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UserLinux Beta 1: The Precursor to the Next Enterprise Linux Distro? - page 4

Setting The Enterprise Stage

  • October 14, 2004
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Once you actually get into the UserLinux Beta 1, what you'll see beyond the initial X splash screen that gives a little UserLinux logo, is essentially all Debian. The default X environment is GNOME 2.6 and the desktop version is loaded with all the apps you'd expect.

The LiveCD includes Mozilla (rather than Mozilla FireFox), OpenOffice.org, and productivity apps like Imendia Planner, which is a project management tool. The full Net installer version also had the Asterisk PBX, as well as a Jabber server among its long list of packages.

Debian 'Sarge' is still undergoing some changes, especially lately with its installer. No doubt that UserLinux's installation process will improve as its underlying foundation evolves toward a final stable release.

Sometimes betas are really good; sometimes they're not and really are betas. UserLinux Beta 1 is really a beta. I've always found that the real strength of a beta lies in its user feedback and in the community that stands behind it and is pushing it forward. UserLinux sports a reasonable developer list (464 messages in September), discussion board, and an IRC channel.

Howver, the #UserLinux channel on FreeNode was a veritable ghost town during my evaluation period (Sept. 17--Oct. 11) with few users present. The discussion forum was similarly under populated, though I did get a reasonably prompt response from a community member about my X server issue.

In the final analysis, UserLinux will be as good as Debian 'Sarge.' What will make it better will be living up to its promise and establishing a new paradigm for enterprise Linux support.

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