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Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 -- A First Look

Mike Angelo -- 27 July 2001 (c) -- Page 2

System Requirements

Caldera lists the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 system requirements as a 200MHz Pentium I class processor or above (any Intel Celeron or Pentium CPU or an AMD K6, K6-2, Athlon, Duron, or Thuderbird CPU) using from 64-MB up to 4-GB of RAM. However Caldera recommends at least a 128-MB RAM.

The big RAM hog is the X-server/X-Window and graphical desktop combination. By the time the necessary core OS files, X Window, and a graphical desktop such as KDE are loaded, close to 64-MB of RAM are occupied. That does not leave much hard RAM for running applications. So actually you really ought to have more than a 64-MB hard RAM if you want to run the graphical interface applications.

On the other hand, if you are going to use Linux in text-only mode, you likely can get away with less than a 64-MB hard RAM. Although, you would be pushing it if you try to go below a 32-MB hard RAM. (The term hard RAM here is used for the sole purpose of making a sure and certain distinction between hardware RAM as in DIMMs and SIMMs as opposed to virtual memory provided by the Linux Swap file located on a hard drive.)

License Issues

OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 brings a change in Caldera product and Linux distribution licensing practices. OpenLinux Workstation, as a product, is licensed per system and cannot be deployed without limit. Caldera will provide a certificate of license authenticity (COLA) with each unit sold, and Caldera expects each customer to have a COLA for each system that deploys OpenLinux Workstation.

The Linux Kernel and many applications included in OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 are Open Source software (OSS) and must be distributed at no charge according to the GPL and other Open Source licenses. However, such licenses usually allow distributors to charge for their costs in distributing the software and to charge for value added to the distribution packages by the package distributors.

Caldera states that it has added its own proprietary software and other Copyrighted material to the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1, Linux-distribution package. Our general understanding of the various open source public licenses is that by adding its own proprietary software and other Copyrighted material to the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 package, Caldera may impose such per-system licensing practices. Of course that is our understanding, and it is not a legal opinion.


Caldera has shifted its marketing strategy to focus on professional and corporate users and developers. That marketing strategy shift is reflected in the product name change OpenLinux eDesktop to OpenLinux Workstation. And that marketing strategy shift is reflected in the makeup of the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 product.

Nevertheless, OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 well continues what Caldera started in its first product, the Caldera Network Desktop an easy to install and easy to use complete, Linux-based, graphical-interface, desktop operating system environment.

OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 is a better product than its predecessor for developers and for professional and corporate users. Moreover, OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 is a better product than its predecessor for individual, home, and office computer users too.

Note: Caldera does not plan to distribute OpenLinux Workstation through retail outlets. So you will have to order it directly from Caldera. You can do that through the Caldera Web site if you like. Link in the Resources section below.
The without-support, CD-6-pack, OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 suggested retail price is $59. Consider that OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 is more than just an operating system. It is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use complete computer software product. OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 includes the operating system and a variety of good software for fun, personal productivity, office work/productivity, Internet and Intranet activities, and development. At $59, that's lots of bang for the bucks.

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What's New in Workstation 3.1

Caldera has dropped the lite version of Partition Magic and Boot Magic from OpenLinux 3.1. These products were used in the OpenLinux 2.x series to set OpenLinux up on existing MS-Windows machines during OpenLinux installation.

Partition Magic is a non-destructive partition management tool and Boot Magic is a boot manager. OpenLinux 3.1 uses FIPS for partitioning during installation and GRUB for boot management. Please see our articles Dual-Boot Linux & Windows to Get the Best of Both Operating System Worlds and Triple-Boot Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, & MS Windows for Best of Three Worlds for more information about partition and boot management.

This is what the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 Reviewers Guide lists as new in 3.1.

Changes in Release 3.1

Release 3.1 introduces many new features beyond the previous OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 product. The following is a list of the enhancements:

  • Linux 2.4.2 kernel
  • 4GB physical RAM support
  • Intense security audit and lock down (system is secure out-of-the-box)
  • Software RAID installation in the Linux Installation Wizard (Lizard)
  • Enhanced Webmin - new look and feel, expanded application configuration support, and SSL-enabled
  • Firewall
  • Volution Agent and Webmin configuration module
  • Reiser journaling file system support
  • Graphical tool to create unattended installation configurations
  • Common UNIX Print System (CUPS)
  • Tomcat web application server
  • Lutris Enhydra web application server
  • MySQL database
  • Perl, Python, PHP
  • Service Location Protocol server support (OpenSLP)
  • LDAP server (OpenLDAP)
  • X.509 certificate server
  • Java 1.3 SDK (J2SE)
  • SSL, SSH, PPTP communications services
  • Remote (via browser) on-line help (Docview)
  • Base Linux for application deployment
  • Expert installation mode to select and deselect individual software packages
  • Support for Volution Online as the software maintenance program.
  • New End User License Agreement (EULA) licensing Linux for a single system.
  • License certificate

What's in Workstation 3.1

Here is partial list of what is included in 3.1 from the OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 Data Sheet.


  • Netscape Communicator 4.77
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.05
  • Macromedia Flash Player 4.0
  • Real Networks RealPlayer 8.0
  • Sun Microsystems Java JDK 1.3
  • Apache Web Server
  • NCFTP FTP Client
  • KSIRC Client - Chat Client
  • OpenLDAP
  • kmail
  • PERL


  • Editors/IDEs
  • kdevelop (various, emphasizes C++/KDE/QT)
  • xemacs (various)
  • QT Designer (C++/GUI)
  • Vim (various)
  • StarOffice
  • kde advanced editor (various)
  • JBuilder Foundation (Java commercial)
  • Forte (Java commercial) (Community Edition)
  • Quanta (HTML)
  • Gimp (image manipulation)
  • ImageMagick utilities (image display and manipulation, Web graphic development with Perl)
  • xv & pixie (image display and manipulation)
  • CameleoLight (image manipulation)


  • Shells: bash, tcsh, zsh, korn
  • gcc (C)
  • g++ (C++)
  • PERL
  • Python
  • gawk (text manipulation)
  • flex (lexical manipulation)
  • bison (turns parser grammer into C/C++)
  • as & nasm (assembler)

Development Language Summary

  • C
  • C++
  • Java (JSP & EJB)
  • Python
  • PERL
  • PHP
  • scripting

Commercial Tools

  • SUN MicrosystemsForte (Community Edition)
  • Borland JBuilder Foundation
  • 64-bit Caldera OpenLinux EAP (Early Access Product) for Itanium Processors

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Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved

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