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KEY FEATURES A commercial Linux distribution (although a free as a beer version called "Open Circulation Edition" is available through BitTorrent) based on Debian. Xandros is worth considering especially for the newbies in the Linux world. It's goal is to make Linux as simple and friendly and Windows-like as possible. Installation is just four mouse-clicks. The OS after installing is ready for use and requires minimal customization. A very good choice for a frustrated Windows user to migrate to Linux without a trouble.
Supported architectures i386
Minimal hardware requirements Pentium 2, 64MB RAM, 1.5 GB HDD, Bootable CD.
Software freedom status Contains proprietary software.
Installer - overall (7) Xandros installer (and the whole OS as well) reminds the installer of Windows XP. While the files are being copied to the hard drive, the switching screens demonstrate system's key features. The are not many options to choose during the installation and all of them are obvious even for computer dummies :) When sticking to the default settings, the installation process takes just four mouse-clicks! Expert users may be however, a little disappointed.
Package selection (5) Not available in <=2.5. In 3.0 available in expert mode.
Predefined package groups (5) Not available in <=2.5. In 3.0 available in expert mode.
Expert mode install (5) Expert mode installation available (mature since 3.0).
Graphical installer (9) The graphical installer is very eye-candy and polished.
Installer speed (8) Very good install speed. Second place after Yoper. Takes approximately 10-20 minutes.
Graphical system management (8) Lots of usable configuration tools including great printer setup tool, a program to make X configuration easier, and in 3.0 version, a clickable OpneVPN setup app.
Console-based system management (2) Xandros believes in graphical configuration tools. Console ones are neglected so if your prefer to type, this distro is not for you :)
Number of packages (9) Many specific packages plus access to the whole Debian repository puts Xandros at the very top position.
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (7) Xandros uses Debian package management system which proved very efficient. Conflicts between Xandros and Debian packages (rare, but occurring) make the mark a little smaller.
Graphical package management tools (9) Xandros Networks - a modified Synaptic is one of the market leaders in terms of easy software installation (and online purchase).
System boot-up speed (5) Allright boot-up speed. Noticeably better than in Debian.
System responsiveness (6) Quite fast and efficient. Seems faster than KDE in Kubuntu or Debian.
Popularity (4) Fairly popular - around 15th place in DistroWatch rank. It would be higher, but the price is a stopped (although the Open Circulation version is free of charge).
Security focus (7) Security is a serious priority in Xandros policy. There are not many services running by default, the default system is well secured.
Stability and maturity (5) Xandros is maturing very quickly. In 2003 almost none heard about this distribution. Now in 2005 it is becoming one of the leaders in commercial Linux market, next to Red Hat and Suse (Novell) distributions. Still, more key migrations need to take place in order to say more about Xandros real maturity,
Does the installer support multiple languages? (0) English-only installer.
Is the system localized after installation? (2) Default system is not well localized. Xandros offers only 3 language alternatives: English, French and German. If you're not one of them, you're out of lack.
Is manual system localization easy? (3) Very tricky way of localizing the system for some languages (Xandros version of KDE is localized only in few main languages).
Support for restricted formats (8) Out-of-the-box MP3 playback and drag-and-drop encoding, iPod compatibility, and support for a large number of digital cameras. Also, Skype is included by default.
Sagem DSL modem support (7) Similar to Debian, eagle-usb is available in software repository. In order to get access to it, one needs to manually add adequate URLs to /etc/apt/sources.list.
Alcatel DSL modem support (0) ?
ISDN support (5) No ISDN suport in the default kernel in versions <=2.5. In latest version, ISDN is one-click-easy, but only for Standard or Deluxe version users.
Wireless support (7) Very good support for wireless devices.
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