Linked by Mike Reed on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 19:02 UTC
Red Hat I keep reading all these tales of woe of people having bad experiences with Linux. Sure, I've had my own bad experiences, across many an OS, but just lately I've been running a Red Hat Linux 9 desktop full-time at home and have yet to run into any major issue. What follows is an overview of my personal experiences with Linux. But first, a bit about me.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RH9 - poor quality review
by Anon on Thu 24th Apr 2003 04:24 UTC

The author of this review clearly must use SCSI disk and CDRW, as per his mention of "sda", and not use IDE.
Had the author used IDE disk and CDRW, two things would immediately stand out about Red Hat 9;

1. Disk performance, IDE/ATA, has regressed badly.
2. Using an IDE/ATAPI CDRW is 50/50, and fails often
with data corruption.

Kernel 2.4.20, on which RH9 is based, has ripped out
the entire IDE subsystem from the previous releases and
replaced it with one not ready for production use.
If people review the "phoebe" mailing list at Red Hat's
site (Phoebe was the beta list for RH9), they will find
a lengthly public message from the OS manager at Red Hat
discussing the serious problems in the IDE subsystem.
It is not Red Hat's fault, but rather came from a huge
fight among the linux community kernel developers that resulted in the IDE key developer quitting, and Mr. Linus ripping the entire IDE stack out of the kernel, replacing it with a newer and not so finished one by some other developer. Red Hat got stuck, but the result is that if you need disk performance, and need to burn cdroms, you had
better get a SCSI based system, or else have a LOT of time and a LOT of extra cdr discs on your table.

Want proof? Run #hdparm -t /dev/hda on Red Hat 7.3,
then try the same command on Red Hat 9. Go to the
mail-lists and read about the IDE subsystem.
https://listman.redhat.com/pipermail/phoebe-list/2003-March/004190.h...

The rest of Red Hat 9 is very nice. Hopefully a future kernel update will restore the ability to do reliable cd recording and full ide disk performance.

Also, Suse 8.2 comes with browser plugins for java, acrobat reader from adobe (because xpdf does not let you print), flash, and others. Suse 8.2 comes with full multimedia support, including mp3. So Red Hat 9 strips out mp3, some other multimedia, plugins, java from Sun, anything that is not GPL. While the spirit of GPL ideals are nice, they do result in an OS that leaves the customer to learn how to be a system integrator. Not fun. With Suse 8.2, the user can login and go. It's all put together.

So while Red Hat 9 is very nice, it needs work, badly.
The world is 90% IDE/ATA, and small bit SCSI (unless you are a coporate/enterprise data center with servers). So shipping an OS with a severly busted IDE subsystem is just plain nasty. I wonder if MickySoft, IBM, HP, Sun, or Apple would ship a new version that has really lower IDE disk performance and cdr data corruption?

So we go back to Red Hat 8 for now? Hmm. Red Hat 8 has some really bad breakage in rpm. (Try rpm -vv -something...). The rpm db gets messed up due to race conditions, and you can't use rpm any longer until the db is rebuilt. There are other flaws.

So the last version of Red Hat that had;

+ working RPM
+ Working IDE and CDR
+ good performance
+ full multimedia support

was Red Hat 7.3

Oh Well. So much for a detailed review.