Linare Corp sent us in the Pro version of their Linare Linux flavor. We are taking a quick look at the product, at it’s advantages and occasional… missteps.The box included the installation CD and a 82-page booklet which detailed the installation procedure and quickly introduced most of the desktop applications.
Linare Pro is based on a mix-n-match of Fedora Core 1 and 2. It uses a modified Red Hat Anaconda installation routine which I found very comfortable and easy to use. About 2/3 of the standard FC2 Anaconda screens have been removed, leaving in only the absolutely needed screens for a usable installation. The installation to this $199 Linare PC went without problems whatsoever, all software problems were fixed since our last review.
Linare boots on a standard KDE 3.x but with a modified Kicker taskbar. It reads “Explorer” and it has a distinctive green color. In fact, Linare Corp. has created its own theme, for both KDE and Gnome 2.x. It has a distinctive green color, but it feels bold with “in your face” gradients. Personally, I do not like it and I think that usability-wise it’s poor.
Otherwise, Linare is able to pull through a usable desktop, filled with well-known open source applications, needed for day to day tasks. Evolution is used as the primary email system, Mozilla 1.7.2 as the main browser, Flash and mp3 support are pre-installed. On the desktop you will find a “connect to the internet” icon, but this seems to just fire up Kppp, and not the Red Hat connection wizard which supports more connection methods.
The modifications made to Fedora by Linare are mostly cosmetic. There is not much to report, other than this is a desktop-oriented distro as you would expect it, similar to Lindows or Lycoris (or Fedora but with dev tools and servers removed). It has been very stable for me, however performance is poor. The Linare PC originally came with 128 MBs of RAM, but I don’t even want to think running something FC2-alike with only 128 MBs. I have upgraded the machine to 384 MBs and while applications now load much more comfortably, CPU-bound actions are still visibly problematic. For example, opening more than 3-4 tabs on Epiphany, or using Mozilla or loading KOffice will kneel the machine. On the same machine I have also tried Arch Linux and Slackware, that did not exhibit the performance problems as Fedora or Linare have.
Linare uses Synaptic 0.52 as its updating method. It comes pre-configured to use the Linare repository, but also available are the freshrpms and Fedora update repositories. I don’t quite understand this move, because for the one month that I am evaluating Linare Pro, I have never seen their servers up (see screenshot)! As for the freshrpms/fedora channels these worked very well for normal applications, except for the system files (e.g. kdebase, kernel etc) where conflicts occured.
Overall, Linare is a system that can work for new Linux or PC users in general. It does the basics pretty well, and it can be extensible via Fedora’s updates (minus the conflicts). I can see Linare sold as an OS bundled with a cheap PC as a Christmas present or as a fist PC to a kid or a new user, but not as an office OS (OOo is included but the OS lacks flexibility and support), or a workstation (no dev tools installed). It is an interesting attempt, but it is less interesting than Lindows, Xandros or Lycoris, as these “big-three of the Linux desktop market” have created more unique tools and technologies that differentiate their products from the rest.
That is one big gumdrop. The more the better right? ugh.
Other than the default theme, it looks pretty nice. But what does it have that SUSE doesn’t? Or Linspire for that matter?
> About 2/3 of the standard FC2 Anaconda screens have been removed
Which screens have been removed ?
I wouldnt go for this any day.
I bought an @linux.net e-mail from these people and suddenly they changed it to @linuxtimes.net overnight with no forward or anything. I have tried to call them several times, left messages on the answering machine, and sent them several e-mails. No reply whatsoever (for half a month).
I am in the process of contacting my lawyer as we speak. I hope she can make them give me a reply.
From what I read on linux.net, linare obviously lost the domain name over Aureex (or something), and so they can’t forward anything.
I think blaming is one thing but using profanities and *shocking* language is another. (With Reference to Psot by Jophn Deo).
Of course the ones allowed to use such sentences should be the ones who have already made a gr8 distro.
Just another 15 year old!
It doesn’t even really look that good. The taskbar doesnt seem to be aligned with the icons and the application “boxes” in it. I dont know about you, but the green gradiented color hurt my eyes.
Using green yucky color all over and then using blue Plastik?
The only think that looks nice is the icons imho. But command prompt: C:\_?
I talked with the administrative contact of linux.net on the phone, and this is what I have understood is the situation:
MicroWalt Corporation registered the domain (in 1993 or something).
Aureex Corporation bought(?) the right to use the domain from MicroWalt Corp.
Linare Corporation pays(?) Aureex Corp. to run the domain and (perhaps) the services on it.
There is probably some kind of unagreement between Aureex and Linare that is the reason for this.
It’s not because there is problems between Aureex and Linare (or whoever it is); it’s the fact that this happened overnight with no prior notice that makes me mad.
I have contact with friends, family, business relations, newsletters, uncompleted orders, memberships etc. connected to this e-mail. Now they just get an error that the mailbox doesnt exist anymore. I know that I allready lost a couple of jobs because of this (I am a business owner) valued at approx $1,500. As I said in my first post I have telephoned and e-mailed them several times; with no reply.
The only thing I know about this from Linare is from their frontpage:
“Important Notice: Existing Linux.net email users
Your linux.net email ids have been changed from “@linux.net” to “@linuxtimes.net”.”
Yet another toillet distro.It looks better than it runs.
If it’s a toilet distro it should get the runs pretty well, shouldn’t it?
I have never seen their servers up (see screenshot)! As for the freshrpms/fedora channels these worked very well for normal applications, except for the system files (e.g. kdebase, kernel etc) where conflicts occured.
That rather skips over the need for a commercial distribution with support, wouldn’t you say? Basically they’re just throwing a Fedora based distro together in a hurry. I don’t care for Lycoris or Linspire much (don’t see the point), but at least you can do things with Xandros such as getting up and running on any sort of Windows network in a very short period of time.
Hmm…I got this just right now. Not by far a good answer after what I asked them…
Sorry for the inconvience , your old user name and password is no more with linux.net ,it will work with linuxtimes.net . By default now your email address is username @linuxtimes.net not with linux.net , so you can access all your old emails from this linuxtimes.net with same user name and password .If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.
If they can’t run a business, don’t do it!
Good lookin Panel, even though it’s a pitiful copy of the windows green theme, oh well.
YOu should check on what cron it runs by default, and that some of them aren’t getting stuck on themselves. I killed a couple on my fedora machine, just let prelink run.
Quote :Lindows, Xandros or Lycoris, as these “big-three of the Linux desktop market”
I don’t think these guys are anything more than hardly relevant but I’d be most interested in finding out something that I don’t know !
They are the top three pure desktop-oriented Linux distributions. Distributions like Mandrake, SuSE and RedHat/Fedora Core include a lot of non-desktop software, which already becomes clear when opening the boxes: they contain 3 times (the least) as many CD’s as Linspire/Xandros/Lycoris .
Mandrake and such are all-round distributions aimed at the less-experienced Linux user. Xandros and the likes are desktop distributions for newcomers.
>Quote :Lindows, Xandros or Lycoris, as these “big-three of >the Linux desktop market”
>I don’t think these guys are anything more than hardly >relevant but I’d be most interested in finding out >something that I don’t know !
All I can say is Linspire 5 – when this baby is released it will really show what Linux for the desktop can do, I am a beta tester for this software and the new stuff is mind blowing.
Linare quote: “LINARE – Cutting edge technology that can make your life easier”
I wouldn’t consider a desktop with KDE 3.1 and Open Office 1.1 cutting edge when KDE 3.3 and Open Office v1.1.2 has already been released. After all the next release of SuSE Linux due out in the next two months will have KDE 3.3 and Open Office 1.1.2, etc. The point is if a developer is going to call their distribution “cutting edge” at least provide the latest versions of the applications at the time of the distribution release. Does anyone know what Kernel this release is running? I couldn’t find any information regarding the Kernel version on their site for Linare Linux.
I can appreciate Linaire’s goals of bringing a fully user-friendly distro to a market where Windows could certainly use some competition…but…ack! That interface is *hideous*…
If this is a “Pro” version, why not whittle down that eye-candy (eye-sore?) and do what Windows should have done w/ XP, tone-down the themes or turn them off altogether.
“They are the top three pure desktop-oriented Linux distributions. Distributions like Mandrake, SuSE and RedHat/Fedora Core include a lot of non-desktop software, which already becomes clear when opening the boxes: they contain 3 times (the least) as many CD’s as Linspire/Xandros/Lycoris .”
That’s what i mean.If you get the hang of it with those three
there’s is enough under the hood to keep on going for a while.
In my previous post I commented on the reasons why I believe Linare falsely claims their distribution Linare Linux Professional 2.0 is cutting edge because of the info here ( http://www.linare.com/linarelinux.php ). The URL link is linked to the ad on the main site page “Linare launches professional edition 2.0” found here ( http://www.linare.com/default.php ). Though if you follow the link here ( http://linuxpr.com/releases/7086.html ) in the News section titled “LINARE OFFERS PROFESSIONAL EDITION LINUX: GREAT FOR BUSINESSES” you will find a differant claim from Chief Technologist Dr.Dominic Paulraj (Linare employee http://linuxpr.com/releases/6509.html ) that Linare Linux Professional 2.0 actually uses the 2.6 Kernel and KDE 3.2.2 as the graphical desktop not KDE 3.1 as stated in the first link by Linare marketing. Maybe someone at OSNews that actually received a copy of this distribution can clarify what is fact and what is pure fiction.
So, they use KDE, gmplayer, OpenOffice, Mozilla, and Evolution. Each of those uses a different system for UI… I weep for anyone trying to use that distro. Consistancy is very useful and important… I can handle a few exceptions to UI consistancy but these folks aren’t even trying to pretend. Ick, just plain ick. I’ll stay with Ubuntu thank you very much.
Not only that, but think of the memory consumption for bringing in all the support libraries.
>All I can say is Linspire 5 – when this baby is released
yeah if it gets released, its getting a bit like Longhorn…
The Linspire team has just started to implent/use the new ReiserFS file system and the orinoco wifi drivers, progress is slow but the thrillseekers are nice, stable, fast and reconize almost any hardware known to humankind. I wish they would drop the everaldo theme and started making a more serious look like MacOSX.
I really hope LInspire 5 will come out 2005 but as things look now its more like mid-2005. Hurry up!
What is going to be so great about Linspire 5 that everybody seems to water their mouth already?
Can you tell us more about the Linspire 5 beta? What’s it like? What’s mind-blowing about it? Which version of KDE? Screenshots?
If you don’t have anywhere to post the screenshots, let me know and I’ll host them for you.
it’s called marketing.
what do you EXPECT them to say?
“ooh, our software is a bit old but it’s great really, please buy it!”
Lindows, Xandros or Lycoris are now the big three desktop distributions?
What a ridiculous statement. Lycoris is a couple of guys up in Redmond that have produced a substandard distribution.
Lindows/Linspire, I still hold a bit of hope that they might be able to do something interesting, if anything because they are focused on the desktop and seem daring enough. However, they are yet to deliver something that matches Mandrake or Suse in stability, completeness or quality. Their biggest innovation is Click-n-Run and the desktop tutorials. The latter are nice, but I would wager that most users are allergic to recurrent monthly fees/subscriptions for software.
And Xandros is not a bad product at all, but they haven’t delivered anything that differentiates them significantly from Mandrake and Suse. A new file manager becomes a liability as you become the sole maintainer. And K3b is a better and more complete solution to CD-burning than what is provided by the in-house Xandros app. Additionally, both of these offer a complete line of products, have been around longer and contribute more code to the open source projects on which they base their work. The fact that Mandrake releases alll of its configuration and installation tools under the GPL matters a great deal to us. Mandrake 10 and 10.1 are, in my opinion, the fastest distributions around and I have tried them all (Slackware, Fedora, Suse, Xandros, Debian).
For some reason and at some point in time, it became fashionable to bash Mandrake for the bugs found in release candidates, not on their final products. The much touted issues with 9.2 were primarily caused by a hardware company (LG) with defective engineering processes. Fortunately,LG eventually owned up to the problem.
I am also very hopeful that Suse will pull of something interesting in the next few releases. Suse 9.1 is already very good if a bit too resource-intensive. Suse’s patching system is better than what any other distribution is providing right now because rather than re-download whole applications for a patch, you only download the necessary pathces, although urpmi is still much more flexible.
So in summary:
Linspire hold some promise. We’ll see whether they deliver. Many people including me will not support a company with proprietary bits because if they happen to vanish or be acquired by a less than ethical company, nobody can continue where they left off. Licensing issues aside, Linspire have been a better open-source citizen than I had expected, but I would still like to see the installer and click-n-run under a suitable open source license.
Suse can deliver a very complete solution if they can stop the Ximian guys from warring with the KDE guys. I am a bit tired of the non-stop self-promotion by Miguel and their crew. But they do have a fantastic set of technologies that if put together coherently could deliver the best desktop around yet.
Mandrake is true to the Free Software spirit. Each release keeps getting faster and more consistent. It has the best multimedia support out of the box and the largest usenet and web communities. It is the oly company that has been contracted to deliver an EAL-5 product by next year, a security level attained by no other operating system other than IBM, with the technology that lets its z900 and z990 mainframes be divided into independent, isolated partitions.
Today, Microsoft’s Windows, Sun Microsystems’ Solaris, Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX and IBM’s AIX all have EAL4 certification. Mandrake EAL5 will be a significant selling point in government and business with security concerns. Their clustering support and their expansion into services are also very promising.
Finally, and most importantly, their whole development process and tree are completely open to everyone.
No, I did not.
When I say “big three desktop distros”, I mean, desktop ONLY. SuSE, Mandrake and Red Hat are also server-oriented, while these three are only targetting the “home desktop appliance” market. And so is Linare.
Does it include updates?
Thank God! You didn’t refer Linspire, Lycoris and Xandros as a big three desktop distros.
Linspire– A multi million dollar company that has developed a small app click N run till their 4th version and funny it’s not even a GPL application.
I believe some would disagree with you on the big three or are misunderstanding your comment. Reason for that is when Microsoft has mentioned their main competition the names were Novell with their SuSE Linux and Red Hat with their Red Hat Linux. When speaking on Linux as a competitor they don’t just mean the server end since they are being hit financially on the desktop front as well. Companies such as Linspire, Linare, etc were not even mentioned as real competition with Windows or even OSX. Novell’s SuSE Linux is made not only for the corporate market but also private. SuSE Linux makes it easy to transition from Windows to Linux as well as use it in the home or at the office. It’s also cost effective compared to consumers using Windows. So those are some of the reasons why I would consider it one of the big three. Just because a developer offers enterprise applications with private consumer (home) products does not exclude it from being part of the leading desktops. I also don’t consider a Linux distribution as being one of the big three just because they sell their product in a cheap package (ie: Walmart PC).
These are the specs from one of their Linare branded pc’s
Hmm, glad to know they are the only company in the world that can run a duron on an intel 845 chipset. Yeah that instills trust in me to use their distro.
I bought one Linar PC from Walmart may be some 6 months back
and it seems to be working fine and no issues so far.