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A review of LindowsOS by Jonathan Scruggs.

Started by Stiffler, 2002-09-27T00:05:08-05:00 (Friday)

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Recently I recieved a copy of LindowsOS Sneak Peak 2.0, the latest release at the time of this writing. More info can be found at the LindowsOS site. I wanted to test for myself what Michael Robertson has been hyping about. The following views will be presented in an un biased way in the frame of a computer newbie. Please do not Flame for what I write.

Part 1: Installation.

When the the install first starts up, the following screen appears:
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows1.jpg[/img]

It looks like the usual Linux screen with a flashy background. However, the next screen to come up is not a typical Linux screen.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows2.jpg[/img]

For you Windows users, "Where are the boxes to enter the 25 character key?" Well, there is none. All that is required is to say I agree with the license to continue.
The next screen presents three options of install:
1) Take over an entire hard disk
2) Preview install for existing Microsoft users
3) Advanced install
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows3.jpg[/img]

Since I was installing this on a computer with no operating system, I chase the first option.
Then I was asked to enter a computer name and password.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows4.jpg[/img]

Next, it asks for a confirmation. Note: I blurred out the name I gave the machine. Just in case anyone is on the Bluff Hall network.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows5.jpg[/img]

Now, it will automatically setup partitions, format the partition, and transfers files without asking you what you want. It used Ext2 to format the partitions. What if I want XFS, Ext3, or ReisorFS? Also, I want to be able to pick and choose files to install. Those options are not under the Advanced options, but you can setup partitions, though.
After about 20 Minutes the installation is finished.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows7.jpg[/img]

Part 2: Booting the New OS
We booting, three choices are presented.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows8.jpg[/img]

I tried choice 3, and that took me to a Linux prompt, so I rebooted and chose the first option.
This is odd. There is no user name box. I though LindowsOS was supposed to support mutiple users. :-?
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows10.jpg[/img]

I logged in and to my suprise... What does the following screen resemble?
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows11.jpg[/img]

Does KDE ring a bell? Actually, I think I remember reading something about them using an existing Windows Manager and modifying it.

Part 3: The Desktop Enviroment
I do like the default theme that is used.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows12.jpg[/img]

There is something that puzzels me. In the file manager there's: C:, My Documents, and all the usual Linux directories, but there is one that is unexplainable. See if you can find it.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows13.jpg[/img]

Did you say, "There's a debian directory!"? I don't remember hearing anything about LindowsOS being based off debian. I wonder if that's how the "Clinck-n-Run" feature works!?! It being a modified apt-get!?! Hmmmm. If that's the case, then every app on the "Click-n-Run" should be compatible with Debian's apt-get.
One thing I will admitt is that I always had troubles trying to browse Windows Network shares graphically on Linux. I tried out their program labeled "Network File Shares", and browsed the "Workgroup" workgroup on the Bluff Hall network. To fully test this, I decided to connect into a Windows XP machine. This is what I got:
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows14.jpg[/img]

Since the guest account was activated, I was able to log on. I went to a folder on the computer to try to open a simple JPEG file.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows15.jpg[/img]

I chose Open, and viola, it opened.  :-)
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows16.jpg[/img]

Some of you might know her. She goes to this school. Well, at least she did.
I was curious as to what type and version LindowsOS had.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows17.jpg[/img]

Only three more pics to go, so hang in there.
Here is a screenshot of the "Click-n-Run" interface.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows19.jpg[/img]

It seems fairly straight forward and easy to use.
Next, I did a test on what Microsoft software I could install on LindowsOS. I tried Office XP, but I got an error that said that I needed Windows 9x/ME, NT, 2K, or XP to install Office XP. There might be ways to fool it, but I didn't go very deep into it. I did resaerch, and found on the LindowsOS website that Office 2000 is supposed to be fully supported. I put my Windows XP CD in the CD-ROm drive, and the autorun for it ran. I went to other option part, and selected to install Remote Desktop Client.
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows19.jpg[/img]

That was the only software titles I tried.
For all you Linux gurus out there:
[img align=left]http://caos.cs.siue.edu/Lindows/Lindows20.jpg[/img]

Ahhh, a command prompt, the perfect place to end

Inconclusion, LindowsOS is a nice, easy to use Linux distribution. Will it replace Windows as my desktop OS? Not at this time. Office XP support needs to be added in. I don't think that will be too hard. Proof: I noticed as I right clicked on an executable that in the "Open With" sub-menu there is a listing called "Wine". I believe that they just integrated a modified version of Wine into XFree. New versions of Wine come out monthly that support more Microsoft software. As I see it right now, LindowsOS is just a toy. For everyday, average users LindowsOS will work just fine, but if you need more advanced tools like VS.NET, then you will need a Windows OS to run them.
Retired webmaster of CAOS.


I did some research, and indeed LindowsOS is based off of Debian Linux. That means everything on the click-n-run website is most like a .deb file. They are just marketing it like it's the greatest invention in the world. I find it kewl that they are using .deb files, because that means SuSE v8 and above can install them too. That, also, means that the click-n-run website is not in a LindowsOS Propietory format.  :-)

Retired webmaster of CAOS.