Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Linux XP 2006 - From Russia With Love????

So the other day I was reading the Weekly review on and was checking out a recent tidbit on Linux XP that seems to have caused quite a stir on their site. Seems that for the past 7 days, Linux XP has surpassed Ubuntu for number one on their list. To quote Ladislav

"So why did so many of you click? Is it the catchy name or the attraction of a Linux system resembling a more familiar environment? Or maybe just plain curiosity? And if you downloaded and tried the new release, what do you think of it? Is Linux XP likely to remain on your computer? Have any of you paid the license fee? If so, why?"

So I decide to download and see what I think of it. Personally, something this hyped has a lot to live up to, so let's see how they did.


Download Here
Kernel - Kernel 2.6.15
Desktop - Gnome
FAQs -
Cost - FREE to try, doesn't work very well, 30 boots then it crashes, so really $39.99 for Key ($39.98 in Canada)
Special Features - Look and feel of Windows, LDAP support, full media support out of the box and that's about it really

Nitty Gritty:
Installation ( )

Since this is really a repackaged version of Fedora, it is no surprise to see Anaconda used to install. Nothing new here, so if you have ever installed Redhat or Fedora you will see some familiar things. First thing I did note was that the splash screen was fuzzy. Not a great start folks.

Next the splash screen is nice and colorful, but reminds of my neighbors in Redmond. I mean I know you can try to make software look like what people are used to, but to really try and steal a name comfort like this too, splash screens and everything, does this mean there is no unique look and feel to this?

Ok, so we are right into Anaconda here, same silly logo.

So the first thing here is to setup my disk, which you can do automatically and then manually with disk druid. Now, I absolutely hate disk druid for many, many reasons, but again being a Fedora clone, this is what you get. For my VMWare install I used the automatic, but for my personal laptop I used disk druid since the auto didn't work. So far negative two on this so far, not going so well.

So even though you select Automatic, the tool then goes and asks me a question. Hmmm, not very automatic, more like manual with no chance wait, I can delete everything here. Not the best option for a newbie. So for those who don't know, what you want to do here is based on what you already have on your system. If you have windows, you will likely need to select use free space, which will resize windows and create a Linux partition next to it. If you already have a multi partitioned drive, then you can use Keep all partitions and use existing free space. The others are just stupid, as they will either wipe out the entire hard drive, or wipe out all the Linux partitions (non NTFS ones), which both are going to end whatever might exist already. Three negative, one cute logo....

Now, I don't exactly get where this was automatic on anything, minus that it took my VMWare drive and created a EXT3 partition for my main, created a small boot partition and then a swap drive. But in my case, none got labeled, so I had to manually edit each and assign their relative usage. Big gets "/", little gets "/boot" and medium gets "Linux-swap". Arrrgggg....

So here you need to select/set up your boot loader. In my laptop it did see my Windows partition and add that, but it didn't see any of my other Linux distros. I did add them and used what it calls "default boot" for each, but that just added a chainloader line to grub. Um, that really doesn't cut the mustard folks, so only my windows partition worked. Now, most newbies only will have the one probably, so this isn't a killer, but for anyone with a debian Linux distro, this means your system will have to be reconfigured after you get into this one. Minus four, and I am really starting to hate that logo.

So now on to network, where my options are to do DHCP (which 99% of you will need) or Static IP. You can edit the configuration of your NIC, but not many will need to do that. However, this did not see my wireless or make any attempt at configuring. Minus 5. Logo sucks.

Ok, I know where I live on the pretty map....make sure you select UTC if your machine is set that way.

Pretty basic here, root password. But wait, the dialog on the left says that "once the installation is completed, create a non-root account for my general use...are you kidding me? I will need to create my user account after I log in as root? Um, did these guys miss the class on Linux Security 101? That means unless you directly take them to this, the likelihood of someone creating a separate user account is about a snowball's chance in Miami. Minus 6.

That is it folks. No place to select what packages, or system type. Now, for a newbie this might not be so bad if they have never install Linux before. But, what is the goal of this install? No user account? Didn't find my wireless card? Cannot select any package type for desktop or laptop? Compared to other products similar in class, mainly Linspire and Xandros, this install really is overly basic and extremely dangerous. This is my first 2 Pennie install, in that it doesn't do what it needs to do and can do too many bad, bad things. Some people may like it, but for me this doesn't do what it needs to do, nor what it should do, or instruct people on what it could be doing along the way. But they do have pretty screens to watch while it installs.

Based on how many packages need to be installed? Don't they know, they restricted me from selecting any....

We will learn that this is very misleading once we launch the program. Seems you get a 20% ride on the free bus, and if you want any packages you need to pony up $40.

Ok, so I am not pleased with what I have seen so far, but things can only get better, right? I am afraid I won't ever know. Why? Read on....

Starting (

So there are about 500 distros out on Some charge a fee like Linspire, Xandros, Novell, Redhat, etc...but even those have demos that allow you to install for a short period of time, say 30-60 days. This one is supposed to be the same. It states that you can boot for 30 cycles, which is odd because if one never reboots, they get the system forever. Free Beer, right? Wrong.

The look and feel is very similar to Xandros for me, however they are using Gnome and not KDE. On their website they state...
"Forget about KDE. KDE is for hackers and that is why it sucks in end-user oriented distribution.We are not supporting it in any way. You can install it from Fedora repositories and use it on your own risk."

Hmmm, ok. Guess we see how they feel.

When I clicked on the Start button and then selected Office, I was surprised to only see Dia there. There is no Openoffice as claimed by the website and then even in the install pretty pictures. Where is it I wonder. Well, it isn't there. Period. It didn't get installed. So I then go to the control panel to install it.

When you click on the pretty Application icon (this is very well laid out, but honestly I am not going to make a big deal out of that) you get the option for Install or Update.

Um, not to be picky, but you cannot select Next. So party is over folks. Sure, I am more than positive I could take the time and download RPMs and install them manually, but obviously they don't want me to have a fully functional machine until I cough up the money. Now, I realize that people want to earn a living. But if you want to compete in Linux offerings one has to give away Free as in Gratis, not Free as in Beer. Sure, keep your 30 boots for the trial version, but let me be fully functional without having to hack my own Linux system. What is the point then, I am worse off than I am with Windows.

I can honestly say this is the most disappointed I have been with a distro for a long time. You may love it. It might jump right out and get you to pay the $40 and use this. But there are so many better options out there where I could give $40 to any distro and know that my contribution is for something I like, rather than something I might like.

Bonus Stuff ()

Um never got anything bonus minus the loss of a $0.50 blank CD, an hour downloading the distro (use torrent or you will wait until the Soviet Union comes back to power). Sure it looks like windows XP. I hate windows XP. I am the guy that makes my XP on my work laptop look like Windows 2000.

Overall ( )

Well folks, if you want to give this a shot, be my guest. If you speak Russian, you got a great package to play with. But in my opinion if you want to spend $40 for an OS, this is not the one to invest in. Xandros offers so much more, so does Linspire. What they are trying to do I am not sure. Why there is so much activity on Distrowatch for this, I really don't know. I do know that the hype is not worth my time, nor will this be spending any more time on my hard drive. Anyone want to buy my CD? Click on about 4 of my adds, do some searches and follow threws and email me and I will send it to you =)


KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

No comments: