Home > Linux > Desktop Face-Off: Xandros vs. Mepis Desktop Face-Off: Xandros vs. Mepis Submitted by LinuxTimes 2005-02-25 Linux 17 Comments In this article, LinuxTimes compares Xandros 3 Open Circulation Edition and SimplyMEPIS 2004.6. 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 2005-02-25 8:37 pm Although you are on the moeny when it comes to the performance and actual distro of Mepis, there is much to be desired in your review of the community. As a fresh from windoze user I went directly into Mepis, and had a few bugs, as is the case with virtually any distro. Within a week of being in the Mepis IRC channels, I soon became embroiled in “political” issues reagarding the distro. Whiler the distro may be all well and good, the communtiy has become to much of a soap opera, and until such time as the developer takes charge of whats happening with his work, I would caution anyone from this distro. 2005-02-25 8:55 pm I use Mepis on my main machine. I been using it as my primary OS for about 2 months after installing it in favour of Mandrake, which I had been using for years before. Mepis is simple to upgrade and at the minute it is running kde 3.3.2 and kernel 2.6.10 etc etc I was browsing the web the other day and found a site that was selling Linux CDs for $1.20 each, so I thought I would order a few, it would save me time downloading them. So I placed an order and Xandros was one of the requested items. It came yesterday morning and I stuck it onto a spare partition. NOW.. I have tried Xandros before and thought it was too, emmm, how can I say it, emmmm, SHITE. Yeah, I never liked it BUT. Version 3 is amazing. I really enjoyed it and am thinking of setting it up on my brothers and my partners computers for them. They are out and out Windows users, but both are thinking of making the switch, and from the in depth 14hours I have spent on Xandros 3, I think it will do the job. So, Well done Xandros 2005-02-25 9:46 pm article failed to point out that Xandros works with virtually all video cards right out of the box especially nvidia ones using the official nvidia drivers. 2005-02-25 9:51 pm I believe it used to be a mix but not sure now. Apt, works great but I’ve had some problems in the past with trying to take something mixed like knoppix, and making it pure sid. I am on an old morphix install from a couple of years back and it’s working fine now using sid sources, as it’s pure sid from the start (well except for X 4.3 back then) but had to jump through a few hoops to get everything working right. I have a couple of friends who want to check out debian, using sid sources. What distro has the best installer that is pure sid or can smoothly migrate to sid? Preferably something with a gui installer. Looking around not many do though. Surprised more haven’t adopted anaconda or something. I believe the mepis guy created his own gui installer, is that correct? Again, my concern isn’t really what packages they provide or the initial wallpaper, theme etc. Just an easy quick way to get sid installed, cause then everything else is can just be apt’d. 2005-02-25 9:52 pm SimplyMEPIS 3.3 Test 1: http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=231&slide=4 Xandros Desktop OS 3 OCE: http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=247&slide=2… 2005-02-25 9:54 pm I’ve always found things lacking in both konquerer and nautilus and wanted to try xandros’s file manager. Is this one of the things that only comes in the commericial version? Is the source available somewhere? 2005-02-25 10:11 pm Not exactly…. there are packages from sid in the mepis repository… kde3.3 etc you can always add the debian sid sources to your list, and I have only ever had one problem.. it was kdetv kept crashing when I resized the window. so, I uninstalled, uncommented out the sid source and used the official mepis source to reinstall kdetv thats the thing. it is called sid because it is unstable… just like sid in toy story. the unstable one who like to break the toys…. think about it 2005-02-25 10:27 pm I don’t know how well it works with Debian sid sources; Ubuntu uses their own snapshot. 2005-02-25 11:24 pm Couldn’t figure out what to do to get it installed. I partition the drives and I believe everything is ok but I always get an error when trying to proceed to the next step. Maybe this new version will fix that? I’ve been on a distro sampling BINGE trying out ANYTHING I can get to work….to some degree . SUSE was just too “happy”. Yoper just WONT install after trying (literally) 10 times. Libranet, cool but a little outdated. I tried Xandros but I wanted something a little more hardcore. Plus, I was nervous I might “break” it, if not using Xandros approved packages. I really don’t want to be tied to Xandros for ny programs I might need. -It’s hard being new to Linux 2005-02-25 11:49 pm “I partition the drives and I believe everything is ok but I always get an error when trying to proceed to the next step.” If you’re talking about QtParted, yeah, I think it’s a PITA too. I’d rather use Mepis, but I’m always wishing for the Mandrake partition manager. 2005-02-26 1:06 am This review didn’t answer any of the questions that I would have when trying out a Linux distro. The review said nothing about: – number of seconds until you have to re-compile the kernel – number of seconds until you have to edit some obscure text file – number of seconds until you have to beg for help on the internet – how much of a smug and elitist bastard can you be while boasting about it on the internet – does all of the incomprehensible documentation use the proper “GNU/Linux” or “GNU+Linux” or “GNU on Linux” term (as opposed to the anti-social “Linux” term) – how easy is it for me to brainwash myself into totally ignoring its many glaring and obvious flaws 2005-02-26 4:19 am have a good linux recommendation for these specs? 150Mhz pentium 48MB ram Only choice for boot is either A or C on the bios. No boot from cd. I tried Damn small linux, but the video wouldn’t work correctly. My mother refused to update her old comp, and it recently had a hard crash on win98 when my father tried to add an old ethernet card we had laying around since 1997. I’ve been running Fedora 3 as I am much more of a user than a configurationist. So does anyone have a good recommend for this situation? And no, I’m not switching to Ubuntu, so let me beat you to that comment. I’m qute fine with my Scribus, gimp, and Inkskape usage as is. I will decide if I really want to switch to something else after F4. 2005-02-26 6:08 am Man, that sounds exactly like this crappy laptop i have. I didnt really know much at the time, but I installed debian stable on it (from floppy). Its still a piece of crud though. 2005-02-26 8:59 am First off -apples and oranges….Mepis 2004.6 was (and I repeat WAS) one of a long line of releases of Mepis in 2004. It is not quite a one man band but but effectively it is in terms of release dates, content etc. To that end it is a staggeringly good bit of work. It is the only live cd that I have found that has allowed me to easily rescue files from a crashed Win2k machine and just plop them onto another server on the network. The intaller should be the goal of all of these so called commercial distros. So long as you stay in the release sandbox and don’t go adding odd out of phase sources then you can install anything you like via apt/synaptic. OK there are and have been some glitches with video detection – but not show stoppers. OTOH, Xandros is a commercial distro with teams of developers doing it as a full time paid job – if it wasn’t perfect I’d be demanding my money back – oops some hope there, and no it ain’t perfect!!!. Much of the core of Xandros is of course the File Manager – aaah the good old days of Corel Linux. But of course it is proprietary and if it gets broken…..so then you’re tied in to the dribs and drabs that Xandros deem to make available in packages that won’t break it! Recompile kernel???? hmmm last time I did that was with Slackware 8 in 2001 – oh is that the sound of a little billy goat I hear????? BTW, if you use the Mandrake CD to boot you can use its partition tool, abort the install and then plop something else on top! 2005-02-26 1:07 pm What a fluff piece. He was too afraid to offend anyone. And he gives a point to mepis for writing their own control panel apps and lightly knocks xandros for putting their own lipstick on the kde apps, but never compares features. Writing your own can sometimes be worse, a lot worse, and nobody deserves a point for rolling your own unless it’s actually an improvement. Features? He never mentions them. How about comparing hardware recognition, like usb devices? Installed apps? smb? etc, etc? He’s got an eye for the super-obvious: xandros file manager kicks butt. That nautilis POS filemanager is truly heinous. Linux needs something like xandros fm to be easy to use. in fact the xfm is such a great app that it really makes all the other differences moot. 2005-02-26 2:14 pm > I’ve always found things lacking in both konquerer and nautilus and wanted to try xandros’s file manager. Is this one of the things that only comes in the commericial version? The OCE also has Xandros file manager but burn-it cd-writer is limited in speed. But I don’t know why anyone should prefer it over Konqueror. > Is the source available somewhere? No, it’s closed source. 2005-02-27 5:10 pm ” . But I don’t know why anyone should prefer it over Konqueror. ” I can’t use KDE unless I use XFM. Konqueror’s multiple sidebars confuse me.