on 13 July 2001
If you are new to Linux, then this is probably one of the best distros available (the other likely candidates being SuSE, Red Hat and Mandrake). The installation is exceptionally automated and it even comes with it's own version of Partition Magic and Boot Magic to partition your HDD and manage dual operating systems. One caveat with regards to this however . . . Caldera's version of these utilities will not work if the other OS on your box is Windows ME or Windows 2000 -- for that you will need Partition Magic 6.0 from PowerQuest -- which is an extra fifty pounds! As most people I know who use Linux tend to dual boot with Windows, a word of caution is in order here. I find that you will save yourself a great deal of time and headaches if you install Linux on a separate PHYSICAL drive from your Windows distro. If you insist on installing them both on the same physical drive, make sure Windows is installed first, as Windows of all ilks do not seem to take kindly to having other OS's on the same drive. But using one hard drive for each distro will save you a lot of grief later, I can assure you. Also, one thing that you absolutely CANNOT do with Linux in general is avoud reading the documentaion. With windows you may be able to get away with this at least for the most part, but is is ESSENTIAL to read the installation manual and the online documentation (inlcuding the supported hardware) before attempting any installation. Many new computers come with internal modems nowadays and more often than not, these are WinModems, whcih cannot be used with Linux. Also, at present Linux does not support the variety of graphics cards and peripherals that Windows does, so check the supported hardware list at the manufacturer's web site. Make sure your ISP does not use proporietary prootocols such as AOL or otherwise you will not be able to connect to the Internet (Eartlink or WorldNet would be better choices). You will probably want to invest in an external modem as well. Know the make and model of your video card, the amount of RAM it has, your processor type and speed, monitor colour depth, and vertical and horizontal sync, and your DNS servers of your ISP. if you determine that all of your hardware is supported, and after you have read the basic How-To's and documentation, and you still want to give it a try, this is a great distro. Although not as stable as FreeBSD, it if far, far more stable than any version of windows and much, much faster. The FHS file system will take a while to get used to, but it is really not that bad, and the flexibility and power of Linux will soon begin to be evident if you stick with it. I was very pleased with the quality of this distro, but had not quite done the necessary research before hand to ensure a successful installation. Still,, as a recovering MS junkie, it is hard not to be impressed with it!