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Review of New Xandros 4.1 Professional Linux 139

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the making-linux-simpler-for-luddites dept.
holden writes "OpenAddict has a review of the new Xandros 4.1 professional.Some of the big changes in professional include a newer kernel, AIGLX, and support for 3G wireless. One of the subtle, but still very important changes, is that Xandros has finally removed the registration requirement, and users can now access Xandros Networks without registering first. Techworld is one of many that is already looking at Xandros as a possible challenger to Windows Vista"
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Review of New Xandros 4.1 Professional Linux

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  • What's its niche? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I first heard of Xandros when No Starch Press based their book Linux Made Easy [amazon.com] on the distro. I assumed it was a distro meant for those with simple home needs. But here we hear about a "professional" edition. What's the niche of the distro, and how do its maintainers intend to set it apart from the many other options out there?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quanticle (843097)

      I would suspect (I haven't used this particular version) that its niche is the same as RedHat/SuSE. It aims to be a Linux distribution mainly for business use, with a specific emphasis on Windows compatibility.

      That said, I would like to see how Xandros reacts to the Novell/Microsoft deal. With Novell poised to take the lead in Windows compatibility, it seems that Xandros is fading into another "me-too" Debian based distro.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Burz (138833)
      For small-medium sized businesses Xandros is a good alternative to SuSE, I'd say, having moved between the two myself. Xandros can be configured extensively through the GUI, but the control panel is much more coherent than SuSE's; the former also wins hands-down for effective samba configuration.

      FWIW, this Xandros 4.1 Professional Edition seems to be the replacement for Xandros Business Edition; they are both aimed at desktops. The only thing really new for Xandros niche-wise is their enterprise-level serve
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's niche? It's like a commercial debian, except much better than progeny. Everything just works, even more so than ubuntu.

      I used to use it, but I felt bad for stealing, so now I use kubuntu.

      For the non-technical, it's worth the money. IMO it's the best 'desktop' linux in existence.

      For the geeks, you'll probably want to install something like kubuntu and tweak it until it works like xandros (ntfs support, aiglx, nvidia drivers, wifi drivers, etc). They add a lot of value to debian, but I
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by fangorious (1024903)
        Ubuntu/Kubuntu 6.10 have AIGLX, and 7.04 will have the fglrx and nv proprietary drivers in the default install.
    • I have been using Xandros as my main Linux OS for several years now. I just upgraded two systems to Xandros 4.1 Pro this week and I am very pleased.

      The "niche" for this distro is: Anyone who wants to install Linux in 20 minutes and have everything running pretty much out of the box. X 4.1 Pro has kernel 2.6.18 which is just what I needed to get to brand new SONY DSC-HS5 digital camera to work flawlessly with Linux. My DVD-RW works fine out of the box. My NVidia video card has full 3D function and TV-out ope
  • I am impressed (Score:4, Informative)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:29PM (#17108548)
    Techworld is one of many that is already looking at Xandros as a possible challenger to Windows Vista"

    I am one of the very few slashdotters that have publicly said that Xandros, Freespire and especially Xandros are one of the best distros out there. I even contributes a few days ago that these distros actaully work as advertised.

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=208360&cid=169 89294 [slashdot.org].

    What came out of that contribution was being touted as one who had contributed flamebait!

    Now, with this view from Techworld, I feel very happy inside. This makes me wonder why there is all this hype about K[U]buntu, which is dogged with all sorts of bugs. Thanks once again to the folks at Xandros.

    • Re:I am impressed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mordors9 (665662) on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:50PM (#17108698)
      I guess I fail to understand this constant search for a possible challenger to Windows. There is a large segment of society that will never change from Windows no matter what the Linux distros come up with. Linux needs to be sold to the young for what it does best, stability, security, simplicity. It isn't going to be cause we can look close to Windows. And yes I am a Linux user.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Zantetsuken (935350)
        The way I see it is like this: what will the rest of the world using Windows ver:Whatever go to if Microsoft goes in the deep end/bites the dust - suddenly the only people making anything for Windows are the 3rd party application and gaming industry. That means no more security updates - leaving 90% of the average computer using world vulnerable to spyware, viruses, and script-kiddies "You've been H4XX0R3D!11!!??!"

        *IF* such a case were to happen, and beings that Apple with their Mac OS-X runs only on Mac
      • Re:I am impressed (Score:4, Insightful)

        by killjoe (766577) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @01:50AM (#17109756)
        I think the search comes from MS being a powerful and unethical entity. When you have that much power, that much money, that much clout with governments and you are completely unconcerned with ethics or morals then people see you as a danger to them and others.

        Add to that a company which seems to be floudering with their flagship products and promising to go on a lawsuit binge and you can see trouble coming from a mile away.

      • There are some users that -won't- switch away from MS no matter what for whatever reason.

        The average marketeer knows it's nearly impossible to convert these users so don't waste too much energy on them. Apple does waste a great deal of energy on them over the years and look how it hasn't really worked.

        What does work is finding the consumers ready for a change or urgently needing something that they can't get in windows and building on them.

        That's why when I see opinions flying about "as good as Windows" wh
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by juhaz (110830)
      What came out of that contribution was being touted as one who had contributed flamebait!

      It was modded a flamebait it WAS a flamebait. And this one was too, not because you're praising Xandros, but because you're making baseless accusations or at least vast overgeneralizations and mudslinging other distros with them.

      So maybe Ubuntu didn't work for you out of the box and Xandros did, and as such one must be worthless piece of shit ant the other best ever. Guess what? That doesn't happen to everyone, no matte
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stinerman (812158)

      This makes me wonder why there is all this hype about K[U]buntu, which is dogged with all sorts of bugs.

      Ku/Xu/Ubuntu is free as in beer. Of course, Freespire is as well, but they have the "we used to be Lindows and the community turned its back on us" gorilla on their back to this day. They've made good strides and I've suggested it as a Windows replacement to a few family members.

      Another thing is that Ubuntu has pretty successfully taken most of the ideals of the Free Software movement and made a pretty

    • This makes me wonder why there is all this hype about K[U]buntu, which is dogged with all sorts of bugs.

      Tell me about it. I like kubuntu as a live CD, and so I tried deploying it "for real" for a group of four workstations which needed a temporary *nix desktop. It was a nightmare. For some reason, two of the machines were never able to apt-get a particular package because of a circular dependency. With adequate documentation(1) and a tiny bit of time, I might have figured out the solution. But with only six
      • by PenGun (794213)
        "As a long time FreeBSD user, I have to ask: why the fsck can't any Linux distro manage to produce decent documentation? Other than an occasional install howto, Linux documentation is horrendous and woefully incomplete."

          We are just so relaxed about computers ... we just wing it.

            PenGun
          Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !
      • by L7_ (645377)
        Did you try to "--purge remove" the packages and then re-"install" them? if you are doingn it from the command line, somehow I've picked up somewhere that you should use 'aptitide' and not 'apt-get' (although at this point I am fuzzy on the difference between them) because "it handles dependencies better". Else, from the Synaptic UI, it should have been easy to uninstall the package in question and reinstall it.

        And since I went from HPUX directly to GNU/Linux, I can't say that I have any idea what sort of d
      • by Duggeek (1015705)

        RE:(1) — Did you happen to try adept [ubuntu.com]? ...or explore the Ubuntu wiki [ubuntu.com]? ...how about the forums [ubuntuforums.org]? Anyone can tell you that apt-get is a fair package-installer, but not the best at package management. Had you tried adept, you may have been able to find a solution in time.

        Personally, I use original-flavor Ubuntu. (Gnome) I understand KDE is regarded as a more powerful environment, but it certainly has its flaws.

        The kUbuntu documentation is very informative regarding some of the basic functions. (even afte

        • YES I tried adept. I only decended down to the apt-get level when I couldn't get adept to work.

          And yes, I went online to the forums. Which is a poor source for primary documentation, especially if you're trying to set up a networking (another problem I had with k/ubuntu). The forums didn't help, but three pages into a google search, I found a clue that eventually led me to the cause of the problem. The X package I was installing needed a newer Y package but older Z package. I couldn't figure out how to down
          • by abigor (540274)
            I'm not surprised, to be honest. I was a hardcore Debian user for years, but gave up on it quite some time ago because of problems exactly like the one you had. Debian, and I'd imagine its various derivatives, is vastly, hugely overrated. Gentoo has issues, but I've not come across the same level of broken dependencies stuff that just plain didn't work as I did with Debian.
    • Ubuntu is the most stable and bugfree distro I have ever seen. I used to hate Linux and switched to FreeBSD for awhile when the quality went downhill starting with mandrake and redhat 7.x where core dumps happened by the hour due to bugs. Gentoo didn't help either and I used that for awhile when it was popular.

      But Ubuntu restored my faith in Linux.
      • I dont understand the Ubuntu hype, personally.

        I've tried the last 3 releases, and its no better and in some cases substantially worse, than Fedora. I cant speak for the others as I've not tried them.

        Mark me as flamebait, thats fine. Just my personal experience. Ubuntu isnt the second coming as some would lead you to believe.
    • Fixed that for you, buddy.
  • Features? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:33PM (#17108586) Homepage Journal
    Seamless access to shared Windows folders and printers

    The ability to write to Windows NTFS partitions

    Seamless Microsoft Exchange connectivity

    If an enterprise already has a Windows environment, why would they be interested in upsetting everything and installing new Linux workstations? I'm not saying Linux can't perform, but keep in mind that if things are running smooth already, the least of their costs are going to be Windows client licenses. They are spending money on Windows servers for file storage, mail, directory services, etc, so they may as well use Windows as the client software as well. Vista isn't going to be this enormous expenditure because most corporate computers will not upgrade to Vista until the computer hardware is replaced anyway.

    This sounds like just another one of these "Linux Is Read and Poised To Overthrow Microsoft on the Desktop!" articles that Slashdot sees every couple months (especially around the end of the year, when next year just might be the Year of Linux).
    • Seamless access to shared Windows folders and printers
      The ability to write to Windows NTFS partitions
      Seamless Microsoft Exchange connectivity

      Can't I already do that with debian?
      • I bought the Xandros a month or so ago. I tried using it. Although it installed well (as is the case with most Linux distro's these days), I was unhappy with the selection and even the philosophy. The main thing that bothered me most was that I could find nearly no software on their network and most of what was installed out of date. I also didn't like the idea that all these facilities touted in these posts were only available on a paid for basis. The home edition didn't even have basic things such as
    • by grcumb (781340)

      This seems to be my reply-don't-mod day....

      If an enterprise already has a Windows environment, why would they be interested in upsetting everything and installing new Linux workstations? I'm not saying Linux can't perform, but keep in mind that if things are running smooth already, the least of their costs are going to be Windows client licenses.

      If we grant your assumption that things are indeed running smoothly, then there's no reason to change. But in my experience with Windows, I've yet to see a place

    • by EvilIdler (21087)
      >If an enterprise already has a Windows environment, why would they be interested in upsetting
      >everything and installing new Linux workstations?

      Let's say they've done some math and come to the conclusion it's cheaper to keep a few servers,
      and replace all the desktops to avoid the yearly tithe to the Church of Bill. Then it makes some sense.
    • If an enterprise already has a Windows environment, why would they be interested in upsetting everything and installing new Linux workstations?

      Say you are fed up with 2000/XP security issues, and you want something better. You have heard that both Vista and Linux are more secure. Then a 2-year-old existing PC upgraded to Xandros Professional is $99; buying a new PC that can run Vista will cost an order of magnitude more.

      Alternatively, for an older PC nearing the end of its life, buying a new one that
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      FTFS: Techworld is one of many that is already looking at Xandros as a possible challenger to Windows Vista

      What a bold statement, and supported by nothing. What do you know, marketeers and reporters STILL have no problem spewing BS that makes no sense, as long as it attracts attention.

      This sounds like just another one of these "Linux Is Read and Poised To Overthrow Microsoft on the Desktop!" articles that Slashdot sees every couple months (especially around the end of the year, when next year just might be
  • A few years ago.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Monday December 04, 2006 @11:18PM (#17108898) Homepage
    I tried Xandros. Dont remeber the verion but was so taken back by the slick and quick install that I was ready to ditch Win2k/XP for Xandros. It worked great with my hardware and looked good.

    It came installed with Mozilla and not Firefox. This is where the road back to Win2K/Xp stared. Looking thorugh their software repository I searched for Firefox and it wasn't there. So I check the forums. I found a post about installing Firefox. Well it was about 7 pages at that time. Reading through the first two showed me that no way in hell was I going to go through all the admin mumbo jumbo just to install Firefox. I was too lazy from trying out several destop distros that day.

    Anyways I went back to windows cause it just works. Now before I get flamed by the "You're just too stupid to run Linux" fanboyz, know that I've ran/run and setup Slackware 10.1 and FreeBSD 6 web servers at home with no problems so my techincal abilities/curiosities are above the average computer user but what had to be done to install Firefox on XandrOS was just retarded and this is what keeps a steady supply of new users away from Linux. Most joe/jane average computer user has no problems finding/installing and configuring software preferances but thats if its provided for them through an installer.

    • Why wouldn't you just install Firefox on Xandros the same way you'd install it on Windows? Sure, there's an "unzipping" step, but if you went through all the effort to install an OS you can handle double clicking on a tarball and hitting the "extract to..." button.

      • by AusIV (950840)
        Not to speak for Napna, but I prefer to install everything from repositories if possible - I find it keeps my system running smoothly and keeps from breaking dependencies.
      • Well seems from the forum post it just wasnt easy to do or at least the way the "how to" read, it make it seem way to complicated to bother with.
    • by Blain (264390)
      I'm running Xandros OCE, and have been for about a year now. It was a nice install, and I like some stuff about the file manager. The packages they had to offer weren't what I wanted, so I added some regular debian repositories and, after breaking the Xandros desktop manager and switching to KDE, it's run fine. Updates via the Xandros system have been a little odd, but I'm running FF 1.5 and found the upgrade from 1.0x to be as pain-reduced as any FF upgrade I've done in terms of extension compatibility
  • Windows users, if they're like my family, have no problems because I do all the heavy lifting. At most, they have to reboot the machine after a few hundred hours uptime to get a given application running again. They use Office, Limewire, AIM, Winamp, iTunes, etc. If desktop Linux can provide that level of use to ordinary users, fine.

    Now in terms of deployment, Windows sucks. Everything has to be hand managed. The patches required to deal with the security problems, spyware, adware is huge problem. And manag
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dknj (441802)
      required to deal with the security problems, spyware, adware is huge problem

      fast forward 10 years into the apolyptic future. linux is the desktop king. you don't think spyware, adware, et al is going to exist? i mean by that notion, microsoft had it pretty damn easy in the windows 3.1 and early 95 days, remember? if linux can solve the problem, explain why a bunch of heavily paid microsoft researchers cannot do the same thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gelfling (6534)
        I do not know. I mean other than foundational differences in the two. *nix started out in life with a mature network centric approach. Windows did not. In fact Windows was rather late to the world of networking beyond its little world of LAN based MS protocols and unroutable networks. Windows was created with the idea that the single user was king. *nix was not. So in very foundational ways, the two developed in very different directions. In the Windows world, the user and the kernel are very close to one a
        • by dknj (441802)
          windows and unix have also been marketed to diferrent groups, windows = ease of use, unix = difficult to understand but powerful. the more you move towards ease of use the less powerful tools you have at your disposal. for desktop environments SPYWARE/ADWARE will ALWAYS exist unless we start talking seriously about trusted computing. ms and sony are fighting that battle for the home as we speak, nothing exists for the enterprise yet (windows kinda not really, linux not even close)
          • In theory that's sort of true but for the reality of Mac. This shows that it's possible to put an end user friendly face on *nix.

            Not sure what you mean by enterprise though. AIX, Sun, Z/os, OS/400 are all perfectly capable enterprise systems.
            • by dknj (441802)
              first of all, yes mac is in the PERFECT position to take over the desktop, but they're too money hungry and afraid to tackle x86's problems. and lets face it, the world is cheap. mrs martin next door that has debt problems and a kid ready to go to school won't buy a $1500 mac compared to a $300 dell.

              second.. dude, re-read my post i was talking about the desktop. that said we all know aix, sun, etc. are enterprise ready. windows has become the defacto standard that everyone sees when they walk into an of
      • explain why a bunch of heavily paid microsoft researchers cannot do the same thing.

        Two words: backwards compatibility.

        What kills Microsoft and produces problem after problem is their requirement (driven by perceived customer need) to have long backwards compatibility. They can't 'clean slate' things as often as Mac OS or Linux can.

        If some part of Linux is demonstrated to be insecure by design, chances are somebody will decide it's ugly and rewrite the thing. Sure it might get patched, but eventually some pr
  • The only distro of linux that is even vaguely close enough to mature to be a valid challenger to Vista might be Ubuntu, and that is still pushing it.
  • IIRC, Xandros is what became of Corel Linux.

    As well, IIRC, Corel sold their distro to Xandros about a year after Microsoft pumped $135 million of much needed cash into Corel in a "joint development and marketing alliance [forbes.com]" to get Corel to port their various Windows apps to the .Net architecture.

    Prior to this, Corel had been poised to port WordPerfect to Linux (natively - I believe there was already a WINE-based port) and were working on all sorts of initiatives to help make desktop Linux competitive wi
    • by dryeo (100693)
      Actually WordPerfect 8 was a native port. WordPerfect 9 (10?) was a step backwards and used wine.
      I have the full tarball running fine on Debian (needs libc5 and xlib5). Sure a pleasure to use compared to most newer word processors, at least on my old hardware. For the hell of it I tried installing the deb on Ubuntu but it wanted to backlevel and remove a lot of stuff.
      Corel Linux was a nice distro.
  • by javabandit (464204) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @02:01AM (#17109822)
    Here is a quote from a prior post:

    NEWSFLASH! This distro is NOT for you. It's not developed for you, it's not designed for you, it's not intended for you. You want to game? Use Windows [for now], or buy a console.

    Can we get past the idea that we have to have two completely separate computers... one for gaming and one for business? This is 2006. I think we can have one machine that does both.

    XP Professional does both. Hell, even Macintosh does both to some level.

    Telling people that they should dual boot is not going to get new users any time soon.
    • ANY proprietary software I would prefer to have on another machine. (or at least another partition) That includes games, which are increasingly DRM'd and spyware laden.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    $100, it is too much, potential new users wont pay that much, they would rather buy windows home editions.

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