Linux XP 2006 SR2 - From Russia with Love???

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This entry was posted on 9/27/2006 1:17 PM and is filed under Distros.

So the other day I was reading the Weekly review on and was checking out a recent tidbit on Linux XP that seems to have caused quite a stir on their site. Seems that for the past 7 days, Linux XP has surpassed Ubuntu for number one on their list. To quote Ladislav

"So why did so many of you click? Is it the catchy name or the attraction of a Linux system resembling a more familiar environment? Or maybe just plain curiosity? And if you downloaded and tried the new release, what do you think of it? Is Linux XP likely to remain on your computer? Have any of you paid the license fee? If so, why?"

So I decide to download and see what I think of it. Personally, something this hyped has a lot to live up to, so let's see how they did.


Download Here
Kernel - Kernel 2.6.15
Desktop - Gnome
FAQs -
Cost - FREE to try, doesn't work very well, 30 boots then it crashes, so really $39.99 for Key ($39.98 in Canada)
Special Features - Look and feel of Windows, LDAP support, full media support out of the box and that's about it really

Nitty Gritty:
Installation ( )

Since this is really a repackaged version of Fedora, it is no surprise to see Anaconda used to install. Nothing new here, so if you have ever installed Redhat or Fedora you will see some familiar things. First thing I did note was that the splash screen was fuzzy. Not a great start folks.

Next the splash screen is nice and colorful, but reminds of my neighbors in Redmond. I mean I know you can try to make software look like what people are used to, but to really try and steal a name comfort like this too, splash screens and everything, does this mean there is no unique look and feel to this?

Ok, so we are right into Anaconda here, same silly logo.

So the first thing here is to setup my disk, which you can do automatically and then manually with disk druid. Now, I absolutely hate disk druid for many, many reasons, but again being a Fedora clone, this is what you get. For my VMWare install I used the automatic, but for my personal laptop I used disk druid since the auto didn't work. So far negative two on this so far, not going so well.

So even though you select Automatic, the tool then goes and asks me a question. Hmmm, not very automatic, more like manual with no chance wait, I can delete everything here. Not the best option for a newbie. So for those who don't know, what you want to do here is based on what you already have on your system. If you have windows, you will likely need to select use free space, which will resize windows and create a Linux partition next to it. If you already have a multi partitioned drive, then you can use Keep all partitions and use existing free space. The others are just stupid, as they will either wipe out the entire hard drive, or wipe out all the Linux partitions (non NTFS ones), which both are going to end whatever might exist already. Three negative, one cute logo....

Now, I don't exactly get where this was automatic on anything, minus that it took my VMWare drive and created a EXT3 partition for my main, created a small boot partition and then a swap drive. But in my case, none got labeled, so I had to manually edit each and assign their relative usage. Big gets "/", little gets "/boot" and medium gets "Linux-swap". Arrrgggg....

So here you need to select/set up your boot loader. In my laptop it did see my Windows partition and add that, but it didn't see any of my other Linux distros. I did add them and used what it calls "default boot" for each, but that just added a chainloader line to grub. Um, that really doesn't cut the mustard folks, so only my windows partition worked. Now, most newbies only will have the one probably, so this isn't a killer, but for anyone with a debian Linux distro, this means your system will have to be reconfigured after you get into this one. Minus four, and I am really starting to hate that logo.

So now on to network, where my options are to do DHCP (which 99% of you will need) or Static IP. You can edit the configuration of your NIC, but not many will need to do that. However, this did not see my wireless or make any attempt at configuring. Minus 5. Logo sucks.

Ok, I know where I live on the pretty map....make sure you select UTC if your machine is set that way.

Pretty basic here, root password. But wait, the dialog on the left says that "once the installation is completed, create a non-root account for my general use...are you kidding me? I will need to create my user account after I log in as root? Um, did these guys miss the class on Linux Security 101? That means unless you directly take them to this, the likelihood of someone creating a separate user account is about a snowball's chance in Miami. Minus 6.

That is it folks. No place to select what packages, or system type. Now, for a newbie this might not be so bad if they have never install Linux before. But, what is the goal of this install? No user account? Didn't find my wireless card? Cannot select any package type for desktop or laptop? Compared to other products similar in class, mainly Linspire and Xandros, this install really is overly basic and extremely dangerous. This is my first 2 Pennie install, in that it doesn't do what it needs to do and can do too many bad, bad things. Some people may like it, but for me this doesn't do what it needs to do, nor what it should do, or instruct people on what it could be doing along the way. But they do have pretty screens to watch while it installs.

Based on how many packages need to be installed? Don't they know, they restricted me from selecting any....

We will learn that this is very misleading once we launch the program. Seems you get a 20% ride on the free bus, and if you want any packages you need to pony up $40.

Ok, so I am not pleased with what I have seen so far, but things can only get better, right? I am afraid I won't ever know. Why? Read on....

Starting (

So there are about 500 distros out on Some charge a fee like Linspire, Xandros, Novell, Redhat, etc...but even those have demos that allow you to install for a short period of time, say 30-60 days. This one is supposed to be the same. It states that you can boot for 30 cycles, which is odd because if one never reboots, they get the system forever. Free Beer, right? Wrong.

The look and feel is very similar to Xandros for me, however they are using Gnome and not KDE. On their website they state...
"Forget about KDE. KDE is for hackers and that is why it sucks in end-user oriented distribution.We are not supporting it in any way. You can install it from Fedora repositories and use it on your own risk."

Hmmm, ok. Guess we see how they feel.

When I clicked on the Start button and then selected Office, I was surprised to only see Dia there. There is no Openoffice as claimed by the website and then even in the install pretty pictures. Where is it I wonder. Well, it isn't there. Period. It didn't get installed. So I then go to the control panel to install it.

When you click on the pretty Application icon (this is very well laid out, but honestly I am not going to make a big deal out of that) you get the option for Install or Update.

Um, not to be picky, but you cannot select Next. So party is over folks. Sure, I am more than positive I could take the time and download RPMs and install them manually, but obviously they don't want me to have a fully functional machine until I cough up the money. Now, I realize that people want to earn a living. But if you want to compete in Linux offerings one has to give away Free as in Gratis, not Free as in Beer. Sure, keep your 30 boots for the trial version, but let me be fully functional without having to hack my own Linux system. What is the point then, I am worse off than I am with Windows.

I can honestly say this is the most disappointed I have been with a distro for a long time. You may love it. It might jump right out and get you to pay the $40 and use this. But there are so many better options out there where I could give $40 to any distro and know that my contribution is for something I like, rather than something I might like.

Bonus Stuff ()

Um never got anything bonus minus the loss of a $0.50 blank CD, an hour downloading the distro (use torrent or you will wait until the Soviet Union comes back to power). Sure it looks like windows XP. I hate windows XP. I am the guy that makes my XP on my work laptop look like Windows 2000.

Overall ( )

Well folks, if you want to give this a shot, be my guest. If you speak Russian, you got a great package to play with. But in my opinion if you want to spend $40 for an OS, this is not the one to invest in. Xandros offers so much more, so does Linspire. What they are trying to do I am not sure. Why there is so much activity on Distrowatch for this, I really don't know. I do know that the hype is not worth my time, nor will this be spending any more time on my hard drive. Anyone want to buy my CD?


KnoLinuxGuy (Kevin)

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    • 9/27/2006 11:58 PM TRL wrote:
      You are absolutley right, but let give him a chance. Maybe they change somthing in their mind... maybe. If not this story is about money not Linux.
      Reply to this
      1. 9/28/2006 8:16 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        I sure hope they do change their mind on their marketing strategy. It just cannot compete with the likes of Linspire or Xandros, as they have nothing after the sale to offer except patches, which come from the Fedora project anyway.

        Nothing in this distro sets it apart from any other XP clone. If they drop the price down about $30, or offer a free trial so you get hooked on the look and experience, then they might be able to sell this.

        I think the store about Linux is almost always about money. Most people who come over are tired of MS trying to make money in everyway possible with no regard to the people who own the hardware. Others just want FREE as in BEER software. In either case, people just are tired of software being controlled by patents, IP, and other silly notions and just want to learn more about computing, increasing productivity, or reaching out to the world to improve total living for everyone, everywhere. That is what I am really all about. If we can get this $100 laptop project to have a decent project and we can get internet to the masses, imaging the world 50 years from now when a kid in the middle of Africa or South American jungles learns about science, math, or history. So many brilliant people are out there and never given a chance based only on where they were born, and that isn't fair to the rest of the world.

        Sorry, got on my soap box. You all can have it back now.

        Thanks for the comments and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 9/28/2006 4:41 AM Nelson Lobo wrote:
      Hi Kevin
      lovely review. Lots of detail. I love it. The creator has taken free stuff (FC) and made it a paid version and that too which looks like XP. This is the worst distro.
      Reply to this
      1. 9/28/2006 8:09 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        I agree that they have taken what should be an open movement and closed it down completely. Either charge people for the distro like Xandros, offer a FULL trial copy with 30 boots, or say you are the equivalent of MS and not part of the Open Source Movement. I bet this has RMS' a bit upset.

        Thanks for the comments and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 9/28/2006 8:36 AM Boris wrote:
      Actually I understand these guys better, than many of you do.
      It's a tragedy and a comedy combined...

      Being an old Russian myself, I remember perfectly well the epoch, when each of us engineers was required to repeat 3 times daily that USSR is the greatest and the smartest country in the world, that our engineers will create devices and programs unequalled in the whole world, and that once we unveil this perfection, all Westerners will stand in lines to buy this perfect stuff...

      Apparently these Linux XP guys still live in the shadow of this myth. As far as I understand, this is the team of software engineers, who are not old enough to retire, but not young enough to shed the illusions of the USSR era.

      The funniest thing in all this is, that they sincerely believe their product to be worth all the hype - they cannot do an honest comparison.

      In their minds, the model of interaction between the Linux provider and Linux user is still based on the model of interaction between the cook and the inmates in jail: "You take this, or else you get this ladle across your teeth, pal!"

      I still wish them luck, but I know, how unrealistic my wishes are. It is the era of choices now, good time for them to understand it...

      Smile you all!

      Reply to this
      1. 9/28/2006 9:12 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Thank you Boris for the insight to the why's and how's behind what might be going on. I don't think that in any way this package is not as good as any other package, but I do think that they are missing the point on what Linux is about. Yes, comfort is good. I think they are following the Name recognition game against people being willing or able to research good Linux distros. I guess people might think, "well since it has XP on it, and my last one had XP on it, I should buy this." Well, this is actually one of the main reasons I started my site, so that newbies don't have to go to 80 different websites to review linux distros. My goal is to have at least 25 of what I feel are good and then also bad ones like this so that people will be able to come, take a look, get an idea of what it can or can't do for them, then let them make their own decision. I love what distrowatch has done for the understanding of what is out there, I am just trying to take it to the next step and put a look and feel to that knowledge.

        Thanks for the comments and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 9/29/2006 1:39 AM aussiebear wrote:
      I don't know about you folks, but when I dumped Windows for Linux, I wanted to escape from being cornered into paying for things I didn't need. (The prime reason for me to jump was WGA).

      What really turns me off about this distro, is their advertising approach. They don't mention anything in regards to how limited things are and what you need to pay. You don't find this out until AFTER you've downloaded and tried it out. That's just plain deceptive at best.

      I don't support projects with this kind of behaviour. They need to deceive people just to get them to use their products!
      Reply to this
      1. 9/29/2006 8:04 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Amen brother bear, Amen.

        Thanks for the comments and good luck trying to find one that does meet your needs. Have you tried the Aussie package based on Gentoo of Kororaa? I really like that one, just waiting for the next version to give it another go. 

        WGA never really bothered me as all software I use is licensed and not pirated. I don't really care if they know I have it or not. Now the Sony Root Kit is what really got me. The ability of any software to install and take over my own machine so that it reports me to big brother just pisses me off. I guess this is going to be fixed in Vista, but with so many people out there hacking windows and so few worried about Linux, I feel safe knowing that what I do with my hardware is my business.

        Thanks for the comments and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 9/29/2006 10:07 AM Charles wrote:
      I like the overall look, and the way it networks so easily. But I do not like the nags at the bottom of the screen, or how it will not play audio for me. I'll be keeping PCLinux, Mepis, Fedora Core, and Ubuntu instead of this'n.
      Reply to this
      1. 9/29/2006 10:47 AM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Thanks Charles,

        I think that they have done well with some of the aspects they feel MS users would want, but this does not do anything outside of what some others like Xandros, Linspire and especially Novell do. It is amazing to me how they hate KDE, but want Gnome to look and feel like many have done with KDE to match XP. Oh well, hopefully they will learn from their mistakes and put together a more friendly package.

        Thanks for the comments and best wishes



        Reply to this
    • 12/29/2006 5:32 PM Noob wrote:
      I like it, haven't paid for it yet. price is now $19. I'm totally new to Linux, know nothing about it so this looked like what I wanted. I had no problem with the install onto a Gateway solo laptop. It did let me run the update and it updated something? and added a bunch of games. So hopefully someone is listing to the criticisms. I actually installed the adobe flash on it thanks to the instructions on the adobe site. Tried to install windows media player 9 on it to no avail. course I don't know what I'm doing. This OS does run way way faster than windowz XP did on my system. It's up and loaded ready to go in 2 mins. With windowz xp it took 9mins. I really like that! I found this web site through a search engine and after reading all the reviews I think Freespire is the one for me. Off to it and install it. Maybe this Linux XP will really run windows programs with ease one day and I'll try it again.
      Reply to this
      1. 12/29/2006 6:01 PM KnoLinuxGuy wrote:
        Hey noob,

        I think you will like Freespire over Linux XP. If you want Windows support, Codeweavers comes with Xandros Professional, or you can use Wine without the extra GUI that Codeweavers offers.

        Freespire offers the most Windows support without Codeweavers, allowing most media to be played.

        I would save the $19 and go with either Freespire or Xandros or you could also try a free distro like OpenSuse or Fedora, but these downloads are pretty large.

        Hope all goes well, keeps us informed how things go.



        Reply to this
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