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DistributionWatch Review: Corel Linux - page 6

Introducing Corel Linux

  • January 3, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

In fact, all configuration is controlled via the KDE Control Center (although it's labelled merely as Control Center in Corel Linux). Again, both Linux newbies and experienced users will find the KDE Control Center immensely useful. It's set up in a hierarchy, with main settings leading to submenus and specific programs.

We can imagine some Linux purists arguing that the interface looks too much like Windows. Indeed, anyone who has ever performed any system configuration on Windows�or Netscape Navigator, for that matter�will feel right at home with the hierarchy that leads to tabbed command centers.

And this appropriation of what works�even if it's from a competing operating system�is why Corel Linux may end up being the major Linux distribution over time and why the KDE is the leading Linux graphical interface. Too often in the Linux world there's a hesitancy to grab ideas from Windows or the Macintosh, as if what works in another operating system would somehow sully the purity of Linux. But there really are very few new ideas under the sun, and there's no reason to reinvent the wheel when implementing something as mundane as sound settings for a Linux system.

The main entries in Control Center are Desktop (which controls all aspects of the KDE Desktop), Information (such as what devices are in use, how much memory is used, what processor is in your PC, etc.), Input Devices (keyboard, mouse, et al), Keys (useful if you need to internationalize your installation), Network (supporting both TCP/IP and a Windows Workgroup network), Sound (both the bell and system sounds),Windows (such as what buttons are displayed on a window, the format of the titlebar), Password, Date & Time and Printers.

As you can tell, Linux newbies will be able to avoid a lot of headaches by using the Control Center instead of remembering the appropriate Linux command: why not put a friendly front end for changing a password instead of requiring a newbie to remember the passwd command?

Also under the purview of Control Center is a utility for setting up a Samba server in a Windows/Linux network. Basically, Samba shares local printers while using Corel Linux as a WINS server.

One added bonus in Control Center for Linux newbies: X is finally integrated enough into Linux that you can change X setting from within a Linux front end. The Video Settings in Control Center oversees display resolution and color depth, and lists the graphics card and its settings.

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