I installed Red Hat Linux 9 (Shrike) to see what has changed between it and the previous major version of Red Hat (8.0). The article features some installation screenshots and of course some post-install screenshots showing Bluecurve in Gnome and KDE (more shots here), user experience and discussion of whether you should upgrade or not.
The first thing you will note is that Red Hat has decided to move away from the x.x numbering of their products. Now they’ve moved directly from Red Hat 8.0 to Red Hat Linux 9 ending the 7.1,7.2,7.3,8.0 releases of times past, sure there was a 8.1 beta called Phoebe but that was all it was, a beta.
The CDs available for download are now 6 in total, up one from the last major release; however, most of us will get by with just downloading the first 3 CDs only, in order to install and setup Red Hat Linux 9 (the last three are source CDs).
For those of you who are impatient, I’ll answer two questions immediately. There is no native mp3 support included; you’ll have to fix that yourself if you want to play mp3s and for DVD lovers, the wonderful Xine is not included, you’ll have to download and install it yourself. I explain how to add both in Part III of this article.
The install went really well, with no hiccups. It was as clean and as straightforward as the Red Hat Linux 8.0 install, except now you have the option to ‘upgrade’ any previous version of Red Hat Linux installed on your computer. If you go this route, then make sure to read the Release-Notes for information about how it may impact your Linux installation. I chose to do a fresh install and wiped out the previous operating system altogether. The hardware that I used was a brand new Dell Latitude D600. The install worked great on this new hardware which was a big plus as Red Hat Linux 8.0 choked on the first reboot after installing on the same machine (the now ‘old’ default Red Hat Linux 8.0 kernel probably didn’t know how to deal with the chipset/ide controllers and did a hardware lockup after GRUB).
I had to manually configure X to tell it that my monitor was a Laptop Display Panel (why can’t Red Hat Linux detect LCD’s ?). After installing it booted up for the first time and all looked well. I noticed that CUPS was loaded by default on bootup (I have no printer) and some reference to 3 HSA cryptography keys also. The firstboot runs a short out of box experience (its called firstboot) which asks for the user to input some details and test sound etc. Once done you are presented with a nicer looking login screen than the one included with Red Hat Linux 8.0.
So what’s different about it? Well, for starters (pun intended) the start menu is now far better arranged than the clumsy bloated mess in Red Hat Linux 8.0. It’s now clearly laid out and there is even a handy ‘recent documents’ shortcut called ‘open recent’ on the menu. Nothing new to Windows users but it’s nice to finally see it in Red Hat Linux. Once again, Gnome is the default DE and Bluecurve is the default theme so overall it looks remarkably similar to Red Hat Linux 8.0. The release notes refer to Bluetooth support included (bluez libraries and utility programs) in this release but as I haven’t got Bluetooth on this machine I cannot test that functionality. Also in the release notes were mention of once again, no (current) 3D hardware drivers for NVIDIA users. That sucks because if you want to use your Red Hat Linux install for gaming, then you’ll have to configure and compile the NVIDIA source drivers for EACH kernel release for Red Hat Linux 9.0 starting with the one thats included. Oh, and by the way its 2.4.20-6.
What else is new? You’ll notice pretty quickly that the mouse cursor has had some code changes; in fact its called ‘Xcursor’and it has some groovy new antialiased, alpha blended (translucency) features included to make it look ‘cool’ while waiting for some RPM to install. Those of you that had issues with Red Hat Linux 8.0 not installing on your Intel i845,i852, i855 and i865 integrated video will be happy to note that this has been reworked so hopefully even with a 1mb bios limitation on your video card, you’ll get Red Hat Linux 9 Linux to install and have a graphical mode too. I inserted a blank CD-R in order to fire up xcdroast to burn these screenshots on this machine, and was pleasantly surprised to see that Gnome now has built in (limited) CD burning support in Nautilus. And it worked too! However, once I later installed Xcdroast i seem to have lost that ability. Oh well, it was only a test install anyway.
Mozilla version 1.2.1 is the default web browser and that’s good for us Mozilla lovers. You will notice that there are no plug-ins loaded in Mozilla so for RealAudio playback, Shockwave or Java you’ll have to get the plug-ins yourself and install them. OpenOffice is also included (version 1.0.2) but the nice, freely available Microsoft Fonts are not installed, sadly, so that’s another thing that you’ll have to configure yourself if you so desire.
For those of you who use KDE you’ll be pleased to note that its now version 3.1-4 and that allows you to use the included Keramik theme. Ok, now that we are done installing Red Hat 9, lets see what its like to use.
First time users of Linux should consider going for the full installation (Everything) to have access to a wealth of pre-installed software – it takes longer to install but then you get access to all the tools and software on the first three CDs. Going with the default choice in the install menu doesn’t give you everything (such as KDE and its associated applications and Red Hat’s server applications/administrative tools) but does still provide enough to get working/playing/experimenting. I’ll try and summarize some of what is included in the full install below, but I won’t list every application because there’s no point. You can always add or remove applications at a later stage in the package manager. Bear in mind, however, that the maximum install does not provide everything you’d expect to find as standard on a Windows XP machine. In fact, you’ll notice that multimedia is lacking and other features abounding which may or may not suit you.
Web Browsers included:
Mozilla 1.21 is the default browser in Red Hat Linux 9, and it’s a very nice browser by all standards, featuring tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking support among its features. Unfortunately, the included browser does not have plug-ins such as Java Virtual Machine/ShockWave/RealPlayer installed and that means that the end user will have to configure those plug-ins, easy to do in Windows but a pain in the neck in Linux.
The Konqueror (3.1-12) web browser is also included (KDE)
and it’s a nice browser by all accounts. I use Mozilla myself so I cannot really comment, but it too suffers from the lack of included plug-ins.
The Gnome-based Galeon is also included, and as above with Konqueror it’s got lots of nice features and has its own audience, In fact, I like the way it does the google search bars, very neat integration with the browser. The included version of Galeon for those that care is 1.2.7.
The three browsers included above should be just fine for the average and even the advanced user, and as Mozilla is the default browser, most users will end up using it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if the included version of Mozilla (1.21) is that stable or bug free (note the current version is 1.3) so my advice for people who intend to use Mozilla: please upgrade to the latest stable release and as a result you’ll find plug-ins are much easier to install.
Instant messaging clients are all the rage, and Red Hat Linux 9 supplies enough to satisfy, so no complaints here.
Choose from GAIM, which is compatible with MSN messenger as I describe below, (and many other protocols which I don’t) or LICQ.
OpenOffice is of course included as it was in Red Hat Linux 8.0, except this time it’s a later version and you’ll notice that it has an autocomplete icon which pops up, similar in a way to the ‘clippy’ icon so loved/hated in Microsoft Office.
An all-round package which is superb, lacking in TrueType Fonts but that’s easily fixable. It still doesn’t have an Outlook-type mail client equivalent, which is a shame for Windows to Linux switchers, however Evolution is a very good email application.
I don’t use Linux as my business operating system (the company I work for uses Microsoft Windows 2000), however Red Hat 9 as it currently stands would do just about all I need to do in terms of mail handling, creating documents, checking Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and viewing or creating presentations although not perhaps as easily or elegantly as the Microsoft Office equivalents that I am used to.
My only gripe with OpenOffice is it has an annoying delay while loading up a module even on a very fast and current computer. Opening Microsoft Word in Windows XP on the same system is instantaneous compared to OpenOffice Writer. I guess some more work needs to be done in that department as this was the same in Red Hat 8.0, so hopefully in time this can improve. Once it’s loaded, it’s fine, but if you are in a hurry to read something in OpenOffice, then the delay can be tiresome.
I ran this entire article more than once through OpenOffice Writer (which is the Microsoft Word Equivalent) and it handled this really well. The spell checker was put to the test too, so if you spot some errors you know where to blame them. (Editor’s note: this article was absolutely rife with spelling and punctuation errors when I received it, seriously)
This is the one area that I feel Red Hat 9 is lacking, in particular, playing or listening to MP3’s or viewing/playing DVD’s, video content via the web or locally, DIVx movies and more. I feel the lack of applications like xine and mplayer does not add anything to this install, and only complicates and frustrates users, especially users that are unfamiliar with compiling programs in the Linux environment. XMMS is included but its mp3 plug-in is not. This is unfortunate. All Windows-based systems can play mp3s in Windows Media Player out of the box; same goes for playing most standard AVIs. And as regards DVDs on a Windows machine, it’s so easy to install WinDVD or PowerDVD that its a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Red Hat Linux 9.
By default, Red Hat 9 now has limited CD burning capability built-in (provided that you don’t install Xcdroast), its works fine and you’ll be pleasantly surprised (as I was) when inserting a Blank CD-R that it will open a new folder called ///burn where you can drag and drop files to be burnt to cd. Experienced users will however probably just install their favorite cd burning software and Xcdroast is included for those that want it.
Graphical Editing/Viewing Software
Nothing with the ease of use or functionality of Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop is included, but there are some applications. GIMP is included and I used it to capture many of the screenshots.
Digital Camera Software
You can plug in your USB-based camera and with a bit of fiddling get it to work in Red Hat 9, using the supplied Gtkam application. It worked for me using my Canon Powershot A20 but I found it cumbersome to setup and retrieve my photos. However, the capability is there (as long as your camera is supported) so that’s good news.
The networking GUIs of the operating system seem to have been upgraded and I’m unsure whether I’m convinced that it’s all for the better. The Wireless Internet configuration setup is much easier by default in Red Hat 9, but moving from one wireless access point to another (along with the change in WEP keys if appropriate and SSID’s) poses problems for the non-technical. In Red Hat 8.0 you could enable or disable eth1 (which is my wireless network card) easily but its seems to be more obscure to me in Red Hat 9.
There are no apparent icons for network strength or for that matter connectivity on the taskbar (as you would see on a windows taskbar), so I’m left with using an x-term logged in as ‘su’ to check my internet connection status via command line tools like ifup eth1, ping host and ifconfig, and as simple as that is to some, it’s not for everyone.
On a side note, (i do like to connect to my Windows boxes and remote admin them) I’m glad to note that rdesktop (http://www.rdesktop.org) has been updated and is now version 1.2.0, that is useful because the default rdesktop that was included with red hat 8.0 did not have a capability to use MSTSC (Microsoft Terminal Services client) non-standard ports, (anything other than the default 3389) so this version by is great for administrating your Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/.NET computers remotely especially if you have changed the default receiving port in the registry.
CUPS is now the default printing software and looks relatively simple and strikingly like the Windows Print Manager equivalent. I don’t have a working printer so I can’t really comment on it’s effectiveness.
Linux die-hards will of course enjoy the wealth of included server applications. You can set up your Red Hat 9 box to be a web-server/ftp-server with relative ease. I tried the included Apache and it was very easy to set up, as it was with Red Hat 8.0. I use Linux mainly on my portable computer so server applications are one area that I tend to steer clear of due to the lack of need. Apologies, but you’ll have to wait for someone else to go into proper depth for this area of Red Hat 9. There appears to be much better Samba support, but… you’ll have to update Samba to include the latest fixes from the recent security releases here.
Updating the Included Software.
Red Hat 9 comes complete with its own up2date functionality and that’s cool. Very similar to Windows Update except you have to register with Red Hat using a working Email address. This email address will also be polled regularly to see if it’s live. If not (if you don’t reply when requested), your ability to update that machine via this tool will be halted, but that can be fixed so its not the end of the world. I like the way Red Hat does its up2date features mostly, in that it does keep track of all your machines, however if you have many machines then the basice service may not be the best route for you. You’ll need to upgrade to Red Hat’s more expensive Red Hat Network services in that case.
Bear in mind that the up2date utility only updates programs that it deems are necessary due to security reasons. You can’t use it to update your version of OpenOffice for example.
Ok, that’s part of what’s included. As I said before, there is too much included software to mention here but now that we have an idea of what’s there, let’s start configuring it for our own needs.
Now that you have come this far, you probably want to add those features you consider missing in Shrike, either that or you just want to expand on its possibilities. Below, I give you some examples of what I did to get my system up and running the way that I wanted to. You, of course, are free to choose the way you set up your own installation but hopefully this will give you some ideas.
Configuring the Desktop.
Before I get into details, you probably should know that my preferred window manager in Red Hat is the default Gnome Bluecurve theme. I’ve always liked Gnome, and Red Hat’s implementation of it is nice and smooth in my opinion. So apologies to KDE lovers, this article really isn’t about KDE versus Gnome, its supposed to give you an idea of what Shrike is actually like.
The first thing I do after installing any new operating system is to configure the desktop for my personal tastes, and with Red Hat 9 it was relatively easy to do.
I changed icons around, removed a lot of the default icons (such as OpenOffice and Evolution) in the Red Hat ‘taskbar’, so that i now have quick access to my frequently used icons, x-terminal, GAIM, xchat, gftp and battery monitor. Adding an icon to the taskbar is quite an easy process – click on the Red Hat icon (start menu) and (in this example we’ll add xchat) click ‘Internet’ followed by ‘more Internet applications’. Put your mouse cursor over xchat and drag it down to the taskbar where you want it and release. Thats it. Drag and Drop functionality works quite nicely in Red Hat 9.
What’s missing in Gnome Bluecurve? Oh yes, there’s still no icon for ‘show desktop’, I mean why can’t they include this in Gnome, since most Windows users are used to it being there and it’s a very useful icon, so why is it absent? You can actually duplicate the functionality of the missing button by pressing CTRL+ALT+D and voila! you can see your desktop. Press those keys again and all your applications are back where they were, I can’t understand why something as useful as this isn’t included by default in the taskbar. Well, it actually is included but its hidden away from view. You have to right click on the taskbar, choose ‘add to panel’ and then choose ‘show desktop button’. Please, Red Hat, can you ship the next OS with this button on the taskbar as default?
Configure GAIM to use Your MSN Messenger Account.
I use MSN Messenger on my Windows computers and my Red Hat Linux computers and it’s my primary Instant Messenger method to contact my friends and family. Having the ability to use this in both Windows and Red Hat Linux is great so I’ve included that information here for those of you that don’t already know.
To setup GAIM to work with your MSN Hotmail account, click on Red Hat start menu/Internet/instant messenger and GAIM will start. once it has started click on plug-ins, then click on the Load button. Choose the libmsn.so plug-in and click OK. Now click close and then accounts on the main gaim menu. choose ADD and select MSN as the protocol. Enter your Hotmail account details and thats it, instant messaging in Red Hat 9.
Configuring Wireless Networking.
Now that I have my desktop configured to my liking, I set about configuring my mini-pci wireless network card using the the built-in Internet Configuration Utility. To set it up, click on the Red Hat, choose ‘system tools’ in the menu and select ‘Internet Configuration Utility’.
I picked Wireless Connection, it identified my Dell True mobile Mini PCI wireless card as a Lucent Orinoco and Prism II-based Wireless, so that was cool, went with that, input my SSID and channel and typed in my WEP key in plain text.
This was a pleasant change: now this time I don’t have to input the WEP key in hexadecimal unless i want to. I now have a choice of hex or text, and this is good because in Red Hat 8.0 the WEP key field did not stipulate how you should enter the key and in what format, now its clearer and will help people avoid issues of WEP not working properly.
After i entered that info, it informed me that I’d probably have to restart the network service but I ignored that and tried networking anyway. I could ping my wireless access point but could not do DNS resolution so reading the info, I rebooted. After the reboot and logging in to Gnome, wireless networking was working fine so I was ready to go.
Adding MP3 functionality to XMMS.
The next thing I tried to do was to add MP3 playback functionality back to XMMS. In Red Hat 8.0 and now Red Hat 9 by default when you try to play an MP3 file in Xmms you get the following error:-
‘Due to patent licensing, and conflicts between such patent licenses and the licenses of application source code, MPEG-1/2 audio layer 3 (mp3) support has been removed from this application by Red Hat, Inc. We apologize for the inconvenience.‘
To add this functionality back simply go to Guru
Labs download page and scroll down to the XMMS MP3 plug-in for Red Hat 8.0 and download this.
Once done, open an xterm and do as follows:
su – root [press enter]
rpm -ivh xmms-mp3-1.2.7-13.p.i386.rpm [press enter]
If all goes well and the rpm process looks like this:
Preparing…########################################### [100%] 1:xmms-mp3 ########################################### [100%]
Then all should be ok. Startup XMMS and now you can play mp3s.
Installing Xine to get DVD/avi/mpg playback/viewing functionality.
Getting Xine to work was more troublesome and I had help from a Linux guru (thanks Martin) to assist me with this. We need a few components so I’ll list and link them all here. Click on each link in turn, download the rpm’s and we’ll install them after you have the files.
Note: New URL for the libraries above: ftp://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/redhat/9/
Once you have download all of these rpms, open an x-terminal and cd to where they are.
su – root [press enter]
rpm -ivh alsa-lib-0.9.2-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh aalib-1.4rc5-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh libfame-0.9.0-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh flac-1.1.0-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xvidcore-0.9.0-fr3.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xine-lib-1.0.0-fr0.beta8.2.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xine-0.9.19-fr1.i386.rpm
Once done, click on the Red Hat start button, click ‘Run Program…’, type ‘xine’ and then click ‘Run’. If you want to have a nice Xine icon added to your gnome menu then get this and as su (superuser) do
rpm -ivh gxine-0.3.1-fr1.i386.rpm
Configuring Mozilla 1.2.1
This was my most frustrating area in Red Hat 9 as browsing the Internet is so important and such an everyday task. I attempted to install the Sun JVM plug-in (as root) and while it did install just fine, when i logged in locally, there was no mention in ‘plug-ins’ of my recently installed plug-in even though it was listed very clearly in Mozilla whilst logged in as root. I had the same experience with installing the Shockwave Flash plug-in and along with that, I found it (Mozilla 1.2.1) hanging on a fresh install when just viewing the preferences. Not good.
After a few nights of frustration trying to fix it (and I’m no Linux guru by any means) I gave up and installed Mozilla 1.31.
Once I had installed the latest version of Mozilla, all my plug-in woes immediately disappeared and things were running smoothly, so to be brief, if you are struggling with Mozilla 1.2.1 then don’t bother, just upgrade to the latest version and installing plug-ins for it will work just as easily as it did with the Red Hat 8 release.
This, of course, is the question on many people’s minds and the answer is not easy. All I can recommend is if you already have a solid working installation of Red Hat 8.0 on your computer then there probably isn’t any compelling reason to upgrade. All the features in that release are more or less present in this one. Red Hat 9 is more polished, especially in the start menu (and that’s a definite plus) and supporting applications, however, it still lacks significant punch to separate itself from previous releases the way that Red Hat 8.0 separated itself from, say, Red Hat 7.3. Where are the killer power management features? You know what I mean…
However, if you are buying new hardware even within the last few months (especially notebook-based hardware) and want to install a really nice, clean, fairly simple to use distribution of Linux then I would have no problem recommending Red Hat 9. In fact I can say it right now: upgrade to Red Hat 9, it’s worth it.
It has support for most of those Intel on-board video chipsets that Red Hat 8.0 struggled with (1mb bios limitations requiring you to fix XFree86 and more…) so thats a big bonus. Also, there is additional hardware and chipset support in this release so it’s fairly safe to say that this install will run on your computer if it’s a new Intel-based laptop (hint: Centrinos). I can’t vouch for the included wireless options on those newer laptops but I’m hopeful and fairly confident that drivers will arrive soon for any new wireless a/b/g cards that are not currently supported.
Nvidia gamers may be disappointed in this release of Red Hat, however, they were disappointed with the last, until the 3D accelerated drivers came out from nVidia, so i guess its a waiting game.
The decision to upgrade to Red Hat 9 is up to you. You could, like me, just try it out on a blank test system and see if it fits your needs, and I reckon that you will get a kick out of it. However, if you are coming directly from the Red Hat 8.0 camp, then you may be disappointed in the lack of obvious apparent differentiation between the two products.
You have to dig a bit to see the differences but overall it’s worth it. I did upgrade two boxes from Red Hat 8.0 to Red Hat 9 to see what it was like, and it did work ok on both machines but it also broke some of what I had installed on those systems, for example, Synaptic now no longer works, and Wine seems to have taken a nose dive also. However, on the boxes I upgraded, Xine and XMMS did not need to be reconfigured so that was cool, but, and this is a big but, Mozilla was upgraded (yes,I used Mozilla 1.0 – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it) to 1.2.1 and that erased all my previously installed plug-ins. Fluxbox users will be glad to note that if you have Fluxbox installed on a Red Hat 8.0 install, that upgrading that machine using the upgrade option will not affect Fluxbox and you’ll still have access to it in the session manager on the login screen.
Based on what I found with my testing on a blank system (one I could play with to my heart’s content) I have already moved my two Linux based machines (both Dual boot Windows XP/Red Hat) from 8.0 to 9 and I’m glad I did.
The choice, as they say, is yours.
By Niall C. Brady http://anyweb.kicks-ass.net
The first thing you will note is that Red Hat has decided to move away from the x.x numbering of their products, now they’ve moved directly from Red Hat 8.0 to Red Hat Linux 9 ending the 7.1,7.2,7.3,8.0 releases of times past, sure there was a 8.1 beta called Phoebe but that was all it was, a beta.
Is this certain? In the past they just used major version increases when there was binary incompatibilities, and minor ones, if there wasn’t. So it could be that they added some kernel/glibc/gcc patch, that made it binary incompatible with 8.0. Doesn’t mean that there won’t be 9.1,9.2,..
Yes, it is certain. Look our Red Hat vertical ad as well, coming directly from Red Hat and look at their web site too. Refer to our previous story about this:
what’s up with that first link
Yep, just what I thougt they would release. And before I go on, yes I have tested this in beta. This is 8.0 with a little polish and package updates. Nothing really new or exciting, no innovation, still not giving KDE its proper respect, still no multimedia support outa the box, still no mozilla plugin support outa the box, no equivalent to Mandrakes control center or SuSEs YaST, no improvement on rpm and dependency hell. Someone please explain to me how this pos rates a 9.0 and not an 8.0+ or 8.1 tops.
I think its perfectly obvious that RH 9 is totally outclassed by Mandrake 9.1 and SuSE 8.2. And most definately by Gentoo 1.4 and Slackware 9 for the enthusiast crowd.
It is not *certain*.
Yes, they have gone to version 9 this time, as you can see from their site and the banner ads, but this doesnt mean they have “moved away” from the x.x method of numbering their releases, as the original poster rightly explained.
No, when I said “certain” I meant for 9.0. Yes, it can or not be 9.1, we don’t know. I was only talking about 9.0.
Do other distributions provide MP3 support?
If so, why is it that only RedHat have removed it?
If it is illegal, and bound up in patent issues, how are other distributions still supporting it without getting into trouble?
I don’t use mp3’s much, but since my cd player died I’ve found myself wanting to encode my cd’s so I can listen to them.
Is there any substantial reason why I’de want to encode my cd’s to mp3 instead of ogg format?
I dont see how it can be illegal….otherwise we wouldnt see it in EVERY other distro, as well as Windows and OSX.
Niall C. Brady,
“Show Desktop Button” was available in the latest Phoebe, under “Add to Panel”/”Utility”/”Show Desktop Button”
did they remove it or you have not noticed it ?
>Do other distributions provide MP3 support?
>If so, why is it that only RedHat have removed it?
Because they are the most well known ones, they are bigger in US, so they could get sued easier than a company in France for example.
>If it is illegal, and bound up in patent issues, how are other distributions still supporting it without getting into trouble?
It is Red Hat simply choosing be more responsible about it. They are now a big company, so they can’t mess around with potential threats for lawsuits. So they deal with it that way. Personally, I would like to see them licensing mp3 usage.
I’m confused….what is he reviewing? Have isos been released, or does he have a prerelease?
He has the ISOs before they get uploaded to the mirrors. He got early access to the final version (golden master) for days now. As I did with Mandrake Linux 9.1.
I am also totally confused.
Niall, can you clarify how did you get hold of RHL 9 ?
yes i know that, but Phoebe was never released as a finished product, it was freely downloadble in all it’s beta forms however…. I wrote this article to compare Red Hat 8.0 and Red Hat 9, not Phoebe (rh8.1).
I hope that clarifys things for you
So when are iso’s supposed to be released? Do we have to wait till april 6th or whatever it was when the box hits the store?
Great review, Niall! Thank God they changed the menus from the Start button! And, Lord Have Mercy, support for i845!!! I’ve been so mad – all I’ve been able to install on i845 (besides Windows) is Xandros without sound. Finally!!
I was under the impression that the phoebe releases (after some bugfixes) became the Redhat 9 release….
>Niall, can you clarify how did you get hold of RHL 9 ?
We can’t always talk about our sources my friend. But why are you “confused”? This is a publication, and publications work TOGETHER with the companies to ensure copies for reviews. It is of no surprise, it always happens this way. 😉
by the way its Red Hat 9 not 9.0 😉
the point releases are gone now
I’m just curious what’s the logical step for the name from Psyche to Shrike.
AFAIK, Shrike is the villain in sci-fi novel Hyperion series.
well, I’ve been using pheobe 3 for awhile now and it rocks. I can’t wait for RH 9 to come out. add in apt with freshrpms.net, and it’s a piece of cake to add anything you may need, including dvd support, mp3 stuff etc.
I have a question, though, for niall: what version of nautilus made it in? 2.2.1 or 2.2.2? Thanks.
That would sure make it easier to get copies than having to hit every download site trying to find an available connection. Oh well, guess I’ll have to fight to find a good ftp site on the 7th of April
but the author doesn’t seem to understand that root and user accounts have different mozilla profiles. Installing plugins as root won’t allow you to run these plugins as a user. This actually goes for everything. This isn’t a bug in redhat or mozilla. I just think the reviewer should be a little more educated on how linux works before posting “problems” he has.
P.S. I wish they would have just installed moz 1.3 as default. Does anyone know if the 8.x rpms on mozilla.org will work with redhat 9? If not I hope moz will post new ones soon.
the nautilus version is 2.2.1
I bet he was trying to install the plugin for ALL users by doing it as root. It should be the way to handle it. If I have multiple users on a machine, everyone shouldnt have to install their version of the plugin. Better to do it once for all users.
i do realise,
however, you cannot install the JVM as normal user you have to login as root,
correct me if i’m wrong
have a look here for more info in relation to why i log in as root to do it
scroll down to the plugins section
This is just a thought I had since most major linux distros are making a desktop push. RH should consider packaging their subscription or store bought version of 9 with mplayer, xine, xmms, and all the appropriate plugins and license the technology accordingly. Then release what we have here with no support for the free FTP servers. Seems like a good compromise to me.
Im sure this authors job is safe. Now that we’ve cleared that up perhaps we can get back to the OS discussion, which is what these posts are for. If you have a problem with the author, email him. Spare the rest of us. Hopefully these msgs will be moderated out as they should. 🙂
Which is better in your opinion Red Hat 9 or Mandrake 9.1?
Also, does Red Hat 9 have NTFS read support in this version?
Does redhat is using the new RendR function in XFRee? And if so that does mean i can right-click screen and change resolution the fly? If thy did not add that, it would be DAMN stupid
ISOs will be available to RedHat Network customers on 3/31 and to the general public on 4/7. CDs will be available in stores on 4/7.
I just noticed the many links to freshrpms.net. Some of them are probably broken by now (I’ve released gxine 0.3.2 for example), which is the reason why the prefered way of linking is to http://freshrpms.net/rpm/packagename as explained on the website.
Also, for the latest Phoebe beta (rpm 4.2), I’ve made an apt package available, which is pre-configured to fetch the freshrpms.net 8.0 packages, so although it won’t be able to automatically install dependencies from the main distribution, it’ll still take care of all dependencies “inside” freshrpms.net packages. It can be found here on http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/redhat/testing/phoebe/ and probably works with Red Hat Linux 9.
Also, I still don’t understand why so many people tell to go to my website for most of the packages, but to gurulabs for the xmms-mp3 one… freshrpms.net has got it too, and available through apt and yum! 😉
Regardin the configuring of your network, why reboot when the directions told you to restart networking? it woudl have been much better for the review if you did that. That way it could be demonstrated that it worked as advertised, instead of perpetuating the broken reboot mentality.
Does RH offer the new crystal icons for KDE or you are stuck with the old ones as in the screenshot?
If it weren’t for your website, I would not use RH. Your apt repository makes RH as easy to maintain as Gentoo or Debian. Thanks a million! On a slightly off-topic note, could you built the dxr3 plugin with your xine package? Anyways, for any user of RH that isn’t aware of freshrpms.net I suggest they take a look – it will make their life much easier.
the xine links in my article to freshrpms.net worked as and from yesterday (or perhaps the day before), is there any chance you could ‘leave’ them there for the benefit of users wanting to install xine in Red Hat 9? much appreciated if you could. If not is there some way we can update this so people reading the article and wanting to update xine can be forwarded to a page with the packages as i describe linked correctly
i appreciate your help
I think the reason for the move to no longer do point releases, is because almost all boxen are connected to broadband now and all you need to do is run apt-get (or Red Hat’s up2date) to upgrade to the newest packages and bug fixes. Why would one download iso’s again for that?
“It still doesn’t have an Outlook mail type equivalent, which is a shame for Windows to Linux users, however Evolution is a very good email application.”
Um Evolution IS and Outlook equivalent.
“Nothing with the quality of Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop but they are professional applications, GIMP is included and I used it to capture many of the screenshots.”
Last time I checked Windows didn’t come with PaintshopPro or Photoshop. What’s your point? You can run those via Wine if you want.
“There are no apparent icons for network strength or for that matter connectivity on the taskbar (as you would see on a windows taskbar), so I’m left with using an x-term logged in as ‘su’ to check my internet connection status via command line tools like ifup eth1, ping host and ifconfig, and as simple as that is to some, it’s not for everyone.”
Right click the panel and add the wireless applet. Meh, do more research.
“CUPS is now the default printing software and looks relatively simple and actually strikingly like the Windows Print Manager equivalent, I don’t have a working printer so I can’t really comment on its’ effectiveness.”
Cups is FAR more advanced then windows print manager. Again do some research and find out why.
Linux isn’t windows and never will be. If your looking for what your running now but simply on linux your barking up the wrong tree. Why even bother with linux at that point? Just stick with Windows. These reviews which say X linux product doesn’t act EXACTLY like it does on Windows are retarded. Again I’ll say it. LINUX ISN’T WINDOWS AND NEVER WILL BE. Once you stop trying to make linux into windows you might finally start enjoying yourself. Until then it will never live up to your biased and tainted views of what Windows, Um I mean Linux, should act like.
Neither Mandrake nor Red Hat…. IMHO SuSE is much better if we are talking about that kind of distro (easy to install, easy to use and versatile), because its much more debugged and worked.
I don’t think Mandrake is a serious distro, and probably Red Hat yes, but not as SuSE.
Despite of that I prefer Debian, Gentoo & Slackware.
Anyone ever notice how Eugenia sometimes posts
“This new version of this program is available on this ftp. There isn’t any news on any sites that this new version came out, but its there on the ftp, and we’re reporting it as news.”
I’m not trying to imply anything, but its odd.
is running into a lot of problems that can be fixed simply by installing apt-rpm (mp3 support, dvd support, etc.). Now the problem with the mozilla plugins probably has to with the fact that RedHat most likely compiled mozilla with gcc-3.2 ~ 3.4 with the 2.3~ glibc packaged with redhat. This has produced some rather annoying side effects with regards to plugins (you will notice that on mozilla’s web site you will have to use the blackdown java jre to get java support because of a conflict with sun’s jre and the glibc version mozilla is compiled against). The reviewer complains about power management support… blame microsoft for a poorly documented and poorly implemented standard called ACPI. Most new machines (esp. ones from dell) implement this hardware instead of traditional APM hardware. The latest kernel releases have updated modules for ACPI, however I have noticed some problems when it comes to reading your battery on most dells. For the most part, the reviewer comes off as relative newbie and thats not a bad thing considering we want more converts to linux and the n00bs need to be aware of these issues.
>I’m not trying to imply anything, but its odd.
I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Red Hat is *fully aware* of this review (and the other one that we will be posting in a few days) and the reviews of the golden master were pre-agreed with them anyway. Same goes for the Mandrake review as well.
“Nothing with the ease of use or functionality of Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop is included, but there are some applications. GIMP is included and I used it to capture many of the screenshots.”
Hell, Gimp has more functionality that paint shop pro. And on a well configured linux machine, it is much easier to use. I even know people who think gimp for windows is better that paint shop pro, although it is not as good as the linux version there.
A short list of relevant packages and versions included would’ve been helpful (i.e., which Gnome, Apache and PHP versions are packaged with?)
This version will let you upgrade from an earlier distribution. Has anybody had any experiences with this process, particularly an “upgrade” installation from 8.0 to Phoebe?
While it would be much more convenient if RedHat included the MP3 and Xine stuff, I can’t fault them for not including it. They are currently the most visible Linux company and the patent/royalty issues are definitely real. Other distributions may one day regret including these libraries. From a business perspective, it is probably the right decision (especially since RedHat cares more about the business desktop than the home desktop).
It is advised to use -U instead of -i in general.
I’m also wondering about the RandR features. Is there a control panel to adjust resolution on the fly?
Also is there an improved firewall configuration tool… the one in Redhat 8 wasn’t good.
>> Is there a control panel to adjust resolution on the fly?
That will probably be in Gnome 2.4
For now you’ll have to use the ‘xrandr’ cli tool.
Searching the internet is far easier and more integrated with Konqueror. For Google searches, simply type gg:$BLAHBLAH. It’s very flexible and has many presets. Plus, it remembers your previous search requests.
Really, there’s no reason for Red Hat to not include the support. If pressured, they could (gasp!) buy the license for it. Really, calling yourself a desktop focused company and not having MP3 is quite ridiculous.
It looks like there is no simple way to retrofit MP3 capability for KDE. This means no audiocd:// capability nor playback through native KDE apps. We really need a reliable 3rd party source for KDE RPMs. I’m not arguing that they do not have legitimate reasons, but objectively speaking Red Hat’s KDE RPMs are crippled.
If there is something I am missing, please let me know. I mean something other than “use Gnome”.
(This is largely speculation)
1.) MP3’s aren’t there because of potential licensing/patent issues. This is not RedHat’s fault, but the fault of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s licensing. Use Ogg. Besides being an open format, it sounds better at comparable file sizes.
2.) DVD support isn’t there because without the DeCSS libraries, DVD decoding is a pain under Xine (you need to get real CSS keys) and distributing any DeCSS code will get them into hot water under the DMCA in the USA
3.) NVidia drivers aren’t there because they’re not free (freedom) drivers. Just like how there’s not any of the Shockwave stuff. It’s free (beer), not free (freedom). And, this is the way it should be, which is why I stay away from NVidia cards – they don’t want to be nice to the community, I won’t be nice to their pocketbooks.
Of course, as a RedHat 8 user, I think about upgrading as well. I have gone through all the multimedia and fonts stuff and it works just fine now. So, if I use the upgrade function, will that changes be preserved or do I have to do all this again. Also, does it preserve my Wine installation ?
Additionally, what happens if I allready got Mozilla 1.3 rpm packages installed to be able to use latest Galeon (1.2.9) ?
Thanks for an answer
If you update now you’ll have big problems with wine. I’m sure that will all get fixed in short order after 9 is released…
Check out KDE for RedHat at Sourceforge. Their RPMS for KDE are quite nice in comparison. http://kde-redhat.sourceforge.net/
I would like to echo the comments of others. Thank you, Matthias for your freshrpms site. You indeed have made it very easy to update RH. Your work is *greatly* appreciated.
As someone previously pointed out, RedHat 7.0 was also called “RedHat Linux 7.” Apparently it has something to do with companies not liking products with a “.0” at the end…
Why do people here think that
a) what’s made available to OSNews is available the public
b) our versions of Red Hat 9 and Mandrake 9.1 are not official
c) they’re entitled to software the second it is declared final (for free, of course)
Do you folks realize that every software company freezes their development for days, if not weeks or months, before release? They provide it to sites like this specifically FOR these early reviews to generate excitement. This is the final version of RH9 and Eugenia’s review is the final version of Mdk9.1. Sheesh.
I noticed the note about installing java plugins into the browser etc. I’ve had good sucess downloading the IBM JRE from the Advanced Server 2.1 SRPMS and building it against RH 8.0. Then add the rpm to your apt repository for even easier managment.
Is that Red Hat Update Applet is Red !!
They even did’nt release it and got to do an update
I have a Toshiba laptop (S1800-804) and the TFT is detected, along with sync rates.
Just to let you know…
“Wine seems to have taken a nose dive”
If you check on http://www.winehq.com in their news section you will find the answer under issues 155 and 156. The new pthread implementation in the 2.5 kernel branch is to blame. Red Hat backported the changes.
Apparently WINE will be broken on many of the coming distributions. There are a few workarounds that work for some and not others but until the WINE development team resolves the problem, the WINE project is stuck not working out of the box so to speak.
Mozilla seems easier. Just type whatever you want and press [Down] [Enter]
Try it yourself. Start mozilla and select:
Edit -> Preferences -> Navigator -> Internet search
Choose “google” as search engine. If you don’t like the sidebar, uncheck it.
There was never a Red Hat 8.1 never. phoebe was 8.0.92-94 for the respective three beta releases. never 8.1 Why do people not understand that. MP3 support XMMS has the rights for free distribution of the mp3 codec but no one else does. sorenson the company that owns the mp3 patent changed the wording to the licenceing of it which made it possible that Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSe could be sued for patant fees for every single install of software with the MP3 plugin weather it was paid for or not. just beacuse they do sell some of them. Why the jump to 9 and not 8.1? there were changes to the kernel threads and glibc that has broken alot of things. wine currently will not work, as will a few other programs.
Mozilla and plugins. I think you will find that the Red Hat mozilla build is compiled with gcc 3.2 which has broken compatibility with certain plugins compiled with gcc 2.x series blackdown have a java build compiled under gcc 3.2 and sun are rumored to be releasing one soon by compiling with gcc 3.2 mozillia is faster i havent found any other plugins that wont work with by gcc 3.2 build of 1.3 but have heard that real player doesnt work. i have flash, acrobat, java all working.
The reasoning behind not supplying the NVidia drivers is and always has been that they are propietory in format if Red Hat did supply them they would be expected to provide support. how can they be expected to provide support for code they have never seen? they dont know how it will interact with the kernel. From my experience with NVidia drivers it wasnt great it was ok but not great. i would get hard lockups when my machine had been on for around 24 hours. very regular pretty much every morning my box was hard locked up. I now run ATI hardware I have open soucre 3d acceleration, and no lockups
Xine and mplayer are a very tricky legal minefield. the open souce decss ppackeges to decrypt dvds are in a very tricky legal situation. Red Hat is best to not include them to ensure they will be here toomoorow, should the movie studios decide to sue over it Red Hat would most likely fold . They are not a huge company, the biggest distro yes but not that big.
1) So much for the user-visible changes. What about the nuts-and-bolts differences between RH8.0 and RH9? I understand 9 is now kernel-2.6 ready (ie. modutils updated). What about Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL) support? What differences/enhancements does the RH9 kernel have that stock kernel-2.4.20 doesn’t?
2) While I agree with RedHat’s decision not to include MP3 support, I wish that they would: a) visibly push for the use of OGG in both encoding and decoding; and, b) have some kind of document detailing the process of adding MP3 support
3) Once people have installed RH9, I would recommend upgrading nautilus to 2.2.2 as it has some speed enhancements that are quite significant
Instead of all this:
rpm -ivh alsa-lib-0.9.2-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh aalib-1.4rc5-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh libfame-0.9.0-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh flac-1.1.0-fr1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xvidcore-0.9.0-fr3.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xine-lib-1.0.0-fr0.beta8.2.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh xine-0.9.19-fr1.i386.rpm
Why not this:
rpm -Uvh *
I just think the first method makes it look more complicated than it is.
Redhat have included NPTL in the kernel, and as far as i know many other patches.
Those Bluecurve shots look like a modded KDE.
First of all it is in the Human Nature to be unsatisfied or to complain about everything. Why do you people complain about Red Hat Linux? You don’t like it? Don’t use it. Personally I’m a Slackware user, I’ve tryed all the major distros out there and I’ve liked this the most. Besides Linux I use FreeBSD and BeOS (1.1 Dev. Edition). It’s like those retards who complain about package management in slackware or that it is to hard to use. And for those who compare Linux with Windows: Stop comparing it and get a decent OS BOOK and start reading about the fundamental difrences in both of them. Finaly, it is a good thing that we have big commercial distros, they keep the balance in the software world. And something else:RH Linux is still freely avaible unlike other distros, like SuSE (only FTP install), so take it as it comes or don’t use it. It’s just stupid to comment and complain about it. Have you people tryed CRUX? If you did you’ll notice that Slackware is bloated compared to CRUX LoL!. They will probably never bring a distro out on everybodies taste. And if you are a newbie and hate RedHat then try Mandrake. Finally everybody will notice that this distros are bloated and in some ways they waste your time more or less than Slack or Debian does. And finaly, Red Hat for instance slows down the learning process…
So as a conclussion: Why bother with Linux or Red Hat Linux when you dislike it and wan’t something easy to use? All brand-name PC-s come whith that Windowze stuff preinstalled…use it!
>b) our versions of Red Hat 9 and Mandrake 9.1 are not official
Look at Mandrakes websites. It’s official! 🙂
I suggest you re-read Adam’s comment. You misunderstood what he was trying to say.
>I suggest you re-read Adam’s comment. You misunderstood what he was trying to say.
Yes, you’re right. Sorry for that :O
btw: Thanks for the nice reviews 😉
Add to panel -> Internet -> Wireless Link Monitor
Won’t use it in my laptop. No NVidia Drivers and, no, I won’t look for them in the internet. Windows XP can show my 1600×1200 without me having to install the video drivers from the CD that came with the computer when I got it. Graphics are slow without real nvidia drivers, it’s true, but at least there are graphics.
Okay, some key points:
Photoshop IS NOT easy to use compared to Gimp. It takes 10x as much knowledge and work to do just about anything. That said, Photoshop IS more powerful, but for everyday image manipulation I use Gimp every time.
up2date DOES download NEW or UPDATED versions of RPMs, it does NOT *only* update security issues. Unless Red Hat has changed this, and I do not imagine that they have.
Your preferred *window manager* is “the default Gnome Bluecurve theme”. Are you a total moron or did you just say your favorite WM is a theme?
Yes, I’ll put a lot of faith in THIS braindead and useless review of Red Hat 9.0. Get a freaking clue.
“World Exclusive: Mandrake Linux 9.1 Review”, “Red Hat Linux 9 – World’s First Look at Shrike”. Nice, but for both the world knew how they will be from the betas. How about a “World’s First Look at SuSE 8.2” before 3rd April? Is that possible?
>How about a “World’s First Look at SuSE 8.2” before 3rd April? Is that possible?
I can ask SuSE. But my husband will hate me for spending one more intensive week away from him…
tell me if it’s got POSIX ACL support built in yet?
RedHat has generic Nvidia drivers. Like their generic Windows counterparts, these built-in drivers do not support hardware-accelerated OpenGL. But your laptop should work just fine with the generic ‘nv’ driver.
I was just wondering if any grades are available for ReadHat, to compare it to the ones that ended the Mandrake review.
And naturally im hoping for a Redhat/Suse/Mandrake comparison shortly, with a total comparison on all the keyelements of a linuxdistro. Anyone have time for that?
No mention of behind-the-scenes technological improvements; merely slavering quips over optical chewing-gum. Author mistakenly states that the “Update” option is new. Poorly-written and packed with grammatical errors.
Most crucially, though: Red Hat is the distro big corps are looking at. It will be deployed on servers and workstations, so why use a mostly Linux-ignorant “writer” to review it? Leave him to retch up musings on Gentoo and Mandrake on his blog somewhere; OSNews deserves proper, professional articles.
Otherwise Eugenia, keep up the good work.
rpm -Uhv *.rpm
will work through whatever dependancies exist between all rpms in your current directory.
rpm -e gcc.rpm kdelibs.rpm blah.rpm
This will remove all the rpms you append after the -e.
Now to install mplayer and xine grab all the rpms you want into a new folder, cd into that folder and run rpm -Uhv *.rpm. Then download all the dependencies it asks for into that folder and run the command again.
If you run into problems try –force for conflicts or –nodeps for dependencies.
Now about this release of RedHat. If RedHat wants to listen to their marketting department more than the sys admins support their stuff in the field. Then fine. I can go back to using slackware, debian and gentoo. And recommend Mandrake for anyone else. When RedHat wants my support they can go back to a logical and rational method of working with their community instead of treating us beta testers like outsiders.
Thanks, but no thanks.
It’s always so nice to see people at their very worst, acting as if they are all-knowing, calling each other names, quibbling over trivialities, bias against non-native speakers of English – oh what a wonderful world!
Why don’t you people sit down, shut up and wait for the Red Hat 9 iso’s. Until that happens, Naill is the only one who knows what he’s talking about. And, by the way, his review was very well written and organized. One would think that people would be appreciative that someone would go to the trouble of giving us an insight into what we cannot see yet. But noooooooooooooo, what a foolish thought that would be 🙂
>>>Photoshop IS NOT easy to use compared to Gimp. It takes 10x as much knowledge and work to do just about anything. That said, Photoshop IS more powerful, but for everyday image manipulation I use Gimp every time.
I’m in total agreement with you.
What kills me is the number of people not qualified to use photoshop (i’d go as far to say they are NOT qualified to even TALK about it), then those same people clammor about gimp not being a replacement.
whatever (tune them out like bad radio station)
I see many complaints regarding this particular authors writing style, percieved lack of understanding of this particular product. How many of you could write a better review of the product and suchh in-depth review. If you say the author’s job wasn’t up to scratch, does anyone want to write up a review of RH9.0?
I’m waiting until I can afford VirtualPC for my Windows machine. I don’t mind running multiple OSes, provided I don’t have to dual boot to do it. I’ve enjoyed VPC5 on my Mac and the demo of VPC for Windows is excellent as well. Of course, if and when that day comes, it’d probably be a good idea to max out my RAM so that I can run Windows and guest OSes all at once and still run everything smoothly!
But it’s nice to see Redhat advancing, and I hope FreeBSD 5.x is worth it’s salt because I’d like to run it under VPC on my PC too!
just my $0.02
Bluecurve is a collection of themes and artwork (freedesktop.org-compliant icon theme, GTK1/2 themes, KDE style/color scheme, kwin theme, metacity theme, etc.). It is not a desktop environment, it is not a window manager, it does not polish your car or bring about world peace. The name “Bluecurve” is a registered trademark of Red Hat, acquired in the purchase of some other company at some point in the past and repurposed to brand the lovely icons and widgets and other fiddly bits of artwork designed by Garrett LeSage. The artwork in the themes is GPL’d, and goes by the name of Wonderland when distributed by persons other than Red Hat.
KDE as usual in RedHat looks like a Gnome build gone wrong.
Good to see RedHat are doing what they do best. Crippling KDE.
To answer your question about RedHat learning to recognize laptops, I recently had an issue with RH 8.0 on my Toshiba laptop. I had purchased the box and was entitled to support. When I contacted support, they said, “sorry, we don’t support laptops.”
There’s your answer.
For my part, until they DO finally wise up and realize that many businesspeople use laptops heavily, I’ll have to choose a different distribution (I’m using Mandrake at present).
> I can ask SuSE. But my husband will hate me for spending one more intensive week away from him…
What with this about you leaving OSNews Eugenia. Your posting more stuff than ever lately.?
I was backed off for months now only writing newsbits and not many big articles, I didn’t do as much, exactly as I wrote back in december that I would do.
But this month (up to April 10th really) I am really needed here, as all these releases are happening at the same time (including OS/2 and QNX releases).
Using X as root? http://img.osnews.com/img/3119/rh3.png
It should be noted that Red Hat 9.0 does not pro-actively asks the user to create user accounts during installation, so it is pretty much the same way as Lindows does the installation.
So, Nial simply might not got around on creating the users yet when he was creating these screenshots.
The review was great, very detailed and in my mind, confirmed my suspicions that this release will be a huge disappointment. Is Redhat trying to start a new trend of going to full releases (8 – 9) without a very noticeable improvement? I can’t think of any other software (much less an OS) that does this.
I’m still scratching my head as to how they plan to seriously compete in the desktop market. Right now there are so many key pieces of the desktop puzzle missing, with no sign of being fixed (mp3, a good video player, easy (easier) networking etc. etc.). It seems that, after some through research on my part, everyone is jumping the gun on recommending Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows or OSX.
I’d only recommend any version of Linux (RH9 included) to either a very casual computer user who only did email and web browsing or to someone who really wanted to get under the hood and spend a lot of time tinkering. Anyone in between (which is probably the great majority of computer users), I feel, will find Redhat 8 (and from the looks of it 9 also) disappointing and frustrating.
My opinions of Linux on the server side are quite the opposite.
>I’m still scratching my head as to how they plan to seriously compete in the desktop market.
They are going after the corporate desktop, not the common desktop market. But yes, I agree with you overall, a lot of pieces are missing. And Red Hat knows that, trust me. But it ain’t easy “fixing” the whole Linux-platform issue which consists of many-many pieces of software… It is a huge job…
“I’m still scratching my head as to how they plan to seriously compete in the desktop market.”
No, no, no, no! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this and statements like it, like those complaining that there is no mp3 support, or that “key pieces of the desktop puzzle” are missing.
Look, the premise of your statement, that RH wants to ‘seriously compete in the desktop market’ is WRONG! RH has said that it does NOT want to compete in the desktop market. They are not competing with Mandrake, SuSE, Lycoris, Xandros etc.
RH has said, time and time again, that they *only* thing they care about is the _corporate_ desktop (and servers of course). Corporate desktops don’t need mp3 support. They don’t need realplayer. They don’t need nvidia drivers since the default open source “nv” driver works just fine in 2D.
Don’t you see? RH couldn’t care less if someone complains that flash isn’t included. That’s not their market! As far as RH is concerned there are no “key pieces” missing.
So, as far as their market is concerned, they are right on the money.
I stand corrected. Now that I go to their site, I see that there is no mention of Redhat being a solution for the home user, in fact, and this may be new as I don’t remember it being so prevalent before, the word Enterprise is everywhere.
I think that part of the reason I (and others) come away with the notion that it IS intended for the desktop is because of reviews like this (and admittedly confusing the claims of other Linux distributions with those Redhat makes), which focus largely on its multimedia capabilities and typical desktop applications for the home user.
I am, however, still wondering how it is that they can justify going from 8-9 without more noticeable improvements. The only explanation I can come up with is that they are breaking the traditions of virtually all other software companies (theirs included) and starting a new trend.
For reasons why the move from 8.0 to 9, read Mike Harris’ post to the beta mailing list (most notably because of the NPTL kernel threading changes that break compatibility).
So, while on the surface 9 seems very similar to 8.0, under the hood there are *major* changes that do indeed substantiate the version change.
Sorry, it wasn’t Mike Harris, it was Matt Wilson. They both post to the list frequently, I forget who says what.