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Review of Corel Linux 1.1.2 171

With all of the recent hoopla over Corel Linux, it's going to be interesting to see the reviews of the download and retail versions of Corel Linux. And while we're on the subject of distributions, it should also be mentioned that Stormix has released Stormix Linux 2000. Note that both are based on Debian - what do people think about the new distros?
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Review of Corel Linux 1.1.2

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I really like the Corel Dist. I've installed it myself. The only thing Im not too wild about is the Corel "Bugfixes" of the QT Library that is shipped with it. This results in standard QT/KDE Apps that wont start. Why release a separate version of QT: a Corelish KDE? Looks like a Microsoft favorite: embrace and extend.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wanted to try it out of morbid curiosity. Alas, booting the CD on my relatively new Sony Vaio (desktop) resulted in a spontaneous reboot when it seemed like it was going to initialize the X server. Guess it doesn't like the ATI Rage 128 card. Is this fixed? I also had no luck on my older machine with a SB16 scsi card (aha152x chipset) with a sony 4x scsi cdrom.. simply didn't detect it. So... I was all gung-ho for trying it and I just gave up on it in disgust. The only machine I could seem to get it to work on was my Dell Optiplex GX1p at work and I'm not about to wipe out my nicely functioning Mandrake install just to play with Corel.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Initally, I have to admit I was a little dissappointed with the Corel distro. But after some though I realized who Corel's market is. And its not me.

    Out of the box(?) its a pretty decent drop in replacement for Windows. But thats just it. Nothing more really.

    Some of my co-workers loved that fact, but I don't see corporations buying it.

    Interesting marketing strategy though with including an ICQ client (haven't tried it, but I might buy it just to give it a whirl) and some games. It really seems to try and give you value for your dollar.

    I just home Corel expands their field of vision.

  • I had trouble with the pre-patches, but there is a ide-patch for 2.2.13, so you don't have to use the pre-patches.
  • I don't think a distro has to provide something new and innovative to the scene. That's not the point of a distro. Programmers provide new and innovative things, distros are just supposed to package them up nicely for me to save me the work of hunting down and installing them. And compiling them. I don't mind compiling the occasional package, but my /usr partition's got a gig worth of stuff in it! I shudder to think how long it would take to recompile my entire OS. Recompiling the kernel every time I upgrade is enough of a time killer.

    Thus, any distro that provides these services for me is a great distro. I particularly like Mandrake because they recompile everything for Pentium, something I'd otherwise want to do but just don't have the time to do for every package in the system. They also package stuff up more quickly than RedHat. I believe Mandrake shipped a distro based on kernel 2.2.13 before RedHat shipped a distro based on 2.2.10! Not that there's anything wrong with RedHat's speed, I'm sure they spend more time making sure everything works well together than Mandrake does, which is why they're always behind on version numbers. But not everyone cares that much, if you're running a server this is wonderful (although why aren't you using Debian in that case?), but for a Pentium desktop machine used by a developer who wants to stay on the bleeding edge, Mandrake performs a great service by being a more up-to-date and optimized RedHat. I don't need anything NEW from them, I just need my RedHat updated more frequently and compiled with Pentium optimizations. Mandrake fills this niche wonderfully.

    There aren't too many "based on" distros. Frankly, considering the variety of different users with different needs out there, there probably aren't enough.


  • corel installed without doing anything really. thats all good and dandy, but lots of devices didn't work and i had to set them up by hand (not that i'm not used to that), but i don't see the point of making the install so user friendly if a windows user is just gonna choke once they try to use it, i'm sure these problems will be addressed in later versions (no other distro really has any good device setup either). and the kernel they shipped with was unstable and locked up when i tried to use their corel update software so i couldn't download recent kernel source easily/compilers (no it doesn't ship with gcc), had to compile it on my other debian box and transfer it over. but overall it was pleasant, i changed the apt sources and upgraded it to potato :)
  • Debian currently comes on 4CDs (2 binary, 2 source), although if you add in non-US and non-free (neither of which are part of the official distribution) you get an extra CD. Given the rate at which the number of packages increases I can see there being more CDs than this next time around.

    I'm not surprised SuSE comes on more disks - it includes a large selection of non-free software (some of which is quite large), which Debian obviously won't include. That's possibly worth a CD by itself, and then there's KDE and all the other QT stuff which isn't included yet.

    I suspect that when people say "Debian includes more stuff" they're either doing a comparison on the number of packages or looking at some particular set of obscure software that isn't included by other distributions (what other distribution has not one, but two INTERCAL compilers?).
  • > and any idiot can install it.
    Actually it's more like an idiot install
    considering that it blows the other partitions
    and refuses to install on a preformated partition.
    It prefers to screw up the hard disk instead.
  • Unzip is not missing because of a mistake they did not put it in because they are gearing users to X only. I also found other useful command line apps missing. I find that silly since X and the command line is joined at the hip. I know if you want it you can still get it yourself, but a good distribution IMHO will balance command line and X since command line is integral to Linux/Unix admistration.
  • just a note on your last paragraph...when Storm boots up, it displays an almost-splash screen, but it has this viewing window in the middle of it where the boot messages are displayed. So, it looks pretty for those who want a pretty boot up, but it also satisfies the need for informative boot messages.

    Pete Lypkie

    "The value of a man resides in what he gives,
    and not in what he is capable of receiving."

  • The biggest problem I ever had with debian is that I could never really get dselect. I was able to install it once and then use the system a little, but it was not an enjoyable experience. I have tried slackware and the only problem I had there was that the upgrade was more of a cluge than a real upgrade. I tried SuSE but they like makeing evaluation distributions that are different than there ftp site (ask Linuxmall and linuxcentral about that). I do not have the bandwidth or the time to be downloading a distribution so I turned to Redhat which is a decent distribution. I use it cause it is easy to upgrade and I understand rpm, it is well documented. There is a howto use rpm and also a 400 page manual called maximum rpm which you can download in pdf form. I did n ot find anything like that on dselect.

    I think that it is good that there are companies making distributions on debian. I hope that they help create a better interface to dselect so that it is much friendlier. If that obstacle were overcome, I think more woudl switch to debian. A debian distribution has more packages per dollar than any other distribution. You can get the debian distribution for a few dollars at cheapbytes and get more software than a Redhat or SuSE distro. Since I never use the manuals anyway this is a better thing for me.

    send flames > /dev/null

  • The second distro would be Enoch [].
  • I did not know that about Storm. Caldera takes a similar approach, but on my machine it appears to crap out, washing out the graphics from the splash screen in preference to the boot information.

    I personally prefer all of the extraneous information, but believe that mainstream Linux is going to need a pretty splash screen to make people feel "modern."
  • I've installed Corel Linux on my Desktop PC several weeks ago and made several experiences:

    The install is okay. I'm not religious about a graphical install, and, well, maybe people are used to that from Microsoft, but it adds some extra complexity to the installer. For example, you must have a supported graphics card.

    The packages are mostly from Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 (aka slink), so you can get all those nice little programs, which are not on the CD, through the internet from your favourite Debian mirror. slink has been released some time ago, so some packages are not the newest version. Well, that's fine for me, because I like a stable system. But I know, most people prefer brand new software over stable and Corel has updated the kernel to 2.2.

    Corel added some software to the desktop. The file manager has been stated before, another example is Corel Update, a KDE frontend for dpkg and apt-get. This is a very nice piece of software. Maybe I should try to extract the source and make a tarball for other distributions. (I think, Corel used a licence derieved from the MPL, so redistributing the source should be legal)

    A major disadvantage is the packaging of KDE. Corel put everything in one huge package with lots of dependancies. Also, there a some bugs, which are not severe, but disturbing.

    The hardware support out of the box - not only graphics, but also SCSI or sound cards - seems to be not that broads as with other distributions. But if you have good standard Linux hardware (like me, I had no problems here), Corel Linx is worth a look.

  • I found corel's contribution to the linux community was rather superficial. It was just a typical Linux distribution with the system logs hidden from the users view. I believe when you hide information does more harm than good. I was hoping the corel bootup screen would have viewable bootup log.

    It has an option at boot for expert boot, which boots the normal way instead of hiding it with graphics. I do wish they let you push esc to clear the graphics and let you see normal boot messages like windoze does. As for contribution, they have a nice easy graphical install for debian, Corel Explorer (the best windoze explorer clone I've ever seen), and Corel Update (a nice graphical interface to the debian package system). Unfortunately they lump all the corel stuff into one big deb package, or I'd install corel update and corel explorer on my debian machine.

    The command line was also lacking in comparison to other major distributions. Just because some new users do not want to deal with command line options doesn't mean you should not put them in your distro. Pico was missing for heavens stake!
    Um, pico is a dinky little editor that is only good for email! It's also part of the pine distribution, which is under an icky license that doesn't allow distributing modified versions of the source, only original source + patches. I think it also disallows binary distribution, so debian requires you to compile it after install. (Incidentally, pine is the email program I use, and I love pine 4.x which even supports reading all that icky HTML email. I think PICO is very good for its intended purpose of editing email) Try out "ae" it's a wordstar clonish text editor that's good for about the level of ease of use of pico. I'd believe they also include vi, but I can't remember for sure. They don't include emacs though (probably due to size). However, go into corel update, click the checkboxes to enable the debian distribution sites (or better yet, go to the debian website and add the nearest mirror), and then you can install all that stuff through Corel Update.

    Overall, my review of the download version of Corel Linux 1.0 is that it looks like a very good start to an easy to install and use variant of debian, with some nice new features like corel explorer and corel update. It's also quite clearly feels like a 1.0 release however, with many kinks to work out, ranging from bad handling of taking over an entire drive on multiple drive systems (it went straight to asking if you want to erase everything without asking which drive!) to not being able to disable PAP authentication via the GUI KPPP interface (even when it says it is disabled!), because the PAP option was in the global options file in /etc/ppp/. Of course, the fact that I'm familiar with and really like debian probably helped. ;)

    BTW, about the redhat init system with everything in /etc/rc.d/init.d and /etc/rc.d/rc#.d/ vs. debian with it in /etc/init.d and /etc/rc#.d/, I like the debian variant (which is identical to the IRIX layout I admin at work) much better... the redhat version requires more typing, for a not very useful rearrangement of the directories.

  • an /etc/rc/ init structure is not sysv. and red hat is not a sysv unix, it's linux.

  • However, it's locked into a GUI install which bombs out if it encounters anything (such as a video card) that it doesn't know how to support.

    I would debate that. This past weekend I visited a friend, and as part of that visit he installed the downloaded version of Corel Linux. The particular computer he installed it into had, among other things, a PCI modem and an SB64 Gold card. Corel Linux went through the installation without any problems, despite not being able to support the PCI modem and not setting up the support for the SB64 card (no sounds issued forth from the computer after reboot).

    I would, however, agree with your assessment tht it's targeted towards newer users who want to migrate from Windows rather than the hardcore Linux guru. For those, we have Slackware and Debian. :)

  • Careful. There are two versions of Corel Linux being sold - Deluxe and Standard. I was looking in the Woodbury, MN CompUSA yesterday and happened to notice that the Deluxe version (which, among other things, includes Civ:CTP) was put in big cardboard display holders at the front of the store, whereas the Standard version was mixed in with the rest of the Linux stuff on the shelves.

    You probably saw the Deluxe version. I wasn't able to find a price on the Standard, but I'm assuming it was something closer to $40 or $50. What it lacks from the Deluxe version, beyond the plastic Tux and a limited edition of Civilization, also escapes me.

  • Careful. There are two versions of Corel Linux being sold - Deluxe and Standard. I was looking in the Woodbury, MN CompUSA yesterday and happened to notice that the Deluxe version (which, among other things, includes Civ:CTP) was put in big cardboard display holders at the front of the store, whereas the Standard version was mixed in with the rest of the Linux stuff on the shelves.

    You probably saw the Deluxe version.

    Ahhh, yes, I believe you are right. As I read on in this topic, I saw others talking about pricing and this is almost certainly the case.

    PS, I meant to mention this in my original post... it looked as though people had been pawing through the Corel Linux display. So maybe they sold a few at that location already. (I hope so...)


  • True, but for those that have multiple dos/windows partitions this is a bit tricky on not having an extended partition.
  • Storm's installer has a problem in it.. if you have any extended partion on the hard drive it would not recognize that hard drive. For those with only one hard drive and multiple OS's that sucks..
    They have assured me that they know of the problem and that the new ISO should be on the ftp at anytime...

  • Although right now, RedHat seems to be the best of both the server and desktop

    Well, it depends what audience it is targeted at - if, as it seems the newer distros are going for the traditional desktop market then I think that RedHat is going to be the loser there. I should qualify this opinion with the admission that I have only experienced RedHat 5.2, 6.0, 6.1 and Corel.

    On the basis of this I would have to express a qualified disagreement. RedHat6.1 is an appalling choice for a first-time installer. Their documentation is way out of date and very confusing. RH6.0 was much easier. They have done some very funky things with removing the rescue.img and sending out boot floppies that have the root device default set to SCSI devices with no obvious way to change this.

    So, if (as seems to be the case) the new distros are chasing fresh market, then I think Corel are probably on the right track.

  • Stormix is in the process of putting a new downloadable ISO image on our FTP site for Storm Linux 2000 that fixes the problems that the original installer had with extended partitions.

    Kevin Teague,
    Stormix iBuilder

  • I tried both, I can confirm that the install for Corel is very easy IF it can work with your videocard / monitor. Otherwise you will have problems. But after installation I liked it. The way they put together the desktop, it just feels solid. The menu items are arranged in a logical way, it's not just some afterthought, they created the desktop layout, buttons, etc very well. Stromix - I really hated it. When you bootup the system, it plays some fucking wave file on the pc speaker, it is totally unneccessary and annoying. But I blew my top when I found out that I can't mount a FAT filesystem, and I cannot recompile to enable it.
  • Oh, thanks, didn't know that. you see I'm a Windows 98 / 2000 user, but they want to lure me into using their distro, they should not make it cumbersome to transfer files between them. If you say that I will be able to make ppp work on the system, I just need some work on it, then I will reinstall it:-). I was able to setup/ connect to the modem with Kppp but after dialing, the terminal windows says CONNECT38000 and right after that it crashes. Anyway, if that starts to work, it is a usable system, even for us dummies. Oh yeah, I have to stop this thing saying that fucking .wav after booting. Balazs
  • Wrong, apt-get is a low level tool that runs on top of dpkg. Dselect is a higher level tool that runs on top of apt-get and dpkg (you can speciy apt as your access method from dselect) dselect allows you to do much more things than apt-get and usually easier.
  • well I tried it out for curiosities sake this weekend, on a spare old Dell P100 which was running Debian 2.1.

    Cleaned the hard disk, installed windows just so I could take a look at the new install "wizard" from a newbie perspective. Windows bit worked wizard worked, made boot floppy rebooted spiffy graphical restart, X came up like a dream installer Progress meter got to 25% and X locked solid. console dead as the proverbial dodo. Had no way of kicking X so I tried again. Four times it booted from the floppy and locked. I got bored at this point and put Suse 6.1 on it.

    Mind you BeOS froze installing on the same hardware the same day a couple of times so I'm not ruling out flaky hardware. But the Suse CD worked

  • But I blew my top when I found out that I can't mount a FAT filesystem, and I cannot recompile to enable it.

    IIRC, Storm has FAT support in it, it is just there as a module instead of being compiled into the kernel. Just run modprobe vfat as root and you should be fine...

    I'm running Storm Linux 2000 (rain) on my laptop, and have generally liked it. While many parts are still quite unfinished, it shows a lot of promise.

    Of course, being a laptop user, I would've appreciated greatly having PCMCIA modules and kernel sources on the CD-ROM. Oh well, I could install the ones from Corel's CD so there were no problems after all. Now if I only could get SAT's network module to remember its settings. ;-)



  • Corel 1.0 is basically Debian 2.1 (slink) with some added/upgraded software. Just add a Debian [] archive into your /etc/apt/sources.list and run apt-get update; apt-get install make.

    Of course, you can do all this with the Corel Update tool (which actually is a quite nice interface to apt).



  • Why does it deserve a 0?
  • In addition to X 4 and KDE 2, don't forget ReiserFS (to be used in the next version of SuSE, IIRC).
  • Is Stormix available in any other format that ISO images?

    To the uninitated an ISO image is meaningless, and it doesn't stand to reason why (other than to make the distro inaccessible) one would pick ISO images as the primary format.

    Nor does it appear as though they've put enough time or effort into attempting to explain how to burn a CD using this imagine, assuming the user has a CD burner...
  • Promotional space (ends of aisles, front door displays) is usually .sold. to the distributors, not just apportioned by the whim of the store.

    In other words, Corel likely paid for the better placement--something I would believe .much. more readily than comp-screw-us-eh getting a clue.

    It is often easer to gain forgiveness than permission
  • Having installed both Corel and COL 2.3 I have to agree that Caldera Open Linux 2.3 is the better of the 2 distros overall, and the one currently on my system at home. And for sure the one I would recommend to my Linux-challenged friends...
  • by h0h0 ( 48023 )
    I installed Storm Linux a few days ago on a spare PC. All I can say is *DAMN* nice install, although there are some notable bugs:

    For example, I had to decline the license agreement to install. Also, for some reason only about half of what I selected was actually installed.

    On the up side, it did a great job of detecting hardware and you won't have your ATI cards (Rage128) lockup on you, since the installer uses the vesa framebuffer driver. :)

    Check it out just to see the installer...
  • I think I *am* the target Corel user. I'm a regular computer user, literate, but not a Unix Guy. I've played with Linux on and off for over five years (since Yggdrasil) but it's not my home OS. (We have to use Windoze at work, and I moved to it at home when OS/2 finally became useless.) So I eagerly awaited Corel Linux and went through the serious effort to download it and burn a CDROM. (I didn't have enough hard disk space left to make it easy.)

    Corel's installer has nice eye candy, but it gets the GUI concept wrong -- a typical decent Windows install wizard (even Win98 itself) has lots of defaults but lets you change things. Corel has not enough control. It then wiped out my MBR, deciding, without asking, that LILO belongs there. And of course it *requires* you to repartition and then format a new partition during an EXT2 install, which is dumb (I already had one; I was replacing Mandrake 6.0.)

    Yes, the new file manager is cute, but when I log in as a user (not root), it hides "system" and only shows me my accounts. The KDE menus leave out most KDE apps; root can go to /usr/X11R6/bin but a normal user can't, and there's no documentation on adding to the start menu. So lots of stuff just doesn't show up. Worst of all, on my system, logging out of KDE hangs the system hard. And those are just a few beefs.

    So yesterday I plugged in a new Mandrake 6.1 disk. Yes, install took a long time, because I went through the RedHat "custom" package selection and there were a zillion or so packages to choose from. Once I finished the kid-in-a-candy-shop routine, it went right in. Oh, it would have been a bit hard without previous RedHat and Mandrake experience, and it's ugly (a VGA16 installer would help a lot on the eye candy side), and it still forgets to do sndconfig, but I ended up with a nice working system. AND the Mandrake 6.1 installer puts everything onto the Start menu. With a menu editor -- but I can't see how to delete entries I don't want. (KDE Bug: IF there are more entries than fit vertically on screen, they get lost off the bottom. Windows gets that right.)

    So Mandrake wins my thanks as a nice easy system to get running and one that works the way I'd expect it to. Corel 1.0 is just a bad joke, demoware that looks good on a properly-packaged system, and maybe right for some particular hardware/user taste combinations, but it needs lots of work.
  • Odd that you mention that.
    I have installed several distributions on a few different PCs..My home PC is a dual P-Pro system, and I have NEVER had a SMP kernel by default.

    Today, I installed Corel on a Celeron 366 (single cpu) and it installed an SMP kernel! From outta nowhere. Was bizarre.

    Anyway, install is nice, my mother could use it. BUT, I wouldn't let her I think. I just hate Corel , probably as much as some people hate MS...

  • I like corel linux a lot, but it feels unfinished.
    also, the download version doesn't have all important applications installed by default, e.g. unzip is missing! ;
    normally this isn't a big problem, you could allways unzip in windows. (it's for newbie's so they probably have windows installed) but unzipping a file who contains 2 files with the same name but other capitalisation is a bit of a problem on windows.

  • those making the switch from rpm based distros to Debian, should check out ALIEN at it takes RPMs and will repackage them as .deb
  • The Corel File manager looks cool, but is it open sourced? If I install *regular* debian, is there any way to install the Corel file manager on that?

    Oh, and the review seems to be /.ed. Mirrors?
  • There is a mini-HOWTO for Ultra 33 and 66: -DMA.html [].

    I haven't read it and I don't know if it is useful in this situation. But it seems that there is support for Ultra DMA 66 under Linux.

  • A new download version has been posted on the Stormix web site with FAT support already enabled.

    Stormix also plans to post instructions on how to turn the sound off. Expect them in a week or two.

    - Bruce Byfield, Product Manager, Stormix Technologies
  • About the comment that Stormix has "dumbed down" Linux:

    1.) Stormix does provide defaults and GUIs for new users. However, the company's philosophy is to provide flexibility for the users who want it. You don't have to accept the defaults, or use the GUIs.

    2.) GUIs on any operating system are useful for about 80% of what 80% of users do.

    3.) In the Stormix manual, the shell is introduced with the comment that learning to use it is like learning to touch type: it takes longer to learn than any other method, but, once you do learn it, it is more efficient and convenient.

    - Bruce Byfield, Product Manager
    Stormix Technologies
  • I have used both Storm Linux .99 and Corel's latest distro, and have been un-impressed.

    Stormix gave me the same icky feel as Turbo Linux a year ago, and Caldera when it was still in the 1.x versioning series. However, that says nothing about Storm Linux 2000.

    Corel's Linux distribution is getting closer. They're marketing it as a desktop only distro, which simplifies it greatly, leaving lots of time for desktop improvements. However, the desktop is still just a themed KDE with a few extras. Thumbs up though for including Civ with the commercial version. Including games with a distro really hits the desktop market nicely, especially for the low price.

    Although right now, RedHat seems to be the best of both the server and desktop.

  • Corel Linux has been out for some time and I'm still bothered that a company like Corel wants to take their programmers off other projects and reinvent a *better* Debian distro.

    I've looked at Corel as being a company who supports the whole linux movement by porting their existing software to linux. By writing their own Debian distro I'm really questioning Corel's involvement in linux altogether.
  • First of all, isn't there a post link anywhere? I couldn't find one. I had to use the reply button just to post! Great layout guys...

    I love linux as much as anyone. Actually, I convinced the company I work at to do a linux port which I am now heading, but I have a bone to pick - Modem installation!

    I installed redhat at home and tried to setup my modem and it was a nightmare. A really bad one. And I'm an experienced programmer, I can't even imagine some newbie trying to setup a modem. I had to buy and return three different modems, read the books we have at work (running, nutshell, the wrox book, etc.) over and over, read many many web pages about installing modems, the modem howto, the serial howto, and the pnp howto, and eventually spend over a week to be able to use my modem in linux.

    If linux is ever going to be mainstream, people need to be able to easily setup the most important peripheral they're ever going to have. The only one that _everyone_ is going to use _everyday_ ! Maybe someone can do a modemconfig that's as easy to use as sndconfig? I'm willing to work on it with anyone in the know about the krenel details involved.
  • ...and when Win2000 is sold at that same CompUSA, it'll be equivalent to aliens giving the entire population a rectal probe in the night!
  • I installed each of Stormix 2000 and Corel 1.0 on my P200MMX DSTN laptop. I only had problems which I believe were specific to my laptop display, so I won't whine about them here. Overall, I was impressed with the ease of installation of both products, which [on my laptop at least] went quicker than NT4 and both were easier to configure than NT4.

    I would recommend Stormix above Corel overall.

    Very well put together distros, and kudos to both teams.

  • Well first of all let me establish the fact that I have yet to try Corel Linux. My understanding of Corel's goals sound like I will not benefit from their distro but perhaps someday my parents will. From everything I heard, Corel is targeting a stupid end user (what my CS teachers are so fond of just calling "the user"). Targeting the real end user is not a stupid idea and some one was bound to do it sooner or later.

    Well I was not happy to see that Corel embraced KDE like they did, but that is just because my personal dislike of KDE. I realize that Corel does not use pure KDE because they have their own file manager (their own KDE splinter perhaps?). It will be interesting to see what Corel does with KDE in the future.

    Though I doubt to ever seriosly have benefit from the distro it seems that a lot of people will could benefit from some of Corel's work. I read in a Linuxworld article awhile back that Corel does not want to port their office apps to linux but instead use wine. The reasoning was that they would only have to maintain one code base instead of two. I only ever read the one code base idea in linuxworld but Corel is very much in love with wine for whatever reason. Corel has been one of the few companies to contract out people to do work on wine. A lot of people could benefit from a good wine.

  • LinNeighbourhood and another program which I can't recall have been browsing SMB networks for quite some time now.
    I haven't seen Corel's explorer, but a screenshot and other people's comments seem to indicate it's good.
    I have to admit, I kinda like the windows explorer. It does what I need, and it does it "fairly" well.

    Tarald - The Lord of Smeg
  • Um, could someone please verify or deny this one? I mean, a distro without make... I can't remember the last time I installed an app that didn't require me to use make; how in the hell???

  • It gets 0 because whoever wrote that post posted anonymously.


    99 little bugs in the code,
    99 bugs in the code,
    fix one bug, compile it again...

  • Early post!! I just picked up corel (from CompUSA, no less!). It's all GUI!! Even the (nearly flawless) installation is clicky-click all the way. It was kind of frightening at first, but i like it. They have done good things with K, and i must say that i like their dual-purpose (internet browser, file manager) "manager" (read: explorer). However, it comes on three cds: First, the source. Cool. Second, the "open circulation" cd. "Give this one away!" they say. Third, the "standard install" cd. NOT FOR SHARING!! INSTALL ONLY ONCE!! I don't like this at all. Overall, however, i like this distro. Keep up the good work!
  • Sorry about that "early post" thing. My bad. I was under the impression that i was #3. Bad thing about corel that i just discovered: NO MAKE!!! Not cool at all.
  • It's kind of a bother, but what I had to do is delete it and add it again. No, it's not what you're asking. But yes, it does work. Long live Fdisk! :)
  • I second that emotion!
  • I agree with you 100%

    Let's hope the Corel distro gets some good market share (from Win users of course), and that will prompt Corel to get into gear and port Corel Draw and other cool stuff to Linux that we all really want and need.

    There are plenty of good distros out there, they really did not need to release their own.

    Apps are what we all need now, not new distros.
  • As I understood it, Corel Explorer has features that Konqueror will have in KDE 2. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I read on KDE's site that Konqueror (the new file manager oand web browser in KDE 2) will have the ability to browse SMB shares. In addition, I sure hope that the KDE control center will have the same Windows-like interface for changing screen resolution that the Corel Control Center has.
  • The retail versions come with a little commercial/licensed software, including some Bitstream/Type1 fonts, BRU, Corel Wordperfect, Civ:CTP, OSS sound drivers, etc. For that reason, they the download and purchaseable versions are somewhat different. The differences between the downloadable and standard editions are minor at worst, and for the most part you can download all those components elsewhere for free anyway. The deluxe version has some commercial software that cannot be downloaded, such as BRU and the full version of Corel Wordperfect.
  • I don't think it's fixed, or has even been updated in quite some time... It also did the same thing on my Rage128GL based system. From what I could see, Corel Linux doesn't much like ISA (anything) cards, and you have to configure them all with the debian module management tools. It also repeatedly tried to install the ne2k-pci.o driver for my D-Link DFE-530TX, which should use a via-rhine.o driver instead. Took me a while to figure out that editing the file that was refering to my PCI NIC as a ne2k wasn't the way to fix it, and instead I had to add an entry to the /etc/pcimap.inf file with the PCI IDs. Although this wasn't too difficult for me, a new user would likely be hopelessly lost. This same pcimap.inf file makes some sweeping generalizations about some manufacturers (such as ATI adaptors not matching the list of IDs should use the XF86_Mach64 driver... Which is incorrect, since Rage128 gag with that driver)
  • It actually depends on what your aim is... Quite often it's difficult or impossible to make money off those ""Naive" home users" or developer-types you speak of, as the support costs are often high enough to seriously cut into profits, or there's very little profit to speak of. They really only serve as a way to get your name out. Corporate sales is usually where the money is because they're usually willing to spend more for better support, and if their end impression is positive, willing to buy more things from you.

    I somehow get the feeling that once Corel gets the bugs worked out of the GUI tools, they might start selling "server" versions of Corel Linux, perhaps packed with a SSL HTTPd, and the other technologies that can't be free right now (NDS, perhaps). Their NT-like "event viewer" (log viewer) is nice, and the user manager is okay (although I much perfer Netware's user management tool to the NT-style one in Corel Linux -- a tree based system is the way to go, IMO. It makes managing a hundred or more users easier, especially when there's a high number of transient employees who work for only 1-2 months, and then never return, or switch departments many times.)

    I think Corel is on the road to trying at getting the Corporate market, and I can't really blame them. In fact, I think they'd be crazy not to do it. If they get "user-friendly" admin tools, they can pitch it to management types as "Look! It's as easy to admin as NT, and much more stable!", and sysadmin, who have to do all the real work, can stick with the CLI tools they know and love. It's sorta like a best-of-both-worlds type scene. Especially if they can pull it off (more so if they can pull it off without the serious bugs their Windows software tends to suffer from).

    They're a Canadian-based company, so I guess I should cheer for them! =P

  • Embrace and extend isn't inherently bad. The time it becomes bad is when you don't give any information on how it's "extended", which simply isn't possible with GPL or QPL'ed code. The reason Microsoft's embrace and extend is painful is they extend an existing protocol, then keep all "extentions" proprietary so no one can copy it in their own implementations, or the extensions are so complex, and of little value to anyone else, so no one bothers implementing them, but are REQUIRED for Microsoft apps to interact with.

    Besides, I thought Corel changed the library name of their "bugfix/enhanced" version of the KDE and QT libs to prevent serious conflicts.

    It would be a really Bad Thing for users to believe these were official versions of QT and KDE, and started blaming Troll Tech or the KDE team for the fact some QT/KDE apps won't run because of the bugfixes. Since the QPL/GPL requires all changes to the code be made available, these bugfixes could quite easily be folded back into the offical QT or KDE if they are deemed acceptable quality.

  • You can get the source code for the Corel Explorer from Corels FTP site at ftp:// ux-1.0/corel/source/ [][It's part of the kde-corel-source tarball]. Good luck getting to build on anything but Debian with the rest of the Corel QT/KDE packages, though. I seriously doubt it's distribution-independant. It might even require the patches to the XF86 servers Corel has up there.
  • I was suprised that Corel opted for Debian as the base for their distro. I have ever only used Red Hat and derivatives (Mandrake 6.1 right now and its great). I would very much like to hear from the Debian crowd about why they like Debian better and what it means to Debian that Corel and others are using it as a base for distros targeted at the new Linux user. I really like the fact that there are many distros out there, but it seems RH and Debian are pulling away in terms of popularity. Any comments?
  • If they are crippling the free/downloadable version, that would be a Bad Thing.

    It's not being crippled, everything else from the web for free (except Civ:CTP which is understandable). They're just facing up to the fact that most people don't enjoy 650 meg ISO downloads, and would much rather have a ISO image of just under 300 megs.
  • I had a very similar problem with my PPro 200.
    Finally got it to install but it tried putting the video mode into >640x480 which is all my poor little monitor will support. Took a bit of tweaking but finally got there.
    Overall not too bad for their first try. But they need to do some serious bug checking of there installer before the next version.
    Things I think it needs:
    - Ability to choose the resolution you want the desktop to be in before it starts X.
    - some fine tuning of their fdisk utility. (I ended up having to delete partitions just to give them a mount point)
    - the choice for a non-graphical install (or at least have the ability to flick to a term during the install)
    - If it detects an ethernet card it should let me set up the networking for it during the install.
    - How about a choice of computer name instead of CorelLinux
    - entering passwords during the install (especially root!)

    I'm sure there will be more that I'll find when I've played with it a bit more.
    In a version or two I think it should be quite suitable for newbie/desktop use.

    Version: 3.12
    GCS d+(!)s+:a--C++(++++)UL++(++++)$
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

  • This is slightly off topic response. I've not even looked at Corel Linux... but...

    I'm wondering where you ran into problems installing a modem? Its always went easy for myself on all flavors of Linux. I think perhaps you might have bought a WinModem? Anyways. I've found USR's work generally without much of a problem.

    Just some random intellectualality...
  • Corel Linux has been out for some time and I'm still bothered that a company like Corel wants to take their programmers off other projects and reinvent a *better* Debian distro.

    Corel has had to work hard on a Linux distro because it has had to build one for its ARM-Linux-based Netwinder machines. All that time and experience in building a non-Intel Linux platform distro is reasonably reinvested in getting an Intel-distro put together to expand their platform presence and provide themselves with a well-understood distro on which to test their software. After all, even in these enlightened platform-independent days (I wish...) Linux on x86 is still the most widespread, and any commercial binary-only releases of software (such as CorelDraw 9) will have to appear on the x86 Linux to see reasonable sales. I strongly hope that they will compile up versions for other Linux platforms as well, but I won't hold my breath for those to appear in the local store - I'd expect those to be dispatched from Corel itself on order.


    Toby Haynes

  • The one thing I really like about the Corel distro is the Corel Explorer. Since I often live in a network of Window machines that do SMB sharing, it would be really nice to be able to do SMB browsing with it, and what not. In short: I like it.

    IIRC, it's supposed to be open source but I have not been able to find the source or a package for it or anything else. I do remember finding a package of source that was supposed to contain it, but it wouldn't compile at ALL on a RedHat 6.1 box.

    Does anyone know where to get it for other distros?
  • Agreed. I've been almost exclusively a RedHat user since they came out with 4.2, I really like their distributions, but their initscripts are poorly designed, inflexible, and hard to maintain. I haven't seen how Debian does it, but I can easily imagine someone doing much better on this regard.

  • You will have to install on the UDMA 33 controller, then compile a new (patched) kernel, and switch back to the HPT366. A bit of a pain, but I have a BP6 with that controller, and it works fine with the kernel patch.

    See this Usenet article if interested:[ST_rn=ap]/getdoc.xp?AN=560111 606&CONTEXT=947028952.400556062& hitnum=2 []

  • Seeing as how I grew up in Ottawa, and my last opthalmologist's office is across the street from Corel HQ, I might be considered to have some bias in the matter :-).

    If Corel couldn't "win" against MSFT in providing word processing software to the Federal government, despite having their offices thousands of miles nearer to the Ottawan decision-makers than Bill Gates in Seattle, it's going to be tough to dominate in places other than "home territory..."

    They have the "bulk" of corporate resources to perhaps outdo RHAT and SuSE; we'll see what happens!

  • Corel is a b-grade company, that buys failed product lines from other b-grade companies.

    An interesting point. I don't see them that way -- Wordperfect wasn't b-grade, merely late to support Windows. Corel Draw was excellent.

    However, I certainly see your point -- whatever Corel's past products may have been, they certainly look like a bottomfeeder now. Perhaps that's because of their immense OEM distribution contracts, though.

    Linux needs to fend these sorts of companies off vigorously.

    I really have to disagree with that STRONGLY. Linux doesn't have to fend ANYONE off; Linux can't fend anyone off; and Linux shouldn't fend anyone off.

    Linux doesn't have to fend them off because our reputation is in our coders and users.

    Linux can't fend them off because Linux is free. They can use it if they want, and we'll even welcome them if they give back.

    Linux shouldn't fend them off because they _are_ giving back.

  • by DarkClown ( 7673 )
    The distro is OK. My personal preference is Gnome, so right off the bat i'm non-plussed with 'look and feel'. But what was disappointing to me was that the X configure tool was not groking my video ram and wouldn't display above 800x600.. and this is on a pretty vanilla compaq proliant box with an ATI mach64 card that I use to test out different distros/OS's. I was able to manually edit my settings, but this is contrary to the much trumpeted user friendly-ness of it's install and configuration. Also, network configuration didn't happen during the installation which seems silly.
    Other than that, though, a nice install, and a distro that shows promise.
    Anyone else have any weird experiences with getting X how you like it?
  • I was ok with the fact that it did not find all of the linux supported hardware on the computer I used. I found corel's contribution to the linux community was rather superficial. It was just a typical Linux distribution with the system logs hidden from the users view. I believe when you hide information does more harm than good. I was hoping the corel bootup screen would have viewable bootup log.

    When I had to configure options by hand I had to deal with alot of crap to recompile the kernel and getting things to work my way. The command line was also lacking in comparison to other major distributions. Just because some new users do not want to deal with command line options doesn't mean you should not put them in your distro. Pico was missing for heavens stake! Maybe this is good for newbie users but linux users who want to see how linux works and gain real experience linux should use something else like SuSE, debian, slack, etc.

    I believe that new distributions should contribute to linux as a whole. Sure Corel is quick to install but there are many others that are quick to install. The lack of network install is also a large problem I notice. If you want to get linux workstations setup you need a CDROM to install. I would rather be able to download or install linux via ftp. Given Corel's background as a graphics company I expected more multimedia apps and a prettier presentation. If your a seasoned Linux user avoid this like the plague, and if you are a newbie who wants to learn linux avoid this because it will not help you learn it. If you are a user that needs a quick workstation and don't care about how your system works or the open source movement use Win NT if you have the money. I recommend SuSE instead which is easy to install, has tons of apps, and is more organised.

    Note this is only my review for the FREE edition you can download as an ISO image.
  • I downloaded the ISO image for Corel's distribution and installed it on my laptop. Overall, things went very well and I didn't have any problems getting the system up and running.

    I love the way Corel has configured SAMBA to allow their distro to immediately take part in Microsoft Networks. I work in an all NT shop, and I was happy to see that I was able to logon to our NT domain using my MS user id and password.

    The only real problem I had with the distribution is my unfamiliarity with Debian. I am a Red Hat user, so most of my downloaded software is in the form of RPMs and of an incompatible GLIBC library. I had to go back to using Red Hat.

    I would recommend Corel's distribution to Windows users looking at trying Linux. With it's streamlined installation, splash screen to "protect" users from all of those "unsightly" boot messages (I really missed them while running Corel) and the default KDE window manager (they did a great job customizing KDE for thier needs) it will make a good stepping stone into the world of Linux.
  • I'm wondering how Corel Linux will affect the sale and marketing of commercial applications for Linux. So far, I believe several commercial applications (Metrowerks Codewarrior is the only one I can think of right now) have come out as "Red Hat" releases rather than "Linux" releases. I'm hoping that if other commercial distros are successful, distribution-agnostic commercial software will displace distribution-specific.

    Of course, as a Debian user, I also hope that if Corel is successful, more non-commercial software will be released in .DEB format in addition to .RPM's. From the little I've used each, I like the Debian package format better.

  • I'm missing something....

    Every new distro, for the last LONG while, and for the next fairly long while, has had the SAME set of servers, the SAME set of clients, and either KDE or Gnome. Most have had both.

    Until X4 and KDE2, any "new" distro is a bullshit rehash.

    The only real difference is either i386 or i5/686 optimization (and as far as I can see, Mandrake's the only one with those optimizations... which is why I choose it religiously) and either Corel's mods to KDE (which royally suck and make it more frustrating than hell), and either a stupid illogical /etc/rc filesystem (debian) or a smart, logical /etc/rc.d/init.d (sysv, I think it's called?) redhat-style boot system.

    Other than those two things, what's the big difference between these distros? They're all hard to use at best, unless you've become a linux geek by struggling through them.

    So far, only mandrake meets the needs of a combination of power and usability as far as I'm concerned.

    (don't bother to flamespam me, I don't read it anyways)

  • Personally, I was rather disappointed with Corel linux. It seems to be pretty well put together, it's based on a good solid distribution, and there is quite a bit of value-add there. However, it's locked into a GUI install which bombs out if it encounters anything (such as a video card) that it doesn't know how to support.

    I beta'd this thing for 'em, and enjoyed the experience... they've obviously put a lot of work into it and are trying to add value to the base distro. However, I don't run it on any of my machines because I can't get it to install. They did throw in a copy of the Loki port of Civ:CTP in the shipping version that they sent me, though, so it wasn't a total waste. Too bad it's just a limited (no multiplayer) edition though.

    I think Corel could be a great distro, provided they iron out their support issues. It seems to be targeted towards more newbie users (with the nice pretty installer and all) and it's not going to win over any friends when it gets to the "probing hardware" part of the install, dies, spits the CD out and reboots the machine.

    -- Gary F.
  • I was in the local CompUSA, and there were HUGE stacks of Corel Linux by the entrance. They were -very- visible, and CompUSA clearly weren't messing around when it came to trying to sell them.
    Please remember, where I am is -not- "tech-land". This is the middle of nowhere,

    I saw this at a CompUSA, too. The Natick, MA CompUSA location has a fairly large display of Corel Linux for sale located prominently right by the entrance. I was pleasantly surprised to see it there. Unlike the area where you are, I would describe Natick (Eastern MA about 1/2 way between 495 and 128 along I-90) as being in the middle of a technically competent area.

    What was bad about it was the price: $80?! It's great it's easy enough to install that the average user can reasonably take it on, but at that price, I wonder how many casually interested people will bite? Still, I hope it catches on, and this exposure can't hurt.


  • I am a Debian old timer and yesterday I have tried stormix just for the heck of it (and also to test the new CD-R) I was impressed. The distribution seems not to have changed the Debian packages much, it is basically Debian. The good difference are that Storm Linux ships with kernel 2.2.13, _very_ cool X11 based and text based installation, GNOME, KDE. Also has a sysadmin utility which isn't bad (though does not configure printer afaik, only network nad users. I didn't like their packagemanager thingy, I prefer dselect. Just use plain apt, dselect. or dpkg. Basically it is a nice distro. Easy to get started with and has all the power of Debian underneath. I perefer plain Debian though...
  • Red Hat 5.2 is pretty old. Its all swings and roundabouts. Different flavours of the same product.

    I happen to think Suse is flakier set up than RedHat, but I realise that this is just an opinion. The more the merrier I say.

    But you can browse through windows disks on other boxes. I do this every day at work

  • I was horrified by the original Corel Linux - broken installer in extremum.

    Increasing the user base is not a good thing unless they're at least happy and competent users of it, and preferably are prepared to go out and fix things and write new toys for everyone.
    "Business respect" is not something in which I'm interested at all.
    It's viable for the desktop when it's viable for the desktop, not when Microsoft say it is.

    I'm already on Debian - what do I go to next?
  • Actually, I'd be worried if you're seeing large piles of boxes of Corel Linux. That likely means they aren't selling *any*. Given the nature of computer retail sales, most stores or chains are paid a stocking fee to actually put product on the shelves. A large endcap or standup ('pyramid') display could likely cost Corel several thousand dollars.

    The fact that you are not in a tech -heavy centre may be even worse news. Comp USA may have been paid to place X number of displays, and so have shunted those displays to stores that are off the beaten path so that Corel Linux doesn't interfere with their regular volume business. If Corel was silly enough to not specify where those displays should go, this may well be the case.

    Frankly, your report has me a little worried for the future state of Corel Linux.
  • What you're missing is the micro-evolution which inevitably leads to the macro-evolution that we've come to expect from Linux.

    Little things are what have driven people away from Linux in the past. They don't care how great Linux is if they can't install it, so installation has often been a key topic, complete with screenshots, when discussing or reviewing a new distribution. It's not because you or I have a problem with the current installations of various distributions, but because we should recognize that this is an area which could stand some improvement to attract more users.

    Sure, you and I may know that all installers do basically the same thing, but we should also know that there's a wide variety of features you can include, leave out, add, modify, to make the user more comfortable with the installation.

    What about partitioning? We should also know that there are loads of people out there who haven't installed Linux because they didn't want to screw around with partitioning their disk. Something that can be launched from Windows and take care of all that for you is a big plus to many potential users.

    You're probably right that, one installed, this Linux is extremely similar to vanilla Debian. Not entirely of course... there are likely many changes that Corel has made to their distribution that they would like to see incorporated into Debian, and some of it might just make it. Heck, they might even end up rolling some stuff into the kernel one of these days.

    And lo, before you've even noticed, the hour hand has moved ahead as you were staring at the minute hand.

    Behold... macro-evolution.


  • I hate to say it, but RH seems to be blowing it on what's supposed to be their forte: service & support. I was having some problems with a clean install from a Cheapbytes CD and didn't want to mess around, so I bought a boxed copy of 6.1. That barfed on three different machines -- fatal crash of the install reporting file corruption. I went back to the Cheapbytes CD, found out what the problem with it was, and continued.

    So maybe anyone can have a bad CD sneak out. I tried to report the problem to RH (more as a courtesy than anything) and found out I needed to register to do that. (You'd think that they'd accept bug reports from anyone, but no.) Then, despite having a paid-for boxed copy I couldn't register. The web submission barfs.

    Looks like Young needs to do a reality check if he wants to keep those billions.
  • Rage128:

    I wouldn't suggest using the Rage128 in VGA mode. It's EXTREMELY prone to lockups with ncurses or console switching. Using the framebuffer driver (2.3.23+) works quite well although acceleration is not finished, yet.

    I have a huge patch that should be merged with 2.3.36. Email if you want it early.
  • I'm surprised no one has mentioned the integration of samba browsing in the file manager yet. To me, that's one of the most important things Corel did in their distro. I don't know for sure if it's open source, but it's definitely a good thing.

    In my office, we constantly use network neighborhood for file sharing. It's the easiest way to visualize the network, and actually have people remember where to go if they need a file again. I keep it secure, and they keep working.

    Up till now, one drawback of Linux was the time I would have to put into setting up samba for people so they could get to certain files. I've never *really* understood why smbmount is so hard to use, but it is anyway. To me, Corel did something here that should've been done a *long* time ago. Being disconnected from the windows computers in the office just makes it harder for anyone to see the point. Now if it were only installable on other distros...

  • We bought a copy of the Deluxe edition here at work to play around with. It comes in a surprisingly heavy box. Printed manuals are a good thing, I was very glad to see the dead trees in the box. It also comes with a rubber toy Tux. Kinda cute.

    We installed it on a Dell PIII 550. The installer went flawlessly and found all the hardware. It has been running nicely for a couple of days now.

    Reading through the comments, I see something that worries me about the distro, though. Most of the people who have reported problems have been using the downloaded version. The retail box comes with the install CD, the source CD, and a freely distributable CD. It seems like some of the goodies are only included in the retail version. If they are crippling the free/downloadable version, that would be a Bad Thing. I have not read the license carefully, but the inclusion of the freely distributable CD makes me wonder if the retail version is licensed per machine?

    This is mostly just aimless speculation on my part, has anyone looked into this to provide more factual information?
  • are you on crack? redhat's initscripts are the worst i've ever seen. when i switched from redhat to debian, it was the best choice i've ever made! rh initscripts have been buggy in every version i've ever used. debian is SO much nicer.
  • Redhat does not seem that concerned about the quality of their shipping product because they seem to think that is what errata is for. RH's new priority upgrade service seems to support the upgrade idea. In Redhat defense, they could never ship a product if they waited for the newest and greatest of all the software.

    The remarks about GNOME in RH 6.0 are very valid. It is a well known fact that GNOME reached a stable 1.0 release a few months too early such a version resides on RH 6.0. The GNOME team realized that there stable version was not that stable and spent a great deal of effort debugging all aspects of GNOME. Those efforts resulted in a very stable release known as OCTOBER GNOME. It is unfortanate to report but RH 6.1 did not shp with OCTOBER GNOME. This new version of GNOME has never crashed on me.

  • I've never gotten the darn - its probably the downloaded version - of Corel Linux to install (got the 1 CD from my lug). The install proceeds through the first few screens and then the video goes all barfy. Seems to me that Corel is attempting to bring Linux to the Lame (er, Windows user). Which is NOT A Bad Thing At All. I prefer SuSE. Includes the kitchen sink and everything else, but their new YaST2 installer sucks the big one. Yeah, I realize that the trend to graphical installers is probably irreversible, but, for the time being, I hope the distributions maintain a text-based mode for installing distros when the graphical one might hang for a series of reasons in the install process. I prefer more control over my installs anyway, but how can I fairly evaluate a new distro if the darn thing won't install? Scott A. Carson
  • Like all of Linux, you takes what you like and you leaves what you don't. Even though I bought the Deluxe version, I didn't bother to load it over the freely distributed version because I didn't want the non-free OSS junk. I like the WP and bitstream fonts which I loaded from the Deluxe version.. haven't tried the Civ game yet though.

    The only probs I have had with CLOS have been very easy to fix and so I am very happy with the install. The installer works great for me and in fact I was shocked that it actually installed X perfectly. LOVE the Update tool because it is a good crutch for apt-get when you are trying to find stuff. I ditched KWM and use Window Maker, and I must say it rocks when you have all of this stuff arranged just right.

    This brings me to a prediction (wish list).. I bet that in the future (this year) the Linux desktop stuff will get so organized that ready-made themed (a.k.a. []) desktops could be options on the install. I don't just mean the wallpaper, colors, icons -- but rather the arrangement and collection of little helper applications. Sorta like GNOME/KDE but with all of the cooler stuff with custom skins. All of the stuff that you and I take all day to add once you do a fresh install. But don't limit it to just the install stage of course, make them Debian packages or better yet just a list of the required packages and a GNUstep tree or something. Basically I just want a way to make my machine look and act like one of the ones on, but without the hours of configuration -- see what I mean. That would be a nifty desktop.

  • by joey ( 315 ) <> on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @08:39AM (#1406524) Homepage
    Of course this poster is flaming without many facts. Debian's init system is sysv, and is in the place you'll find it on most other sysv unices, _except_ redhat.
  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @09:14AM (#1406525) Homepage

    Before Corel there was no distribution (as far as I know - I haven't tried all of them) that focused on desktop users. Narrowing the scope allowed them to serve this market better.

    Since Corel software is aimed at the desktop, Corel would find it critically important that the desktop market is well served.

    I think this is a great thing - especially since it's based on Debian. I'd like to see more virtical market distributions for specific applications. Perhaps aimed at the music industry, graphics, point-of-sale, whatever. Basing your specialized distro. on Debian gives the user ultimate flexibility. Limiting your scope allows you to serve a specific market really well. I don't see any down side.

  • There are many possible perpectives from which to view this.
    • "Naive" home users that aren't quite sure what a distribution is are the group that people tend to think of first.
    • "Corporate" users that are trying to build centralized systems are probably the second group people think of.
    • Developers/experienced Linux folk are usually not the ones thought of, except from the perspective of being curmudgeons that say, ``Here's a nickel - buy yourself a real OS.''
    Everyone else will probably take the "Naive home user" perspective; I'll take the "experienced developer" perspective just to provide more perspective.

    I find it greatly interesting that these Debian-based distributions are now attaining wide-spread acceptance. And I suggest that the perspective I'm taking is relevant to this.

    Debian has had the merit, over the RPM-based systems, of providing a full-fledged tool set directed at integrating together a distribution. It's not just the dpkg package manager; Debian's tool set sweeps much wider, including:

    • dselect, a package selector that knows how to look up packages from a multiplicity of locations, and do something about making sure that a suitable set of packages (Plural!) are selected in order to satisfy dependancies.

      Yes, it's pretty klunky, and something newer and prettier would be nice. That's part of what Stormix provides...

    • apt-get, which manages multiplexing of where packages come from.
    • dpkg-create and various related tools.

      These are the components that are even more important than the previous ones.

      The many RPM-based distributions suffer, and suffer badly, from the fact that RPM itself can only go so far in validating that packages are well-constructed.

      Distribution makers like RHAT, SUSE, Caldera, and TurboLinux should have some significant automated tools to help them maintain correctness, although that is not known for sure, and I am skeptical that this is actually the case.

      The Debian Maintainer Tools [] provides considerable assistance to the developer doing package maintenance work. As do the Debian Developers Manuals. []

      And that is of critical value when you're trying to avoid the "Oh, it's a .0 release from Red Hat, so watch out for big problems! " situation. That has been a significant problem for Red Hat; I'm quite sure that the presence of things like lintian, debhelper, and others has helped Corel and Stormix substantially, much as it helps maintainers of "plain Debian" packages.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @08:11AM (#1406527) Homepage Journal
    I've not actually used either of these, so I can't comment on the contents, but I -can- comment on the presentation. I was in the local CompUSA, and there were HUGE stacks of Corel Linux by the entrance. They were -very- visible, and CompUSA clearly weren't messing around when it came to trying to sell them.

    This tells me a lot. It tells me that sales of Linux are doing well, or CompUSA wouldn't be bothering. There's plenty of money in other products. To be worth that kind of dramatic showing, Corel Linux, and Linux in general, must be making a significant impression.

    Please remember, where I am is -not- "tech-land". This is the middle of nowhere, where the most advanced tech gurus use Access as the corporate intranet database, and the AS/400 is the only high-power machine ever seen. For Linux to be selling like hot-cakes around here is about equivalent to aliens giving the entire population a brain transplant in the night.

  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @08:36AM (#1406528)
    The only real difference is either i386 or i5/686 optimization (and as far as I can see, Mandrake's the only one with those optimizations... which is why I choose it religiously)

    Stampede Linux [] also is optimised for i5/686 chips; there's another distro that produces versions for Pentiums, P2s, P3s, K6s and Athlons, but I forget the name :o(


  • by Threads ( 23326 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @08:05AM (#1406529)
    Over all, I think that Corel did a wonderful job.
    On any modern machine, the install is quick, easy on the eyes, and any idiot can install it.

    And since, its still Debian underneath, nothing is sacrificed to make things pretty. dpkg and apt are still there. I ditched kde and went back to using the Debian mirrors for upgrades, which worked fine.

    I am going to start suggesting Corel for newbies in the local LUG. Its a nice gently way to introduce them to Linux. As they become more experienced, they can still enjoy the full power of Debian. Its about as close as anyone has gotten to the best of both worlds.
  • by twit ( 60210 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @08:23AM (#1406530) Homepage
    It does give them a reference distribution, which they control, on which to base their porting efforts. There's nothing wrong with that; in fact, it's quite shrewd of them. They'll probably lose buckets of money on the distribution proper, but they're probably planning to make it back and more on applications software.

    As for basing it on Debian, that the core of Debian is 100% free software means that they won't have to worry about licensing issues looming overhead in the future. Dpkg/apt is arguably the best package management tool presently avaliable and Debian has an excellent QA process to boot. They could put together their own distribution and their own package management format, but there's no advantage in doing that.

    Consider it as a business case and it becomes quite clear. There's no advantage in reinventing the wheel merely to get into the linux market, but you still have to have some control over where the wheel goes.


"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger