Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Apr 2007 22:24 UTC, submitted by michuk
Red Hat "CentOS is an enterprise class GNU/Linux distribution based on the publicly available source packages of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Just like RHEL or Debian stable, CentOS focuses on stability and security, sacrificing the 'latest and greatest' packages. Is CentOS 5 really that stable? And does it fit on the average Joe's desktop? This is what I'm gonna find out."
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raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

emmm NO.

In fact... Never.

Wrong type of beast altogether.

CENTOS has its place, but that is the server room, nowhere else.

Reply Score: 2

Mathman Member since:
2005-07-08

CentOS only belongs on servers? Good thing nobody told me then. Otherwise I wouldn't have these nice stable little desktops everywhere that I can basically just fire up and forget.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
CentOS only belongs on servers? Good thing nobody told me then. Otherwise I wouldn't have these nice stable little desktops everywhere that I can basically just fire up and forget.
"""

I agree completely. CentOS is ideal for XDMCP servers. I have dozens and dozens of users using CentOS desktops on a mix of thin clients. (The thin clients are my own customized kickstart installs of either Fedora or CentOS which boot right into a remote gdm login screen fromt the server.)

This last release cycle went on for slightly over two years, and I was forced to upgrade key apps, like OpenOffice and Firefox to later versions. But the usual 18 month cycle works pretty well.

It is a credit to how far Linux has come on the desktop that being on the cutting edge, or anywhere near it, is greatly overrated. 18 month old versions of software are quite good enough.

For business use, with a knowledgeable admin, CentOS is a great choice for desktops.

For home users without an experienced administrator, I recommend Ubuntu.

Edited 2007-04-24 14:19

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Why not? All I normally add to Fedora is mplayer, xine, and flash. All of those will be available on Centos5 if they arent already. Plus, you get a nice desktop that doesnt change every 6 months. I like fedora, dont get me wrong, but upgrading all the time gets tireing. Plus, commercial apps like VMware run on CentOS 5 out of the box. Can't get much better than that.

Reply Score: 2

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Read the article, especially the part about the missing codecs.

Joe User should never be expected to search and install them himself.

Centos, is overkill for an average users desktop, and it should be used purely for what it is designed for, a drop in replacement of RHEL.

For a Joe User desktop, try...

http://linuxmint.com/index.html

Reply Score: 1

Southern.Pride Member since:
2006-09-14

I am running Fedora Core 6 and have no problems with it at all. I have configured all of my multi-media along with codecs so I am able to drop in a DVD movie in my Compaq Presario 900 and it will play no problem. I can play windows media, quicktime, real player and so on.

You can do the same thing with CentOS in fact on my website I am writing write will host all of the howto's to get it going correctly.

I have no need for CentOS 5 because I like the cutting edge Linux distro OS.

Everyone has their own thoughts of what distro they run that is what makes the Open Source movement so flexible and a place for anyone to call home and of course 'Joe' he is welcome to!

Reply Score: 1

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Well I cant play dvd's out of the box with Windows, so whats the damn difference? Same with quicktime. You think that the Red Hat people sit back and laugh thinking about how we have to go through the trouble of getting codecs third party? If it was legal, both Windows and Linux would ship with all codecs needed. And no one said you had to install every single package that comes with the distro. There is a "desktop" install section for package selection.

This story reminds me about some of the people I see at school. Arguing this way and that about which linux version or which BSD. ITS ALL THE SAME SOFTWARE! Apche only puts out one version for people. Same with Php, Perl, Java, MySQL, and every other project. DOesnt matter if you compiled it yourself or not. Its all the same source code. Everything beyond that is just user preferences.

Reply Score: 2

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Centos, is overkill for an average users desktop,

The average desktop user does not want to reinstall every year. While it seems that Mint wants to provide LTS in the future, they have not yet earned any credibility in that area. Who knows if they are still around in two years? RHEL and CentOS are supported for seven years, and have committed teams to make that a reality.

For average Joe a box has to be installed once, and run for many years.

Considering codecs: it depends. I know many home users who don't care about codecs. They use their machines to send e-mail, type documents, and browse the web (Firefox will offer to install Flash when needed). That's pretty much it. If you want the codecs, you can use a repository like RPMForge with just a few clicks. Though, it is a good idea to use repository protection with protectbase or priorities.

Reply Score: 3

zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Considering our not for uses CentOS on all our desktops, I would say an average joe could use it just fine. Its easy to use and configure and is productive right out of the box.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Any linux can be run on the Desktop. CentOS is no worse in that regard than Fedora is..ehh.. bad comparison ;)

Anyway, if installing a codec is a problem as you mention in your next post, then no linux distribution is ready for the Desktop. Neither is Windows or Mac OS X or Amiga OS 4 or any OS that has ever existed.

If a Desktop Ready system means the user don't have to think as you imply, then a Desktop Ready system will never exist.

Reply Score: 2

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I beg to differ, I gave the example of Linux Mint. ALL codecs are included with that and everything works out of the box... or live cd.

Reply Score: 2

hughesjr Member since:
2006-10-29

Well ... it is not LEGAL for linux mint to distribute mp3 codecs, it is a patent violation, pure and simple.

I am sorry if people want CentOS to violate the law, we are just not going to do so.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It is only a patent violation in a few countries. It is perfectly legal in Denmark. But since CentOS' primary market seems to be USA it would be wise not to install proprietary codecs or patent-infringing software.

Reply Score: 2

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Well ... it is not LEGAL for linux mint to distribute mp3 codecs, it is a patent violation, pure and simple.


Maybe in the US... but the US does not have dominion over the rest of the world.
We in the EU, where Linux Mint also comes from are not crippled by software patents, or software IP, they are moot subjects here.

If the US keeps up with that crap, they will get left behind the rest of the world, as we advance.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

So we are going to get left behind over a 'codec' what have you got that is so advanced (a socialized Gov that tells you what to do and when)....


Oh please stop the FLOSS == communism crap. Fact is USA has been left behind in the IT battle because of the software patents. European countries still have some hope but most of the development happens in India these days.

Reply Score: 0

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
If the US keeps up with that crap, they will get left behind the rest of the world, as we advance.
"""

As an American citizen, born and raised in Oklahoma, I agree.

Except that while we fell over that precipice a long time ago, you guys seem perpetually to be teetering on the edge.

The nasty thing about falling over a precipice is that once you have fallen, you have fallen. There is little hope after that.

Good luck to you.

Reply Score: 3

michuk Member since:
2006-08-08

hughesjr: It's the US law. The world doesn't give a damn about patents. They are not valid in the European Union and most countries around the world. Why not make a choice when downloading a distribution (US/non-US users)?

Reply Score: 1

hughesjr Member since:
2006-10-29

There is a choice ... there are many 3rd party repos available for CentOS.

Here are some:

http://wiki.centos.org/Repositories

CentOS does not think software patents are a good thing, however we will not distribute things that should be paid for OR that are certainly patent violations either. I am sure you have heard of the judgement against Microsoft:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070222-8910.html

I don't agree with the judgement ... I think it is absolutely asinine. It does not change the facts though.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

If ALL codecs have to be included from the beginning then Mac OS X and Windows isn't ready either ;)

Besides that your statement implies that a Desktop Ready system needs to contain EVERYTHING in order to be Desktop Ready. That is impossible for many reasons.

A Desktop Ready OS is a stable OS with a GUI and reasonably easy way to update and upgrade the system. Any GNU/Linux version qualifies as this.

gentoo linux is definitely Desktop Ready though the installation is obviously somewhat tricky (but any installation is somewhat tricky). But the final result is very much Desktop Ready. The same goes for CentOS, RHEL and so on. Fedora isn't particularly stable so I cannot recommend that one. It takes work to make it stable. But it is Desktop Ready by my definition.

The number of installed codecs is irrelevant. What matters is an easy way to obtain more codecs.

Reply Score: 4

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"

Besides that your statement implies that a Desktop Ready system needs to contain EVERYTHING in order to be Desktop Ready. That is impossible for many reasons.
"

Agreed.
Where do you draw the line? Is x not "desktop ready" because an office suite isn't included, or y not "desktop ready" because it doesn't include dvd burning software?

The problem these days is the desktops have become so sophisticated that users want/need more and more included with the default package, then whinge about bloatware ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"Besides that your statement implies that a Desktop Ready system needs to contain EVERYTHING in order to be Desktop Ready. That is impossible for many reasons."

I also agree. For instance OpenSUSE is more Desktop Ready than any version of Windows, because it will install almost everything out of the box. You only need to install NVIDIA or ATI drivers and (some) multimedia codecs.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

If ALL codecs have to be included from the beginning then Mac OS X and Windows isn't ready either ;)


Microsoft and Apple support the large mainstream formats like WMA, WMV, MPEG4, MP3 and the likes.

With that being said, CentOS is a community distribution, and can't offer those; but then again, for the likes of Red Hat, they should start paying the royalties and start shipping with the CODECS.

If they're going to ship a product without these features, then where is the value in their product? if they're not going to bundle software which make their product unique over the community based distribution, one might as well use CentOS.

Reply Score: 2

anomie Member since:
2007-02-26

you wrote: With that being said, CentOS is a community distribution, and can't offer those; but then again, for the likes of Red Hat, they should start paying the royalties and start shipping with the CODECS.

If they're going to ship a product without these features, then where is the value in their product?


Support from an established vendor.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Support from an established vendor.


How is that value for money - "here is some software, we'll charge you a fortune, and add no value to our shipping product".

Reply Score: 1

anomie Member since:
2007-02-26

you wrote: How is that value for money

Ask any organization where service level agreements and accountability are issues.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Windows doesn't support these out of the box. What happens it download on demand when using WMP. Try using another relying on installed Codecs and they won't play. And automatic download on demand does not work very well. Besides that, who are dumb enough to use WMP?

My gentoo distribution supports more codecs out of "the box" (user the desktop-profile) than a default Windows XP (or Win2K3 Server or Win2K Pro) installation. And perfectly legal.

Add to that the fact that only US-centric distributions are encumbered. Most of the world does wisely not accept ownership of thought.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Does that mean my HP ScanJet 3800c scanner works with Linux Mint (which is nothing but Ubuntu with a different theme) ?

Edited 2007-04-24 11:35

Reply Score: 2

Very good
by unoengborg on Mon 23rd Apr 2007 23:39 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

Unlike the author I managed to ge X up and running directly, even with the right resolution. It identified and configured both my printer and my scanner correctly.

The new SELinux management configuration and analasys tools makes SELinux much easier to handle. I really people will find it and do a sensible configuration instead of just turn it off as many people do.

I'm also glad that they changed the color from the very ugly light bluish green, they had in previous version to a more professional looking dark blue. The default background and the X login screen looks just as boring as I want them to be, no balloons or other irrelevant images or excessive branding that try to compete with my apps for my attention.

This have been one of the best user experiences I have had with Linux in a long time. Very good.

Reply Score: 5

Doable and functional
by Charles A Landemaine on Tue 24th Apr 2007 01:12 UTC
Charles A Landemaine
Member since:
2005-11-11

I use CentOS, it's the only Linux distro I use, and it works fine. It's just a little difficult to find software, much less software than on Ubuntu for instance. CentOS is a little rough around the edges, but after a few tweaks it's a pretty nice Gnome desktop. Here's a list of tutorials that I wrote that make the CentOS desktop better (I'm not earning money from ads, so be nice and don't mod me down ;)

http://osresources.com/category3.html

I hope this helps some of you who would like a better experience with a nice Gnome desktop.

Reply Score: 4

thryllkill Member since:
2005-07-08

Um, yeah. The kernel is the kernel is the kernel, most of us know that. But each disto is different, more so than, "This one runs KDE and this one runs Gnome."

Reply Score: 1

hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

"The kernel "!every!" Linux distribution uses is the same."

As a matter of fact there are no 2 people running linux use the same kernel version.
if I use kernel 2.6.18.1 and my friend use 2.6.18.2 then these two kernels are different, even nvidia kernel module would need to be reinstalled because its not compatible anymore with the newer one, it happened to me everytime I updated the kernel with this minor version X.X.X.---

And distros will choose the best stable kerenel they see for their versions and stick with it like in case of Redhat , while minorly patching it till the next big version (2.6.9 to 2.6.18 jump from CentOS 4 and 5 =RHEL4 and 5) so distros stability differ alot and determined alot with the kernel choice

Edited 2007-04-24 04:39

Reply Score: 1

RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by hraq on Tue 24th Apr 2007 04:26 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am running RHEL 5 without any of the newest patches and updates, just to see how stable is the OS on its native release.

I can tell you that RHEL 5 with its GNOME default GUI is highly crashable (once every 6 hours) keeping in mind that I push my system very much on the networking and HDD (average load is 25%, HDD activity almost 20% average, operation 24/7, and running opera, firefox, azureus, xine, and other applications while printing on my laser printer huge books, and on the background I burn a DVD of solaris 11.60B by neroLINUX 2.1.x.x). Almost regurally I get GNOME crash with me especially when nautilus is opened and a cifs transfer of big files are conducted; I have filed many bug reports to GNOME team; but temporarly I noticed that konqueror with root permission will be more superior in stability arena than nautilus. Opera and azureus crashes regularlly too but less frequent than nautilus.
Memory is 100% clean with memtest v3 passed on 47 cycles rotation and MS memory test passed for 8 hours continous testing, memory is 1GB and dual channel and running on the safe 3-3-3-8 timing and both are heat sinked and actively cooled by 9cm fan.
HDD is enterprise class and passed all surface tests and algorithmic sector corruption detection. so all the remaining unstability I would be facing is merely an OS/Appz releated.
Installing wxWidgets on the system was a pain; I wish it was available and installed, many applications would need them and will complain about versioning conflicts, no matter what you do. $LD_LIBRARY_PATH setting, ldconfig, or other messures were all not successful unlike in CentOS v 4.4, which was alot easier.
acroread latest package will install but never fuction correctly at run time leaving your CPU at 100% while trying to launch it unsuccessfully; used "top" and "k" to kill acroread process.
I am not so happy with this version but what shall I do, the other distros are so crashable though.

I thought after many RHEL versions passed, Redhat would include some decent partitioning tool to their post installation environment but they don't; I love "compmgmt.msc" of windows because it is so powerful and inclusive somehow unlike redhat tools which are scattered all over /usr/bin.

If I give windows this load I give linux it would vomit blood, so thanks good afterall for linux!!!
Happy day!

Reply Score: 0

RE: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by B. Janssen on Tue 24th Apr 2007 10:55 UTC in reply to "RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

hraq: I can tell you that RHEL 5 with its GNOME default GUI is highly crashable (once every 6 hours) keeping in mind that I push my system very much on the networking and HDD (average load is 25%, HDD activity almost 20% average, operation 24/7, and running <em>opera</em>, firefox, azureus, xine, and other applications while printing on my laser printer huge books, and on the background I burn a DVD of solaris 11.60B by <em>neroLINUX 2.1.x.x</em>). Almost regurally I get GNOME crash with me especially when nautilus is opened and a cifs transfer of big files are conducted;
[...]
<em>acroread</em> latest package will install but never fuction correctly at run time leaving your CPU at 100% while trying to launch it unsuccessfully;


Emphasis mine. Maybe you should consider not running so much proprietary software. It tends to mess up GNU/Linux systems.

EDIT: Quote tags fixed.

Edited 2007-04-24 10:55

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by BluenoseJake on Tue 24th Apr 2007 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Lots of people use acroread and nero linux, your post is just politics, the previous poster is describing problems he has in using RHEL, which is relevant to this discussion, and you just blow him off.

He only mentioned 2 prop apps, and both are popular and useful. I have never had any problems using either of these apps on Ubuntu, Debian, or Fedora, so maybe he has another problem, just claiming that proprietary software messes up GNULinux systems is annoying, not all that true, and not very helpful. I run lots of prop software (vmware, acroread, flash, realplayer, NeroLinux) and they all run fine.

Now, I will also say I have no idea what his problem(s) could be.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by B. Janssen on Tue 24th Apr 2007 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

BluenoseJake: I run lots of prop software (vmware, acroread, flash, realplayer, NeroLinux) and they all run fine.


Your choice. Now, my anecdote for today is that I recently set up CentOS 5 on a difficult hardware platform -- a HP Compaq laptop -- and it is running just fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by BluenoseJake on Tue 24th Apr 2007 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Sure, way to go. CentOS is a pretty good OS, I am using it in testing right now to run our mysql dbs and our departmental wiki. I think it's pretty good (I generally prefer BSD or Debian, but I just implement and deploy). All my point in my comment was to admonish the parent poster for being dismissive and rude.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by Bending Unit on Tue 24th Apr 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Emphasis mine. Maybe you should consider not running so much proprietary software. It tends to mess up GNU/Linux systems.


Then, apparently, GNU/Linux systems must be broken.

Edited 2007-04-24 18:09

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5
by dylansmrjones on Tue 24th Apr 2007 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Naah... the proprietary software is broken. Much the same happens on XP. The companies tend to blame Microsoft for it (read: Symantec, McAfee etc.)

Reply Score: 4

timothyha
Member since:
2005-11-10

This conversation reminded me of the old times when I had Windows 2003 Server as my desktop OS :-) But perhaps it's because I am a programmer and had to test this and that feature on a local server.

Of course, CentOS can be used as desktop. It feels the same like Fedora. But I think Fedora packages are updated more frequently. So a bored desktop user can find new things for himself more frequently by using Fedora and not CentOS. :-)

Edited 2007-04-24 05:19

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Heh, my Windows desktop OS is exactly Windows 2003 Server. It is closer to Win2K Pro than XP is which is why I use Win2K3 Server. XP Pro feels very dumbed down to me and is generally annoying. Win2K3 feels a lot more professional and has more secure defaults.

As far as I'm concerned any OS can be used on the Desktop. It's mostly a matter of tweaking. This is true for any OS including the so-called Desktop OS'es.

Reply Score: 3

michuk Member since:
2006-08-08

Windows 2003 Server rocks on the desktop. It's the only stable Microsoft system I have ever used!

Reply Score: 1

No problem with CentOS desktop
by anomie on Tue 24th Apr 2007 17:32 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

CentOS is a fine option for a non-new user desktop box. It's more stable than the various 'bleeding edge' distros whose names I won't mention, so that much is very appealing.

Edited 2007-04-24 17:33

Reply Score: 1

Let us remember CentOS...
by Peter Besenbruch on Tue 24th Apr 2007 19:28 UTC
Peter Besenbruch
Member since:
2006-03-13

... evil scourge of small towns everywhere. Let us remember Jerry Taylor, who had the temerity to offer an operating system free of charge, AND to give advice on how to use it.

http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=127

CentOS, one first class outfit.

Reply Score: 1

Running CentOS like a charm
by h3rman on Tue 24th Apr 2007 19:40 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

I've been testing Fedora 7 for some time now.
After all, bug reports have to be filed.
Recently I had a bit less time, though.
I was thinking, what would I like to use if I wanted to spend no time on OS maintenance?
I installed CentOS on another partition of my desktop pc and it is, imho, a great system. Stable, consistent, very few bugs, absolutely trivial to set up; and it's interesting to see how an open community distro ends up in its enterprise version.

Not too exciting for those checking out the latest and greatest, but if you want to install and have your system run nice and stable for a few years without having to worry about anything, CentOS is interesting competition to Debian (stable).

Edited 2007-04-24 19:42

Reply Score: 2

Codecs and CentOS?
by h3rman on Tue 24th Apr 2007 20:50 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

Needless to say, CentOS documentation will not cover how to enable mp3, video dvd, and stuff like that.
Which, to many folks, is nice for on a desktop.

It usually works to just take some howtos on the subject for Fedora 5 and/or 6. No problems here applying that to CentOS 5.
Anyway, what's more fun than compiling MPlayer or Xine, and libdvdcss yourself and watch a nice little video as a reward? ;)

Reply Score: 2

v Is CentOS 5 really that stable?
by twistys on Wed 25th Apr 2007 12:26 UTC
jsagazio
Member since:
2006-10-26

whoa - sit ubu sit - good dog

Reply Score: 1