Novell Launches New Linux Operating System

Review: Novell takes aim at the corporate desktop with their release of Novell Desktop Linux 9. Jim Lynch takes a look at the new release from the lone desktop perspective. Can a distro targeted at the hearts and minds of business users find a home

In the 80s and most of the 90s, Novell ruled the roost for PC network operating systems. In fact, a term was coined, NOS (network operating system) to describe Novells flagship product. But the Redmond juggernaut eventually overcame Novells efforts. Novell shops still exist, but theyre getting to be few and far between.

As Microsoft consolidated its gain in servers, Novells Linux began to make inroads on what had seemed to be secure territory. Even larger companies like IBM and HP offer Linux-based servers today. Meanwhile, Novells purchase of Suse and Ximian, both leading Linux vendors, has opened up new doors for the company. With the release of Novell Linux Desktop (NLD), Novells acquisitions have already begun bearing fruit. We take a closer look at NLD in this review and we consider whether or not it has a place on the desktops of non-corporate users.

Installing NLD
If youve ever installed Suse Linux, you should have no problem with NLD since it uses the Yast installer. We had almost no problems with our install. It was pretty much a breeze considering how many times weve installed Suse in the past. We installed onto a system that already had Windows installed, opting to test a dual-boot configuration.

During the install we installed some additional software and use Gnome as our default desktop (though we also installed KDE). Dont worry if youre new to Linux, the Yast installer used by NLD is about as easy as installing Windows XP. Continued...