Linked by Jay Sabol on Fri 4th Oct 2002 00:49 UTC
Red Hat Well, here on OSNews, there has been plenty of discussion about Red Hat 8, what it is, what it isn't, the Bluecurve look and many other features and issues. I ordered Red Hat 8 Personal Edition and decided to see how close Red Hat 8 may be to a distribution that Joe and Jane User could install and use.
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My review
by geleto on Fri 4th Oct 2002 18:43 UTC

I am a Windows user. I've tried some a linux distro twice (RH6 and Mandrake7) and each time I gave up because I spend way too much time to make the hardware and software work.
So this time I tried RH8.
Installed flawlesly except that it did not detect my second network card - an ISA NE2000 compartable. I added it quite easy after the instalation from the Network configuration panel, it showed me that the device is active. Tried to ping the nearby computer and guess what - host unreachable. Doh, searched google a bit, then removed the device and tried to add the "alias eth1 ne" and the "option ..." lines to etc/conf.modules, but did not find the file. Searched in google again - well conf.modules is modules.conf in RH. This did not work. Searched google once again - read about the dmesg command and it showed that there's an interrupt conflict with eth1. Rebooted, ran windows, the hardware manager showed that the card shares an interrupt with COM1 (which does not stop it from running just fine under Windows). So went in the BIOS setup and disabled COM1(don't need it anyway). Ran Windows - evrth. works. Ran Linux again. Now the onboard sound does not work, after removing COM1 the BIOS PNP moved it's IRQ, but RH Linux tries to use it from the old IRQ. Activated COM1, disabled COM2 to free an IRQ and changed the netcard IRQ jumpers to use it (BTW which is the Linux utility that tells you which IRQ to which device is assigned?). Hurray - both the sound and the second netcard work.
Next I try to install SAMBA. Can't find a gui, so I load from the internet a GUI frontend for SAMBA - gtksamba , but it sux - it's not much better than editing smb.conf myself (why can't it be as simple as in windows). So I read the HOWTO, edit smb.conf and my computer is now visible on the network. But it's not accesible. I can't find or access any other computer on the network. After spending lots of time tweaking smb.conf I realize that maybe the firewall is not leting SAMBA through. So I look for a tool to edit the firewall configuration and find lokkit, which is realy nice and simple. I tell it I want to give access to the computers on eth1 and voila - I can acces the windows shares on the network, they can see me. Windows prompts for a passowrd so I set it with smbpasswd, well this password does not work. I am too much fed up installing SAMBA so I leave it as it is.
Next I try to install the NVidia Linux drivers. Read the docs, must exit X while installing. Good I need a textmode text editor (in case something goes wrong). But can't find any. I've heard of vi and emacs. Try them both. Never imagined that a text editor can be confusing. I need a simple edit.com, not an editor that can control my toaster or requires cryptic commands and shortcuts to run. So I search the net and find nano. Why doesn't RH bundle something like this? Now I edit inittab to disable logging directly into X (is there a preference panel to do this?). So I do an "rpmbuild --rebuild" of the kernel module exactly as explained in the docs and I get a bunch of errors while compiling. I search google again and it looks like it can't find the kernel sources or something. Looks like I have to install the kernel Development packages. I proceed with the instalation instructions and finaly - Tux Racer is running.

So my conclusion is - Linux is still a mess.