The Novell Desktops

By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2004-11-22 Print this article Print

You know that youre in Novell land when you first arrive at your desktop. The big "N" is everywhere, and you simply cant miss it. Clicking "N" in the task bar lets you access menus the way clicking "Start" does in Windows. The menus are well organized, and its easy to find the type of program you are looking for to access individual programs. If youve used Windows, Gnome, or KDE before, you arent going to have problems navigating the Novell desktop. If you currently use Gnome or KDE for your Linux desktop, youll still have no problems. NLD uses Gnome 2.6 and KDE 3.2.1. Both desktops, though branded by Novell, are pretty much the usual in terms of how they function.
There are some lightweight window managers available as well. So if Gnome and KDE dont float your boat, you can also opt to choose the Motif Window Manager, the Tab Window Manager, or FVWM. Any of these will work well, particularly on older/slower systems with less memory. We were pleased to be able to access our Windows partition by clicking on the "My Computer" icon and then finding the C: icon. And we were also easily able to connect to our shared folder on our Windows XP by clicking the Network Browsing icon, then choosing the Windows Network. Our CD and DVD drives were also mounted automatically for us. Novell has done a very good job in making sure that NLD provides much of the necessary basic networking and disk functionality. However, we were disappointed to discover that there is still no way to create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection in NLD (more on this later). This is a curious omission for whats supposed to be a corporate Linux desktop distro. Continued...

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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