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DukeOfURL: Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1

Sep 29, 2001, 19:31 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Daniel Christle)

[ Thanks to Patrick Mullen for this link. ]

Caldera traditionally has focused on the corporate market by offering a version of Linux that is aimed squarely at the corporate desktop. Their product line includes a server edition and as a result of recently acquiring SCO, a full UNIX solution.

Caldera has always been associated with ease of use having been one of the early adapters of the KDE desktop environment. They were also the first to offer a graphical install process (complete with entertainment) that was comparable with the Microsoft Windows installation. Subsequently, they became the standard which all graphical install routines in the world of Linux were measured against.

Recently Caldera have been mired in controversy, with plans to switch from open source to a more common proprietary business model. They now have per seat licencing for their distribution, the antithesis of licensing models offered by almost every other distributor of Linux based operating systems. A stance that many postulate may hurt them in the long haul. After all, if Red Hat can pull off the new business model there isn't a reason for anyone can't.

This latest release is built around KDE 2.1, and as such, contains a good many KDE development tools and the accompanying documentation. Some of the benefits being touted by Caldera include: software integration, default configurations, self hosting, secure software, system testing, and even OEM testing.

Essentially this means that Caldera has tested each piece of software included in their distribution to make sure there are no software conflicts. Every piece has been tested for proper functionality and that any OEM that bundles OpenLinux has been tested for hardware compatibility. The benefit of default configurations are the fact that Caldera has predetermined a lot of the settings for each daemon that is included in this distribution. This is so you don't have to spend hours configuring a daemon from scratch.

The stated benefit of self hosting is perhaps the most confusing for users to understand. In Caldera's bundled documentation, they define self hosting to be the "building of delivered binaries on the same system it is delivered on." This means that the source and the binaries should match and that the binaries for a Caldera system can easily be reproduced. I'm not sure that Caldera is a leg up on everyone here, as any system compiled from source code shares this benefit.

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