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PCWorld: Friendly Linux Alternative to Windows

Jun 27, 2002, 23:30 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Newton)

"Looking for an inexpensive, simple-to-use alternative to the Windows operating system? Linux may leap to mind, but since Corel abandoned its effort, no vendor has concentrated strictly on making Linux friendly enough for newbies. Now, the $30 Desktop/LX distribution from upstart Lycoris demonstrates that Microsoft's monopoly on friendly operating systems for the PC could be coming to a close.

"I looked at a late beta version of Desktop/LX Amethyst Update 2, which is directed at people who mainly use their PCs for office work and Internet access. Installing a shipping copy on my 500-MHz Pentium III PC (with 128MB of RAM and Windows XP already in place) was easy, with on-screen help available each step of the way. As the installer copies files to your hard drive, it asks you a few questions about your hardware. If you finish answering before the copying is completed, you can kill time with an on-screen game of solitaire. When everything is ready, your PC starts Desktop/LX without rebooting. One catch: You'll need 700MB of unpartitioned space on your hard drive if you plan to install it alongside an existing Windows installation.

"Desktop/LX is built atop the K Desktop Environment, one of two major competing interfaces for Linux. This incarnation, with its rolling-hill and cloudy-sky background, looks a bit like Windows XP. Icons represent your PC, network, and documents; and the start menu is smartly organized into sections--Pictures and Photos, Music and Movies, and Productivity Software..."

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