Lindows Operating System Review

Lindows Operating System – Is this OS the second coming or just another Linux distribution
that will fall by the wayside. Since has released its Insiders from the initial
Non Disclosure Agreement which was a confidentiality agreement that prevented us from
discussing the OS anywhere outside of the Insiders Forum I am now able to give some insight to this mysterious OS.

First I’ll give you a little background about information concerning this review. In February 2002 I bought into the Insiders Program which would enable me to review the Sneak Preview (SP) of LindowsOS and provide input to As is still advertised on their web site, this information provided by the Insiders would help in the development and future direction of Lindows. The main reason for my getting into the program was that the OS would run Windows applications with seamless integration. I have been able to evaluate all Sneak Previews, SP1, SP2 and the current SPX version 1.1.1.

Initial Statement Made by

One of the most compelling features of LindowsOS(R) is the ability to load and run popular Windows® software titles from many different software vendors. After installing LindowsOS on a computer, an entry will appear in the lower left corner launch menu called “Windows® Programs.” You will then find listed applications that you can click on and run just as you normally would. Note: Since this is a Sneak Preview, some programs will work great, some may work with varying degrees of success and some may not work at all. You can fill us in on your experience by visiting Insider Support.

The first release, SP1 was very limited in it’s ability to recognize most hardware, install and run Windows applications or allow networking. With the release of SP2 there were still hardware problems, inability to run Windows applications and still no network support. But they did add a feature that they coined Click-N-Run. This feature allows a user to download and install Linux applications with 1 click of the mouse without any user intervention. Pretty neat, huh? On June 2, 2002 the release of SPX was announced to the insiders. It was announced to the Insiders that this may be the last Sneak Preview prior to the release to the general public. I was filled with excitement and could hardly wait to get it installed and see how all of the Insiders input had been put to use. I hope your as excited as I am, let’s get to the meat of this review. Please keep in mind that this is a review and not a critique of the LindowsOS. Being an Insider has provided me with a lot of positive and negative information. I will just provide my experiences with this OS.

Special note: Prior to installing LindowsOS I strongly suggest visiting the Insiders Form and researching information pertaining to installation, hardware deficiencies, problems with booting the OS, backing out of an installation after a faulty install and errors generated after what appears to be a successful installation.

Lindows does not come in a box. is looking towards the future where internet connectivity is bountiful and cheap. You will have to download a 355MB ISO file and burn your own CD without any documentation to assist you. If your a 56k modem user, doesn’t want you because they are advertising it as, “the first Broadband OS.” Your options are to sign up at, pay your $99 and order a CD with the OS for an additional $10. Or go to Walmart and purchase a basic Microtel PC for around $299. Which has LindowsOS pre-installed. You could also take your chances and try to download it which will take you approximately 8-10 hours.

I have a Broadband internet connection and was able to download the ISO in about 32 minutes. After downloading the image it’s a good idea to run checksum.exe (MD5) against the ISO to ensure you have a good image. After running MD5 and obtaining the checksum you can go to the web site and input that figure and they will tell you if it matches what they have on file for that file. I downloaded the ISO 8 times and all 8 failed the checksum. I even downloaded an ISO image using LindowsOS. That image also failed the checksum. I decided to try the installation despite failed downloads. I had no problem burning the ISO image to a CD and was ready to start the installation. If you don’t have any experience burning images to a CD there are plenty of topics in the Insiders forum dealing with “Help burning ISO”. You would be surprised at the number of individuals that have bought into this OS and haven’t got a clue on how to burn a CD, even after Insiders communicating back and forth with the individual giving step-by-step directions. With CD in hand we are ready to install and test SPX version 1.1.1.

Computer specifications for Friendly Install

MSI K7T266 Pro mobo w/AMD 1800+ cpu
512mb PC2100
Promise Ultra100 TX2 IDE Controller
Panasonic A03, Matshita DVD-RAM LF-D310
WD 60gig 7200rpm HDD (4 Partitions)
WD 40gig 7200rpm HDD
nVIDIA e-gforce2 MX400 w/64mb
Iomega 250mb ZIP
Netgear FA310TX Fast Ethernet PCI card
Motorola SB4100 cable modem

Computer specifications for Takeover Install

Iwill XP333 mobo w/AMD 1900+ cpu
512mb Corsair XMS PC2400H
Asus CD-S500 50X Max CD-ROM
Mitsumi CR-4809TE
WD 40gig 7200rpm HDD
Matrox Marvel G450 etv w/32meg
Iomega 250mb ZIP
Netgear FA310TX Fast Ethernet PCI card
Motorola SB4100 cable modem


The OS comes without any documentation. Sparse information for installing the OS can be found on the web site. More information can be found again, in the Insiders forum. There are two methods of installing the OS. If you have a WindowsOS (98/ME/2000) already installed you can do a friendly install. Or you can do a takeover installation which will wipe out the entire contents of the hard disk where Lindows is the only OS installed. If you have any important information that you want to keep, you had better back it up before doing a takeover install. Because it will disappear. With either installation method you choose, Lindows does not offer you a choice of which partition to place it in. If you have 4 partitions with data or other OS’s installed and choose a takeover install, it wipes the HDD clean without warning. With a Friendly install (Side-by-Side) installation Lindows can only be installed in the 1st partition. I have done both types of installations and will provide screen shots where necessary to point out the differences between them. It is possible to do a side-by-side installation with winXP, but this method is not supported by

Splash screen when you start the application for a Friendly install. While booted in your WindowsOS insert the Lindows CD and you will be presented with this screen. Lindows will go onto partition 1 along side Win98SE.

After selecting ‘Install LindowsOS’ you will be asked if your sure you want to install the OS. Selecting ‘Yes’ there will be 2 directories created for the LindowsOS to finish the install and the system will reboot. Upon rebooting my computer it went straight into Win98. Without any documentation provided for installation and the very sparse installation procedures available on the web site it’s off to the Insiders forum. A search of the forum revealed that you must set the CD drive as one of the first boot devices in your BIOS because Lindows still needs to load more files off of the CD.

After setting the CD as first boot device I rebooted and was presented with this screen. You will also see this screen for a take over installation also. Instead of booting from within a WinOS just reboot your computer setting the CD as the first boot device.