June 21, 2007

Two new alternatives for the enterprise desktop

Author: Shirl Kennedy

Today enterprise users have two new choices in desktop distributions. Mandriva Corporate Desktop 4.0 is an all-new version of Mandriva's enterprise workstation, while White Box Enterprise Linux 4 Respin 2 incorporates the recent OpenOffice.org and OpenOffice.org 2 updates.

French Linux vendor Mandriva -- which this week rejected an open source patent deal with Microsoft -- said in its press release that Corporate Desktop 4.0 "focuses on the key points for business: directory administration and integration, mobility, security, and ergonomics." The release includes a new tool allowing the administrator to set KDE user rights via an LDAP directory; simplified DrakVPN configuration for secure remote access; "support for support for data encryption, high security authentication (including smart cards and fingerprint readers), secure connections, and an interactive firewall"; and a new ergonomic desktop design that integrates the latest 3-D technologies (Xgl, AIGLX, and Metisse).

Corporate Desktop 4, "built on a proven base system," is designed to support a variety of "current and future hardware platforms." According to the press release, "The provided kernel already includes support for many new hardware platforms expected to be released during 2007 and 2008," including many disk and Ethernet controllers, laptop card readers, and video and wireless devices. A trial version is available for download and registration.

White Box Enterprise Linux is "(a) very preliminary effort to respin Red Hat Enterprise Linux" by John Morris, "designated network guru for the Beauregard Parish Public Library and the Beauregard Parish School Board." Based on the RPM Package Manager, originally developed by Red Hat, it is sufficiently compatible with Red Hat Linux to facilitate easy upgrades. Enterprise Linux 4 Respin 2 is "a distribution built from the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4," according to DistroWatch.

You can download a 4-CD set from a number of mirrors. The DVDs (ISO) are available via BitTorrent -- here (2.7 MB), or here (3 MB).

Shirl Kennedy is the senior editor of theDocuTickerandResourceShelfweblogs as well as the "Internet Waves" columnist forInformation Today. She has been writing about technology since 1992.


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