A month ago we published the world’s exclusive review of Red Hat 8.0, Download Edition. In the meatime Red Hat, Inc. sent us a box of their newest product, Red Hat Professional. While the OS is pretty much the same as in the download edition and we have already made an extensive article on it, a few additional goodies await the customer in the box and we review them.The gray box includes quite a few items in it. You will find four booklets/guides, a 4-page Red Hat Network quick reference guide, a big Red Hat poster, some stickers, and 9 CDs: a credit card-sized mini-CD with the admininstator’s tools (that’s cool), the three installation CDs of the OS, a multimedia/office application CD, 2 CDs with the source code, one CD with the documentation, and one DVD and includes all what is to be found in the previous 8 CDs.
Except of the installation CDs, I also used the “multimedia/office application CD”, but that CD is not filled with enough non-free applications or demos. From the pretty limited bunch, I only found useful the Java 1.4 RPMs, the Flash plugin and the Acrobat reader. The rest of the apps didn’t really impress me, in fact the rest of the apps were not exactly “multimedia”. There is no Xine, Nvidia drivers, Real Player or VideoLan/Ogle to be found there. And only one from the great collection of TheKompany’s applications is included. I am sure that the CD can be filled with more interested applications (some are Free in fact). Examples: More games like FlightGear, maybe (abandoned) demos from Loki, LBreakout2, LGeneral etc. CAD demos, a copy of the Scribe DTP app, Sodipodi, Anjuta, Sketch, PurifyPlus, Sweep, ReZound, Audacity, more apps from TheKompany, phpMyAdmin, Hancom Office and much more. Just fill the CD with goodies (and a few suggestions for the future: Blender and Rhythmbox).
By re-installing Red Hat 8.0, the PRO version this time, I get the same software features (plus the credit card-sized admin CD and the applications CD) and to the same limitations as I mentioned on my review last month (plus one more). However, where Red Hat 8 PRO tries to differ from the Download and the Personal edition is in support (Web: Basic Installation, 60 days, Phone: Basic Installation, available during business hours, 60 days) and on the 60-day basic subscription of Red Hat Network.
But what really matters, help on the add-on support that is (come on, who needs such extensive installation support, you do the (pretty easy) installation only once), availability is pretty thin (“Limited Basic Installation and Configuration, available during business hours”) and the big surprise is that it is the same as in the Personal Edition! One would expect more configuration support from the PRO version than the one found on the Personal Edition.
According to what I said and seen so far, I see absolutely no reason for a company or an individual to buy the Pro edition over the Personal one, except maybe for pure support for the company. And people who can get their way around things, the free download edition is more than enough and adequate.
But then, there is the documentation. There are about 800 pages (printed with pretty small characters, so there is a lot of information there) on all 4 books. I have to say that the documentation is just excellent. Sometimes they are over-analyzing things, but overall, I find it excellent.
There is not much to be said about the installation guide, it is pretty much a step by step process, and the authors are explaining each step very carefully and give lots of information (e.g. how partitions work in general).
The Getting Started Guide is a good starter, and I only found two flaws in it: no mention of how to install fonts (I didn’t see the mention of the ~.fonts/ trick, found on Red Hat 8, but only a brief report on the /usr/share/fonts/) while the Index of that booklet is pretty poor. Other than that, it is ok.
Both the Reference Guide and Customization Guide are for more advanced users, and personally, this is where I find the whole “meat” of the Professional Edition. You will find help on how to configure BIND, CUPS, DHCP, RAID, Apache, Users, Cron and more. You will also learn more about the inner workings of your OS, like how to use modules, how to create swap files, how to deal with X, Firewalls and much more. My only beef here is that they talk a bit too extensively about Kickstart (automatic deployment of the OS to multiple machines), but other than that, these guides are great.
Personally, I find that the best and main part of the PRO version, is its documentation (as I explained above, the installation support is not an issue for most professionals). But the PRO version costs $100 more than the Personal version, and you can always buy a book on Red Hat 8 (to learn to do more with your system), for less than $45 USD.
Make no mistake, I am not saying that Red Hat Professional is overpriced. I just believe that the Personal Edition is dirt cheap and offers most of what the PRO version offers, making the PRO version really not justifiable for purchase by most people. Again, I am not saying that Red Hat does not deserve every penny, on the contrary. I just think that Red Hat, Inc. should rethink of the way they layout their products. Either the Personal Edition should lose some “fat” (and consequently, features), or bump up its price (probably not a good idea, in order to be able to compete with Mandrake and SuSE’s personal editions). If none of these two options are doable, Red Hat should reduce the price of the PRO. Otherwise, I just can’t recommend the PRO edition over the Red Hat Personal Edition, despite its great documentation.
If you are after an OS-specific review (rather than a boxed product-specific one), please read our review from three weeks ago.
I just finished downloading 8.0 to install on my epia because gentoo did not work.
Gumby: What is linux performance like on your EPIA (and which model do you have)?
Sadly to say. due to the lack of a good multimedia selection, red hat 8 is going bye bye…Suse is coming in the mail and shows much more promise.
Go to freshrpms.net and get your multimedia applications. I did, it’s not that difficult to download and install them. While you are there you should grab apt too.
May I say that the documents are available on RedHat website. There is not much need to purchase the Pro version…
Tried to compile the apps from sourceforge to get mpg2 playback at least and all I get with the damn thing is recursive error 1 and other strange things from the console (logged in as root). Clearly this isnt worth the hassle when I can get things work much better with other distros, i.e. Gentoo, Mandrake, Suse…..red hat just pisses me off.
The type face is so small as to make it painful to try and read. Useless. Does RedHat think only 20 year olds are the only people buying their products. Come on RedHat don’t be so cheap. Print in standard size font and format.
Why on earth are you compiling from sourceforge tar balls on a Red Hat box?
You obviously have very little experience or understanding of Red Hat…there is very little software that is not available in some form of Red Hat compatible RPM (or SRPM)
RPM is really easy to use…download the RPMS you need to their own directory and type ‘rpm -Uvh *.rpm’
or you could also pickup apt for rpm at freshrpms.net
either way, there is almost no reason to compile apps from source on Red Hat, also Red Hat is the STANDARD for linux, if it doesn’t work on Red Hat, guess what, YOU are probably doing something wrong, not Red Hat, for instance, you probably forgot a dependency by compiling from source (as great as autoconf is, it doesn’t always find all the dependencies you really need)…virtually all Linux developers at least test on Red Hat for compatibility
just face it, you, like several 3l337ists have a hatred for Red Hat, and that’s your right, just don’t complain that it’s hard to install software on, because it’s clearly not
Think you’re reading too far into what I said. I have no hatred of red hat for what they are doing. Their desktop is well laid out and makes perfect sense for business environments. The first flavor of linux I ever used was RH 5.2 back in the earlier days and it was quite educational for a first time user. No, I dont have a lot of linux experience but that is changing by the day. I suppose you could say I’ve been spoiled by other flavors of linux but I have had just as much frustration at one point or another with each of them. I even have UT2003 running under the current install of redhat and it runs very well. Oh, and BTW Im not even close to being elitist. Perhaps if I was I’d be using a mac. Thats not the case.
Gnome is so sllooowwww … it taaakkkkeeezz too long
Gnome is so sllooowwww … it taaakkkkeeezz too long
So install blackbox or icewm or fvwm or twm or windowmaker or…
Besides, from my experience, Gnome tends to be faster than KDE and on modern hardware either runs more than adequately
Gnome2 is very fast in my experience.. Lots faster dan gnome1.4 and kde3. And redhat 8 is also pretty fast with gcc3.2 and glibc2.3 (well, almost 2.3)
Just a note about Red Hat 8.0’s usability. Sorry, but it got a little long. I had a lot to say about Red Hat!
Yesterday morning, instead of drudging through rush hour traffic(actually, in Atlanta, its more like rush morning traffic…), I decided that I would work from home. Now, since I installed Red Hat 8.0 a few weeks ago, I have been very, very impressed with it. But somehow I shot the pooch on installing and configuring Grub, as I can no longer boot into my Windows XP install (if anyone has any suggestions on fixing this, please email me!). So I decided this would be a good experiment in testing the usability of Red Hat.
As I said, I was working from home. Knowing how I liked to play with various software, I installed just about every Office/Productivity package that was available to me. What I needed to do was take a series of Excel spreadsheets that stored telephone terminal information, standardize the form, create a DB structure to eventually move the data into, and write a requirements document. Now I realize that all of these tasks really have nothing to do with Red Hat itself, but instead have everything to do with the applications that I chose to use. The point here is whether or not Red Hat provided a usable, productive environment for me to work in. So, I download the Excel documents from my file repository, and fired up GNumeric. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with GNumeric’s conversion of my Excel documents (they have some strange formatting), so I tried KSpread. KSpread did not fair much better, if at all. Lastly, I tried OpenOffice.org, and found that it imported my Excel document to almost a perfect copy. Could not have been more impressed. And unlike previous versions of KDE and other distributions of Linux, when I copy and pasted from one application to another, it actually worked pasted what I copied. None of the applications that I used paused, hiccuped, or crashed.
When I had finished using OO.o to edit the spreadsheets, I decided to print them out (as they are little more than data input forms). Unlike Mandrake, Red Hat 8.0 did not automatically detect and install my printer, so I had to go in an configure it using the Printer utility under System Config. After a little frustration with choosing a driver for my HP 932c, I was successfully printing from OO.o. With my spreadsheets done, I fired up OO.o’s Word Processor and wrote my 4 page requirements document. I do have to say that the neatest feature of OO.o is auto complete.
After my requirements doc, I put together the SQL statements using Kate, but that’s not saying anything special.
So, using Red Hat 8.0, I was able to do everything that I needed to do for work, as well as listen to my MP3 collection while doing it. As it stands now, the only thing that I need to log into Windows for would be game play. Now, I’m not saying that RedHat is ready for the average user. Most users don’t care about the minutia that I do. I’ve been playing with Linux for over a year now, and I feel that I’m quite adept at using it. What I do have to say, is that in my opinion, Red Hat 8.0 is the best Linux Distribution that I have ever used. Its clean, fast, stable, and well stocked with highly usable applications as long as you are willing to invest a little time to learn to do things a slightly different way.
Sorry for the long post.
I share the opinion of Chris. I have played with linux since SuSE 6.1 and have never ever dreamed of using Linux for every day use.
With Mandrake 8.0, I switched to Mandrake and have been using it through version 8.2. But when I installed 9.0 on my system, it felt like a cold shower (I share Eugenia’s dissatisfaction with Mdk9.0. But please don’t start the discussion all over again now!)
But when I saw the screenshots of RedHat 8.0, I got curious and installed it one night via our cable modem. The next morning I booted RedHat 8.0 and I was very very pleased.
In fact, I was so pleased that I bought a boxed version of RedHat 8.0 Personal and now I am using it on a daily basis with very high satisfaction. I switched from Windows 98 to RedHat 8.0! Yes, that’s right!
I have been a KDE user since KDE1, but now I have switched to Gnome2 because it is way faster on my ageing hardware (k6-2 300MHz, 192Mb ram) than KDE3 and I find it more logical to use, too. And: everything just looks beautiful in the RedHat 8.0 world!
My only wish is a good font installer like drakfont in Mandrake 9.0. Why? Because Mandrake 9.0 embeds the imported truetype fonts in the PDF.
I bought personal version from Amazon – $36.99 – just right- and this could be the one that is turning point for Linux on Desktop!
I hope they improve it and listen to comments and problems and fix every one they can .
I think more documented updates such as How to’s posted;would be great if red hat would have index of them on their site.
Very fast, well setup and Red Hat– KEEP UP GOOD WORK!!
I’m downloading redhat now and I was wondering how many CDs do I really need to download? 6 seems a little much.
It depends on which packages you install. I only needed 1,2, and 3. To be honest, I would just go ahead and burn all of them…
You only need the first 3 CD’s. The other two are source code.
well, rh 8 is great, but it’s not perfect, I’ve just tried Debian and IMHO, the apt is better than rpm. oh, yes one thing to mention is, in rh8 if u trying to install rpm packages by double clicking it can cause crashes then u need to restart in order to install the packages.
I’ve tried to kill the process but it didn’t give any effect.
Red Hat is the best supported Linux out there.
IBM, HP, SUN all work with Red HAT.
So if you wish to run Linux in you business then…
I think RedHat has earned their leadership position. If other distros what to compete with RedHat they’ll have to spend some bucks to beef up their development and support.
I have it running on a few boxes and I think it’s awsome!
I’m glad to see that my decision to buy the Personal Edition was the right one. I love it. I use it so much, I went ahead and paid for extended access to the Red Hat Network. This distro is staying on one of mt machines and I love using it. What they have done is, I think, part of the future.
“Tried to compile the apps from sourceforge to get mpg2 playback at least and all I get with the damn thing is recursive error 1 and other strange things from the console (logged in as root). Clearly this isnt worth the hassle when I can get things work much better with other distros, i.e. Gentoo, Mandrake, Suse…..red hat just pisses me off.”
How hard is it to go to http://www.xmms.org and download the RPM’s requried to get support for MPEG files? It’s dead easy and, if that made you piss off, then why don’t you just stick with good ol Windows? Because I don’t think that the guys that works hard for making good distros free available like Desktop/LX, Mandrake & Gentoo wants a user that gets pissed of as soon as you can’t get a simple thing to work!
Are you sure they aren’t available on Personal Edition? 😀
I think the main difference between the two product is the optional corporate support. Things that really matter for a company transitioning from Windows/Mac OS to Linux.
Maybe in the consumer market – a market SuSE isn’t too well with. But with the specific target markets Red Hat is after, I don’t see why the lack of “multimedia” apps is so bad. Especially since there is this link on RH’s main page – http://www.redhat.com/advice/speaks_80mm.html
Enabling back MP3 support was easy enough, a few easy RPM downloads; plus the installations was quite easy. Sure, not something the Average Joe would do – but hey, Red Hat don’t give a shit about them.
GNOME 2.0 faster than KDE 3.0? Nah. Yeah, maybe it uses a lot more RAM (well, somebody gotta pay for the extra features, right?), if compiled on GCC 3.2 with the same optimizations, there shouldn’t be a big performance difference. If there is, you should really consider getting more RAM.
P.S. I was using GNOME 2.0 just before my Linux machine blew up taking all my dear sweet sweet files with it…….
You know what guys, just forget I said a damn thing earlier because all I have heard so far is surrounded with implications of “dumb f***** noob” crap and a lot of attitude. If I can manage to get a fully functional Gentoo 1.2 system running I think I am less than the fuss-maker that you imply I am. So, in the end, who needs this eh? Sorry I made an observation and statement that was contrary to the status quo.
Downloaded RedHat 8. Tried to install it. Could not get networking to work at all. Network works and works with linux. Put gentoo on machine (this machine is destined to be a web and ftp server) and networking works out of the box. Same command dhcpcd eth0 on both RH8 and gentoo. Gentoo works, RedHat doesn’t.
What I get from the review By Eugenia Loli-Queru and some
of the subsequent messages is that the software in the
Professional box is essentially the same as that in the
Personal box (or the downloadable version), but that it
comes with the set of official Red Hat documentation.
Source code is useful only to a limited number of
advanced users, and the multi-media CD appears to be
rather useless, as it does not provide anything that
can’t be obtained from the web anyway. I also agree that
the 2-month service period is most probably not useful,
if it is related only to installation issues, and if that
process is largely trivial anyway.
Surprisingly, nobody ever mentioned the ‘System
Administrator Tools CD’, which appears to be another main
difference between the two boxes. Since the Personal box
costs 39.95 USD and the set of books goes for 45.00 USD,
it is really critical to know whether that SysAdmin CD
is worth 65 USD (or the better part of that).
Could anyone list the contents of that mini-CD and
provide a clue as to its usefulness? Are there tricks
or activities, configurations, or other things that
can’t be done without it? Thanks a lot for clarifying
Here is the readme on that mini-CD. And apparently, it is free to download. One more reason to NOT buy Pro edition. Just get the Personal Edition if you want to support Red Hat.
Welcome to the Red Hat SysAdmin Survival CD Version 8.0.
This CD can be used to
– repair broken Linux systems
– help support tracing problems
– check if your hardware is supported by the latest Red Hat Linux release
This CD is based on Red Hat Linux 7.3. Some adjustments have been made to reduce the size of several applications.
Please send bug reports and other feedback to [email].
ftp://ftp.redhat.de/pub/rh-addons/rescue-cd/ contains the current version.
[So, you can download it off the web as well.]
Sample tasks this CD can be used for:
Recovering your harddrive’s filesystems
Some tools to repair your filesystems:
checks your filesystems for errors and can repair damage
guesses broken partition tables
rescuept <device> helps to recover the partition table
badblocks help you to detect bad blocks on your IDE drives
tool for tapedrive handling
flushes filesystem buffers
Checking the network:
The loader of our rescue cd tries to configure the network automatically. There are many possibilities to use this CD to check your network. Some tools which can be used to perform network tasks:
performs dns queries to a nameserver
echos data about the given hostname
shows network connections from the local computer
permits secure remote login
permits you to copy file from the local host to a remote computer securely
lets you check if a remote computer is reachable or not
(relies on the permission to send and receive ping packets in your LAN)
lets you perform many checks and also permits you remote access
lets you transfer files from the local to a remote host or vice versa
lets you set/change the machine’s IP address and configure additional
shows the route a TCP/IP packet takes to a specific host.
Help support tracing your problem
A simple mailer is included on the Sysadmin Survival CD.
mail -s “Problem description” -e vi
You can now edit a message to your support contact. Maybe support will ask
you to attach some files – you can simply proceed:
mail -s “Corrupted password file” -f /mnt/rootfs/etc/passwd
Boot the Sysadmin survival CD and type “mail –help” for more information.
Thanks a lot Eugenia. I really appreciate your fast and
thorough response. Just out of curiosity, I also noted
from the official RH web site that the multimedia
applications CD includes Acronis. Is this just a demo tool
or is it the full unrestricted software? Does it actually
permit to define a ReiserFS file system, for instance?
Same question applies to the Central Command anti virus,
I guess: is it the real thing or just a brain-damaged
demo version? Again, thanks for your help. Michel.
Argh, can’t try this right now as I have taken the 19″ monitor away from the machine that has Red Hat 8 PRO installed in it… Email me soon and I will try that for you.
When it comes to latest linux distribution today, RedHat is best for me. The AA is superb from installation to actual use.
Their desktop default setting is consistent from Gnome to Kde,from user to root. Try it in Mandrake, when you are user you become a root, and you will have a desktop with no AA, fonts are ugly.
Yes, I have to agree that today, in my experience, Red Hat 8 tops everyone. Very close second is SuSE 8.1 and more down the line, is Mandrake 9.
I tried all three during the past month, I prefer Red Hat 8, followed closely by SuSE.
Sorry to take so long to reply been out. Anyway I got the 800 mhz c3 ver. from caseoutlet ( then my 13 GB hard dive failed so I had to go buy an 80 GB no idea how to fill it up)
so I got everything installed and running hardware wise so I started to install gentoo but it had issuses with the partitioning and I’m not smart enough with linux to fix it so I gave up and tryed to install red hat 7.3
I got it installed untell it got to the last pakage and it failed so I gave up on that and put on windows xp pro. ( I got it for free
untell I could download redhat 8.0, so I ran a few bench marks on the chip and so forth (I used fresh dignose) and it said it beat out a 700 celeron and a 800 duron, but just barly, same with the memory bandwith. It seems to be running fine I got it going 24/7 running seti takes about 40 hours to complete a unit sometimes less.
Be sure to use round cables and it’s still a tight fit. so to sum it up windows xp runs rather fast and it has issues with linux (but I’m a super linux newbie too) going to try red hat 8.0 hopfuly tonight and I’ll be sure to get back to you. nice system for the price if anyone else has any questions just ask
I am very new to Linux and have RH-8 Personal on order. In the meantime, I have tried both RH-7.3 (from the disks in the “Dummies …” book and Mandrake 9 from disks in a local (Australian) PC magazine.
Both distributions worked fine (Mandrake looks good) but both also had the same problem in not being able to recognise my PCI modem.
1. Is this fixed in RD-8?
2. If not, how do you fix it; Not being able to connect to the Web seems a fundamental flaw! My Win-98 has been able to do it since new!
Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Internal modems are not easy to configure under any OS. I would recommend you either buy yourself a real modem, a serial external one, or do one of the following two:
1. If your modem is a win/softmodem, chances are you won’t have any luck with it, as these modems are made to work with Windows DLLs and not with any other OS.
2. Try here for answers and configuration guides:
However, I would still insist on an external serial modem. They just work. Everywhere.
Not all serial modems are REAL hardware ones, and especially not many USB ones are real either. There is some *real* PCI modems. But they are rare.
But I think real modems are better than winmodems, not because of compatiblity with other OS, but because it is faster than software ones. Unless you have a pretty fast machine with power to waste….
I don’t understand these distro reviews. Red Hat 8.0 has been bashed for a lack of multimedia, but this same subject was ignored for the Mandrake 9.0 review. Why? Did Mandrake come with some multimedia apps that work? If so what? How can we make any kind of informed choice with these type of reviews?