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Xandros 2.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 24020 11-23-2004
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
33% of reviewers $5.00 4.0

Description: Full featured easy install newbie friendly commercial distro.
Keywords: Full featured easy install newbie friendly distro

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Old 01-19-2004, 09:46 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 0.93 and 0.92, Vector sometimes
Posts: 825

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: $5.00 | Rating: 4

Pros: Easy install. Very slick and professional.
Cons: Couldn't detect a logitech usb mouse or set up my network.

I obtained this distro free from a UK Linux Magazine cover disk. I was looking forward to trying it. The installation procedure is very simple. I opted for expert installation on my 2nd machine - AMD XP1600, 2 x 80 gig hdds, CDwriter, DVD writer, Geforce graphics, D-link network card, on-board sound. I chose a full installation, and set up my lan card, root password, users etc. I use XOSL so I opted for Lilo in the root partition.

On reboot, while going through the KDE first time wizard, I was most distressed to find my mouse was dead. It is a Logitech optical usb. Every single linux distro I have installed on this very ordinary pc has found it. Nearly all even set up the scroll wheel. Xandros could not find it.

So, some editing of XF86Config-4 later, I decided to try the Xandros Networks application. No network found. I opened a Konqueror window - no network. Every single Linux distro I've installed - many - has set up my network. I checked and found no dhclient, the module for my network card was not running either.

It was at this point that I decided to abandon this distro. All my hardware was listed on their site as compatible, but I ran into 2 serious problems. Yes, I could and did rectify each. That isn't the point. It should just work, especially given the target audience.

Immediately after this debacle, I tried Knoppix 3.3 on the same machine. It worked flawlessly. I then tried the hd install. Again, not one single problem. I am submitting this review from that machine, running Knoppix from the hard drive. I can only say that such ordinary hardware should cause this sort of distro no problems at all. Until Xandros can iron out such problems, many potential Windows-Switchers will just fall at the first hurdle.

Update - I decided to have another go on an older machine - Celeron 600, 384meg PC100, 40gig drive, SB128, Geforce, Nsis Wireless Optical mouse, D-link network card and Samsung CDWriter.
I went through identical steps. Xandros recognised this rather unusual mouse, and set up my lan, just like it couldn't on my other machine. It also set up Lilo so that I could boot into Mandrake 9.2 that was already installed (nice touch - it actually labelled Mandrake correctly).

What is it like - it's OK. Very simplified and some elements are difficult for a Linux user. It isn't immediately obvious how to edit files on the root filesystem, for example. Xandros Networks is an Apt repository just for Xandros, and it works well even if the choices of packages are limited. Also, the Gimp is a whopping 27 meg download, because it needs lots of Gnome-specific stuff.

Conclusion - I'll be keeping Xandros for the time being to see if I get used to its interface. It certainly looks interesting, but my original reservations still apply.
Old 01-31-2004, 06:46 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6

Pros: Easy and Basic Install
Cons: Poor Expert Configuration, Poor package descriptions, Couldn't detect my Network

I obtained my free Deluxe version of Xandros from LinuxWorld Expo at the Xandros booth in NYC. I installed it on my Compaq Prosignia laptop and it installed with no problems, unlike version 1.0 which wouldn't even install on my desktop without freezing up or failing to boot after a full install.

Some positive aspects were that the Installation is very easy. It pretty much does everything for you and any average computer user can just click 'Next" all the way thru it and so on.

Being more of an advanced user, I find the expert of custom installation very poor. The partitioning tool just plain sucks from even using cfdisk in Slackware. Another thing I found awful was the packages and their descriptions, which weren't very detailed or even stated what the name of the package was on some.

It didn't detect my network during the install but after the first reboot, loaded the correct modules for it but still yet to detect or configure. I have a wireless NIC, the Netgear MA401 which is very common and works out of the box even with the harder to use distro's like Slackware. To get this card to work, I had to manually configure using ifconfig and so on which I know the average user would not have known.

I also find it very poor packaging or lack of choices during the installation. The only desktop is KDE. No Gnome or even any other choice for the dozens of desktops out there.

An all round distro I assume for newcomers. I did find the Codeweavers useful as I tested it by installing Office2000 which worked with no problems which can be a plus for those who don't yet want to make the full switch over to finding Linux alternative apps, etc.

Overall I would rate this as good, with the few hiccups I encountered as some might as well, they'd probably be using the support provided. Other than that, its definitely just a desktop type distro and nothing more.

Old 11-23-2004, 05:57 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Mageia , SME , IP Fire, LinuxMX
Posts: 630

Rep: Reputation: Reputation: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 2


Tried 1.1 went OK, friend gave me a copy of a boxed version to try.
Wanted to dual boot, it wiped my Win 98 and went straight over the top, even though I told it where to install and had a partition set aside. On reboot it overclocked my monitor which promptly shut down.
Rendering whole system unusable in Xandros.
Had to reinstall Win 98 and Then I went back to Mandrake. For an official out-of-the-box version I was pretty unimpressed with the hassle it caused. Shame really as I was impressed with 1.1 and crossover.


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