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DistributionWatch Review: Corel Linux - page 2

Introducing Corel Linux

  • January 3, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

There are three ways to acquire Corel Linux, two requiring a commercial purchase.

First, before acquiring Corel Linux, you'll want to make sure that your hardware can run it, as it raises the bar for Linux-distribution hardware requirements. It requires a Pentium or Pentium-compatible processor, 24 megabytes of RAM (64 MB RAM recommended), 500 MB of hard-disk space, a CD-ROM drive, a VGA PCI graphics card with 2 MB of video RAM and a mouse. These requirements are problematic for users of older PCs, as we'll see later.

The downloadable version encompasses Debian GNU/Linux, an Enhanced KDE Desktop, Corel Install Express, and Corel File Manager. Calling it a download is somewhat of a misnomer, however; what you're downloading is an ISO image suitable for writing to a CD-ROM. Basically, you're burning your own Corel Linux installation CD. Almost every other Linux distribution, including Debian GNU/Linux and Slackware Linux, can be downloaded in a form where cutting a CD-ROM isn't necessary. Ironically, choosing to download is also the most technologically challenging option as well: you must choose an ISO image that best matches your PC's capabilities, and new Linux users probably won't want to tackle that challenge so early in the game. Mercifully, Corel does offer a $4.95 CD-ROM with the download version. In addition, the download edition does not include WordPerfect 8 for Linux, although it can be downloaded separately. Experienced Linux users with a writable CD-ROM drive will want to go this route, while newbies will want to purchase a commercial version directly from a Linux reseller or Corel.

The Standard Edition adds a printed user guide, 30 days of installation technical support via e-mail, Netscape Communicator, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Instant Messenger, 20 Bitstream and Type 1 fonts and a limited version of WordPerfect 8 for Linux. It also includes a boot diskette, an installation CD-ROM, a source-code CD-ROM, and a separate Open Installation CD-ROM. The standard price for this edition is $59, although we've seen some street prices as low as $39.

The Deluxe Edition adds 30 days of installation technical support via e-mail or telephone, 200 Bitstream and Type 1 fonts, the full version of WordPerfect 8 for Linux, a printed user guide for WordPerfect 8 for Linux, three months of free eFax Plus service, enhanced OSS sound drivers, a limited version of Civilization: Call to Power, and BRU backup software. It adds a separate applications CD-ROM. The standard price for this edition is $89, although we've seen some street prices as low as $69.

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