View Full Version : Xandros OS

Terry Porritt
05-03-2004, 01:27 PM
For those that read PCW, in the current issue, Scott Bartley has a glowing account of the Xandros Linux OS. It sounded good so bought it from Aka Technology with excellent overnight delivery.
I installed it last night, more or less just letting it do its thing, and as Scott said it is a breeze, with internet up and running in no time.

A problem to solve is I'm using Netbeui to network and file share 5 computers, as I had problems in the past trying to get TCP/IP to file share between different flavours of Windows, 95/98/XP, so Xandros cant see the other computers at the moment.

In retrospect, I'll probably do another install and this time make some extra partitions that would be useful.

I'd say for someone wanting to seriously try Linux for the first time (thats me, apart from playing with Mandrake a bit) then this could be the way to go.

05-03-2004, 02:57 PM
You'll want too look into Samba then. Im not sure about how well it works over NetBUI, but getting file-sharing over TCP/IP is easy stuff ;-)

Good to hear about Xandros. Ive heard nothing but praises of it :-)


Terry Porritt
05-03-2004, 05:07 PM
Glad you think file sharing over TCP/IP is easy stuff Chill :), I cant get my win95 + 2xwin98se +XP to network over TCP/IP, only over Netbeui, I have to get the TCP/IP working in the windows network for Xandros to see it.
However I think there may be a Linux version of Netbeui which will merit searching for.

The install was on a clean hard drive plugged into my XP Athlon via a caddy instead of the XP drive.

It's early days yet, and a lot to learn.

Graham L
05-03-2004, 05:48 PM
MS came very late to TCP/IP (they were going to make the Internet obsolete by their own proprietary "much better" {because theirs} networks). They "improved" the BSD code, so it tooka while before they got it to work --- mostly. :D

But TCP/IP can be made to work in Windows --- I've even done it with W3.11 .

You need SAMBA for Windows-like file sharing ... there seems to be some work on a NETBEUI patch for SAMBA (at version 5 according to a quick look: "netbeui samba" to google). It seems to need to be applied to the sources, and then a compilation of SAMBA with an option set to include the capability.

Try adding the TCP/IP capability to each of the W machines in turn, rather than replacing the NETBEUI. That way Windows can talk to Windows using NETBVEUI, and TCP/IP to the real OS. :D

Murray P
05-03-2004, 07:10 PM
I'd be really interested to know how you get on Terry.

I've been thinking of swapping my business over to Linux but haven't had enough confidence with the other distro's I've played with to take the plunge (or the nouse, maybe someone would like a wee holliday in Lower Hutt ;) ).

Cheers Murray P

Terry Porritt
05-03-2004, 08:04 PM
Well, I tried Grahams suggestion of enabling TCP/IP on one win98 computer. As it was already there, all I had to do was in Bindings, to bind TCP/IP to Client For Microsoft Networks and to File and Printer Sharing.

Previously Client and File and Printer Sharing were only bound to Netbeui, and I also had Netbios not enabled over TCP/IP, so in effect my windows network had just Netbeui for sharing, and TCP/IP for internet, and these were independent of each other.

After the bindings modification Xandros could now see the win98 computer, but win98 couldnt see Xandros computer :)

Also in Xandros I could see the win98 C: folder on the other machine, but I couldnt open it, there was an error message that the path to the folder couldnt be found.

So it is/was getting there,

Then because I didnt really know what i was doing, it all turned to custard as I fiddled around, dont ask me what i did, but somehow the windows network vanished, and I could no longer see the win computer.

Wish there was a restore point or back up of somesort, maybe have to get another hard drive to back up to.

Somehow I dont think my version of Ghost from System works 2002 will recognise the ReiserFS file system that Xandros installs by default.

05-03-2004, 08:38 PM
> Then because I didnt really know what i was doing, it
> all turned to custard as I fiddled around, dont ask
> me what i did,
It is interesting to see that wise old blokes like Terry ( he of the cluttered playroom !!) get into snarlups like the rest of us.

Watch this space ....

05-03-2004, 09:03 PM
Hi Terry,

If you want to back-up an entire hard drive (and I do mean "entire" :D ) you can open a terminal window and dd the drive. This does a bit copy of the complete hard drive. From there it is then possible to b or gzip the file to make it smaller. :)

Not much help now though and it is probably better to learn how to walk before trying to run :)

As a matter of interest, had you enabled a share on the Win98 machine? Could possibly be why Xandros couldn't read the contents.

05-03-2004, 09:13 PM
Hi Murray,

There is a Linux Users Group that meets in Wellington monthly and a new group has started for us folks in the Valley. Check out the details at WLUG (http://wlug.naos.co.nz) for the next meetings.

Also there is a local linux "worker" who is always interested in new converts. He generally attends both LUG meetings and is the organiser of the Valley group.


Terry Porritt
05-03-2004, 10:14 PM
Thanks Gorela, Yes I had enabled sharing. A bit further forward now after a reinstall. Incidently the longest part of the install is going to Xandros Networks after the basic install to get the updates and install a new kernel version :) It really does install fast though.

Im getting there, occasionally it seems to work when I click on the "windows network", other times there is a message about not finding the path to the shared drive on the win computer.

It is probably finger trouble due to unfamiliarity.

Tony: I dont always say when I get into the clag :)

06-03-2004, 09:08 AM
Windows wont be seeing your Xandros Box because you're not running the Samba (SMB) server.

Have a look back through PressF1 for smb.conf, Ive posted several times a basic .conf file that'll get sharing started.

Then just start the smb server daemon and you should be away :-)


Terry Porritt
06-03-2004, 11:12 AM
Thanks Chill, but I think, no I'm sure, that Samba is part of the Xandros installation.

I have win98 seeing the computer with Xandros installed in a default "Workgroup", and Xandros can see the Windows Network workgroup to which I had given the name "local", it can see the Win98 computer I had named "terry3" and it can see the C drive on that computer as a folder.

Then I have difficulty opening that folder to see sub folders, sometimes it does open , other times its searching forever and a day, sometimes it opens and I can see all the folders on the Win C: drive without apparently doing anything :) ?:|

Associated with the win C drive is a cryptic Linux message in blue inviting me to 'Mount Network Share...', and if I click on that another window opens to do that task, whatever that means.

I will persevere, I'm sure it is just me, also the language of Linux is different, eg. I have no idea what Mount Network Share means.

Now another thing, the default browser is Mozilla, and thats ok, but the default Mozilla mail is horrible compared to the Foxmail I've been using.
Any suggestions for an alternative email client that lets you look at message headers on the ISP mail server and gives you the choice to download or delete?

John H
06-03-2004, 11:18 AM
>I've been thinking of swapping my business over to Linux but haven't had enough confidence with the other distro's I've played with to take the plunge (or the nouse, maybe someone would like a wee holliday in Lower Hutt ).

Hi Murray

An IT guy I know in Wellytown has been evaluating Xandros for a couple of weeks. I believe he was already sold on v1 and it is v2 he is evaluating and he is very impressed. He is a Linux convert (kind of like a born again non-smoker if you get my drift) and has been working on me to change over to Linux as well.

I am sure he would be willing to assist. The IT guy and I share a client (I don't provide IT services!!!, and I understand from the client that his charges are extremely reasonable, if you want to go down the commercial support track.

I am sure my client would give you a testimonial if you wanted to check him out - they have been using his services for some years and he has supplied a lot of their gear and software as well as sorting out their systems. He is designing a database for them at the moment that I persuaded them to develop, and it will run on a Linux server.

Let me know if you want his contact details and I can call you or give you an email address or something.

06-03-2004, 11:33 AM
Mount Network Share should be the same as Mapping a Network Drive. From what I can see anyway.

*waits for XandrOS trial to arrive*

Terry Porritt
06-03-2004, 08:19 PM
Well Murray, a bit more progress, not with networking to windows but with audio,
I can get streaming Real Audio with Real One Player , and also streaming audio from Live365 using the built-in XMMS player, great :)

Also trying KMail instead of Mozilla Mail, but there is still no facility to view and manage email on the ISP server.

On the networking front, still no further progress, just get as far as seeing the win 98 computer in the windows network, but cant reliably open its C drive or its folders.

Murray P
06-03-2004, 08:51 PM
Don't you be scaring me of know Terry ;)

Thanks Gorela & John. I marked the date of the next Hutt meeting and wouldn't mind talking to your acquaintence re Xandros; mm8**paradis-*net*nz

Thanks for your space TP, may all your fiddling be enjoyable and productive.

Cheers Murray P

Terry Porritt
06-03-2004, 09:02 PM
Well, a bit more scaring off :), there is no Linux support for my Logitech ClickSmart 420 webcam/digital camera that I can find. Logitech themselves only have software for Windows platforms.

Whilst there is a generic scanner program in Xandros my elderly Canon FB310 (for which only win95 drivers are available) is not detected.

However it is still early days.

07-03-2004, 08:12 AM
I gather they have done such a good job of making it like Windows that it is not a very secure system.

07-03-2004, 09:14 AM
> I gather they have done such a good job of making it
> like Windows that it is not a very secure system.


Interesting comment there. Ive been of the mind so far that it (Xandros Linux) tries to hide the fact that it _is_ linux, almost like its ashamed of the fact that Xandros is Linux.... ??


Jen C
07-03-2004, 11:27 AM
Xandros sounds like a lovely distro for first time (and even regular) Linux user who likes things to work out of the box (normally :p). Regarding the security of the system, I know Lindows has Root as the default user account without any prompts or encouragement to set up a general user account (similar to XP I guess with its default Admin account). The difference being, you can hose a Linux system in root without any warnings whereas Windows gives you warning message about the sensibility of your would-be action if you try to modify/delete system files.

Not having used Xandros, I cannot comment further on what default security settings are like.

>Ive been of the mind so far that it (Xandros Linux) tries to hide the fact that it _is_ linux, almost like its ashamed of the fact that Xandros is Linux.... ??

It is hiding its roots (so to speak) to lessen the freak-out value to the Window refugee's. Just covers them up with nice GUI's, but underneath does lurk a Linux system :D

I think distro's like Xandros are really good for Window users wanting to try something different (for whatever reason) as they are so user friendly. This encourages more people to try out Linux. Linux is making huge strides forward in the home desktop market :)

Dolby Digital
07-03-2004, 05:35 PM
Hi Terry,

Do you know what version of samba ships with the version of Xandros that have. I have starting using samba 3 (which I had to compile) and I find it works much better than the samba 2.2 I had previously. With one of my Win95 machines it would come up that the network was unavailable quite often. Samba 3 has proven to be much better.

I played with Xandros 1 for while. Nice distro, but I only had one cd and couldn't work out how to load gcc. Ended up going back to mandrake.

Dolby Digital
07-03-2004, 05:50 PM
I searched for drivers for my Artec USB scanner for linux... nothing found. Mandrake has a Scanner configuration in the Control Panel but do you think it could find my usb scanner... Windows 1 Linux 0

Terry Porritt
07-03-2004, 07:24 PM
Yes Dolby, Xandros has Samba 3. One the nice things about Xandros is you dont need to know beforehand any Unix command line commands.
I used to know a few from the days when the internet connection I used was DOS based, and for ftp'ing basic Unix commands were needed.

I think Jen C is right being Windows like (it is an option you can set by the way) makes it seem easier to start with.

During install user accounts/passwords and 'Administrator/Root' passwords have to be set, so you are not into root by default. If any changes need to be done from root, a password prompt window opens.

Dolby Digital
07-03-2004, 11:52 PM
>>Xandros has Samba 3
Oh, that won't fix it then... re your question about an email client. I suggest Ximian Evolution which looks like an Outlook clone. Xandros 1 didn't have it and then my hard disk spat the dummy, so I loaded Mandrake (which does include it).

08-03-2004, 12:17 AM
If you're a fan of Outlook Express, as opposed to Outlook, check out MozillaThunderbird. Ive been using it since 0.2 and its brilliant :-)


Graham L
08-03-2004, 03:20 PM
Support for that Logitech camera might be coming ... there's even an experimental patch for one of the libraries in gphoto for it, but you might not (a) have sources installed, and (b) not feel like compiling libraries. :D

Look out for spca50x ... it already has support for a couple of Logitech ClickSmarts ... 350 and 510?.

There's a list of supported webcams (http://www.spinic.net/linux/webcams.php) here.

The Canon scanner is less hopeful. But you wanted a new one anyway. ;-) Epson seems to have become the favourite manufacturer with the sane developers.

Terry Porritt
08-03-2004, 03:30 PM
Your link to webcams seems a bit dead Graham?

Apparently the Canon FB310 is a rebadged AVision according to one Linux site. I found support for the FB320, it was a similar story for windows drivers, nothing past Win95, but XP seems to be able to handle it as long as the scanner power is turned off when windows starts. Otherwise XP detects and loads another FB310 scanner into device manager :)

I didnt really want to buy a new scanner or webcam just to keep Xandros happy. If I can get file sharing working properly then it doesnt matter so much.

Graham L
08-03-2004, 03:45 PM
Sorry ... "spinics. net" not "spinic.net". And I had proofread it. :_|

Terry Porritt
08-03-2004, 05:05 PM
Idiot, Idiot, Idiot that I am :D

The only thing stopping file sharing was Kerio Firewall..... kicks himself where it really hurts, and that is a gymnastic feat in itself !

Jen C
08-03-2004, 05:17 PM
> The only thing stopping file sharing was Kerio
> Firewall..... kicks himself where it really hurts,
> and that is a gymnastic feat in itself !

Firewalls gets you everytime, even when you know better (I been caught out a few times now) :D

On a more positive note, don't let your scanner/camera experience put you off Linux (or anyone else) and they can work without any problems. I hot-plugged in my USB Vuego (Benq) scanner and it was detected and worked first time with sane. The sane program was very user friendly and had lots of options with the scanning function. Like wise with my Canon digicam, just hotplugged the USB in, ran the Digital Camera Tool (gtkam) and was able to select my camera model from the list and that was it! Gtkam even displayed nice thumbnails of all my images on the camera.

Good to hear you got your file sharing all going :)

Graham L
09-03-2004, 12:47 PM
Of course, this comes back to the old rule: "Look at the log files". I bet Kerio keeps a log file of everything which is being rejected.

The Linux /usr/log/messages file is invaluable, too, when dealing with "hardware" problems. I put an alias definition (alias messages='tail -20 /usr/log/messages) in one of the .bash files of my root account on all machines. I've even changed the ownership of the messages file so I can read it from user account too.

Terry Porritt
09-03-2004, 01:02 PM
Networking /File sharing is even better now!

I remembered Tweak'es preference for IPX/SPX protocoll over Netbeui. By using IPX instead of Netbeui, not only can the different Windows flavours see each other, but they can now access the Xandros computer which they couldnt under Netbeui.

So it is all working as it should do, oh joy :)

This is because IPX is supported by Linux.

09-03-2004, 11:39 PM
It is also suported by Windows but I much prefer networking using TCP/IP as it works with everything.

10-03-2004, 09:10 PM
Hi Terry,

Just in case you were still looking for something to view e-mail on the server I thought I would suggest looking at Kshowmail. It may not do everything that you are hoping though, but it does permit viewing and deleting from the server.

This is really dependant on you using the KDE desktop rather than Gnome.


Terry Porritt
11-03-2004, 09:27 PM
Thanks for that information Gorela, I'll have a look at that, it sounds good on the SourceForge page. Im trying KDE Mail at the moment.

A few further steps forward: The Xandros Kopete Instant Messenger works a treat. It can be configured to emulate many popular programs, like Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ etc.
I configured mine for MSN , just entered my hotmail address and password, and up popped my contacts, and it works just fine.

Streaming audio can be encoded on the fly into MP3 using the built in XMMS MP3 player.

Xandros has Crossover for installing and running Windows programs, Though I found it wouldnt completely uninstall Real Producer that I had installed and played with. It left the link to it behind in the Launch/Windows Applications tab.

Terry Porritt
11-03-2004, 09:32 PM
Oh yes. I also moved over 5GB of music files from a FAT32 partition on my XP drive to a FAT32 partition on the Linux drive, and that is accessible from Xandros and can be played with either Linux real player, or XMMS MP3 player according to file type.

11-03-2004, 11:09 PM
Kopete has been part of kdenetwork since 3.2.0 iirc, possibly 3.1.5.

And I dont mean to bust the bubble, but I can play MP3's in noatun, kaboodle, xmms, beep-media-player, xine, kmplayer, mpg123, madplay... And Im sure there's others ;-)

aMSN is quite good too (Version 0.90 is a major step up from 0.83).

Does Xandros include aMSN?