Linux Made Easy

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Kevin Bedell

Kevin Bedell
Aug. 12, 2003 07:51 PM

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This new MSBlaster worm attacking Windows XP and 2003 operating systems is so bad that even the Department of Homeland Security has issued advisories against it.

Instead of applying a patch for this problem -- only to have to apply another patch as soon as the next vulnerability is exploited -- why not just move to Linux?

Recent innovations in the Linux community have made this easier than ever. Ease of use is better, installation is easier, hardware support is better, and there are more and better applications available. If you've ever considered making the switch, now is the time.

Here are a few really easy Linux versions you can install yourself without too much worry. In many cases, these installations are now actually easier than installing Microsoft Windows.

  • Mandrake Linux. Mandrake was one of the original 'easy to use and install' versions of Linux. I recently installed it on a Toshiba laptop and can say it's definitely continuing to get better and better. Their new MandrakeClub provides access to even more applications as well as a community of other Mandrake users to help you if you need it. I recommend the Mandrake Linux PowerPack Edition 9.1.
  • Lindows OS. Lindows is determined to become the 'America On-Line' of Linux versions. They are consumer friendly and have made their applications very easy to install and use. Another real advantage for Lindows is the 'Click-N-Run Technology' they use for installing new applications and upgrading. I recommend Lindows OS 4.0.
  • Xandros Desktop. The Xandros claim to fame is Windows compatibility and ease of switching from Windows. Xandros cost $99, but comes with 'CodeWeavers CrossOver Office' which allows you to literally run Microsoft Office and other windows applications right on your Linux machine. Xandros is getting rave reviews from their customers. I recommend the Xandros Desktop Deluxe Edition.
And you won't have to worry about going out and buying new software for Linux either. All these versions come with a full-featured office suite that can read and write MS Office files (OpenOffice), a full-featured money management application (GNUCash), media and entertainment applications and most of the software that an average user needs.

Stop worrying about patching -- get Linux instead.

Kevin Bedell is a software professional with over 15 years of experience doing development, architecture and team lead work, is Editor in Chief of LinuxWorld Magazine, and is working on a book for O'Reilly on Apache Axis.