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Corel Linux

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Corel Linux
Screenshot of Corel Linux running WordPerfect and Netscape Navigator
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateDiscontinued
Initial releaseNovember 15, 1999 (1999-11-15)
Latest releaseSecond Edition / August 15, 2000
Kernel typeMonolithic
user interface
CDE (variant of KDE)

Corel Linux, also called Corel LinuxOS, was a Debian-based operating system made by Corel that began beta testing on September 21, 1999[1] and was released to the public on November 15, 1999. It mainly competed against Windows 98 and Windows 2000 by Microsoft, plus Mac OS 9 by Apple. Corel later discontinued the distribution, but did not remove the former Corel Open Source Development website until March 2002.

Corel did not use KFM, the standard KDE file manager. It instead used its own file manager, CFM. This, along with other modifications Corel made, made the operating system incompatible with other versions of Linux much more so than other competitors in the industry. At a time when there was relatively little commercial Linux software available, this was a serious hurdle for Corel and its users.

The operating system's Second Edition was released on August 15, 2000, in download, regular and deluxe editions. The latter bundled Corel WordPerfect Office for Linux.

Xandros purchased the Corel Linux source code and development team when Corel scrapped its Linux business in August 2001.

System requirements

System requirements[2][3]
Minimum Recommended
Processor Pentium (P5) or compatible/newer
Memory 24 MB of RAM At least 64 MB of RAM
Video adapter and monitor VGA (640 x 480) or higher resolution with 2 MB of VRAM
Hard disk drive free space 500 MB for initial release
800 MB for Second Edition
Optical drive CD-ROM drive[4] (only to install from CD-ROM media)
Input devices Keyboard, mouse or a compatible pointing device
Sound Sound card and Speakers or headphones (only for sound playback)



Corel Linux featured a file manager that was very close in look and feel to Windows Explorer. The file manager provided an integrated Windows SMB network browser. The company also advertised that the operating system was compatible with its flagship software.



The key selling point of Corel Linux was its compatibility with the company's WordPerfect applications. The eponymous word processor's eighth version was given away to personal customers in the hopes that they would purchase WordPerfect Office 2000. This suite added the Quattro Pro, Corel Presentations and CorelCentral programs. The Deluxe version of that suite added the Paradox database manager and Railroad Tycoon II: Gold. The latter omits a level editor, the network mode and some scenarios from the original game. The 'Limited Edition' of Corel Linux Deluxe came with Civilization: Call to Power instead of Railroad Tycoon II.[5] Unlike the free WordPerfect 8, the office suite was not written natively for Linux, but instead consisted of the Windows programs powered by Corel's fork of the Wine compatibility layer.[6][7] As a result, the Linux suite suffered from a performance penalty compared to the Windows version and WordPerfect 8.[8][9]

As with the WordPerfect suite, Corel adapted its graphics applications to run on Linux using Wine.[10] This consisted of the CorelDraw (stylized CorelDRAW) suite. While the eponymous program was paid software, Corel Photo-Paint was available as a free download.



Corel SmartMove was a part of Corel Linux. This application provided the following:

  1. Migrate Microsoft Windows settings to Corel Linux.
  2. Automate restoring settings that are changed by SmartMove.
  3. Provide an easy way to access network folders through Corel Linux.

SmartMove was built around the Wine libraries to read the Windows Registry settings for the Windows applications and thus be able to migrate them. SmartMove core libraries created a wrapper for the Windows registry to easily look up the settings.

SmartMove looks for existing Microsoft Windows installations on the machine, looks a little further for individual users, and offers to transfer application settings to analogous programs under Linux. It understands how to deal with Internet Explorer and Netscape cookies and bookmarks, Outlook, mIRC, and ICQ settings, and a variety of desktop preferences, including wallpaper, color scheme, and even mouse "handedness". We tried it out with a few settings, but since our Windows installation was fairly new, we didn't have much to check against.[11]

With the death of Corel Linux, this application faded away and is no longer maintained, however similar functionality is now available on at least Ubuntu when installing a dual-boot configuration on a machine that already has Windows on it.[12]


  1. ^ "Corel Begins Beta-Testing of Corel® LINUX®". Bloomberg. 1999-09-21. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  2. ^ "System Requirements". Archived from the original on 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  3. ^ "System Requirements". Archived from the original on 2001-08-06. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  4. ^ Any optical drive that can read CD-ROM media.
  5. ^ Knight, Will (1999-12-09). "Corel Linux Deluxe won't cross the pond". ZDNet. Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  6. ^ "WordPerfect Office 2000 Linux manque de maturité". 01net. 2000-05-29. Retrieved 2024-05-27.
  7. ^ Eisenberg, Bart (1999-06-18). "The Linux Parade Marches On". Pacific Connection. Retrieved 2024-05-27.
  8. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (2006-01-30). "WordPerfect for Linux lives on (Sort of)". Practical Tech. Retrieved 2024-05-27.
  9. ^ Leibovitch, Evan (2000-08-21). "Corel going south?". ZDNet. Retrieved 2024-05-27.
  10. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2002-01-02). "Corel joins Linux effort with new system". ZDNet.
  11. ^ Hall, Michael (2000-08-07). "Sneak Preview: Corel Linux OS Second Edition". LinuxPlanet. Archived from the original on 2000-08-15. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  12. ^ "7.04Tour -". Ubuntu Wiki. 2008-08-06.

Further reading