Sneak Preview: Corel Linux OS Second Edition - page 3
Picking packages is also designed to proceed in an automated fashion. There are four levels of installation:
- desktop, which provides a basic productivity workstation
- developer, which introduces development libraries, compilers and related tools
- server, for providing network services
- custom, which allows the user to select individual packages.
The first three methods work from pre-selected lists of packages and install with no further interaction. The "custom" installation launches a package browser. Dangling dependencies are taken care of once all packages are selected and the installer is told to proceed.
Corel has limited the installation to just those elements: partitioning and package installation. When the installation is complete, the machine reboots, and it's available for use. While many distributions spend time with networking, account configuration, and other details, Corel has saved those tasks for later. It definitely increases the sense of ease.
Getting Around Corel Linux OS
Corel provides a slick graphical bootloader, which provides users several options at boot time:
- Corel Linux OS
- VGA Mode, which allows the user to read statup messages and launches X as in monochrome at 640x480
- single user
- text mode
- LILO "expert mode"
- Windows 98 (in our case)
With no user input, the bootloader starts a normal session, booting Linux and loading the kdm display manager. By default, Corel continues to use a slightly modified version of the KDE 1.x desktop for the user interface, and most of the Corel tools provided are uniform as part of the KDE environment.
Once within Corel Linux, the real configuration tasks are ahead. We suffered some momentary disorientation: Corel has done an excellent job of integrating configuration around their modified KDE Control Center. As a result, it functions much more like the Windows 'Control Panel', providing a central and unified area for maintaining the system. Though not as complex as a tool like Linuxconf, most of the bases are covered and it's very easy to understand the information required in each area of the program.
One tool we particularly like (returning from the previous release) was the graphical display control, which allows users to set screen resolution and color depth without having to stop X, edit their XF86Config file, and restart. Being able to do this is nothing new to Windows users, and we're glad Corel has introduced this bit of simplicity.