Xandros and Linspire: The Real Value Of The Deal - InformationWeek

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7/3/2008
12:08 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Xandros and Linspire: The Real Value Of The Deal

The Linux world's been abuzz the last couple of days with the news that Xandros has acquired Linspire, with future plans for the latter still rather sketchy. One particular technology stands out in Linspire's portfolio, though: CNR, a "one-click delivery system" for software.

The Linux world's been abuzz the last couple of days with the news that Xandros has acquired Linspire, with future plans for the latter still rather sketchy. One particular technology stands out in Linspire's portfolio, though: CNR, a "one-click delivery system" for software.

CNR -- short for Click'N'Run -- packages Linux software in a standardized way to make it easier for programs to be installed and used in Linux. Granted, most of the way we get our software for a given distro is through that distro's repository, but installing apps not in the repository can be a crapshoot. I've tangled, and lost, with this particular gremlin a couple of times. So anything to make that process a little less ornery is welcome, even if programs have to be repackaged through CNR to work in the first place.

In a statement released Tuesday, Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos stated, "Integration of CNR and the Xandros Networks on Xandros and other platforms will be launched shortly," which to me sounds like CNR eventually will be available for products like the Asus Eee PC (which runs a variant of Xandros out of the box) -- and, presumably, any other future installations of Xandros as well. CNR clients exist for many major Linux distributions, so this isn't something limited to Xandros and Linspire, either.

So maybe this is the real value of the Xandros/Linspire deal: a humane package manager, a way to install external software in Linux that doesn't scare off the uninitiated. I still like the idea of everything-in-the-repository for the sake of consistency, but the more possibilities we have on the table, the better.

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