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Xandros Propels Desktop Linux

One for Many

Both RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) and Debian packages can be installed with the click of a button and the "switch user" feature lets you change users without logging the first user off, leaving the original user's applications and desktop running while another user logs in and does his or her thing.

• Includes CodeWeaver plug-ins.
• Based on the Debian distribution and LSB-compliant.
• Installation is clean and tight and performance is snappy.
• No compiling kernel-level modules on this distribution.

• Application integration not tightly coupled.

Although Ximian's messaging client, Evolution, is not installed by default, both it and KDE Mail can be added free via Xandros Networks, a Web-based software-management application. Xandros can co-exist with Windows or replace your existing Windows or Linux installation. I chose to go with the latter option. Xandros offers fewer customization options than other Linux distros, simplifying the installation. The "first-time" wizard set up my printers and other peripherals. And after the configuration of my wireless card, made effortless by the Xandros Control Center, I hooked up a remote printer hosted on a Windows machine.

With Xandros' Network Neighborhood-like functionality, you can join a Windows domain or workgroup. Moving around in the file manager will be a breeze for Windows users: The interface is virtually identical--only the icons differ.

The CrossOver applications included for binary compatibility with some Windows-based apps are a boon. I installed Office 2000 (Office XP is not supported) and wrote half this article in Word and completed it in StarOffice 6.0. OpenOffice is included and Star-Office is an affordable alternative.

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