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DistributionWatch Review: Corel Linux - page 5

Introducing Corel Linux

  • January 3, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

Once up and running, you'll need to work with the Corel Linux desktop. Throughout the installation and configuration process, it makes decisions on your behalf, and one of the decisions is to make the K Desktop Environment (KDE) the default desktop. Hardcore Linux users tend to like to make these decisions on their own: they like to tinker with different desktop environments and window managers before settling on one for everyday use.

But most users, especially new users, don't like to tinker; they want to get directly to work. Corel has already received some flak from hardcore Linux users for not presenting choices every step of the way, but the Corel approach works well to those just entering the Linux field or are using Linux for specific purposes.

Those new to Linux will find the default desktop the easiest to use right off the bat. While we're not the biggest fans of the Windows 98 desktop, the KDE desktop does a good job of taking what's good in the Windows interface�the equivalent of a Start menu (called Application Starter), a panel on the bottom of the screen, the placement of application buttons on the left side of the screen�and presents by default a clean, uncluttered interface.

The Corel enhancements to the KDE desktop are simple, yet effective. The most important thing Corel did was add a little restraint to the desktop, offering an attractive blue background and icons representing only the most important applications (WordPerfect, Netscape Navigator).

In addition, the KDE tools for changing the look and feel of your desktop, stored under the Control Center, are easy to use and work similarly to the same tools under Windows.

There are two tools in the Application Menu lifted directly from Windows: a Find choice and a Run choice. The Find choice will search your hard drive or the network for a specific string, while the Run choice allows you to run a command line without automatically launching a terminal window. While you'll need to launch a terminal window for a text-based command, you won't need to do so for an X-based command.

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