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Caldera unveils simple install Linux system

No expertise claimed to be needed for OpenLinux 2.2

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It is perhaps a little strange that Linux distributor Red Hat is the recipient of a great deal of corporate largesse, while Caldera Systems, which pitches itself as "the recognised technology leader in Linux for Business", has not benefited from the windfalls. Perhaps Caldera doesn't need funds as much as Red Hat (since Ray Noorda, former Novell CEO, is the backer). But it is good news for users that there are two prominent Linux distributors (and of course many second-tier ones too). This week at Comdex, Caldera launched OpenLinux 2.2, which claims to be the easiest Linux to install (in 15 minutes), and not to need any Linux expertise. Lizard, the Linux Wizard, is said to do everything, including partitioning the hard disk and installing the GUI. Caldera has positioned the product for the enterprise, so it is a little strange therefore to see it come with personal editions of Corel's WordPerfect 8, and StarOffice version 5, rather than professional versions. Hardware demands are not too serious, so a 32MB 80386 or equivalent, with a 300MB hard disk is the minimum requirement. The other side of Caldera's work is Caldera Thin Clients, which specialises in embedded solutions, set-top devices, and DR-DOS. Development is carried out in Andover, Hampshire, but without former CEO Roger Gross who has left to form iCentrix, which launches tomorrow a low-cost Internet appliance called MarioNet in a local school. Bryan Sparks, founder and CEO of the parent Caldera company is now also CEO of the thin client company. Caldera is widely known for its private antitrust case against Microsoft's alleged foreclosure of the DOS market to Digital Research, the original developer of DR-DOS, at Hungerford. ®

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