Home > Oracle and SUN > Review: The View from Xandros 2.5 Business Edition Review: The View from Xandros 2.5 Business Edition Submitted by Jim Smerk 2004-10-12 Oracle and SUN 17 Comments “My conclusion is this, for a SOHO Business system that wants to get more useable life out of their computer systems I cannot think of a better Linux system out there.” Read the review at DesktopOS. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 17 Comments 2004-10-12 7:49 am Mores Screenshots: http://www.linuxit.com.br/article-3471–0-0.html“ 2004-10-12 7:50 am Here are more Screenshots by the same site: http://www.desktopos.com/myegallery.php?&do=showgall&gid=3 2004-10-12 11:39 am Can anyone who has experience of Xandros say whether it is suitable as a small-scale local web-development platform? I’d like to run Apache HTTP, MySQL 4 and PHP4, with possibly an SMTP module for Apache too. I currently test under WinXP and eComStation, but am a newbie in the Linux world. I gave Xandros a quick (1 day) test run a few months back, but without broadband at the time I did not fancy the download times to get everything sorted. I certainly liked the GUI and especially the File Manager. The version that I have is Xandros Desktop 2.0, from the cover of a UK computer magazine. PC is AMD 2400+, with 640Mb RAM and 128Mb gfx. USB2-based Speedtouch 330 DSL Modem (will Xandros recognise that?). Many thanks 2004-10-12 12:11 pm I can tell you I used Xandros 2.0 as a development platform for building an Invision Board message board that was eventually deployed on White Box Linux… hows that? 2004-10-12 12:14 pm We dont use Xandros, but we do use Debian, and as Xandros is Debian based it should apply. As we are primarily an Open Source based shop we use the following for Web applications development: Apache PostGreSQL PHP4/5 – Migrating to PHP5 Zend Studio (worth every penny!) The Gimp Python It runs on boxes from 1ghz Via Epia to more heavy duty machines like 3200+ AMD64 boxes, and 4 way Xeon servers. Its really great tools, and Debian serves us well. Your Xandros copy will probably do for you, you may need to install a few of the things yourself as typically the HTTPd/SQL/PHP is not turned on/installed by default. But open a console and “apt-get install” is very easy. The windows tools for web development is rather poor compared to a *NIX shop, as you get all these scripting tools tailored for these systems, python & perl ports are not very good on Windows. We couldent be happier here . But if you are serious about PHP development, i can only recommend the Zend applications, they are quite nice – best IDEs around imo. 2004-10-12 12:19 pm From my experience: Xandros has one of the most inflexible installs out there. You don’t chose the WM, or the filesystem, Xandros does. Xandos does not work well with standard debian repositories. I tried setting sources.list to all standard debian, and I completely broke the system. 2004-10-12 12:22 pm Thanks for the replies. I also liked Zend from my limited playing around with the trial version, but as a solo developer running a free gaming site, the cost is prohibitive. And work development is strictly MS, so no chance of blagging a licence there I used to use Maguma Studio Share on WinXP, but the bugs have driven me away for now, although a patched version is promised, so I may return to it. The follow up, Maguma Workbench is also available on Linux, so I’ll take a look at that when I get Xandros installed again. Depends on the cost – I get a discount until the end of the year. 2004-10-12 12:42 pm I recommend you build a local test server with regular Debian, a stripped down one with only SSH, Apache, SQL server of choice, and ftpd will do. Then the development machine is not of much importance, as you can script there and run it on the machine. However i really like working on Linux as i use “scp” between the machines instead of ftp. But ofcourse that just my preference . Just signed up for a Maguma trial, gonna take it for a test spin. I dont think Zend studio is terribly expensive, but ofcourse if you arent getting any revenue of your site its probably a bad investment – although there is alot of text editors with the simple needs, on windows i used to use Ultra Edit, great tool for coding PHP also. Its only 30$ or something, and i got free updates for 2-3 versions or something. No good open source IDE/Editor for PHP – not that i have found yet, so i’ll more than happily pay the price for a dev tool that fit my needs, after all i dident have to pay for an SQL server, web server, operating system, and the languages . 2004-10-12 1:45 pm I am very satisfied with Xandros as a web development platform. Apache, PHP4, and MySQL installs without a hitch from Xandros Networks. With Codeweavers Wine you can even run Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. And as Maltaq mentioned; Zend Development Environment is really great. There are most probably other development environments available. The Gimp does graphics 🙂 Xandros even works (however a bit slow) on my 700Mhz Celeron, so hardware shouldnt be much of a problem. 2004-10-12 2:03 pm He, he! All in good time. I’m a newbie in Linux-land remember? Let me get comfortable with the Xandros distro before I try building something/anything more… complex! I agree that Zend isn’t all that expensive, especially when you consider its features and its pedigree. But as mentioned earlier, the site is non-paying. I’ll probably still do most of my coding under Windows, at least until the Linux bug bites me hard enough and I jump ship. Is Eclipse + PHP add-in a good bet on Linux, as a free option? 2004-10-12 2:04 pm Thanks – great to know that. PS – to everyone, apologies for hogging this thread with my questions! 2004-10-12 2:11 pm In the article the author states that staroffice loads faster than openoffice. Is this true, or is he doing something silly such as comparing Staroffice 7 (which is based off openoffice 1.1) with openoffice 1.0? 2004-10-12 2:15 pm Eclipse is a pretty good IDE – although i have not worked much in it, i have reviewed it for development, and it works great. A good Open Source IDE if you dont want to pay for Zend. It does work on Windows also, you just need JRE from http://www.java.com. Setting up a Debian server is pretty easy though. There is plenty of guides for it . Time spent on learning howto work the system is not that bad, and its certainly rewarding in the end. If you have some hours in a weekend, i can only recommend getting a Debian Sarge CD and setting it up. You can even experiment with it in a VMWare session, its available in a 30day trial, enough to learn Debian before wiping a disk and installing it as a real server . Good luck with it. 2004-10-12 2:58 pm To overcome problems that can be induced by using non-Xandros repositories, you have to understand “pinning.” I used the following from the “Tips & Tricks” section of the Xandros Forum. This works well as I can install from non-Xandros repositories and nothing breaks. ===From the Xandros Forum==================== When using multiple non-xandros apt sources (for example debian unstable) there is the possibility that a xandros package may be upgraded to a non-xandros version. It may break something in the case of debian unstable, or invalidate your right to support priority. When you have multiple distribution apt sources in your configuration, packages from each have an equal priority. With apt’s default behavior, it will upgrade packages to the newest version available and install the newest version of any package needed as a dependency, regardless of where it came from. ============================================= The complete thread in the Xandros Forum with instructions on configuring your system can be found at: http://forums.xandros.com/viewtopic.php?t=4939&highlight=pinning Hope this helps. 2004-10-12 4:07 pm The author seems to give a reasonably good view of what Xandros is like, but am I the only one who his grammar drove nuts? He puts apostrophes before nearly every s, usually wrongly. It really detracts from what would otherwise be a very nice article. 2004-10-12 5:29 pm Xandros has one of the most inflexible installs out there. You don’t chose the WM, or the filesystem, Xandros does. I’d say that’s a plus, not a con. There is such a thing as too much choice. Those who want to choose can use other Linux distributions. Me, I prefer something that makes the choices for me and makes installing and using Linux as simple as humanly possible. 2004-10-13 8:51 am I honestly believe Xandros to be the one to break open the desktop in the commercial world. It looks, smells, and feels enough like XP where users won’t reject a “change”. Screw the open source end of the deal. This is as good as it gets on the desktop linux front today.