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John H
13-03-2004, 10:24 AM
Someone was asking for user opinions of Xandros. Thus far I have tried Mandrake 9.2, Fedora, and now Xandros.

The latter is streets ahead of the others for first time linux users, but will probably be a disappointment for those who want to fiddle with the arcane workings of their computer. Me? I enjoyed learning more about my computer through trying to understand the innards of Mandrake and Fedora, but personally I am more interested in an OS that operates pretty much out of the box. For me, I have decided, the computer is a means to an end, not the end in itself.

The whole interface with Xandros is simplicity itself. The automatic partitioning was simple - it set up two new partitions after re-sizing the existing Doze partition, one for the swap file.

The installation was equally simple and completely intuitive. It set up networking with the two other Doze computers on the network as part of the set up process, so that when it first booted after installation, not only were the other computers showing in the Windows network, but the other partitions on the disk were visible and accessible as well - I could never achieve that with the other linux distros I tried.

Similarly, the permissions setting took about three mouse clicks. Again, I never managed to get the Windoze boxes permission to access the Linux box with the other distros. This was completely straightforward in a control panel like interface.

I have not yet tried using Windoze apps with it, so that will be a future development. Ditto I cannot get WiFi to work on the laptop because there are no drivers for the wifi network device yet - Intel says "they are under development".

The only disappointment, and this is true of all other Linux distros I have tried, is the huge download of updates you need to go through once the install is complete. I guess the development in the Linux community is so rapid, that even when you get the latest version supplied to you, there are heaps of changes already.

So, I am one very, very satisfied consumer. Now I have to see whether my clients will accept Open Office docs instead of Word, and if that is the case, it will be "Bye bye Microsoft - it was soooo nice to be ripped off by you for so long - not".

John H

Jen C
13-03-2004, 11:04 AM
What a nice review John. Comments like yours (and previous posts by Terry) go a long way to reduce the fear of the unknown with Linux for first time users who, like yourself, would prefer a working OS first pop without having to fiddle behind the scenes to set up hardware and networking/internet issues etc.

Although Xandros isn't *free*, you certainly get the user-friendly sort of results you have experienced.

Be nice to see a couple of screenshots of your system :)

>Now I have to see whether my clients will accept Open Office docs instead of Word
There should be no reason why if you save your Writer docs as .doc or .rtf. Although doesn't Xandros come with Cross-over Office which allows you to install and use MS Office products if you wish?

Me, I like the fiddle behind the scenes stuff and having the satisfaction from getting something to work that was being *difficult*, although I will probably try Ark Linux for interest (heading the same user-friendly direction like Xandros) shortly now that I have more disk space.

John H
13-03-2004, 01:33 PM
Thanks Jen, nice of you to respond that way.

You are right about Xandros not being "free", and that is a disadvantage compared with the other distros like Fedora that can be downloaded at no cost.

I don't mind paying for the developmental work that has been done "on my behalf". It would have cost me perhaps two to three hours hours in lost "earning time" to do the fiddling (I am self employed), and even at that estimate, I am ahead on earnings compared with what I paid for Xandros.

I did get some satisfaction out of playing with the other distros - eg in updating KDE, I think I learned a lot, so you are right about that, but you can have too much of a good thing ;-)

I will do a couple of screen shots later. But one thing I did not mention in my first post is that some people have said that Xandros is too Windows like - it is definitely more GUI than some other distros, but it still has that Linux feel to it, and I don't feel that I am in a Windows environment.

You are of course right about Cross Over - I fergit that I don't have to use Open Office, though it would be nice to quit the Dark Empire completely. Whoopee. Some of my docs have to be in specific fonts - I just need to check that I can access those of course.

Thanks for your comments.

John

Terry Porritt
13-03-2004, 01:35 PM
As Jen said, a very nice review John.

I have virtually come to the same decision to use Xandros as my main OS.

When I look at all the utilities I have for Win9x/XP just to keep the systems clean and running nicely, and then look at Xandros/Linux and think, there isnt even a defrag, or a scandisk in sight. So maybe they arent needed?

Any comments from those knowledgeable in the the art of Linux about disk cleaning, defragging, junk files, etc would be welcome.

Crossover appears to work ok installing windows apps into a fake Program Files folder.

Updates appear to come frequently via Xandros Networks, the speed of installation of these is amazing, and there is no re-boot afterwards.

In Crossover there is a simulated Windows re-boot operation to keep the Win apps happy :)

I removed the Real One Player from Xandros and replaced it with Real Player 8 with RP9 codecs.
There is an article by Delphi123 about this in the Xandros forum. The Real One Player has some bugs, in my case it would not play some of the .rm files I'd moved over from XP. Now, with RP8 they play ok.

Graham L
13-03-2004, 01:52 PM
There is fsck :D That's the nearest equivalent to a "checkdsk". It's needed less these days with journalling file systems (such as ext3 etc). It used to be run every four or so boots, or after a "naughty" shutdown.

About the only tidying up I do when I'm browsing the disk is in /var/logs . The log files are turned over every so often and a number of the old ones are kept. If you've got many GBs of disk, it probably won't worry you. (There is a limit to the number of old files kept). The file I look at most often is /var/log/messages, and the current one is called "messages" (:O) . Old versions are called "messages.1", "messages.2", etc.

If you get programme crashes, the system can be set up to produce coredumps for rebugging. A coredump is a copy of all memory just after the crash -- usually called "core". I disable that facility. Xandros probably does that by default.

Murray P
13-03-2004, 02:00 PM
Great to hear your comments John and Terry. This brings me a step closer to my move.

And, many thank's to those that provided info to me via Terry's Xandros thread. I am probably a month or two away from changing my business over for which I will seek geek help but, intend to have a play before then. I'm planning on going to the local LUG meeting in Lower Hutt. Do they have a user group in Northern Lower Hutt Terry? ;)

John you should be able to download lot's of Linux versions or equivalents of your fonts unless you use some very strage beasties.

Cheers Murray P

Terry Porritt
13-03-2004, 02:09 PM
Norther Lower Hutt, Murray ?:| ?:| :O

Now I know that the City Of Lower Hutt cant stand having the word 'Lower' in their name, they even use illegal letter heads and illegal road signs mentioning a non-existent place called Hutt City, and they periodically try to flex their feeble muscles in takeover bids for the superior in every sense, City of Upper Hutt. :D

John H
13-03-2004, 02:16 PM
Thanks for all the comments folks.

Murray - I bought my Xandros distro from the guy whose details I sent you. I have found that he lives in Ngaio so I guess he isn't a member of a Lower Hutt group, but who knows?

And the only font I really HAVE to have is Arial, because that is a standard for a government department my client sends files to. I am sure that if there are Linux versions of the commonly used fonts I will be able to find that one.

The macron is a bit of an issue because I use it lots, and the Microsoft Maori keyboard driver does a really good job of this. I doubt that the Linux community has got around to that yet!

I am still trying to post a couple of screenshots, but each time I try, I end up with .JPG which the site won't accept... I have done it before but for some reason I can't get the lower case .jpg... Arrggghhhhh I really am a klutz.

John

Graham L
13-03-2004, 02:18 PM
Which segment lays claim to the famous Jabba the Hutt? (Though he did move to Tamaki).

John H
13-03-2004, 02:23 PM
Oh, the other thing that should have gone in the original post is about accessing a shared printer. I have an HP2100 Laserjet connected to the main desktop. The printer is shared to the network.

Getting access to the shared printer was so easy I couldn't believe it. From memory the installation and set up process included the process of looking for a printer, either local or network. Several mouse clicks and as scroll to select the printer type and it was done.

Xandros successfully printed out a test page during the set up process. I have spoken to the guy who supplied me with Xandros and he too is really impressed with the ease of setting up a shared printer.

As for internet access through the network, the only thing I needed to do was open Mozilla Mail and enter my email details, and select the usual preferences, and I was getting mail. Wicked.

Murray P
13-03-2004, 02:30 PM
Well Terry, I've never figured out where (smack bang in the middle) Hutt is, since moving here and have definitely thought of waiting for a rates demand from the Lower Hutt City Council because these Hutt City folk who send their exorbitant junk through my letter box appear to be a bunch of scam artists.

But in deference to our "superior" northern suburb, I can say that you get the better temperatures in summer (what summer) but a tunnel would be handy to bypass Northern Hutt in winter. While I'm on it, can you buggers stop flushing your loo's when there is a hint of rain around. It got a bit too close for comfort last month. Of course this only applies to those good people with running tap water and flush toilets.

Cheers Murray ;P

John H
13-03-2004, 02:42 PM
Here are a couple of screenshots. I have only changed the default wallpaper, and done one other fiddle to the windows (IceWM), so it is still somewhat boring. I would love to have the penguin seeing I am running Linux...

http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/xandros.png

http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/xandros2.png

In the second image you will see the network is showing, minus one computer that is presently shut down. You will also see the other two partitions (Windoze ones) on this laptop, both of which are browseable from here. Haven't checked yet to see if they are writeable but I assume they will be.

Murray P
13-03-2004, 02:49 PM
Cool. How much did you cough up for it John?

Cheers Murray P

John H
13-03-2004, 03:02 PM
I haven't received an invoice for it yet Murray, but J said vaguely it will be less than they are asking for it in the local adverts (which is $145 I think). Compare that with the combined price of XP Pro and a Microsoft Office Suite... No wonder Microsoft are trying to call Linux a communist plot or something.

BTW, this is coming to you from Xandros via Mozilla. I have just checked with my bank's website and I can access internet banking, so that is a relief. I also notice (don't tell Pressf1) that there are no adverts with Mozilla - is that Linux or Mozilla - I assume the latter? Lovely!

Now I am going to check to see whether the Xandros drag and drop CD burning works because J wants to know!

Chilling_Silently
13-03-2004, 03:16 PM
Terry>
Defragging is a thing of the past, the Ext2/3 and ReiserFS file-systems take care of themselves.
Sometimes it pays to just go through and clean out your /home/username folder, including files starting with a period. In Linux, files are hidden by putting a . before the filename/directory name.

John>
KDE has Maori support IIRC?!
Nice screenies though :-)

What kernel does Xandros run? 2.4 or 2.6?
I know that 2.6 has support for Packet-Writing to CD-R/W's.


Chill.

Murray P
13-03-2004, 03:22 PM
Ta John.

Chill or anybody. can you explain the differences and benefits of the Ext 2 /3 and ReiserFS file systems. Are there differences like between Fat, Fat 32 and NTFS for eg, and for what reasons would you choose one over another.

Cheers Murray P

Graham L
13-03-2004, 03:23 PM
Oh dear. :_| Files starting with a "." are like that for a reason. Users aren't supposed to mess with them. Including deleting them. ;-) If they start with a dot and end in "rc" they hold the configuration of applications.

Usually if the file is missing, the application will assume it's the first time for you and make a new one ... with the default settings, which means that any changes you have made will be lost.

If you delete the ".bash" files, the results will be interesting. (as in the alleged Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times".)

John H
13-03-2004, 03:28 PM
Thanks Chill - I'm back on the Doze desktop cos the CD is being burned on the laptop! I am going to have to install Xandros on this thing quite soon...

>KDE has Maori support IIRC?!
Ah, I will have to have a hunt through KDE to find it! Thanks - that will make life a lot easier.

>What kernel does Xandros run? 2.4 or 2.6?
The kernel marked on the box is 2.4.22 but I downloaded a HUGE heap of stuff yesterday so don't know if there was a new kernel included. I will check when the CD is finished.

Graham L
13-03-2004, 03:42 PM
ext2 became the traditional filesystem out of a fairly large number of improvements on the minix one. :D

ext3 and Reiser are journalling file systems. This gives a huge improvement in file safety. Each disk operation is logged before it is carries out. If an operation fails (because the power goes off or somemthing else nasty happens) there is a safe means of recovering. So you don't have to wait for a while each fourth boot for the ext2 system to be checked.

Normally the boot partition is ext2 (because it's used fiirst for booting --- and is very rarely changed).

But make the / and any other partitions (except swap) either ext3 or Reiser.

Ext3 is the older system so might be "more" debugged. Reiser is one person's work, but he's a clever bugger. ;-) I think he does a commercial version, so it must be pretty good.

John H
13-03-2004, 03:45 PM
Chill, it is 2.4, not 2.6. The CD burned successfully, and was readable on the Doze desktop computer. :-)

I think I have a problem with KDE - when I try to open Regional Settings, where I assume Maori support will reside, it crashes. I am invited to send in a bug report. :-( First thing that has gone wrong.

Chilling_Silently
13-03-2004, 03:45 PM
Graham>
I s'pose that's true, however in /home/username most of the settings are in .application_name/
Personally, Ive removed them several times to reset settings etc.

Murray>
Ext2 was (AFAIK) the first File-system for Linux.
Ext3 is Ext2 only Journalled (Dont ask, I dont know but its "better").

ReiserFS is a newer contender to the arena, supposedly slightly faster. It had some issues a while back where it'd corrupt data with certain kernels, but that was a while back and that problem is long-fixed.

Personally, I have ReiserFS for my / partition, and Ext2 for /boot
All my others are Fat32, due to me having Windows a while back. When I next get a HDD, they'll all just be ReiserFS on /


Chill.

Chilling_Silently
13-03-2004, 03:48 PM
> Chill, it is 2.4, not 2.6. The CD burned
> successfully, and was readable on the Doze desktop
> computer. :-)
I wonder if they still support Packet Writing...?
For it to be "readable" (With longer filenames), you just need to burn it with Joilet File-system extensions.

Ive been having fun playing with Rock-Ridge extensions lately too :-)

Does Xandros have K3b?

> I think I have a problem with KDE - when I try to
> open Regional Settings, where I assume Maori support
> will reside, it crashes. I am invited to send in a
> bug report. :-( First thing that has gone wrong.

Bummer.
Personally Ive never looked into it, but heard it did....


Chill.

John H
13-03-2004, 04:14 PM
Chill, I am just downloading a new kernel now - 2.4.22-x1. I didn't pick it up when I did the updating yesterday.

>Does Xandros have K3b?
I am not familiar with that Chill. If that is an application, it is not listed. It is noticeable in Xandros that none of the applications have names like that - they are all called something like "CD Writer" with no other details.

I guess that is why some people feel that the Linux flavour is less apparent in Xandros (or worse, that it is more Windows like!)

I am sad to see that Evolution email isn't in Xandros - you only have one mail programme and that is Mozilla.

Jen C
13-03-2004, 04:47 PM
>When I look at all the utilities I have for Win9x/XP just to keep the systems clean and running nicely, and then look at Xandros/Linux and think, there isnt even a defrag, or a scandisk in sight. So maybe they arent needed?
>Any comments from those knowledgeable in the the art of Linux about disk cleaning, defragging, junk files, etc would be welcome.

This got me too after I first started to use Linux. Having come from Windows environment where it as a matter of practice to look after the OS by using those utilities, it felt pretty weird not having to do this anymore. I know I spent a bit of time looking for these options. :D

> Here are a couple of screenshots. I have only changed the default wallpaper, and done one other fiddle to the windows (IceWM), so it is still somewhat boring. I would love to have the penguin seeing I am running Linux...

Nice desktop :). So, you would like some penguins huh? Not sure if you ever found this (http://www.kde-look.org/) site from your previous Linux forages, but you can find tux galore there.

>>Does Xandros have K3b?
>I am not familiar with that Chill. If that is an application, it is not listed. It is noticeable in Xandros that none of the applications have names like that - they are all called something like "CD Writer" with no other details.

K3b is CD writing software that is much more user friendly than the ones I have played with before. I don't have it either, so I am going to install on my system. You can find more information on K3b here (http://www.k3b.org/) and a nice flash tutorial on it here (http://fedoranews.org/mweber/multimedia/k3b/).

Chilling_Silence
13-03-2004, 05:01 PM
Basically, K3b is a lot like Nero.

Looks similar, acts similar.
Does similar things (With a few other DVD Options Ive not noticed in Nero 5/6).

Its brilliant, and I couldnt be happier :-)


Chill.

John H
13-03-2004, 05:28 PM
Thanks Jen and Chill; I think I will get it. But I am starting to wonder whether I made a big enough partition :-)

I have just been exploring the link on the desktop to Xandros Networks. I now know why there are only two CDs in the pack (and I think I only used one of them for the install).

Basically there are a lot of applications that are on the other distro disks that aren't in the CDs for Xandros. The Xandros Networks link brings up a browser that links you to critical updates, security updates, driver updates, system updates etc (and this is where I found the new kernel).

There are a series of directories like Development, Drivers, Education etc (the usual categories). When you open them, they interact with your computer; i.e. each one recognises what you have on your computer, and if a particular application is installed the only option you get is a hyperlink to remove, or vice versa in the case of applications not yet installed.

In other words it is web based, rather than "chuck everything into the CDs or computer" and then the user chooses from there what to install. That's OK if you have adsl and a good plan with your ISP! Now I also understand why I could not find the usual Add/remove applications applet - it isn't done that way. All the installations are automatic when the download ends. Good for a klutz like me.

And Jen - the KDE update components are there too, so I don't have to do all that stuff you tutored me through when I was doing it in Fedora. I think I had better buy a big stuffed armchair and a pipe cos there is nothing left for me to do! ;-)

bmason
13-03-2004, 05:30 PM
> And the only font I really HAVE to have is Arial,
> because that is a standard for a government
> department my client sends files to. I am sure that
> if there are Linux versions of the commonly used
> fonts I will be able to find that one.

The problem is fonts like arial etc are copyrighted so the OS people can't make free versions. But what you can do (but you're not supposed to) is copy the fonts over from windows. I don't know how modded your KDE is, but in the KDE control center, under system, you should find "font installer" which can add your windows fonts.

Its a pitty xandros didn't license the fonts since you are paying for the distro.

bmason
13-03-2004, 05:33 PM
Oh, and its great to hear xandros is windows convert friendly, I will be recomending xandros to a couple of people who are wanting to change.

John H
13-03-2004, 05:37 PM
Thanks bmason, I will give that a go. But not officially...

John H
13-03-2004, 05:41 PM
:8} I just went looking for the font installer, and found that not only is Arial already in there, so are many of the other Doze fonts that I use. :8}

Dolby Digital
13-03-2004, 06:15 PM
Glad you like Xandros. I think I will stick with Mandrake for the moment (now if Xandros was based on RedHat and not Debian....hmmm). Of course if I accidentally found a copy of Xandros II in my letterbox, I would load it on one of my machines :D

Chilling_Silence
13-03-2004, 09:20 PM
If you'd rather stick with a Redhat-based Distro, then check out Ark Linux.

Its free, so no worries about forking out money for it. It doesnt include CrossOver office however :p

Its a great Distro for the average Home User.

Its also got Synaptic as its main package management app, so it makes life easy sorting dependancies.


Chill.

mikebartnz
15-03-2004, 12:09 AM
Xandros does need a bit of work to make secure as trying to be like Windows it has lost a lot of it's security.

Chilling_Silence
15-03-2004, 01:39 AM
Oh really?

Could you give us an example or two Mike?


Chill.

mikebartnz
15-03-2004, 02:06 AM
Hi Chill I wish I could remember the site but it basically said that by making Xandros so like Windows it also made it more insecure. I have been following it's develpement since Corel had it because I thought it showed great potential. While I think making a Linux distro should be a case of making it as simple as possible for a new user I think it is a mistake to make as similar as possible to Windows.
Did a hunt of all the news sites I go to and finally found it (http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/35588.html)

Chilling_Silence
15-03-2004, 09:40 AM
That's quite an interesting review Mike....

I should really get around to installing Ark on another box sometime and check to see what it leaves open by default, seeing as Ive been singing its praises.

That's something that bugs me a lot about Redhat/Fedora. Why bother enabling sendmail by default?
If your end-user is going to use it, then they'll have enough brains to configure it, and enough brains to start the service on boot.

I personally dont like the idea of Linux immitating Windows. That's where Ark and Xandros differ. Ark wears the Linux name proudly, wheras in that interview they suggested you compare Xandros to WindowsXP :-(

Admittedly, the screenies do look quite polished :-)

My 2 cents worth.....


Chill.

John H
15-03-2004, 09:59 AM
Thanks Mike - an interesting article and a good "heads up". However, I found it quite funny in a gallows humour kind of way.

There is a fundamental problem of logic in the article. First, it says it is dangerous to let newbies loose on Xandros because it is insecure. Secondly, it says that it is too difficult for newbies to do the editing that is necessary to make it secure, and the default settings should emphasise security.

So the logical conclusion from this is that prospective newby users should not use Xandros because it is insecure and it is too difficult to edit for security. XP (and presumbably earlier Microsoft OS versions) is also faulty in the view of the writer. What then is left for someone who is less computer literate? MacOS, which is fine, but it means buying new hardware. All you are left with are the other Linux distros.

Now please excuse me if I am dumb, but I found that the other distros I tried are extremely secure, but they are beyond the abilities of the new user to make them usable. The exact opposite to Xandros. I will go for the less secure but usable distro every time.

The nature of the questions about Linux that have been posted on this site, and the degree of root editing you have to do to make them work the way you want means that (IMHO) the other distros may be more secure, but for the average user they are extremely difficult to use effectively, even with the excellent support provided by people like Chill and Jen and others on this site, and the Linux guides available on other sites. What is the point of having a very secure environment if you can't make it work in a networking environment?

Admittedly I have been using these distros on a laptop which adds some complexities (e.g I was never able to get either Mandrake 9.2 or Fedora to power down the lappie - I had to reboot into Windows to shut down completely - Xandros commits the crime of acting more like Doze, but it does have the options of restart or shut down; small things I know, but quite nice to have).

In the other two distros I tried, I was able to get the Linux box to access the Doze boxes on my network, but I never succeeded in giving the other boxes permission to access the Linux computer. This was a breeze with Xandros. Similarly, I was never able to see the Doze partitions on the laptop from the Linux partition. That was automatically achieved in the Xandros set up.

OK, so Xandros may be an insecure environment (I have a hardware firewall, so I am not quaking in my boots at the moment), but it works the way I want it to work.

Oddly, I see the ideals of the open source community as being egalitarian, but the logic of the article suggests that the first egalitarian type of distro that I have tried should be shunned even though it is easy to use for a wide range of people. Yes, the Xandros designers could make it more secure by default as the author suggests, but then it would be too difficult for new users to make it work in a network environment IMHO. There are a number of Catch 22's in the article like this.

The logical conclusion of the article and my experience with the other distros is that newbies should stick with Microsoft, and Linux should be left to the computer literate, which is a sort of elitist position really.

Personally, I can see this distro replacing XP for me, and I never had that confidence with the others. Oh well, the article was interesting to read, and made me think anyway...

Terry Porritt
15-03-2004, 12:09 PM
I echo your opinions too John, there is a conflict of logic in that review.
I would have been happier if the exact nature of the so-called insecurities had been spelled out.

What security issues, hackers getting in, worms, viruses?????

If one is behind NAT, then as far as I know, that in itself offers pretty good protection.

I have found that Kerio has to be turned off to enable 'free' access across my little network, but that is no great danger, it can be turned on from time to time to see if anything is trying to 'phone' out.

Whatever these security issues are, then they cannot be any greater than those that every Windows user, newbie or not, are exposed to.

As you will already have seen the Xandros Networks provides security updates, though I'm not sure exactly what they are doing, I have just blindly installed them as well as kernel updates.

My next project is to install MPlayer to handle media file formats not currently playable in the as installed Xandros, and then to really have a look at the Showmail email client mentioned by Gorela. This allows management of emails on the ISP server without downloading, an essential feature IMHO these days for spam and email nasty control.

John H
15-03-2004, 12:50 PM
Thanks for your comments Terry. Regarding Kerio - you may be able to configure a rule that allows all addresses on the network to contact each other so you don't have to turn Kerio off. It is easy to do in Sygate Personal Firewall - sorry I am not familiar with Kerio.

All you do in SPF is go to Advanced Rules, and Add a rule. You enter the range of IP addresses under Hosts that you want to extend permission to. You may find something similar in Kerio.

I notice on the Xandros website that you can install KDE Mail (I think that is its name) if you don't like Mozilla Mail, though I understand the point you are making about Showmail. I have also downloaded and installed Gimp from the website - what a powerful proggie.

John

Chilling_Silence
15-03-2004, 02:34 PM
> Now please excuse me if I am dumb, but I found that
> the other distros I tried are extremely secure, but
> they are beyond the abilities of the new user to make
> them usable. The exact opposite to Xandros. I will go
> for the less secure but usable distro every time.
That's where Ark is a little better, it doesnt compromise the Security as much, but still gives a lot of functionality :-)

> The nature of the questions about Linux that have
> been posted on this site, and the degree of root
> editing you have to do to make them work the way you
> want means that (IMHO) the other distros may be more
> secure, but for the average user they are extremely
> difficult to use effectively, even with the excellent
> support provided by people like Chill and Jen and
> others on this site, and the Linux guides available
> on other sites. What is the point of having a very
> secure environment if you can't make it work in a
> networking environment?
Because you want it to use the BSD Motto "Secure by default". Obviously you're not going to want it _that_ secure, but secure enough that you dont have to worry about sendmail starting up each time by default.
Services should be like redhat-config-services, where its easy to start andd stop services :-)

> Admittedly I have been using these distros on a
> laptop which adds some complexities (e.g I was never
> able to get either Mandrake 9.2 or Fedora to power
> down the lappie - I had to reboot into Windows to
> shut down completely
I had a few problems with the Gnome desktop in Redhat 8.... Had to logout then shut down. Its fine in KDE, and I believe you can do the same in GNOME too now.

> Xandros commits the crime of
> acting more like Doze, but it does have the options
> of restart or shut down; small things I know, but
> quite nice to have).
Try a slightly newer distro ;-)

> In the other two distros I tried, I was able to get
> the Linux box to access the Doze boxes on my network,
> but I never succeeded in giving the other boxes
> permission to access the Linux computer. This was a
> breeze with Xandros. Similarly, I was never able to
> see the Doze partitions on the laptop from the Linux
> partition. That was automatically achieved in the
> Xandros set up.
Networking via samba is something that is still coming a long way in Linux. Its not terribly difficult if you know where to go, but Ive heard Xandros has enviable networking support.

> OK, so Xandros may be an insecure environment (I have
> a hardware firewall, so I am not quaking in my boots
> at the moment), but it works the way I want it to
> work.
As it should :-)

> The logical conclusion of the article and my
> experience with the other distros is that newbies
> should stick with Microsoft, and Linux should be left
> to the computer literate, which is a sort of elitist
> position really.
Yes, I am l33t :p
</Jokes>

> Personally, I can see this distro replacing XP for
> me, and I never had that confidence with the others.
> Oh well, the article was interesting to read, and
> made me think anyway...
Indeed it seems it may :-)

On another note, Im not a fan of Kmail... I'd rather Mozilla Thunderbird :-)


Chill.

Murray P
15-03-2004, 03:34 PM
I've shot an email off to Xandros.com for their thoughts on the security side of things. Will be interesting to see how long a reply takes...... me naive.. I'll tell you when I get my reply.

Cheers Murray P

John H
15-03-2004, 03:46 PM
Thanks Murray - great. I need to get around to sending them a bug report because Regional Settings crashes when I try to use it to see if there is Maori support there - Chill thought there may be. I think the problems with Regional Settings might have happened during the system update process because it worked fine during the original set up and I haven't changed anything else in that line.

John

John H
15-03-2004, 03:49 PM
Thanks for all those comments Chill. On the button as usual except for (IMHO):

> Xandros commits the crime of
> acting more like Doze, but it does have the options
> of restart or shut down; small things I know, but
> quite nice to have).

>>Try a slightly newer distro

I was using the latest distro with Fedora and it still didn't work on the laptop Chill. Unless you are referring to Core 2 (I think it was called)? I didn't try any of the beta stuff; merely the latest that the Redhat Update would download.

John

Chilling_Silence
15-03-2004, 06:31 PM
Ahh...
Two things come to mind:
Im not sure on how Gnome works with Shutdowns etc.
I'll ask Segfault later today, he's a big Gnome fan.

Otherwise, its APM
You either need to start the daemon, or un-comment a line in /etc/modules.conf

It varies between distros


Chill.

hotwater
16-03-2004, 12:10 AM
i know this is a bit doge to say on the PCWORLD forum but PC Authority has Xandros 2.0 (standard) free on their cover Cd's, so to all who want to give it a go but don't want to fork out all those pingers....

btw i honestly consider NZ PCWORLD a MUCH MUCH better publication........

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2004, 12:21 AM
Thanks hotwater.
I'll go check that out later tomorrow :-)

I wouldnt worry about mentioning another publication, all in good competition ;-)

But yeah, thanks for the info, I'll be grabbing a copy for sure!

What are the differences between the 'standard' one on the CD, and the Deluxe Paid-for editions?

Im willing to be Crossover Office is part...


Chill.

mikebartnz
16-03-2004, 01:11 AM
Sorry John but it is not worth replying.

mikebartnz
16-03-2004, 01:40 AM
They were.

hotwater
16-03-2004, 10:00 AM
hey chill

yeah crossover office is a no-show on the standard, i think the (paid for) version of xandros standard has less support features (y'know x days free email support yadda yadda), maybe some other proprietry apps aren't included...

laters

:)

Graham L
16-03-2004, 02:57 PM
John H: Laptops are a problem. They have always been a problem. :-( Too much proprietary hardware. It's best to give Google the laptop model and "linux" to see if someone has done the particular model. "laptop linux" will probably find the latest generic HOWTO.

John H
16-03-2004, 03:28 PM
Thanks Graham. I gathered that laptops posed some difficulties, not the least of which is in APM which Xandro doesn't seem to have solved either. :-(

I have found a website (thinks, "where was it again????") that is working on the only bit of my lappie that refuses to work in Linux - WIFI.

My laptop is certified Centrino, and Intel has not produced a Linux driver for the wireless device that is included in this laptop. A group of enthusiasts is developing one, but three things put me off trying to install it:
1. the magic word "beta"
2. the frequent use of the word "bugs" as in "please report them to contribute to this project"!
3. the other magic word "firmware update".

Now something makes me deeply suspicious about installing a firmware update when the thing works fine on Windows... When I have more time I need to go back and check out the site a bit more carefully, but at the moment I am a little leery.

Those two things aside, everything else works as far as hardware goes. The only problem is with the bug in the Regional Settings and First Run Wizard since updating. Haven't had time to check the Xandros website to see if this is a known bug.

Cheers
John

Megaman
16-03-2004, 05:31 PM
i might try teh demo. but can i make a boot floppy and install it from C: drive? i plan to resize D: drive and put it there, but will resizing keep all my data? i dont have a cd writer, and C: drive has not enough room to back it all up :p

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2004, 06:52 PM
> but three things put me off trying to
> install it:
> 1. the magic word "beta"
What's wrong with that? It just means its not a Final Product... Not that its un-stable or un-usable, but that its not "complete".
Take Ark Linux for example, The only thing that's ever crashed is a Media Player. We simply use another. Ark Linux is still counted as Alpha though (pre-beta) but its stable as anything!

> 2. the frequent use of the word "bugs" as in "please
> report them to contribute to this project"!
That goes for pretty much anything Open-source. Developers are always keen to hear back with comments, feedback, ideas/improvements, or even bugs.

> 3. the other magic word "firmware update".
No comment ;-)

> Now something makes me deeply suspicious about
> installing a firmware update when the thing works
> fine on Windows... When I have more time I need to go
> back and check out the site a bit more carefully, but
> at the moment I am a little leery.
Understandably so too.....

Just my two cents worth ;-)


Chill.

Jen C
16-03-2004, 06:58 PM
Hi John

>The macron is a bit of an issue because I use it lots, and the Microsoft Maori keyboard driver does a really good job of this. I doubt that the Linux community has got around to that yet!

I have been looking into your macron keyboard issue and found this Keyboard support (http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~trmusson/maori.html):
What follows works for me, but I've done it without reading the manuals. That means it's almost certainly brain-damaged and in need of work.

Anyway. For me, this allows vowels with macrons to be typed easily—by hitting the right-hand ALT key plus the relevant vowel key. I.e:

Rt ALT a --> a with macron ā
Rt ALT A --> A with macron Ā
Rt ALT e --> e with macron ē
Rt ALT E --> E with macron Ē
etc...


You may wish to try out his script.

I wouldn't worry about looking for Maori languages in your KDE Regional Settings as not many distro's will include this. Ark Linux does have the Maori language support available which is where Chill might of seen it. Out of interest the KDE Maori support component is called kde-i18n-mi, but not many distro's have rpm's or debian packages which you could use on Xandros.

John H
17-03-2004, 11:29 AM
Hi Jen

Thanks very much for that research you have done - I will investigate that option.

I had thought that using Xandros would mean that I would not have to get into the bowels of Linux, but it looks like no such luck. I just had a reply from Xandros customer support (very prompt too) about the problem I have with Regional Settings crashing.

They recognised the problem and have now put instructions on their website. The instructions they included in the email are:
__________________
Hello,

A procedure has been found to resolve the issue.
The steps are as follows:

1. Copy the file /etc/skel/.bash_profile to .bash_profile in the user's home directory, or if the user has modified the .bash_profile file, make sure the last few lines of .bash_profile looks like this:

# --- kcmrscp::start [Do not edit these lines.] ---
export LANG=en_US
export LANGUAGE=C
export LC_ALL=en_US
# --- kcmrscp::end ---

2. Remove the directory .rscp in the user's home directory, and all files under it.

3. Remove the file .kde/share/config/rscp-charsets, relative to the users home directory, if it exists.

4. Log out and back in again, and then try launching the Regional Settings control panel.
__________________

Now doesn't that warm the cockles of your heart you Linux lovers, and suggest that the appearance of Windoze is just skin deep in Xandros OS? ;-)

Murray P
17-03-2004, 11:53 AM
Now doesn't that warm the cockles of your heart you Linux lovers, and suggest that the appearance of Windoze is just skin deep in Xandros OS?

Oh boy, I can't wait :D

Nice one John.

Cheers Murray P

John H
17-03-2004, 12:49 PM
Well, that went well! All fixed now.

I must have learned something by playing with the other distros after all.

The trick (and I hate to reinforce the idea that Xandros is Windoze like...) is that you have to turn on View Hidden Files in Xandros File Manager to see the system directories and other files... Duh! It looked really unfamiliar for a while and I could not find the required directories. Still, all solved now.

And there isn't any macron facility in the NZ character set. :-(

I would like to show you the new desktop but it saves as 600kb so it is too large. Is there any way of reducing the size? It has penguins, but not as we know them, Dr Spock.

And Murray, yes, from my perspective anyway, the only disadvantage is no macrons, and I may be able to solve that if I can get my head around it thanks to Jen C :-)

John

Jen C
17-03-2004, 01:06 PM
Glad to hear you got that sorted :)

I read those instructions, and for a newbie-orientated distro, thought they were rather brief. I could see that they were hidden files and directories (the dot in front of the file/directory) but they didn't include how to make these visible.

>I would like to show you the new desktop but it saves as 600kb so it is too large. Is there any way of reducing the size?

Did you try ksnapshot? Save with a jpg extension (just write this in yourself after the filename). If it is still too big, open up the GIMP and open up your screenshot. Right-click over the image and select Image > Scale Image. Select a smaller screen size resolution, then OK. Right-click again over the image and select File > Save As. Click OK at the next series of prompts and then see if this has made a difference.

>It has penguins, but not as we know them, Dr Spock.

Sounds interesting :D

John H
17-03-2004, 01:55 PM
Thanks Jen - as clear as ever. Xandros has an app called Screen Capture, which I used to save the image. I did have a look at Gimp, but got lost :-( Thanks for putting me right. Here is the desktop - a bit cutesy pie I know, but it had penguins:

http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/xandros4.jpg

Thanks for the hint about the . in front of the file names. I noticed it but did not know its significance. However, I worked out how to get there, so that is a tiny triumph today!

Thanks again
John

Jen C
17-03-2004, 03:06 PM
Nice desktop! Very psychedelic tux's :D

Have you checked out the wallpaper's here (http://www.kde-look.org/)? Tux/KDE galore!

John H
17-03-2004, 03:13 PM
Yes I have thanks Jen. It was just that when I updated KDE through Xandros Networks, I found this one there. I just need more time to go through the site you mention. Ta.

Chilling_Silence
17-03-2004, 06:11 PM
How well does Xandros interface with Wine for running Windows apps?

My family are starting to gripe a little that Ark doesnt install/run windows apps by default, and they're not too keen on running Wine from the command line?


Chill.

John H
17-03-2004, 06:25 PM
I haven't tried Wine, Chill.

However, I was just having a little play before to see if I could get a Linksys wireless PCMCIA card to go cos I had seen on a website that some people have/some people haven't. I can't get the onboard device to work at all.

Anyway, I bunged the installation CD into the lappie to see if there were any linux drivers on it, and voila, Cross Over fired up and was all set to run the CD for me. I didn't have time for that malarkey because I had an appointment to go to, but it looks like Cross Over is ready to go when I am! I presume it is an alternative to Wine? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick? There are several ways to install Dozy apps under Cross Over, and it looks really straightforward.

Strewth - I have just checked and as well as Adobe Photoshop, you can install Internet Explorer 6.0, various iterations of Office, and OUTLOOK EXPRESS!!! Now that is a thought to conjure with! ;-)

John

Chilling_Silence
17-03-2004, 06:43 PM
> Anyway, I bunged the installation CD into the lappie
> to see if there were any linux drivers on it, and
> voila, Cross Over fired up and was all set to run the
> CD for me. I didn't have time for that malarkey
> because I had an appointment to go to, but it looks
> like Cross Over is ready to go when I am! I presume
> it is an alternative to Wine? Or have I got the wrong
> end of the stick? There are several ways to install
> Dozy apps under Cross Over, and it looks really
> straightforward.
IIRC, CrossoverOffice is a branch of Wine, specifically for Office apps.

> Strewth - I have just checked and as well as Adobe
> Photoshop, you can install Internet Explorer 6.0,
> various iterations of Office, and OUTLOOK EXPRESS!!!
> Now that is a thought to conjure with! ;-)
If I catch you running Outlook Express, I reserve the right to shoot you on the spot ;-)
</sarcasm>

Anyways, I'm gonna have a look into it, might be what my family are after.

If you could try a Windows app or CD in there and let me know how it goes, that'd be very much appreciated :-)

Many thanks


Chill.

Terry Porritt
17-03-2004, 08:35 PM
Just for a bit of fun I installed Windows Solitaire using Crossover, because the built in solitaire, well it's ok, but it tries to be a bit too clever and moves cards for you :)

Murray P
17-03-2004, 11:36 PM
> Strewth - I have just checked and as well as Adobe
> Photoshop, you can install Internet Explorer 6.0,
> various iterations of Office, and OUTLOOK EXPRESS!!!
> Now that is a thought to conjure with! ;-)
>
> John

I concure with Chill. Infecting Linux with IE & OE would be an abomination worthy of a generous dollop of jam down ya pants and strapping down on one of those ant nests they get in jafa land :O

Photshop eh, does it list Photshop Elements?

I've heard good things about the Gimp how does it compare to Photoshop/Elements, does anybody know? Can it be run on doze so I can check it out? Or is that asking for a dollop too ;)

Cheers Murray P

John H
17-03-2004, 11:47 PM
>IIRC, CrossoverOffice is a branch of Wine, specifically for Office apps.
Yes, when it fires up it shows itself as Crossover Wine

>If I catch you running Outlook Express, I reserve the right to shoot you on the spot
Wait, there's more! See below:

>If you could try a Windows app or CD in there and let me know how it goes, that'd be very much appreciated

I tried to install a useful app from a downloaded demo - Nero. Basically it spat the dummy. Crossover "owned" the demo (X icon), and unpacked it to a /Windows/Temp directory. Then it just stalled. I found the directory, and double clicked on the installer file and it just sulked. So I dumped the contents of the temp directory.

I then swallowed hard and had a go at installing a useless app - Word from Office XP CD. It installed perfectly and runs just like it does on the Doze box. Lots of error messages on the install, but Crossover tells you that is going to happen and to ignore them!

But rot its eyes, it insists on installing (blush) Internet Explorer - you can't stop it, honestly. The first thing I did was to get rid of the desktop icon, but there it is, the sacrifices I make for you Chill! I will uninstall the whole mess, but it clearly works. It puts a new folder of shortcuts in your Launcher called Windows Applications - see screen capture below:
http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/xandros7.jpg

Nary a command line in sight. But what remains to be seen is whether Crossover works with all Doze apps, or just the common ones.

By the way, Office XP is demanding to be activated, so I will get rid of it as it is on my main desktop...

Do you live in ChCh Chill? If so, you could come around and have a squizz at Xandros in action.

John

metla
17-03-2004, 11:48 PM
Gimp is available for windows.

Although while it is comendable as a free program its............(a turd)

Honestly,one of the worst programs i have ever used.

Jen C
17-03-2004, 11:51 PM
>I've heard good things about the Gimp how does it compare to Photoshop/Elements, does anybody know? Can it be run on doze so I can check it out? Or is that asking for a dollop too

Of course GIMP is freely available in Window flavours! No jam required either! :D

The GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/) - you will see the links for the Windows version.

Note the friendly reminder: You need to download and install GTK+ 1.3 before installing The Gimp 1.2.


>By the way, Office XP is demanding to be activated, so I will get rid of it as it is on my main desktop...

Wonder what Microsoft thinks about their product being activated from a Linux OS :p

John H
17-03-2004, 11:57 PM
>I concure with Chill. Infecting Linux with IE & OE would be an abomination worthy of a generous dollop of jam down ya pants and strapping down on one of those ant nests they get in jafa land

Urk - here I was away minding my own business doing an experiment for Chill and I come back to find Murray has been here before me. Now that I have unwillingly infected the pure Linux environment, I am ripe for punishment.

Thinks - that might be quite fun... I wonder if Murray would agree to hunny instead of jam... ;\

Murray P
18-03-2004, 12:08 AM
> Of course GIMP is freely available in Window flavours! No jam required either!

Leechget is doing its thing with GTK+ 1.3 now, after having a little read up on Gimp. And yes they say no jam, if your still using other than a Unix based OS you get sympathy instead.

Apparently it's not so stable on Windows but that is to be expected, we are talking Windows here ;) It also says its not as... hold on a sec, just got to get the Gimp now, GTK has finished............ powefull as Photoshop which I hope puts it at about Elements level.

Cheers Murray P

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 01:37 AM
Im not too fond of doing everything via the Right-mouse button.
Gimp 2.0 (Pre-release) is looking mighty fine on the Family's Ark Linux box......

So it picked up the Windows-based CD-Rom fine? Double-clicking on the App launched Crossover Wine?

Im pretty sure there are ways to do it with Wine also (Make it run with .exe files), but Im not sure how easy it is....

Seems like Xandros is worth taking a look though.
Now to just free some HDD space on the Family's PC, and get myself a copy of PC Authority :-)

Im also planning on checking out OneBase Linux :-) Looks promising, I just needa go find a review or two.
Time to hit distrowatch I think :-)


Chill.

Murray P
18-03-2004, 09:31 AM
Metla, is that a turd under Windows or just a turd full stop that should have the chain pulled on it.

Honey's fine John, can include a few bees and forget about the ants if your that keen. They all sucking implements but bit or sting, sooner or later, diff camoflage same intent ;)

BTW, we've got of the track a bit re usability and functionality. How are you (and Terry) getting on with Xandros as an OS, are your impressioms still favourable or is it still too early to tell?

Cheers Murray P

John H
18-03-2004, 09:44 AM
>So it picked up the Windows-based CD-Rom fine? Double-clicking on the App launched Crossover Wine?

Actually a bit of both Chill. From memory with the failed install of Nero, the Demo (once copied to the Xandros partition via Windows Networking) showed up with a Crossover icon. Double clicking on the icon launched Crossover Wine, which then unpacked the files to a fake /Windows/Temp directory. You know the rest from my earlier post.

If you want to install Office, you go Launcher - Applications - Crossover - Office Setup (Launcher is the "Start Menu"). Click on Office Setup, and Crossover gathers up its skirts and prepares to install Office. It checks which version you want to install, and then prompts you to insert the Office CD, then Bob is definitely your aunty after a time of wonder - you know, the usual install malarkey plus a bunch of "cannot install ....dll" stuff that is peculiar to Crossover.

Finally, when I had a look to see if there were any Linux drivers on my Linksys disk, Crossover kicked in after recognising that it was a dozy install CD, and offered to install it for me. I aborted that because I did not have time to go through with it, but clearly Crossover did recognise it was an install CD and was ready and offering. Thus far it just seems to have a thing about Nero (or maybe non-CD installs). I will have to try another one some time.

In response to Murray (I think), Photoshop Elements does not show on the install list, but I guess that doesn't give a final answer to whether you could install PE under Crossover - I would have to give it a go.

J

John H
18-03-2004, 09:57 AM
>Honey's fine John, can include a few bees and forget about the ants if your that keen. They all sucking implements but bit or sting, sooner or later, diff camoflage same intent

Oh, I was just worried about raspberry or strawberry pips in uncomfortable places...

>How are you (and Terry) getting on with Xandros as an OS, are your impressioms still favourable or is it still too early to tell?

Well, to be honest, I am starting to wonder why I don't dump Windows and move over completely on my main desktop. Just the devil you know I guess. I am a bit worried about whether my other work vital peripherals will work - e.g. HP multifunction thing (I know my Laserjet 2100 works as a shared printer), my Dynalink RTA300 adsl router, Treo 600 (hotsyncing) etc. And whether my DVD burner will work. And my wireless network which looks problematic at the moment, and SWMBO might be a trifle miffed if she could not check her school email (via First Class) on the house computer in the evening and weekends. I certainly don't want to risk that - she has been really patient with my other experiments but this one may cause dummy spitting...

Another thing is the amount of money my business has invested in Doze apps - e.g. Nero, SystemSuite etc etc. A while ago I tried a Symbian OS phone/PDA, and realised that just changing the OS was not the only expense; I would be dumping PalmOS productivity software etc, and would need to replace them with Symbian apps that were not at the same level of development. I have gone back to PalmOS (Treo 600) instead of double spending.

So whilst Xandros seems to work really well, I am going to have to test it over a range of apps that seem to be really useful in my business. I don't want to end up with useless peripherals.

I guess the next stage will be to bite the bullet and install it on my desktop - it is on my laptop at present to isolate it from the business in a sense, so in case something clangs, I can still work and meet contract deadlines.

Sorry not to be more decisive Murray, but it is simply a matter of time and careful exploration. I can say this, that this is the first Linux OS I have tried that has made me seriously start working out how to swap over, because a. it meets my level of computer literacy, and b. there seems to be a fall back position to use Windows apps through Crossover if the worst comes to the worst.

I think the next stage is to partition the desktop and install it there, and see what happens. This is unlikely to happen over the next fortnight because of my schedule.

John

Murray P
18-03-2004, 10:53 AM
They ain't real pips you know! They use wood chips, bits of plastic or polystyrene to make it look authentic so, nothings going to grow where it shouldn't.

Pop it on the house computer for safety's sake or a diff HDD.

I suspect some of my earlier difficulties with linux would have been easier to sort if I wasn't messing with the same HDD as my business win2k installation. It resricts your freedom to act, especially if your feeling is that you might be doing something risky or experimental.

I've popped an 8GB HDD on my business machine but still hold out hopes that the family will allow me to install on "their" computer. Whats a few game save files, hotmail and messaging compared to my data, ha! I have a natural aversion to hotmail and MSN anway but have managed to get them on to Mozilla, etc, for most things. One step at a time. I note Chill seems to be reasonably sucessfull with his families alternative computing needs, or has it been more of a slog than is apparent.

Cheers Murray P

John H
18-03-2004, 11:09 AM
Chuckle. Wot, even Anatoth raspberry jam which is venerated in our family?

>Pop it on the house computer for safety's sake

I had Mandrake on the house computer and this caused some relationship difficulties because SWMBO (um, arrr) got tangled up with the boot loader and on more than one occasion found Herself in unfamiliar territory. Where had First Class gone??? Etc.. So I took it off and put it on my laptop and life is more straightforward again.

I think I will be OK on a partition on the main PC, but that remains to be seen a couple of weeks down the track.

Thanks for the ideas. I do have a spare HD in one of those cartridge type installations, so I could try that.

John

John H
18-03-2004, 11:15 AM
Not a big thing, but another development. I use SmartSync Pro to synchronise my data daily to the other computers. I had already copied all of my data over to Xandros, and I was wondering about how to keep it up to date.

I just set up a profile in SSPro to synchronise daily, and I just ran it and it worked over the LAN.

It was quicker to set up than to write this post...

John

Terry Porritt
18-03-2004, 11:33 AM
Well, John would seem to be a bit ahead of me at the moment, he has real work to do, I just play all day :)

There is no prospect in site of getting the Logitech ClickSmart 420 web/digital camera to work in Xandros, the drivers are just not yet developed. Neither is there any show of getting my old Canoscan FB310 to go, no drivers for that either, and none on the horizon.

Amongs may other projects which are taking up my playtime, not all computer related, I still have to face the fearsome task of installing Mplayer in Xandros. This involves digging much deeper into the innards and using 'Alien' to convert some rpm files to Debian.

Even harder it seems at the moment is to see if Kshowmail can be installed, it appears to be for RedHat and SuSe distributions, and that would need some expert hacking for Xandros.

I successfully removed Real One and replaced it with RP8 which involved a bit of command line work.

In my case having multiple computers with spare hard drives and caddies lying around it's no great hardship switching between OSs.

It would be very nice to say bye bye to MS, and I'd say this Xandros is one of the easier ways to go, so long as the hardware drivers can be obtained.

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 12:26 PM
Yes, my family have been quite happy with it.

Wine picked up some preschool software my Parents purchased a week ago, and it installed fine. Obviously I had to do the install myself from the command line (wine /mnt/cdrom/Setup.exe) and make a Desktop Icon pointing to where I installed it.

Aside from that it went peachy.
Ive got WineX 3.3 I should try on their PC too....

My parents only gripe is that Ark doesnt let them install Windows apps easily, they've had to call on me for help each time.
Im hoping Crossover Office might solve that? Either that or I need to tell Kde to open .exe's with Wine :-)

If I can get them to open with Wine, I'll post back here, because its been a great alternative. Admittedly Ive installed Firefox/Thunderbird, aMSN, and compiled the latest version of XMMS. Aside from that its just a stock install with no settings tweaked at all.

I had a look at Woolworths today but couldnt see PCAuthority.
Im getting a Laptop on Saturday so I thought I'd try it out for a day or two before using Ark Linux myself (Yes, Im sorry to say Im leaving Gentoo :-().

Terry>
Download the source for Mplayer. Its dead easy to compile:
./configure
make
make install

Then you'll also get mencoder which you dont get with the rpm's.
As for your camera's, try running the following commands:
mkdir /camera
mount /dev/sda1 /camera

Then have a look in /camera for your picture files :-)
Otherwise, check out Digikam


Chill.

Pacifier
18-03-2004, 01:42 PM
You will need to wait a while for the PC authority, it is released in Australia during the month but doesn't get to our fair shores until beginning of the month its for. Oddly enough its usually out on the same day as PC World. You'll need to Subscribe to get it earlier.

Graham L
18-03-2004, 02:10 PM
The March PC Authority is out ... it's past the "beginning of the month". But it's the Feb issue which has a Morphix live CD. ;-) No

The March APC has 2.6.1 kernel and the new module and sysfs stuff. ;-) And lots of CUPS stuff (including the HP office jet which might handle the multipurpose printer).

Pacifier
18-03-2004, 02:45 PM
The Xandros software is included on the April issue of PC authority that has just been published in Australia. It will be here at the beginning of next month

falvrez
18-03-2004, 03:45 PM
getting this thread back to Xandros - it installed perfectly, dual booting nicely with XP Pro...but could never actually get it to work. Usual story - no time to play with it.

Of course the time for the free trial has now run out and can't find anyway *easy* way to uninstall this OS - any ideas? Don't want to lose my XP partition or data....
Have sarched Google and the Xandros website but even their website has no mention of uninstalling it.

Susan B
18-03-2004, 03:51 PM
Very interesting stuff, John. :-)

Would you mind doing a little experiment for me, please? One of my most treasured apps is AZZ CardFile (http://www.azzcardfile.com/), a program that I use all the time.

If you could have a go at installing it and giving it a spin for me I would be really interested to know if it will work in Xandros. It is only a little program so it shouldn't take you long to find out whether it will play nicely in Xandros and I know that there are a couple of other people interested in the results also. You might even find it useful yourself if your results are successful. :-)


Murray: Thanks for the laughs about the jam - Erk!! :O :D

John H
18-03-2004, 04:37 PM
Hi Susan

The programme installed fine, no error messages. It shows up in Windows Applications in Launch (like Start Menu). It opened nicely with no hiccups and it appears to work fine.

Mind you, I am unfamiliar with the file and I only had a little play with the Getting Started bit. A power user like you may find flaws ;-)

Unlike Nero... I finally got it to "install". It did not show up in Windows. After I finally located it buried in the depths of the system, I got it to fire up, with error messages. I burned two coasters - one at 24x and the other at 8x. The data burned on to the disk, but it spat the dummy right at the end which is when I think it is creating the directory that enables the PC to read the CD. I have decided to dump Nero as it seems incompatible, but maybe it will show up in the Xandros user forum with a way of installing it properly.

Finally in this post, for Linux enthusiasts' information, I uninstalled Office XP, including Internet Explorer. I tried everything but I still could not get reference to them out of the Windows Applications in Launcher. I did a simulated Windows reboot, a logout, and a restart, and the darned things stayed there. Finally, I found that there is a facility in Crossover where you can remove reference to the menu items one by one... Good grief.

So, all desktop evidence of pollution is gone. What annoys me is that the whole Office XP mess is still in the .cxoffice/dotwine/fake_windows directory. It includes most of the rubbish you see in windoze, including a Program Files directory with all of the IE, OE etc etc directories. The uninstall function of CrossOver does not get rid of them. I will have to have a look in the manual to see if there are any suggestions...

John

John H
18-03-2004, 04:39 PM
>Mind you, I am unfamiliar with the file

Sorry, slip of the fingers not picked up in preview. I should have said programme or application.

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 04:54 PM
> Hi Susan
>
> The programme installed fine, no error messages. It
> shows up in Windows Applications in Launch (like
> Start Menu). It opened nicely with no hiccups and it
> appears to work fine.
That's good to know, perhaps I'll be investing in Crossover Office sometime soon :-)

> Unlike Nero... I finally got it to "install". It did
> not show up in Windows. After I finally located it
> buried in the depths of the system, I got it to fire
> up, with error messages. I burned two coasters - one
> at 24x and the other at 8x. The data burned on to the
> disk, but it spat the dummy right at the end which is
> when I think it is creating the directory that
> enables the PC to read the CD. I have decided to dump
> Nero as it seems incompatible, but maybe it will show
> up in the Xandros user forum with a way of installing
> it properly.
Apparently Nero can be made to work with Wine, havent checked it out yet.
I use K3b for all my burning, its a Nero clone (Only better ;-)).

> Finally in this post, for Linux enthusiasts'
> information, I uninstalled Office XP, including
> Internet Explorer. I tried everything but I still
> could not get reference to them out of the Windows
> Applications in Launcher. I did a simulated Windows
> reboot, a logout, and a restart, and the darned
> things stayed there. Finally, I found that there is a
> facility in Crossover where you can remove reference
> to the menu items one by one... Good grief.
You can also right-click on the K-menu (Or I think you said Xandros have renamed it) and edit the menu manually in one of the options that popup


Chill.

John H
18-03-2004, 05:21 PM
>I use K3b for all my burning, its a Nero clone (Only better).

I had a look when you referred me to this earlier Chill, but it does not seem to be for Xandros - I noticed references there to Red Hat etc, but I can't recall any refs to Debian, so I was a bit leery about trying it.

>You can also right-click on the K-menu (Or I think you said Xandros have renamed it) and edit the menu manually in one of the options that popup

Thank you, you are right. You right click on Launcher, and one of the options that pops up is Menu Editor. You can then do a whole range of things including removing the menu item. But there are other "sophisticated" options I haven't explored yet. It looks really helpful thanks.

Now, how to get rid of all the unneeded Windows clutter without getting Xandros' appendages stuck in the mangle... Actually, "thinks out loud" maybe that stuff was in there right from the beginning in the fake windows directory?

Terry, if you have not installed Office or anything from Microsoft, could you check your installation? Go (if you are willing!) to your home directory, turn on View hidden files, and then go .cxoffice/dotwine/fake_windows/program files, and let us know what is inside? I notice that Netscape is in there! Thanks if you would do that.

And thanks again Chill for the hints.

Terry Porritt
18-03-2004, 06:20 PM
I dont have much in that folder John.
There is an empty Accessories folder, an empty Common Files folder, and a Netscape/Communicator/Program folder containing an empty plugin folder and a small 28KB netscape.exe (dos) executable, which calls up Mozilla when run, and finally a 5KB launchurl.exe which gives an error message when run.

John H
18-03-2004, 06:28 PM
Thanks Terry, it looks as thought Office XP installed all that garbage then, and the uninstall process does not remove it. Darn.

Chill, I found a Debian package for k3b after all, and installed it using Xandros Networks. Nothing shows up in any of the Launch menus, but I found that if you right click on an object like Home, you get an option to set up a CD project. That launches K3b, but unfortunately there is an error message that reads:
Unable to find cdrecord executable
K3b uses cdrecord to actually write CD's.
Solution: Install the cdrtools package which contains cdrecord.

There is a popup Start K3bSetup 2, which when opened just sets permissions for the Device you are going to burn from, and cdrdao and cdrecord. At present the permissions are set to root .root and I cannot see any way to change them, assuming that this is what I need to do. Under settings, you can set Use burning group (which is unchecked at present, but greyed out is "burning").

Can you interpret any of this? cdrecord does seem to be installed given that it is showing up in the Found programs list. Is this a problem of permissions, and if so, what do you recommend?

Thanks, as ever. John

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 06:45 PM
> Chill, I found a Debian package for k3b after all,
> and installed it using Xandros Networks. Nothing
> shows up in any of the Launch menus, but I found that
> if you right click on an object like Home, you get an
> option to set up a CD project.
You may need to logout and log back in for the settings to take effect. Otherwise, there's an app, I cant quite remember the name of it, but its something like "kappfinder" and it'll hunt down apps to add to the KDE Menu :-)

>That launches K3b, but
> unfortunately there is an error message that reads:
> Unable to find cdrecord executable
That's because cdrecord isnt installed, or has not been installed in one of the usual places. Most likely the first.

> K3b uses cdrecord to actually write CD's.
> Solution: Install the cdrtools package which contains
> cdrecord.
Yup, that's right :-)

> There is a popup Start K3bSetup 2, which when opened
> just sets permissions for the Device you are going to
> burn from, and cdrdao and cdrecord. At present the
> permissions are set to root .root and I cannot see
> any way to change them, assuming that this is what I
> need to do. Under settings, you can set Use burning
> group (which is unchecked at present, but greyed out
> is "burning").
Yes, basically cd burning is locked to your root user ATM, and you need to configure it to allow your normal user to burn with cdrecord and cdrdao (or growisofs if you plan on burning DVD's).
If you run the K3bsetup2 utility (which can also be found within kcontrol), you should be able to configure it easily enough :-)
IIRC, it changes the permissions on cdrecord, as well as /dev/cdrom (or whatever relevant entries).

> Can you interpret any of this? cdrecord does seem to
> be installed given that it is showing up in the Found
> programs list. Is this a problem of permissions, and
> if so, what do you recommend?
Run k3bsetup2. That'll set you right :-)

Lemme know how you get on with burning, Im sure you'll like it.

Cheers


Chill.

John H
18-03-2004, 07:00 PM
Thanks Chill. cdrecord is definitely installed, because I tried logging out and logging back in as root. I successfully burned a CD as Administrator (root), so all the bits are there and installed.

I am sure it is a permissions problem, but when you try to change them in K3bsetup2 utility nothing happens i.e. you click on permissions and nothing moves! The utility says it is for changing permissions, and when you open it you have to provide the root password, but nothing happens.

I will have another look at it after dinner... I do want to get it working because it is much better than the Xandros CD Writer...

John

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 07:09 PM
> Thanks Chill. cdrecord is definitely installed,
> because I tried logging out and logging back in as
> root. I successfully burned a CD as Administrator
> (root), so all the bits are there and installed.
That's good to hear :-)
Personally, I dont login as root thought. Rather you should:
su -
[enter root password]
Then run the app from the command line. It saves on accidental screwing around with things!

> I am sure it is a permissions problem, but when you
> try to change them in K3bsetup2 utility nothing
> happens i.e. you click on permissions and nothing
> moves! The utility says it is for changing
> permissions, and when you open it you have to provide
> the root password, but nothing happens.
That seems odd. Going from memory you have to choose what users you want to be part of the group 'cdrecording', then it makes the changes.

> I will have another look at it after dinner... I do
> want to get it working because it is much better than
> the Xandros CD Writer...
Oh definately! I wouldnt be without it! Goodbye Nero, X-CDRoast, cdbakeoven, and the inbuilt KDE/Konqueror burning, this does everything I'll ever need :D

Im yet to play around with the EmoviX plugin yet, but it looks cool!


Chill.

Terry Porritt
18-03-2004, 07:40 PM
>
> Terry>
> Download the source for Mplayer. Its dead easy to
> compile:
> ./configure
> make
> make install
>
> Then you'll also get mencoder which you dont get with
> the rpm's.
> As for your camera's, try running the following
> commands:
> mkdir /camera
> mount /dev/sda1 /camera
>
> Then have a look in /camera for your picture files
> :-)
> Otherwise, check out Digikam
>
>
> Chill.
Chill:
Well, according to Delphi123 it isnt as easy as that to install mplayer, Here (http://forums.xandros.com/viewtopic.php?t=4593) is what he says.

Digikam can be installed from Xandros Networks, but it doesnt list the Logitech, and a web search says that there is no driver for it.

I will however press on.

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 08:01 PM
> Chill:
> Well, according to Delphi123 it isnt as easy as that
> to install mplayer,
> He
> e (http://forums.xandros.com/viewtopic.php?t=4593) is what he says.
Oh come on! That review was from December 2001!!!
Here's how I compiled it last on my Redhat 9 box:
I ran redhat-config-packages and installed some basic devel tools, mostly for Gnome as its gtk-based iirc.
Downloaded the tar.bz2 file to /home/chill
opened a gnome-terminal and ran:
tar xvjf MPlayer****.tar.bz2
cd MPlayer****
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install
cd ..
rm -rf MPlayer*

Where *** = the MPlayer version.

If its much more hassle than that, I'd be shocked...

> Digikam can be installed from Xandros Networks, but
> it doesnt list the Logitech, and a web search says
> that there is no driver for it.
There's no driver for my Creative PC-Cam 650, but I can still mount it to /camera and copy the image files from it. It basically treats it as a USB Thumbdrive :-)


Chill.

Terry Porritt
18-03-2004, 09:54 PM
Well, Chill, when I tried to configure I got messages that I needed to install libpng, libpng-dev, and xlibs-dev which i did after some difficulty finding.

So what I want to know is why cant a program just be downloaded and installed as in Windows?????????? All this configuring, compiling, making nonsense

it is this sort of thing that puts people off Linux, and I dont regard myself as dim :(

So now MPlayer is installed as a command line program. A skin and a font has to be installed now.

So somehow you must have got hold of a simple package from somewhere. However that Delphi123 posting on the Xandros forum was 20 January 2004, not 2001???? where did you get that date from?.

Chilling_Silence
18-03-2004, 10:00 PM
Im sure it said Dec 2001 on the actual review....

Anyways, you should be able to install something like Synaptic or Yum... It'll take care of it all :-)

Ive just been playing with CrossoverOffice. Damn it rocks! Easy installation for any windows apps, its nothing short of a brilliant Front-End to Wine and more!

Well worth the look, I'll post some screenies soon


Chill.

John H
18-03-2004, 10:22 PM
Well, after downloading all manner of queer objects from Debian.org, I managed to get K3b to burn!

I first downloaded v1 of cdrecord as a stable release, and that worked, but K3b was very sniffy about it and said that I should be using v2.

That is when I downloaded all manner of bits and pieces related to cdrecord v2 (said to be in testing!), installed them with (apparently) varying degrees of success. I then fired it up and burned another CD.

Score: Coasters 3, usable CDs 2!

I am now unsure if I am using v1 or v2, but at least K3b isn't being sniffy with me anymore so I suspect I got there by the grace of a greater power than me and a forked stick. K3b is better than the inbuilt burner.

What is weird about this whole thing is why it would burn with the original v2 installation under root (where there is nothing useful to burn anyway) but not under my user name. Then when I install it separately from K3b it works. Sheesh.

Thanks Chill. Can I go to bed now?

John

Susan B
18-03-2004, 10:31 PM
John, thanks very much for doing that for me, that sounds brilliant! :-)

Susan B
18-03-2004, 10:36 PM
> So what I want to know is why cant a program just be downloaded and installed as in Windows?????????? All this configuring, compiling, making nonsense

Because it isn't Windows. :p :D


> it is this sort of thing that puts people off Linux, and I dont regard myself as dim

Now now Terry, this time next week you will be up there with the pros dishing out advice to the rest of us newbies. ;-)

Keep it up. :-)

Gorela
19-03-2004, 12:52 AM
Hi Falvrez,

The easiest way is to remove the XP install :)

If I can't convince you of that there is a fairly convoluted solution. If you happen to have a linux CD distro (like Knoppix that was on a PC World CD some time ago) start that and then use the *nix version of fdisk. You could possibly use the original trial installation CD in manual mode as an alternative.

Once you have fdisk running (if from a terminal you would fdisk /dev/hda) change the linux partitions to windows FAT32 partitions by typing p (this will give you the partition table) then typing t and then the partition number and then making them b to create the FAT32 partition in it's place.

Once you are happy with what you have done (check by using p) hit w to write the new table and then q to exit fdisk.

To remove the boot loader (if it has been installed in the MBR) restart the computer with a Windows 98 boot/recovery disk and then using the Windows fdisk type fdisk /mbr. Needless to say that it is a very good idea to back-up all your important documents before doing any of the above. :) I should also mention that no warrantee is expressed or implied :D

HTH

Gorela
19-03-2004, 12:56 AM
Slight error with the MBR bit :8} it should be fdisk \mbr

Windows for you :P

Gorela
19-03-2004, 01:08 AM
Terry,

I was having a wee glance around after reading your comment about RedHat and SuSE RPM's for kShowmail and found a reference to using apt-get install kshowmail or apt-get install eremove which is supposedly similar but not as good as kshowmail :)

Use the above from the terminal when you're on-line.

Someone did mention that Xandros had a debian base and you seem to be more comfortable with the command line :D

Chilling_Silence
19-03-2004, 01:42 AM
> Slight error with the MBR bit :8} it should be fdisk
> \mbr

Im pretty sure you had it right first time round.
Ive always used fdisk /mbr :-)


Chill.

Terry Porritt
19-03-2004, 08:24 AM
Susan, I got carried away with the enormity of the learning curve in front of me, having first been lulled into complacency by the easy install.

I should have said why can't a Linux program be downloaded and installed just like a good old MS- DOS program. Just download, unzip into a directory and run the executable.....done :). I suppose (talking from ignorance), that all this compiling, converting etc, is to cope with the myriad of different Linux flavours?

I suppose my problem is I havent even read up on anything Linux yet, not even the basic commands , just using dos type commands and using / instead of \ :)

Murray P
19-03-2004, 10:38 AM
> I suppose my problem is I havent even read up on
> anything Linux yet, not even the basic commands ,
> just using dos type commands and using / instead of \
> :)

Terry here (http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/rute-home.html) is some light reading to get you started on understanding Linux/Unix. I can burn it in pdf form (about 5MB) if you don't like to download it.

I have only started reading it myself but, seem to be having difficulty with my glasses, I only seem to be able to manage a few chapters at a time before things things get blerry.

Cheers Murray P

Graham L
19-03-2004, 10:50 AM
Gorela: Are you suggesting using a W98 boot disk to replace an XP boot sector?:O

I think that might be imprudent.;-)

Use the boot manager to get into XP. Then there is a standard XP procedure to alter the boot manager.

Terry Porritt
19-03-2004, 11:16 AM
Thanks Murray I'll download that and copy to CD, no problem, maybe even buy a book to leaf through, much better than trying to read this sort of stuff off a screen.

Maybe it's time to RTFM. :)

Murray P
19-03-2004, 12:47 PM
> Maybe it's time to RTFM. :)

Wwhaaaat! Terry, are you suggesting that you would copout, and in public on this forum? :O

This sort of subversive talk has got to stop.

Imagine if impressionable noob's caught on to this RTFM malarkey. Yes that's right, the end could be nigh for PF1 and hordes of able tech's making an honest living. No more botched installs, crud clogged HDD's, deleted system files, misplaced data, fried chips (except on Fridays), buggered BIOS's and TIOATWO deficiency syndrome (Turn It On At The Wall Outlet). The horror of that scenario is too much to contemplate.

Some wee queries for my peace of mind Terry:

Do you have a map in the car? Do you ask directions when in doubt? Do you always keep your keys in the same place and can never find them and, is that place a handbag? Is your given name really Teri and not Terry as you claim?

If you honestly answered yes to any of the above then, we can safely assume that this is not a computer related issue and can therefore ignore it as OT.

And, on reflection, we still have MS on our side so, there will still be IE & OE, security issues, updates & patches on patches, dll files, the registry and most of all, Bill's inquisative nature. :) Sigh! thanks to our lucky stars for good old relieable MS.

Maybe I've been a bit harsh afterall. If you need to talk about it, you know where to come.

Cheers Murray ;P

Susan B
19-03-2004, 02:31 PM
> Susan, I got carried away with the enormity of the learning curve in front of me, having first been lulled into complacency by the easy install.

In other words, the honeymoon is over. :p :D

> I should have said why can't a Linux program be
> downloaded and installed just like a good old MS- DOS
> program. Just download, unzip into a directory and
> run the executable.....done :). I suppose (talking
> from ignorance), that all this compiling, converting
> etc, is to cope with the myriad of different Linux
> flavours?

I am waiting for one of the Linux gurus to explain this one also though you are probably correct about that.

> I suppose my problem is I havent even read up on anything Linux yet, not even the basic commands , just using dos type commands and using / instead of \ :)

OMG!! :O

That really makes me feel good as I have a couple of Clearview folders stuffed full of manual and Help file printouts and notes that I have to refer to every five seconds. :p And you have been able to get away without needing any of that so far?!! :O
Oh well, my excuse is that I wasn't brought up on DOS. :p


Murray: Gee you really crack me up sometimes!! :D

bmason
19-03-2004, 02:46 PM
&gt; I should have said why can't a Linux program be
&gt; downloaded and installed just like a good old MS- DOS
&gt; program. Just download, unzip into a directory and
&gt; run the executable.....done :). I suppose (talking
&gt; from ignorance), that all this compiling, converting
&gt; etc, is to cope with the myriad of different Linux
&gt; flavours?

Installing applications is an area where linux still needs some work. It can be incredibly easy (apt-get install mplayer), or far to complicated (eg compiling, or converting packages). You really shouldnt have to resort to compiling with a desktop distro.

There are cases where you can just download & run a program, provided you have all the librarys etc installed. An example is Firefox.

My advice is: work with the package manager. In the long run it does save a lot of effort:
- It installs & removed packages properly.
- When you install an updated package it will handle cleaning up the old version.
- It will usually be able to install other required libraries (dependencies) automatically.
- It will avoid "installrot". You should notice that unlike windows, after X months it won't feel like it needs a reinstall.

The hard part as you have found is getting the right packages.
Xandros is debian based, so you should be able to tell it to look in the _massive_ debian package library which should have everything you will need.

Jen C
19-03-2004, 03:47 PM
>I should have said why can't a Linux program be downloaded and installed just like a good old MS- DOS program. Just download, unzip into a directory and run the executable.....done . I suppose (talking from ignorance), that all this compiling, converting etc, is to cope with the myriad of different Linux flavours?

Linux programs can just be download and installed using a pre-compiled binary that someone has made from source themselves. RPM's are one such package. With those you simply double-click it to install the program (assuming you have met all the pre-requirements). They can be produced to be specific for the distro, for example Fedora Core 1 rpm's will have a fc1 in the file name, Mandrake will have a mdk, but most are OS non-specific. The person who produced the RPM has to cover the fact that someone using a 486 computer and someone using a Pent 4 will both need to have that same package work on their machines. So, the RPM is produced as a i386 which will cover all bases. Some RPM's will be available that have been optimised for newer machines, eg Pent 3 and above - this RPM's will have a i686 in their file name to indicate it will only work on those processors types and above.

As you can see, by using a general RPM (most come as i386) you are installing extra support for a processor that you do not have, and has not been optimised for your faster processor. Therefore it will include backwards compatibility that you do not need (extra baggage). Linux has the advantage over Windows where you can install software specific for your machine in front of you (how geeky is that! :D). This is where compiling comes in. Rather than use someone else's generalised pre-compiled RPM, you can specify additional build options (if you wish) and then compile, and install the software. Other times you need to compile software yourself, is when there are no suitable pre-compiled binaries available.

As bmason has already mentioned, package managers (RPM) for example, not only install software for you, it keeps track of where everything went which makes in easy to remove and update.

For myself, I use a mixture of pre-compiled RPM's and compiling the software myself depending upon the program. I sometimes even build my own RPM's from source to install rather than just compiling and installing directly from source. This way I get a RPM optimised for my machine/OS, and the RPM program can keep track of this new software - best of both worlds!

Hope this makes things a little clearer with the difference of using pre-compiled packages and installing from source (hopefully my understanding and explanation of this is correct - some one will correct me if not :p). I also used RPM as an example because that is the only package manager I have experience with, but the same sort of mechanisms work with other distro's package managers.

Again quoting bmason, use the Xandros package manager where possible for installing software as that is what it is designed for, but don't be afraid to compile your own if necessary. I think you got off to a rough start because MPlayer requires additional packages to be install such as codecs, fonts and skins :). For most source software it is a simple matter of entering in three commands, ./configure, make, make install, and that's it - program is installed.

Since you know DOS commands, you might find this of interest: Win/DOS to Linux Quick Reference (http://www.control-escape.com/linux/lx-translate.html).

Terry Porritt
19-03-2004, 07:26 PM
Thanks Jen for those explanations.
I do have to admit knowing very basic Unix commands from ftp'ing from command line dos when on the old DSIR network, in the days when Windows meant Win 3, but that is a long time ago now, and decrepititus is edging nearer :)

Terry Porritt
19-03-2004, 07:29 PM
Sorry, thanks also Brett. Knowing the right words and being pointed in the right direction is half the battle as then a search or lookup can be made.

TonyF
19-03-2004, 08:06 PM
> Maybe I've been a bit harsh afterall. If you need to
> talk about it, you know where to come.
>
> Cheers Murray ;P
Murray I think you ought to hop in your car and drive to Upper Hutt and sit beside Terry at his machine(s) - that is, if there is room for a second person in his playroom !
We await developments ....
Cheers Tonyf

Chilling_Silence
20-03-2004, 01:44 AM
> Installing applications is an area where linux still
> needs some work. It can be incredibly easy (apt-get
> install mplayer), or far to complicated (eg
> compiling, or converting packages). You really
> shouldnt have to resort to compiling with a desktop
> distro.
What's wrong with that? My whole OS is compiled..... ;-)
He's right though, sticking with the Distro's Package Management system can make life a lot easier.
Compiling isnt that difficult to do (./configure && make && make install will do most basic apps, like Gaim, XMMS) but you need the old source files when upgrading the application. Things can get messy real easy :p

> There are cases where you can just download & run a
> program, provided you have all the librarys etc
> installed. An example is Firefox.
Ahhh.. Yes, Firefox. Its all in the way its written/compiled :-)

> My advice is: work with the package manager. In the
> long run it does save a lot of effort:
> - It installs & removed packages properly.
> - When you install an updated package it will handle
> cleaning up the old version.
> - It will usually be able to install other required
> libraries (dependencies) automatically.
> - It will avoid "installrot". You should notice that
> unlike windows, after X months it won't feel like it
> needs a reinstall.
Too right :-)

> The hard part as you have found is getting the right
> packages.
Google is your friend

Hope this helps


Chill.

Murray P
20-03-2004, 09:58 PM
> Murray I think you ought to hop in your car and drive
> to Upper Hutt and sit beside Terry at his machine(s)
> - that is, if there is room for a second person in
> his playroom !
> We await developments ....
> Cheers Tonyf

I'm not sure whether that would be a wise thing to do on my part Tony :) Besides I'd probably get lost.

Cheers Murray ;P

TonyF
20-03-2004, 11:02 PM
> I'm not sure whether that would be a wise thing to do
> on my part Tony :) Besides I'd probably get lost.
Do I deduce you might be envious about some of that test gear? I am, and I would have liked some of it to check out my last DIY amp ...
Cheers T

Murray P
21-03-2004, 02:08 PM
I wouldn't have a clue what most of it was for, maybe in general terms but that's about it. If any of it could output relative humidity then I'd be on firmer footing.

Anybody have some thoughts on a smallish distro (1 CD ISO) that I can run in preparation? I want something that will load to disc rather than run from CD and I guess Debian based. From my research so far, the ones that get good reviews tend to require compiling from source which is probably a bit beyond me at this stage although I'm tempted.

Cheers Murray P

Murray P
21-03-2004, 03:57 PM
Have you come across this site (http://linuxshop.ru/linuxbegin/win-lin-soft-en/table.shtml) for windows/linux equivalents & replacements. A little out of date in these fast moving times but the links should be useful all the same.

Cheers Murray P

Graham L
21-03-2004, 04:38 PM
It's probably time for a new thread for this, which is only marginally related to Xandross now. ;-) It's now over 120 postings long ... and it really needs to be RPMed.