was because X wouldn't load because the ramdisk size was not enough. Apparently, this bug is around for some months, but there is even a (nasty, from the Joe User's point of view) workaround for it, however the installation wouldn't get through without using it. After installing the OS, Lycoris wouldn't load in X mode, but rather in "safe" text mode with an app loaded asking me the way I would like to configure X. Apparently, the installer didn't create a valid XF86Config file despite the fact that it recognized my monitor and card, so I had to recreate it by using this text mode app. I installed Lycoris on VMWare as well, and on VMWare everything went fine, but not on my "real" PC.

After doing so, X11 would load and a (modified) KDE 2.2.2 would load too successfully. The icons are indeed similar (and not the same) as in Windows XP, which I find it a 'plus' personally, as the target audience of Lycoris are Windows users and not hardcore Linux ones. The theme, colors, background images available and icons give the user an upright feeling, they have a euphoric side in them, and I personally favor them.

IRIS, OS Update, Other Admin Tools Since our last review, Lycoris have released two important components: The Lycoris application packager (IRIS) and the new Control Center.

The "Install New Software" option under the "System Management" submenu on the main Lycoris taskbar menu, will open a (modified) Konqueror window and you will have three options: to install something from a floppy or a CD, or via the net or the option to view/remove existing installed software. The third option just loads the well known KPackage application which comes by default via KDE.

The second option will load another Konqueror window and it will get you to a page that Lycoris has set up with some categorized applications in it. If you choose to install something, the browser will go to SSL mode and you will need to have registered your Lycoris previously with an authentication key (called ProductID, it comes either if you buy the boxed version of Lycoris, or later via the web for $20 USD) in order to be able to download and install these apps. I have to say that the net installation works like a dream, really nice. No dependancy headaches for the user, just... click and run. ;-)

The first option does not work well. I put in the second Lycoris CD, to install the developer's tools that come seperately, but nothing is getting installed. It just returns an error. I haven't managed to install the dev tools yet via the "visual" ways of Lycoris (without using command line and the rpm command line app that is).

The AA font problem Another great job the Lycoris guys have done is the "Update Wizard" application they offer. You click on it, a window will open and it will connect to the Lycoris web site to see if any new files are available for updating your OS. Lycoris is able to download and update on the fly new XFree servers, kernels, applications, libraries, you name it. I used it twice so far and it works like a charm. The only thing it lacks is to automatically inform the user when there are new updates available.

The Control Center has been revamped and it is now web based, kinda like the one found on Windows XP. Clicking to an item will actually open a real application to modify your system. Some of the pref panels opening are straight out of KDE, but others are purely created by Lycoris and they are therefore unique. You will find unique tools for the init process, bootmanager, networking, hardware wizards to install/remove hardware, change resolution and refresh rate, graphics card, samba and much more. These config panels that truly allow you easily play with hardware and drivers (as well as the installation process of new software) are the two strong key points and reasons for running Lycoris as a desktop.

In the System Management submenu you will find more goodies, like the Desktop Sharing option (able to connect to a Windows terminal server too).

Table of contents
  1. "Lycoris Review Part I"
  2. "Lycoris Review Part II"
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