|FROM ||Michael Richardson
|SUBJECT ||RE: [hangout] My Linux Desktop Odyssey, 2004
|From owner-hangout-desteny-at-mrbrklyn.com Tue Mar 16 09:21:06 2004
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From: Michael Richardson
To: "'Inker, Evan'" ,
"'Ruben I Safir - Secretary NYLXS'"
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 09:24:00 -0500
Subject: RE: [hangout] My Linux Desktop Odyssey, 2004
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List: New Yorker GNU Linux Scene
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Not true he said "nearly"
"In The Business World An Executive Knows Something About Everything, A
Technician Knows Everything About Something, And the Switchboard Operator
Knows Everything." No one person is smarter than their team!
Contact information for Michael L. Richardson
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From: Inker, Evan [mailto:EInker-at-gam.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:36 AM
To: 'Ruben I Safir - Secretary NYLXS'
Subject: RE: [hangout] My Linux Desktop Odyssey, 2004
Alas My work is done
>> I nearly choked on my coffee.
Evan M. Inker (New York) x. 4615
From: Ruben I Safir - Secretary NYLXS [mailto:ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 11:30 PM
To: Inker, Evan; hangout-at-nylxs.com
Subject: Re: [hangout] My Linux Desktop Odyssey, 2004
There are so many distortions in this article that I can't even begin an
evaluation. You can start, however, with XP being 100% hardware compatable.
I nearly choked on my coffee. Check out comp.os.windows for a reality
On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 13:57:18 -0000, Inker, Evan wrote
> My Linux Desktop Odyssey, 2004
> by Michael Barnes
> Michael C. Barnes updates his in-depth review of Linux desktop
> operating systems. In this exclusive article at DesktopLinux.com,
> Barnes examines how far the Linux distributions have come over the
> past year, updating his popular first article and evaluating the
> current versions of leading Desktop Linux desktop options including
> Ark Linux, ELX Linux, Lycoris, MEPHIS, Vector Linux, Xandros, as well
> as Live CDs including Puppy Linux and Flonix ....... . .
> Last year, I wrote an article about the state of desktop operating
> systems where I compared Microsoft Windows and various Linux
> distributions. At that time, I concluded that if cost is not
> considered, Microsoft XP was the best desktop operating system for
> business. I also stated that most Linux desktops distributions were
> better than Windows 98. Windows 98's one advantage was that it worked
> on a 32 MB 133 Mhz computer with only 1 GB. At the time, I was unable
> to find any featured desktop Linux that would run on such a modest
> Vector Linux, was the first fully featured Linux that I tested that
> ran very well on modestly configured computers. Vector Linux is a
> full blown workhorse distribution. Vector Linux can be expanded to
> be a complete and fully featured desktop distribution.
> There are now several other modest distributions to choose from that
> can provide a complete environment on even smaller systems. Puppy
> Linux, is the definitive example of a small Linux desktop. Puppy
> Linux is available as a live CD (meaning the OS boots directly off
> of a CD) or in a version that can be copied onto a pen disk or other
> flash disk. Puppy is unique because all the applications and the OS
> load into RAM. This has the disadvantage of a longer boot time, but
> the advantage of blazing fast operation. It is simply amazing how
> much utility is available on Puppy.
> Flonix is another hyper-small Linux desktop distribution. Flonix is
> based on Damnsmall Linux that is based on Knoppix which is based on
> Debian. Knoppix is responsible for some of the best work done in
> Linux today. Many developers have used Knoppix as the foundation to
> distribute specialized Linux distributions. Flonix is such a distribution.
> Flonix is ultra small, but it has a lot of flare. Flonix is a
> complete desktop that is also small enough to fit in a pen drive or
> boot off a business card sized CD ROM. Flonix can download
> additional applications. This gives the user a great deal of control
> over the final product. Flonix also features a full multimedia
> playback system. Flonix is small enough to download even using a
> dial-up modem. Flonix supports wireless modems, and ADSL; has an
> integrated firewall; and a built-in utility for motion detection so
> you can easily set up a security system.
> Except for Vector Linux, these smaller distributions are not really
> replacements for Windows 98. They are however, ideal starting points
> to create a complete solution that runs out of Flash or a way to put a
> very old computer back to work.
> Taking on Microsoft Windows 98 on the desktop is one thing, but
> taking on Windows XP is quite another. Microsoft XP is a magnificent
> piece of work. We have all heard the arguments about viruses and the
> arguments about costs. Microsoft Windows XP will certainly run on
> 100% of the new computers on the market and it will support 100% of
> the new peripherals made for computers. No Linux distribution can
> make this promise.
> It is also possible to run most major Open Source applications on
> Microsoft Windows XP. Open Office, GIMP, Mozilla, and many other Open
> Source applications are available for Microsoft Windows XP. A very
> good starting place for Open Source software for Microsoft Windows is
> TheOpenCD. A copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and the
> software contained on TheOpenCD is another way inexpensively introduce
> Open Source.
> Linux does have advantages over Microsoft XP. Linux is more secure
> and it requires less resources than Microsoft XP. Linux
> distributions also allow for faster installs as most distributions
> install the applications as well as the operating system. The best
> of the Linux distributions preconfigure everything for the user.
> I own a laptop that is particularly Linux hostile. The laptop uses an
> integrated SiS chip and few Linux distributions want to support all
> the features in the chip. My desktop rejected almost all the Linux
> distributions I tried to install. Redhat based distributions turned
> the LCD screen white. I was able to complete the install using the
> command expert vga=0x310. Slackware distributions such as College
> Linux, Vector and Slax had no problem. Debian wouldn't install nor
> would SuSE. Knoppix based install required that I use a kernal without
> USB support.
> My desktop computer was far easier to support except for the VIA
> based audio chip which was hit and miss. Once again, Slackware based
> distributions were the most dependable. Knoppix based distributions
> worked except for sound.
> My laptop worked without a hitch with Lycoris Desktop LX/3, Vector
> Linux and ELX BizDesk 4.0, so long as I used the expert vga=0x310
> command to get things started. In the end, I decided to use ELX
> BizDesk 4.0. Xandros 2.0 installed on my desktop without any
> problems but would not install on my laptop.
> None of the distributions that I tested convinced me that if money
> were no object, desktop Linuxes can replace Micorsoft XP as the best
> operating system for the desktop. If money is a factor, there are
> some desktop operating systems that are standouts. It should not be
> surprising that the distributions I liked last year are the same
> distributions I like this year.
> Last year, I gave Lycoris a bad review. I thought that given it was a
> commercial product, it was not complete enough and I encountered
> problems installing it on several systems. In one case, the OS crashed
> because there was no floppy. I gave up on Lycoris but I did order the
> latest version version which is Update 3.0.
> Lycoris is a very good looking desktop. The look is strongly
> influenced by Microsoft XP but the execution is more refined. From a
> users point of view, Lycoris is probably one of the friendliest
> Linux distributions available. The new version installed without a
> hitch and did a very good job of recognizing hardware. It is very
> frustrating trying to match the right Linux distribution to a
> specific hardware configuration. I do not understand why some
> distributions such as Lyrocis or Slackware based distributions seem not
> to have any problems while other distributions won't work at all. Lycoris
> installed on every system I tested without a hitch. I do not know why
> Lycoris does not install Open Office by default. It is easy to
> install Open Office but it would be nice if it were included as part
> of the standard install.
> Slackware, Arch Linux, and distributions based on Slackware
> installed easily on my Linux hostile laptop. None of the Slackware
> based distributions installed as easily as Lycoris.
> After installing Lycoris, I was once against confronted with a Linux
> distribution which was much more sparse than what I would want.
> However, I had to consider for a moment that I am not the target user
> for Lycoris. Lycoris can be the foundation for building a very strong
> distribution. Lycoris teamed with Codeweavers' Crossover Office would
> be an excellent upgrade for users moving off of Windows 98. Adding
> Open Office to Lycoris increases its functionality quite a bit.
> If you are the type of person who is turned off that Lycoris is
> still based on KDE 2.2, then this is not your distribution. If you
> have no idea what KDE is, then Lycoris is probably the right
> distribution for you.
> I have changed my mind on Lycoris. Lycoris is probably a better
> candidate for "My First OS" than "My First Linux". Lycoris should be
> considered on its own rather than being compared to other Linux
> distributions. Lycoris is the the operating system I would put on a
> computer for my grandmother.
> There are two commercial distributions that stood out in my previous
> evaluation. These were Xandros and ELX. I believe that these remain
> the best two choices. Each is different and each is targeted to a
> different class of users.
> Xandros Desktop OS version 2 is a beautiful distribution. While
> Lycoris's look and feel is based on Microsoft XP, Xandros has its own
> look and I like the look better than Microsoft XP. Xandros' file
> manager remains the very best Linux file manager. I purchased the
> deluxe edition of Xandros. The deluxe edition includes Codeweavers'
> Crossover Office and Crossover Plugin. These two programs are well
> worth having. I purchased Crossover Office primarily to add Internet
> Explorer and Microsoft Media Player to my Linux distribution. I have
> tested all of the supported applications, that include Micosoft
> Office, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Visio. All of these applications
> and more work fine. Codeweavers' Crossover Office and Crossover Plugin
> are available separately and it will work on virtually any Linux
> Xandros has much going for it. The look of the install is the only
> Linux distribution, other than Lycoris, where I don't go directly to
> www.kde-look.org and start changing out the icons, desktop background
> and theme. Xandros look great just the way it is.
> The two complaints I have about Xandros is that its base install is
> a little light on applications. Xandros is far more heavy weight in
> applications than Lycoris, but there are many applications that I
> would expect that are not installed. However, if your main purpose
> is to buy a Linux that supports existing Microsoft applications,
> there is no better Linux distribution.
> The Linux distribution that I previously liked the best was ELX. ELX
> is an RPM based distribution that is fully compatible with Red Hat.
> ELX has two versions. They offer a heavy weight version called Power
> Desktop and a lightweight version called BizDesk. I prefer the Power
> Desktop, but most of ELX customers are businesses and prefer the
> lightweight BizDesk.
> Where Xandros has created a Linux that looks professional from the
> moment the disk starts to install, ELX has a far less polished look.
> ELX is very easy to install. During the install, I encountered my
> first problem. During the install, only a root user is installed. This
> was not the case with previous versions of ELX. While it is easy to
> add other users, it is far better to make this part of the install so
> that users do not make the mistake of operating under root.
> The second problem I found was that Java was not installed by
> default. I contacted ELX about this and they said that the Power
> Desktop version installs Java by default. I believe that all desktop
> Linux distributions should install Flash, Real Player, Java, and
> Samba as part of the default installation.
> The strength of ELX, other than not installing Java, is that once the
> installation is complete, there is very little else the user has to
> do. If ELX changes the install to add a user and adds Java, then I
> believe ELX BizDesk is the best desktop Linux for doing business.
> Note: ELX Linux wrote to me a letter telling me that they will
> change ELX Biz Desktop to add a user during the install and include
> Java in the base distribution. I can not confirm these changes at
> this time.
> The main reason why ELX BizDesk is so good is that it is more tightly
> integrated than any other Linux desktop distribution. Some
> distributions throw everything but the kitchen sink in and then it is
> a matter of the user to figure out where everything is. ELX organizes
> applications in what they call 'launchpads.' These launchpads group
> applications by function. As BizDesk is geared towards business, it
> has only two launchpads. One launchpad is a favorites launchpad where
> the users simply puts their favorite applications and the second is a
> control panel.
> ELX has implemented the Microsoft Windows "Mind Map" on their Linux
> Desktop. If a user wants to change the screen resolution, they right
> click on the desktop just as they would with Microsoft Windows. If the
> user wants to zip and e-mail a file, the user right clicks on that
> folder and the menu provides an option to zip and e-mail. For someone
> who is used to using Microsoft Windows, using ELX will be very easy.
> Another major strength for ELX is that it tightly integrates Webmin
> onto the desktop. This allows an administrator to access every
> desktop from anywhere on the network.
> Because ELX is strongly based on Red Hat, it is easy to migrate just
> about any application or driver onto ELX. I was able to support my
> wireless PCMCIA card. BizDesk is a very good starting point for
> someone wanting to deploy a customized Linux distribution.
> ELX does not include Codeweaver's Crossover Office or Crossover
> Plugin. It does come with an open source alternative called Wine
> Tools. Wine Tools is a front-end to Wine that makes it easy to
> install some existing Microsoft applications. I was able to easily
> install Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and Autocad 2000. For more information
> on how to install existing Microsoft applications on Linux, visit
> this link. You will find advice on how to install many Microsoft
> Windows Applications.
> Since my first article, Xandros, Lycoris and ELX have all gotten
> better. I still believe that Microsoft XP has the advantage, but
> that advantage does not take cost into consideration. Xandros and
> ELX both are better than Windows 98 and both provide support for
> many existing Microsoft Applications. I believe that ELX has the
> edge for installed applications and the completeness of its
> integration. Xandros is more polished looking and offers the
> advantage of including Codeweavers Crossover Plugin and Crossover Office.
> In addition to testing commercial distributions, I also tested free
> distributions. Many of the free distributions are surprisingly good.
> Among the very good distributions that are available for free, the
> best two I tested are MEPIS Linux and Ark Linux. Very close behind are
> PCLinuxOS and Alt Linux, both of these based on Mandrake.
> MEPIS Linux is based on Debian. MEPIS compares very well against
> Xandros. MEPIS is a live CD that has the option of installing onto the
> hard drive. MEPIS allows you to fully test out the system and then
> decide if you want to install it on your unit or not. Some Linux
> distributions cause me to panic because I am not sure that I am wiping
> out my other partitions or not. MEPIS is very kind and gentle and does
> a very good job making sure it doesn't wipe out your hard drive during
> the install.
> MEPIS Linux gives up nothing to its commercial counterparts. MEPIS
> is a free Linux that is equal to Xandros. MEPIS is superior to
> Lycoris. MEPIS installs more software than Xandros by default. I
> prefer the look of Xandros to MEPIS but a trip to KDE Look can
> easily fix that problem.
> MEPIS has a facility that allows you to synch data with your pen
> drive. This allows you to easily move data back and forth between
> computers. As MEPIS is a live CD, I strongly encourage everyone to
> try it out.
> MEPIS Linux installs with KDE as the standard desktop. However, users
> can choose ICEWM. I tested MEPIS Linux to see if I could get it to run
> in 64 MB with ICEWM. I got a message stating that 108 MB of RAM is
> The other standout free Linux distribution that impresses me is Ark
> Linux. Ark Linux compares very well with ELX. I believe that Ark Linux
> is based on Mandrake. Ark Linux's major weakness is an install that
> gives me three scary options of how to install. I believe that with
> the current installer, I would only install Ark Linux on a fresh drive
> or on a system where there is not important data. For my evaluation, I
> installed on a fresh hard disk.
> Ark Linux is one of the best looking Linux distributions. Ark Linux
> looks polished and is very complete. Ark Linux is aggressively
> developing and they warn that the distribution is still alpha quality.
> Ark Linux is clearly a winner and I am quite excited to seeing where
> this project goes.
> One more free Linux that I would like to recognize is Arch Linux , A
> live CD version of Arch Linux is available. It is called AMULG and
> can be downloaded at Arch Linux should not be confused with Ark
> Linux. Arch Linux worked very well on my Linux hostile laptop. Arch
> Linux is a lean Linux distribution based on Crux that allows the
> user to easily build their own system using a package management
> system called pacman.
> Ark Linux's developers state clearly that Ark Linux is still Alpha
> and that development is proceeding at a rapid pace. Even so, Ark
> Linux is one of the best desktop distributions available. One of the
> list of "things to do" is improving the installer. I can personally
> recommend Ark Linux without reservation for anyone installing on a
> new hard disk.
> In conclusion, Microsoft XP remains the best desktop operating
> system if price is not a factor. Every desktop I evaluated in this
> article is an upgrade from Windows 98. There are now Linux
> distributions that will run on older hardware supported by Windows
> 98, but not Microsoft Windows XP. Vector Linux is probably the best
> of these. Flonix is also an option.
> Xandros and ELX remain the best of the commercial desktop Linux
> distributions. I prefer ELX. This is not a quality judgment but one
> based on personal preference. ELX still has room for improvement. They
> need to polish up their look, add Java and add users other than root
> during the install. With these changes, I believe ELX will be the best
> commercial Linux Desktop.
> Finally, there are two very exciting free Linux distributions to
> consider. MEPIS Linux is the more polished of the two and it gives up
> nothing to any commercial Linux desktop. Ark Linux is amazingly good
> but is less mature than MEPIS Linux.
> nd the verdict is: If cost is not a concern, Linux is not ready to go
> head-to-head with Microsoft Windows XP. The best Linux distributions
> are better than Windows 98. Hardware and peripherals must be
> considered, but users resistance should not be a problem.
> Organizations can save substantial amounts of money moving to Linux
> and the new distributions will allow a migration to Linux with minimum
> impact on the organization.
> ELX Linux and Xandros remain my favorite commercial Linux
> distributions. I generally prefer the Power Desktop version of ELX
> Linux. I only reviewed the Biz Desktop version.
> MEPIS Linux and Ark Linux are two free Linux distributions that are
> among the best distributions for the desktop available. All of these
> distributions will work with 128 MB RAM. Other distributions, to
> include Flonix and Vector Linux will work with even less RAM.
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NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
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NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc
NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....
NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc