Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:10 UTC
Red Hat Gentoo, Lindows and Lycoris arguably were the big surprises of the year in the Linux land, but everyone is waiting the release of Red Hat 8.0 with, possibly, the biggest anticipation ever for a Linux distribution. Since Red Hat posted the Limbo and Null betas, fans of the most popular distribution on earth were making waves and even called this new version a Windows killer. Does this really hold up though? Will Red Hat be successful on their quest to infiltrate the business workstation/destkop market? Read more to find out and view some of the high resolution screenshots we have for you! UPDATE: Red Hat 8 is out! ZDNews has an article about the new release of Red Hat 8.0.
Order by: Score:
Wow!
by yc on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:26 UTC

This one looks like a winner!

The new config tools look great!

If the desktop speed is good then Linux will finaly make it big on the desktop!

ciao
yc

PS Can't open the png files with winblows.

RE: Wow!
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:28 UTC

You didn't even read the article, didn't you?

Nvidia Driver problems..
by Isaac Shaeffer on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:32 UTC

I had the same problem with my Duron 1.1ghz machine.
Try disabling XRender Acceleration for the nvidia driver.

The option is documented in the Nvidia Readme..

Re: YC
by bkakes on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:34 UTC

Can't open the png files with winblows.

I suspect you mean with IE for Windows, right? If I were to says "Linbows because lynx won't show me the PNGs," I think people would jump on it.

My prediction: Red Hat 8 won't make it big on the desktop because PalmSource will release BeOS R6 and that will take over 30% of the market within 18 months. All OBOS developers will instead add enhancements to this R6, and within two years we will have a system with every major capability and application that anyone could possibly want. You with me, YC?

RE: Nvidia Driver problems..
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:34 UTC

Why would I want to disable acceleration? I didn't buy this Asus card (more expensive than the other MXs) to not be accelerated. Sorry, I expect things to work, not to hack around them. This is not what a desktop environment should be working like.

Is it a good desktop alternative?
by Craig Williamson on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:43 UTC

Thanks for your article Eugenia. I know from what you said this release is NOT a windows killer. But does it make it a good alternative for the MS convert?

Also, have you got a review on Mandrake 9.0 and how it compares to Redhat 8.0. Other than Mandrakes own sites, I haven't seen any. Can you help. Thanks in advance.

RE: Is it a good desktop alternative?
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:48 UTC

> But does it make it a good alternative for the MS convert?

As I wrote in the article, Red Hat 8 is better than most other Linux distributions. So, if you don't want to use Windows or MacOSX, yes, go for Red Hat 8.

> Also, have you got a review on Mandrake 9.0 and how it compares to Redhat 8.0.

Mandrake was supposed to send me their distro last week, but something happened and their CEO emailed me yesterday to tell me they will send me the box next week. Then, I will write the review for Mandrake and compare with Red Hat 8. I don't know yet. ;)

Abiword
by Ben on Mon 30th Sep 2002 01:52 UTC

That problem with the Abiword fonts really sucks! I've been using RH beta 'null' for a while now and I submitted a bug on it: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=72633
It is really a shame that they didn't fix this for the release. The good news is that I'm running CVS Abiword, and it doesn't have this problem (also has xft support - woohoo). Hopefully RH will upgrade this package through RHN when the new Abiword comes out.

History of RH x.0 releases
by Jerome on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:06 UTC

Haven't you noticed that the RH x.0 releases are ground breaking but not good enough for public acceptance? I'll try it out of course, but I'm also very much interested on the results of MDK 9. Maybe RH will get it right on 8.3 :-)

NVIDIA's woes and a bit more
by Cesar Cardoso on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:06 UTC

Coming from Eugenia, this review isn't one of those all-way angrily "Linux desktop should be buried" rant. Only half-way :-)


Anyway...

One of the biggest problems I have with the current UI is the inconsistent, confusing and bloated "Start" Red Hat menu.

Blame KDE. Better yet, blame no-one has added menu panel to KDE. And with Bero leaving RH, this will be more difficult to happen. Sad.

I couldn't find a samba configuration tool coming from Red Hat

Isn't SWAT installed by default?

The nVidia driver, which I compiled from the .tar.gz packages are NOT stable under Red Hat 8 on my machine even if when I disabled AGP support.

NVidia must get RH 8, see what RH did, and *then* make new drivers that work with RH 8.
Living with proprietary drivers has those problems. Yes, RMS mantra sometimes drive people crazy, but he's right. Hope someday NVIDIA does what ATi does and help the XFree86 team.
(And that's why I always tell people wanting to run Linux to go buy ATi instead of NVIDIA)

Re: ATI
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:11 UTC

I doubt you'll say that for long. The new 8500 drivers aren't open source ;) And NVIDIA works just great for most people (even for me whose used it on 2.5 with a beta version of Gentoo). You're doing them a disservice, given that ATI's drivers suck a whole lot more than NVIDIA's.

Windows Killer
by linux_baby on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:11 UTC

Nice review. I don't think even Redhat will claim that their new desktop is a windows killer. Windows is still much more useable on the desktop. But the linux desktop is maturing fast and making amazing progress. Judging from NULL, Redhat 8 is definitely a giant step in the right direction.

Kudos to the Redhat Team for an amazing job. I hope future releases will be much better and polished.

RE: NVIDIA's woes and a bit more
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:11 UTC

>Blame KDE

Why? I am talking about the Redhat's Gnome menu panel.

>Isn't SWAT installed by default?

I didn't see any gui app called "swat".

> NVidia must get RH 8, see what RH did, and *then* make new drivers that work with RH 8.

Not if RH could partner with nvidia to have the drivers bug free and ready in time of release.

Menus
by linux_baby on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:14 UTC

I forgot, Redhat should really fix the menu system. It is stil cluttered, has a lot of redundant items, and is not very organised and logical. Take a leaf from Lycoris or Ximain Gnome.

Red hat is a on the right track
by Ron on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:14 UTC

There is no doubt that the linux world has improved
in its attempts to win the desktop world,many distro's are
trying to improve there gui's altough there is a long way
until they will reach microsoft ,i believe thats its only a matter of time until linux will get its greep on the
home user and coprate user markets.
As for Beos it was a great os but unless palm will take the job seriosly (which honestly im not sure that they are able to) beos is dead and it will stay so,
Linux is used by major companies such as ibm and intel...
for devolopment ,a state that Beos was never in,i cant see any reason why any serious developer would bother messing with it since the source code isnt available,and no one suppourts it .

By the way Mandrake 9 rules these guys are improving
greatly on each release,suppourt them!

mandrake 9 vs. redhat 8
by follerec on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:15 UTC

do a normal and comparative review! how is red hat with older hardware by the way? i wonder if it will still have problems with my on board CS4236 soundcard. i hate dell! and does the kde desktop still "flicker" so much? hows the mouse movement on gnome? still a little jumpy? or am i the only person that experiences these things on linux?

Geez, get some perspective
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:20 UTC

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. The XFree86 guys are trying to work with some totally undocumented hardware made by a company that is actively hostile to releasing the specs for it. Now, despite that, it is still slightly faster in 2D than the nvidia driver itself. Sure, constructive criticism is in order, but throwing it in a river is just a bit much...

Xine
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:25 UTC

Xine is there. Go to: Extras | Sound & Video | Video Player. It's in my Null installation.

An aside: there are already quite a few custom rpms built for 8.0 at: http://psyche.freshrpms.net/

Overall, I think you did a very nice review. I agree with your points about the menu structure etc. I disagree slightly on some other points. I would have given it closer to a 8.5 or 9 out of 10. It's the best one out there right now, at least, IMHO.

Fonts
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:29 UTC

I agree -- being able to drag and drop .ttf fonts into your ~/.fonts directory is *WAY* cool. The reason OOo doesn't pick them up is that OOo has always required you to run OOo's spadmin program to add fonts. I'm not sure RH could change that except by rewriting some of the OOo code.

RE: Wow!
by yc on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:31 UTC

>>You didn't even read the article, didn't you?

errr, Yes! I didn't didn't read it! ;)

Did it post to fast?
I actually paged through it.
Ok, I'll take the zero.

ciao
yc

Re: YC
by yc on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:35 UTC

>>...PalmSource will release BeOS R6...
>>...You with me, YC?

100% ;)

RE: Xine
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:39 UTC

> Xine is there. Go to: Extras | Sound & Video | Video Player. It's in my Null installation.

It is _not_ the case on my Psyche.

Very interesting
by Jay on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:50 UTC

I like Eugenia's reviews because she always puts what's being reviewed in the hot seat as to how the product stacks up *right now*, with today's hardware, etc. Very nice review and tremendous screenshots!

I haven't used Redhat for years...I realized it was server software...and have used SuSE extensively and the newbie distros in particular. It sounds like RH 8 has some gaps to fill in. But, this version has really caught my attention and I'm going to get it and take a look-see. My God, I've got to make room for this, SuSE 8.1 and who knows what next :-). Anyway, desktop Linux is getting there, step by step, inch by inch. Yet, perhaps the real question is X. What to do about X? I have to admit, I don't know.

RH8
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 02:57 UTC

May I ask which release of RH8 you're using? The final-final? Or the RC3 (Gold - Code Freeze)?

I really enjoyed this preview, and love the way you went about it. Concentrating on the workstation/desktop elements, and not the server/service stuff. After all, we're trying to find out whether this is a good MS Windows competitor.

As someone had already mentioned, about Mandrake 9, I'm really looking forward to the review as well.

RE: RH8
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:03 UTC

> May I ask which release of RH8 you're using? The final-final?

I am running Psyche 8.0. This is what it is writen at many places in the distro.

X
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:04 UTC

[i]For me, that is one more reason why X just doesn't cut it, and as a result, why RH8 doesn't cut it when configuring high-end monitors or other not 100% standard resolutions.[i]

I don't understand - you use a graphics card from a manufacturer who doesn't release programming information to Xfree developers, who release buggy X servers and you blame the resulting mess on X?

RE: ×
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:07 UTC

No, I blame both Red Hat, the XFree driver testing guy, and nVidia. They ALL have their share on the problem.

RE: Eugenia
by Matthew Gardiner on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:16 UTC

Please, stop telling tall stories.

1) Nvidia drivers can't be include with the distro because of licensing issues, hence the reason you have to manually download off their (Nvidia) site,regardless of what OS you run. Windows XP drivers aren't accelerated either! Hence, you'd still have to download it, even if you were running your precious Windows XP.

2) Nvidia chip-equipped cards are crap. Period. Sure, you want to be Mr(s) "Lets see my frame rates go through the roof", yet, moan because you eXPerienced instability. Nvidia cards are unstable, whether it is Windows, Linux, *BSD. Want to be a fps freak, use a Nvidia, want something stable for *NIX, then buy a Matrox. Having run Matrox's under *NIX since God was a teenager, I have never had any problems. FYI (for your information), I an using a Matrox G550 32 DDR.

3) Stop moaning about usability. 95.987345% of people could easily use the above interface without an issue. Why pander and worry about the miserable, pathetic 4 point something percent who, regardless of how much research will still balls something up.

RE: Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:20 UTC

>Nvidia drivers can't be include with the distro because of licensing issues

Read the license. It does NOT dissallow the distribution.

"2.1.1 Rights. Customer may install and use one copy of the SOFTWARE on a single computer, and except for making one back-up copy of the Software, may not otherwise copy the SOFTWARE. This LICENSE of SOFTWARE may not be shared or used concurrently on different computers.

2.1.2 Linux Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms of Section 2.1.1, SOFTWARE designed exclusively for use on the Linux operating system may be copied and redistributed, provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way (except for unzipping of compressed files)."


And why are you hanging of this issue? As I write on the article, I have bigger problems with stability of both the nv and nvidia drivers, rather than the actual inclusion or not of the driver in RH8. I wish I had stability even if it wouldn't be included by default.

>2) Nvidia chip-equipped cards are crap.

Your opinion, not mine. I used to have a TNT2-Ultra and it was rock solid. And this is Asus we are talking about, not cheap no-name shit.

>Stop moaning about usability

NEVER.

re: Matthew
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:21 UTC

You're a bit off on the nvidia card bit. NVIDIA is the number one selling graphics card among enthusiasts today. If its stability was as bad as you say, *someone* besides you would have seen it. If it was as epidemic as you imply, Anand or Tom or Sharky would have mentioned it by now, at SOME point. But they haven't, so I'd take it that its not. Personally, I've never had a single problem with them. Sure its a matter of personal experience, you vs me, but I've got the advantage that most people seem to have had the same experience as I have.

Red Hat popularity
by snoyes on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:36 UTC

I hate to insinuate a bias on your part. But the fact that you wrote of Red Hat: "the most popular distribution on earth" without putting it in inverted commas, as it belongs (for example, check the statistics on www.distrowatch.com - Mandrake has had higher hpd counts than Red Hat for months on end) combined with the fact that you downloaded Red Hat even before the official release to do a review, whereas you are waiting for Mandrakesoft to send you a copy of their distro to do a review, in my opinion shows that you might be slightly biased toward Red Hat. (wow, is that 1 sentence :-))
Of course i don't know what your arrangement with Mandrakesoft is regarding the review. Perhaps they would only like a review of a boxed set? BTW this is not meant as a totally negative post, i appreciate you taking the time to do reviews for your readers. Thank you.

... but this looks great!

If it's as good as it looks and sound, it will probably be my secondary OS. It will at least replace Gentoo on my HDD, that's for sure.
I doubt that it will make me stop developing for BeOS though, but it could be nice from a users perspective.

RE: RE: Eugenia
by Matthew Gardiner on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:37 UTC

"2.1.2 Linux Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms of Section 2.1.1, SOFTWARE designed exclusively for use on the Linux operating system may be copied and redistributed, provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way (except for unzipping of compressed files)."

-- Have you ever thought that they may need to adjust things?

Your opinion, not mine. I used to have a TNT2-Ultra and it was rock solid. And this is Asus we are talking about, not cheap no-name shit.

-- I never said that, I said ALL Nvidia chip-equipped boards. The only ones I would suggest are their high end Quadro. Admitingly, I am pissed off at Matrox for stuffing around and not making some drivers for Parphilia before it was released. The ones now they have available are shit. If they can't provide a driver for X, then they should simply close up shop, and give up producing video cards, because obviously they have no intention of serving customers.

>Stop moaning about usability

NEVER.

-- And what is that meant to achieve? I gave up on that issue years ago. No matter what you do, people will be bloody morons. Simple as that. I would go so far so say that there should be a license so that only those who have a bloody clue can use a computer. In an organisation, have a "wacker" that goes around, those who do something stupid, wack then around the head with a rolled up newspaper. I think after several hits, they'll get the message to stop doing stupid things.

RE: Red Hat popularity
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:39 UTC

> I hate to insinuate a bias on your part.

There is no bias at all. When I review, I review the things I know and see.
Just read all other articles on news.com and other *big* publications. They *ALL* consider Red Hat to be the most wildly distro used. Even on our OSNews poll we did some months ago, Red Hat finished first:
http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=1299

looks nice
by Brad on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:40 UTC

I must aplaud redhet, this looks very nice. It does have a look of it's own, as in it doesn't look like a windows clone. It looks very clean and new. And my favorite part. No hidious clock, someone finaly got that right.

Eugenia thanks for saying what your monitor was. My first reaction the the first shot was what kind of monitor was it taken on. It looks wide screen, like it was on some apple cinema display. I'm afraid of how much that thing must cost. Oh well maybe in year when i graduate and have money. Till then 17" at 1024 works for me.

RE: RE: Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:42 UTC

>Have you ever thought that they may need to adjust things?

If yes, you should either adjust your OS to work with the drivers, simply because nvidia drivers are important, and if that's not possible, you PARTNER with them. Red Hat is not the 4-people company of Lycoris. They are now big and respected. They should *partner* with big hardware vendors.

>And what is that meant to achieve?

That the Red Hat UI people might read that and they might fix it. And until they fix it, people should know what is good and what is bad. This is what a review is all about!

RE: looks nice
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:44 UTC

>It looks wide screen, like it was on some apple cinema display

It is widescreen, yes. It is a CRT, 24" Trinitron.
It costs above $2000 I think. SGI loaned it to me for an IRIX review that we will feature this week. ;)

Mandrake 9.0
by artem on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:56 UTC

Well, according to this review, Mandrake 9.0 sounds much better. With a press of one button it found all my windoze fonts and installed them under Linux. OpenOffice is fully anti-aliased and has all my windoze fonts under it. Everything looks very sharp and clean, they use Metacity instead of Sawfish, so the desktop feels much faster. The 2.4.19 kernel feels much faster then the 2.4.18 in Mandrake 8.2. And the NTFS support in the kernel completely removed my need to reboot into windows. The installation went smooth even though my 2 CD (the extensions) was corrupt and was hanging. All the menus look unified and have both GNOME and KDE applications. All the KDE apps look as if they were GNOME apps when run under GNOME. I haven't tried KDE 3.0.3 yet (even though it loads by default) because I prefer GNOME with its Mac OS X look. I am sure KDE works fine, but I would like to mention the fact that Mandrake managed to do all this without pissing GNOME and KDE developers. This is the distro I could almost recommend to my friends who don't know much about computers (with Mandrake Control Center 9.0 you can forget about manually editing 90% of config files or using ackward utilities like linuxconf). I bet anything I will able to recommend a Mandrake Linux distro to any of my computer illiterate friends before they hit 10.0.

MANDRAKE 9 IS THE BEST LINUX DISTRIBUTION IN THE WORLD!!!

re: looks nice
by Brad on Mon 30th Sep 2002 03:56 UTC

mmm sounds interesting. So the monitior came with a nice SGI attached to it ;)

I can see a debate, SGI's are to expensive, buy an Apple .

I completely agree with the comments about XFree86 and the rough edges one gets as a business desktop. Red Hat has a lot of work to do making the UI more friendly. I've made comments in their mailing lists and posted bugs on the relevant parts of the OS that need to become more friendly. The 7.9 overall rating seems fair.

re:re: looks nice
by Brad on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:05 UTC

Dang SGI gives no prices. Oh well i will sit here and droll at the f220 lcd. That has to be one of the most beautiful looking monitors ever. Forget about an apple cinema display. they have no pics of the 24"crt, include them in the SGI review please.

re:re: looks nice
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:06 UTC

Ok, I will get a picture of the monitor with my camera and post it here! ;)
It is a nice monitor! Stay tuned!

re:re: looks nice
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:13 UTC

Here it is. It is a black widescreen monitor with great quality and more importantly, great performance! It can do up to 2048x1440 at a very respectable framerate:
http://www.osnews.com/img/1842/sgi.jpg

Re: To Matthew Gardiner
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:13 UTC

--quoted by Matthew Gardiner--
1) Nvidia drivers can't be include with the distro because of licensing issues, hence the reason you have to manually download off their (Nvidia) site,regardless of what OS you run. Windows XP drivers aren't accelerated either! Hence, you'd still have to download it, even if you were running your precious Windows XP.
--/quoted by Matthew Gardiner--

Don't you know that Windows ALWAYS already have the Nvidia driver in the Windows's auto-update? Of course, it's not good as Nvidia's real driver, when you download from Nvidia's website.

Anyway, what a great review, Eugenia!! Thanks! I complete agreed with you about the hardares and X issues, because I am having the same problems.

That's an eugenius review!
by Alex on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:16 UTC

Hey, Eugenia, great review, it's nice to see somebody that's not biased. Most other reviews I read are either completely supportive of a distro or completely hate it, shows a lot about amny Linux reviewers who are just reviewing to advertise their distro not to show real problems.

Can you review SuSE 8.1 too? I've been hearing nice things about it, but it's more for the smarter than average computer user.

Menus
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:18 UTC

I've been using Null for awhile now and I have been waiting for the full version, since I installed it. The menu is well thought out having only the default applications listed in the main folder. The extras menu allows them to put all the less used items in one place with the same structure. The extras menu allows me to to keep my menus simple. I want to have koffice installed as well as openoffice, but I don't want the menu to have 20 items.

nVidia drivers
by Sam on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:19 UTC


i would like to point out one more time that the "nvidia" driver is just not stable. I am running Debian Woody with a GeForce3 ti500 running 1280x1024@120?Hz. It seems to me that RedHat made the right decision to not include unstable drivers with its release.

RedHat can't force nVidia to make a better driver for linux, because there isn't a big market for 3D on linux. And there won't be until RedHat can support it stabley.

catch 22

-cc

RE: That's an eugenius review!
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:20 UTC

>Hey, Eugenia, great review

thanks! ;)

>Can you review SuSE 8.1 too

Yes, I also wait for the box from SuSE. I am in the talks with Red Hat, Mandrake, Lycoris, Xandros and SuSE when it comes to reviews. ;)

good review Eugenia
by darren on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:22 UTC

I appreciate your candid review. We really should expect as much and more from a Linux desktop than from a Windows or Mac. Otherwise, why not just use Windows or Mac?

And, I agree 100% about the menu. Jeeze?! That's not good. The start menu on the WM featured here at OSNews (Xpde) makes much better sense. I can't wait to try that WM out.

But, OTOH, when you look at how far Linux has come, it's very hard for me to be too critical. RH looks good. I'm pleased with the bold and positive effort to unify the desktop. Linux is definitely coming of age.

Here's my biggest complaint. On Null and in your screenshots, the AA fonts are too blurry for my tastes. However, judging by the screenshots, it looks like that's tweakable, though. I'm looking forward to trying that out.

One day I'll use Linux because it will be the best desktop OS available. But, until then, I think I'll be realistic and just use Linux as a server and keep "using" Windows (can't afford to go Mac).

Darren

What about "security" stuff?
by Jon on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:23 UTC

Thanks for the review Eugenia. Jealousy doesn't permit me much empathy for your grief with the big monitor, but you make fair points.

Just wondering about defaults regarding basic security things (open ports, services defaulted "on", etc). Did RH add any "hardening" tools or do we still have to do everything by hand?

NVidia drivers
by Mack Bolan on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:24 UTC

>>Have you ever thought that they may need to adjust things?

If yes, you should either adjust your OS to work with the drivers, simply because nvidia drivers are important, and if that's not possible, you PARTNER with them. Red Hat is not the 4-people company of Lycoris. They are now big and respected. They should *partner* with big hardware vendors.

Eugenia - I have much respect for your work but..
...no dice! An operating system absolutely should NOT be "adjusted to work with xxxx," whether the device is from NVidia, Maxtrox, ATI, Western Digital, or IBM. When you and I bought NVidia, we knew that we'd be at risk (or at least, beholden to NVidia for updates).

The main problem I have with closed source drivers is that they are unknown quantities. For example, let's say we come up with a new way to leverage unused 3D accelerator chips to do matrix math. I just can't get it working with my WhizBang ABC video card. Only by disassembling the binary do we find the video driver unnecessarily disabling 3D calculations each time the screen is redrawn. Even though we found the problem, we can't fix it and distribute the fix! In other words YOU would have to fix it yourself, or hope that WhizBang gives an answer.

Clearly the right solution is for WhizBang to publish the specifications. Is WhizBang's hardware truly better than the competitions? Or is it only that optimized drivers lets them win benchmarks?

Something else to consider: RedHat and many other distros try to obey the GPL; one of the main strengths of Linux is that you can modify it yourself. NVidia's license does not allow this.

P.S. I'm not attacking NVidia; I own a TNT2, GEForce4, ATI AllInWonder (tv-in/out), and ATI Radeon 7500. I won't tell you "you should've bought the Radeon" or "You don't need to use that high-refresh rate anyhow".

ATI's site they tell you that "[We are considering allowing you to use the tv-out that you purchased] under Linux. in the meantime go to the Gatos project, where people are trying to figure out what we won't tell them."

Re: To Sam
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:27 UTC

--quoted by Sam--
RedHat can't force nVidia to make a better driver for linux, because there isn't a big market for 3D on linux. And there won't be until RedHat can support it stabley.
--/quoted by Sam--

Really? Don't you know that a lot of recently movies were made in the Linux by use Maya, Maya plugin written in Python and etc on the SGI machines? StarWar II was made by Linux, which I have Linux Journal. It was great article about it. Also, they have the huge Linux farm workstations there. ;)

RH8
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:28 UTC

I agree with Eugenia that the OS (Red Hat Linux 8, in this case) should be alter and not the nVidia driver if alteration is needed to address the problem that she was having.

According to the license with the nVidia (Linux) driver, there is no problem with distributing the driver with the distribution as long as there is no change to the driver itself. Hence, Red Hat could have used this driver and test it (and distribute) for Red Hat Linux 8, but Red Hat didn't go down this path. Now, because of this, the graphics card and the monitor and the high refresh rate setup-combination isn't supported. Therefore, this is a matter of "Out of the Box hardward support/compatibility" issue. Agree? Simply put, this combination of configuration (or the user's need for high refresh rate and high resolution with these particular hardware) wasn't taken into consideration by Red Hat.

Due to this, there is not enough evidence (based on this review) to state that nVidia-chip graphics card are unstable.

Agree? Any comments?

>I appreciate your candid review.

Thanks! ;)

>On Null and in your screenshots, the AA fonts are too blurry for my tastes

No. You can select which level of AA you want. Check this screenshot with the two font panels where you can configure the font engine to your liking!
http://goober.osnews.com/img/1842/redhat1.jpg
Also, please do not forget that most of my screenshots are rendering with the Verdana font, which I changed because I did not like the default Sans. Check this screenshot(http://members.csolutions.net/zayda/osnews/img/1842/redhat3.jpg) and check on the RIGHT hand side of the shot. The right hand side has the default Sans font loaded, and you can see how the letters and numbers are colliding! Unfortunately, Red Hat does not come with well designed fonts, this is why I reverted to my Verdana from the Windows partition. ;)

>Did RH add any "hardening" tools or do we still have to do everything by hand?

It comes with a firewall by default and SSH installed and loaded, but I didn't bother too much with it because I am already behind a BSD firewall... I should have gotten more into depth about this, you are right...

Mathhew Gardiner's Nvidia Comments
by Bob Cochran on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:31 UTC

>2) Nvidia chip-equipped cards are crap.

From what I understand, Nvidia did well with frame rates on Windows platforms until the the ATI Radeon 9700 was recently released. Currently the 9700 leads in all the important video benchmarks according to Maximum PC magazine. You can read a review of the 9700 in their current issue.Before the 9700 came out Nvidia had the lead.

I really do have to agree with Eugenia: there is a lot of usability work still to be done and the best thing Red Hat can do is face the music and get on with doing it. Red Hat 8 is not yet a viable business desktop, especially compared to Windows XP. It is getting closer, and has made great strides in the last year or two, but is still not quite there yet.



RE: Mandrake 9.0
by Andrew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:32 UTC

I don't see how Gnome on Mandrake looks anything like Mac OS X. I have come to the conclusion you have never used OSX or even seen a screenshot or have not used Gnome on Mandrake.

I may be wrong but please explain the similarities you refer to.

I do like Mandrake though. The final release seems to have much nicer font rendering that the Release Candidates.

RE: NVidia drivers
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:34 UTC

> ...no dice! An operating system absolutely should NOT be "adjusted to work with xxxx," whether the device is from NVidia

When you are in need, you DO the adjustments, even if they are not the best solution. This is not a perfect world we are living in, engineers have to make such adjustments all the time in their code. This is not a cmedia sound chip we are talking about, it is the driver for the mostly used cards in the world. The companies should also counter-balancing their options and their actions if they want to keep customers happy, even if their engineers might not like it.

RH8 Review the 2nd, maybe?
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:36 UTC

Eugenia, maybe after you've done the Mandrake 9 review, you can also do a Red Hat 8 Security/Network services review as well? You know, kind of like a review for the servers guys out there. What do you think?

Re: fonts
by Sam on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:37 UTC


> I agree -- being able to drag and drop .ttf fonts into your >~/.fonts directory is *WAY* cool. The reason OOo doesn't pick >them up is that OOo has always required you to run OOo's >spadmin program to add fonts. I'm not sure RH could change >that except by rewriting some of the OOo code.

just not true
i added verdana to X just by adding an XFontDir (or whatever it is) line to XF86Config-4 and they showed up in OOo as soon as I launched it.

-cc

RE: Mathhew Gardiner's Nvidia Comments
by Andrew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:40 UTC

> Red Hat 8 is not yet a viable business desktop, especially compared to Windows XP. It is getting closer, and has made great strides in the last year or two, but is still not quite there yet.


-- Am I missing someting here, or did Redhat not explicitly say they are not after the whole desktop market. For most office workers, thats the people I work with every day, Redhat would be more than they ever need.

Many office workers are not allowed to install software. I am aware of one bank where you can't even install a screensaver.

Anyway all Redhat would like is a few percentage points of the desktop market for now. That is plenty!

Check web stats. Most screens out there are on 800x600.

RE: good review Eugenia
by darren on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:40 UTC

I noticed the two font panels in your screenshot while reading the article. This is where I realized that "hinting" and "smoothing" might benefit me.

RE: RH8 Review the 2nd, maybe?
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:40 UTC

I would love to, but I am mostly a UI/desktop/games and web developer kind of person and not a sys admin. I know how to setup mysql, php, apache, manage users, quotas and stuff, but I am not as knowledgable as I would like to be in more advanced server matters, so I don't feel confident enough to write such reviews. This is why I asked others to do the UnitedLinux review, which is a server-oriented distro.

Fonts...
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:42 UTC

> just not true
>i added verdana to X just by adding an XFontDir (or whatever >it is) line to XF86Config-4 and they showed up in OOo as soon >as I launched it.


Well, you didn't DnD it (it being font file(s)), did you...
You created a directory containing fonts, then added a line...

These steps are consider more messy than simple DnD (from the perspective of a window/GUI enviroment).

Where is RH8?
by Brandon Barker on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:43 UTC

Did you get a copy before it was released to the public? I am in bad need of an upgrade, RH 7.3 is still stable, but it is doing weird shit, at least under my user.

Eugenia, I know you didn't like the new YaST2 in SuSE 8.1, but I look forward to a review on it as well. To save yourself some work, maybe you should wait until SuSE 8.1 is released and then contrast all three of the major new distributions.

Eugenia
by Andrew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:46 UTC

With all these requests for reviews it seems like you have a lot of work ahead. I you choose to do them.

If you do I am looking forward to your review of SuSE and Mandrake. I can't decide which one I should purchase.

Personally I think I need to buy two more computers. A Powerbook and a $800 Desktop to try all the new OS's.

Now all I have to do is come up with $4000.

re:re:re: looks nice
by Brad on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:46 UTC

Eugenia, thanks, thats a nice monitor, Does SGI want it back after the review? I think i would cry seeing it going away. Or do you get to hang on the thing for long term reviewing?

no XINE?
by John Blink on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:46 UTC

Eugenia I have RH8 (Null) installed and I have XINE installed too.

Do you mean to tell us that the final doesn't have this program?

Sorry if someone has already posted about this. I haven't read many comments yet. I was just reading the article and I posted.

RH8
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:48 UTC

Eugenia, just want to let you know that I think you did a great job in this preview. Forget about those who said that you were bias-ed. I think the preview was fair, since it was written based on your personal experience with this particular version of Red Hat, regardless of what you have experienced perior to this article. Hence I think it had been very logicallly layed out and stated some issues that you had encountered.

re:re:re: looks nice
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:50 UTC

> Does SGI want it back after the review? I think i would cry seeing it going away. Or do you get to hang on the thing for long term reviewing?

Yes, SGI will take it back after the review. It would be nice to keep it along with the Dual Octane they sent me for more reviews in the future. ;)

> Eugenia I have RH8 (Null) installed and I have XINE installed too. Do you mean to tell us that the final doesn't have this program?

Yes, there is no Xine on my Psyche. I wrote this as well in the 16-30 range of comments. ;)

(Null)?
by Terry on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:53 UTC

What's this Null?

I have Psyche ISOs, but they are titled Psyche_RC3_Boxset (everything during operation is titled "Psyche" and Red Hat 8). This RC3 was released 2 weeks ago, and was code-freezed. I'm not sure how close this RC3 is compare to the release tomorrow.

RE: Mathhew Gardiner's Nvidia Comments
by Bob Cochran on Mon 30th Sep 2002 04:53 UTC

>Many office workers are not allowed to install software. I am >aware of one bank where you can't even install a screensaver.

Meaningless in the context of choosing and then deploying an OS.

>Anyway all Redhat would like is a few percentage points of >the desktop market for now. That is plenty!

Corporate lies get told all the time.<Shrug>

The reasons for Red Hat not including the nVidia drivers is simple: the drivers interface directly with the kernel and thus have the ability (as Eugenia pointed out) to bring the whole system to a grinding halt. Who is going to support the drivers? Red Hat? nVidia? Red Hat can't support what it knows nothing about (they have no more access to the driver code than your or I) and nVidia pretty much throws the drivers out "As Is". If you want supported drivers for your nVidia card, you have to use the drivers provided by whoever created the card, whether you use Linux, MacOS, or Windows. In Eugenia's case this would be Asus. I've never checked, but I doubt Asus officially supports their cards under Red Hat (but I could be totally wrong!). nVidia did NOT produce the card that Eugenia uses and has NO obligation whatsoever to provide drivers for it at all: that's why they're called REFERENCE drivers. The drivers you get from nVidia are the drivers on which the REAL drivers (those distributed by the OEMs) are based. Sure, some OEMs just slap their names on the reference drivers and shove them out the door with a cheap, basic reference board. Asus is certainly NOT one of those companies, as Eugenia pointed out.

In other words, Eugenia, with all due respect I think you're missing the point: just as it is not Microsoft's responsibility to write drivers for every piece of hardware known to humanity (which they certainly don't), it's not Red Hat's either. nVidia does not sell cards to end-users. Your issue is with Asus for not (as far as I know) providing Linux support for THEIR product. Blaming Red Hat or nVidia is simply wrong. nVidia has released Linux REFERENCE drivers, for which we should be thankful. It is up to the individual OEMs to make use of and support them. I would humbly suggest your take Red Hat and nVidia out of the line of fire and redirect your very valid comments where they belong: Asus and all the other manufacturers of nVidia cards. They should NOT be depending on the reference drivers to satisfy the needs of their Linux customers.

There is another reason, of course. Red Hat doesn't condone or support the creation of close-source drivers, especially closed-sourced drivers written specifically for Red Hat Linux. If they did, the idiots who constantly scream, "Red Hat wants to be the Microsoft of Linux" would shout their vocal cords apart. By encouraging hardware manufacturers to create open drivers (or at least drivers that work on things other than ONLY Red Hat Linux) and NOT courting those manufacturers to write Red Hat specific drivers, Red Hat does a service for the community.

Anyone who'd followed the Limbo/Null development lists would know all this anyway, from reading the replies of the Red Hat team to questions regarding exactly these issues. I did follow the lists. The impression I get is that Red Hat employs a lot of really nice, polite, hard-working people. Red Hat genuinely wants to be a good corporate citizen AND a good open source citizen. Those two goals often seem mutually exclusive. It's certainly not an easy path to take, that's for sure. So far, the balancing act seems to be working and I wish nothing but good luck for Red Hat as a company.

Even if the open source / free software world didn't literally preclude the rise of a "new Microsoft", I don't think we'd have anything to fear from Red Hat.

Am I a Red Hat fanboy? Nope. I'm typing this from Dolphin (Mandrake 9.0) which I prefer for several reasons to Psyche (even though I've admittedly only used the latest Up2Dated version of Null!).

Re: RE: fonts
by Sam on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:14 UTC

>> just not true
>> i added verdana to X just by adding an XFontDir (or
>> whatever it is) line to XF86Config-4 and they showed up
>> in OOo as soon as I launched it.

>Well, you didn't DnD it (it being font file(s)), did you...
>You created a directory containing fonts, then added a >line...

>These steps are consider more messy than simple DnD (from
>the perspective of a window/GUI enviroment).

My point was obviously to show that RedHat would not have to alter OOo like you said they would.

Their OS already has ~/.fonts in the XF86Config-4 (or it should), so it should just work!

-cc

> Blaming Red Hat or nVidia is simply wrong

Sorry, but I think you are the one who is missing the point. In the Windows world, people even if they have Asus or other manufacturer's cards, they still pile up in queues to download the latest Detonator drivers from nvidia's own site. In the case of Linux, nvidia is the one who provides the driver, not Asus. Even the Windows version of the Asus drivers are BASED on the nvidia Detonator drivers and Asus (and the other big manufacturers) use them via licensing and partnership. You have to see things from the user's point of view: In the Linux world you get things from the source. And in this case, both Red Hat and nvidia do not provide good support for the most sold gfx card in the world, the GeForce2MX. And at the end of the day, the user does not care who's fault it is. The point is that it does not work well and that strikes negatively on both nvidia and RH. No matter IF it MIGHT be Asus fault (it isn't).

AGPgart
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:20 UTC

Any one knows how to see if agpgart is compiled already in the kernel (trying to insmod it as a module it spits errors here), and if not, how to exactly load agpgart for the VIA KM266 Apollo PRO chipset? Thanks.

Nice Review....
by Danni Coy on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:21 UTC

Firstly I must say I am suffering from Monitor Envy.
Secondly Nice review... This is the first one to date that I liked...

Few points Redhat -> Has always tried to adhere to Free Software principles in Letter and Spirit. This alone is reason why they do not include MP3 and the NVidia Drivers as standard
(nvidias drivers are part source part binary) and Binary kernal drivers ARE a threat to the future of an open source linux.

Being part binary and part source I am guessing that you are going to see problems because the binary part was compiled with gcc-2.9.6 and you are compiling the source part with 3.2... along with the high optimisations needed for a graphics driver are bound to cause problems. The alternative is to compile with gcc 2.9.6 which may not work well either given that the rest of the system is compiled with 3.2...
Your best option is to wait untill nvidia releases updates for redhat or brings out generic packages compiled with gcc-3.2....

Thanks for sending the bug report to the XFree86 guys this is the only way these sorts of problems get fixed.... This kind of stuff is important.

I haven't tried Redhat 8 but I am considering... Its either that or stay with Mandrake or go to Gentoo. The next thing I would like to see is a distro with a graphical configuration tool for wacom etc tablets....

Oh yeah and I should have a working version Wings3d (Nendo Clone) for linux working and online in the next few days. If any ex SGI animators out there are looking for a fast and spiffy modeller with good import/export facilities.

Re Nvidia
by Danni Coy on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:30 UTC

I am running nVidia on Mandrake 8.2 and have very few problems. The main issue with the nvidia cards is they do not work well with athlon processors. The reason for this is that the athlon uses memory in an unusual way (to do with the way that the processor predicts what the user might do next ). This is improperly handled by the Linux kernel and when a program that has been compiled for the pentium architecture is running (eg the Nvidia Drivers) can cause crashes. There are work arounds to prevent this from happening but hopefully the problem will be fixed in the Linux Kernel sometime soon.

Personally I would like to see nvidia release Opensource drivers (at least for their older hardware) but I am glad that they do in fact release drivers at all.

Re: Nvidia
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:36 UTC

Just to let everyone know, I will be reverting to Matrox G400 in this machine soon. The nvidia card was there because I lost my Matrox G400 in one of our house moves last year, but a good friend send me another one, so I would be going back to MGA-400. I like the G400s mostly because they work well on BeOS, QNX and Linux, which are the OSes I have installed on this Athlon machine. I would have kept the nvidia card there if it didn't require me to compile it each time I use a new kernel (I beta test the 2.5.x kernels very often, so I change kernels all the time). While I am not an open source advocate exactly, in this case, if nvidia does not want to partner with big linux distros, they should indeed open source their drivers. But of course, fat chance.

Lucky
by Alex on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:37 UTC

" Yes, I also wait for the box from SuSE. I am in the talks with Red Hat, Mandrake, Lycoris, Xandros and SuSE when it comes to reviews. ;) "

your so damn lucky ;)

Can't wait to see your opinion on them ;)

Review
by Bobthearch on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:38 UTC

I though the review was well-written and did a good job of describing the experience. Of course it's your opinion; as humans what else do we have besides our opinions?

I've never tried Red Hat myself, but I have used Mandrake and Lycoris. The menu problems you describe sound worse in RH than these other distros - Lycoris especially isn't that bad. Is RH taking a step backwards? If only you could drag-and-drop the menu items into your own system - like in Windows (god forbid Linux should mimic things that Windows does right!).

Too bad for the driver problems. I use an Nvidia GeForce and have never felt that any Linux distro was working together with my hardware. Aren't Nvidia cards the most common?

"Stop moaning about usability."
What a classic Linux-user response. What else is there besides usability? Looks aren't everything... The satisfaction of being a non-conformist can't make up for being uncomfortable with your work environment.

RE: Mathhew Gardiner's Nvidia Comments
by Andrew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:51 UTC

> Meaningless in the context of choosing and then deploying an OS.

-- Well then what is meaningful?

Are you saying that there are not a whole lot of Business Desktops out there where RedHat would not be perfectly useable?

> Corporate lies get told all the time.<Shrug>

-- Do you think Redhat would be stupid enough to think that they could take on Microsoft in every area. There are a whole lot of custom apps(inhouse as well) that have been written for Windows and cannot easily be replicated on Linux, and also many users who need VBA support. By default that limits them.

The only way Linux will be successful on the Desktop market will be over time and with a kind of snow balling effect.

No corporate lies just common sense.

On the Source of Nvidia Drivers
by Brandon Barker on Mon 30th Sep 2002 05:52 UTC

Yes, I couldn't agree with you more Eugenia. While I am an open source advocate, if an application is closed source, or a game, I don't really care. Sure, it would be nice if they were open; improvements would take place as a result.

When drivers aren't open sourced, you create more problems. Nvidia's drivers work great, that is, if they work. Open Source drivers stand a much better chance of working under different configurations, and they will actually work on more architectures than just Intel. This is certainly what saddens me, and don't throw out that crap about SGI not letting Nvidia open source drivers; SGI has open sourced a good many of their projects, even parts of IRIX, to aid Linux. I've heard that they have even encouraged Nvidia to open source the drivers. This would certainly make SGI's job of supporting Linux on their specialized x86 machines much easier (not that I care for x86, but this is the case).

I would like to find out if Nvidia really is being kept from open sourcing their drivers because they just want to keep their "secrets" (lets be honest, the drivers are not going to tell someone else how to build a better GPU), or due to the IP rights of other commercial entities, and if so which ones? If not SGI, then who?

Button order
by DCMonkey on Mon 30th Sep 2002 06:21 UTC

I noticed in those screenshots that a number of the RedHat utilities don't follow the button order guidelines in the Gnome2 HIG (ie: some are OK Cancel, instead of Cancel OK)

I understand the rationale for doing it the way the Gnome2 HIG (and the MacOS HIG) says, but I think that decision is going to haunt them in the future in regards to fitting in with KDE, Qt, Tk, GTK+, Java, Web, and Windows(via wine) apps and their users' expectations.

....
by rajan r on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:21 UTC

artem: Everything looks very sharp and clean, they use Metacity instead of Sawfish, so the desktop feels much faster.

IIRC, Red Hat uses Metacity. Heck, I think they made it too.

artem: The 2.4.19 kernel feels much faster then the 2.4.18 in Mandrake 8.2.

The speed difference is mostly caused by GCC 3.2, not 2.4.19.

artem: because I prefer GNOME with its Mac OS X look.

Next thing you would be saying that CDE looks like Windows XP.

artem: I am sure KDE works fine, but I would like to mention the fact that Mandrake managed to do all this without pissing GNOME and KDE developers.

The only developers that are trully pissed is KDE developers. There isn't as much bashing of Red Hat on GNOME side as it is on KDE side. Pretty much because Red Hat had always been hostile towards KDE, and KDE takes every single bad move harshly.

artem: (with Mandrake Control Center 9.0 you can forget about manually editing 90% of config files or using ackward utilities like linuxconf)

But unfortunately, if it could confuse my mom and dad, it can confuse any newbie. Why? There is two control panels, one for the DE/WM and the other for the system.

artem: MANDRAKE 9 IS THE BEST LINUX DISTRIBUTION IN THE WORLD!!!

Granted I haven't used the stable release of 9.0 (which is the bug fixes over the one I have used), I wouldn't actually consider Mandrake the best distribution around (I have tried various distributions geared for the desktop, BTW).

Something else to consider: RedHat and many other distros try to obey the GPL; one of the main strengths of Linux is that you can modify it yourself.

Funny. In their box set, Red Hat include a LOT of closed source applications. Besides, using NVidia drivers, or partnering with them to improve it wouldn't violate the GPL, you just be called by gnu.org as the evil force taking over Caldera's post in the GNU/Linux camp.

Anonymous: Really? Don't you know that a lot of recently movies were made in the Linux by use Maya, Maya plugin written in Python and etc on the SGI machines? StarWar II was made by Linux, which I have Linux Journal.

Most of these movies that are starting to use Linux use it in their renderfarms, or rarely use them as their workstations. However, these workstations DO NOT use NVidia's consumer graphics cards, trust me.

Rob: just as it is not Microsoft's responsibility to write drivers for every piece of hardware known to humanity (which they certainly don't)

Microsoft is a totally different case. They have like almost 97% of the market, it would be stupid for Asus to create drivers to 1.x% of the market when the cost is much more higher than making for Windows.

Eugenia: nVidia drivers Red Hat's/nVidia's fault?
by Rob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:22 UTC

A friend of mine has a Compaq printer. It's one of those USB-only all-in-one jobs with built-in copier and scanner. It came bundled with a Compaq machine running Windows 98SE.

The printer is not supported in WindowsXP Professional. It's not really a "Compaq" printer at all. It's actually a slightly modified Lexmark printer with Compaq's name stamped on it (much the same way Compaq stamps their name on Logitech mice, much the same way your Asus video card is just a slightly modified nVidia reference card). The same Lexmark cartridges I use in my Lexmark Z22 will work (after removing a little plastic tab that serves no purpose anyway) in the "Compaq" printer.

Now, Microsoft doesn't provide a driver for this printer. I have a Lexmark Z22 that XP Pro and Red Hat (as well as Mandrake and ELX, though SuSE hates it) both recognize and configure perfectly. I can choose to use Lexmark official drivers in either OS, but there's no need. My friend's "Compaq" printer, however, is another story.

You have a video card made by Asus BASED ON an nVidia reference design. My friend has a Compaq printer BASED ON a Lexmark design. I was actually able to get the printer to work, in a very broken and limited way, under Mandrake using a Lexmark driver and CUPS. With XP Pro it's a paperweight, period.

Following your previous logic, the failure of my friend's Compaq printer to work under XP Pro is in fact Microsoft's and Lexmark's fault, and not the fault of Compaq?

Asus licenses the right to build a card based on nVidia reference designs. Poor Linux results are the fault of Red Hat (OS) and nVidia (hardware designer, not marketer/manufacturer), not Asus (who actually created and supports the card).

Compaq licenses the right to build a printer based on Lexmark designs. Poor XP Pro results are fault of Microsoft (OS) and Lexmark (hardware designer, not marketer/manufacturer), not Compaq (who actually created and supports the printer).

That's certainly an interesting way to look at it ... great for Compaq and Asus, I suppose, as it neatly absolves them of any obligation to satisfy the needs of their customers.

Anyway, I'll tell my friend to fire off an angry e-mail to Lexmark and Microsoft to see about getting his Compaq printer supported in XP Pro ...

I am honestly not trying to troll or be argumentative just for argument's sake! Too often people mistake well-intended, polite disagreement for irrational hostility, and that's really not my intent. I just don't honestly see how Red Hat and nVidia can be blamed for a lack of stability of your Asus video card any more than Microsoft and Lexmark can be blamed for my friend's total inability to use his COMPAQ printer under XP PRO.

v RE: Eugenia (RE: Wow!)
by ////k on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:23 UTC

> Red Hat and nVidia can be blamed for a lack of stability of your Asus video card

Excuse me, but you have misanderstood and you write stories here that are not relevant at all.
The instability I experience is NOT that of Asus video card's, it is the bloody's driver. The driver has the bugs, NOT the card. How do I know this? Because the generic XFree "nv" driver works PERFECTLY (as long as you don't push it at high refresh rate, which is just a sign that the driver was never tested with high end monitors), while the nvidia driver crashes all the time. And don't forget that I have QNX and BeOS on this very machine. Both work PERFECTLY on 1920x1200 at 90 Hz! It is just that both drivers on Linux have (different) problems, it is not the card. The card is just fine, thank you.

v RE: Eugenia (RE: Wow!)
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:31 UTC
Eugenia....
by rajan r on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:31 UTC

In a recent article at LinuxPlanet (http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/4460/1/), mentioned:

"Still, Red Hat's share remains "miniscule" compared to Microsoft's, Troan admitted. The 8.0 edition "won't be for your typical Microsoft Office/AOL user." Red Hat does hope to gain more ground, though, among technical users and other "single users" from both the Unix and Windows sides of the fence. "Single users" of 8.0 might range all the way from call center managers and Lotus Notes administrators to Wall Street analysts and photo editors, he illustrated. "Linux has some really cool photo editing apps.""

So from Troan's mouth himself, he isn't after the SGI market (that would be stupid for a company that size) or Microsoft. The last I checked, call centers DON'T use monitors that big and with that high resolutions.

Red Hat is smart. They have already identified their target markets, which is profitable enough, yet realistic. They aren't going head on with SGI (stupid) or Microsoft (double stupid).

So in the end, you are better off reviewing this distribution on machines made for its target market. And I don't think the hardware you used is fair for Red Hat, especially the monitor.

On the other hand, not supporting whell mouses is a bad thing :-(. But then again, like any other RH release, x.0 isn't always ready....

Your review is nice, but the part about X and the monitors highlighted a problem with XFree, Nvidia and Red Hat in general, but wouldn't cause Red Hat much in terms of user acceptence (people with that kind of monitors wouldn't be thinking if they used Linux :-). I agree with you on the menus argument though.

A couple of points
by Bob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:33 UTC

About the UI suggestions, I read them, and there was one suggestion that I liked: adding spacing between the redhat icon and mozilla. I filed a bugreport, and they changed it apparently. For a couple of reasons I didn't like lowering size of the fonts, the z-snake, the right-aligning of a couple of labels, or the url like button.
UI design is something different than Graphics design, please keep this in mind :-) When you have to choose between graphics design and UI design, you should always go for the latter. I did also a bugzilla on the fact that all those settings menu are confusing. Sadly, they didn't change it.. Maybe it was a bit too late.

First off, you have a rare monitor. You're the only one I know that has that kind of monitor, run it at such high resolutions with such a high refresh rate. You also have a pretty good eyesight, if you can see an extra pixel from a mile away :-) These are two things that are different from Average Joe typing a text, checking their mail and surfing the web for professional reasons. You really should take this into account while reviewing this.
Thus, you can see that lowering the size of the fonts will hurt usability alot. It will only work on a very expensive monitor, with a person who has a perfect eyesight. That is asking for way too much targeted at a *part* of the corporate desktop market.
It also lowers the importance of using nvidia drivers in high end solutions. Face it, your monitor, desired resolution and refresh rate is high end. Red Hat here is targeting for the low end part of the corporate desktop. It's not for you, it's not for power desktop users.

Note that Red Hat always said it isn't a drop in replacement for Windows, but that it will work for the basic needs most people need in a corporate desktop. They never said that it was targeted to 3D artists. In this market you also don't need video, flash or real video. (although it's always possible they include it in the commercial version).

Fans may be saying that "Red Hat null" is the windows killer. Guess what, any fan says that about their OS (except windows fans) :-) (ie look at the Beos-Palm comment).
Listen to Red Hat. They clearly said it *isn't* a windows killer, and isn't meant to be. Accepting that, you quickly see that they certainly do have a chance in the market they are targeting. I hope at the very least that you would admit that Red Hat has improved alot on it's last distro on the end-user aspect.

Anyway some other points in your review that deserve ellaboration. (based on a Null desktop with up2dated)
When you click on an RPM, it will handle dependencies automatically. That is, as far as the required rpms are on the cd. Dependencies on third party not-included rpms are not handled automatically.

Set up your printers in Applications - System Settings - Printing. I don't know why you want a list of sound cards, it's automatically detected.. If it isn't, it's a bug. To give a list is just a crappy hack to a failing hardware detection. Your online radio playlist works with mp3, maybe that's why it doesn't work with xmms.

Anyway, judging from the betas, I must say that Red Hat 8 is pretty much the best distribution for my needs I ever saw. It's the only distribution where I had to change the default settings so little. It just looks beautifull, and it has it's own personality.
Ow, wait. It sucks! Don't waste your bandwidth on it by downloading it! It's shitty! (I want to download it today at 700K/sec, not 7K/sec :-))

RE: A couple of points
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 07:38 UTC

>I filed a bugreport, and they changed it apparently

They didn't. I did the spacing by myself immediately after I installed it. ;)

>You're the only one I know that has that kind of monitor, run it at such high resolutions with such a high refresh rate

It is a Trinitron monitor. SONY and EIZO alone sell 3-4 different models each with monitors that supports such resolutions.

*sigh*
by Rob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:04 UTC

Eugenia: "Excuse me, but you have misanderstood and you write stories here that are not relevant at all.
The instability I experience is NOT that of Asus video card's, it is the bloody's driver. The driver has the bugs, NOT the card."

That is my entire point, summed up perfectly. nVidia does not -- does NOT -- market graphics cards to end-users. You did not buy an nVidia graphics card, you bought an ASUS graphics card, yet you are not using official Asus drivers. You are using unsupported, generic drivers NOT made by the company that made your card.

ASUS made the card, Asus should provide drivers for the card. I have a VisionTek card. If I use the reference drivers and they have problems or are somehow incomplete, I blame myself for not using the officially supported drivers for my card. If VisionTek does not PROVIDE officially supported drivers (such as Linux drivers) for my card and I am FORCED to use the reference drivers, that is VisionTek's fault, NOT nVidia's. In that case, I am grateful that the nVidia drivers exist at all, even if they aren't perfect since they're better than nothing, which is exactly what the company that is SUPPOSED to be supporting me gives me: nothing.

nVidia is under no obligation to release their reference drivers to the general public at all. Like I said, they simply don't market to end-users, they market to OEMS. The reference drivers are just there. If they work they work, if they don't they don't. It's not nVidia's responsibility one way or another. It's that simple: you didn't buy your card FROM nVidia, you bought it from Asus. How can you expect nVidia to support it? It's simply not their job.

I drew a direct correlation between your Asus card and my friend's Compaq printer and not only did you ignore it, you said it was irrelevant. It was a literal direct correlation and equally literal extension of your own logic.

1) Asus makes card based on nVidia design. It doesn't work right so this is nVidia's fault, not Asus'.
2) Compaq makes printer based on Lexmark design. It doesn't work right, so this is Lexmark's fault, not Compaq's.

That simply does not make sense to me. It shifts the blame from the company who is SUPPOSED to support the product to a company who is NOT supposed to support it just because the company who is supposed to support it does not do so.

Just because I disagree with you, it doesn't make me irrelevant. To save you the bother of moderating down any future "irrelevant" comments on this thread, I simply won't make anymore. Like I said in a previous post, it really wasn't my intent to troll. My apologies to anyone who feels that's what I was doing.

RE: *sigh*
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:07 UTC

I have already replied here for your argument that Asus should provide the drivers (which is valid of course, it just doesn't solve the problem in the situation of linux):
http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=1842&offset=60&rows=75#41...

RE: *sigh*
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:11 UTC

BTW, I don't understand why you are afraid of moderating you down or that I might think you are trolling. You are not. We are having a perfectly nice and productive discussion. ;)

Thanks for not calling me a dumbass ...
by Rob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:19 UTC

... even though maybe you should have.

Would it help if I mentioned I have an eye infection? I apparently missed your post with my one good eye ...

On a side note ...
For everyone who likes the Bluecurve theme but isn't necessarily crazy about Red Hat, it's available for Gentoo (it might still be masked, I'm not sure) and Mandrake 9.0 (check http://www.pclinuxonline.com and click on TexStar's RPMS).

That's right ... BlueCurve for Gentoo and Mandrake ... fool your family, impress your friends ... Proof that beauty (and "radical" UI changes) is only skin deep ...

Eugenia
by Another matthew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:20 UTC

I have a question of utmost urgency. Does Redhat 8 have the "noseguy" screensaver?

Thank you.

ps. Excellent review. The nvidia problems are not the users'.

Monitor
by Bob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:20 UTC


It is a Trinitron monitor. SONY and EIZO alone sell 3-4 different models each with monitors that supports such resolutions.


You misunderstand. It isn't about wether or not multiple companies sell the product. There are, I know. It's about how many people in the low end corporate desktop have such a high-end monitor.

From the sony website.
PREMIERPRO™ Series 24” FD Trinitron® CRT
GDM-FW900
This wide-screen display meets the exacting demands of graphic artists, CAD/CAM engineers, animators and professional users who require extraordinarily accurate colors and crystal-clear images.


Red Hat 8 isn't targeting graphic artists, CAD/CAM engineers, animators or professional users who require extraordinarily accurate colors and chrystal clear images.

RE: Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:24 UTC

> Does Redhat 8 have the "noseguy" screensaver?

Nope, it does not show up in the screensaver list. Is it a good one?

Re: Eugenia
by Another matthew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 08:30 UTC

< Nope, it does not show up in the screensaver list.
< Is it a good one?

Well, lets just say it'll be something to look forward to in Mandrake 9 ;)

v Proofreading
by Bob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:09 UTC
Gaming support
by y2kprawn on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:15 UTC

I have been an avid windows user for years and I am looking to change, this looks quite interesting as an OS and I have used previous version and loved them, ive always needed a dual boot machine though as I also play games. To make this a viable desktop option you require full games support and have to encourage game vendors to sell games that work on both versions. Also I hope there is full DVD support on this release.
Anyhows, here is somthing for the linux community, placing it as a gaming option,
any thoughts ?

RE: Gaming support
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:17 UTC

> To make this a viable desktop option you require full games support

There are about 20 2D puzzle games included, plus 2 3D ones. You could install more I guess...

> Also I hope there is full DVD support on this release.

No, there is none, by default.

The crucial importance of usability criticism.
by Quag7 on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:25 UTC

It has always been a difficult thing for me personally to criticize Linux distributions. People, I suppose, use Linux for all sorts of purposes, and enjoy the freedom for different reasons. Developers, no doubt, like the fact that they have access to, and can modify, the source code.

I like the power of the command line, and the free-as-in-beer aspect of it. As I pay nothing for it, I really restrain myself from being overly critical because I am really not contributing anything at all other than reporting bugs. I imagine many other people are in this boat as well.

Deep down, I want Linux to succeed and become a serious competitor to Windows because while most people use computers, most don't use them in a truly empowering, efficient manner. I think there's a lot in Linux that can make people far more efficient (One thing off of the top of my head is the control of focus, which really enables me to move around faster by turning off the "click to focus" convention).

Because I really love Linux and want it to succeed, it's painful to point out its weaknesses, but they really are legion. In fact, I'd say that overall the Linux desktop has far more problems than Windows, but that for me, the problems are less egregious, so I put up with them. (This is just my opinion).

I think it is a great thing that there are reviews like this that are critical of usability issues. There's amazing psychology at work - and you can sense the bitterness - from the people on Usenet and other forums who, in response to these criticisms, make comments along the lines of, "Something must be wrong with you because it works fine with me," or the incredibly destructive and self-indulgent, "You're obviously too stupid to use Linux, go back to your Windows." This does amazing damage - I know, I've heard it first hand from people who are not familiar with Linux, want to try it, but are put off by the community of Linux users because they read this kind of thing (This is not the norm; most Linux users are alright people, but some of these angry retorts really stick out and are memorable. It's like in real life, the vast majority of people you pass on the street do not spontaneously burst into flame, and you won't remember any of their faces - but you will remember the face of the one guy who does).

The kinds of complaints raised in reviews surrounding usability, especially such basic issues as video drivers not working properly, are very important, if we agree that we want more people using Linux (If we don't, I guess it doesn't). For months I had complete system lockups with my NVidia drivers on a Visiontek GEForce 2 MX (solved later by the NoRenderAccel line in XF86Config). This kind of thing shouldn't happen. It simply shouldn't. Yes, I fixed it, and so have other people who have had this problem, but what a drag. Who is at fault (I blame NVidia, personally) is way less important than fixing the problem so it doesn't make some new user, trying to run a common and popular video card say, "Stable OS, eh? Yeah right."

Usability is key. Bad usability issues are what has given the Linux desktop a perpetual "unfinished beta" feel (compared, at least, to Windows). The thing is, these problems *are* surmountable, but the first thing to do is admit the weaknesses and prioritize addressing them over defending the "honor of Linux and its developers". Or whatever the motivation is. Criticism should be constructive and civil, but it needs to exist.

I find reviews like this far more helpful than, "This release is one more indication of JUST HOW COOL WE ALL ARE."

Usability is key everywhere. Websites, desktops. Pick your interface.

"About KDE"
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:36 UTC

This is the first time that I'm seeing someone calling an "About" dialog as propaganda. :-( And why is it intrusive? Who forces you to call it? What requires you to click it away? Just to have an impression about your value system, how do you call the required registration to be able to update your system/fix security leaks? This is not intrusive and doesn't put you into a rage?

Few notes
by me on Mon 30th Sep 2002 09:50 UTC

About GTF (Generalized Timing Formula): It is not proprietary. Au Contrair - it is VESA standard. You can purchase the standard from VESA, download implementation in spreadsheet[1] from ftp.vesa.org for free, or find one of bazilion free implementation of GTF from the net. It is just simple formula. The default modelines in XFree conform to GTF. If you want to make custom modelines, you should use one of these programs, because monitor vendors use GTF standard for their products. Yes, lot of programs for Linux ignore GTF, as well as Modeline-HOWTO ignores GTF, but it isn't fault of XFree or it's drivers, but it is fault of those programs or docs.

About NVidia drivers: don't expect opensourcing anytime soon. Lot of 3D work is done in software, not in hardware, althrough lot of people believe otherwise. This is where "25% improvements" come from. Hovewer, this applies to other vendors too.

[1] - OK, it is Excel 4.0 file, but you can use OO to open it.

.pls
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 10:57 UTC

XMMS not playing eurodance is probably there as a feature, not a bug. ;)

RH 8.0 Sucks !!!
by N0Nch0 on Mon 30th Sep 2002 11:18 UTC

RH 8.0 Sucks too much like one windbloze e(X)treame
(P)roblems.
KDE works fine on other distros but not in RH well.It was always so messy why i;m not surprise right now it is the same thing like before :-(.
Sorry Boys but you just add new stuff and don;t clean the mess!!!!!

NVIDIA, Linux and Stability
by Peter on Mon 30th Sep 2002 11:34 UTC

Well now, it seems like Eugenia has an issue with a cheesy ol' GF2 MX card that she's "pushing hard."

Any 2D work doesn't exercise either the card or the driver. I have a Creative Labs Ti4200 and I'm using the latest NVIDIA driver for Linux. My idea of exercising both card and driver is to run up Unreal Tournament 2003 and whack the res up to 1280x1024, turn everything up to maximum, and go fragging at 32 bits per pixel for an hour or two. Or three. Or four :-)

Rock. Bloody. Solid.

I've been an NVIDIA user since my very first 16MB TNT, through TNT2, GF2MX, and now GF4. I'm no fanboy - the Radeon 9700 has me drooling - but I just don't see these issues, and neither does anyone else I know who runs Linux. I would suggest that you sort out your XFree86 configuration, or your BIOS configuration, or whatever it is that's breaking, because I'm damn sure it ain't the drivers.

However. The point, made elsewhere, stands about who gets to support you if the drivers hork up. Creative Labs are quite clear - if you run Detonator drivers from NVIDIA's site on Windows, you're on your own. Do not call them with a support issue until you have removed those drivers and installed the ones shipped with the card. The Linux situation is no different.

So much from the open-source software reviewer.
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 12:27 UTC

> Red Hat comes with DRI 3D drivers for Voodoos, i810, Matrox,Radeon and SiS. There is no 3D support by default for nVidia cards though. I was a bit unhappy about this a few days ago, but now I am over it. I mean, at the end of the day, this is a business desktop and as such it does not really need 3D, right? Well, not exactly. Think the... poor ex-SGI animators trying to port and work with Blender and other GL-enabled animation packages on a PC with Red Hat, or game developers. Developers are employees too and this a business desktop, right?

Huh! Shame that a lot of Open-source software reviewers are so _ignorant_ they don't even know that the nvidia driver is a _closed-source_ binary only driver. Do yourself a favour, buy a video card that has an Open source driver around.

Half of LKML bug reports are centered around Nvidia binary only drivers, that should explain something.

See ya.
Hari.

Enough about the NVidia cards!
by Mack Bolan on Mon 30th Sep 2002 12:29 UTC

I rethought my position and read all 105 comments; you're right that the user should come first. But I still believe opensource drivers should be the standard, and that's where NVidia (and ATI too, in my experience) fall short.

This seems to be a bug in the driver (arbitrary chip timing limit of 300); RedHat doesn't make it and they can't fix it. Blame=NVidia.

For the record: Eugenia is the hottest chick around who's reviewing Linux distros, and I *slap!* [husband knocks me out...]

Didn't want to come off like a zealout; The closed-source driver thing has been the bane of my existence because of ATI -- a tremendous PITA to get my DivX movies playing on a TV.

Leaning out...
by Solar on Mon 30th Sep 2002 12:47 UTC

Well, I'll lean out of the window *far* on this one. You might want to consider it flamebait.

Re: y2kprawn:

Linux will never become a viable *gaming* option because far too many Linux users don't like the idea of *paying* for software. That's what pushed Loki out of business and makes Hyperion generate more income on game ports to AmigaOS (sic!) than to Linux...

Re: Driver Issues

Ain't it stupid that a new release of an OS, which does not bring any fundamentally new (like XFree 3 -> 4), requires updates to drivers? I smell a fundamental flaw of concept here. Perhaps {shameless plug} supporting the fixed, platform-independant driver infrastructure of the UDI project would be a solution... but wait, that would "encourage non-open drivers", as RMS claims... but then, better non-open drivers that *work* than non-open drivers that *don't* work, huh?

{ducks and runs}

about the kde font setting
by younker on Mon 30th Sep 2002 12:54 UTC

I am a chinese, but I don't like xft used in RH8, so I put my fonts and add the path to XF86config, then I set GDK_USE_XFT="0" to disable xft used in GNOME2, that looks good, but when I want to set the kde's font, I can't find the font I set in XF86config file, the kcontrol can only find the font which list in the xft config file.

how can I make kde to use the font not in xft.

thanks.

You'll never...
by Solar on Mon 30th Sep 2002 12:56 UTC

> Do yourself a favour, buy a video card that has
> an Open source driver around.

With an attitude like that, you will never win Windows users over. Joe Average is pretty busy already ripping his system apart software wise. Now you ask him to rip it open *physically* too, because his hardware is not "in tune" with the oh so better "free" world?

:-(

Full of errors and opinon masquerading as fact, as usual but:
by atypical on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:02 UTC

RedHat don't supply the NVidia driver not for licensing reasons, but because they don't (can't) support things they don't have the source code for. Licensing issues are why NTFS support isn't enabled in the kernel (it is uncertain if any Microsoft patents are being infringed) and Xine is missing. RedHat is a high profile organisation and they can't afford to stray into the sort of legal grey areas smaller distros can.

Oh and why was "////k" moderated down?

Good review - stick with RH7.3 ?
by matthew on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:26 UTC

Refreshing to see a review which concentrates on the real issues of a Desktop OS, based on this review I can see that Mandrake 9.0 is possibly the best way for me to go.

I find it odd that the multimedia aspect is so lacking ?
RH 7.3 included Xine and a host of other multimedia players/viewers - I agree with your stance in the article, as I work in the multimedia/web development field.

Alas, I only run Linux at home for watching DVD's, surfing the net and at work for all server tasks (without a deskop) - the rest of the important business Desktop stuff is still done under windows.

Even if RedHat did manage to achieve a 'windows killer' objective from a Desktop use-ability perspective, we would still be left without the kind of quality applications available for MacOS and Windows.

It would be fine for your average Desktop user who requires little more than a Word Processor, email and Web Browser, but for those of us in the Multimedia and Web Development field - it's a not an option.

A bit of a catch22

sorry, nvidia drivers
by TLy on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:33 UTC

Since when was nvidia drivers a closed source binary? When I was toying with SuSE and Mandrake, I never had a binary driver to plunk into my system. Had to build it from source each time.

TLy
by atypical on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:38 UTC

Had to build it from source each time.

What you were actually doing was building a small piece of wrapper code when married the NVidia binary to your running kernel.

The crucial importance of usability criticism.
by darren on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:47 UTC

This post is a work of art. If you have not read the post with the title "The crucial importance of usability criticism" written by quag7, go back and read it. It is probably post #99.

...
by rajan r on Mon 30th Sep 2002 13:51 UTC

Anonymous: This is the first time that I'm seeing someone calling an "About" dialog as propaganda.

When you use Mac OS X, you are using, say Mail.app, and when you click the Help menu on the top of your screen, do you see "About Mac OS X" or "About Apple"? No. The same case with all bundled Mac apps, including chess.app.

On Windows, when you open IE, and click on the "Help" menu, do you see "About Windows" or "About Microsoft"? No. The same goes for every other middleware 9 stupid states are trying to remove.

Conclusion: It reflects your professionalism. Red Hat doesn't want the newbie to know the difference between GNOME and KDE, and that's why on a default installation, no choice between the two desktops are given.

I don't see GNOME developers bitching about the removal of About GNOME menu entries.....

Anonymous: Huh! Shame that a lot of Open-source software reviewers are so _ignorant_ they don't even know that the nvidia driver is a _closed-source_ binary only driver. Do yourself a favour, buy a video card that has an Open source driver around.

Have you even bothered to READ Eugenia's posts? Firstly, her card is one of the most used 3D card, nobody, I repeat, NOBODY is gonna go out and buy new hardware to experiment with Linux.

Secondly, all consumer 3D card makers I know DON'T HAVE OPEN SOURCE DRIVERS. While ATI does release the specs for its hardware, NVidia doesn't, but that doesn't really matter to the consumer cause in my experience, having closed source drivers is MUCH better than buggy open source ones.

Thirdly, Red Hat is big enough to make deals with NVidia and make their own drivers, albeit it would be closed source.

Solar: That's what pushed Loki out of business and makes Hyperion generate more income on game ports to AmigaOS (sic!) than to Linux...

Surface months after Loki dismissal is employees telling how corrupted the owner was. The guy lost all his friends because it was greedy enough to pay his wife and not his engineers, causing the death of Loki.

A lot of people pay for software on Linux - when Loki announce it was filling for bankruptcy protection, you couldn't find any more packs of their ported games...

Besides, I wonder why Transgaming is doing so well for a startup its age....

Solar: Ain't it stupid that a new release of an OS, which does not bring any fundamentally new (like XFree 3 -> 4), requires updates to drivers?

What? You talking out of your ass? Xfree86 4.x was very fundamentally different from XFree86 3.x, technically of course.

atypical: RedHat don't supply the NVidia driver not for licensing reasons, but because they don't (can't) support things they don't have the source code for.

Like Eugenia said, Red Hat is big enough a company to license the source code and specs of the graphics cards than any other distribution.

matthew: Alas, I only run Linux at home for watching DVD's[...]

How?

A Comparative Review would be useful
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:00 UTC

Three leading distributions have just released new versions at about the same time, with similar features (gcc 3.2, Gnome 2, KDE 3 etc). These distributions are Red Hat 8.0, Mandrake 9.0, and Suse 8.1.

As other readers have pointed out, it would be useful to have a comparative review of these distributions. How have they addressed the problems of installation, user experience, features, consistency, and configuration? Which features "just work", which ones require knowledge on the part of the user?

The review of Red Hat 8.0 is excellent at answering these questions, measuring the distribution's performance against a standard of perfection. I would like to know how these three distributions compare with each other - for example, would a dedicated KDE user prefer Mandrake or SuSE to Red Hat? Which distribution makes it easiest to use fonts, etc.

What do you mean by this? What errors? What opinion masquerading as fact? How easy it is to make statements like that and not back them up. And, if you cannot discern why ///k was moderated down, you had better go back to school and learn how to read.

Re: Rajan
by Solar on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:18 UTC

>> Ain't it stupid that a new release of an OS,
>> which does not bring any fundamentally new
>> (like XFree 3 -> 4), requires updates to drivers?

> What? You talking out of your ass?

Now, now. No reason to get personal when the problem is with you misunderstanding what I said.

> Xfree86 4.x was very fundamentally different from
> XFree86 3.x, technically of course.

Exactly, and thus I would understand / understood that you had to change your drivers to match those changes in XFree 3.x->4.x.

But RH 8.0 does not introduce such fundamental changes, yet still it looks like it is required to patch the existing drivers to work flawlessly. That's what I meant with "fundamental flaw of concept": Obviously the driver concept is not downwards compatible even with minor revisions. Bad Thing (tm).

NVidia Driver's
by Craig on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:27 UTC

I had trouble with NVidia's drivers on SuSE with my PC - in the end, I found that they were fine if you disable APM in your boot options??? Buggered if I know why though...

KDE
by Bob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:27 UTC

You can find the take of a user on RedHat versus KDE here:
http://www.cyber.com.au/users/mikem/redhat8kde.html

It might help to clear some of the FUD spreading about Red Hat crippling KDE.

Rating vs. Ranting
by Concerned Netizen on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:33 UTC

Your overall rating seems fair (7.9) based on my experiences with Red Hat. However, your article is not. You focus way too much on the negative, and give hardly any weight to the positive.

I too have had difficulties with certain hardware on various distributions. However, I don't blame unpaid volunteers (XFree) for my problems. I applaud them for the work they have done and the effort they have put in. They get no compensation. To rant on and on about something that doesn't work (and is a very NON standard set-up...how many people have >$2,000 monitors) is childish and unfair. You say you aren't a driver programmer, and neigher am I, but did you even so much as file a bug report?

In short, you give Red Hat a 7.9 rating but the tone of your article is about a 4 or a 5. The two don't jive.

Nvidia drivers
by Matteo on Mon 30th Sep 2002 14:33 UTC

Sorry, just to point something out...
I've tried the nvidia drivers and they work well.
Compile the NVidia kernel, install the glx libs,
change the "nv" line in XF86Config to "nvidia" or "geoforce" (depends on what you got) and remember to use it with a kernel with NO SUPPORT for agpgart, framebuffer or dri (these mess with nvidia code - or it's the reverse thing? ;-P ).
Remember also to set the __GL_FSAA_MODE environment variable to 3 (for antialiasing of 1,5x1,5 pixel) or 4 (for 2x2)

Re: Rating vs. Ranting
by Uberto Barbini on Mon 30th Sep 2002 15:30 UTC

I too have had difficulties with certain hardware on various distributions. However, I don't blame unpaid volunteers (XFree) for my problems.
This is exactly what Linux Distros are for: get my good money and use them to help OS projects they are including!
The "Will Linux ever go to desktop?" days are passed over. Now the question is: "Your is your distribution good enough?" and the competitors are raising the bar day after day.

RE: Rating vs. Ranting
by Bob on Mon 30th Sep 2002 15:35 UTC

I agree. The negative should be mentioned, but so should the positive. The latter is equally important, if not more important.

RE: Rating vs. Ranting
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 15:38 UTC

> However, I don't blame unpaid volunteers (XFree) for my problems.

When I review, I take the position of the user: My mother, brother, friends, online friends...
And I can tell you, none of them care if the organization who does the graphics stuff on linux is a company, or unpaid volunteers. These users expect the thing to work with the first effort. Otherwise, they just go back to Windows.
I hope you understand my mindset when I review things.

120 messages later...
by Cesar Cardoso on Mon 30th Sep 2002 15:53 UTC

...
Why? I am talking about the Redhat's Gnome menu panel.

Are we talking about the same thing? RedHat isn't using Gnome menu panel (those who sits in the top of the screen, that segregates Applications from Actions) by default - I personally think it's a pity, i HATE Start-menuisms, it's counter-productive to click "Start" to shutdown your computer ;)

I didn't see any gui app called "swat".

http://localhost:901

(I really don't understand why RH doesn't use Web-based tools like Webmin and SWAT by default.)

Got the facts wrong about mp3..
by Gregory Maxwell on Mon 30th Sep 2002 15:56 UTC

You're not an outlaw for downloading an mp3 player, RedHat just can't include it on the CDs they sell.. nothing wrong with downloading it. As a RedHat shareholder, I would be pretty mad if they paied $60k for the privlege of including a mp3 player which could simply be downloaded by the user (or as part of an automated process), that money could be better spent buying an additonal developer for another year.. Or better yet: donated to Xiph.org to further Vorbis development. ;)

Why bother with RedHat.....
by runmad on Mon 30th Sep 2002 16:14 UTC

When you have SuSE 8.1 comming up soon? A much better distro than you Americans can come up with? ;-)

Open Office font support
by Tim Wright on Mon 30th Sep 2002 16:33 UTC

Open Office does in fact support TrueType fonts, but it doesn't simply find and use the fonts even if you have the in your font path/setup in your font server.

You need to su to root, and run
<path to OOo installation>/spadmin
then add all your TrueType fonts. It found mine (/usr/share/fonts/default/TrueType), but if it doesn't, then supply the path to the fonts. Exit and now when you run Open Office as a normal user, the fonts will be available.

This is grotesque and ugly, and I hope that it gets fixed in the near future, but once you've done this, it does work.

Tim

Negativity, SuSE
by Jay on Mon 30th Sep 2002 16:37 UTC

The review has plenty of positive remarks in it. The negatives always tend to stand out more. And, by their very nature (things that should be fixed or changed, in the auther's opinion), these remarks (in any review) take up more verbage because the author has to say what they think is wrong, why and how to fix it.

runmad, I am anxiously awaiting my copy of SuSE 8.1 to come next month! Of the big distros, it is the one I've consistently used and I really think it's great. It sounds like Mandrake is continuing to improve as are the newbie distros. I have to admit though, I also can't wait for my copy of Redhat 8 to come - Linux is getting better everywhere you look!

XINE
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 16:58 UTC

You can read the RH8 package list:
http://www.redhat.com/software/linux/technical/packages.html (reload if the page does not come up due to heavy load).
As you can see, there is NO Xine! So, there is no real video player coming with RH8 (kaboodle is not installed by default and it is very limited anyway).

linux desktop
by AdamW on Mon 30th Sep 2002 17:05 UTC

Am I the only person who thinks Linux desktop is far better than Windows?

I run Mandrake Cooker on both my machines. The other PCs in our house run Windows, and using them feels *horrible*.

I mean, my typical usage - email, web browsing, music playing, instant messaging. Let's compare.

Email? On Windows, what do you get with a basic install of Windows XP? Outlook Express.

Uh...enough said.

On Mandrake? Evolution 1.0.8, an utterly fantastic email application. Or KMail, equally great. Or even Sylpheed, if you like. Or...

Web browsing? On a basic install of Windows XP, you get...Internet Explorer.

No cookie restrictions, no control over javascript, no pop-up blocking, no tabs, security nightmare...am I in the dark ages here?

With Mandrake? Mozilla 1.1, Galeon, Konqueror, all of which blow IE away. Especially Galeon, easily the best web browser ever written.

Music playing? On XP, you get...Windows Media Player. Now, around version 6.2, this was quite a nice compact little app. Since then, it's become a horribly bloated UI nightmare and a thinly disguised vehicle for mass advertising and DRM.

Ugh.

On Mandrake? You get XMMS, which isn't everyone's cup of tea I admit, but basically a clone of Winamp, which is the most used player for Windows, without the annoying claptrap you get along with it (thanks to AOL buying out Nullsoft). Also Noatun, and (sorta) rhythmbox, which is a bit alpha, but still interesting. Anyway - I have XMMS, which is perfect.

Instant messaging? On Windows XP, you get...Windows Messenger. Not only is it a) shite and b) only supporting its own network, trying to stop the bloody OS advertising it at you every two minutes is an exercise in frustration.

On Mandrake? I get gaim, which is smart, small, modular, fast, well-designed and supports just about every protocol under the sun. Or if you don't like that, everybuddy, gnomeicu or a bunch of other ones.

Other applications, too. For video playing there's Ogle, Mplayer, Xine (with Sinek or Totem or KXine), all of which are way superior to that bloody WMP. For IRC I have XChat, which I find far superior to mirc or any of the various Windows IRC clients I used to use. Newsreader, Pan is lovely. Maybe the only area where Windows is still a bit better is Office, but remember - that's NOT part of your default Windows install, it's a separate package which costs a fortune to law-abiding people. On Mandrake I get OpenOffice.org, for free.

Sure, not all this stuff is 100% UI consistent, but it's pretty close, and your average Windows box isn't, either. Most Microsoft products at least more or less look and feel the same (bar...that bloody WMP, again), but how many 3rd party applications just can't resist having their own "kewl!!!" icons, menu bars, cursors, whatever? It's a problem that affects Windows just as much as desktop Linux.

Basically...on my desktops, I use Linux not because i'm a fanboy or a geek or have a burning desire to be ideologically correct (although all those are cool bonuses), but because it's one hell of a lot stabler and one hell of a lot just plain *better* than Windows. There, someone said it...

NVidia driver license
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 17:08 UTC

An opensource company licensing proprietary drivers for distribution is not only a conflict of interest but a waste of money. The current licensing terms for the NVidia drivers only allow the driver to be distributed unchanged. Which of course wouldn't work for redhat as they would need to modify how it's packages for their specific installation. This is why the only Linux distributions that automate the installation of NVidia drivers or make it simpler do a special download install.

SuSE is the only distribution I've seen so far that will download and install the RPM's for the NVidia drivers. But, even then I had configuration issues with X and the automatic setup of the NVidia drivers. So far I have yet to see any distribution get it right. As far as stability with the NVidia drivers under (null) I've had zero issues on my system at home, at 1600x1200@75hz, as far as the lack of a video configuration gui they have one in the control panel, I admit it was a bit hard to find, but once I did, I was able to select my video card and monitor from there as well as setup custom refrash rates, etc. Personally, I feel as if the great performance enhancements and other features far outweigh any negatives you've brought up for a normal Linux user, a windows desktop user is a whole different story, and not something I care about...

Your criticism of it as a "business desktop" is irrelevant since RedHat's CEO in a recent interview said they in no way have aimed it at the desktop at all specifically. They have made changes that are steps in that direction, but they have emphatically stated that it is not yet a "windows killer".

Is this an AMD system?
by Alan Wild on Mon 30th Sep 2002 17:08 UTC

If this is an AMD system, your AGP "problems" may actually be due to some kernel "optimizations" that are not necessary on AMD processors.

If it's an AMD go into your grub.conf (or lilo.conf as appopriate) and a mem=nopentium kernel parameter.

That solved my stability problems with using an NVidia Ti4200 on RH7.3.

-Alan

Sorry, but I think you are the one who is missing the point. In the Windows world, people even if they have Asus or other manufacturer's cards, they still pile up in queues to download the latest Detonator drivers from nvidia's own site.

Eugenia, it's still not RH's or NVIDIA's fault if the OEMs prefer laziness nowadays, e.g. simply copying NVIDIA's hardware reference design and throwing to the market instead of innovating.

People go download Detonator because nobody seems to get the reference drivers and customize it. Sad sad sad.

none
by Gumby on Mon 30th Sep 2002 17:36 UTC

good review

Pick a specific group and review for it...
by pato on Mon 30th Sep 2002 17:46 UTC

Will Red Hat be successful on their quest to infiltrate the business workstation/destkop market?

When I review, I take the position of the user: My mother, brother, friends, online friends...
And I can tell you, none of them care if the organization who does the graphics stuff on linux is a company, or unpaid volunteers. These users expect the thing to work with the first effort. Otherwise, they just go back to Windows.


IMO You really need to decide on who you're writing this review for and then focus in on that group's wants and desires. First you start off by talking about RH infiltrating the corp desktop segment, another you're talking about SGI animators and now in this comment you say you're reviewing from a user's point of view. These are two very different groups (business and personal) with very different needs which require two totally different reviews. You seem to mostly review more from the home user's point of view so we'll go from there.

I would also take exception to the monitor you used and how much ink you devoted to the problems you had associated with it. Sure it's a choice piece of hardware but exactly how many mom's and pop's out there have 24" monitors and how much space did you spend complaining that RH and your nVidia card didn't work together optimally? Its cool to mention the fact that you had a hard time setting the resolution and precise refresh rate that you wanted but you spent almost 1/2 a page talking about it. This to me is too much inch to spend speaking about a monitor which only the hardware elite have access too. I think the review would have been better served doing the review on a common 17" monitor.

Overall a good review (I esp like the UI criticisms) although its the most negative sounding 7.9 I've ever heard. ;-)

I still don't understand...
by Vince on Mon 30th Sep 2002 18:04 UTC

about 1/2 of the review didn't have anything to do with RH 8.0 - after page 2 Eugenia started a rant on the X server and nVidia drivers.

Windows XP requires you to download nVidia's drivers for 3D acceleration - especially to use OpenGL. So I don't see how that is such a bad thing.

Furthermore I don't understand why its expected that RH is supposed to Xfree's job for them and make a working X server.

It just seems like RH 8.0 isnt being judged on how good it is a distro but how good X Server 4.20 is.

RE: I still don't understand...
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 18:09 UTC

Red Hat sells a product that hans XFree in it. It is part of the experience. If you don't understand that, then you haven't understood anything.

SWAT
by [Lemmy] on Mon 30th Sep 2002 18:33 UTC

>>Isn't SWAT installed by default?
>I didn't see any gui app called "swat".

Sorry, but if you don't know what swat is, read the samba docs. or better, keep your hands off samba.

RE: SWAT
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 18:36 UTC

I never used Samba neither I forsee that I will use it. As I said earlier, I am not a sysadmin. I use FTP when I want to move files around my PCs in my home network (powered by FreeBSD), it works well.

A few rambling thoughts...
by fuzzyping on Mon 30th Sep 2002 19:03 UTC

Hi Eugenia:

As always, I appreciate your reviews, whether I agree with them or not. I'm not sure people realize how much time and effort goes into a full-fledged critique like yours. Well, now that I'm done giving you your props... ;)

A few thoughts.

1) I'm pleased at the number of thoughtful responses we've seen here today. The "fanboy" factor seems to have been kept at bay (for the most part).

2) I can't help but agree with the many folks who make the point that your video card's driver should be released and supported by the MAKER/OEM, not the source reference provider. Regardless of where most users get the driver from (I also get my source rpm from Nvidia's site for my GeForce 2MX, and have never had problems). Your responses have been defensive and lacking in substance. Just once, I think you should admit that you're wrong.

3) The ability to drop ttfonts into that dot directory is a wonderful surprise. I only wish (as you do) that this was publicized information. Even more so, it would be nice to see a gui tool integrated with this ability (unless it already is and I've missed something).

4) I agree with you with regards to the Samba GUI configuration tool. Yes, SWAT is OK... but it's not great. If Red Hat really wants to push this as a corporate desktop, they should really be motivated to create something with the functionality/ease-of-use of the tools provided by Corel/Xandros or Lycoris. Web based configuration tools still have a ways to go. Webmin is decent, but it's really just an http wrapper for text configuration files.

5) I'm glad to see you supporting RedHat's unification effort. Overall, I've been very pleased to hear the feedback from the Linux masses of RH's efforts here.

Keep up the good work. And for gosh sakes, realize that you're not always right (heresy!).

-fp

matthew gardey-dork
by rockwell on Mon 30th Sep 2002 19:11 UTC

//If they can't provide a driver for X, then they should simply close up shop, and give up producing video cards, because obviously they have no intention of serving customers. //

That is the _dumbest_ thing I've read on these boards in months.

Yah, a major vid card vendor should shutter, since they don't support X very well.

Gee, that lack of support would affect, what -- maybe .00094% of their customers? Do you realize the utter domination of Windows on the desktop? Do you have any _phreaking clue_ about R&D and logistics costs for supporting a candy-ass OS like Linux? You're lucky they have any drivers at all for Linux!

You're an _absolute_ moron if you hold this line.

It's out!
by Jay on Mon 30th Sep 2002 19:26 UTC

Just ordered Personal Edition 8.1!

>>Red Hat sells a product that hans XFree in it. It is part of the experience. If you don't understand that, then you haven't understood anything.<<

Eugenia, along those lines then - if Apache sucks people have to say oh wow Red Hat blows because it has Apache in it. However people do not do that - they say Apache blows.

If it was a problem that was specific only to RH 8.0 then fine hold them responsible but every distro that uses Xfree has this problem as far as I can tell - so why nail RH over it, why not nail Xfree instead, its their product.

> if Apache sucks people have to say oh wow Red Hat blows because it has Apache in it. However people do not do that - they say Apache blows.

A BIG mistake. If you downloaded Apache by yourself, then blame the Apache project. If you got it via a product that you bought, you blame the company who sold it to you. EVEN if it was Apache's fault. That's how it works in the consumer world. Don't try to think of it the "geek way". This is a product. You have to think of it as a consumer. NO MATTER if it is not really Red Hat's fault.

Drivers? Whose drivers?
by Chuck Hunnefield on Mon 30th Sep 2002 20:00 UTC

Cesar Wrote: People go download Detonator because nobody seems to get the reference drivers and customize it. Sad sad sad.


NO, that's not it either. People go download the latest Detonator for performance, software compatibility reasons, or in the case of Linux, to make the damn thing work in 3D! One of the biggest reasons for Nvidia's success is their taking an active part in driver development.

How soon we forget the days of 3Dfx. Diamond had their driver set, Canopus used theirs, Creative had theirs, Hercules... Don't get me started on Hercules! ;)

Early on, there was mass chaos in the Windows world when you wanted to run anything OpenGL or DirectX (instead of the 3Dfx standard - Glide), on a 3Dfx chipset. Doesn't anyone here remember the reasons why Nvidia kicked 3Dfx's butt? This was a BIG reason. 32-bit color that had the same performance and compatibility in OpenGL or DirectX. It wasn't until the last year or so of 3Dfx's life that they worked to iron out the differences and unify the driver set. Of course, maybe that was because after they stopped licensing the chips to OEMs they HAD to support them! Heh.

For a moment, forget the consumers - that's not the point: The games CREATORS out there know what to expect from Nvidia and they only have to worry about Nvidia's driver compatiblity - not ASUS, Gainward's, Leadtek, or any of the multitudes of Taiwanese OEMs that just happen to be using their chips. If these guys do an "add-in" feature like video capture or 3D glasses, then by all means, the OEM should take responsibility for them. But here's a case in point - and this involves ASUS.

I have a ASUS GeForce 256 card. This particular model has a 3D glasses port directly on the card. It's a fruity feature, but kind of fun for like, 15 minutes or so. Anyway, the only way these things appear to work (this is under Windows, btw), is by using the Asus driver... Which hasn't been updated since DirectX 6.1... Which was like, 3 years ago. But I look at it this way: just how long is a company like ASUS expected to provide said compatibility for specialty items like this?

I know this is long, but one more thing. At a time where ATI is kicking the crap out of Nvidia in both the OEM laptop market and performance sectors, is this a time for them that we should be hearing about ANY kind of instability under Linux? How long does a driverset need before it becomes stable? No, it is clearly their responsibility, after all, they DO have Linux drivers on their site. It's not like they tell you: "Not intended for use by Linux OS's." Shouldn't they... I dunno... WORK?! And again, not to miss an importnat point, who else CAN offer them, really? Ultimately, only Nvidia knows the codez. Thanks for the excellent review Eugenia.

-KikStart

When a chip or transistor in your television made by a chinese company burns out, you do not blame that chinese chip company, you blame SONY or Sharp or who ever sold you and put together your TV.

RH's only added value is to make sure that it all works well together. If it doesn't, you blame them. Even if the bugs are someone's else in reality. You have to learn a lot of how you should be "seeing" a "product" when reviewing things. No matter if outside of the review, I understand perfectly what you mean, because I am a power user too. But in real consumer life, that does not matter.

Where is the review of RH 8.0?
by Mike on Mon 30th Sep 2002 20:04 UTC

I've read this over, and I don't see a RH 8.0 review. I see a bunch of gripes on various X releated issues and the window managers - but you do know RedHat doesn't write those right?

Where is the mention of Apache 2.0? That's pretty major of 8.0. How about python version 2.2.1 finally by default? How well does mod_perl / mod_python / php work under Apache 2.0? Why did RedHat ship a version of OpenSSL known to be hackable and even has a CERT? When you choose a database option, does postgres or MySQL default? How does laptop support fair? Wireless lan suppot?

I guess if you just surf the web, and maybe write a word doc then this review is fine - but then if that's all you do why are you running a linux box?

Mike

One Major Problem with RedHat Employees
by Anonymous on Mon 30th Sep 2002 20:05 UTC

They critisize KDE, and make GNOME their default desktop when KDE is much easier to use.

Why do they do this?

Because long long ago, Qt was not completely Free.

<RedHatEmployee> Hey I have an idea, lets hurt our company and cause our share holders to lose money so we can show those KDE guys. Yea! That's the ticket!

Linux - a server OS only?
by Chuck Hunnefield on Mon 30th Sep 2002 20:18 UTC

Mike said: {I guess if you just surf the web, and maybe write a word doc then this review is fine - but then if that's all you do why are you running a linux box? }

Because Mike, Windows XP Pro is $199 more than I want to spend. I hate to inform you but the point of this version is a WORKSTATION release, every bit as a server one. Web and Email are the kinds of things people do at their workstations. Easily being able to get to these things (and use them) is important.

Eugenia's review focused on usability - there will be plenty of Linuxhead reviews on the services side - but you know, I was personally far more interested to hear about this because ultimately, this is where Linux needs the most work - integration and ease of use.

And you can't blame her. Go to Red Hat's site and see what THEY stress about their release. What you mentioned is secondary my friend. Right from their front page under, "More Info":

http://www.redhat.com/mktg/rhl8/

And then there's the "New Features" section:

http://www.redhat.com/software/linux/features/

It doesn't seem to me that Red Hat itself and focuses 8.0 on it's server merits. The truth is, we all KNOW Linux works well as a server. If I thought I could replace every Windows box here I'd do it tomorrow but there are still a few issues that prevent me from doing it - usability is the main one. I can use Terminal Services for the rest.

That said, it is really encouraging to see how far Linux has come in the last year alone!

GNOME rulez! Well.. Sorta... :)
by Chuck Hunnefield on Mon 30th Sep 2002 20:22 UTC

{They critisize KDE, and make GNOME their default desktop when KDE is much easier to use}

Yeah, I hate it when that happens. The deal here is, when you've bet the company on GPL-based software, do you want to take a chance of having the whole base of the GUI pulled out from under you? Don't forget about M$'s stake in all of this.

I hate the whole GNOME / KDE war thing, but there's no easy answers here.

Jane User here.

As someone who is hoping to install a *nix on a PC at home, I thought this was a very well written and insightful article.

I use real player, quick time, and MP3s on a fairly regular basis, and to find out that software for these is not installed is a major bummer. Everything I read makes software installs on any kind of *nix except OS X sound very scary and fraught with pitfalls. Until I hear "no, you just double click on the installer and application unzips itself into your programs/applications folder, parks a short cut in your "start" menu and asks if you'd like an additional shortcut on the desktop, and you're ready to click and go" I'm not touching it. Linux is not going to gain a real foothold on the desktop until it is at least as polished and consistent as W98 (and we all know W98 really really needs a good round of brasso.)

Then there's the whole thing about the problems with the mouse and not being able to set a monitor at the desired resolution and speed despite ~shudder~ hand editing several files.

The screen shots look really nice; this is the nicest looking *nix I've seen outside of OS X, ... once again, so close and yet so far.

(And yes, I'm a very happy OS X user. It lets me do what I want, when I want, without getting in my way.)


are updates free?
by Daniel on Mon 30th Sep 2002 21:25 UTC

It says in the review you need to register to be able to use the online update system. Does that require a purchased boxed copy of RH8, or is it free? And what other options do I have if I want free and simple updates to recent versions of the programs? I've only tried debian, which is certainly simple and free, but doesn't have very recent packages (unless you use the unstable branch, which is always a hassle in my experience).

RE: are updates free?
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 21:31 UTC

No, updates are not free. You need to pay for the Red Hat Network for *OS* upgrades and patches. If you want more applications, you will need to download RPMs created FOR 8.0, and then right click on them and choose to install them (it does not take care of dependancies though). This is what Red Hat sent me today via email:

https://rhn.redhat.com/network/sales/purchase.pxt
What does $60 a year get you?

* Instant ISOs of any Red Hat Linux public release for the duration of your subscription.

* Priority access to updates and ISOs -- no busy signals, no searching mirror sites, no waiting.

How do I upgrade once I subscribe to Red Hat Network Basic service?

* After purchase, you will be directed to the Instant ISO page. From there, follow the instructions for downloading and installing Red Hat Linux 8.0 from the ISO images.

...
by rajan r on Mon 30th Sep 2002 21:47 UTC

Anonymous: An opensource company licensing proprietary drivers for distribution is not only a conflict of interest but a waste of money.

Why? Red Hat after all helped IBM port their propreitary software, plus offered to license Office to be ported to Linux. Granted, they have worked on closed source stuff before, and open to it - so big deal.

Chuck Hunnefield: The games CREATORS out there know what to expect from Nvidia and they only have to worry about Nvidia's driver compatiblity

Not really, most games are built for DirectX, and while DirectX wouldn't be here without NVidia, it is GPU agnostic.

Chuck Hunnefield: At a time where ATI is kicking the crap out of Nvidia in both the OEM laptop market and performance sectors, is this a time for them that we should be hearing about ANY kind of instability under Linux?

ATI kick NVidia's ass many times before, but they never dominated the field.

Mike: Where is the mention of Apache 2.0? That's pretty major of 8.0. How about python version 2.2.1 finally by default?[...]

She was reviewing for the desktop. Did you at least read comments from 1-30?

Anonymous: They critisize KDE, and make GNOME their default desktop when KDE is much easier to use.

Wrong: one employee said KDE was crapland (and probably got a stern warning), another left RH for crippling KDE, but overall, they never critisize KDE. They picked GNOME because they have picked it years ago, way long time ago - they can't fire all their GNOME hackers just because KDE is a wee bit easier to use than GNOME.

As for KDE being easier than GNOME, or vice versa - how about some proof? Some usablity tests to back them up?

CD's info?
by William Ray Barker on Mon 30th Sep 2002 22:02 UTC

Hey I'm really wondering what CD 4 and 5 is for. I went to RedHats site and they pretty much say you only need CD 1-3 but not explaintion of what CD 4 and 5 is. Right now I"m downloading all of them but of course I'll stop it after CD 3 if I really don't need 4 and 5.

RE: CD's info?
by Eugenia on Mon 30th Sep 2002 22:05 UTC

>Hey I'm really wondering what CD 4 and 5 is for.

Source RPMs. If you do not need the source code, you don't really need them.

and ?
by jodie on Mon 30th Sep 2002 22:29 UTC

so, I've seen in the years that linux has evolved. Now a linux instalation is easy for most configurations out there. Now, once all the menus, and UI issues are solved in 2 years or so, what's next? once you get to the point of being a Windows clone, what's the next challenge?

Well...

"I use real player, quick time, and MP3s on a fairly regular basis, and to find out that software for these is not installed is a major bummer."

Well, software to play Realmedia isn't installed on Windows or OS X by default, stuff to play Quicktime isn't installed on Windows by default. There's a Linux version of RealPlayer available - it's pretty well-hidden on the Real site, but once you get there it's just an RPM which will install very easily (as someone says, right-click and hit install...EASIER than Windows) without complaints on Red Hat and Mandrake at least. Quicktime stuff is made harder by proprietary codecs and Apple not releasing a Linux version, which sucks, but is beyond the control of anyone but Apple. Recent versions of Xine can handle quite a lot of QT stuff, though, and that again is available as an RPM (and is packaged for Mandrake by default, I could add).

"Everything I read makes software installs on any kind of *nix except OS X sound very scary and fraught with pitfalls. Until I hear "no, you just double click on the installer and application unzips itself into your programs/applications folder, parks a short cut in your "start" menu and asks if you'd like an additional shortcut on the desktop, and you're ready to click and go""

Well again. Quite apart from the Windows applications whose install routines don't ask you where you want icons, just adding them anyway, and which like to make a hobby of installing lots of software you didn't ask for in the first place, installing much software under Linux is actually easier than this, at least on some distros. On Red Hat or Mandrake, you get very nice GUI tools which will install any of the software packaged for the distro - and this is a hell of a lot of software - with a lot less effort (and in a much less broken fashion). Installing unpackaged software can seem (and occasionally be) daunting, but packaging for distros is the best way to fix this, and it's done pretty well, I think. It's hard to find a piece of software without an RPM built at least for the latest version of Red Hat, these days.

To some extent the monitor thing is a legitimate criticism, but there again, did you notice the actual spec of the monitor? This is a specialist 24" job which costs over $2k on its own. Something tells me you probably don't have one. For any more common resolution (certainly anything up to 1600x1200), most distros should have no problem setting it up, and the review gives the impression RH 8 would have no problems with more common resolutions on the monitors most people own (which is basically the range from 800x600 to 1280x1024 and from 14" to 17").

OS X inevitably has it easier because...it's a captive audience. It's one OS, for (pretty much) one set of hardware. No hardware problems, because - hey! - everyone's using more or less the same stuff, and Apple makes most of it.

Although it has much to commend it in other ways (well, it is Linux!), at any given time other distros have been far ahead of RedHat as a desktop installation. So I am frankly not surprised how poorly setup RedHat 8.0 is for the desktop, as that is just consistent.

I am often amazed at some of the "unrefined" distro qualities the RedHat users at work have to put up with. For the same money I have been using SuSE at home since 6.4, and find they have actually added value and made sure obvious things needs like multimedia applications and browser plugins work. There's a little tweaking needed once in a while for any Linux installation, but I just don't see much added value from RedHat. Not from a home user's perspective anyways.

I was rather surprised that the reviewer "didn't see the GNOME version printed anywhere", so she couldn't figure out the version installed. There's a command called rpm isn't there?

>There's a command called rpm isn't there?

And then what?
What I meant is that there is no About Gnome info panel. It would have been nice to be one. Somewhere.

Wtf?
by Bob on Tue 1st Oct 2002 00:45 UTC

No, updates are not free. You need to pay for the Red Hat Network for *OS* upgrades and patches. If you want more applications, you will need to download RPMs created FOR 8.0, and then right click on them and choose to install them (it does not take care of dependancies though).

Updates are free. You don't need to pay for OS upgrades. When you double click on an rpm it *will* take care of dependencies as far as it can. It is recommended but not necessary to install redhat 8 rpms.

Common Eugenia, is it that hard to verify some simple things?

Plug and Pray
by Pete on Tue 1st Oct 2002 00:46 UTC

Poor Eugenia...

You've hit upon the curse of x86. PnPray instead of:

monitor: "hi I'm a monitor I can do 3000x2000 at 150hz"
GPU: "I can only do 115hz that OK"
*nods*
OS: "Well fine, 3000x2000 at 115hz it is then!"


Or you could buy a winmodem with closed source Linux drivers from the manufacturer, which sounds okay, until said manufacturer pulls support:

http://www.pcquest.com/content/linux/handson/102082101.asp

Either way, closed source drivers are bad news when it comes to open source operating systems. They'll usually work only on Windows.

Thanks, I will look closely at buying a Matrox before an nVidia.

RE:Wtf? and Plug and Pray
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 00:53 UTC

> Updates are free. You don't need to pay for OS upgrades

Only if you download the RPMs and install them manually. I was talking about the Red Hat Network. It did ask me to enter the product_id in order to continue with OS updating!

>monitor: "hi I'm a monitor I can do 3000x2000 at 150hz"
>GPU: "I can only do 115hz that OK"
>*nods*
>OS: "Well fine, 3000x2000 at 115hz it is then!"


If you have read my article more closely you would see that this WAS NOT the case with me. My card *CAN* do 90 Hz in the requested resolution.
http://www.asus.com.tw/vga/agpv7100pro/specification.htm

RE: wtf?
by Bob on Tue 1st Oct 2002 02:02 UTC


Only if you download the RPMs and install them manually. I was talking about the Red Hat Network. It did ask me to enter the product_id in order to continue with OS updating!


Yeah, I was talking about up2date (system tools - redhat network) too. I was able to easily subscribe for free (without giving any sort of code), and was easily able to update and install my software. I checked just a minute ago on Red Hat (psyche) 8. It asked for a username and a password, I entered it, I clicked next, next, next, next, next, ... Didn't ask for product codes, visa, or anything like that. It's free of charge.

RE: wtf?
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 02:23 UTC

Why mine asks for a Product_ID code? :o

nice review
by Big Bubba on Tue 1st Oct 2002 02:37 UTC

Nice review. I'm downloading the ISO images right now. Hopefully it will run on my Dell Inspiron 4150.

This is a business OS
by jkl on Tue 1st Oct 2002 03:33 UTC

Reviewers version of a typical business user "A cad/catia designer, with a 24" monitor, a $400 video card and 5.1 surround sound sytem working at Pixar with unlimited control over their PC's."

Reality " A paper pusher with whatever system the IT department gave them, a 4Mb video card, 17" monitor if lucky using outlook, Excel and an AS/400 terminal emulator, a sytem profile locked down so tight there are only 3 entries on the 'Start' menu, if it's there at all."

This reviewer is far far far from a the target for this OS. IT was NOT meant for her. Reading between the lines, this DOES look like a very good Business desktop. As an IT person I am delighted there is no sound/mp3/avi/mov/ogg/mpg players, that makes half the junk email my users send back and forth useless. I remove all the config menus anyway, looks like I have to remove some 4 times. oh well. Then I set those 4 icons on the desktop: Open Office, Mozilla, Evolution and the terminal emulator and, off we go....

JON

nVidia drivers messed on your chipset
by RaverGeek on Tue 1st Oct 2002 03:39 UTC

It is a known fact that kernels below 2.4.19 have a flaw in the speculative cache handling, even 2.4.19 is not fully immune to this. I've noticed the same thing with my box (A7V133,2000+, GeForce2 MX400). Don't blame this on nVidia and RedHat alone, there are others to point the finger at.

Python 2.2.1?
by Cesar Cardoso on Tue 1st Oct 2002 03:44 UTC

Hey, someone said that finally Red Hat noticed that Python 1 is dead.
I don't know why ;) , but I think this makes me a bit more sympathetic with RH 8 ;)

Eugenia . . .
by Shane Simmons on Tue 1st Oct 2002 03:58 UTC

If you're going to rake companies over the coals, at least have the decency to proof your comments before posting.<P>

No, I blame both Red Hat, the XFree driver testing guy, and nVidia. They ALL have their share on the problem.<P>

You can't blame both Red Hat, "the XFree driver testing guy" AND nVidia. You may blame all three, however.<P>

No non-Free software
by Rick Niles on Tue 1st Oct 2002 04:07 UTC

Great review. I like the attention to detail for things that drive everyone crazy but everyone just lives with.

With regard to missing software. RedHat is really trying to elimates all non-Free software from it's distro. This includes things like NVidia drivers, Acrobat Reader, Java, and RealPlayer. All of these may be "free" but they're not "Free Software". I think you could have mentioned that in their behalf. It's not that RH is necessarily cheap as you imply, they're trying to be RMS compliant and I think that's good. This is why they dropped Netscape for Mozilla.

However, for the business users perhaps they could include a "non-Free" CD of "free" software with these packages for an extra charge. What do you think?

Blaming RH for poor nVidia support
by Shane Simmons on Tue 1st Oct 2002 04:10 UTC

Lsst comment from me, I swear: this reads like the classic "Linux sucks because it doesn't have Internet Explorer" troll. Blame the open-source vendor because the closed-source vendor doesn't provide support, eh? Classic, that, and not terribly nice.

Business
by Mike on Tue 1st Oct 2002 04:18 UTC

I agree with the earlier comment regarding the reviews hardware.
I work with CAD all day and I don't know anyone with a 24" monitor. I think the monitor settings is a niche market and not what I would call the "business" market.

I would like to express my opinion that downloading a software package to install is not asking much.
I do find that every one in our office has a wheel mouse, so support for that, in my opinion, is mandatory.
Which specific mouse did you have? I did not find a description of your mouse brand or model.

Thank you for your time and have a good day

RE: Business
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 04:28 UTC

I am not a CAD user. I have no freaking clue how to use any CAD application.
I go this monitor, because I got this monitor.

>Which specific mouse did you have? I did not find a description of your mouse brand or model.

Keytronic PS/2 with a wheel.

Red Hat and Non-Free Software
by Chris Parker on Tue 1st Oct 2002 05:06 UTC

The version of Red Hat 8.0 that was reviewed by Eugenia was the download version. For those of you unfamiliar with the way the download version works, it comes with very little to no non-free software. What does this mean? Applications like RealPlayer, Flash, and proprietary drivers are left out.

The in-store version of Red Hat includes proprietary software that is not included on the download edition.

RE: rockwell
by Matthew Gardiner on Tue 1st Oct 2002 05:51 UTC

And your insult is meant to prove what?

Matrox, substaintially smaller than Nvidia can put together a half decent driver and it is also opensource, however, it seems harder for Nvidia, a company substaintially larger to even get a decent driver out.

Lets also throw the *BSD into the mix, since they feed off the same XFree as Linux users, meaning, on average, Linux/*BSD has around 3.2% of the OS market. Sure, it is not large. I could understand if Nvidia was a small, strggling comparny trying to make ends meet, however, we're talking about the Microsoft of the video card industry!

RE: rockwell
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 05:59 UTC

> Linux/*BSD has around 3.2% of the OS market

BSD and Linux together has less than 0.5%. Check the stats first from all the 3 big statistics companies...

...
by rajan r on Tue 1st Oct 2002 06:02 UTC

jodie: once you get to the point of being a Windows clone, what's the next challenge?

Unless you haven't noticed, most of the desktop distributions aren't made to be Windows clones (like RH). Heck, most companies making Linux distributions that act and look and fell like Windows aren't doing too well financially.

AdamW: Well, software to play Realmedia isn't installed on Windows or OS X by default

WMP can play some of Read formats, and it is as good as Xine playing Quicktime formats.

Quite apart from the Windows applications whose install routines don't ask you where you want icons, just adding them anyway

This may be the case of *some* Windows apps (like anything made by AOL), but most software installations ask if you would like desktop and Start menu icons. Some even ask if you want QuickLaunch icons.

RDeschene: So I am frankly not surprised how poorly setup RedHat 8.0 is for the desktop, as that is just consistent.

It isn't consistent. This is the first time Red Hat had bothered about ease of use and the desktop. While, yeah, it has its rough egdes, but it is because this is something new for Red Hat. Unless SuSE comes up with something new besides YaST, and Mandrake comes up with something besides..... well, I can't think of any, Red Hat would inevitably overtake them.

Pete: Either way, closed source drivers are bad news when it comes to open source operating systems. They'll usually work only on Windows.

Trust me, it would work as good as it does on Windows if Linux has an higher amount of market share (think 10% to 20%). Personally, I find closed source drivers than no open source drivers.... (Besides, for all the hardware with specs, why aren't there any drivers for them? E.g. for all Radeons...)

Shane Simmons: Lsst comment from me, I swear: this reads like the classic "Linux sucks because it doesn't have Internet Explorer" troll. Blame the open-source vendor because the closed-source vendor doesn't provide support, eh? Classic, that, and not terribly nice.

Very different. Internet Explorer is made by that open source company's competitor, so it is impossible to make them port it, unless you have a winning case against them in the court which could cause their second biggest cash cow to be pulled from the market.

Red Hat is big enough to license the specs and driver source code and make their own drivers that are optimized for its distro, cause NVidia wouldn't license it to a 4 man business.

It is possible, IIRC, BeUnited would be licensing the specs from NVidia too....

Chris Parker: Applications like RealPlayer, Flash, and proprietary drivers are left out.

IIRC, Xine can play Real formats, and Flash is an open standard. Besides, if once upon a time they could compromize and ship their distro with Netscape 4.x default because there isn't any altenatives, why can't they do now?

acroread and java
by dave on Tue 1st Oct 2002 06:08 UTC

I'm not sure on this but I think that the reason these are not included is that I believe they need to be recompiled with gcc3.2 to work with a mozilla compiled with gcc3.2. like i say i could be wrong this is just something I read... but it would also explain. Also I note they include non-official pdf reader and jvm/sdk.

Looks really good though! i'm not really redhat's target market but it still looks good....

re: acroread and java
by dave on Tue 1st Oct 2002 06:25 UTC

ahh - here it is (sorry to reply to myself:)
xap/mozilla-1.0-i386-2.tgz: Recompiled with gcc-3.2/libstdc++.so.5. Note that various Netscape plugins such as Java and flash will need to be recompiled using gcc-3.2 before they will work with a gcc-3.2 compiled Mozilla, galeon, Konqueror, or other browser. The plugins will continue
to work in Netscape, so if you must have working plugins you'll need to use that (at least for now).


from http://www.slackware.com/changelog/current.php?cpu=i386
I'd assume now that redhat is running 3.2 this will happen quite soon. and that is a good thing!

RE:Python 2.2.1?
by Ilan Volow on Tue 1st Oct 2002 07:47 UTC

Hey, someone said that finally Red Hat noticed that Python 1 is dead.

Python 1 isn't dead. It's pining for the fjords.


Sorry. The setup was just too perfect...

Just a short question
by something on Tue 1st Oct 2002 11:43 UTC

I don't need the whole 5 cd set to get a minimal install, do I?

RH 8.0 Barking at the wrong tree?
by joe_thebuilder on Tue 1st Oct 2002 11:53 UTC

Linux customers are not desktop users. At least
not the ones that depend on it. Linux customers
are network and database developers.

MS and Sun know that. They cater to to them developers with .net and .com products. Sure there
stuff outside RH for developers eg. CORBA, I just
don't like to hear that RH is a Windows Killer, who
cares if RH has a pretty GUI?? Still is slow as
molasses since intel and network cards cater to closed source.

RH should stop looking at candy-eye desktops and
get smarters tools and libraries for network and
database development. That's the right stuff.
J.

Re: Just a short question
by rajan r on Tue 1st Oct 2002 12:25 UTC

Default install (minimal): 2 CDs

Painful Proof reading??
by BlackSheep on Tue 1st Oct 2002 12:37 UTC

If Ed Boyce is in pain from proof reading this article, he has a very low tolerance. I mean no personal disrespect to anyone, and I hate to say this, but the article doesn't look proof read at all. For example, I'm still trying to find the definitions of "satisfactied" and "huping". Some of the grammar was confusing also. Just some constructive criticism. Otherwise, a very fine article in terms of content.

The nvidia driver issue
by Ott on Tue 1st Oct 2002 12:45 UTC

==========
I downloaded and installed successfully the nVidia 2D and 3D drivers. OpenGL works fine in 3D game, except that the GL screensavers have a problem to start in accelerated mode (yes, the memoryLimit is set to 0). After running a bit happy with them at the resolution and refresh rate I wanted, X would crash. SSH'ing in the machine and either stopping, or huping or killing X (which would now consume 99% cpu), it would completely kill Red Hat 8 (sign that the kernel was crashing because of the nVidia driver) and I would need to reset the machine
=========

If it's not too much of a hassle, you could try using the 2960 drivers instead of the 3123 ones I assume you used during the review. Seems like quite a few people have stability issues with the 3123 driver.

http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=linux_display_1.0-2960

Yes they're 5 months old, but then again, ASUS' official Windows drivers are build 2880.

nVidia on the XFree86 List
by Sean on Tue 1st Oct 2002 13:36 UTC

Seems that tha nVidia cards are tearing up a storm at the moment. IF people had also been paying attention to the XFree86 newbie list, you would have seen that there have been some issues with the nVidia card (among them, having to manually start the drivers, configurations having to be manually entered, drivers starting part of the time, etc). I know that there is a contingent of people who have had nothing wrong with thier nVidia cards (<troll> hey, it is just like me saying that I have never had MS Windows (9x, NT, 2000 or XP) become really unstable in my corporate enviroment and that all the instabilities that I have encountered are do to bad configuration choices or bad hardware choices (the video card with the only english words "nVidia", "Windows NT" and "AGP" is NOT a good choice. oh well, fire burns and people must touch). </troll>).

Kudos on the balanced review. I am still a Mandrake and NetBSD fanboy, but I did enjoy your review. (I know, Mandrake is an off shoot of RedHat).

Sean.

RE: wtf?
by Anonymous on Tue 1st Oct 2002 14:58 UTC

Bob, thanks for clearing that up about RHN/ up2date. Another question: Is it possible to upgrade my 7.3 installation directly to 8.0 without downloading isos, burning cds, etc? If not -- can I install from ftp/http just using boot disks?

Linux
by Dean on Tue 1st Oct 2002 15:53 UTC

I've converted to Linux recently because I want to learn about the Linux kernel. I believe that open source software is best used for research and development via computer science. I am running Mandrake 9.0. If you don't have it, it's a free download, you don't have to wait for someone to mail it to you, just make sure you have a cable connection.

I'm very happy with the Gnome 2.0 desktop. My printer configured during the beautiful Mandrake 9.0 setup and every usb device was detected. The multimedia is poor, however, Xine or XMovie were able to play .mpgs and .mov files (I only tested a few files, not many). I don't expect the multimedia to be very good on an open source system, at least not for some time, not until everthing else is up to par. The multimedia will be the last feaure to take root because it's just about purchasing licenses for millions of dollars. They don't want to feed the hogs yet and I don't blame them. Why not make them starve a little. I think that Redhat made the right choice if it didn't provide multimedia out of the box.

Your crazy if you are trying to hook up big screen televisions to your computer. I have a 17 inch monitor with a flat screen and i'm not feeling any pain. I don't think that Linux is a gaming system yet. I think that the implementation of systems that support 3d animation needs to be reengineered. I want to see Linux develop some open source frameworks with the mind to support distributed computing. This is a future avenue, why wait for vendors to take the lead in development.

I like the fact that I can run Linux on old hardware. I don't want to throw way my whole computer every two years. I'm happy that the economy has been slow and that technologies are suffering because that will force corporations to improve the quality of their products. We have way too many WinME or Win95 systems out there, lets not let such poor quality products polute our environment.

Corp user vs Corp IS
by PJW on Tue 1st Oct 2002 16:19 UTC

I agree with jkl and the "...Reading between the lines, this DOES look like a very good Business desktop...." A business desktop as seen by the IS dept is not a "user" desktop. I (as part of IS) want to lock down the machine. We do not want the liability of unauthorized/unsupported/unlicenced(illegal) software. Most business users are task oriented. They need (according to IS, again) to preform discrete functions in an effiecent manner. The fact that the desktop does not have mp3 ability out of the box affects very few who "need" to have that ability. Don't confuse the company's PC to your own home machine. IS needs to manage, support and account for the software, hardware and users under the corp umbrella. A company of any significant size will understand this need; most company "users" do not.

Thank you for the review.

I'll probably wait 8.x. Seems like RedHat can be relied upon to make intresting but problematic .0 releases.

ABOUT PROOFREADING
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 16:39 UTC

TO ALL who ask more proofreading. I submitted the article at 4 AM in the morning in the team of editors we have (I worked all Saturday night for it). They got it the other day, in the morning. The article had to live in 6 hours after these editors got it.

And you know, it was Sunday, NO ONE is getting paid here, so people have other priorities than to try to proof read my article on a Sunday morning.

THIS is why this article was not thoroughly proof readed. Not enough time from the time I submitted it to the time it had to go live.

Please, try to understand that no one is getting paid here. But we do try our best.

RE: RE: wtf?
by Bob on Tue 1st Oct 2002 17:19 UTC

If you're not afraid to potentially fuck up your system (I didn't try this method), you can go to www.freshrpms.net, download apt4rpm for your rh7.3, modify the sources.list to point to the 8.0 directory, and do an apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

Article
by Dean on Tue 1st Oct 2002 17:25 UTC

your article was fine Eugenia. I agree that Redhat must make some changes to their desktop organization before it is an intuitive desktop. Certainly toolkit style guides is one way of taking action. This is an area of debate. I just wish that your article had a broader base and that it took into account technology and society rather than being too focused on high performance video output. I know that video support is important to you, because you paid for them and you feel short changed that they do not work on a new system. If that is the case than certainly stay with closed vendor platforms. Use a Linux distribution on an older computer. I appreciate your willingness to write these articles. I hope that some of the information is studied critically by Redhat. It should be a resource to them. Least of all thank you for your time. I did read the whole article. I personaly download these operating systems for the source code so that I can examine the system implementation. I find it entertaining that Linux even is becoming a candidate for home entertainment. I think that it will certainly make it there given time and legal freedom. That is how this operating system will defeat current vendor systems (if that is even important when there is freedom). It's just a matter of being able to keep the door open and gaining exposure. Redhat 8.0 is important. I'd also like to see Linux reviewed on different hardware architectures. An operating system is constrained by its hardware architecture, not that intel is a poor architecture, but it is only one. I don't use Mac OSX but I believe that they built their own microprocessors and sell their computer as a single unit. for this reason you will not have any hardware compatibility problems. I don't use Mac though, but theoritically this makes sense if it were true. Microsoft is compatible because it maintains license agreements with OEMs and has monopolistic buying power. If Linux is to be compatible than it must find ways to make standardization possible through new system design (this is over Redhats head). Watch for support in 2003 comming from Sun Microsystems and IBM. Linux will be good to go, but in the full spectrum I am looking forware to much improved technology. I hope that competition can foster it.

Missing Multimedia Apps
by Jason on Tue 1st Oct 2002 18:02 UTC

My understanding is that RedHat removed all multimedia applications that had MP3 en/decoding capability (like Xine) due to Thomson Multimedia's recent "alleged" license change.

The point is so often missed.
by Aodhagan on Tue 1st Oct 2002 18:12 UTC

I am a UI designer and programmer. I have visited OSNews countless times and read more than I care to think about from Eugenia regarding her analysis of different products. I must admit that I tend to disagree with her 90% of the time but respect the professional opinions she has. That said, here I go.

Redhat 8.0 has been a jewel for me - I ran Limbo, then Null. I accepted that Mp3 support was no longer present. I accepted the lack of nVidia drivers. I accepted the lack of many multimedia features. I accepted the lack of Flash, and Real Player. Why? Because I recognize that Redhat's first priority is to SoftwareLibre, the GPL. That belief was tantamount in the foundation of their company, the creation of a collaborative Linux kernel, and the GNU utilities that make the OS run at all. Things that are not GPLed are not welcome, they are by nature considered to be unaccpetably inferior.

If you don't like that, run Windows, MacOS, or another BSD based system, but Linux is not for you. Linux was not created to provide you with software, make your life easy, allow you to be productive, or to save money. It was created as a collaborative community of developers scratching their own itches. If by happenstance your itch hasn't been scratched yet, consider scratching it yourself, or go buy a product that does. That's not old-school. That's how it is. Linux is a system for developers and sys-admins, all the end users out there should just be thankful that such an rich system is even available for them to use barrring any non-compatible expectations.

And while we're at it...
by Chuck Hunnefield on Tue 1st Oct 2002 18:53 UTC

Hey,

Can they make it so that commonly compressed file formats (.ZIP, .GZ, .TAR, etc.) open up by default in a GUI decompression utility (take yer pick)? Seems like a basic concept to me.

It just seems silly that this isn't done by default in most distros. If I wanted to use cmd line for everything, I'd boot in text mode!

Eugenia,
Thank you for all of your hard work & contribution to the PC community (especially having to slave over the SGI widescreen).
I am trying (again) to switch from Winxx to linux (be it RH8 or MD9). However, I understand that it takes Samba to access my files on Win? And you say it is missing in RH8? I will be looking forward to your review of MD9.
Already, I've been hacked twice in trying out MD9...Zone Alarm Pro has kept me free from intrusion under Winxx for the last couple of years.
Here is the short list of what it will take to convert Winxx users like me.
1. Trouble-free install and access to all of the goodies.
ex. I find no way to set or insure that the video refresh is 75Mhz.
2. My new 40x12x48 Sony CDRW is not recognized anywhere and I could not make a backup of a critical D/L.
3. You were right; the KDE/Gnome UI is cluttered with redundancies (at least in MD9).
4. KDE seemed very slow (and I have very fast hardware, so it is not H/W related).
5. Look at the "How To". It is very disorganized.
What do "grep", "cron", "gawk", "rmmod" and the like mean (I just picked them out of a hat;-)?
6. There is nothing difficult about "sys", "fdisk", "format", "echo", "ld" & "dir". How can similar commands become familiar in Linux?

This could be a very long post and I do not wish to say anything negative about the Linux community. I wish there was an easier way to become familiar with Linux as I have been around since PC-DOS 1.0

Linux is harder than Spanish...at least Spanish has a great deal of familiar sounds and words. What the hell is awk, Seagullese?
This is not a rant but despair at being both trapped by M$and overwhelmed by Linux.

On the one hand you have the high price in terms of Micro$oft.
On the other hand the high investment in terms of Linux learning-curve time.
What to do?

Fonts and X
by Knownsense on Tue 1st Oct 2002 19:36 UTC

Font support and the Xserver are the two main issues that i dont see being resolved. The more you point this out to people, especially linux enthusiasts, the more people call you a whiner. But, seriously speaking, as long as the UI doesnt improve and the clutter, duplication and organisation of commands and configuration files remains, Linux will only be a bored sysadmin's past time. "Users" want usability, not the knowledge of what features the current kernel supports.

I need fonts for gods sake. and I need the stupid Xserver to open up and tell me that I paid money for my Athlon. Why wont these guys just get it at all?
:-)

Re: To Aodhagan
by Anonymous on Tue 1st Oct 2002 20:55 UTC

--quoted by Aodhagan--
[i]If you don't like that, run Windows, MacOS, or another BSD based system, but Linux is not for you. Linux was not created to provide you with software, make your life easy, allow you to be productive, or to save money. It was created as a collaborative community of developers scratching their own itches. If by happenstance your itch hasn't been scratched yet, consider scratching it yourself, or go buy a product that does. That's not old-school. That's how it is. Linux is a system for developers and sys-admins, all the end users out there should just be thankful that such an rich system is even available for them to use barrring any non-compatible expectations.<i/>
--/quoted by Aodhagan--

Perhaps, you have missed the whole points? Mandrake, SuSE, Redhat and other desktop distros' (not Gentoo, Debian, Slackware and etc) main goal is to make Linux easier for the people. Also, their most main goal is to get the desktop to be easier for the users. WITHOUT have to poke kernel, source codes and etc, which that's why they created GUI of YaST, RedHat's update/installtion and etc.

Eugenia is right, they still aren't even ready and not easy to use as Windows/MacOS/BeOS, yet. NEVER tell people if they don't like Linux, then use something else. Because, Mandrake, SuSE and others still haven't meet the goal, yet.

Re: Fonts and X
by fuzzyping on Tue 1st Oct 2002 21:08 UTC

Knownsense: Font support and the Xserver are the two main issues that i dont see being resolved.

Have you bothered to read Eugenia's article (or install 8.0 yourself) before posting this troll? As Eugenia mentioned, and I can verify for myself, simply creating a ".fonts" directory in your home folder, then dumping all the True Type fonts you want in there, works great. You don't even have to restart X. I guess that's not easy enough for you, eh? Well, if you'd like to send me a check, I'll be happy to code a gui for you.

Now, as far as your X complaints, would you care to elaborate, or shall we just assume that was part of your troll as well?

-fp

Civility
by Jay on Tue 1st Oct 2002 21:22 UTC

I am for getting some civility going again here. I was very impressed over in the thread about OSNew's bandwidth needs by people's willingness to be of help. That is what we need here in these discussions.

If you come here all the time, you know how Eugenia does her reviews. And there is no reason for these blow ups to result from them. When she reviews something, she will go into detail about its shortcomings - that is natural because it is always the problem areas that get talked about because it's usually something that needs to be fixed.

She writes strong reviews with strong opinions. She wants people to respond to that - she wouldn't write a review or article in the first place if she didn't want that. Yet, there are a group of people who look at her strong statements as being attacks against their favorite OS or favorite version of Linux, etc. And then it ends up that people start posting against Eugenia herself instead of her comments. And then the trash talk starts about her English, etc. It is sad to see this. Some of the people who come here accuse her of everything - she has been accused of favoring every OS over others, which is, of course, impossible. The Mac people think she favors Windows, the Windows people think she favors Linux, Linux people of different stripes think she favors one distro over others - it's ridiculous.

When Eugenia or anyone writes a review or article, there is no need to then do a review of the review. Just take it as a starting point for discussion. That's the real purpose, in the end. Also, people are afraid to admit they don't understand something because they will be called morons or idiots. How is that helpful to this forum? So many want to come off as Mr. Big and Mr. Know-It-All rather than ask questions and admit they don't know everything. I have said this before, but those of you who do this - you don't understand, you undermine your own knowledge and skill by the way you conduct yourselves. You come off as being narrow-minded and rigid when you could be really contributing to discussion. You are too intelligent to be acting this way. I'm sure you don't act this way in your person-to-person dealings in 3D life each day - why do it here?

Let the mirth begin!
by billy ball on Tue 1st Oct 2002 21:51 UTC

it's quite sad to read all the give and take regarding Red Hat's latest offering... most of the tech pundits reviewing Linux products really don't understand (and this points to the problem of the IS/IT industry's inability to grasp the mechanics of open source) that while Red Hat has an obligation as a commercial entity to produce a palatable product for its markets (which is not the Windows user or naive computer consumer), many Linux users really don't care one whit about whether Mandrake is better than Red Hat, or that SuSE is better than Mandrake, and so on... many Linux users choose to use Linux because they realize what a wonderful, empowering gift it is: an operating system that works well, uses GNU software, supports the X Window System, and is well supported (to the extent that hardware manufacturers choose to open up specs)... this new Red Hat release is designed to form a base structure for Red Hat's more advanced offerings... the real customer is the SOHO, small business, corporate, enterprise and Fortune 500 entity...

the somewhat acrimonious debate over GNOME, KDE, Red Hat's supposed 'treatment' of KDE is wasted bandwidth, IMHO, as many Red Hat installs aren't for the desktop (indeed, installing X and any related software on a production server could be considered an ill-advised security risk, and even the default XFree86 X startup included with ANY current major distro allows UDP packets unless specifically told not to)...

that said, if you're contemplating using Red Hat Linux:

- don't buy equipment from manufacturers that don't support open specs...

- don't want to use GNOME? use switchdesk or [shudder], edit your .xinitrc

- don't like the default menus? edit them

- don't like Red Hat's KDE? rpm -e the packages, then download and build KDE from source

- looking for multimedia clients? download and install them..

- don't blame Red Hat for not being held hostage to patent lawyers - use Ogg, which is free and offers better performance anyway - and if you're playing DVDs using Linux, you're breaking the law (at least in the U.S.), but this isn't Red Hat's problem - it's yours: write your governmental representative and vote!

- expecting Red Hat to be responsible for XFree86 and its performance with any of the myriad combinations of monitors and graphics cards shows ignorance of the mechanics of open source - Red Hat (and SuSE) has supported development of many graphics drivers for X, but The XFree86 Project, Inc. has overall responsibility for free X - try xig.com's version of X if you want 3D performance...

- considering my previous rants above - if you're contemplating using Red Hat Linux:

- do expect to save loads of money if you're a consumer, SOHO, business, academic or other user

- don't expect hand-holding

- do be pleasantly surprised by how well everything works

- do be pleasantly surprised when you find out that you don't have to spend money on support, bug fixes or security updates

- don't look a gift horse in the mouth - you're getting Red Hat Linux for free - if you want a nice box and printed manuals, go ahead and support Red Hat...

Civility
by Eugenia on Tue 1st Oct 2002 22:47 UTC

Exactly! Thank you Jay! ;)

Missing the point
by TLR on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 00:12 UTC

Euginia, I think, has either been misled or has totally missed the point. Redhat is not windows. Nor is it Mac OS. It is Redhat and should be evaluated as such. Every major Linux distro is far more feature-rich than either one of the two "main-stream" OS's she has mentioned in the conclusion of her article, taking Windows as an example, the last release I loaded did not include Flash or Realplayer, they had to be downloaded, just as I had to do for RH 8. Further, I am wondering where this magical windows release is that includes an Office suite, a development environment, a photo editing suite, a C/C++ compiler and stability. Having worked with windows from 3.1 to 2000, I never came across this version. I did, however see the price tags on MS office, Visual Studio and Photo Shop. If we are going to compare the features of OS's, then lets be not be bias.

If you are finding the menus too cluttered or confusing, perhaps you loaded too many programs...but I guess you have us on that point, because loading too many programs is never a problem under windows, is it? Of course there is nothing but a raw, $200+ OS to load, but that is not the point.

Drivers, I am not going to rage about MS's business practices of the past, but I will point out that device drivers come from the hardware Manufacturers not from any OS Manufacturer, and getting current drivers is a problem with the Linux platform, however having upgraded or downgraded many MS-based systems I have spent my share of time downloading this driver and that driver, so I fail to see where the differences are.

The facts as I see them are as such, dollar for dollar, any linux distro is a far greater value that either of the OS's mentioned in your article, Windows cannot match Linux when it comes to stability, scope of use (try setting up a server with the same disk you loaded on a notebook/workstation in the MS world) or system scalability, Just as Mac OS cannot touch Linux on hardware support.

Red Hat 8.0 is a wonderful product, with it's ease of install, multiple uses, and speed, I feel it far surpasses any offering from MS or Apple, and I am sure you will get the drivers to run your display the way you want it after a week or two, just as you would if this was a new MS release, remember the driver seach when win 2k was released? Red Hat 8.0, in my particular case recognized all my hardware, from the external CD-RWs to the Digital Camera with no additional driver loads, which is yet another exapmle of the surperiority of this product, can you connect a burner without an additional disk under MS? No. Can you connect a Digital Camera without an additional disk? No. Did Red Hat 8.0 give you a workable display out of the box? Yes. Did Red Hat 8.0 overwhelm you with programs? Yes, but again I fail to see where that falls into a negative catagory.

Perhaps I am missing the point, but with the ease of install and feature-richness of Red Hat 8.0, I beleive it is now MS who has to catch-up to keep the desktop.

Athlon + Nvidia instability work around
by Danni Coy on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 00:15 UTC

euginia: Here is a work around for Athlon + Nvidia woes just in case someone else hasn't posted it.

you need to pass this line to the kernal at startup (I think you will need to configure your boot loader to do this)
the line is

mem=nopentium

This reportedly makes the system a lot more stable at the cost of performance of some applications.

I am heartened to hear that some kind of fix is in 2.4.19...

Anyway here is the best description of the problem I have found to date.
http://www.gentoo.org/news/20020123-amd-news.html

Re: And while we're at it...
by Thomas Castiglione on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 03:57 UTC

Hey,

Can they make it so that commonly compressed file formats (.ZIP, .GZ, .TAR, etc.) open up by default in a GUI decompression utility (take yer pick)? Seems like a basic concept to me.

It just seems silly that this isn't done by default in most distros. If I wanted to use cmd line for everything, I'd boot in text mode!


On my install of Debian, I installed KDE via apt-get and it came with Archiver, which does just that.

how about SuSE 8.1
by tomeo on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 06:31 UTC

Eugenia:

How does RH8 compare with SuSE 8.1 or United Linux Beta 1.
and with mandrake 9, how about coparing the 4 of them. I found your comments really helpfull.

211 comments
by bahamot on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 06:38 UTC

Wow...... 211 comments just on one article? Well, I think no one could refused it if i said this is one of the most interesting article around the net, and also this site is well IMHO, is one of the most active site. :> Lots of different opinions actually is good, look what we get in Linux here.... We got so many choice of distributions, we got the freedom to choose it, we got the freedom to modify it. :> And better of all it is free... What else could be better?? :>

screenshots
by tomeo on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 06:38 UTC

does anyone find the screenshost familiar? Dont they kinda look like QNX Photon?

RE: how about SuSE 8.1
by Eugenia on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 07:05 UTC

>How does RH8 compare with SuSE 8.1 or United Linux Beta 1 and with mandrake 9

I just instralled SuSE 8.1 today. Await a review soon. I haven't received the Mandrake CDs yet. I won't be reviewing UnitedLinux, first because it is a purely server OS, and second, it is based on SuSE anyway.

>this is one of the most interesting article around the net,

thanks. ;)

>Dont they kinda look like QNX Photon?

Not really.

not a multimedia os, not a desktop alternative
by kalamazoo on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 13:05 UTC

hell even xp and x(10) are bundled with simple video editing programs.

Video Editors
by Danni Coy on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 14:34 UTC

Mandrake used to come with Broadcast2000 hopefully version 9 will have Cinellera. (:

Link for download
by Niels on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 15:41 UTC

I really want to download red-hat but I cannot find a link anywhere :-(
Does anyone know.

I have see a link on distrowatch.com but there is ALLWAYS to many user connected ;-(

Hope someone can help!
Thanks!

Them thar download mirrors
by Ott on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 16:21 UTC

http://freshrpms.net/mirrors/psyche.html

Most of them are swamped though.

Thanks
by Niels on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 18:28 UTC

Thanks for your replay, Ott

maybe I'll wait
by asacan on Thu 3rd Oct 2002 02:11 UTC

I've always been partial to the RH distro. I'm unfortunately still running WindowsXP, spent too much on software to give it up entirely, but I'm still looking for the reason to erase XP on two of three computers. Of course, I have Linux (RH 7.2, RH7.3 and MDK 8.0) on the three running boxes in my home.
From your intuitive and seemingly unbiased article, it looks like I'll put off buying RH8.x until it's more fully evolved. Luckily, as quickly as Linux is evolving, I truly believe they will surpass MS soon in userability and advent technology. I really wished I could get better involved in the Open Source world, but my code-writing is still in its infancy.

Along the lines of video drivers, does anyone know what I can use or where I can go for ATI's Radeon 9700 PRO? How long does it generally take for the open source world to develop drivers for a new card?

About Mathew Gardiner
by Bakunin on Thu 3rd Oct 2002 09:47 UTC

Matthew Gardiner has stated in this forum: "I would go so far so say that there should be a license so that only those who have a bloody clue can use a computer." Well, this sound very dictatorial and autocratic. Shame on him! He should make company to people like Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic or other crappy dictator. This kind of thought is the root of evils like the one the world experienced coming from the nazis. It sounds like excluding a mass of people and confine then in a concentration camp just because they are not as "bright" as him... he should think over, simply because the world deserves to be a better place to live.

I upgraded from Red Hat 7.3 to 8.0 at work yesterday, and overall I like it.

I prefer the default KDE theme to Bluecurve, and it turned out to be easy to change in the KDE Control Centre.

My fonts first looked ugly, but it turned out that I just had to enable anti-aliasing (this was disabled by default in previous versions of KDE and therefore also in my existing KDE configuration).

I prefer KDE and like Konqueror, and what annoys me is that Red Hat seems to have problems making Konqueror DISPLAY the last three letters of the Danish alphabet correcly. This was also the case in Red Hat 7.3 and at least one earlier version of Red Hat. I hoped that Red Hat 8.0 would solve this problem, but it has just gotten worse. Have a look at http://www.berlingske.dk with Konqueror to see the problem.

Berlingske.dk is a Danish newspaper site - arbitrarily chosen here. You will probably not understand the Danish text unless you are Scandinavian, but you will probably see the problem anyway: The Danish letters æ (looks like an a and an e glued together), ø (an o with a forward slash through it) and å (an a with a ring over it) are displayed as boxes - as are full stops, apostrophes and the like at the Web page you are reading right now.

Note that I wrote "DISPLAY ... correctly" above. I am perfectly well able to type Danish characters into form fields at Danish web sites and get them submitted correctly to the web server, although they are also displayed wrongly in the form fields.

The problem with displaying Danish characters persists even if I rename my $HOME/.kde directory to something else and let the new KDE generate a new, fresh configuration.

FreeBSD 4.6.2 ships with binaries for KDE 3.0.0 - the same KDE version as Red Hat 7.3 ships with. The FreeBSD KDE 3.0.0 displays the Danish characters correctly.

So it seems to me that Red Hat has some work to do here.

Although I like Red Hat 8.0 overall, this is the kind of problem which annoys me enough to make me consider using another distribution - especially because 8.0 is the third version of Red Hat I have experienced this problem with.

Open the file '/etc/sysconfig/i18n'. If you find 'xx_XX.utf8' there, you may try and replace 'utf8' with 'iso8859-1'. That did the trick for me.

Speed issue
by Steve H. on Thu 3rd Oct 2002 20:15 UTC

I tried Red Hat 8 and I was happy about one thing it was the first time I ever got any of the Red Hat releases to install so that was a nice first time for me. Even though Mandrake always works. I did like the fonts in the Red Hat 8. They were nice and clear very easy to read. A first time for any Linux distro I have tried so far. As per the apps speeds for loading and running everything did seem a bit slower then on Mandrake or Debian. One annoying bug I noted on Red Hat 8 was that sometimes the commands would work and sometimes they wouldnt. As well there was some bug in Kmail that when you would reply to a message it would not quote the previous text no matter what I tried. I think they hit the nail on the head with the name. ( Psyche ) sorta like someone saying hehehe made you look. I happily switched back to Mandrake 9. Cant beat a good thing ;)

Started off great and then only got worse.
by Eli W on Thu 3rd Oct 2002 23:01 UTC

I have been a Redhat user since version 5.1, slowly over the course of time I have come to learn a lot about how to work with Linux, but certainly not nearly enough. It has, until recently been the easiest to install and provided excellent support for the desktop. Up until RH 7.2 Gnome 1.x and KDE up to 2.x were updated as soon as the updates were made available. Then Gnome 2 and KDE 3 rolled off the shelf and it would seem that real desktop support has ceased. Maybe the effort to streamline the desktop in version 8 was meant to save their developers work, but it has definetly turned me off. The problems with KDE (my favorite Xwindows manager) in 7.3 have not been fixed in 8.

Installation went off like a dream as usual with Redhat. All my hardware was detected fine. Afterward the recompilation of my Nvidia Drivers went off without a hitch. Got my connection up and running to the internet without having to change everything. But after checking if sendmail would send my mail it didn't. Good thing I backed up my etc directory. Copied over the old configuration restarted sendmail and it worked, along with IMAP, fetchmail and DNS.

Rebooted to init 5 and up came GDM even though the desktop file in /etc/syconfig says my Desktop should be KDE. Not such a terrible thing. But then when I went to KDE I was horrified to see that a whole lot of stuff was missing. Kpackage, ark, etc. Tried to compile kdeadmin from the tarball, but the current Redhat RPM packages seem to be incompatible with kpackage 3.0.3. Netscape plugins still don't work. Filemanger - superuser mode does not work. On the Gnome side, no gnorpm and their are probably a host of other apps not their as well. The package manager that they provide doesn't give any information about the contents of a package at all.

And the KDE apps that I already compiled with 7.3 failed to work, even though according to KDE the libraries for KDE 3.0.x are supposed to be binary compatible. Why didn't they work, because Redhat compiled the libraries so that they would include the version of the compiler that they were compiled with. Just like they did with 7.3 So of course, the previously compiled apps could not locate the libraries that they were previously compiled with.

KDE and Gnome are not the same XWindows manager. And no one should try to make them the same. While they tried to make the desktop fit everybody, they have broken both.

I will be trying other distributions again. And if there things do not work with them ... well. People this does not bode well for Linux at all. United Linux will only provide sources for download. The other distros are off doing their own things. Distro manufacturers and Xwindows managers can't seem to get past their own adgendas. Linux as a real working environment seems to fragmenting little by little. And I'm sure that the only people that will be laughing are the people at MS.

I made a fresh install of RedHat 8.0 and here's what i found:

My setup here is a Matrox G400 32Mb dualhead, with two 21" monitors. Furthermore to get the +xinerama option running i installed the beta driver mgadrivers-2.0.tgz from matrox.com on top of XFree86 4.2.0.

I created 2 users , stock (running KDE) and foobar (running GNOME). I attached two desktop shots from both freshly initialized desktops. As you can see with the KDE desktop the icon subtitles are shifted to the screen on the right.With the GNOME desktop nothing is wrong.

The screenshots are here :

http://crashrecovery.org/xinerama-kde-rh80.jpg

http://crashrecovery.org/xinerama-gnome-rh80.jpg

Now i really would like to run RedHat 8.0, but if my xinerama test fails at home, how am i possibly going to buy the new Redhat 8.0 box?

Any clues as how KDE fails and GNOME succesfully runs +xinerama?

Robert

Mandrake 9.0
by Dean on Fri 4th Oct 2002 13:05 UTC

So far with Mandrake 9.0 I have flash 5 working, I can rip music files to wave than turn them into mp3's, but I perfer .ogg which is easy out of the box. I can go on gnutella and download anything. I can convert my .png's to .jpg's. I can burn iso images with cdrecord. Oh and I can watch &&& DVD movies. I love Gnome 2.0, and it is better on Mandrake. The theme is way different.

I can do more on this PC than any Microsoft OS and it's also more fun. I used to have Win2k but I had to erase it. I'm never going back to Microsoft.

Visit some Linux based message boards if you want to find out how to set up your system. Some of the stuff doesn't come out of the box and it has to do with evil Monopolies. I'm glad that I get to be a hero in life. This gives me purpose. Thanks Microsoft.

RedHat 8.0 NVIDIA GeForce 2Go problems..
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Oct 2002 09:15 UTC

The first step to gain the corporate desktop (laptop that would be) would be found in supporting the vast quantity of Dell Inspiron and Latitude Laptops that use these closed source chips...

..until then, we'll need to revert back to 7.3?


"my mom (or my boss) could never figure this out"


seattle, washington.
October 4, 2002

I think there is a huge point wrong in RedHat 8.0 I didn't saw commented:

When you upgrade your system it warns you there are packets installed that aren't RedHat's and can make the installation unstable. But it doesn't present you a list of them. It would be nice to have a list of them and a possibility to uninstall them during installation:

I have the GTK+ and Ximian Evolution and after installation I cannot enter into the gnome look&feel. I'll have to remove the previous packets and install it over again, but if installation would identify and tell me what packet's were suspicious, it would have been much more strait forward.

On the other side I see you blame RedHat for not including MP3 and NVIDIA support. People that invented MP3 made enough money for their invent (if that was it) to continue charging for something they don't improve anymore. I think it is very Linux-coherent that RedHat don't pay for it anymore. Blame MP3 owners, not RedHat.

Same with NVidia. The problem with NVidia is that this people wanna play the game with different rules from the others. They wanna be on the Open Source bussiness without releasing their code. It's normal and correct RedHat don't include their drivers. It is Nvidia's fault, not RedHat's. Don't blame RedHat for being coherent.

What's the problem?
by brevity on Sun 6th Oct 2002 21:48 UTC

I've read the review and tried out the 8.0. I see big improvements to the installation, menus and overall usability. RH 7-7.3 could've been this good but whatever... I continue to enjoy using the OS. Despite people wanting the OS to be more mainstream, just look back to 6.X and tell me the OS has not improved...

All I have to say
by Teresa Bean on Mon 7th Oct 2002 02:33 UTC

My function keys on an HP Omnibook 4500 work correctly!

That drove me nuts in Windows 2K and RH 7.3 that whenever I tried to use them they would stick and make the mouse and other keys go nuts.

RH 8.0 worth it just because so many little things work out of the box, no questions asked.

Only caveat is that sndconfig WAS NOT INCLUDED by default. Made configurig my NeoMagic 256 sound card (which it is, but the driver doesn't work) a pain in the rear, because their sound tool doesn't give you the choice to select an alternate driver.

For those of you trying to get em to work, use the SB16 driver.

Red Hat 8.0 blows, (some of it)
by Ben on Mon 7th Oct 2002 19:39 UTC

I first started using Linux with Redh Hat 5.2, (I think, it was a while ago).
And I've been impressed with each new release of Red Hat. Each new version feels snappier to use, looks better, easier to use, and so and so.
Red Hat 8.0 has some really nice features, and I see where they're going with it. But at the some time, I'm having more troubles with it, than any other version.
(Maybe I'm not looking hard enough), when I installed VMware workstation 3.1 on Red Hat 8.0, from RPNs, the Package manager doesn't seem to have picked up on this, and all I see is the standard RPMs that were installed at installtion time. (I've installed a few other things to, but I can't see them in the Package manager.
I've been using Star Office since 5.1, and now when I install it, it isn't added to the menu systems, whether it be gnome or KDE. I had to add them in manully.
And this buisness with not playing MP3z is annoying.
At first I thought something was wrong with the system, but about 5 minutes I sussed out what the problem was.
And all my MPG/MPEG files will not play either.
I'm finding this release quite frustrating, and I've used more time and effort setting it up how I want it, than any other previous version of Red Hat.


Though, saying that, the best part about it is the anti aliasing. I can finally see fonts clearly on while running at 1600 x 1200.

For that reason alone I'm going to stick with it, but if quality of what on my screen was the same as 7.3, I'd have no hesitation, and wipe this pain in the A off my PC and put 7.3 back on.

Some very nice Redhat 8.0 RPM packages
by Marcos on Mon 7th Oct 2002 23:23 UTC

Wow!

There is some very interesting software packaged for Redhat 8.0 here:

http://neomundi.com.br/usuarios/mab/redhat8.html

RE: Some very nice Redhat 8.0 RPM packages
by Morgewan on Tue 8th Oct 2002 06:46 UTC

Nice find Marcos! Thanks for sharing...

Great Job RedHat
by Jamie on Tue 8th Oct 2002 15:29 UTC

Great job Redhat team I use your linux for the day to day work and play. I specially love the new interface and ease of use. I think we have a gem here that I think will easily topple windows. I had no issues with Nvidia drivers. I use Redhat 7.3 at home to play warcraftIII and wow what a difference the 8.0 looks. Keep on the good work !!!!

re: Let the mirth begin!
by Chuck on Tue 8th Oct 2002 18:27 UTC

>>- don't like the default menus? edit them

You can't edit them (at least for Gnome). There is no menu editor in RH8. Anyone else notice that?

Dream on
by Roger on Tue 8th Oct 2002 20:20 UTC

Until someone comes up with an operating system their mother can install without any help, any hope of significant inroads into the Windows market is love's labor lost. Why developers are so beligerently stupid about ease of use issues is beyond me.

I'm waiting again...
by Lee Balcom on Wed 9th Oct 2002 00:52 UTC

Thanks for such a great article! I have been searching for a review for the two new linux versions. Actually, I had my credit card out in front of me and going to Redhat.com to purchase 8.0 I am new to linux and am now not convinced to purchase the program yet. I was starting to get hyped about the "windows killer". I want to try linux but do not want all these little headaches. I will definately purchase a version when one gets a good, honest review as an OS for the general public. I am looking forward to your Mandrake 9.0 review; please email to me when you write it.
Thanks!

for desktop Linux go peanut
by anonymous on Wed 9th Oct 2002 01:31 UTC

I liked this review as it shows the view of the user rather than the tech noob.

If you want to look for a nice distribution for desktop rahter look for PEANUT 9.3R2. It comes with mplayer,xmms,mp3,ogg,etc ,KDE3,enlightenment.,Koffice, netscape, GAIM etc etc
And the iso is only 220MB, not 3 CDs.Also VERY good support for RPMS and a nice help forum that actually answers fast for problems.

The only bad thing I found was that you still have to make your partitions at the beginning of the install, but I don't see why one should always have to get so many CDs to have a nice desktop.

nVidia ? who's nVidia ?
by Andrés on Wed 9th Oct 2002 02:27 UTC

Eugenia: all the pain you had with the X issue = nVidia = crap. those things happen when you have crap instead of quality hardware ie: ATI,3Dfx,etc

--
Crap can work, given anough thrust pigs will fly, but it's not necessary a good idea.
Alexander Biro on Linux-kernel