[conspire] Xandros Open Circulation Edition updated

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Feb 18 14:25:47 PST 2005

It looks like tomorrow's SVLUG installfest (north San Jose) will take
place after all:  Peter Neal has talked his co-worker Devin
into supervising it in Peter's absence.  I may or may not be present
but, if I _do_ come, I'll include the just-released Xandros Desktop OS
Open Circulation Edition 3.0.1 among the things I bring.

Xandros is one of those desktop-oriented, new-user-friendly Debian
derivatives you keep hearing about, taken to the nth degree.  (Xandros
was formed when Corel Corporation Limited got out of the Linux business,
and its Linux distro is what used to be called Corel Linux OS.)

We called the Corel-produced ancestral version CLOS, so I guess this one
will be "XDOS" for short.

Following Corel's lead, Xandros pursues a strategy of hitting different
pricepoints with different "editions", with the cheaper ones omitting 
or crippling some of the proprietary features in the flagship Deluxe
edition.  Below Deluxe is Standard -- and that's where the line ended
for a while, until finally Xandros issued an "Open Circulation Edition" 
(OCE) downloadable ISO that was lawful to redistribute if you didn't
charge money for so doing.  However, as XDOS progressed through version
2.x and up to the current 3.x series, OCE remained at the rather antique
2.0.1 level.

So, basically they just fixed that, but releasing the single-CD XDOS OCE
v. 3.0.1 image.  You can either pay Xandros a small fee to pull it down
via http, or can get it for free using BitTorrent.  I did the latter,
and burned a disk.

What's the deal, you ask?

Like CLOS, XDOS is a KDE-based distro for i386 with a dead-simple installer.  
I used to call CLOS the "Passover distribution" because it asked you
exactly four questions.  (If you don't get the joke, attend someone's seder 
this spring, or read http://www.holidays.net/passover/question.html .)

Proprietary stuff in Deluxe Edition include:

o  Crossover Office.  This WINE-derivative thing from CodeWeavers is a 
   big deal for some people, as it allows you to run almost any Win32 
   app seamlessly on Linux.  CodeWeavers tries to keep it several jumps
   ahead of the flagship LGPLed WINE codebase from winehq.com .

o  Xandros Networks.  It's just yet another KDE-type front-end to apt-get, 
   but includes entitlement to their updating service of the same name.

o  Xandros File Manager.  Again, this is a big thing if you're on a
   (e.g., corporate) Windows network, because it includes a proprietary
   enhancement to smbmount / smbfs / whatever that gives you _true_ 
   seamless network browsing, file drag'n'drop, network printer access,
   etc., exactly as if you were on a Win2k/XP box.

o  Xandros CD/DVD Writer.  This is their answer to KDE's K3B.

Basically, if you encounter a Linux skeptic who's wedded to his Windows
network and demands that this-and-that (non-game) Win32 app be able to
run, and demands that installation be as easy as he erroneously assumes
Windows installation to be, you point him at the nearest CompUSA to pick
up XDOS Deluxe Edition.  Cost is about $85.  Redistribution not allowed.

If memory serves, Standard Edition differs from that in omitting
Crossover Office (and costing a lot less).  OCE differs from _that_ only
in that Xandros File Manager is limited to low-speed burning (install
K3B if that bothers you), and there's no technical support.
Redistribution _is_ allowed (if there's no charge).

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