ClearOS - Now for Workstations Too

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 14, 2011

I was going to tell you good readers about ImagineOS, but it didn't seem to like my video card. So instead I decided to try out the new ClearOS alpha. ClearOS used to be a server system, but the upcoming 6.1 release will also provide a suitable desktop environment. It's based on Red Hat Enterprise, so I thought it might be interesting.

However, it was and it wasn't.

ClearOS has built up a full range of server products and services. This is good for small businesses, or I'd assume so if ClearOS is more budget friendly than Red Hat which I, again, assume would be the draw for ClearOS. It appears the ClearOS Foundation offers system service subscriptions, update and security services, server hardware, and technical support. Given all this, one might see where a workstation option just might fit right in.

The ClearOS GNOME Desktop

The desktops themselves are nothing special. They do come with a customized background, but otherwise, they seem pretty much default. The desktops are either KDE 4.3.4 or GNOME 2.28.1. This version, 6.1 alpha 1, ships with Linux 2.6.32, X.Org X Server 1.7.7, Firefox 3.6.17, and GIMP 2.6.9. Strange that a workstation oriented system didn't include an office suite. One might be installable, but the repositories for this early developmental version were set up. It did come with other applications such as Dragon Player, Cheese, Juk, and a whole slew of games. It actually had a lot of administrative tools and utilities too.

The ClearOS KDE Desktop

Since this is an early alpha we'd usually cut it a lot of slack, but it really doesn't need it. Everything seemed to work fine. The installer is the familiar Anaconda and my NVIDIA graphics were assigned Nouveau drivers. I did have to start the network connection manually, but just by clicking on it in the network connection applet. I didn't have to fiddle with settings or anything.

I imagine if someone really liked Fedora 13 they'd probably like ClearOS 6/6.1 too. Perhaps the apps will get some updates before final. Basically, it looks like an adequate desktop/workstation system. But it won't excite the desktop enthusiast (one who likes the latest and greatest and throws on all the effects and gadgets as well). It seems like it'd be great for just what it's designed for.