Home > Oracle and SUN > Xandros Open Circulation Edition Reviewed Xandros Open Circulation Edition Reviewed Eugenia Loli 2004-06-28 Oracle and SUN 36 Comments MadPenguin reviews the free version of Xandros, complete with screenshots. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 36 Comments 2004-06-28 9:33 pm wouldn’t it be possible to use some other open source CD burning software if the built-in one is “crippled”? after all…choice is the power of the open source movement, right? 2004-06-28 9:47 pm …is different from Konqueror how? Konqueror ultimately consists of a bunch of KParts loaded on-demand – XFM seems mostly like a clone of that, with a fancy directory structure… – Simon 2004-06-28 9:59 pm not as slow as suse mind but still quite slow, considering that sarge is quite snappy. once the new debian installer is out of beta and a decent GUI is written for it, there won’t be any need for these “debian based” distros 2004-06-28 10:01 pm Konqueror ultimately consists of a bunch of KParts loaded on-demand – XFM seems mostly like a clone of that, with a fancy directory structure… Well the differences may not be much to you but: 1. XFM may be implementing the features in a better/more intuitive way. 2. the fancy directory structure could be a better way of workign with files than Konqi… 2004-06-28 10:24 pm It has a lot of nice features but is noticeably slower than my current Kde 3.2.3 setup. Could be due to Xandros using Kde 3.14?? 2004-06-28 11:05 pm Yep, I use k3b .debs, and they work great. 2004-06-28 11:07 pm well it IS a nice distribution but it is dammed slow when dealing with files the “graphical way”. double-click XFM-icon and WAIT, wait, wait up to 4 seconds. Nautilus (Gnome 2.6) and konqueror (KDE 3.2.1) are faster on the same machine. Open XFM, enable thumbnail view on a hudge directory and you’ll see this dammed thing eats up your whole CPU and your mouse will get “jumpy” ;( Again – XFM is nice – but “dog-slow” when you really have to work. It may sound completle strange: but opening a directory from a Win4Lin-session with windows-explorer is mostly faster than using XFM for that *LOL* The CD-buring-option is a nice “eyecatcher” – but mostly useless if you have to work. NO Multisession-buring – it will always ask you “the cdr is not empty shoul i blank it”. VERY cool for daily backups of a 30 MB project ;( And yes its a CDburning GUI – so it WON’T deal with DVD-R/RW… only 800MB CDburning… Xandros – PLEASE – you have GOOD ideas! but stop releasing those “half-“applications ;( 2004-06-28 11:09 pm >wouldn’t it be possible to use some other open source CD burning software if the built-in one is “crippled”? Yes, k3b burns at full speed. >Xandros File Manager…is different from Konqueror how? It’s a lot better. Netowrk browsing is a PITA in Konq but smooth and easy in XFM. The one thing I didn’t like about the review is that the reviewer presents what he calls “The default desktop” with a teal background that’s the same color as the win95/98 desktop, making it looking even more windowish. That is *not* the default OCE background image. It’s more like the blue gradiant on the left-hand. 2004-06-28 11:10 pm Myself, I’m absolutely loving Xandros and I really appreciate that they released a free non-comercial version. For me, everything works great right out of the box, the Xandros network tool is excellent for installing software and updates, and things don’t seem at all slow to me. Course I run it on a athlon 2700 so maybe that’s why… The only problem I do have with Xandros at this point is that I find it to be a little ugly in places, especially the fonts and menu icons. Hopefully this will get better in the future. 2004-06-29 12:33 am Do they update their software to keep it current ? Can I look around on the net for packages of software not included ? DO they have software like the Gimp, InkScape, Sodipod, Pan, Totem etc.. 2004-06-29 12:46 am I easily applied all the latest updates with a few clicks on the Xandros networks app. You can also add debian apt-get repositories so that they show up in the Xandros networks app, giving you access to pretty much anything debian has. I think if you’re going to add something though make sure it’s for sarge, but you’ll probably want a second opinion on that. 2004-06-29 1:19 am you must remember that when Corel Linux came out way back, there was no decent Konqueror-like browser/explorer for Linux, hence the need for them to do this. Xandros is simply continuing the tradition that Corel started. anyway…as long as it works and it works well for newbies and experts alike, why not? 2004-06-29 2:27 am Is it Woody, Sarge or Sid based??? It is debian based, but how much? How does it handle the packages in case a dependency wants to overwrite a propietary one? 2004-06-29 3:19 am When I first started with linux a few years back, I wanted to go the lite desktop route. And coming from a windows background I use windows explorer all the time. To this day of trying a ton of file managers I have not found a lite one I like. The one I like best is konquerer but would like one that is a little lighter to be run in say icewm. I really don’t need suggestions for other ones because I really believe I tried just about every single one that even remotely resembled windows explorer (xfe, endeavour, nautilus, gfilerunner, Velocity etc.) I found all of them lacking or incomplete in features or just too bloated. Xfm looks just like what I want so is there a way of just grabbing that alone? And would it run in other environments? 2004-06-29 3:27 am >Is it Woody, Sarge or Sid based??? It’s based on a Sarge snapshot, I believe. >It is debian based, but how much? Don’t understand the question, except for it’s propietary bits it’s 100% Debian. >How does it handle the packages in case a dependency wants to overwrite a propietary one? If you don’t use pinning it’ll let you upgrade whatever packages you want (mostly). But It’s a pretty tight integrated system so if you upgrade core KDE libraries (for example) you stand a chance of breaking something. 2004-06-29 4:18 am I’ve found it best to just select the unsupported Debian site that checkbox Xandros has built into the Xandros Networks app. I’m not sure where it points to and whatnot, but it seems to be set up so that you don’t totally break your system. Of course things like k3b seem to be missing, probably because they want you to buy the cd burning upgrade, but other than that I’ve found pretty much everything I’ve needed. And anyway k3b.org has a .deb for sarge, so no problem. 2004-06-29 4:46 am “The one thing I didn’t like about the review is that the reviewer presents what he calls “The default desktop” with a teal background that’s the same color as the win95/98 desktop, making it looking even more windowish. That is *not* the default OCE background image. It’s more like the blue gradiant on the left-hand.” Truly sorry if I presented it incorrectly, but when I installed Xandros, that was the default desktop. I did not alter it in any way. 2004-06-29 5:20 am I tried Xandros recently, and found the fonts actually noce on my notebook. The speed was fine, not as fast as KDE 3.2, but faster than Gnome 2.4. Konqueror may have all the features of XFM, but XFM is better, it just does all the things konqueror does better. The only thing wrong with Xandros is the lack of Applications, and using Debian deb is not really an option, because that may break something. Andrew 2004-06-29 7:09 am Just as I was about to give up on Linux (Fedora Core 2 refuses to dual boot with Windows XP and the fix is just plain clumsy in this day and age) I gave Xandros Open Circulation a try. I have used Xandros 2 – Basic Desktop and found it quite good. Xandros OC (like previous versions) finds and can use my winmodem, it also finds and can read and write from my NTFS C:/ (so that I can easily exchange files between “Documents” and “My Documents”. The use of Opera for browser and e-mail is a great idea. If Linux is ever going to compete on the desktop then it needs to be this good. Why cant the other distributions manage this level of user friendliness? WELL DONE XANDROS – I will keep using Linux waiting for equivalents of my favourite software to be developed for Linux (TextPad, MyInfo and Pretty Good Solitaire. Regards, Peter 2004-06-29 8:29 am Thank you for the review (I know it was on MadPenguin, but I’ve also seen the author responding to comments here). This is the sort of distro i’m very interested in knowing about for others, but unlikely to want to run myself. I would like to know, as it wasn’t mentioned, is there a way to install without Opera? I do not trust adware, and would never install or advocate installing adware of any sort on a friend’s system, so this would be a deciding factor for me whether to recommend and/or help someone install this distro. Thanks, Russ 2004-06-29 8:59 am That’s a bit extreme. Opera isn’t a Dodgy Brothers company like the pissy little utilities that come combined with unscrupulous adware. It’s also a fantastic product in general and I’m pleased to see they’ve managed a tie in with at least one linux vendor. To Xandros OC itself, I’m definitely going to give it a go. I’ve used Xandros before on and off and found it to be a very nice product, especially XFM which is a fantastic app; the best file manager by a mile in linux as far as I’m concerned. Nautilus feels disjointed to me (not used 2.6 to try the spatial) and Konqueror has and continues to leave me cold or worse because it so much feels like a hacked together bunch of KParts… it’s yuck. And this is even better, now that they have apparently GPLed it. 2004-06-29 10:20 am Hi there, well this is my first post to this forum, have been a reader here for a very long time. I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this topic Well i used to us this version of Linux a few months ago, no the open circlulation version, but the one you buy. Seems to me that it looks more like Windows then it does Linux, i.e. windows GUI as opposed to the KDE GUI. It is debian based and badly broken, I tried to use apt-get with this after i set up my sources and it broke the whole disto. also bare in mind i did read a lot of howtos on setting up my apt sources for this OS before i tried it. on the first go of installing software it cried dependecy hell, but after i sorted out a few things in the prefs file for apt, it started to work. It was not untill i needed to reboot that it burnt the OS. Perhaps also they should concentrate on making the UI more intuitive then making it look like windows 95. I also found the OS to be rather annoying, by doing what it wanted to do as opposed what I wanted it to do, with regards to mounting NFS and Samba shares. On a good note the installation was the easiest i have ever tried for a debian based distro and was as smooth as a babies bottom On another note, as of 3 weeks ago, I made the switch to mac after buying a PowerBook G4. Havent touched windows or Linux since, inface, mu x86 box sits quitly in my cupboard serving files, while not connected to the internet. 2004-06-29 10:57 am by that i mean just use updates/upgrades from xandros networks. if you try package tools from the command line you will hve problems. some packages (i can think of ksirc) are not available due to broken dependencies so you can’t install them. it is very brave of lindows and xandros to base them selves on sarge but when sarge goes stable they will have killer distros. for now i prefer to run debian stable and have lindows/xandros running under vmware – that way i have easy access to newer apps (openoffice) but they are based on a solid foundation. 2004-06-29 11:34 am Since when? I’ve heard nothing about this. 2004-06-29 1:00 pm “Since when? I’ve heard nothing about this.” Could u be more specific as to what you mean! 😉 2004-06-29 1:36 pm I guess related to me asking about can get you get XFM seperate. To be more specific for that other poster, please point me to the source for xfm. 2004-06-29 2:24 pm What’s the point in using linux if it looks like an old windows version. I thought the whole point is to do things better than windows, and give you more power to customize your OS to your needs. If you can’t even use commandline apt-get I don’t think I’ll touch this OS. I’m new to linux but I want to learn about it, understand how things work, learn commandline stuff. If it looks like windows works like windows I might as well use windows. For someone new to computers this might be worth a try though 2004-06-29 2:43 pm > I really believe I tried just about every single one that > even remotely resembled windows explorer (xfe, endeavour, > nautilus, gfilerunner, Velocity etc.) I found all of them > lacking or incomplete in features or just too bloated. ROX too? http://rox.sourceforge.net 2004-06-29 3:54 pm No, I actually haven’t tried rox but I am aware of it. I really want a file browser similar to windows explorer and rox seems more like spatial nautilus. 2004-06-29 4:00 pm >Truly sorry if I presented it incorrectly, but when I installed Xandros, that was the default desktop. I did not alter it in any way. That’s really strange, something must have gone wrong with the install as the default destop for OCE is a blue gradiant background with the words Open Circulation Edition in the upper right. It’s funny that it came out with that very 95/95 looking background. Glad to hear it wasn’t an intentional change to make it look more Window-ish. Good review otherwise. 2004-06-29 4:03 pm >I would like to know, as it wasn’t mentioned, is there a way to install without Opera? I suppose you could uncheck Opera in the installation choices (I never checked to see if it was listed), and then install Mozilla from Xandros Netowrk or use Konqueror. 2004-06-29 4:12 pm >What’s the point in using linux if it looks like an old windows version. Because it’s faster, better, more stable and easier to use. I personally don’t get the “It looks like Win95” comments. It uses the Plastik theme which is a nice simple thmee and a few 100x better than the garish overly cluttered themes you see in a lot of KDE versions. And if you don’t like Plastik you can change it for something else. >I thought the whole point is to do things better than windows, and give you more power to customize your OS to your needs. No that’s not the whole point of Linux at all, if you can even say that Linux has a single one sentence easily definable point anyway. You can customize Xandros to look however you like. All the look and feel tools and options are there just like in any other distro. >If you can’t even use commandline apt-get I don’t think I’ll touch this OS. Commandline apt-get works just fine, as do all the commandline tools. 2004-06-29 4:17 pm Yep, I haven’t had any package management problems at all myself. And I’ve installed a whole lot of non-xandros stuff too. Of course like someone mentioned, it’s probably best to stay within Xandros whenever you can by using Xandros networks. But even when I’ve strayed I haven’t had any problems. Perhaps Xandros 2 and the open circulation edition have addressed some problems that the previous version(s) had? 2004-06-29 4:18 pm To the many who may be considering buying Xandros: I would advise you to hit their website and forums and carefully examine their recent change, er, adjustment to their business model, as it has apparently pissed off alot of Xandros customers. I will just leave you with that. If even that turns out to be of no concern, good luck and have fun with Xandros. 2004-06-29 5:31 pm “Since when? I’ve heard nothing about this.” Yes. That is because the author was an idiot and read the history on Xandros’ page incorrectly. It should be changed whenever Adam comes online. I posted a comment on Mad Penguin with the correct license. 2004-07-04 10:46 pm Xandros OCE is cool!