Unearthed by Peter Draksler


Yesterday, I talked a bit about X Window. Near the end of the section, I mentioned that Gnome and KDE are the most commonly used desktop environments. One that I didn’t mention was Ximian because, well, I hadn’t seen it. Peter Draksler was kind enough to introduce me by way of the following note:

“You touched on the topic of Desktops, Gnome and KDE being the most common. I was recently introduced to Ximian Gnome and what I’ve seen the past week has really impressed me. Based on Gnome, it has it’s own package management software and a great email package called Evolution (very similar to Outlook Express, only better!).”

Somehow, I think my Linux experience has been fundamentally changed.

I downloaded and installed Ximian last night. First, be warned that it’s not a small file. I chose the full install that ran 147Mb, 112 RPM packages. But from the point at which I kicked off the download, nothing else was necessary until it came time to configure my new desktop environment. Ximian evaluated my current setup, downloaded the packages, and installed them all, no muss, no fuss.

Quite simply, Ximian is the richest Linux DE I’ve seen. The standard applications match those of the Gnome DE, adding the aformentioned package management program. Windows draw and load very quickly. There’s the full compliment of themes.

The real topper in Ximian is the email program, Evolution. I’d call it “Outlook Express-like.” The features are strongly reminiscent of it’s Win counterpart, as is the window layout. The filters are more intuitive and much easier to set up. There’s a fully configurable news and weather update page. Though I’ve been quite happy with KMail, Evolution will really fill the small void in not being able to use Outlook in Linux.

All in all, Ximian is an indication of yet better and more exciting things to come with Linux desktop environments.