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Xandros: An Excellent Desktop Replacement

Xandros: An Excellent Desktop Replacement

Like many geeks, I find myself as the default support person for my family's computers.

How this came to be is a mystery since I rarely, if ever, run any of the same programs as the rest of my family. Months ago I spent the better part of two evenings removing adware, spyware, malware, worms, and viruses from my parents' computer which was running Microsoft Windows XP Professional. During the course of this first infection I removed McAfee firewalling and other bits (which obviously didn't prevent the problem) and I purchased Norton Antivirus and firewall for the computer.

Soon after repairing the operating system, I was again informed that the computer was "acting up" and displaying the same symptoms as before. With some level of frustration I again set about repairing the computer. However, this time it was going to be different. It became clear after this second infection that the root cause of the problem wasn't the user but rather the operating system itself. However, this time I wasn't simply going to clean Windows again only to have it become infected in another week.

I confirmed the new operating system approach with my parents who made it clear that they didn't care what the interface looked like as long as the computer worked for their needs. I then set out on an adventure to find an appropriate operating system to fulfill this need.

The criteria were simple: Find an OS that has adequate security protections such as separation of user versus system processes, a real firewall, and some level of stability. With those criteria, it was obvious that Microsoft Windows was not an option. Even if there was some level of stability with Windows XP, the security criteria of separation between user and system is not met, nor is there an adequate firewall. Although Windows XP Service Pack 2 does include an improved firewall, the firewall can be disabled too easily thus making it completely useless.

I looked at a few different Linux-based desktop-oriented operating systems and finally settled on Xandros. Xandros is based on Debian Linux which made it a logical choice for someone who runs Debian already. Since Xandros is Debian-based I knew that I would be intimately familiar with the underlying architecture and software such as apt. This feature also enables the rich set of software available with Debian to be installed easily and seamlessly in Xandros.

Looking at Xandros

For this computer I used the free (as in cost) version of Xandros available as a BitTorrent download. This version of Xandros, called Open Circulation Edition, includes everything that my parents need to use their computer including the Opera Web browser and OpenOffice. Other versions of Xandros include things like CrossOver Office, additional Windows networking components, and other items important for a power-user or business desktop. Xandros also provides many interface improvements and tools to make desktop management easy.

Installation was very easy. Xandros claims a 4-step installation, though truthfully I wasn't counting. I took the 'Custom' route to installation, so I think there were a couple additional steps involved. Installation was completely painless, which is amazing considering the number of steps involved to install any operating system along with the complexity of the task. Whatever they're paid, the software engineers behind the Xandros installer are worth more.

Once installed and booted for the first time, a wizard runs to configure some of the basics of the computer. This wizard enables each individual user to configure things like mouse orientation, printers, desktop preferences, and more. Connecting the computer to my LAN was trivial, it just worked. However, my parents use a modem to connect to the Internet since there are no good broadband providers in the area. Getting the computer to connect to the Internet was a little trickier but only because the modem in their computer is a Broadcom software-based modem. Some "Winmodems", as they are frequently called, are supported in Xandros, but it just happened that I had one that wasn't. As soon as I put a nice hardware-based USR modem into the computer connecting to the Internet was easy.

I was apprehensive with the task of getting the HP 932C printer working with Xandros. This apprehension was completely unfounded. Xandros automatically identified the printer and had drivers for it. Though the printer was identified as an HP 930C I was still impressed and changed it to the correct model by simply selecting it from the menu. The printer was then automatically configured as default for all users that I had setup on the computer. I've had problems setting up printers with both Windows and Linux in the past. I found the process of setting up the printer to be completely without challenge. It just worked. That phrase is quickly becoming a theme for my experience with Xandros.

Based on the amount of positive feedback I've heard on Opera (I used an early version many years ago), I'm sure it's a great browser. However, my preference is for Mozilla Firefox. Xandros does include the entire Mozilla suite in the personal and business versions of the desktop. Since I'm running the Open Circulation Edition I set out to download and install Firefox myself. I was surprised to see that Xandros didn't have an apt-get'able version of Firefox available but downloading it from Mozilla.org is trivial anyway. I've setup Firefox more than a few times so I wasn't expecting any surprises here nor did I receive any. Firefox worked seamlessly in Xandros as I would've expected.

Installation of a firewall was next on the agenda. Yes, I could've thrown together any iptables script but I was curious about the typical Xandros solution. A search of the Xandros support forums (which are excellent) revealed that a program called Firestarter was a common choice. Installation of Firestarter was a matter of typing 'apt-get install firestarter'. Firestarter provides a GUI interface to creating an iptables ruleset. While it won't provide as advanced of a setup as I could get by rolling my own script, the firewall will work perfectly for a desktop computer. With the firewall enabled, an nmap run against the computer reveals no open TCP ports.

Looking back at the entire process, from the computer's initial infections to the successful deployment of Xandros, the only thing I should've done was install Xandros right away after the first encounter with Windows malware. Everyone's lives would've been easier had I done the obvious and treated the cause of the problem (Microsoft Windows) rather than the symptoms (the malware). Anyone plagued by spyware, adware, malware, viruses, worms or otherwise should take a serious look at Xandros. My mistake was to treat the symptoms rather than treating the root cause when I fixed their computer the first time. And yes, my parents are using the computer and couldn't be happier with it.

Looking Closer at Xandros

Xandros offers numerous editions of their desktop software, each aimed at a different user base. From the free download edition, multiple personal editions, and software aimed at business, there are ample choices to match your situation. The business edition includes authentication to Windows Active Directory networks for legacy support. Xandros' web site includes a comparison matrix of the four editions. Xandros support options are numerous as well, with varying levels of support for installation and post-installation tasks.

It's also possible to install Xandros onto an existing Windows computer and dual-boot, just in case you're not ready to take the huge leap. Using one of the Deluxe editions of Xandros gives the user CrossOver Office and plugin capabilities. This means that you can run Microsoft Office and some Windows plugins for web browsing as well. There are tons of games available in Xandros (and with Debian too), though many of the most popular games run only on Windows (though Doom III has been released for Linux). Soon your only use of Microsoft Windows could be as a gaming platform.

Based on this experience with Xandros I installed the Deluxe Edition of Xandros, replacing a pre-installed Windows XP laptop. Xandros detected the hardware flawlessly which is no small feat on a laptop computer. I've since tested various Windows software including Quicken and found that they work perfectly in Xandros. With the stability, security, and flexibility provided by Xandros there's no reason to run anything else.

Pros: (Too numerous to mention but I'll try)

  • Easy installation and cooperation with Windows for dual-boot, if necessary.
  • Easy-to-use desktop interface. Users shouldn't have to spend much time configuring their computer.
  • Good selection of applications included such as Opera (or Mozilla), OpenOffice, instant messaging, and more.
  • Compatibility. CodeWeavers CrossOver is a great addition and enables many Windows-only applications to run successfully if there's no Linux counterpart.
  •  Configurability. Users can, if they so choose, configure things just how they want them.
  •  Stability and standards. It's based on Linux. It's based on Debian.
  •  Security. Real separation of user to system functions and a real firewall.

Cons:

  • Though I've not encountered them, I'm guessing that there are some Windows programs that won't run in CrossOver or other emulators, including games.
  •  Some Winmodems won't run, or won't run without a fight, in Xandros. 

More Stories By Steve Suehring

Steve Suehring is a technology architect and engineer with a solid background in many areas of computing encompassing both open and closed source systems, he has worked with a variety of companies from small to large, including new and old economy, to help them integrate systems and provide the best use of available technologies. He has also taken a hands-on approach with many projects and frequently leads teams of engineers and developers, and has written magazine articles as well as a book on the MySQL database server. He has also performed technical editing on a number of other titles.

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Most Recent Comments
Chris 07/14/08 03:54:37 PM EDT

I have had issues installing Xandros 4 on several PC's. My Dell office pc SX 270 went almost perfect. One of my home boxes at the beginning of the installation it said that no hard disk were detected - funny Fedora 9 and Vista worked fine. On my 64 bit Vista PC it crased right away guess due to 64 bit. So I formatted my Fedora box and loaded Xandros on it. I am quite impress with it overall, but the killing points is that I cannot find good instructions for setting up my Nividia card. Also the movie player that comes with it plays copys of a DVD but not the original due to encryption. Email me if you know an answer to the se questions. My graphic card is a geforce 8400GS. Email = [email protected].

Thanks for letting me share.

Iain Strange 12/02/04 10:11:49 PM EST

Hi Tracy,
Your granny could probably run Xandros - its really that easy. I do use ZoneAlarm but I am not under the false impression that it protects against spyware. Zone Labs have a seperate utility for pest control that you may want to look at. These pests if they get into your machine can still call out through a software firewall like zonealarm - they do this by linking to a program on your computer that you have set as trusted - like Internet Explorer. Free software like Adaware and SpyBot WILL protect you if run regularly. Let me know how your granny gets on :-)

Iain.

Tracy F 12/02/04 07:42:01 PM EST

lain-

I run Linux & MS- as dual/triple boots generally.

For a MS firewall to detect outgoing prob's- use Zonealarm.

RE: ease of use & Linux. Alway relative. As in, I have no relatives who could run Linux- lol. Kidding.

The only time it gets hairy is when they want to buy software that they see or are told about & you have to say "no, you can't use that". If the people testing out Linux right now are the typical email/ebay/net surfing junkies- Linux is it.

As you say- at least until the script kiddies decide to open fire on Linux....

Tracy ;^)

Iain Strange 12/02/04 06:38:02 PM EST

We all have our likes and dislikes, and sometimes we blame the wrong thing for creating our woe's. I have run MS Windows 2000 for some time now - and it has bugs, annoying ones that cause you to loose work. If you spend 4 hours working on a document, only to lose a portion of it because windows reports that it cannot access memory at location xxxxx, and that happens fairly frequently then you cannot really be blamed for developing a dislike for windows. Microsoft know about the problem its documented in their database (along with many others) but the only fix they give for it, is for their own graphics editor. Windows XP has the same bug but it occurs less often. Because of this I took to running Gimp on Linux first with slackware, then with SUSE 8 - and recently SUSE 9.1. All of these Linux Distros were difficult to set up properly, none of them worked seamlessly with Microsoft Networks. But they all ran Gimp and didnt crash with memory problems so I continued to use them. Now they are all in the trash can, I have installed Xandros the free download version. It installed easily, recognised all my hardware, set up the microsoft network, setup internet, all I really had to do was tell it my name, password, and what country I came from. I can access Xp and 98 computers across the local network with no problems, I have never in my life had an easier Linux install. I dont have a printer on the Xandros machine, so I thought I would try using the HP Deskjet 950c connected to my XP computer, using the control center I selected peripheral devices, Printers, pressed Add and answered the question - in a few minutes my printer was working across the network. So I'm with Steve on this - Xandros is easy to install, very easy. It works seamlessly with the windows network, and will be very familiar to anyone who has previously worked with Windows.

On the subject of spyware and malware - an antivirus program is unlikely to help, these programs are usually installed from the browser, or by the user themselves installing free programs that contain these pests. Linux is just as vunerable to them as Windows, but as yet linux has not been targeted by the pest generators. The Mozilla based browser firefox has some builtin protection against them, prevention for popups and tracking cookes is built in. So on the whole Steve is correct - the Xandros system he setup for his parents probably is more secure and stable than the old Windows XP version, however that may change if Linux gains in popularity. The function of pestware is to send out information from your computer to the pestware creator, firewalls prevent attacks coming in - they do nothing about stuff going out. There is no real defence against this other than preventing them being installed in the first place, Xandros has the Xandros network to download approved programs from - if you stick to this, and use a browser with pest protection builtin (such as firefox) then you should be fairly safe. So again I'm with Steve on this.

If you are running windows and think you have pestware problems try running adaware - a free version is available for download from http://www.ada-ware.com - spybot is another option. a search on google for pestware will give you a list.

Iain.

fred nerk 11/28/04 06:34:48 AM EST

Xandros is excellent, but how do I get my Mitsubishi DiamondView 648u USB scanner to work?

Del 11/12/04 09:00:23 PM EST

I have installed Xandros, everything went OK. I like it a lot but then again I have a windows XP Pro machine and I like that a lot aswell! I don't have problems with virus's and trojans on XP because I run it behind a Linux firewall, I have AVG anti-virus installed (the Free edition) SpyBot and the final piece of the jigsaw a program called IE privacy keeper. As a PC tech 98% of the trojans, adware etc I find are stored in the internet temporary files and IE privacy Keeper deletes these every time you close Internet Explorer, since I installed these programs I haven't had a problem with adware or trojans. All the programs I have mentioned are free to download and use for personal use. If you rely on XP itself to be secure then your heading for trouble. As for Linux, it rules in the server world but has a lot to do to crack the desktop world, but Xandros is a step in the right direction
Del

Ian Caldwell 11/03/04 04:27:32 AM EST

Edward I had an Nvidia card worked well with Xandros in one machine but played up in another,as it did with another disto with Nvidia support, beyond me to figure out why but a reinstall, especially if you have nothing critical in your Xandros home may fix the problem. it has fixed a couple of hardware issues I have had in the past.Reformat the partition completely first.

Edward 11/02/04 12:04:24 PM EST

Initially I was very excited with Xandros. I downloaded the free edition and it installed quickly and easily. I had a dual boot machine with WindowsXP in less than one half hour. The desktop was intuitive (to an XP user), I was able to read my NTFS partitions and more. However, my nVidia display is stretched in one dimension giving distorted images. Not acceptable since I wish to work in Gimp a lot. No amount of fussing with settings has fixed the problem even though my hardware is supposedly directly supported! Posts on the Xandros users forum has yielded no response nor has a post on the nVidia Linux forum. Three days of browsing forums and help files on the web have given me lots of entertainment but no solutions. And from what I see in the forums I am not alone. If Xandros/Linux is to become a real alternative to Windows it must support hardware better and be more accessable. Xandros is a good start but without support it is doomed to failure.

Disappointed.

Guess who 10/27/04 06:16:37 PM EDT

Whenever I read comments to an article or column, I'm amazed at people who take sides. This article relates one person's experience, it naturally contains the faults of the writer in it's content. That should be understood from the beginning.
I believe the true focus of the article to be on how easy it was to install Xandros on many (not all machines) and how easy it was for former Windows users to migrate. Having migrated, and given the inherent differences in the OS's, a user is likely to see far fewer software attacks in the form of viruses, malware, spyware, etc. Notice I said FEWER. and that the configuration of things (peripherials and the like) is GUI based on a Linux 'engine'. One of the things that scares people the most about going to Linux is the perception that you have to learn a whole new way to do things, and you'd be going back to the days of having to know what to type on a command line rather than click on a mouse.
What's also interesting is that BOTH OS communities, Linux and Windows have to adapt to doing some things in a new and slightly different way, and that each needs to embrace the change and not fight it. Windows users need to commit to possibly learning more about the inner workings of the Linux OS than they currently know about Windows. And Linux users need to embrace the use of a GUI as a facilitator and tool, and not as a sign that the user's intelligence level is lacking.
I think I heard this once....
"Why can't we all just get along."

Guest 10/26/04 01:54:45 PM EDT

The most sane review I have read.

Jack K 10/26/04 11:39:57 AM EDT

Hi everyone. I'm a security consultant and I have to say that I'm with Luke on this one. I think any reasonable person realises that every operating system has it's strengths/weaknesses. The implication in this article is that by simply moving to Xandros your security concerns are behind you. An extremely dangerous and short-sighted attitude. In fact there seems to be no concern of Linux threats such as virus/worm/rootkits etc. From the article, you get the impression that once the Xandros firewall is enabled, you have no security worries any longer. (btw, Luke's point about nmap is v. good)

I would not say that the writer is biased, but he certainly appears uninformed of the threats that exist in the wild.

Jack K 10/26/04 11:38:10 AM EDT

Hi everyone. I'm a security consultant and I have to say that I'm with Luke on this one. I think any reasonable person realises that every operating system has it's strengths/weaknesses. The implication in this article is that by simply moving to Xandros your security concerns are behind you. An extremely dangerous and short-sighted attitude. In fact there seems to be no concern of Linux threats such as virus/worm/rootkits etc. From the article, you get the impression that once the Xandros firewall is enabled, you have no security worries any longer. (btw, Luke's point about nmap is v. good)

I would not say that the writer is biased, but he certainly appears uninformed of the threats that exist in the wild.

Tod Clarke 10/25/04 10:52:32 PM EDT

I am so frustrated with XP that I have been persuaded to look at Linux as an alternative. one major problem is my work site is a Web based program , that uses Explorer 5.5 and up. I tried to open the site on my brother-in laws Linux based laptop and it would not work. The error message said I needed to have Win XP Explorer >5.2

Bob 10/24/04 05:57:59 PM EDT

I tried RedHat Linux 9 Personal (not Fedora), and Suse Professional 9.1 before trying Xandros Deluxe 2.5. I'm a new Linux user, and Xandros is - by far - the easiest to setup and begin using right away for a new user. Unlike the other two, ALL of my hardware was detected, I can access my other Windows computers on my network. I can navigate the file system with ease, and do just about everything that my Windows PC's can do. Performance is surprisingly good on an older 800 Mhz Duron with 256 MB of RAM and a 20 GB hard drive using an older ATi graphics card (Rage XL chipset.) It would really shine on newer, faster machines.

I'm not against using a command line, but I'd rather not have to scratch my head to figure out how to get basic stuff to work right away. This is what makes Xandros stand out from the rest.

There is only a couple of mild problems to correct (can't print to my HP printer on my Windows network, and some web pages don't pop up), but other than that, all is well so far.

This is the distro to use for a Windows user to gradually move to Linux. Do what is comfortable and clear to you now, and still remain productive. Later - if you want - learn the command line and Linux in-depth at your own pace.

As one user above said - this is the one to watch. Version 3.0 or 3.5 should be a real force in the marketplace.

Tracy Fortune 10/22/04 04:17:17 PM EDT

I just signed on to beta Cedega- this is the Linux project which allows the running of MS apps on the Linux platform.

If this goes through- even with the occasional 'burp" I will drop MS- for good.

T

Luke J 10/22/04 04:04:50 PM EDT

Tracy,
I know what you mean--I also have a dual-boot laptop (RedHat & XP) only because there are some things I can only due in Windows, thanks to my organization´s central computing office, but that is another story...
I wanted to point out that "Luke" != "Luke J"
Luke J

Tracy Fortune 10/22/04 03:36:54 PM EDT

Hi to Luke-

I suppose we all have our biases, correct?

I do side work teaching Windows & anything else the local population requests of me. I have an affinity for PC's & all that encompasses.

I have to tell you that viri & spyware within the MS operating systems are really a huge issue with every sngle person who calls. These folks, decidedly non-geek, have an extremely hard time with their antivirus & spyware programs. They would rather stop using it than try to wade through all of the problems. Not good for PC/tech/software sales.

As a test, I installed Xandros on two PC's where the people had previously been running 98 or 98SE. It installed fine & the people had no issue running it. For their everyday needs, it works & they love it.

Now, as with anything, it's all subjective. These people do no gaming or video editing, etc...just basic PC work & web access. However, it's quite telling that I didn't need to schedule a few hours of lessons to inform them of all the intracasies of their antivirus & spyware programs & what to do when the programs won't irradicate the trouble file?

I have all of my own PC's dual-booted w/Linux & MS out of necessity. If it weren't for my job- it would be 100% Linux.

Tracy

PS- I first learned with MS in 1999- & found it unacceptable very quickly. It's a matter of principle, I suppose- again- we all are different with different ideas & needs.

Luke 10/22/04 01:49:49 PM EDT

First of all, I agree that Xandros is a pretty good distro especially for those who wish to migrate from Windows.

However, I have some huge problems with the completely biased anti-XP attitude demonstrated by the writer.

Some statements that I think are questionable: Repaired XP only to be acting up again. the repair involved removing spyware, malware, worms, etc.

What did the repair entail? Running an anti-virus? Or anti-trojan? Obviously the self-proclaimed geek failed to properly remove the problem in the first place but it is easier to blame the OS than to own up to being technically inept. It is also interesting that the computer was infected with everything under the sun. What the heck are his parents doing?

Also he was looking for something with a level of stability, which according to him excludes XP. Nothing against Xandros but going to a distro that he never used before for stability is a little weird, I would think.

Also, claiming that the XP firewall is 'disabled to easily' making it useless is total nonsense and reinforces the writer's total bias. How is it disabled to easily? By clicking on the icon and acknowledging all the warning messages?

In contrast he states how easy it is to configure the GUI based Xandros firewall and how it must be good because he ran NMAP which showed no open ports. If that is the criteria for a good personal firewall, then the XP (without SP2) built-in firewall passes the test.

A poorly written article by someone with an axe to grind, that's all this is.

Tracy 10/22/04 10:22:19 AM EDT

Luke J-

Wow! That is really weird! To not have it load on so many PC's? I wonder if the disks are bad?

I've put it on all of mine, as a dual-boot, & never had so much as a "burp". Even installed flawlessly to a notebook.

That's really lousy, though, that you never received any sort of reply to your emailing them- that doesn't sound good for their support at all.

It will really be a shame if they finally get a decent op. sys. & then fall down on service & support...

T

Luke J 10/22/04 09:03:44 AM EDT

Wow, I guess I'm the only person who has had endless problems installing Xandros. My organization wanted to find a user-friendly distro to 'win over' Windows users, and it looked like Xandros fit the bill, so I went ahead and ordered a copy of v2 Business edition.

Unfortunately, none of the various installation options worked on our hardware--both old (HP 550) and new (HP d530C P4 w/ 80GB HD, 512Meg processor, etc...). The icing on the cake came when I tried to get help from customer support--only available via email?

I hope their recent popularity will at least enable them to get a phone.

I never got resolution on this, never heard back from support after the first few emails, have never been able to install the OS.

David Paules 10/20/04 04:30:18 PM EDT

While I don't want to sound like the typical fanatic, if you wanted a system that was stable, user-friendly, secure, and capable of running various windows programs, I wonder why you chose the route of evaluating Linux and it's various desktop managers vs. evaluating your parents' reaction to a mature desktop from Apple computer. Virtual PC allows your parents to run most windows software (except performance hungry games). They don't even need to make concessions when it comes to Microsoft Office.

Ian 10/19/04 06:47:17 AM EDT

Luckily in Australia one of the PC mags had Xandros 2nd Edition Standard as a cover CD, I had used Corel Linux on which it is based for a year or two then a copy of Xandros 1st Edition, it has long been my main OS mainly so I don't have to worry about viruses, spyware , malware etc just get on with things.

The Xandros file manager is the best of breed as well.
Firefox and Thunderbird are easily installed.
Icons can easily be adde to the desktop for new programs.
Cd burning is a breeze.Concurrent users can switch without logging out, DVD movies can be played, Remote desktop sharing, windows networking just there, wireless networking ready to go.

Digital cameras , printers and nore and more scanners just are easily configured, no extra disks needed, the list goes on

Also PC is more responsive than with XP, more stable tham 98 or ME.

I have run 10 other liuxs ditros and always come back to Xandros.

I wouldn't know a command line from
a bar of soap you don't need to use apt, Xandros has "Xandros networks", the best front end software installer there is , just browse the Debian site and the type in what you want, bingo.
Its talk about 'apt" and command lines that put people of Xandros and Linux, some of the reviewers should forget their Geek backgrounds and try the GUI tools in Xandros (and other distros),most poeple stopped using DOS commands when Windows 3.1 made PC user friendly, all KDE and Gnome desktops in latest ditros have GUI tools that make command line unnecessary for most users.
Promote the new simplicity and you may get more converts.

I can't wait for Xandros 3 Standard Edition. Why would I wan't to install windows aps?

Dan Smith 10/18/04 02:03:30 PM EDT

I have been so excited by "finding" xandros (open circulation) that I soon decided to purchase v 2.5 and install on everything in my house. My "mule" for the original installation is a Celeron 633, given to me after having been found on the side of the road - left for dead. It has become my favorite in the house, although there are a couple of windows P4 systems.

However, where I have seemingly failed is that I can't seem to overcome certain problems which I don't feel would endear the general public and which make me feel that abandoning windows right now may be premature. Primarily, after reading the article, I tried installing Firefox browser. I get the Transfers window and the expanded, uncompressed file information, but for the life of me I don't see the way to getting common downloads to simply open up as they easily do in XP.

Nonetheless, Xandros needs the support of every frustrated XP, or any windows, user out there. Until something better comes along, Xandros seems unsurpassed.

Michael Kelly 10/16/04 12:46:02 PM EDT

Wow Steve, I am the default computer "geek" in our family and I can't count the number of hours I had to give up in my life to keep a MS$ system functioning properly. My mother-in-law's solution to any issue on her computer is to "click" the crap out of everything. Of course this usually has crippling effects - broken links, viruses, trojan horses, add ware, etc.

I use Xandros and know that it would be the solution to all my problems. My mother-in-law does not do anything fancy with her computer so OO and Mozilla would be fine. Trouble is she is scared of the linux world.

And so I keep working on her. My strategy? I directed her to your article. Wish me luck.

Michael

jagin 10/16/04 12:03:12 PM EDT

I have also installed the free version of Xandros and I'm impress at the ease of use. I really enjoy the fact that it comes with flash, java and a few other browser add-ons installed. Last night I introduced Xandros to my husband, who hates fiddling with computers and demands that things work without confusion. I am happy to report that other than having his address book from Outlook install in it 's own folder in Mozilla, it was a pleasant experience! The only problem I ran into was installing a driver for his new Brother MFC-3840CN printer.

While I enjoy the diversity of Fedora the ease of use of Xandros is wonderful. I am going to start recommending Xandros to the many people I know that are tired of their current operating system crashing that are not into playing games.

Xandros just needs to add a firewall preinstalled for added security since I expect Linux to start getting hacked with it's increased popularity.

Tracy Fortune 10/12/04 10:09:33 PM EDT

Very easy to istall & slick distro. It's your grandma's distro- which isn't to say that it doesn't have all the same power "under the hood".

This is the one to watch. I like Knoppix, Mepis, PC Linux. They are also very close to getting to the common user. But as a complete system- only Xandros is this easy.

I do PC lessons/troubleshooting/etc for MS rigs- or I'd leave MS entirely for Linux. For the old folks that want a new PC- I always recommend Linux. They love it. Most don't even print! They just web surf & email their grandkids/kids- that's it.

Goooo Xandros!!!!

TF ;^)

Brendan 10/10/04 04:53:20 AM EDT

I consider myself an advanced to intermediate Linux user, so I resent it when people consider Xandros the 'noob distro' Although Xandros is easy to use, it is quite flexible, meaning even advanced users will be pleased using it.

Best of all, its fit and finish seems 'tighter' and 'more stable'... sure it comes with a limited number of apps, but most are available off XN and to be honest, the apps it comes with generally are the more polished programs on the net.

It boggles my mind why business seems to ignore Xandros.... I have never seen an awful review of it, yet no fortune 500 company uses it, despite all its features.... Its strange.

My advice to those who haven't tried it.... do so. It has been a joy to use and although I can do my own configuring, why should I have to? This is just easier both in the short run (installing) and the long run (Xandros Networks).

Buccaneer1 10/09/04 07:18:34 PM EDT

I couldn't agree more. I am hoping the next version will be better still than the 2.5 ( I meant a tad-bit faster but all in all, as you mention, I only use XP now for gaming. My next computer will not come loaded with any OS pre-install (No window-tax please).

Arthur Linton 10/09/04 05:53:50 AM EDT

You are right on point with your review of Xandros. I am getting away from XP. Xandros has answered the bell. Only positive things to say or "Dito Dito" to your article. One negative thus far -- I am using the dual boot because of my school age children. My system hang up once in a while -- when I reboot, everything works fine. I give Xandros thumbs up. Keep up the great work to the team behing Xandros. I am still looking for WordPerfect for Linux -- hope Corel puts it back on the market.

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