Feeds

A Linux for the rest of us?

Zero config distro tailored for newbies

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.