Novell Linux Desktop

* Product Peek at Novell Linux Desktop

Novell Linux Desktop

By Paul Ferrill

Every new Linux distribution, particularly from an established vendor such as SuSE, brings with it the question "Is it ready to take on Microsoft on the desktop?" We recently got a copy of the Novell Linux Desktop, which was created to offer an alternative corporate desktop operating system that meets the needs of most structured task workers.

What does a Windows alternative need to be a viable player? First, it has to play well with other Windows machines and servers. It should be able to share files and printers with little-to-no effort. Common application formats, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint should be supported. Connectivity to corporate e-mail servers, including Microsoft Exchange, should just work.

NLD supports these requirements and more with only a few minor hiccups. The issues we had were minor, and all had a workaround. When NLD is installed, it gives the option of either the KDE or Gnome desktops. Gnome looks a lot like the last version of the Ximian desktop and is the closest in look and feel to Windows XP.

Novell has enhanced the Open Office product suite, including its Evolution for e-mail, contact and schedule management. We could open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files over the network without any trouble. The only glitch was with a few JPEG image files that included a file extension that NLD didn't recognize.

Windows networking is not yet completely seamless.

For the full results of the test, please go to:

For questions or comments regarding this newsletter's content, contact Newsletter Editor Jeff Caruso at

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022