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Xandros Desktop OS Version 3.0 - Deluxe Edition - Page 2
LinuxLinks Review
(12/16/04)
By Steve Emms

Hardware

We took a different approach to the hardware selected for this review. Instead of using an existing spare machine, we purchased a brand new machine from Dell. We chose Dell partly because they are ranked by Gartner as the number one PC maker. Not intending the machine to be state of the art, we sought the cheapest Dell machine possible.

Specifications of the review machine

  • Celeron 2.6GHz 400fsb, 256k cache
  • 256MB RAM, of which 64MB is taken by the onboard graphics
  • 80GB Hard disk
  • 48x CD-ROM
  • Onboard graphics, sound and ethernet
  • Windows XP Home

With the machine costing only 150 pounds this machine would either make an ideal 2nd computer, or a replacement for your existing machine. Dell has announced that they are going to be preinstalling Novell's SuSE Professional with their machines. Certainly a move in the right direction!

Additional hardware was attached to the machine including a wireless Gyration keyboard and mouse, Zaurus PDA, USB camera and a HP6L printer.

Unfortunately, the review machine could not be purchased without the XP Home operating system being supplied, but it was at a bargain price so we could forget about the Microsoft tax for once. We would subsequently try out a multi-boot system with XP Home and Xandros co-existing on the same hard disk, as well as a separate installation with only Xandros present. Why did this machine make an excellent testbed for the review? Well, it has the all the qualities that anyone would want for a desktop machine.

* It's extremely cheap and offers adequate expansion with 3 PCI slots.
* Reasonable CPU power, although the Celeron is a poor relation to the Pentium 4.
* Almost silent - it only has one large slow moving fan in the machine, making it an ideal home computer for watching videos, listening to music, or any other multimedia activity.

Of course, the specifications of this PC far exceed the minimum necessary to install the Linux distribution in question. You're looking at a miserly PII 450 MHz minimum with 128MB of RAM as the minimum recommended specification. But even if you have a machine that's incapable of running Xandros, purchasing a new machine, as illustrated, isn't going to break the bank.

We also did some testing on another machine that was currently standing idle, an AMD XP1700+ Shuttle PC, which was helpful for testing out how Xandros coped in a multi-boot situation.

Xandros has subsequently notified us that you can get the specified machine below including a slightly older Xandros OS for under $200! Again this represents excellent value for the money, although 20GB isn't going to be enough for many desktop users.

Microtel SYSAM4001 PC 1.5 GHz Sempron 2200+
128MB RAM
20GB HD
CD-ROM drive
Xandros Desktop Standard Edition v2.0

More powerful machines are also available from Xandros.

In the next section we'll see how the installation went on the Dell machine.

Installation

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Hardware
3. Installation
4. Candyfloss & Disk 2
5. What's New & Discussion
6. Conclusion


Last Updated Wednesday, December 15 2004 @ 06:13 PM EST


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