Linspire 5.0 (Five-0) recently was released and I have long been awaiting it, so I downloaded the torrent and fired it up.

Some people in the past have complained about downloading/burning/checksum problems, but I had no problems.

The biggest issue was finding a machine to clear off to install it. I am running low on extra machines, but had a spare machine from a client swap. I fired it up and blew a fuse… See the “Server Update” post below. That was a pain. Now I did have a server that was running MySQL under Windows 2003 Server… It was only a DB Server, so I used it.

Popped in the CD, started the install, partitioned the disk (chose the new ReiserFS4 format), answered the few questions, went for a smoke break, bio break, and got a drink and by the time I got back, it was done. The CD was ejected and that was it. No errors whatsoever. This surprised me immensely as I have had major problems with the Betas leading up to this release. For me, the problems seem to have been all resolved.

I went ahead and installed CNR Apache, PHP4, and MySQL and a few other utilities and took a few hours to configure everything. I had never setup a multi-domain Apache server, but it wasn’t too hard at all. PHP was effortless, just had to uncomment the .PHP extension and it worked. MySQL was a bit of a pain. The Win32 MySQL export format wasn’t recognized by the older MySQL distribution that CNR installs. Instead of wasting time on it, I just started over… The Win32 MySQL was pretty much empty anyway.

I installed sshd, ftpd and put up this blog you are reading now as well as my buddy and it’s working fine.

For database management, I installed PHP-MySQL Admin and secured it using .htaccess …

Overall, the first time setting up my own personal Linux webserver, was simple. There were/are a few quirks, but I think they can be worked out.
From a consumer aspect, I think this release has much potential although the GUI could be solidified a little more. I did experience a few browser/email client glitches. They would just shutdown for no reason. Didn’t take the time to debug it yet.

The install was simple and elegant. Almost as “smooth” as the MacOSX. But simplicity is key for end-users. After successfully installing it on this machine, I cleaned off my laptop, handed a disk to my 12yr old nephew and told him to do it. He’s not OS savvy, but he still got it installed fine within minutes and was surfing the web.

The software selection is amazing. I am not going to go into much detail here. Go here for the detailed improvements and new features.

Looking forward to 5.0 to get better and better as subsequent 5.x versions come out.