Xandros Steps Up Security in New Desktop Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-12-08
Linux desktop vendor Xandros Inc. on Wednesday released the latest version of its flagship operating system, Xandros Desktop Operating System 3.0.

This latest descendant of the first mass-market Linux desktop, Corel Linux, uses the KDE 3.3 interface. It is built on the foundation of a Linux 2.6.9 kernel.

Earlier versions of this desktop Linux have been well-received by customers and reviewers alike. It has been primarily marketed to a consumer audience.

For example, last week, the company announced a deal with Wal-Mart in which the operating system was bundled with low-cost Microtel systems and sold at Walmart.com.

That said, Xandros offers an earlier version, 2.5, in a business desktop edition. The company also plans to release version 3 of its business edition in the first quarter of 2005.

The latest Xandros operating system comes with several security and network improvements. These include a firewall wizard and a Microsoft PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) VPN client. You also can automatically encrypt a users home directories.

"Our firewall wizard makes it a cinch to secure your laptop or PC from Internet intruders, and all it normally takes to set up a secure connection to a VPN account is a host name, user name and password," Andreas Typaldos, Xandros CEO, said in a statement.

In addition, Xandros has improved Intel Centrino and wireless card support for Wi-Fi LAN connections. The operating systems interface also enables users to drag-and-drop files from anywhere, including Windows network shares, FTP sites and writeable DVD drives.

Like Linspire, formerly Lindows, Xandros also has an online subscription service for easy-to-install third-party software: the Xandros Networks update facility.

The Deluxe and Standard editions of version 3 of the Xandros Desktop OS are now available for purchase and download at the companys Web site and via Xandros resellers.

The Deluxe Edition of Xandros costs $89.95. It includes a 380-page user guide and a special Xandros Edition of CrossOver Office 4.1, which enables users to run many popular Windows programs. The Standard Edition costs $49.95. Discounted prices are available for current Xandros owners.

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