Feeds

A Linux for the rest of us?

Zero config distro tailored for newbies

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Serial entrepreneur Peter Dawe, who helped bring the internet to the UK, is launching a "safe" Linux distro tailored for the technophobe.

The idea behind his BabelLinux distro is to give users a free, go-anywhere bootable OS, which is likely to be attractive to operators of public internet PCs.

BabelLinux is tailored for simplicity, to give users access to the seven most common applications. It boots from the (free) CD, and once booted the OS can't write to the local hard drive or USB media.

Instead, users can store their data online in the "BabelBank" - which is how the venture will get its revenue. BabelBank charges £1 per GB per month, with a £10 upfront fee. The service is already in paid beta.

The Pipex founder told us he'd been using the service as his primary computer since the New Year.

BabelLinux, based on Ubuntu, offers fixed buttons for the main applications: web browsing (FireFox), email (Sylpheed), Open Office, multimedia (F-Spot), IM (GAIM), and a Freeview TV adaptor (Xine). Skype will soon be included in the default distro. Most of the cruft that fills a standard Linux distribution's start menu is hidden, although it's still there if you need to find it.

Dawe said the inspiration came about because he spent a lot of time acting as unofficial technical support to friends and family, yet most of the issues were avoidable. Hence, the zero-configuration approach.

There's an obvious appeal to cyber cafe owners, for example. With PCs set to boot the BabelLinux CD only, they can be sure no settings are being changed or any nasties are being written to disk.

BabelLinux is free and ready to download. More here.

It requires a PC with 128MB of RAM and an x86 compatible 600MHz processor. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.