January 1st, 2007
Linux XP is a linux version (distro) that is designed to behave like Windows XP. The theory is that a Windows user should be able to easily use Linux XP, if they are comfortable with Windows XP.
But does it work? And what is the user likely to experience? Here are my observations:
- Installation: quite easy actually. Aside from setting up the partitions which might be hard for non linux users, the installation process was easy (also, the partition setup had an automatic mode).
- Startup: startup is in typical unix style, with lots of system info whizzing past. Eventually the desktop will load.
- Desktop: the initial desktop presented when LXP loads is similar to Windows XP. A lot of effort has been put into mimic the XP desktop, and it pays off: At the bottom you have the taskbar with start button (and various other icons).
- Menu system: Like windows, there is a start button - clicking this enables you to open various applications, also adjust various system options via a ‘control panel’
- Control Panel: LXP has a control panel, similar to XP. Through this you can adjust various options related to the interface, hardware, network, users, and also add/remove applications.
- Applications: LXP includes applications under categories similar to XP. These categories are accessories, graphics, Internet, Multimedia, and Office.
- Included applications include various utilities (under accessories), a PDF viewer, GIMP (for graphics) Firefox (for surfing) and much more. Strangely, Open office was not included in the installation, which is a pity.
I found the following problems during the install/usage - whether they were due to my hardware or errors on my part I can’t say for sure:
- Installation: The initial boot screen displayed by the CD had garbled text (tried changing graphics card/monitor no luck)
- Screen resolution: After installation, the screen resolution could not be adjusted beyond 800X600 @85hz. Tried changing monitors, and graphics card but no luck.
Linux XP does an admirable job of mimicing Windows XP’s behavior, so a typical XP user may find switching to LXP very easy. At the same time, the more fundamental question I’d ask is, if you are switching to Linux, why bother retaining windows XP layout, when Linux has better options?
The second problem with LXP (in my opinion) is that it is a paid OS - i.e. you have to pay to obtain a licence. Some will say this is a good thing but it makes me wary as it goes against the principle of open source (IMO).
Lastly, LXP is still relatively unknown, isn’t as popular as some of the more well established Linux distros.
Having used Ubuntu, I think it is vastly superior to Linux XP, besides being true FOSS (Free and open source) it can also be tweaked to look and feel like XP (if you want to). See my review of Ubuntu here.