A new version of an existing distribution doesn’t generate near the fanfare of a new distribution from a new company. Or a near new distribution from said new company. The first release from Xandros Inc., Xandros Desktop 1.0, is the descendent of the excellent Corel Linux (Corel 2.0?). Read more for a review, a mini-usability test and screenshots.
Xandros purchased the rights to Corel’s Linux distribution and set up shop across town. Corel’s Linux projects were impressive while they lasted. Corel managed not only to create a Linux version of WordPerfect Office and Corel Paint on top of their distro, but they also flung it onto store shelves far and wide.
Xandros belongs to a specific sub-group of Linux distros; these aren’t just trying to be approachable to Windows users, but to actually mimic it as closely as possible. As such Xandros blends a Windows “look and feel” with as much branding and Linux features as can be squeezed in. The result? Rather than a cold shower, it’s lukewarm and much easier to get into.
A Windows user can expect an introduction to a multiuser OS and all sorts of great open source applications, as well as the ability to run a large number of Windows apps.
Most of the big commercial distros work reasonably well in the area of installation. The different distributions have taken different approaches to the process. Some load the configuration options on the front end. Xandros has only a few steps on the front end and has left other options either to default configuration and or for the user to set up after the installation.
Xandros, like Corel Linux, is based on Debian, unlike the offerings from big names like SuSE and Redhat. And aside from superb stability and awesome package management Debian is know for an arcane and confounding installation process. The Xandros installer conceals the complexities of the Debian installer in a simple and attractive GUI. Xandros offers users the choice of either an Express or Manual installation. The Express installation will take over a single disk on your system and install the Standard desktop bundle. For more experienced users, the Manual installation cedes control over the installation. I opted for the latter.
After accepting the license agreement, the user has about a half dozen steps. Among them are package bundle options. Xandros comes with three different bundles: Minimal, Standard and Complete. Having chose the Minimal install, I assigned Xandros a small partition, 2 gigs, and the Complete version would have fit, but I wanted to test run Xandros Networks.
You’ll be prompted to build or assign your Xandros partition (either ext2 or ReiserFS), and can resize your existing FAT partitions. For such a nice installer, it’s too bad that Xandros hasn’t been able to develop a better partitioning tool interface. Other steps in the installation are the option to configure network settings, set up your printer, add user accounts and create a boot floppy.
Linux users might be a little surprised that during boot up Xandros doesn’t have kernel or init messages scrolling up the screen. Instead there are a couple of little messages ticking off the completion of their tasks (Checking root filesystem…OK, Checking all filesystems…OK). It’s just one of the touches designed to bring Linux a little closer to the Windows experience, kindalike the little flare music as the desktop opens and closes.
The Xandros desktop itself is a customized KDE 2.2.2 (the Launch button has the Xandros logo) on XFree4.2. After the initial reboot and login the user will encounter the First Run Wizard. The Wizard guides the user through a few further simple setting options such as mouse button settings, regional settings and date and time, printer settings, and some system behaviour (such as Windows look alike options, among them the Default, KDE etc.). Not to mention electronic registration of your shiny new Xandros product.
Xandros has it’s own desktop file system manager that’s quick, configurable and more or less looks like Windows Explorer (more Windows 9X than XP). Xandros automatically mounts all other partitions under the folder Other Filesystems (from the command line they’re parked under /disks.). Some of the intricacies of Linux are still there. Click above /home and a Windows user might get confused by /root, /usr, /etc. The key to sorting it out is to remember that more or less the same names and look are present. Keep it in mind and no one should get terribly confused in normal user mode in the home directory.
Corel Linux uses the stopwatch feedback feature that Xandros has expanded on. In Windows it’s an egg timer. This handy little feature lets you know that your application has in fact launched, something that may be unclear with an enormous app like OpenOffice. Xandros attaches near your cursor a miniature icon of the app you just clicked on. It will be annoying to some, probably many, but it is an effort to give feedback to the user.
We all know that there are reams of apps from command line to CAD available out there. Mozilla is the default browser, and the default office suite is OpenOffice 1.0.1. The tool I was interested in was Crossover Office, a product that I haven’t used before, but was I quickly impressed. And the ability to fairly easily install a wide assortment of Windows applications will definitely be a selling feature for some.
The Xandros Networks is a tool to leverage Debian’s advanced packaging tool, or apt. With Xandros Networks users can access a large pool of Xandros-approved apps, OS updates and enhancements when they are posted to the Xandros FTP site.
Xandros Networks is distinct from Windows Update because it offers applications outside of OS updates. The basic mode compresses packages and dependencies selections under the umbrella of the main application’s name. Xandros Networks conceals the complexities of Debian package management and narrows the range of choices to the major packages in the stream. With Gimp, who really needs to know that you have to install a half dozen other libraries? Hmm, no one. Every app I wanted to install was downloaded and installed easily, as it should be. In addition, I was able to add my favourite unstable sources to the sources list and it hasn’t broken anything yet.
So, how does a Windows user react to Xandros? I flogged a friend with a usability test that proved the Xandros/Windows connection. Said friend has been around my machine enough to know how to launch a browser from WindowMaker, but their main computer is a Windows box and their preferred environment is Mac. I left all of the defaults except for a new icon for Phoenix on the desktop and I switched the wallpaper to Debian.
The first task was to go online and use their webmail account. Time spent? All of the time it took to recognize the Mozilla web browser icon (it actually says “Web Browser”) and type in a webmail address.
The next task involved changing the wallpaper. They went straight to the launcher and started looking around. The first thing they found was the console icon in the menu’s recently used apps section. They chose console, which I can understand, and when bash opened up they realized that wasn’t it and started rifling around some more. Next they browsed through the Applications and found things like the utility to import GTK themes. As soon as my tester realized how they would have done it in Windows they went straight back to the launcher and found the Control Centre menu and shortly found the display options and chose a new wallpaper from collection Xandros included (I think it was the Calm Waters image).
For their third task, I asked my friend to play some music. The first thing they did was look for a quick launch icon and found the volume control sound mixer icon in the bottom right hand corner. Then they looked in the Launcher menu and found MP3 Player (XMMS) in the recently used apps queue. Done.
The they were asked to write a short letter in a word processor. They found Abiword right away in the editors folder on the launcher menu.
The final task was executed with gentle guidance. It involved installing new software with Xandros Networks, namely the Gimp. I told them about the number concept of apps in a reservoir at Xandros and that Xandros has provided a tool to facilitate their installation. My tester said this was an attractive concept, depending on what sort of applications you can install. They went straight to Xandros Networks icon and clicked it. A little while later the Xandros Networks window opened up. They glanced at the window for a second and rather than go through the menu options of New Applications, Upgradable Applications, and Installed Applications they opted for Search. As expected the Gimp window opened and revealed it wasn’t installed, but the install option was available. The downloading and install
window is a little slow and my test subject started to wonder what was happening.
Overall the experience was sufficiently positive for my tester to say they liked what they saw. I don’t know if they’re ready to move, but they also aren’t planning on buying a new computer. For myself, I like that it’s Debian and I like being able to install some Windows apps and run Quicktime in Linux.
Chances are that you’re not buying this for the enormous world of options that are available with Linux and open source, rather you’re buying it because that daunting world has been trimmed down and edited for you. It’s important to note that this is a distribution for Windows users and at this time it’s only meant to be a desktop replacement option for a Windows desktop.
I don’t know how many people have sat down with a Windows user and watched them install Linux or try to use it. Some people will gladly switch without incident, as long as they get a half-decent introduction and have someone to ring with questions. Others will need more coaxing. Xandros seems to understand a paritcular market segment: Windows users at home or work who are prepped to leap, provided the jump is painless.
The look of Xandros satisfies. The organization is familiar enough. And a Windows user probably won’t be bothered if the version of gcc isn’t the latest, or if standard command line tools aren’t installed (who knows, maybe locate and find utils are in the Complete Desktop).
What Xandros has achieved in the Windows usability is impressive. I’m interested to see what’s next for the Xandros Desktop. I’m also curious to see what they have planned for their upcoming Xandros Server OS.
About the author.
Okay, no we are making Linux easier for people that don’t even know how to hardly use Windows. Can you say stupid?
I mean what is the advantage to using Linux if you don’t even know how to use computers? How are you possibly gonna utilize Linux’s capabilities. I’m sorry but Linux is not ready for the masses at the heart of the OS, and a good front end can’t hide that.
I am a Linux power user, but I prefer to use Mac OSX because I like things to be easy when I am having fun(home PC).
just casue somthing is made easy does not mean it is any less useful…BTW…for all the things Xandros has done to make Linux simple, it has all the power that Debian has for the power user.
I guess I’ll have to agree with you on that. I dunno, it just seems my blood boils every time I hear about Linux distro’s mimicking Windows. I guess I’ve always thought of Linux as a powerful developers tool, and a great OS to really learn how computers work, and to be yourself, things Windows doesn’t really excel at.
I’m sure that Lycoris, Xandros, and Lindows don’t necessarily take away the power of Linux, but they seem to hide it.
> I’m sure that Lycoris, Xandros, and Lindows don’t necessarily take away the power of Linux, but they seem to hide it.
No, they just market Linux to a different audience.
Re-reading your last comment, it is clear to me that you see Linux OS as the “ultimate developer/geek tool”, you see it a bit ellitistic. Well, some other developers, used this developer-oriented OS you speak about, to create something that would fill up a niche market. It is nothing unethical to get a free tool, modify it and resell it. I mean, while most of “your kind” won’t like that direction, it is one of _the_ directions of Linux in general nonetheless. A direction that might fill up the need on a certain niche. And this is a good thing for Linux, in the long run. Be happy and do not put Linux into predefined boxes like “Linux is this and that, but not that”. Think out of the box. It is software, it can be modified and used to serve people in many ways.
As a relative “newbie” to the Linux world, I thought I’d purchase a copy of Xandros and try it. It installed great and did have the “Cross Over” software that did work fine. Of course it’s version of Xsane couldn’t find my installed scanner(Acer 640U). Then I had to “reboot” the boot-up twice sometimes, because it would “hang” on boot. Then there was the constant reconfiguration of the network at each boot-up(seemed to loose it each time). I asked for a refund, but no replies,hum! Buy the ” Cross Over” software and save some money!
Tried Suse 8.0, 8.1, Redat 8.0, and Mandrake 9.0. Of them all Mandrake is the best most flexible version going, for us “newbies”.
I bet you installed it on a laptop, or some how got netenv running. that is why it askes for the network info at each boot up casue in moble computing you might need to set a new network environmnet every time you turn on the computer.
you are just a troll if you think that mandrake is th ebest for newbies…it is just a mishmosh of programs all thrown together and some clunky drakeapps.
Xandros by frar is the best distro for the newbie…and the fact that you even know what xsane is shows me that you are not a newbie.
Ugly fonts in yer browser dude.
They got some really, really horrible looking icons, im(h)o.
you are just a troll if you think that mandrake is th ebest for newbies…it is just a mishmosh of programs all thrown together and some clunky drakeapps.
Xandros by frar is the best distro for the newbie…and the fact that you even know what xsane is shows me that you are not a newbie.
You must not know what a troll is, because Mandrake is over and over rated best for beginners. I had no idea what xsane is, but the poster mad it clear tome that it was for a scanner. I did a google for ‘linux scanner drivers’ and guess what? First hit is a site to download something called xsane. Wow, am I a Linux pro because I know what xsane is now?
jerk off?!?!?!?!?! ask any person who has used mandrake. they suck compaired to SUSE and Xandros is much better. you are full of crap with your criticizm.
The fonts are not the greatest. The icons are not the prettiest. The desktop is not the newest.
But it works. It *really* works. It’s Debian underneath and it shows. The Xandros File Manager is simply awesome. All the config tools are there.
Yeah, it doesn’t have the gloss of a default SuSE 8.1 or Lindows or Mandrake (ok, well, default Mandrake is pretty friggin’ fugly too), but it can be tweaked. The under-the-hood part is far superior and that’s what really counts, IMHO.
Please be careful of your language and your tone when you are discussing, or I will have to mod you all down. This is a discussion place, not an arena.
Is that file manager available for other distros, or exclusive to Xandros? It looks hauntingly familiar
Nope, it’s closed-source and for Xandros only. Even Lindows (which bought Xandros code) doesn’t have it.
Seriously, who cares about this? Now if Xandros would have brought out a great open source application or contributed something at least noteworthy, then I could get excited, but this is yet another Linux leech. Why are these distros not ostracized ( Lindows, Lycoris, Xandros, et al) for just taking a distro which was taken from another, and throwing on top their own installer, wallpaper, and icons. Linux is simple enough to use. What isn’t and what lags far behind in quality are the applications. There is no real killer app for anyone to get excited enough to bother leaving Windows (for the desktop, mind you). Most people would rather pay the 80$ to buy Photoshop Elements on the OS they already have, then to go buy a new OS and run some half baked clone. When are people going to wake up and realize that until the applications are there, no amount of easy installers and dumbed down control panels are going to get Linux anywhere? What I wish is that some of these companies would spend some time advancing some of the major holes in OSS software, namely; audio and video editing and CG design tools.
They are not ostracized because they are a part of what Linux and OSS are all about. It’s the most obvious thing in the world.
having proprietary code as part of your distrobution does not make you a leach. Xandros did some hard work, and they want to capitolize on it by making it an exclusive xandrose feature. I doubt it will remain closed for an indefinate amount of time…when they improove it or replace it then who knows…but they did not take open code and close it. you can still get ther kde code….you just need to buy a licence (as the gpl stipulates)
[i] Xandros did some hard work, and they want to capitolize on it by making it an exclusive xandrose feature [i]
Sounds like an M$ feature; ’embrace and extend’.
I can’t believe all of the complaints I see at various news sites.
“Xandros is a leech!”
“ItS nOt l33t”
To me, Linux is about choice. If I want a distribution that automates nearly everything, I can have it. If I want a distribution to tweak endlessly, I can have that too.
I can make my own distro, if I want.
I can build enterprise-class servers. I can use it in embedded systems.
If I have the knowledge, I can modify the source code. If not, I can hire someone to do it.
If I change my mind about a given distro, I can choose another.
I don’t know of any other operating environment that gives me that much freedom. I like it.
There is room for a number of different distributions, aimed at different types of users. That is a GOOD THING.
Enough of my rambling. Back to lurking…
…why do you need another windows clone?
I swithced to Linux almost 5 years ago just because I wanted to try something different. Year ago, I switched to Mac OS X because, again, I wanted to try something different.
Linux mimicking Windows will never be as good or as easy as original so why would they (windows users) want to switch especially now with WinXP. Is it the price? I don’t think so, the price of those desktop distros is no different to deals you can get for Windows OS’. Is it the speed? I don’t think so, WinXP (at least GUI) is always faster than any GUI Linux can produce at this moment. Is it the apps? Well, definetely no. So, what makes a Windows user to switch to Linux?
Friend of mine wanted to try RH8 but the first thing he asked was how to use Frontpage and Dreamwever (he’s web developer) in Linux. Somehow, I made him install RH on separate partitions and then I got sick of questions, why does my winmodem doesn’t work, why can’t I use this brand new scanner, why this doesn’t work as it would in Windows. I told him that’s all because Linux is not Windows and if he wants to get some things done, he better go back to his beloved WindowsXP.
My take on desktop issues: It’s not the ease of use that makes a good desktop it’s the hardware and software support. OSX is easier to use than any other OS I tried, but still, it’s struggling because of the same issues that plague Linux world.
Linux should stay where it is the best, network and developer platform. Making good tools for making networking (on a large scale) easier would be better idea than investing money in file managers.
Xandros made their file manager and some of there other stuff from scratch…no embrace and extend here.
you need to lay off. there is NOTHING wrong with standing on the work of others who GPL thee work and then making a special feature that you want to keep to yourself.
embrace and extend would be if Xandros took Konq and then made it incompatable with every distro but theirs.
so stop spouting bial, ok.
I must agree with the part about Applications. I would of much rather seens the 2 years of hype been spent porting Corel Wordperfect Suite 2002, Corel Draw 11 and numerous other packages natively, which can be done using MainSoft’s software, to Linux rather than YAD (Yet Another Distro). If this was released two years ago, sure, no problems, break out the bubbly, however, we have to look at this, where will the money get made, making hundreds of distro’s claiming to be “user friendly” or developing applications people want?
In one corner we have UnitedLinux and in the other RedHat, these are the two standards in the Linux world. Now it is time for the application developers to pull-finger and start developing rather than paying lipservice as with the case of IBM and Linux.
it is a closed platform so it has 100% support for all the hardware and devices that you can buy for it from the mac store.
sure if you go out and buy somthing from the shelf with out reading to see that it is only for windows, then you will run into problems, but that is not the fault of Apple.
I mean, if I went out and just pick out an oil filter for my car and it did not fit, who’s fault is it…mine or the car company’s?
Same things that happen to Linux happen in OSX world. I plugged new Canon scanner the other day just to find out there are no drivers for it and that maybe they would be some by the end of the year. You can buy stuff at mac store but that is not the place where I shop (highly overpriced). There are 25 millions of Mac user only 5 millions of them use OSX, do you know why. They don’t want to move into unfamiliar teritorry. There is still only a handful of Mac apps ported to OSX and many of them badly.
I can’t say that you can put Linux and OSX in the same hat but OSX has so many problems that they should not be ignored but rather pushed towards Apple to make some changes.
I think that Xandros is a very clever Linux distribution and something that I’ve been looking for for quite a while. The power of debian and APT underneath, with a reasonable UI and some cool Windows-compatibility stuff on top. I think this could be the OS that finally gets me to ditch Windows, at least for anything other than playing games. The only thing keeping me from doing so at this point has been the attitude expressed by several of the posters to this discussion of “j00 must be l33t to use teh lunix” — I mean, I can find my way around Linux systems – that isn’t the point. For my desktop computing, I want an OS that WORKS. That’s all. The APT compatibility and Xandros extensions are neat, and I plan on giving this desktop a shot.
The reason to switch is the price. Windows XP + Office costs close to 1000 euros (dollars) that is a major investment in comparison to a freely downloadable distro or a 100 euro (dollar) CD that has it all.
Why make yet another desktop distro you ask? Well why should desktops be windows only? Why should we cede that territory to M$. Sure the home user may not be ready to adopt linux en masse but you will see corporations begin to switch to avoid the M$ tax and when there is a critical mass of desktops in the workplace then home users will begin to adopt them too. Thats what drove DOS/Windows onto home computers. People wanted to use at home what they used at work, especially when they could “borrow” the software from work. But it will take some work on the part of developers like xandros to make linux friendly enough for windows users. While the ubergeeks in the community may cringe at the “dumbing down” of linux it is necessary to allow people who don’t live and breath computers to be productive. You may not like the M$ interface but they spent big bucks in usability studies to get that interface. Not everyone has the time to be come immersed in the linux subculture enough in order to understand the quirks of linux. Computers should be an enabling tecnology that doesn’t force you to get a degree in order to do some level of functional work on them. Anyway whatever gets more people running linux gives it more crediblity with developers and that means more hardware support and more apps ported
I know I shall probably get flamed for this but here goes. I bought Xandros, I like Xandros, I am happy with Xandros. here is why:
1) Unlike posted an upgrade to Windows XP would cost me approx $300 as opposed to $99 for Xandros.
2) I wanted something simple and similar to windows for web browsing file playback and running office apps, although I am an IT proffessional my wife is not and she uses our pc too. I am no expert with Linux but have found some things I do not like like Samba messing with samba just to share files (in Xandros you just right click on the file and share it) the other thing is everytime I have had problems with Linux and tried to get help I am not met with very helpfull people answering my posts, with Xandros things just work and I do not need the help of such people.
3) Linux is not just meant for geeks and networking people it can be for the masses think about it power windows users used the Command line in Windows 95 regualar users used the GUI. its no different its great for everyone we all have a choice and this is a viable alternative to regular people who do not want to learn a lot of new things just to simply share a file etc for those that already do all the power to you and my hats are off to you, but creating a new distro for regular users in no way takes anything away from you.
time to get off my soap box…
“is the descendent of the excellent Corel Linux”
right, who just called corel linux excellent?!!!?!
it was the worst distro ever released and the only distro that wouldn’t run any of Corel’s own linux apps when i tried it
wonder if KDE in Xandros is as bad as corels
“jerk off?!?!?!?!?! ask any person who has used mandrake. they suck compaired to SUSE and Xandros is much better. you are full of crap with your criticizm.”
time for some moderation i think Euginia
i agree partly with you.
My brother (14y) is comfortable with computers.
Until now, he uses windows. He knows the name “Linux” and wants to try it.
I’m going to install it on his computer this week.
But i have a bad feeling, i think my brother can’t utilize the power of linux. He can’t compile things, he don’t know where to look for packages, he can’t configure the system for his needs.
I’m not sure whether linux is good for him or not.
So i think linux should be for people who at least understand computers and are able to use it.
And aren’t stupid.
Users are stupid bla bla, stupid users should stay away from computers, linux bla bla bla. Thanx very much!
I don’t know nothing ’bout programming, configuring texfiles, compiling (don’t even know what it means, kernels and other stuff. I use my computer (Win 98 Se, Mandrake 9) to browse the web, email, writing, photo-editing, web-editing, not complex stuff, but just for a lot of fun and information. Computers make parts of my life easier and i thought that was the point of computers anyway. I love them and i can do lot of stuff in windows and in linux. Yes i could even install my mandrake without reading or preparing. Just put in the cd and see if i understand enough to click next and i did. I hope linux will succeed at the desktop and more applications (multimedia progs with nice interface) will port or made.
I aim really sick of people calling me stupid, cause programming or even understanding some isn’t my kind of fun or interest.
I apologize to the group for going off like I did. I shouldnt have used the language I used, but the sentiment was appropriate.
I always found it amusing that the same people who expect linux to conquer the world often are the ones who complain about gains in popularity. If linux is going to continue to spread, the need for a “user-friendly” interface will grow. whether “user-friendly” means “dumbed-down” is irrelevant; its a matter of employing the right tool for the job. if you’re a developer, or an 31337 h4x0r, you’re going to value a flexible, powerful, and efficient OS. But most users are not developers or h4x0rs; they just want to check their email, and maybe download some porn. If all i want to do is drive to the store and back, i don’t need a ferrari.
…yep, fonts still suck.
Bye, bye, Linux….
I’m using Xandros, and actually the fonts are very good on my 17″ monitor with nvidia graphics card (drivers for nvidia are already configured.
Once you download the microsoft fonts via codeweavers for websurfing and word processing, they look about as good as in windows.
This was a surprise for me….I first installed Xandros on an old laptop and the fonts didn’t look to good. I bought a modern computer and they look great.
//Once you download the microsoft fonts via codeweavers for websurfing and word processing, they look about as good as in windows.//
…and Joe Newbie is supposed to know to do this?
I was saying it in a question in an exclamated state hence the ?!?!
he was the one to call me the name.
Maybe not in the first 10 minutes. But when they do eventually go to install their Microsoft Office CD they will notice the install button for a whole bunch of fonts within Codeweavers. In fact that is how I found about it, as I had no experience with Codeweavers before Xandros, and never really cared for installing fonts before.
Actually, even without the micro fonts, its still looks pretty good with the Nvidia card. I think a bit of support by hardware vendors will make all the difference for Linux.
Assuming that all of Joe Newbie’s hardware is configured nicely out of the box (admittedly still a big if), then I would happily give Xandros to a newbie. Everything else in Xandros is very easy.
I’ve just installed XP for the first time the other day. XP was new to me, and I installed Xandros around the same time. Xandros actually feels closer to Win 98 than XP in many ways. I actually find Xandros more intuitive. I think that is a big milestone for a linux distro.
I’m a linux supporter but not a fanatic. Xandros includes closed source software so there’s no realy ideological reason to support it other than supporting competition. The Xanros disto is simply a good OS.
I agree with Smooth, Jon and Ashley – most users don’t know how to code, apt-get or anything else. They just want it to work. And when a company like Xandros comes out with a distro that appeals to the masses of Windows users out there (i.e. easy on both the eyes and brain) I consistently read knee-jerk posts advocating ‘Linux for nerds’ or some such similar position.
What’s next, ‘Command lines forever’? ‘Give me icewm or give me death’? The genius of Linux is that it CAN be many things to many people. There are distros for GNOME lovers, there are distros for newbies and distros for those in between. Linux is whatever YOU want it to be. Dumbed-down Linux? Sure, just like XP is the rocket scientist OS.
I get sick when i see some linux Desktop environments to be Windows.
I know that will help newbies to get used to Linux. But I’m sure we wouldn’t need that if we developed a better UI than windows.
OS X is not like Windows, and a n00b will find it easy to use.
Linux graphical environments lack innovation!!
The Linux elitists in this thread are unbelievable! Who put you in charge to say what Linux should be or shouldn’t be? You don’t have to use the Joe User distros and you know it – you can even make your own system, if you want to. And there are geek distros galore. Why does it bother you that there are these other type of distros? If you don’t like it, just don’t use them, don’t read about them, don’t talk about them. Just pretend they don’t exist.
At least i have enlightenment…
Xandros sounds like it could be the distribution for “the rest of us.” Not stupid, non-technical people, but people who don’t have the time or the interest to use command lines, compile kernels, or program.
I was drawn to Linux because I wanted an alternative to Windows, one that was more stable, more secure, and more affordable; one that would not require upgrading hardware or renewing licenses every few years.
I’ve installed Mandrake and am trying Libranet 2.0 right now. I’ve had problems and issues with both that most of the people on this list could probably resolve in a couple of hours, because they’re more technically inclined and like spending hours reading cryptic code and other messages.
It will take me much longer to resolve such problems because I don’t always have the desire or the energy to work on this after spending a full day in front of a computer screen. I also have a family that wants and deserves a piece of my free time. If Xandros can bring the Linux experience (and the piece of mind that can come with it) to other people like me, I say good for them.
For the elitists out there, I say how dare you deny a Windows alternative to people like me simply because I don’t code. I, for one, think Linux can make strides on the desktop, and I think it needs to. Otherwise, most of us will be forever trapped in a Microsoft future. Personally, I want a choice, and I don’t want to have to buy a new computer (sorry, Mac fans) in order to get it.
but who are afraid of the command line.
Or at least, that is what Xandros is aimed at.
I keep recommending Mandrake9.
Not Suse, which you can’t download, burn cd’s from and distribute to your friends.
Not RedHat, I tried the other day, it’s going in the right direction, but too slow (i386, and yes I can really feel the difference) and too much dumbing the new user… ‘webbrowser’ instead of calling it mozilla. Hang on, I selected to also install galeon during the installation, how do I get that?
All these predefined programs, of which I don’t know which one it really is (instant messenger — which one?? etc)
Xandros will likely be the same.
BUT: that is all okay. As long as there are alternatives to MS popping up, with a commercial side to them, and with a budget for marketing.
The more people use a Linux flavour, the more hardware manufacturers will pay attention to making drivers available, or giving necessary info to Open Source coders to make drivers.
Who knows, if we make it beyond 5% desktop marketshare, Softwarehouses may change policy and port games to linux!
So Lindows, Lycoris, Xandros, they’re all on our side.
They want to make a buck, fine! Let them.
As long as it is instead of MS, great!
Let them make ads to show there is something else.
Every win user that starts with linux is good, one lost to MS (at least partially), one gained on the linux front.
“Corel Linux uses the stopwatch feedback feature that Xandros has expanded on. In Windows it’s an egg timer. This handy little feature…”
I really get a good laugh at you people who complain about Linux distros that attempt to emulate Windows. You seem to forget (or maybe you were still learning how to drink from a glass without a cap and eat solid food at the time) that prior to Windows, everyone used MS-DOS. And we all used the command line. But even then, MS-DOS was more user friendly than Unix – for a file listing you could type an easy-to-remember command like “dir” for “directory” (or in some other O/S’s, “cat” for “catalog”). But the Unix folks apparently never saw a mnemonic command they liked, which is why they came up with ridiculous constructs like “ls -la” to get a complete directory.
When the first versions of Windows came along, there were people carping about them – except that their complaint was more about the instability of Windows versions 3.x and under, and the fact that Windows versions prior to ’95 did not multitask well, if at all (both quite justified at the time). Once Windows stazilized a bit, most MS-DOS users migrated simply because it was so much easier to do what you wanted to do in Windows than in an MS-DOS environment.
I have figured out that the “Linux purists” have some common qualities:
1) They have exceptional memories. I mean, you’d have to have a great memory to remember all those arcane commands…
2) They fancy themselves as programmers (some actually are programmers, others are wannabes, and the latter are probably the more vocal of the two). They have quite rightly figured out that it’s harder to write programs that include a GUI, therefore they want to slow down the march of progress so they don’t have to learn new coding skills.
3) They wear their knowledge of the *nix command set as a badge of honor and a form of elitism (a polite way of saying they are snobs), the same way that ham radio operators think they are hot stuff because they can rattle off sentences in Morse code, even though there is almost no practical use for it anymore outside of ham radio (those of you who see Enterprise tomorrow night will note it doesn’t do Hoshi much good!) 🙂
4) And, they have absolutely no consideration for those who don’t have exceptional memories and need the help of a GUI, or who want to spend more time actually getting things done than figuring out how to do them.
An operating system isn’t supposed to be a Rubik’s Cube puzzle that you have to find your way around just for the joy of exploration – if you want that, go play an exploration-type game. An operating system is supposed to make things as easy for the average user as possible.
You guys insult and deride any attempt to make Linux more user-friendly, and insult former Windows users who ask for help and don’t want to becomer uber-geeks. Good job, keep the number of Linux users small so that nobody sees any economic incentive in writing software for Linux. Chase those users back to Windows, so that the good software continues to be written only for Windows. Give Bill Gates more money and power! At least you’ll still have your little geek club. With any luck you’ll be typing things into a command lin until they pry your cold, dead fingers from around the keyboard (or maybe they’ll just bury you keyboard and all)!
I hear there’s a good strong wind tonight – perhaps, to demonstrate your resolve to one and all, you should go outside, turn your face squarely into the wind… and unzip and relieve yourself! The net effect will be just about the same as all your insults against Windows users that might be inclined to try Linux, but are turned away by “helpful” folks like you.
you are just a troll if you think that mandrake is th ebest for newbies…it is just a mishmosh of programs all thrown together and some clunky drakeapps.
FYI, flaming somebody for stating they like a particular OS completely destroys your credibiity when you post in any forum.
Wow, a little harsh, but I can understand your points. Although I’ve had good and bad experiences with getting help and support for Linux, I have to say that a majority (maybe 60% as a rough estimate) of the time I come aross this attitude as well from entrenched, die-hard Linux enthusiasts, who fault me for not wanting to use the command line or not wanting to compile from source. But as we can see, the fastest growing distros are the ones that have created/utilize intuitive GUI configuration tools from the install process to the administration of your box (RH, MDK, SUSE, etc..). I think it will take some time though to get away from the reliance on the command line ‘weeded out’ so to speak. Not saying disappear, just meaning to supplement it and make things easier and intuitive for the non-technical user to configure via GUI.
Step at a time I suppose.
When told that the Pope objected to his invading Poland, Stalin famously replied “The Pope? How many divisions does he have?” To all the Xandros/Windows-mimicing UI/etc. objectors I ask: “How many customers do you have?” Talk and criticism are cheap. Deliverables and results are what make a difference.
“Unix folks apparently never saw a mnemonic command they liked, which is why they came up with ridiculous constructs like “ls -la” to get a complete directory.”
The reason Unix commands are so terse is because users orginally interacted with it via a slow paper-tape terminal, so the shorter the command the better. It had nothing to so with snobbery. I wouldn’t even be surprised to find that “ls” didn’t even have an “-l” option originally.
i am not suprised that certain members of the linux community bash the “dumbed down” versions. at every major stage in computer advancement that i have seen, the same thing occurs. i remember fighting some of the changes myself, but after i got used to them i discovered that they were better. i think it is more a resistance to change than anything else. the linux community has been looked as an os for the more computer savy. it is now starting to make its way into the mainstream because of various factors. each person moving to linux has thier own reasons, so no need to list them. i believe that the “leet” linux users are not happy that thier club, if you will, is becoming no longer so exclusive.
the command line is not as important as so many people make it out to be. i think it comes down to what you are used to. i remember hating windows because it seemed slower when doing things than from the command line, and hardly used the file manager. i eventually got used to using the file manager because it was more convient, and hardly use the command line anymore. the command line still has benefits and always will. unless you are used to it, it will always be a bit intimidating. new users of windows (95+) probably don’t use the command line at all, as there is no need. the whole purpose of a gui is put a wrapper around the program to make it easier for the user to use.
as a programmer, i gripe about how users can do things that are imho stupid. however, it is the user that i write the software for, not just me. if i wrote it for just myself, there would be no need to check for certain errors, as i am “leet”. i would not ask if i was sure i wanted to quit when i hit the close button. obviously i clicked close, so i must want it to close. if the file is not saved, then obviously i didn’t want to save my changes when i clicked close. these simple things are for the “stupid user”, but how many of these “stupid user” features has saved our butt at times. just remember you may be my “stupid user”, and i may be yours. we are all users of someone elses program, unless you worte every piece of software you use (yea right).
as far as linux looking like windows, i am all for it. give the user something that is familiar, if they don’t like it they can always change it.
i am currently running mndrk 9, xphome. mndrk 4 everything but games. i have been wanting to play with lycoris(sp?) and xandros(sp?) to see what i think of them. so far mndrk is my distro of choice, but if someone makes another one that i feel is more me, then i will goto that. that is the beauty of linux/bsd/unix.
I’m glad to see that there are people like Walt Huntsman and LooseMoose (very well put, Loose!) who don’t buy into the ‘Linux For Those Who Code’ mindset. If the elitist line of thought is carried to its logical extreme Windows 3.1 would still be the order of the day.
There are 16 species of penguins in the world, as there are many species of Linux in the world. Pick YOUR favorite but don’t think that you can pick MINE.
Penguins to the people!
I use linux all day every day and support over 120 installations in three countries. Xandros is not for me, but it is ALMOST what linux needs on the desktop. 1. 3D installs and works (none of the major distro’s install and configure this easy). 2. the file manager/network browser is ALMOST there, too buggy and cut and paste is mostly broke. 3. Windows software ALMOST works, 4. Xandros Network is way cool and actually works and has ALMOST enough packages to make it interesting. 5. Not even close to current tools KDE 3.1 is almost ready and they are still messing with KDE 2???? No KDE Office. ALMOST, but alot closer than I have seen from RedHat 8.0 which is a joke for desktop users. Come on XANDROS hurry and get this baby completed. I bought extra copies just to help their pocketbook.
I was saddened that you cannot download it for free. However, you CAN get the source for free, but I still am hesitant to try it.
A few articles before, I posed the question: “If linux is GPL, then whey did Xandros have to BUY Corel Linux from Corel?” I guess there are some programs that are not GPL or Open at all.
That’s a little of a downer for me. Not because I want free beer with my free speech, but becaues this HURTS XANDROS. Less people will be able to try it. I like the RedHat approach: free download, free basic updates, make money off training and services (Extra features in RedHat Network, I like how basic Redhat Network is free).
I know they can’t put an iso and still have CrossOver, so why don’t they just make a GPL versionf or Download and allow basic updates for free. Crossover could be downloaded if they sign up for Xandros Network and/or included in the box version.
I’m not trying to knock Xandros, I haven’t tried it yet — how do I, no iso — (okay I COULD BUY it and then return it, but not my style). I just don’t know yet. I mean, can I install this on more than one machine? Does look interesting (I like their file manager, well orgnanized, ‘complete file system’ in its own area away from user directory)
<<a Windows user probably won’t be bothered…if standard command line tools aren’t installed>>
For real? You mean unless explicitly chosen for the install, you get no command line programs, no bash script options? Look, I know many Windows users never learned DOS, and it may be that they are no more inclined to learn bash scripts, but to not include those tools–never mind bad Windows habits–is unbelievable. They should be included–they MUST
be included–out of respect for the Linux tradition. The superiority of Linux over MS was established at the command line, you know? No distro, no matter how much ease-of-use is defined as a goal, should ignore, even by implication, that important historical fact. If they have done it, well then shame on Xandros.
I have not tried any linux distros-yet. Have been looking around different sites and forums to get a feel of what to start with. I am NOT a ‘puter geek, but do know a bit, all by doing and making mistakes and correcting myself. I am in the great white north where dial-up is the only connection, as such downloading is time costly. The way windoze crashes and takes up cycles, I’m looking for something better. I would like to learn more about the “COMMAND LINE”, BUT,I have just spent the last hour reading this discussion(?), and am almost convinced that if I’m going to turn into something like the posters I have read here “FUGETTABOUTIT!!”. If someone wants to learn on a windoze “clone”, and continue onto becoming a “LINUX PURIST” (thanks LooseMoose), or not WHAT THE H**L DO YOU CARE!?!Is it taking money from you? How do you suppose someone is to learn that has never even seen anything but ‘doze? Do you want them to dive in and then try to get help from the likes of you? I think not.
Thanks for your time, if I’m outta line please let me know, eh?
I’ve been using Linux for some time and have watched it grow. It’s still what it always was an o.s. What seperates all of our computers is just eye-candy, not much has changed over the last few years from typical computer users perspective. I still do what I do at my computer what I was doing since the mid nineties. My computer habits are probably like the majority of computer users out there, almost the entire time I am using a web browser > 90% of the time. Having a functional browser was the main reason I would use Windows. Netscape for *nix was all we had, and it was barely usable, turn your back and it’s crashed, I.E took over as far as usability went. ALong came Mozilla recently which was really refreshing, it has become what I.E has been for years, usable. Having a usable browser made my Linux system usable and less of a chore. We can dress up our desktops to look however we please, but we are all essentially the same regardless of o.s. Now there are lots of means to get our systems up and running, but once we have them them up, what makes me different than you is just eye-candy. In the last year or so Linux distros have taken more and more of the work out of getting our systems up and running, it doesn’t seem as geeky anymore when anyone can do it. Suddenly almost anyone can run Linux and the elitists aren’t so elite anymore, ha-ha-ha ! SO what’s left to do but bitch about all the user friendly distros. I get nauseated by all the attitudes surrouding Linux. I’m a geek, see it took me way more keystrokes to accomplish what you did with a couple of mouse clicks, yawn !! It’s just a means to an end. I was a Computer Science major in college and I was surrounded by adolescent men who impressed themselves with how geeky they appeared. I guess Xandros is the “Defeat of the Nerds” or something.
Johnnyblinux “jerk off?!?!?!?!?! ask any person who has used mandrake. they suck compaired to SUSE and Xandros is much better. you are full of crap with your criticizm.”
Mr.blinux, I have tried Red Hat 8.0, Suse 8.1, Mandrake 9.0, Lycoris, and Libranet. As far as easy for newbie’s my nod goes to Lycoris. Of the above distros Suse was my least favorite. I don’t know where you get your info but there are alot of folks out there much happier with Mandrake than Suse. But what it really boils down to is personal preference. I’m glad you like suse but to use your phraseology Suse sucks compared to Mandrake IMNSHO.