Home > Linspire > UnixReview: LindowsOS 4UnixReview: LindowsOS 4 Eugenia Loli 2003-12-23 Linspire 31 Comments“Is Lindows for everyone? No, but that doesn’t mean it won’t find a niche” says Joe Casad in his review of LindowsOS 4 on UnixReview. Await a LindowsOS 4.5 review here at OSNews, tomorrow.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 31 Comments 2003-12-23 10:40 am I’m ‘quite your seasoned linux user’, and I chose to use Windows on my desktop at home. It provides me with a stable, easy to use, fun, and feature-packed operating environment.So to those who say its for newbies only – Bah Humbug. 2003-12-23 10:51 am Err, that should have read “Lindows”. Not Windows. 2003-12-23 10:54 am Err…does it still run users as root by default? 2003-12-23 11:20 am Windows XP does too. Mac OS X too.It prompts you to create additional users at first boot. 2003-12-23 12:05 pm The best aproach i’ve seen so far about this is the way arklinux handles this matter. It creates a normal user account by default and then goes root only when needed. 2003-12-23 12:08 pm they’ve understood that the open source business is a packaging and communication business. So they don’t reinvent the Debian wheel but package it through click and run and they do a lot of advertising. Debian compatibility is kind of a guarantee for them that they won’t have to spend to much on the system itself, and that they don’t depend on another company either. They concentrate on making things easy and making their name known. The california MS settlement story is an example : cheap advertising but a lot more people now know about Lindows, courtesy of a MS settlement. It doesn’t matter how many items they sell. They get the communication.In sharp contrast to the rpm based distros, that have felt an urgent need to diverge from RedHat.Although maybe not the best linux, it’s probably the best distribution network for a distro. If I was investing, I’d think about them. 2003-12-23 12:17 pm Arklinux? I use Mandrake, and during the installation you create a normal user account. When needing root privileges, it prompts you for the root password to run the program as root. So Arklinux is not the only distro doing this…Does anyone know how many partitions Lindows makes when doing an easy install (take over entire harddisk)?? Does it make a partition for /home for example? And what is the default filesystem?Simon 2003-12-23 12:19 pm I would like to give it a try. Maybe if/when SuSE drops KDE and makes Gnome their standard desktop, I will switch to a KDE centric distribution. But I need to add some custom apt repositories to my sources.list, for example#Multimedia stuffdeb http://marillat.free.fr/ unstable mainDoes this work as expected, or does it involve large modifications to the system?You might ask why I need a commercial distribution in the first place when I know how apt-get works. I do not really need it (at the moment I am running debian unstable), but:-I am willing to pay for good hardware detection-I like to support a commercial distribution-I need something to recommend to newbie users that ask me about the most user-friendly linux distribution.At the moment all those needs are met by SuSE, but if they drop KDE (I hope they wont), I will drop SuSE. 2003-12-23 12:53 pm It uses the ReiserFS. You can dual boot with Windows and use a free (Empty) Partition or use an old linux Partition. Or you can take over the whole hard drive. It only makes / and Swap. No other partitions.This OS is geared to the home user or regular office user. People seem to keep thinking that even for the most basic users Linux has to include it’s most fancy features!I use Lindows right now and I have given Lindows PC’s as presents to 10 people and all 10 enjoy it and have not had any problems with it.As far as the root issue goes the problem was that they were having problems with simlinks and getting regular user desktops in KDE to look the root desktop. They have worked this problem out and the regular user desktops work and look like the root now. People have been sweating them to force users to make a regular user account. I feel that they will add this feature soon even though they give you the option when you first boot up. (Users can skip over it)As far a APT-GET goes. yes you can use apt fine. There is a website called Openlindows.com (I have even seen this free site listed on Lindows site) And they have directions on their download page on how to use RPM, DEB and APT with Lindows. From using it myself as long as the application you want to install doesn’t upgrade too much in the way of Libaries etc your machine will have no problems.The other thing that is cool is that most open source applications are on the click and run site. You can also become an insider (Almost like a contrib developer) When you become an insider you get all the developers releases and you can also add applications to the Click and Run site so you get what YOU want from C&R. (Becoming an inside requires a one time fee of 99 USD)All I can say is try it for your self and see how you like it. 2003-12-23 1:04 pm A full install of LindowsOS make three partitions./boot /root and / . A takeover partition takes one partition. Dual boots are easy to set up.You can use apt-get and synaptic, but due to newbies finding many ways to break their system by trying to install conflicting programs, using Click ‘n Run is safer. Most of the programs there have been tested and work OK.It is capable of finding and runing some winmodems and practically all external serial modems, but the DHCP finding and implementation is very good. Also connection to another computer runing windows on your network is very good. I had a little trouble seting up a Riva TnT….had to change “nvdia” to “nv” in XF86Config-4 on one computer, but almost all other video on other computers detected properly. Had a little trouble with a laptop, plugged it into a 17″ CRT, installed, then set resolution so it worked on laptop. Now they have a laptop version, I assume it takes care of the LCD problem.Sound works on every computer I ever tried.This is a teriffic Distro for newbs and not bad for even experienced. Check to insure prephials are Linux compatable.It can be broken with too much apt-get of complicated stuff, instead of using CnR,but a basic reinstall can be done in 10-15 mins. CnR keeps up with what you have previously installed from there and can give you a page where you can select what you want to re-install.I may be a little biased because it was the first NUX that I ever tried that got all the basics working… video, modem, internet, sound, usb mouse, and DHCP internet when I got DSL, and finally auto connect to windows shares.It has come a long way in the past year. I originally started out as an Insider and recently became a Lifetime Member.Gotta like that Household License……I have 20 computers. 2003-12-23 2:15 pm Anyone tried them both and care to compare them ? 2003-12-23 3:05 pm Mac OS X does not use root by default. The system does require an administrator user so that the system can be maintained, software can be installed, and the like. But this is not the same as root which has to be explicitly enabled by an administrator level user. There is no root user readily available by default on the system.This is not to say that there is no root user, just that it is not enabled or available by default. 2003-12-23 3:07 pm Why would a Windows user, who is accustomed having applications pop up instantaneously, want to wait 2-5 seconds for the simplest utilities? The only linux programs that start in a tolerable about of time are Motif and GNOME 1. 2003-12-23 3:37 pm However, has anyone noticed Lindows version 4.5 has been out since the 16th of this month: http://www.distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=lindows 2003-12-23 4:14 pm The writer understands the situation and presents Lindows as being more than just another software compnay, but one that is so only in the context of smothering force of MS.The biggest problem I have with Lindows is the pay by year for Click and Run. All copnaies, from MS to Verizon, from Intel to Comcast seek a “cash cow”, where regular income just keeps coming in. The income has to be at a certain minimum “sweet spot”–e.g., for cellphone compnaies it’s 40/month. The programs I need, for demanding music production, need to be a lot better than anything, free or not, currently available thru the Debian or any other Linux organization.Noneless, perhaps with the influence of the three major Windows killers–Lindows, Xandos, SuSe–I can anticipate major music software companies–Cakewalk, Steinberg, Emagic–will begin to “port” their “flagship” products to Linux. 2003-12-23 4:20 pm I know that the UI is a matter of personal taste, but, for what its worth, I think the Lindows’ appearance is horrible with its flourecent blue and green gel icons. There is nothing subtle about them here. And I thought Luna was bad?!I do think Lindows is playing the marketing game smartly, however. It seems they are taking a page from Apple’s book by gearing their system towards specific hardware in order to minimize hardware incompatiblities, even though it will probably run on many others that are not specified.CNR seems like an excellent concept -very likeable and friendly. All Linux distributions should adopt something similar. 2003-12-23 4:28 pm I find the Lindows concept intresting. One thing I wish theyd do is provide a free trial download so I can play around with it instead of spending $ on it. I wonder if it will run under vmware. Worth a try.At home we have a network of a buch of Win XP Home PC’s and 1 Linux box. The linux box is a old Gateway 2000 Pentium 120, 96MB RAM, 40GB Hard Drive with Red Hat 9 running Samba and Apache. Works great as a print/file server. Personally I don’t have a favorite GUI (KDE vs GNOME, or redhat’s BlueCurve), but it don’t matter because my linux box doesnt run X-Windows (its installed, but too slow to use on this machine). It doesnt even have a monitor or keyboard plugged into it. I access it through the normal network browser in XP and telnet or ssh (using Putty) to do my Perl programming and administration work on it.I switched to Linux as a server OS because I lost everything to Windows one to many times. 2003-12-23 4:29 pm I get more dead links at osnews.com than the entire rest of the internet; probably one story out of ten. I can’t comment on the article because I keep getting “The page cannot be displayed” messages (3 attempts). But I believe that Lindows may be a viable alternative for Windows refugees. There’s room for improvement, but they seem to be working on it. Michael Robertson certainly gets in everyone’s face and lets them know about Lindows, unlike some other fine distributions that release their product and almost seem to want to keep it a secret. 2003-12-23 4:38 pm Ranty if you go to Choicepc and pay 100.00 to help fight MS so we can have choices in what os we want, you get not only get a lifetime of Lindows but also a lifetime of Click ‘N Run how’s that for a bargain. 2003-12-23 5:35 pm I downloaded and installed this on a friends old PC. It was easy to setup and hardware worked fine. There was one big disappointment though. I figured with a name like Lindows it would come with WINE, you know to ease the switch for M$ users. You can get it with your Click&Run membership but it’s an extra 50 bucks. All in all there isn’t that much software installed with it either, you have to download tons of stuff like Real Player, Limewire, GIMP and XMMS just to have a descent variety of media apps. I thought that sucked so now the machine runs Mandrake with TONS of apps and is free of Lindows “oh…yeah, that’s gonna cost extra” download service. 2003-12-23 5:50 pm Actually, check again, V 4.5 comes with Openoffice, realplayer, XMMS and Mplayer already pre-installed. Its been out since Dec 16th and has run on every hardware config I’ve thrown at it. Because of this I bought the lifetime membership @ http://www.choicepc.com and it certainly is a bargain.Even obscure hardware works, i have a ecs k7som+ running v 4.5.122 @ work (sub 100.00cdn board with a duron 2k+ on it) and everything was autodetected. I had a friend over who is a longtime windows techie and his face hit the floor when he saw that from a blank drive to fully installed and online was > 10 minutes. His only comment was ‘ by that time the drive wouldn’t even be formatted ‘It sure changed his mind…Another friend ressurected an older P2 450 with an onboard 6gig scsi drive on some obscure ibm board. everything auto detected and running.. no more svchost.exe taking up 384 megs of ram and 100% cpu straight after boot. He’s had his machine running for a month without Win2k on it, loves it, shows it off… never before had considered running linux, and is now after 1 install a convert.Lindows is a great transition OS, and for those who just want something that WORKS, its for them. If you want unstable/testing bleeding edge, simple.. install Knoppix.I’ve upgraded mine already, OpenOffice 1.1.1 and Kde 3.1 and use apt-get all the time, there is a risk of breaking CnR but since it remembers everything you’ve installed, should you cripple your system a 10 minute re-install, and then CnR’ing everything you ever installed is only a 1 click operation.I can see why Windows is threatened. My next step is to demonstrate Lindows to our school district. For education there is a 500.00 flat license, which allows an unlimited amount of installations. Show me a school district that wouldn’t love that. 2003-12-23 5:56 pm Howdy,I have LindowsOS (several versions) on CD. One CD supplied with the wal-mart machine bundled with LindowsOS. I have yet to manage to get an installation to complete.I always get some stupid error during the install, and it fails miserably.Regardless of computer, LindowsOS version, I could *NEVER* get Lindows passed one point.It would setup the hard disk, and then go to the progress view, and the I get a popup with an error.. can’t remember what that errors was anymore.Any ideas?–The loon 2003-12-23 6:35 pm I downloaded the Developers Iso and found out itdoes includethe nice voip application. Thats sucks..as if developers do not want to use voip. 2003-12-23 6:58 pm (about root) Windows XP does too. Mac OS X too.It prompts you to create additional users at first boot.Mac OS X has the root user disabled. The linux equivalent is disabling root, putting the first created user in the wheel group, and putting a line “%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL” in /etc/sudoers. 2003-12-23 7:30 pm >I downloaded the Developers Iso and found out itdoes includeshould be: does not includeIt does not include the Voip application. 2003-12-23 7:41 pm I’ve too recently became a lifetime member of LindowsOS. For the most part is execellent, but it does have its quirks. I’ve been using Redhat and Fedora as my primary OS for a few years. I’ve never run into a “wheel” user or group. Could someone explain this or provide a link? Thanks. 2003-12-23 7:47 pm ChoicePC’s website clearly states a lifetime membership for “LindowsOS,” however, what if due to a certain lawsuit it were changed to “LinOS”? 2003-12-23 7:48 pm Wheel is a group that is (mostly on BSD) for users who can become the root user with the su command (substitute user).So if you are in the group wheel you can do a sudo or su to become the root user. If you are not in the group wheel the system will not accept you as a user that is granted to become root. 2003-12-23 7:57 pm Lindows may instal in ten minutes and look ok but it does not include any configuration tools like mandrake or suse. What happens when a windows user wants to configure network sharing for example? I think that any os that wants to go after windows users needs to provide good gui config tools, and lindows is not there yet. For the real windows killer I would advise suse with “suse wine rack” (suse is the only distro that can detect my pci wireless card D-Link DWL-AG520). Otherwise mandrake with crossover products is a good option as well. 2003-12-23 7:59 pm Sounds to me like you have some hardware issues. If you have not already checked out the Lindows Forums, I would give it a shot. The folks in the Forum are extremely helpful. I’d actually go there before the official “support”. 2003-12-24 2:17 pm Lindows does provide tools for network sharing. You go to L,settings, control panel, network, network filesharing to add your username, password and domain name for your windows network.Then you can map shares by going through 1. The net browser icon on the desktop. Or 2. Through programs, utilities, network share manager.I have no problem using Lindows in my Windows 2000 Mix Mode Active Directory Network. (Not sure how it will work in native mode.)People keep putting down Lindows because it’s not free. But we all found out through the DOT Bomb bubble that free does not work. Yea somethings will be free from people who make money from other sources! The funny thing is I never see anyone here making coments on how Novell is going to jack up the price of Suse or how RedHat has adopted the same License scheme as M$. (For software that they are getting for free just like Lindows does) At least we can go to places like Kde-Look.org and Mozilla and KDE proper and see that Lindows is putting money BACK into the projects (On top of what code they make outside of Click and Run) Does RedHat do that? Or Suse? Or Apple? If they do they don’t talk about it much.I find Lindows to be a fun OS. Works good for Kids and non Teche users. (Which is the market they want!) And hey if the OS doesn’t work on your Hardware that is understandable because they have a Hardware Compat list and also they tell you before you buy that it works best on Lindows OS cert computers and hardware.Nothing is perfect, even old OS’s like Windows XP don’t work on every computer or piece of hardware out there. And I can imagine the more that Lindows pushes hardware companies to support Lindows the more hardware will be supported for all versions of Linux.But I am using Lindows OS 4 on my office PC. With Star Office 7 and Crossover Office so I can use Outlook and Exchange. I am very happy thus far.