Xandros Steps Up Security in New Desktop Linux

With Xandros 3.0, the Linux desktop vendor adds a firewall wizard and a Microsoft PPTP VPN client to its operating system.

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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