December 12, 1999 - In an earlier posting, we reported that
Bynari's Support Team found the Corel version of Linux fairly
stable and everything seemed to work. Then we attempted to hook it
up to the Internet through a Digital Subscriber Line (dsl) which
uses DHCP and discovered it failed. We fixed that but found some
other problems which need noting. This posting exists to assist
users in creating a robust environment out of Corel's download
version of Linux.
Corel LINUX comes in three flavors: OS Download, Standard, and
Deluxe. You can just download the iso image from their site (only
recommended for the not faint of heart with a high speed
connection) or buy the CD for $4.95. You can also buy the Standard
for $59 and the Deluxe for $89. Corel advertised the latter two as
of this writing as "coming soon".
Our support team likes the Corel Linux distribution we
downloaded. So do some of the PC manufacturers we support. However,
when it came decision time, the first of our PC manufacturer
clients chose to go with two other distributions. In the decision
making process, we couldn't tell if the problems with the download
version would also exist in the other versions. Corel's
representative contacted us originally, then made two appointments
for phone conferences but missed both.
Regardless, we like many of Corel's desktop features. For
example, the enhanced KDE Desktop, Install Express, File Manager
and Corel Update Utility surpass other major distributions for ease
of use and quantity of features. We haven't found another
distribution which can compare with these four aspects of the Corel
distribution. However, we felt disappointed when it came to other
aspects of Corel's distribution.
For example, we didn't find a mail client on the desktop. We
discovered that Corel provided the Netscape browser but didn't
include Communicator with its robust tools such as Messenger ,
Composer, News Client, etc. Many of the KDE applications we've come
to expect as standard also didn't show up on the desktop. We also
have a difficult time finding the AutoStart and Templates folders.
When we attempted to install TradeMail LE, it failed immediately.
We also installed the full-version of WordPerfect which we bought
off-the-shelf at the MicrosCenter in Richardson, Texas. We
discovered it failed also. Now, keep in mind, Corel makes
WordPerfect for Linux and out of the box it didn't install on the
The support team started looking into the guts of Corel Linux
and made some interesting discoveries. First, apt-get appeared
broke. So from the command line, Andrew did an update of apt-get.
He also discovered that the basic libc installation had broken
pieces. Corel included glibc 2.0, so Andrew used the updated
apt-get to update libc6 to version 2.1. Once we accomplished this,
We then found many of the native KDE applications in
/usr/X11R6/bin directory which we noticed missing on the desktop.
We opened our home directory and didn't find the Templates folder
so we could put our discoveries on the desktop. After a little
searching, we found an icon under "my home" labeled "desktop". We
clicked it and found the Template and AutoStart folder which don't
appear on the desktop. We used the program.lnk to put
icons on the desktop and set up some of our favorite kde apps.
We went to the Corel web site and found the instructions on how
to fix WordPerfect at
To find these instructions and any indication of the problem, we
started at corelcity.com, navigated to corel.com, went to
linux.corel.com, navigated to their products page and clicked on
the link Wordperfect 8 for Linux which said download a copy of
their famous word processor for free. Under a section on that web
page called Important Updates, we found the instructions for fixing
the download version of Corel Linux so WordPerfect could work.
Corel says, "The download version of Corel LINUX OS does not
include Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux. End users wanting to run
Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux (retail or download) have to install
it separately. The basic problem is that the xlib6 package, which
is needed to run WordPerfect 8.0 under the download version of
Corel LINUX OS, is not installed by default as part of the typical
setup." If you want the instructions, navigate to the url mentioned
After following the instructions and navigating to the xlib6
3.3.5-1.0.1 shared libraries required by libc5 X clients on the
Corel download site, I noticed our changes to the
/etc/apt/sources.list gave us additional updates from the Debian
ftp site. We went back to the sources.list and commented
out every line except the last three and suddenly we found packages
we wanted for our own distribution using Corel's Update
For example, by updating to Communicator 4.7, the Corel Update
utility removed older libc6 libs and updated the distribution.
Afterwards, we were able to build a robust Debian install with
Corel's excellent desktop. The tools worked wonderfully.
We originally tested the Corel distribution on a number of
single processor systems. We decided to put it on a HP Vectra XU
6/200 with dual Pentium Pro's, Seagate Barracuda SCSI drives, 128
MB of RAM, the recommended HP ethernet card, Matrox Millennium 4MB
video and onboard SoundBlaster 16. This box came with Windows NT
4.0 Workstation preinstalled.
The installation went very well with a couple of exceptions.
Corel Linux didn't see the HP100 ethernet card and it couldn't
configure the sound card. We used update-modules and got the HP100
and SB working. Corel Linux did a SMP install and saw both
processors. We looked into the /proc directory at cpuinfo and it
configured fine. When we peaked into the pci file, we saw the hp100
in the file even though Corel Linux missed it.
If you give the Corel Linux 1.0 distribution a try, be prepared
for a very nice looking, though sparse distribution. If you have
some experience with Debian or other Linux distributions, a little
editing and a fix here and there and you'll have a very attractive
GUI bootloader, login screen and desktop with the power of the GNU
distribution of Linux under the hood.
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