Thanks to Lindows.com, I was able to get my hands on a free copy of LindowsOS 4.5 Developer Edition just for being a reader of OSNews. Apparently a lot of other OSNews readers did as well considering the long wait in the queue for downloading. It is great that Lindows gave away their product this way. Update: The article was updated (look at the end of the article).It is also great to learn that they are supporting kde-look.org, the Gaim instant messanger, and other open source projects. I decided to write a short review of my experience with Lindows. Unfortunately, my experience was negative. I wanted to like Lindows, but I had too many issues for me to keep using it. Before I get into the details, I should caution you that: (1) This is not a thorough professional review, only a summary of my experiences. (2) I used Lindows for only one day and did not try the Click-N-Run warehouse. I’m sure many Lindows fans will say I didn’t give it a fair shot, but that doesn’t invalidate the problems I have.
The Test System
I installed on a Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop. It has a display with a native resolution of 1400×1050. An ATI Rage mobility M4 provides graphics. It has a Toshiba DVD rom drive and uses a cheap CompUSA brand (Realtek) pcmcia card for networking.
My Computer Proficiency
I am not a developer or programmer in any sense. My knowledge of Linux is from using it as my desktop operating system both at home and work for the past two years. I prefer Linux over Windows because it is cheaper and more flexible. During the past two years, I have tried a variety of distributions, but settled on Debian both at home and work because of the ease of updating and access to the huge repository of software using apt-get. Even though I am a daily Linux user, I am no Linux
The website was somewhat confusing. It funneled you into creating a user account and giving Lindows a credit card number. In fact I had nearly purchased the Lindows download using my credit card before I figured out how to enter the coupon code for the free download. I went ahead and signed up for a free 15 day trial of Click-N-Run for software installation. I don’t like that Lindows changes the names of open source software and then charges people for downloading them. I then read that if I
canceled after my 15 day trial, software I downloaded would be disabled. It seems like in addition to changing names, Lindows has hacked software in some way to give you a time trial. Maybe I misunderstood, but I wanted no part of that and canceled my trial CNR membership before I even tried it.
Installation of Lindows
My laptop was dual booting Windows 2000 and Debian unstable prior to installing Lindows. I decided to overwrite my Debian install. When booting the Lindows CD, I could see text flashing by that appeared that the installer was trying several different video modes. It did find a video setting that worked. Redhat’s Anaconda installer won’t work in graphical mode on this laptop so I was glad to be greeted with a graphical option of (1) taking over the entire disk or (2) “advanced”. I chose “advanced” because I wanted to change my disk partitioning and keep dual booting Windows. I assumed that this would be a piece of cake for a consumer-oriented distribution like Lindows. I was wrong. After I selected “advanced” I was given a list of partitions to choose for installation. That’s it. I could only choose one partition and let Lindows handle the rest. I had three Linux partitions (two reiserfs formatted, and one swap). Luckily, I had a Knoppix CD, so I shut down, rebooted with the Knoppix CD and deleted my Linux partitions. I figured that I’d just let Lindows install using whatever partitioning scheme it wants in the free space left by deleting my Linux partitions. This should be easy for a desktop oriented distribution right? Wrong. I rebooted the Lindows CD, selected “advanced” install. This time, it only shows my Windows partitions as selectable for installation. It didn’t allow me to select the free space. Back to rebooting in Knoppix and re-partitioning my hard drive. I created one ReiserFS partition and one swap partition. I rebooted the Lindows CD and selected the ReiserFS partition for installation. The installer said nothing about partitioning or swap space. Did Lindows create only one partition? Did it use my swap partition or create its own? I don’t know because I didn’t go back with my Knoppix CD after installing to find out.
The installer started and all that could be seen was a progress bar and some Lindows advertising. There is no opportunity for package selection using the “advanced” installer. Therefore, I don’t know what all was installed. There was also no information on hardware configuration. I don’t know what display settings were chosen, if my pcmcia card was detected properly, etc. There was also no opportunity for creating a user account during installation, so you have to log in as root the first time. The installation only took about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I
removed the Lindows CD and rebooted. I was pleased to see the boot loader (lilo I believe) automatically set up with a Windows option so that I could keep dual booting. I selected Lindows. During boot up, you are given a splash screen with a progress bar. I could see no place to select a “verbose” boot option to see boot messages. After it finished booting, the X server failed to start and I was dumped to a text prompt. Now what? Luckily, I had saved my XF86Config-4 file from my Debian install. I logged in as root plugged in a USB drive and copied my XF86Config-4 file over to my Lindows installation and typed the command “startx”. If I had been a first time Linux user, there is no way that I could have made it this far.
First (and Last) Impressions
With the correct display configuration, KDE started and I was greeted with a polished desktop and a LindowsOS developers edition wallpaper. I manged to click around and get my network started using DHCP, create a user account, and set up apt to install a few things. After using it for a little while, I was more and more turned off by minor annoyances. The programs that I am used to have different names. The KDE control center (I think it is kcontrol) and KDE menu structures are changed from the standard. The AOL icon on the bottom of the screen sickens me. The name “Lindows” also reminds me of other operating systems that I’d like to forget, so I don’t want to see “LindowsOS” everywhere. And I mean everywhere, the name is on wallpapers, menus, the panel, programs names, graphical boot up, graphical shutdown, everywhere. I tried changing my wallpaper. After scrolling through the installed wallpapers, I saw that they had a nice picture of Lake Powell only to discover that “LindowsOS” was embossed on the image. The KDE project has great free artwork, why not include it? I finally gave up and used apt to install KDE 3.1.5 from Debian unstable. It took a lot of “force overwrite” to get it installed, so I broke god knows what in the process. I did get a standard KDM login screen and KDE with a standard icon set and style. Then it occurred to me, why am I doing this, to get back to Debian? So, I reinstalled Debian. What is missing from Debian on my laptop is some simple GUI tools for changing display settings and network configuration while I am
traveling. A few simple GUI tools was what I had hoped to gain with Lindows. Otherwise, I’d like to stick to using apt-get for updating software and sick to standard open source applications.
I applaud Lindows for their support of open source projects, making inroads with OEM’s, and the advertising that they are giving to Linux as a whole. I also truly hope that they are successful in bringing Linux to the masses. The approach that they are taking makes sense for a customer who knows very little about computers or software. For a developer or experienced Linux user, the same approach doesn’t work. I think the inflexibility of the install process is a big turn off for experienced users. Renaming the applications may make it easier for someone who has never seen Linux before, but is confusing for someone looking for their favorite application. For many people, I can see that Lindows would be a great fit, but it isn’t for me.
After the article was posted, Kevin Carmony from Lindows pointed out a few errors in my review in a post. I apologize for my mistakes and wanted to correct the misconceptions. First, only commercial software that Lindows pays license fees for are disabled if you cancel your Click-N-Run free trial. Lindows doesn’t disable any free software. Kevin said that Lindows is changing language to make that clear. Second, you can create a user account during installation. Somehow I did not see the option of creating a user account. Finally, you can get boot messages by selecting “diagnostics” from the LILO menu. I hope that no other misinformation was given. As I said (and others have pointed out), I didn’t do a professional in-depth review, only a summary of my experience.
About the Author
Matt Yates -I am a daily Linux user and enthusiast for the past 2 years. I am an engineer, but have no formal training in Linux. Currently, I live and work in snowy western New York state.
I had not used or was going to use Lindows till they offered the developer edition at no cost to osnews readers. I installed on it on to my Toshiba A10 laptop.
* My winmodem was autodected and installed!! (A big plus, sine I did have issues with fedora.
* clean and simple. Certainly didn’t feel bloated at all
* The mouse touch pad wasnt working, had to manually edit the Xconfig file to make it work, no biggy since I know my way around Linux systems.
* Unable to make it multi-boot. I admit I didnt try for very long tho.
Other than that, I was very happy with it. I would consider using it full time if I was not already working with/for another distro.
I must admit to being very puzzled at the difficulty distributions encounter dual booting nowadays
3 years ago now I set up a dual-boot between Win98 and Mandrake, the installer was logical and talked me through everything it needed to do in graphical mode
I did the same with SuSE, just as easy
I can’t do the same as easily with RH9 or Mandrake 9 and Win 2000, and this doesn’t look promising for Lindows. NTFS and WinNT may be more complex systems but the inability of distros to sort this out reliably and simply will only serve to keep people like me (technically quite competent and interested in Linux) on Windows.
I had no problems installing, other than not knowing what it was doing with my partitions. But I really couldn’t stand the renaming. Even Mozilla is now “Lindows Internet Suite”. And I’m sure I have seen the theme used somewhere else, and it is OLD.
And it takes forever to boot…
But I must say the KDE look is very polished and I really prefer a “double-click” to open files, rather than the one-click default from KDE…
LindowsOS overwrites your MBR, even if you wanted that or not. I asked them to fix this and add an option to install the boot manager to its / partition, but after 1.5 years it is still not fixed. This is the actual reason I don’t want to try LindowsOS. I run so many OSes here that I depend on a well-configured boot manager and having LindowsOS taking this away without asking me is out of the question. One could argue that LindowsOS does not target users who run many OSes other than Windows, but this is a moot point IMHO, many of the LindowsOS users were Linux users before.
Lindows is an excellent distribution. After I downloaded the ISO and burnt it I decided to try it on my recently repaired system.
Upon inserting the CD into my system, it started up, giving me two options, Install and Diagnostics. I choose install, and instead of the usual confusing boot messages it had a blue progress bar instead while it booted, very nice.
It then entered the Windows like graphical installer. It asked me whether to choose a partition or take over an existing hard disk. I choose my unformatted 120Gb drive that I had just installed. It then asked me for a security password and a computer name and started the installation.
It formatted in seconds, and quickly proceeded installing the packages. After about 10 minutes it ejected the cd and rebooted the system. After the reboot I was presented with a very polished boot menu. As with the boot screen, it was a progress bar and not text mode boot.
It took a while to start on the first boot, but I was eventually presented with the Log in screen. I had to enter my “security password” that I had used in the install. I logged in and it loaded the Desktop, which is a heavily modifed version of KDE. I knew it had dectected my sound card because of the cool start up sound it played. A set up screen was then showed, that allowed me to create a non root user, set the time and a few other things.
Once I completed the set up screen, a flash movie player appered, with flash tutorials of how to use the desktop and applications. That is real eye candy and not like confusing technical html pages like some distros use. It appears to be using an optimized X server, as it is incredibly fast showing graphics on my machines. Usually I get artifacts when resizing windows, not any more. The Transulcent menus rock as well.
The Lindows internet suite was sweet, it had automagically detected my internet connection, had a polished theme better than the ugly Netscape 4.x style theme that mozilla uses by default and it has the flash plug in preinstalled! A great experience. A lot better than Internet Explorer. Plus it has tabs.
It has a good number of Applications installed, since this is the developers edition, its got all the good stuff too, such as a command line, KDevelop, K Advanced text editor, gcc and of course both emacs and vim.
While it has changed some names, it has done so to make things a lot easier to understand to the average joe. For example instead of XMMS it uses “MP3 Player” and instead of Mozilla it uses “Lindows Internet Suite”. But it still gives credit to the original developers and they are still known as their original names internally. Lindows isnt the only ones who do this either.
Overall, Lindows is a great desktop and is a good bet for the average joe. While it didnt last long on my machine (I was only testing it before I put ark Linux on it, which is also user freindly), I would certainly recomend it to some one who wants a freindly Linux and is willing to pay a small ($100) price for it.
Did it have gcc, after all it is a developer edition.
But I agree about the advance setup, it is not really advance. They really need a partition tool. I almost went through the same process as you with trying to get it installed. The only difference is my HDD had no partitions.
They should at least get it to autopartition/format free space.
Did you find boot time takes a long time after the lilo menu.
On my computer it is 3 minutes for the standard Lindows desktop.
I am glad to see I am vindicated in getting upset when I tried to download the free lindows. Like the author I got to the point where it wanted a bunch of personal info and my credit card #. I quit there.
I am glad they are fighting MS but it sounds like they are not ready for prime time in the Linux world.
I have to definitely agree with some things the review said.
There should be an easy way for even beginners with Linux (which is what Lindows is aimed at) to work with partitions on their hard drive. One of the things it should do is look to see what all the partitions are and CLEARLY without tech speak let non techies understand what those partitions are. Such as another Linux distro using some partitions and be able to choose that all partitions for that Linux distro are deleted at the same time. It should also let you tell is to use all free disk space.
Considering that Lindows is mainly pointed at people currently using Windows. It should also come with some VERY easy to use software that is used during the install to reclaim unused (free disk space in a Windows partition) disk space, shrink that Windows partition (after the users says it is OK to do so), and then partition, format, and ready the newly freed space for a Lindows partition.
I will note that the reviewer did NOT use the laptop version of Lindows on his laptop which might have made things easier for him. So I fault the reviewer for this.
I have also tried it. But first: it is great that Lindows supports initiatives line kde-look.org, and I really find it sad that Lindows.com should be unreachable for me within 8 days (the court has spoken).
I really hoped Lindows to be a good OS, the OS that everyone can install, the OS that can convert “grandma” to Linux. However, Lindows didn’t work without problems on my machine:
1. Starting up is really, really slow.
2. It tries to fsck the already auto-mounted Debian partitions, causing the system to “freeze” at boot. Only in Diagnostics mode one can see that Control-D is needed.
3. Alsa fails (soundcard is supported by it and works in SuSE). Again Control-D is necessary.
So in the end, both Knoppix and SuSE seem to have better hardware recognition – those OS’es detected every piece of hardware correctly and automatically. Even in NetBSD is better at hardware recognition, at least for me.
Every time I leave my laptop on for a while with this discount developer version, I come back to it and it says that I need to buy LindowsOS Laptop Edition to put the computer to sleep. I’d prefer if there were a development version for my laptop. Other than that, and the possible difficulty in upgrading to KDE 3.1.5 and Linux 2.6.1, I think I might be a LindowsOS convert. The hardware detection is awesome.
Also, it doesn’t seem to be running CPUFreq… but that’s another laptop type of feature.
Click-And-Run is great, though. It works really easy, just, well, click and run. It is even lots easier than the Windows way of installing applications.
The reviewer was pretty fair. He concluded that LindowsOS is not aimed for him, which is true. Lindows is aimed for new users, not for experienced GNU/Linux folks. Nearly all of his complaints were about design choices that make Lindows easier for newbies to learn. His other complaints were: 1) Lindows pressures you to pay money to use the Click-n-Run Warehouse, and 2) Lindows plasters their logo everywhere.
But the reviewer notes that he is not the target customer for Lindows, so that’s fair I guess.
I felt the same way as the author. I installed LindowsOS into a VirtualPC session. In this way I avoided all the multiboot nastiness. Anyway, I was thouroghly revolted by all the branding. Geez, even Windows isnt THAT bad. I ended up doing apt also after hating CnR. Apt broke Lindows completely. Looks like Lindows has a long long way to go before thinking about being on my desktop. BTW my favorite linux is ByzantineOS. It is a live cd. It does everything I ask of linux and very easily. It even plays my Super Nintendo games! Also, I use PowerQuest’s recovery environment for my data recovery cd. Who wants to use an “iffy” implementation of NTFS? Stick to the real deal I say.
I like Lindows a lot, I even sign up for the ChoicePC and got a lifetime of the OS. What I like them to prove on is more options like booting via floppy disk. More option on partitioning. Also it needs to load programs a lot faster. I have Xandros and Mandrake and when you want to listen to MP3 both Xandros 2.0 and Mandrake 9.2 load the song instantly not ten seconds later like Lindows. I have faith this will be work out though when 5.0 comes out.
I’d like to make a few comments about the review…
“I used Lindows for only one day and did not try the Click-N-Run warehouse.”
That would be like doing a review of Lord of the Rings movies after only having read The Hobbit. =)
“Even though I am a daily Linux user, I am no Linux guru.”
You have to understand that 99% of the people who use a computer every day have NEVER installed ANY OS in their entire life. So, anyone using Debian Linux is a “guru” by relative terms. Go to your local shopping mall and watch people buy consumer electronics. Ask them what a Debian is, or a Linux, or a KDE, then you’ll start to feel very much like the guru.
LindowsOS is designed for those 99% of the people who are not guru’s and have never installed an OS and never will. They’ll just use the OS that comes on the computer they buy.
“…giving Lindows a credit card number.”
To be clear, you didn’t need to do this to try LindowsOS. This was only required to try CNR. But yes, guilty as charged…we have 65 full-time employees here that need to get pay checks, so yes, we DO charge for the CNR service.
“I don’t like that Lindows changes the names of open source software…”
Again, 99% of the people don’t know what a Kate or GAIM is. I appreciate that it seemed strange for you, but if Linux is to ever make it past those already familiar with it, it needs to not force people to learn a new language.
“…and then charges people for downloading them.”
I’ll assume you also never pay to have your hair cut, water bottled for you, clothes sewn for you, or a hamburger cooked for you. People WANT to pay for some services. I’m GLAD I can take my car to Jiffy Lube and pay $50 for them to do something that a car mechanic would do for himself for free…but I’m not a car mechanic. I’m GLAD someone is out there charging for hair cuts, ’cause I don’t want to cut it myself. Many people are GLAD that there is a place they can pay $50 and have access to 2,000 open source programs with one click. Linux software is like “gold on the moon,” but if you can’t get to it, it’s not worth anything. If the only way someone can get to it is learn a new system, well, my time is worth more than the $50 for that. Yes, this service is not for everyone, but it’s a great thing for 99% of the people who don’t know how to compile, use apt, install an rpm, etc.
I knew when I did this interview with OSNews, it was a bit like trying to sell oil changes at an auto mechanics convention. =) But…maybe you have friends who don’t change the oil in their car themselves and WILL appreciate the ease of LindowsOS.
“I then read that if I canceled after my 15 day trial, software I downloaded would be disabled.”
As I mentioned in the post with my interview, that is for COMMERCIAL software only (StarOffice, etc.), because we have to pay a license fee for these. We don’t disable any open source products. As I also mentioned, we are changing the language there to make that more clear.
“I wanted to change my disk partitioning and keep dual booting Windows. I assumed that this would be a piece of cake for a consumer-oriented distribution like Lindows.”
As I said, 99% of people have never installed an OS in their life. They will NEVER install an OS. They will NEVER install LindowsOS. We sell more LindowsOS computers in an hour than we sell downloads for people to install themselves in a week. Microsoft isn’t on 95% of the computers because they had sophisticated installation software…they are on 95% of the computers because THEY GOT IT PRE-INSTALLED on EVERY computer out there. To compete with that, we need to do the same thing. So, just like with Microsoft, 99% of the people who will ever see LindowsOS will NEVER see an Installer. That’s what a “consumer-oriented distribution like Lindows” understands.
So, this being the case, what do you think Dell wants? Sophisticated, time-consuming installers? No, they want it fast and easy. (You see, there IS meaning to our madness.) LindowsOS has already been pre-installed on nearly a million computers, and lots more on the way in 2004. We obviously haven’t done a fraction of that in .iso downloads.
“There was also no opportunity for creating a user account during installation…”
Yes there was, but because you had the problem with it not starting X you perhaps didn’t see it. There was a button right there to do this, you must have missed it.
“I could see no place to select a ‘verbose’ boot option to see boot messages.”
It’s there. Look again. (Diagnostic mode.) Again, this is INTENTIONALLY not too “in your face” obvious, because it will scare off 99% of computer users.
“If I had been a first time Linux user, there is no way that I could have made it this far.”
They wouldn’t need to, as it would have worked perfectly the first time they ever saw LindowsOS. Again, 99% of LindowsOS users are buying LOS pre-installed on computers. Novice computer users do NOT install OS’s. The fact that you’re downloading an .iso, burning a CD, and then installing an OS to begin with puts you in a 1% category of computer users. You may not like the “guru” label, but trust me, you are a guru. Just go ask the average person on the street what an “.iso” is and you’ll know what I mean.
“The AOL icon on the bottom of the screen sickens me.”
And gives a warm, welcoming feeling to 28 millions AOL users. Like it or not, the market defines what they find easy to use, not us.
“For a developer or experienced Linux user, the same approach doesn’t work. I think the inflexibility of the install process is a big turn off for experienced users. Renaming the applications may make it easier for someone who has never seen Linux before, but is confusing for someone looking for their favorite application. For many people, I can see that Lindows would be a great fit, but it isn’t for me.”
This is the most helpful part of your review. LindowsOS isn’t for every Linux expert who is already use to the way they have been using Linux, but that’s only 1% of desktop computer users. LindowsOS is trying to break Linux out to the other 99%.
Again, it’s always interesting when someone who drives John Deer tractors for a living does a review on the new Toyota Camery. This has always been a challenge for us with Linux users, as when they jump in our “Camery,” the first question they have is, “Where’s the backhoe?”
President, Lindows.com, Inc.
“There should be an easy way for even beginners with Linux (which is what Lindows is aimed at) to work with partitions on their hard drive.”
To be clear, that is NOT who we are aimed at. In fact the term “beginner” and “partition” should never be used in the same sentence! That would be an oxymoron.
We’re not going after experienced computer users who are trying Linux for the first time. We are going after average computer users who have NEVER installed an OS nor are likely ever going to. That’s where the REAL market opportunity is. That’s 99% of computer users.
If we got 100% of the market of those who download .iso files, burn their own CD’s, and install their own OS, Microsoft would still have 95% of the desktop market share and Linux would still be around 1% to 2% market share. We have much bigger plans for Linux than that!
LindowsOS is designed with OEM’s in mind. They want a fast, easy-to-use installer. Dell, HP, Sony, eMachines, etc. are not selling computers with duel boot options.
I have always said, the way Linux is successful isn’t by LindowsOS beating Microsoft, but rather, by some OEM beating Dell. How can someone beat Dell? By selling a line of computers without the Microsoft tax attached. By using Linux, even the smallest of OEM can beat Dell’s pricing. That’s the Achilles heal Microsoft has that we’re going after. Create a more affordable computer by using Linux, vs Microsoft Windows.
I’m always surprised that Lindows.com seems to be the only Linux company that has figured this obvious market dynamic out. If Linux is to make it to the masses, you better make OEM’s happy and build something for THEM. The future success of Linux to the masses is NOT about duel boot options or partitioning!!! It’s about affordability, OEM channel distribution, and more and better applications.
In a recent survey of businesses, they asked what the main blocks were for them to adopt Linux. Where do you think “It needs a better installer” ranked? Obviously, it didn’t even register on the chart. #1 reason, hands down, was “not enough applications.” That is where the real work needs to be done. That’s where things like CNR help a great deal, because it can help expedite the flow of new applications to the desktop of the average user. That’s why LindowsOS is much more concerned about KDE and others who are working on applications, than our installer.
It makes perfect sense the Linux started with a group that knows how to install their own OS, but it’s time it breaks out of that very limited market.
President, Lindows.com, Inc.
I think with the enormous rise of downloading illegal software many people DO know what iso’s are. Many of my non-technical friends and family do. They can’t burn a cd with them without me on the phone (at least for the first time) but they know the file.
For the rest valid points. Were it not for the fact that this is the developers edition of Lindows. Shouldn’t that have more options in the places the author pointed out?
I would like to say personally well done. When do you think Lindows would dual boot nicely? Are there ways around it? I would like to continue using lindows, but require it to dual boot.
I read osnews everyday, but never saw anything about this before now, when it’s not possible to download it anymore : /
It was last week. From Wednesday night to Friday afternoon, PST times. We did two stories about the free offer at that time.
I completely agree with the renaming of programs. Personally, it sickens *me* to have a text editor called Kate, a web browser called Mozilla, Konqueror or Epiphany, an IM app called GAIM (…. Game? Not everyone’s gonna think “GNU+AIM”), and an e-mail program called kmail or Evolution. In fact, in my ideal machine, I refer to a short list of programs by short, sensical titles, not names. I call my Honda “my car.” If I need to refer to the particular program, I can go to the About… box. But then, maybe I’m just different.
By Mr. Kevin Carmony’s description, I’m a big time guru, and personally, if it weren’t for my doubts about being able to upgrade KDE and Linux versions without breaking something, I’d be 100% certain I’d want to support Lindows by buying and using their distro. In fact, I peg this difficulty in the method by which KDE (or GNOME, for that matter) are distributed; if it were more modular, major distributors wouldn’t be forced to make huge changes for every minor version. That usually just forces users to use older, buggier, less featured versions. XandrOS? KDE 2? Not that I want to say anyone’s at *fault*. It’s more something that should be a feature requiest. If it were easier for major distributors to upgrade, newer versions could be used by more people more quickly.
i think you make a great job, and its refreshing to se a linux
that tries to get “it just works” status.
personaly im using gentoo rigth now becus i have i evil laptop
the kernel is heavely patched to give me support for grafics card and so on.well maby soon i will be abel to use lindows on it after a while u get tierd of messing with stuff.
i dont know if lindows already has it but it would be great
with a tool to switch networks fast like you got in osx.
where you have difrent profiles at home school work.
well keep up the good work
I had problems downloading. I finally manage to get through after bailing out of the credit card stuff and going back in. I ended uo actually giving them my credit card info but then bailed out and returned. You didn’t need to give credit card info but the instructions were so vague that you certainly felt you had to. I finally figured it out but then noticed a $1.00 charge to my credit card. Emailing them about this I found out it was something (some kind of credit card check) that would disappear in a day or two. They were right. No problems burning to CD. No problems booting the newly burned CD. Started a custom install but it stopped dead in the water saying I had no hard drive to install to. Must be based on Debian 2.2 with no IDE patch applied? Anyway, couldn’t get it installed after all the fuss.
Well said! It’s all about the apps. Working someplace where we do almost all of our vertical app development in house, it’s going to take winning the hearts and minds of our developers. If they start to push out apps that say ‘need linux to run’ then we will start to push linux to the desktop. Word processors, web browsers – who cares? the Open Source movement is mature enough to have very good choices for all of the COTS software you could want. It’s the vertical market and the vertical developers that need winning in the business realm.
I wouldn’t want to use Lindows myself, but nevertheless it’s really good for non-“guru”s.
If you want to dual-boot, just edit /etc/lilo.conf and add your other OSs. Then run lilo from the command line and delete the file “/sbin/jiffyboot”.
I had installed SuSE Linux, Zeta, Win XP and Lindows and it worked fine.
Well, I am happy to see that most readers agree with at least aspects of my write up. Maybe I am a guru compared to 99% of the AOL subscibers out there, but I wanted to make a couple of points that have nothing to do with the installer or disk partitioning:
People long for choice on their computers and to have full control of their computers. Just go online and see how many people are frustrated because they can’t easily uninstall Windows Messenger from Windows XP because it is forced on them. Read the recent article on PCWorld about Linux from a first-time user: http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,113746,00.asp He had his fair share of problems, but end the end he decided to keep dual booting because of the flexibility and choice Linux provides.
By re-branding applications and pushing CNR, Lindows is limiting people’s choice. Ironic since they own choicepc.com. If Lindows embraced the open souce projects out there, Lindows could be a gateway to introducing people to open source. However, I understand that isn’t profitable as a CNR subscription. Will the average Lindows user know that Lindows didn’t create Lindows Office or the Lindows Internet Suite?
When I activated my network connection, CNR opened a pop-up window informing me it had updated itself and would now re-start. This is exactly the sort of thing that many people out there are frustrated with. What if I don’t want it to update? What if I don’t want a CNR subscription? Give me the choice.
When I opened the sources.list file to edit it, it had a dire warning about apt breaking CNR applications. What if I want to install some standard open source applications?
My review wasn’t meant to be an attack, and as you pointed out I am probably not the target customer. Maybe I am just looking for my backhoe and should have given it more of a chance. I also apologize for the incorrect statements I made in the review.
Why the big fuss about renamaing? Lindows.com renames:
XMMS – MP3 Player
GAIM – Instant Messenger
Mozilla – Web Browser
K3B – CD Burner
Kate – Text Editor
They don’t rename all the apps “Lindows.com CD Burner”, but even if they did, that’s better then complex techno jargon which Linux insists on using. As long as the hard core linux types insist on this, it will mean Linux won’t be usable by normal people.
Ricardo (IP: —.175.76.174.adsl.gvt.net.br) wrote:
…I really prefer a “double-click” to open files, rather than the one-click default from KDE…
Obviously, everyone has a (subjective) preference for either double-clicking or single-clicking. However there is one very definite objective (as opposed to subjective) benefit to single-clicking: it removes a prime source of RSI (repetitive stress injury, often inaccurately lumped into the “carpal tunnel syndrome” label) for computer users who use the mouse a lot. Double-clicking, by nature of the rapid, repetitive movement, can be a significant trigger in causing or worsening RSI.
I found this out the hard way: after developing RSI while making a living writing assembly language code for a Motorola DSP chip for six months, my painful wrists/fingers/forearms would send loud and clear pain signals telling me which of my activities were aggravating my injuries further. Double-clicking was one of the most painful actions I was forced to use.
While there is much more to RSI than double-clicking alone, it makes sense to eliminate the necessity for double-clicks, which have no positive benefits whatsoever to offset their medical disadvantages.
KDE offers you the choice of using a double-click, should you be conditioned to it by too many years of using Windows. If you make limited use of a mouse, and have no RSI symptoms, this may not be a harmful choice. However if you use the mouse a lot, or have ever had symptoms of RSI, I urge you to make the switch to single-click usage. It’s an easy change to make (far easier than re-learning to touch-type with a Dvorak keyboard layout!!) and will reduce your likelihood of injury.
People who read OSNews and contribute reviews are OS gurus (whether they admit it or not)–so it doesn’t surprise me that the author did not like consumer-oriented LindowsOS. Even the developer edition is NOT meant for us. The review just confirms this.
But I am convinced by the arguements that Kevin Carmony makes. Linux needs consumer-oriented distributions, that computer neophytes can get pre-installed on their new computer and use without learning a new language. The fact that LindowsOS is not guru friendly, should not be a problem.
There is now also a system like CNR for Knoppix: http://klik.berlios.de/ – but this one is a community effort.
News just in. The Judge ruled in favour of Microsoft and agreed that Lindows was too much like windows. The OS can’t now be sold in the Benelux (belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) under the name Lindows.
Kevin, I guess you didn’t read the “Dell Offers FreeDOS with New PCs” ( http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=5810 ) story. Besides Lindows, Dell “…has (also) figured this obvious market dynamic out…”, and not because it is such an ingenuous idea, but rather because FreeDos costs less than whatever MS charges. Nobody could beat Dell’s prices when they were charging for the OS, and especially now that they have this FreeDOS feature. What makes you think anybody (OEM) can beat DELL now, even if they use your OS?
What about a server version of Lindows?
“I guess you didn’t read the “Dell Offers FreeDOS with New PCs”
This was hardly news. Dell’s been selling that for over a year now. And yes, this is Dell’s attempt at getting around the OS tax, but with the thinking that people are just going to put a bootleg copy of XP on these machines. How many people do you honestly think are using FreeDOS (MS DOS clone) on these machines???
Dell doesn’t want to try Linux yet, because they are afraid of support costs. The big companies are always the last to fall. One of the main questions I get asked is, “When will Dell start selling DESKTOP computers with Linux?” And my answer is always the same, “After everyone else does and they are forced to.” When you’re #1, you don’t need to innovate. (Can you say AOL? Can you say Microsoft? Can you say Dell?) Change is only good for the #2 and lower companies. Change is never good if you’re already on top. Linux has put companies like Microtel on the map, who now sell hundreds of Linux computers every day. Dell will be one of the last to move to desktop Linux.
Innovation takes place with NEW companies…Amazon, eBay, Google, Red Hat, and in their day, Dell, AOL, and Microsoft…all tiny companies who when started competed in the shadow of giants like IBM & AT&T.
“What about a server version of Lindows?”
Not on our radar anytime in the future. We want to stay 100% focused on the DESKTOP. There are plenty of great Linux distros for servers. We use Red Hat for our servers and SuSE’s Open Exchange for our intranet. When you specialize, it’s hard for those who don’t specialize to match what you offer. Lindows.com eats, sleeps and drinks the desktop, and we want to keep it that way.
“Can i write stuff that integrates in the click’n run store with the provided tools?”
I agree, that’s a great question. Here are some links to help answer that one…
Here is all the extra stuff that comes pre-installed in the Developer’s Edition: http://www.lindows.com/lindows_products_aisle.php?aisleid=1047
President, Lindows.com, Inc.
People long for choice on their computers and to have full control of their computers.
Funny, I’ve never heard Joe Sixpack say “Ya know, I wish I had more CONTROL over my computer!” What I often hear him say is that he wishes his computer were easier to use, and I’m talking braindead easy.
Just go online and see how many people are frustrated because they can’t easily uninstall Windows Messenger from Windows XP because it is forced on them
Well, you basically rename or delete the executable and it won’t start up anymore. People that complain about this are the ones who are just looking for something to bitch and whine about.
Will the average Lindows user know that Lindows didn’t create Lindows Office or the Lindows Internet Suite?
I don’t think they give a shit one way or the other, and neither should you.
When I activated my network connection, CNR opened a pop-up window informing me it had updated itself and would now re-start. This is exactly the sort of thing that many people out there are frustrated with.
I promise you this … if it works, people won’t mind, especially those on broadband.
When I opened the sources.list file to edit it, it had a dire warning about apt breaking CNR applications. What if I want to install some standard open source applications?[/i]
If you don’t want CNR, why are you using Lindows? There’s only about 300 other Debian-based distros for you to use. Don’t you get it? Lindows is for ‘dummies’, not for you. If you want Linux on the desktop, you’ve gotta dumb it down, because people around the world aren’t going to wake up being computer-literate tomorrow. I think what a lot of OSS pundits want is 20 million people using a Linux distro which offers 11 window managers, 5 office suites, 300 command shells, etc .. and that just ain’t gonna happen.
About the Free Linux thing – many in the Linux community have said the stigma that Linux users don’t want to pay for software is not an accurate reflection of the truth. But after reading some comments here, I’m not so sure.
I was using advanced mode, and was unable to create USER accounts (as one had stated in the comments of my Lycoris review). Also, it decided to start up the CD player app when I logged in each time, and user accounts that I ended up making didn’t have sound in Gaim and many other oddities throughout the whole “user” experience. I can see why they released the very much needed Antivirus thing with their system. I suppose one would need it being root all the time, ’cause it seems Lindows+root=fun. no other way to run it really…
why do you believe that an application has to be renamed to be simpler to use?
does “winamp” calls itself “mp3 player” once installed?
does “powerpoint” call itself “presentation program”?
i don’t think.
still people are able to use those program and like those program.
What Lindows (and many other distro) seems to do in these days is lock the users in the way they decide things should go, instead i think they should try to build easy and fast operating systems.
sorry for my english
Maybe not our type of distro but they are frank and honnest about their objectives and it’s clear they’ll succeed.
My 2 previous computer purchases have been a fiasco. I wanted a linux computer and couldn’t get one. So I bought one with XP (that I don’t use) and installed linux on it.
the other one is a laptop, a Apple powerbook. Impossible to find someone selling and supporting (at least a minimum) a full featured (wifi, bluetooth, card reader) linux laptop in Europe. And I have got money to burn. So I bought the closest thing, a macosX laptop.
Now I am sorted for another 2 years I should think. But next time, linux will be preloaded. And if it is Lindows (crap name by the way) Lindows it will be. I hate installing OSes. I lose sleep over it 😉
————–echo2k wrote ——————-
does “winamp” calls itself “mp3 player” once installed?
does “powerpoint” call itself “presentation program”?
i don’t think.
still people are able to use those program and like those program.
What Lindows (and many other distro) seems to do in these days is lock the users in the way they decide things should go, instead i think they should try to build easy and fast operating systems.
I couldn’t agree more. Mozilla is called like that on windows and mac OS. Openoffice as well. What Mdk does is use tooltips and a task oriented menu. I think it’s fine.
“does “winamp” calls itself “mp3 player” once installed?
does “powerpoint” call itself “presentation program”? ”
You are pointing out software that normally does not come pre-installed.. The user would have to install it him/herself so would already know the function it gives.
With pre-installed Windows software the names are often more descriptive — “Windows Media Player” “Internet Explorer” “Notepad” “Paint”
While I intend to stick with Slackware, I do admire their business plan and support of OSS. However, I hope their name is the only aspect of the company they choose to model after Microsoft.. other than the money making part of course
But you also see a lot of people getting confused by Windows programs.
My friend and I were helping a middle-aged friend of ours, who said the Internet was slow. “It’s fast once it’s started, but it starts slow.” It turned out he was clicking the IE icon about 50 times. He opened so many IE windows while waiting for the first one to pop up that we ended up saving time by just restarting the computer. Poor overworked Pentium-1!
These aren’t people who buy a computer to use Winamp and PowerPoint. They want to listen to music and create good looking documents. I’d go so far as to say “MP3 Player” isn’t very friendly in some users’ cases.
BTW, awesome of Mr. Carmony to take some time to post to a forum like this. OS News is a good place for such a thing; not a lot of down-modding, and not a lot of posters. It’s easy to appreciate his taking time to look here.
I don’t know if you’ll ever read this answer, but oh well.
I perfectly understand where you are trying to go by targeting OEM computer installs (after all you are shipping it on hard disks !). But if I might digress for a second.
I too took advantage of your nice offer to test out the Developer Edition and let me say I really appreciate that you are willing to submit to the test of OSNews’ feedback
Anyway to make a long story short, the install went well, but the boot did not. After going into “Redetect” mode, I noticed it was trying to mount my existing other Linux partition in EXT2 although it was an EXT3 partition. Then I had to try to figure out what harddrive.inf and jiffyboot are, because I could not find any documentation for them (not even on Lindows.com’s site). Now I understand this is not meant for Mom and Pop to mess with, but without this fiddling I could not get it to work on my computer. The only other option as a beginner would have been to “take over the entire hard drive”, which I wasn’t ready to do. While I am at it I couldn’t find the source for jiffyboot.
Now what’s not very clear in my mind, is why is there such a thing as a Developer Edition, while you talk about Lindows.com being only for Mom and Pop’s ? As I understand it you offer this distribution for developers to contribute and test applications to be distributed via CNR. Surely you know some developers will want to install this on existing machines ?
I’ve talked about the stuff that I believe can be improved, but now I also want to talk about the good stuff.
I was not disturbed by the renaming, I understand it. I haven’t done the “Mom” test yet, but I believe it’s probably easier to use than Windows. It’s not up to par yet with Mac OS X in my book, but I believe you will get there. The audio tutorials are a great idea, and I am sure this is a great way to get people started.
Sadly I didn’t yet test full CNR, but I just used it to install free stuff and it seemed to work well. Above all I like the idea of having “tested” applications readily available, and that they are entirely available in one place. But in a way this is also what debian.org is offering, at a slower pace.
All in all, keep up the great work, but please don’t forget that all those existing Linux users out there can also be great advocates for you, so please don’t dismiss them ! We want to help you compete with Microsoft !
I can say that I did not have any problem downloading the 4.5 (OSnews reader bonus) – it was easier than downloading the official real audio player, if you know what I mean. Thank you Lindows.
On a second point that has come up a lot, the installer is by far the easiest arouind. Aside from cd-boot distributions, which are boot-and-forget, this is second. It is the easiest way to get an os ONTO a hard drive that I have ever seen.
I have tried several previous versions and I can say that they have come a long way with 4.5. There is a certain polish on the desktop that really shows the work that was put in to making a slick environment. The system seemed very responsive, something I am not used to in a kde based mainstream distribution (esp with a 2.4.2x kernel). It was nice to see things like office software included by default, unlike previous lindows distros. In previous versions, the lack of any spreadsheet/presentation/word proc. apps felt like they were copying a drawback of M$.
If you have a cnr subscription and a fast connection, you might not even realise the second menu apps were different than the base ones. This is very well done.
I am not a ‘target market’ for lindows, and I am now back to my regular linux. I have also used Xandros 2 and Libranet 2.7.1 lately, and I can say that it is lacking a bit of the multimedia and crossover support of Xandros and the closer to the roots fell of Libranet, but it had its own advantages.
Some people slag lindows due to the commercialization, which is a valid point, but really Lindows are playing both sides (ignoring mac). I think that most computer users have a lot more windows OS tech info in them than they think (almost everyone knows ctrl-alt-del, how many know what ctrl-alt-F2 does). Lindows, by incorporating features that build on this ingrained knowledge, are moving into this existing experience base in the general population. Taking OSS and bridging into the welded-hood set might be worth the consumer oriented taint.
Too bad about the legal nonsence about the name.
Thanks again for the download, sorry I don’t need the cnr subscription.
Ugh. I can’t believe after it was said repeatedly originally, that someone even wrote a ‘review’ and complained about having to give a CC number. You didn’t if you actually read it properly.
And no Tom, you’re not vindicated. It was pointed out to you, directed at you specifically that you were wrong with your rants about Lindows needing a CC so quit being a tryhard over this. You got it wrong. This guy got that wrong too.
I think your explanation as to the lack of a good partitioning tool doesn’t quite cut it. Here’s why:
Dell or any of the big vendors don’t install operating systems one by one. They standardize the hardware and then they use special hardware to image/copy the same hardware image to a bunch of hard drives.
Having a good partitioning tool in the advanced installation would be a huge bonus for Lindows. Have a look at Mandrake’s partitioning tool as it is absolutely outstanding. Suse’s also quite good.
Other than that, I really like your overeagerness to communicate with Linux users. Linux does need a company like Lindows. I also think your approach to software distribution ,i.e, Click’n’Run is exactly the direction to go.
If you can managa to create seamless and free upgrades for those that have already bought Lindows, I think C’n’R would become the best tool in any OS.
Install the system once and then just upgrade your applications as needed by maintaining your membership active.
What do you think?
I just want to thank the Lindows folks for the free copy!
I’m using it right now. I just installed 15 different apps from the C&R and they all run great. I dont think the C&R is a long term solution for installing linux apps but, Hey I got further with Lindows and C&R in 3 hours then the weeks with other distros that I deleted with frustration.
Good job guys! I now have an OS that I choose to use!!and I dont have to fight the OS to get any real work done.
I also want to say a big thank you for the opportunity to look at Lindows. I could gladly recommend it to a neighbor now.
I had to use wget to download after getting knocked off once, but no problem. Install went well on my test box, and I enjoyed looking around once it was running. As expected it creamed my mbr, but I did get it to boot from my existing grub.
Bottom line: Looked and felt a lot like my brother’s AOL to me! He is very happy with AOL and I think he would be happy with Lindows… Maybe AOL will buy Lindows someday, it would be a good match methinks.
I downloaded the free developer version (Thank you!) and finally got around to installing it the other night. I only spent an hour or so messing around with it so far.
I installed on a slightly older computer (celeron 706mhz 256ram etc..) and used an ISA sound card. Actually 3 different ones, and none of them would work, though they were detected. (Creative AWE64, ESS 1968, and Advance logic 100 – junk pile stuff) So is there any equivalent to “sndconfig” that I could have used? Would be nice to have, and not much hard drive space to put it on there. You could even hide it from the non-geeky souls. ;o)
I see that you have to change the name in Denmark, Netherlands, etal. Have you thought of using a symbol of a breaking window and calling it “The OS formerly known as Lindows”? That would make Gates choke on his morning Wheaties…
Finally, a suggestion about the OS. Why not include a few more games in the base install. A couple of OSS games like Frozen Bubble and LBreakout2 would be fantastic. The reason I say this is that several of the kids around home showed no interest in Linux until I said, “Hey you guys want to play a neat game?” Kept them entertained for hours, and got Linux’s foot in the door with the younger generation.
Basically, make it easy AND fun out of the box, and you will hit the family audience right in the kisser.
Again, thank you Kevin (and Lindows) for the gift!
lindows is by far the closest to ‘desktop linux’
lindows is doin well with their NVU project.
how about some polished quality app like audio, video player especially video editor!,photo album… multimedia is linux biggest gripe.
after all its the software.
Have you thought of using a symbol of a breaking window and calling it “The OS formerly known as Lindows”? That would make Gates choke on his morning Wheaties…
That would be be great!!. I think that would get more publicity than Prince!!
HappyG said “Maybe AOL will buy Lindows someday, it would be a good match methinks.”
Are you nuts? AOL will find a way to screw it up. Besides it doing great it doesn’t need to be bought by anyone. Kevin is always clearing the air making sure people understand where Lindows is coming from.
I got a free copy with the “IReadDesktop OS” coupon and I signed up for an account at MyLindows.com. I didn’t install it before I started looking around though. And then I got to this page, which you can’t see until after you sign up (scroll down for my screen cap): [url]http://forum.microsuck.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5…].
You can try software from their click ‘n run warehouse for 15 days. Then if you don’t pay for a membership, they disable the programs you downloaded, and yes, they explicitly say exactly that. That’s right – *they* disable software on *your* computer. So how do they accomplish this? The only possible they could – by controlling your computer after Lindows is installed. How else could do that? The programs themselves couldn’t possibly know whether you’d bought a membership or not.
I’d rather have Windows XP (and by God, I never thought I’d say that!). There seems to be a lot of evidence that M$ is spying on Win XP users, but that’s still better than not having control of your computer.
Myself and a couple of my associates decided to give Lindows a try, even though the name has been tarnished a lot in the Linux community. We figured if Kevin and crew were willing to give OSnews readers a free copy to try, we would be willing to test it to see if it would fit any of our customers needs. First impressions were good, but then we ran into the problems that a LOT of others are posting about in the forums ( i.e. SMB connectivity )… It’s pretty bad when the ONLY distro we’ve tried out of over a dozen that won’t connect to our HP’s on Windows servers is Lindows…
Why do you bother to even put that network browser icon on the desktop if it only works for about 10% of your users anyhow ?
And then came the *support*. I write *support* in this manner because it was the most pathetic excuse I have seen for support in ages. When posting the support questions about how to get Lindows to connect to a printer share on a Windows machine the response was “Your using a beta version”
. Now this e-mail had a convenient place ( very clearly marked ) to write in a reply if your problem isn’t solved, so, I immediately replied that we had already tried using the Live CD and the non-developer copy as well, with the same results. A week has now gone by, and, the silence coming from Lindows support is frightening.
I find it quite difficult to recommend this OS to anyone, and honestly, it’s unusable if it can’t connect to simple SMB shares. Knoppix is a better solution ( yes, it connects right up ), and if coupled with synaptic, could easily be better than Lindows + CnR because it simply *works*.
Thanks for allowing us to try your product, but try getting your tech people in line.
Mistshadow, who do you think Lindows is geared too? Newbies. They’re not going to know how to install software by tarbell like you, they came from a one click world. Click-N-Run is a convenient way for them to install their software without them getting into a lather figuring out how to install a program.
J.C. did you try the forums? They’re very good at helping people get their product to work.
I think that you don’t understand what they are selling — it’s not the apps, it’s the service. You are paying to use the clicknrun service. They don’t disable the free apps that you downloaded during the trial — they disable your right to download them from clicknrun again. Otherwise some schmuck like you would say “I know how to pull a fast one: I’ll sign up for the free trial, download everything and then cancel my service”. But, when you found out that this didn’t work you were pissed off. Linux development costs money. If you don’t support Linux financially, you get a great distro like Mandrake who is flat broke because of cheap asses like you who don’t want to spend any money.
I spend several days trying to download LindowsOS, and because of the demand I had expected something very nice, polished and easy. Sadly I will never know because no matter what I did I could not get the OS to boot, I reinstalled umpteen times, changing my BIOS settings for my harddrives from Auto detect (Surely every OS can work with this these days) to LBA mode, changing all my tweaked bios option back to default in case they were interfering. Removing my windows drive all together, putting the Lindows drive as Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master, Secondary Slave (surely if the target market of Lindows is not meant to know what a partition is they clearly shouldnt have to know how to do this).
Unfortunately in the end all I managed to get on screen after days of download attempts and a full day last weekend trying to install the most I could get out of Lindows was
01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 .
Thankfully I Hadn’t decided to simply let Lindows take over my Windows install as most people who are buying this OS are apparently expected to do, otherwise it would have been another day reinstalling Windows. If “Partition” and “Beginner” together are an oxymoron then “Lindows” and “Easy” are an oxyimbecile.
Something i find increasingly annoying in all these supposedly newbie distributions is the lack of i18n.
Sure .. you can configure your keyboard once you get KDE up and running, but til then it’s en_US.
Of course this it not only a problem with Lindows. Xandros and Lycoris both suffer from it as well.
Worst is Xandros, because it allows i18n during install, but then switches back to en_US after you boot. Allowing a user to create a password using their local keyboard layout, and then unable to login when it reverts back to en_US.
Also … Where are all the translations ? .. I’m sorry, but my 65 year old dad doesnt speak english well enough for him to live through an all out english system.
since its a developers edition, rather than home edition, I expected a better review of oh.. say.. developer stuff.
how well can you develop on it?
what makes this the developer version?
how developer friendly is it?
are all sources + headers present for X? KDE? the kernel? glibc and userland?
what version of GCC was installed? binutils?
does it come with kernels full of debug symbols? does it fire straight up into kdevelop?
how many more lindows reviews are we going to get? 9/10ths of the reivew is about installing it then we get a paragraph on first/last impressions? this isnt a review, its nothing. “I used Lindows for only one day”. Hmm so that makes you qualified to write a ‘review’ on a developer edition?
we’ve had the generic review of lindows already… tell me something I dont know!
This really is annoying. Mandrake and Redhat are much better in that area. Xandros at least allows you to select the keyboard-layout by pressing Shift on startup of the install.
Whats not exactly true taht Xandros switchs the layout back after install. Its simply doesn’t apply the keyboard-layout to the console, only to X. Not that this is better, though
1) renamed software:
– notice it is NOT *rebranded* as a Lindows software. The
original brand/credits are always there.
– microsoft can get away with specific titles because they
have name brand recognition.
– those who install specific third party apps already know
what they’re looking for hence this renaming doesn’t apply
– i see more and more people just use windows media player
(terrible choice) as they’re only media player. they
simply don’t bother with winamp. a lot of people who
don’t install winamp, divx, etc. on their machine don’t
know what those are in the first place.
– when *I* browse through software menu, i want to
know what kind of applications they are. In fact, while
i’ve used (and developed under) unix for some time now, as
well as windows for audio production, i’ve just plain
ignored a lot of stuff that goes on in the popular
application (windows and OSS) world, so much so i didn’t
know what “gaim” and “ximian evolution” and “xine” and
“wine” and “kazaa” and “quicken” and “access” and
“powerpoint” lots of other apps were until waaaayyy beyond
2) click n’ run:
– lindows taking over you’re machine? huh?? win-xp/MS more
benovolent? dubble-you tee eff??
you don’t remember the whole winxp fiasco before sp1?
where it was publicly demonstrated they with all the
backdoors, anyone can take over your machine just by
being online? i personally think that a lot of these
“bugs” were really designed, either conciously or
unconciously (meaning, the trust ms mentality) private
features for ms to use.
and the blaster worm? i see no reason to design RPC
access willy-nilly by default and all sorts of control
hooks without the user being aware
but what about ken thompson’s unix compiler-login
backdoor? (which there was no monetary gain from)
at least he admits:
“.. You can’t trust code that you did not totally create
yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people
in his “Reflections on trusting Trust” acm paper.
i don’t think you’ll see any reflection from MS anytime
.. and lest you not forget:
– as has been said .. free software that you download keeps
– membership fees => *commercial* sofware license fees
– $50 /yr for cnr is great deal. for tested to work, ready
to run software.
3) sofware dev apps included in the dev edition:
.. as has been said before:
“.. The packages in this aisle comprise all of the packages
that make up the difference between the normal LindowsOS 4.5
CD and the LindowsOS 4.5 Developers edition.”
.. which *does* include g++ and gcc of course
4) dell’s freedos:
– as carmony said, without a doubt, a vast majority will use
use it for either bootleg copies of windows or a legit
but single license cd
5) TANSTAFAAL = fact of life; physical law of universe as
a matter of fact
– i love o’reilly (god knows how much $$ i’ve spent already
BUT lest you be fooled by their ardent support for
free software = more access = more need for documentation
= more money for them
>Whats not exactly true taht Xandros switchs the layout back
>after install. Its simply doesn’t apply the keyboard-layout
>to the console, only to X. Not that this is better, though
Well .. Keyboard layout is setup in KDE _when_ you select it at first-run wizard time…, but the keyboard in /etc/X11/XF86Config(-4)? is still en_US, leaving a user, that installed with an international keyboard, possibly unable to login with the US keyboard at KDM time. the US/i18n keyboard thing also shows up with xlock etc.
Anyway .. this was enough for me to abandon Xandros as my choise for a beginners linux distribution .. I am now installing libranet 2.8.1 on their box instead. Not as pretty, but has i18n, and configuration is up to me anyway.
>> By re-branding applications and pushing CNR, Lindows is
>> limiting people’s choice. Ironic since they own choicepc.
>> com. If Lindows embraced the open souce projects out
>> there, Lindows could be a gateway to introducing people
>> to open source. However, I understand that isn’t
>> profitable as a CNR subscription. Will the average
>> Lindows user know that Lindows didn’t create Lindows
>> Office or the Lindows Internet Suite?
It was pointed before by someone else, but here we go again; If a user is able to install an application he is able to find the real name of the application in the about menu too and upgrading it.
Talking about profitability; ‘our’ beloved GPL allows it, trade laws allow it, and if Lindows doesn’t force customers to buy it is morally allowed. Please stop complaining about if they charge this or the other. It is their service; it is their right to charge whatever they consider appropriate. No body gets hurt, if you do not like it do not buy it.
And regarding if the common mortals never realize that Lindows doesn’t make “Lindows <insertnamehere>” package… seriously? Who cares? Many people out there think gates invented computers, the Internet, the operating system…
Take an example, Opera or Internet Explorer uses SSL which is the work of a third party… unless you go to the about option and read that SSL is not theirs, someone might think that MS or Opera Software made it…. don’t you agree?
That is one of the stumbling blocks I’ve had with lindows. After the I saw the offer here, I thought “great! If it works without much hassle, I can send it to my father so he can install it on his computer, and I’ll reduce the support I need to give it now”. But for that a much better i18n support would be needed – my father is old, and doesn’t understand english that well.
Well, then I tried it at a pc at work, just to see if I could start a pilot instalation. But the mozilla won’t popup a login dialog when talking to the isa proxy, so all attempts to access the net will fail with a error 407. I am still browsing the forums (I’m unable to login to them using firebird, even though I managed to login to my.lindows.com), and the FAQs, but I have yet to find anything related to mozilla not asking for a proxy login.
Well, maybe all that will be fixed in 5.0 – so I can give it to my father and not worry about a lot of “support” calls…
I really don’t understand why there is this yearning on the part of the Linux communtiy to be “mainstream”. One of the greatest things about using Linux is that you are part of a community. All that will disappear if Linux goes the way the music industry went. (Shelter-records -> Columbia -> Warner -> Time -> AOL) Was great for David Geffen but…
Better to have a tractor with a backhoe than a Camry without a steering wheel
I used OSNews edition of Lindows Developer edition. Everything installed and worked but I just didnt like it. I do thank Lindows and especially OSNews for the oppurtunity but I just like Windows XP more than I did Lindows. My opinion tho does not reflect on Lindows. I used it for a week and everything worked well.
This is done on Mac OS X which I think is really clever. Instead of having a root login, just a normal user is created. When creating the user account during installation, the user is added to the group admin, and the following settings are made in /etc/sudoers
%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL
When anything like installing packages is done, you’re asked for your password.
It can be quite confusing for a new user to have to create a user name and 2 passwords.
The key to Lindows success is four fold.
1. Get rid of the current ugly theme (what is that…Keramik?) and move over to the much nice Plastik.
2. Use better fonts. The current ones are mighty ugly and unpleasent to look at.
3. Build a better My Computer. When I go to My Computer, I expect to see all my drives there. I don’t want to see my drives on my desktop, and essentially nothing useful in My Computer. (They should model themselves off of Xandros for this one).
4. Build a better file manager. Again, they should model themselves off of Xandros. What makes Xandros one of the best Linuxes is their awesome file manager. This is truly needed (in every Linux). Lindows should make it their top priority.
I must disagree with you Kevin. Even non-technical types already may have PC’s with Windows XP. It would be a plus to include an NTFS partitioning tool (as Mandrake, Xandros and Suse do) for the non-techies to try out Lindows.
Kevin, it works. Thank you.
My 73 year old grandmother is happily using Lindows on a Dell P3-500 machine with an el cheapo 10.00 winmodem i picked up from Superstore.
She used to have win98SE running on a P200MMX that was gawdpainfull slow. Even though she rarely was on the internet she had 527 peices of spyware and her system was so jacked it could barely move. She is not an experienced computer user, she is also not an experienced linux user, nor does she care much what the underlying os is, she just wants to chat to her friends (gaim) email (kmail) webbrowse (mozilla and opera) and write up her letters (openoffice / koffice). She’s happy, and I didn’t have to hold her hand through the use of the machine. I configured it, dropped it off, showed her how to get online and she’s done everything else herself. She’s online all the time now and she’s very happy with the computer. As it WORKS. and it does what she NEEDS TO DO.
Lindows did a great job, and she’s able to freely surf the web without fear of porn/spam/virii/spyware now. You can’t imagine what kind of a load that takes off of a 73 year old womans shoulders.
Kamloops, BC. Canada
I understand what they’re saying, but they need to give everyone (not just those with a MyLindows account) a clear answer about this.
Their choice of words was an alarming one, especially considering that almost all Lindows users were Windows users, who have been the victims of spyware built into the OS and product activation which can deny you the right to use software you legally purchased. It’s no stretch of the imagination to see them controlling Lindows after it’s installed because it *can* be done, and also that new Lindows users are almost always new to Linux as well.
And Lindows.com is another of those software vendors that advertizes antivirus software to Lindows-users, telling them that they need antivirus software to protect their systems, which any experienced Linux-user knows isn’t true. The only thing you need antivirus on Linux for is to get rid of Windows viruses that you might pass along – completely unneccesary if you’re not sharing files with a Windows machine. That doesn’t recommend them in of itself; they should sday Linux viruses are extremely rare and this software keeps them from spreading Windows viruses.
So, to sum it up, commercial or open source, how are the programs disabled? If we’re talking about regular serial numbers and the like here, I’d be happy to apologize and recommend Lindows to newbies, including my husband. And I’d also like to add, for a newbie, it would be better not to disable it or pop up a message telling them their trial has expired but also tell them how to uninstall it completely.
I believe that they just disable your ability to reinstall the software man.
Here’s the story of my brief encounter with the free download of LindowsOS 4.5:
When I booted the CD, the fonts used by the installer were barely legible. Some of the characters were not displayed properly making the whole screen difficult to read. Nevertheless, I selected the “expert” install and proceeded to install LindowsOS to a partition on my second disk, which is set up as secondary slave in a removable rack. I normally use this for backups, but have made some space for a Linux “playground” separate from my primary Windows disk (I am new to Linux and running Windows at home but have used Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX at work so I’m not a total *nix n00bie).
After installation, LindowsOS failed to boot. The progress bar got about 1/3 of the way across and stopped. I tried restarting again, with the same result. I selected the “redetect” option, which got me in with some error messages. Lo and behold, the same horrible fonts greeted me on the desktop. I tried a bit to find some fonts that were reasonably legible, but all seemed bad.
This is simply not acceptable, especially in a commercial product. My hardware is an Athlon XP 2000+ in a MSI KT3-Ultra2 motherboard with a Radeon 8500LE video card. I have tried Knoppix, Sun JDS, and MEPIS on the same system, and neither of those distributions has the same problem as LindowsOS.
By the way, I was also not amused to find lilo installed by default, so back into LindowsOS console mode to remove lilo.
I can understand some of the rationale behind the simple installer in the regular version of LindowsOS, but not in anything that calls itself a “developer’s edition”, or an “expert” install. I think it is reasonable to assume that anyone interested in a “developer’s edition” would have sufficient knowledge of disk partitions and boot loaders, especially if they are running multi-boot configurations.
Thanks for the free download, but unfortunately the download took longer than LindowsOS lasted on my machine; MEPIS is back in the playground now.
Even though Lindows uses the Linux kernel and a lot of GNU software, I think we should just put it in a category of it’s own. Anyone who’s used it and has used Linux before complains about it. It’s not meant for Linux users. It’s meant for the general public. What’s important to us is not important to Lindows’ target audience. Complain when Gentoo starts shoving frame buffer and splash screens down our throat, but kernel messages aren’t important to Lindows’ targer user base. For any Linux user, Lindows is a regression. But it’s still a progression to Windows users. That’s what is most important right now. Getting people to understand there is more to computers than Microsoft. Lindows may not survive, but it’s attempts to ween joe sickpack off of MS is a great idea. Though it may not conform to our Linux ideals, and I would never use it seriously, the idea of it is good.
I also downloaded the free LindowsOS Developer Edition and I’ve been using it roughly for a week or so now. In fact, I’m using it right now.
I must admit that the lack of developer tools, such as GCC, make me feel this is more of a family pc than a developer’s pc. But after using the OS for a week, I would be more than happy to recommend LindowsOS to my friends and family who are looking for a MS alternative but are afraid of Linux in general.
I had no problems with the install, with the exception that it wanted to take up an either an entire partition or hard drive. I have no problems booting up. There are tutorials on getting your dialup working if you have a modem. The GUI is clean and functional, good enough for a family pc.
CNR seems to be a pretty useful tool. Although there is a mention that programs will be inactive after your CNR membership expires, Keving Carmody expressed that software that requires licencing will be disactivated, not the standard GNU stuff. So stay away from the stuff that would be licensed, like StarOffice.
My main problem with CNR is that it costs $15 per month. I personally would like some sort of 6 month subscription for $30 or 12 month subscription for $45. I just think that $15 per month is too expensive. If I were to tell a friend that he could have Lindows for $60, and get a year’s worth of unlimited software for another $45, there’s a decent chance that they would spend $105 on Lindows products than spend $99 for a Windows XP upgrade. If you were to take $15 for $12 months, that works out to be $180, plus the $60 for the OS, that’s a grand total of $240. At that price, you could buy a full version of Windows XP. That doesn’t sound like that good of a deal.
Personally, I like how Lindows is supporting the Linux communitity by donating money and code to different projects. That benefits you, even if you aren’t running Lindows. I like how they are trying to go after an OEM market. That’s a good step in the right direction, as most people, except for readers of this and similar web sites, will never install an OS on their computer. Last, but not least, I like how they have the cajones to take on Microsoft. I strongly feel that the Linux community NEEDS a company like Lindows. If a strong Linux companny like Lindows starts selling mass PCs and licences of its OS, then perhaps more hardware companies will see a need for making their hardware and drivers compatable with Linux. With only Microsoft around, why would they bother worrying about 1% of the market. 10-20% of the market with a trend of tremendous growth would wake them up a bit more.
So even though I can’t guarantee that I will keep Lindows on my PC for much longer, I can guarnantee that I would recommend it to friends and family. It is a good, solid operating system for a home PC, and I believe in the company’s principles. Good luck, Lindows!
Hm.. Last time I looked it didn’t.. its 4.95 / month or 49.95 / year.
Thanks for pointing that out, but when you log into their web site, you are greeted with the following…
“Remember! Your first 15 days are FREE!
You won’t be charged the monthly $14.95 membership fee during your trial time! And, you can cancel at anytime.”
That is what I based my opinion on.
After posting, I did see the $4.95/month and $49.95/year subscription options, but there was an asterisk next to it, and I never found what the fine print was, so I did not update my opinion.
Like I said, I still like the product, but I would not pay $15 / month for the software. If the case is $49.95 per year, I would then recommend it to a friend as I mentioned in my post.
Perhaps someone from Lindows could clear this up?
LindowOS is a desktop OS with the simplicity you can demand from a modern such.
This review is done from a “Linux” point of view, not a desktop OS’s. It’s all through it and it stinks.
CNR is $4.95 / month, $14.95 is for more services than just CnR.
I am the “Joe” some talk about here in their comments/replies. I have tried and actually used various Linux versions. Yes, it was fun but not always easy! I can’t explain how happy I am with LindowsOS, the Linux I, “Joe”, was waiting for.
I have never seen anything easier to install, easier to use and easier to understand then LindowsOS. The few topics still there, inherent to Linux, are absolutely minimal compared to others I know of. Topspeed straight out the box! Maybe it is that easy to use that some “profy”s” overlook that simple fact out of pure disbelieve?