For this review we are using gOS Space. And the first thing we noticed was the very easy
and user-friendly interface. But let's rewind to the installation. First the only Desktop Environment
that is offered is GNOME, which we here at InaTux do not prefer (especially since the release of KDE 4.1)
but we can (like many GNU/Linux users) bare to use any Desktop Environment (among other things.)
gOS or "good OS" is a GNU/Linux operating system created by 'Good OS LLC', a Los
Angeles-based corporation. That launched onto the scene late last year, gOS (which stands for good OS)
made quite a splash for getting GNU/Linux into the U.S. retail giant WalMart. Through a partnership with
PC manufacturer Everex, gOS brought GNU/Linux to your parents' generation via WalMart. gOS has one simple
goal: make a lightweight, web-heavy operating system that anyone can use. Even your Mom. With a GUI
largely imitative of Mac OS X Leopard.
So, the installation went like many GNU/Linux distributions. It asked for...
- Language (selected "English")
- Second prompt for language (selected "English")
- Location (selected the closest place "Los Angeles")
- Keyboard layout (selected USA+USA)
- Partitioning (selected to use "Entire Disk")
- Username/Computer network name (Filled in Jacob)
- Installation Confirmation (hit "Install")
gOS is targeted at those 100,000,000+ MySpace users. Which is a very smart marketing
strategy, but while it has OpenOffice, GIMP, etc., pre-installed, it really isn't advertised as not only being
able to do the common MySpace, YouTube, Google, Image hosting and editing, more seamlessly and more organized,
while still being capable of common home PC and office usage (as with any GNU/Linux distribution.)
It's much like a Mac. And while on that note. gOS GNU/Linux is advertised as being very similar to the Macintosh
operating system. Which is another smart marketing strategy, as this will give those migrating from Mac to
GNU/Linux a very familiar environment, which will help them to the next step of switching to a more powerful and
less low-end targeted GNU/Linux distribution.
The Avant Window Navigator (Mac-like dock) is integrated in gOS, which would make those who like to use it
very happy. The inclusion of the Avant Window Navigator by default is something The Fedora Project and others
should seriously think about doing, weather or not setup to launch at start-up like gOS, as the Avant Window
Navigator is still quite bugy, slow, a memory hog and unnecessary for productive work, especially during the
time it's used and needed the most, the system installation.
As gOS is very user-friendly (especially to Mac users) it still lacks a lot of the improvements to
usability that Ubuntu 8 has been receiving, this is probably due to it shipping with Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon),
which makes us sure they'll be included soon enough. And of course as it is a GNU/Linux distribution, it isn't
vulnerable to the same viruses Macs and PCs have.
Right after the system installation you have a "Distribution Upgrade" which at this time is for Ubuntu
8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron), and as gOS is trying to be as user-friendly as possible, they should try to avoid the
confusion of offering an upgrade to "Ubuntu" as the user will likely only be familiar with the name gOS
Space or Gadgets, will likely not be aware that gOS is based on Ubuntu and will likely not fully understand
the upgrade. Upgrading without fully understanding the process, can lead to gOS being replaced by Ubuntu
8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) with no gOS Space likeness.
But one of gOS's down falls is that it requires more video, memory and CPU speed to run at it's prime,
something Mac and Windows users are used to, but not GNU/Linux users.
In short gOS (Space) is a very fine GNU/Linux distribution, it's good for migrating Mac users, but really isn't
good for Ubuntu users, because it would seem extremely disorganized. To a Mac user this would be the perfect
distribution to make the switch to.
But with the general design of gOS Space, e.g. Google Apps., MySpace, YouTube, etc., some things were apparently
sacrificed, like quick file access, there isn't a "Home" icon in the Avant Window Navigator (by default) or
on the Desktop or the top panel (again by default) You have to click the "gOS" logo at the top left of the
screen, then "Places", then "Home Folder" and it opens in Nautilus, like many distributions now.
Also the gOS Space and Gadgets theme is very similar to that of many Mac computers, and KDE 4.1's default
theme, a Mac-like theme is something that most distributions seem to be acquiring.
--gOS Gadgets review coming soon--