Red Hat 7.2

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There's a few changes that might frustrate newbies as well as current users, but overall it's a strong new version.

I have quite a bit of familiarity with Red Hat, as I have used it on various computers since around the time of Red Hat 3.0. My most recent experience with Red Hat came when I installed version 7.2 on my laptop. This laptop, an ASUS MP8300, has been finicky and has given me problems in the past when I installed other distributions of Linux, as well as other UNIX operating systems.

Installation

Red Hat's installer ran without a hitch and was straightforward and logical in its organization. When it could do so, it automatically probed and detected the hardware, and then it presented me with the option to accept the choice or manually choose one of the options. When it was unable to detect an answer automatically, such as whether to use DHCP or a static IP address for networking, the installer phrased the questions such that a novice user would not feel overwhelmed. At the same time, it did not talk down to a more experienced user. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the installer correctly detected all of the hardware in my laptop and performed the correct configuration for them, even for slightly odd hardware such as the Silicon Motion Lynx video chip.

The installer also gave the option of choosing a predefined setup, such as workstation or server. The caution I would offer here is if you just select the server or workstation and do not select packages individually, then a very general system will result. Choosing the server selection will install most of the common services but may also leave you with more services running by default than you wish. This can result in a higher-than-expected potential for security holes.

Additionally, you cannot choose either the server or workstation option unless you are willing to dedicate the entire machine, since both of those options will completely reformat the hard disk. If you intend to dual boot, you will need to perform a custom install. This necessity may create a bad situation for many neophyte users of Linux, who are likely to desire a dual boot in order to retain a partition for Microsoft Windows. These same users are also, unfortunately, the ones most likely to want to click one button to install.

The simplest solution, which Red Hat might wish to consider, is to have the workstation or desktop choice split into two options. The first of these would act as it does now and reformat the hard drive. The other would walk the user through a dual boot setup.

One of the nicer things Red Hat does offer is the option of using either GRUB or LILO as the boot loader. While I have been a LILO user in the past, I decided to try GRUB for the laptop. I have found it to be much cleaner and easier to work with than LILO ever was.

Configuration

In most cases the defaults offered by the installer were correct, and I did not need to go back and do further configuration. What little bit I did have to do was quickly accomplished with a quick edit of the correct file. For users with less experience, Red Hat provides a large selection of graphical tools to help manage everything from adding new users to configuring the DNS service.

One change in this version that I found and disliked was the default method for configuring the Gnome desktop. Gnome itself uses the Gnome Control Center, which has a nice and clean layout, for configuration. This tool is still available in the Red Hat 7.2 distribution, but Red Hat installs a different tool as the default on the Gnome panel. This new tool, named "Start Here", is a web browser based configuration tool that encompasses a variety of system configuration tasks, including Gnome configuration.

Unfortunately, this new tool attempts to do too much by combining a desktop user setup with system and desktop configuration options. This use of one tool and one interface for all things makes it particularly suited for none and makes it harder to use any of these pieces effectively. A system administrator needs different tools than a user configuring Gnome or a user working in the desktop environment. Naming that tool "Start Here" implies that system customization is a frequently performed tasked when, in reality, it is not. Removing the desktop bits and leaving them in the desktop environment, where they belong, would be a good first step. Additionally, using a web browser based configuration tool is slower and more cumbersome than using the individual tools it is replacing. From a usability standpoint, the new tool is a step in the wrong direction. It makes the system more complex than it needs to be for new users but too cluttered for more experienced users.

Package Overview

Red Hat 7.2 provides a generous selection of packages. The standard components needed to run a desktop or server system are included, ranging from X, Gnome and KDE to Netscape, Sendmail, bind and Apache. Some of the boxed sets also contain demos from Loki Games, the full version of Star Office, and additional CDs of games and other applications. The packages on these CDs are not available by default, but they are easy to install in the future via the RPM command-line tools or graphical tools, such as GnoRPM.

At least one option from each of the various classes of servers is offered, such as mail, web servers and mailing list managers, which means that you can easily get a system that handles your needs up and running. The drawback is usually only one option for each class of programs is offered. For example, if you prefer a different mail server, such as my preference for Postfix, it is necessary to go hunting through the other CDs to find that package.

Although Red Hat previously provided a companion product called "Power Tools", which contained most of these programs in one place, it is no longer provided with Red Hat 7.2. All of the packages are still available, though, and many authors do provide Red Hat packages for their programs. Unless you are willing to delve into the inner workings of constructing packages for Red Hat, however, you may find files installed in a variety of eccentric places. When previously provided by Red Hat, the packages were logically consistent with the rest of the file system layout. Now however, if the program does not exist on the distributed CDs, there are still options. First, it is often possible to use the version from the 7.1 Power Tools product. Next, packages from other RPM-based distributions, such as SuSE or Mandrake, will often work as long as there are not too many package dependencies. Finally, there is rpmfind.net, which maintains a large index of RPM packages for a variety of programs.

Documentation

The boxed set comes with three documentation booklets, in addition to the plethora of on-line resources and the recommended man pages and HOWTOs. For me, the on-line and installed resources are generally sufficient to answer the majority of my questions.

The three booklets gear themselves toward first-time users and after looking through them, they seem quite thorough. The "Installation Guide" covers the entire installation process systematically. Specifically, it includes advice concerning which of the specific options might be best for a given set of needs. The "Getting Started Guide" concerns itself with the various desktops that are available, configuring networking and printing and getting the Red Hat Network set up. The last booklet, the "Customization Guide," covers most of the system administration tasks that might be needed, such as adding users and groups or setting up Apache and bind. However, it only contains information about the graphical tools provided by Red Hat. Whether this is a good thing or not is a debatable issue. Personally, I would recommend that most people take the time to learn the actual configuration files for the various services. No matter how good the graphical tools are, and they are reasonably good, they can only cover the most common configurations. There will always be areas that require detailed knowledge of the configuration files. For this reason, I feel it is always best to learn the details of the configuration files from the outset.

Red Hat Network and Support

While the network installation does not come with official support from Red Hat via the Red Hat Network, this support is available at a cost of $19.95 per machine. Each box set purchased, however, includes one free entitlement, the term used for a machine covered through the Red Hat Network support option. I had previously purchased this support for my other machines that have Red Hat installed. As long as I am willing to take the time to swap around which two of my three machines are currently entitled, I can use the system update utility, up2date, to update all three of my machines. It is possible to upgrade these machines without using the Red Hat up2date service, but I find that up2date makes it more convenient and easier to keep things current.

One of the few problems I've noticed with up2date occurs if you install third-party replacements for system pieces, such as Ximian Gnome. In such instances, the update utility will report that you have packages to upgrade even when this is not the case. In many of these situations, the Red Hat package is actually a downgrade, since the Red Hat packages are often one or more revisions older than the currently installed packages. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to tell the update utility that you wish to treat those specific packages as newer than the ones provided by Red Hat. In order to make sure they are not downgraded, you must not select these packages during the update process. Due to this issue, if you customize system pieces with third-party replacements, I recommend leaving the automatic update feature turned off.

Conclusion

Overall, I am extremely pleased with Red Hat 7.2. Admittedly, part of this is the fact that I have been a fan of Red Hat and their distributions for a while. This distribution shows that Red Hat continues to improve and streamline their offerings. Apart from my bias, however, it installs cleanly, comes up without any problems, and it simply works. It offers sufficient options that bringing everything I need up and getting it running is possible to do quickly.

I can comfortably recommend Red Hat 7.2 for anyone. To the new person just trying Linux for the first time, it offers a smooth and hassle free installation process. The new user should be up and running in a minimal amount of time with sensible defaults and automatic detection of hardware. For the person of moderate familiarity, it offers choices and options which allows them the customization they might wish while at the same time helping them around hurdles that may arise. Finally, for the experienced user, it offers a robust system and tested packages, as well as allowing them to take complete control of the process when desired or needed.

Joseph "JT" Traub has been a UNIX software developer for 15 years and a Linux user for over eight years. He works as a software developer for pay and, in his spare time, contributes to multiple open-source projects, including the GPLd mailing-list software Ecartis.

______________________

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installed 7.2 suse and lost monitor contact

Anonymous's picture

What do you recommend I do? My PC purrs like a kitten, but of course I can't see a thing--tried even another monitor---nothing.

Should I try to install Windows in order to get the monitor drivers back and then install Red Hat??

Please let me know---I've been trying to get comfortable with Linux but keep having trouble with various installs.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Hi.
I really don't have a comment but a problem. I test installed RH linux in a computer and it worked marvelously so I liked it but when I tried it on my computer, it simply gets to a place then hangs. My computer only has Windows XP and I would like both Linux and XP in it but I am not sure they are compatible. It doesn't have any DOS program. Please help.
dunte36@yahoo.com

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

having trouble with 7.2 I Installed it and it wont load wants login and password what is that.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I'm not sure what I did wrong, but i d/l the ISO's burnt them both at 1x speed. Then installed onto a fresh system, completely formatted. After the installation i rebooted, and i get tons of bad messages, kernal panic, errorrs about not syncing properly, i've tried over and over and over. I have a samsung h/d 40gb, everything else is compatible for sure...the h/d is the only thing i'm worried about. i've tried differnet values for everything, but nothing works. and possible solutions?

lol :-)

Zarca's picture

I had one big problem when I installed it from the iso images: there were always some packages and applications missing... I tried reinstalling it several times and then asked my local unice-dude to lend me the installation cd's from his collection. Then I found out that everything worked fine if installed from his cd's. I asked the guy who gave me first installation cd's what he did with them and he said that he zipped them (or at least one of the iso images) :-)))

Linux

Anonymous's picture

Linux is the best os i ever used (besides mac os X)!! I'v never installed it and you dont find much software for it (you can if you know where to look) (duh, The internet)! So it was my conclustion that anyone that doesn't at least act like they like it has a screw loose! (and paul just learn how to use it and maybe just maybe you coould figure it out, you're photagrapher dad i sugest a mac they are idiot proof(not that he is an idiot). and windows is best with wirerless networking (not XP,98 is best)! sry but i think it is the truth no offence meant to you ppl that dont like it. Thanks and ba bye!!!!!!!!!!1

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Hi Traub!!

I agree with your conclusion "linux 7.2 is not bad" but i think its too bad for me given that I could successfully install lotus domino server on it.

Try it!!

During installation of Oracle / Domino or any server which requires IBM JAVA Developer kit, its really a backache excersise to see a message "Installation successful.."

By the way I never meant to hurt ya but I am really trying to switch from Win2000 to Linux 7.2 bcause of lotus domino server. So, In a sense I am very much right in my words...lol.

Regards

gmustafa67@hotmail.com

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Oh and by the way:

F U C K - Y O U - P A U L !

Problems with compiling 2.0.6 kernel in Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Dear LINUX users,

Can anyone write to me how downgrade kernel of Red Hat 7.2 to 2.0.6.,please?

I am using driver moduel which can be compiled only in kernel 2.0.6 and I can not not compile 2.0.6 kernel. I am to compile module in RedHat 6.1 kernel 2.2.14 with 2.0.6 kernel headers, but this module can not been loaded in RH6.1

Thank you for any help..

Yours faithfully

Peter Fodrek

automation@vuz.sk

fotoba@pobox.sk

fodrek@kasr.elf.stuba.sk

fodrek@decef.elf.stuba.sk

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I like 7.2 except for one thing. I use it in a Data Center but have found with 7.1 and 7.2 the memory leaks BAD! Let it run all night and you end up with 5 megs (maybe) out of 512, and nothing big is running! Anyone have insight on this or maybe a fix or even an explanation? Great stuff if I can get this fixed! Email at bobsanders@hotmail.com or answer here. Thanks!

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I had a similar problem, which I found came from php 4.04 using gzip compression. As a workaround I had apache restart quite often to free up memory. The problem is gone with php 4.06.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Good read, though.... "I have used it on various computers since around the time of Red Hat 3.0"

Interesting, since there was no public release of a "Red Hat 3.0" 3.0.3, yes. But no 3.0.

ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/ (point of reference).

http://www.smoogespace.com/documents/behind_the_names.html (point of reference).

Lilac Echo

http://www.wbglinks.net

--Hacking is not magic...--

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I have installed 7.2 on several computers. On my Compaq Armada E500 it went in like a champ. Even the hardware sound buttons worked out of the box (they didn't in Windows XP)

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Which monitor configuration did you use

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I have used several Linux distributions including the three main distributions Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake and a few underground distributions like Mu and Beehive. Every single one of them had some sort of bug or flaw that either maid them difficult to install or annoying to configure. Based on that fact I can't recommend Linux to the average computer user. What I can say is that out of all the distributions I have tried so far Red Hat seams to be the one with the least problems.

After installing Mandrake I had to configure my sound card. Not a big deal but new Linux users may find that difficult to do. SuSE gives you a lot of software but the installation is not for everyone and my installation didn't detect any hardware. I had to use Yast to configure all of my hardware. Debian is another popular distribution. It is broken. Well, the version I used was broken. The Debian team did something when upgrading parts of the OS that broke the installer so you couldn't do a simple installation. The documentation had a workaround for it but the best thing to do was a custom install. The other underground distributions I've tried worked surpassingly well. Most, however, were difficult to install and or lacking in documentation.

Time and Time again I find my self going back to Red Hat. Why? The installation is strait forward. It has detected all the hardware on all of my systems. It has detected and configured new hardware. Once installed and configured it's not much different from the other distributions. Sure there are a few bugs here and there but I think the good points make up for the bad ones.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I had only one qualm with this article. In it, Mr. Traub said:

"Additionally, you cannot choose either the server or workstation option unless you are willing to dedicate the entire machine, since both of those options will completely reformat the hard disk. If you intend to dual boot, you will need to perform a custom install. This necessity may create a bad situation for many neophyte users of Linux, who are likely to desire a dual boot in order to retain a partition for Microsoft Windows. These same users are also, unfortunately, the ones most likely to want to click one button to install."

I'm afraid that just wasn't true.

Just as with 7.0 and 7.1, the installation procedure (Anaconda) presents you with the option of running fdisk or Disk Druid to partition your hard drive, even under the Server, Laptop or Workstation options.

It sure worked that way when installing on my laptop and on my firewall.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I have 7.2 installed on 3 Servers, 1 desktop, 2 laptops

(1 Dell, 1 Fujitsu), the other boxes are home built from

various sources. 2 Athlon, 2 Pentium. All installed without

a hitch under 7.1 and upgraded to 7.2 just as easily.

I tried Mandrake a few times and it never was very stable.

SuSe would not install on any of them and neither would it

on 2 pc's of a friends.

They are all stable and only get re booted for necessary

kernel updates etc. I agree with the article fully, my friend

upgraded from Windblows and had no trouble with the install.

all worked 1st time.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Redhat 7.2 was my first attempt at Linux - although I come from a long line of Novell and Windows NT installs. I chose Redhat based on an extensive list of needs and long exhaustive research. Okay thats a lie. I chose Redhat because I'd heard of it, and I needed someplace to jump in with both feet after my Windows NT server pissed me off once too many times.

I found the install to be a little reminiscent of Netware. I had to start over a couple times, but once I got the hang of it, it was pretty straightforward.

I was able to accomplish the goals that I had set out fairly easily: 1. Share the internet with mine and my kids Windows 98 PCs, 2. Setup a firewall quickly and easily, 3. Share the printer and hard drive using Windows Network Neighborhood - via Samba on the Redhat box, and finally have a stable OS that doesn't make me want to drive to Redmond and say unspeakable things to BillG.

From the perspective of someone who's done a few server installs along the way, I have no complaints, and in fact several compliments for Redhat 7.2 Linux. Please bear in mind that my goals for Linux were aimed towards it being a server and that they weren't all that sophisticated. BUT Novell wasn't able to do it on the hardware I have, and Windows NT wasn't able to it without crashing everytime I tried to print.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Stalione's picture

First let me just start out by saying that LinuxJournal is a great source for Linux info and I love it. I also love Red Hat a lot but I DO NOT like this particular article all that much. But seems to me like this article is geared more towards a average user or even a novice. I wish the author had tested 7.2 installation on various machines and wrote a much more well supported review. As for the guy who is comparing RH to MS...your a moron and pls stop using Linux. I personally never had any trouble with RH installtion...my hobby is to put old abandoned machine by my university and put them together, install Linux and give 'em to people who either have no computers or want to fiddle around with LINUX! My goal is to show people the alternative and so far I have installed 90% of the time RH on these intro. machines and Mandrake a few times. For personal use, I use Slack and RH...yes I also have Win2k which is mostly for just in case I need to use it due to some attachment specific to windows software, need to test a software before recommending it to a client and other misc. purposes. I have a PI 200, 48 Mb EDO RAM, server running my webserver, fileserver, MySQL db and many other service using Red Hat Linux with no problem and currently I have had uptime of 33 days. Let me see a MS server do that...im sure it might be able to pull it off if it didnt get hacked first and no one used it at all.

Re: Red Hat 7.2? Who's the moron?

Anonymous's picture

I'm not a linux purist or a MS purist but I do use both systems. Like anything it's about choosing the right tool for the right job. Most linux purists who can't see past the tip of there ego never realize this. I always here 'what ever MS does Linux can do', or 'whatever apple does, linux can do'.

my observation NOT TRUE! Not EVEN CLOSE!

I run the new RH7.2 and had no problems installing or setting anything up. It's well documented and most of the answers, as always, are at the tip of your fingers. However I did notice a lack of the following in linux:

music production software - not a mp3 player or wav editor but virtual studio software, compared to the likes of Cubase VST, Logic Audio, or Reaktor 3. Let alone any ASIO component. There is nothing compared to the software found on Win/Mac.

graphic editing - yes gimp is a great program, but it doesn't come close to photoshop. Advanced color management and the proper digital imaging components just arn't there. ICC profiling and other proffesional grade graphics production controls are not there. Not to mention the endless amount of quality effects and actions. Gimp is well rounded but not a replacement for photoshop.

3D games - need I say more?

these are the top three things i see linux missing. However it stands stong in the networking/server side of things.

like the wise man said, it's the right tool for the job. If i wanted a machine to run a firewall or router I wouldn't choose a OS 9 on MAC. know what i mean. don't discredit windows because of the linux vendeta against MS. Every OS has it's place. Until linux users and programmers realize this the other operating systems will always dominate.

Re: Red Hat 7.2? Who's the moron?

Anonymous's picture

too true . I would love to able to run cubase on a linux cluster . Much more efficient than an ms setup , but, like you say just not there yet.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I really, really like the new RH as a server system, and I use it on my laptop and my main work workstation. It is stable and Redhat Network is great.

I hope that RedHat starts looking into improving the experience for the end-user. Yes, 7.2 is a big improvement over 7.1, but they need to look at what all of the new user-friendly distros (Redmond, ELX) are doing. Then again, if having a system that is a bit less-friendly brings a more stable system, I will not complain.

If you are looking for a Linux desktop system and you are new to Linux you should look into Suse. If you want a damn solid and stable distro that will not give you any problems RH 7.2 is the way to go.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Couldn't agree more. I'm a longtime RH user. Still use it on servers (probably forever), but my desktop use needs (and my wife's and kids) are much better served by SuSE 7.3

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

One small glitch -- It doesn't work with an HP NetRAID 1si card, although Red Hat 7.1 does. This makes upgrading an HP Netserver that uses that card a non-possibility.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I like the RH distro a lot. But i have one big problem it

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

For me (total newbie) the fix was to add DisplaySize to /etc/X11/XF88Config-4. Here's mine. I wasted days mucking around with xfs, xftconfig, webfonts.rpm, freetype, etc. It wasn't necessary. This is similar to the calibration that The Gimp does.

Section "Monitor"

Identifier "Monitor0"

VendorName "Dell"

ModelName "P991"

HorizSync 30.0-95.0

VertRefresh 50.0-160.0

DisplaySize 355 260

Option "dpms"

Jeff

Melbourne, Australia

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I'm stuck with fonts in RH7.2. I upgraded my PC from RH7.0 to RH7.2 and KDE 2.2 keeps defaulting to the silly fixed-width font no matter what I keep telling it to do! And some fonts in Gnome no longer work - I get little dotted squares instead of fonts when I choose to use them on my desktop.

Then I installed RH7.2 (fresh) onto a friend's laptop and experienced the same problem. KDE 2.2 insists on only using one font!

Help! What do I need to do to get my fonts back?

I've posted this q to a lot of boards already and have not received any response. :(

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Your problem with Freetype might be because it now disables a certain kind of patented (Apple) anti-aliasing by default. Go to Freetype's website for details and for hints about enabling it.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Try this link and download the fretype stuff, worked for me.

eastwond.net

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

What type of system are you running?

Check out this if you are on a laptop:

http://jmason.org/howto/subpixel.html

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Most of what you read in this reply I have already said in a reply to a reply. I felt though that this was important enough that I wanted it to be as top level as possible. So, I am sorry to say this is one of the wrost reviews I have read in 23 years of professionally working with computers. I am very disappointed in Linux Journal. I am not saying though a review has to touch on every minor point, but one has to make an effort to cover a good solection of hardware conditions. Let me list where the review wrong:

1. Only one computer was used.

A laptop, and an off brand from what I can tell. At least a half a dozen (6 each for boxes and laptops) systems in different configurations. It should had different amounts of memory and different video, sound and network controllers.

2. No upgrade was performed.

The comment to #1 applys here, as different hardware and sofftware conditions should be tried. I for one ran into two major nasty bugs in the upgrade from 7.1 to 7.2. I will share my problems with the readers, so as to maybe be of help to them.

The first problem was I selected upgrade to ext3 filesystem. I could not boot afterwards. I have a AMD system and the upgade 2.4.7 kernel for some reason would not boot. I had been using a 2.4.16 kernel before the upgrade and that might of had something to do with it. But it was not compiled (2.4.16) to use ext3 filesystem. I was able to boot with the cdrom in rescue mode and edit the fstab file and down grade it to ext2 and then edit the grub.conf and have it boot the 2.4.16 kernel. I booted and recompiled the 2.4.16 kernel and it reboot ok under 2.4.16.

The second of my problems was the network would not start up. Come to find out (through linux.redhat.install newsgrougp) you have to compile a new network option. You have to make sure that you have configured 'Kernel/User Netlink Socket' and, right below, 'Routing messages'. Once I did this as well and recompiled and rebooted the network started to work fine.

See comment #4 below for more insite.

3. No performance stats were done.

I expect to see performance stats as to what the difference between different RH release are. The first would be what is the gain (or no gain) in performance if I am going up one notch, i.e. 7.1 to 7.2. I would like to know what performance there's between the latest 6.x and 7.2.

For RH 7.2 there is alot of complaints of performance issues.

4. Research and Relay problems that others have had.

Mr. Traub obviously did not read the news group linux.redhat.install. If he had he would have seen that going back as far a last October there are/were problems. He would have seen that two major themes are going on. One is problems with the install/upgrade procedure itself and two performance.

I can say as one who has upgraded that there is a performance hit. A rough guess would be in the 30-40% range.

-----

I do not feel I write very well and in so do not enjoy having to write this. I felt though that this was important enough to try and communicate some of the issues involve here. So these are mostly the major problems I can see with Red Hat 7.2 and Mr. Traub's review of it. If you look at most any MS mag that reviews an OS or software you will see that they will include the items I have mention above. I know that there are no perfect systems out there and may never be. I do know that if we do not point out problems that we do see, nothing will be_change/get_fixed. The Linux users that have been using it for a while have come to expect that there will be problems. The important thing is to find those problems and pass on the information of how to fix or prevent them. We will not get the world (MS/Mac users) to change over to Linux if it continues to have these level of problems. They (MS/Mac users) will go back to what their using at the slightest hint of a problem. I want to see Linux succeed, don't you???

Regards,

A Linux Advocate.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Think you're right but wasting your time. I'm also intrigued, as I type this, by the allowed HTML tags -- a tribute to depreceated markup. So very 1997-98. Do web standards or valid XHTML/XML exist for anyone at this journal? Guess not.
A solid majority of Linux users, in my experience, do not share your concerns. Linux works well enough for them--as the other comments to this review testify.
As for the larger picture, forget about it. Easier cry FUD, blame Microsoft, and smirk at the other *nixes.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I had a similar problem with a failure to boot the kernel in 7.2 on my Duron laptop. There seems to be some kind of problem when you compile the kernel with Athlon optimizations. Previous versions of Red Hat never had an Athlon optimized kernel, but this one does. The installer detected the Duron/Athlon chip and gave me the Athlon optimized kernel, and as a result, the kernel wouldn't boot. One solution to this problem is to pass the 'noathlon' option to the kernel at boot. You can also compile the kernel with optimizations for the i686 or older architectures. It seems to me that Red Hat should have been more careful before giving users this Athlon optimized kernel. This could result in a pretty bad experience for someone. Other than that, I am very impressed with this release.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I Agree with the article, I installed RH 7.2 in my new notebook and had no problems except one related with the DNS 'resolver'; it tries to query my ISP DNS server instead of my hosts file and then my DNS, but this is a little OT (host.conf is ok).

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Ok, good to know that the bug has been reported.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I've been trying to install 7.2 on two separate computers - one brand-new Athlon 800mhz system and one old (but wonderfully dependable) Pentium system for two weeks now, with absolutely no successes. I definitely don't agree that installation is "smooth."

I've tried fresh installs and upgrades from 6.0. RH documentation, FAQs, general Linux FAQs, etc., were of no assistance whatsoever. I've finally narrowed the problem down to video card/monitor compatibility; while 6.0 found my old Number Nine video card and ye olde basic AT&T color monitor, 7.2 refused to find either. Once I bought a brand new guaranteed-compatible video card, 7.2 found it okay, but it still can't probe the monitor properly, and trying to configure manual settings fails. Even if I skip X configuration, it hangs on first reboot.

This is better? 6.0 ran on the old system without a single hiccup. I think I'll stick with the tried and true, and upgrade the kernel and each package separately as needed. 7.2 may have all sorts of new and nifty bells and whistles, but it seems to have forgotten about those of us who still want to utilize our old faithful machines.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

vnk's picture

You are actually supposed to run X configuration but skip probing during install process.

If your monitor is on a list, just choose it, set the resolution and say 'skip' when installer wants to probe this configuration. Choose graphical login as a default and I bet it'll work on the next reboot.

Re: Red Hat 7.2 has glibc DNS problems

Anonymous's picture

Applications in RH 7.2 that use glibc for DNS lookups may have
problems.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

I found one incredibly annoying niggle. When I installed 7.2 on my bug laptop then tried to configure ppp uning the dialup wizard from my non-root account it simply would not work. After configuring the dialup info the account would not show up in the RH ppp dialer. The solution was to log in as root and run the wizard. This is bizarre as the wizard prompts you for the root password when you run it as a non-root user which implies that it is going to setuid. I do not know how this bug got past the RH quality control as it seems to me to be a reasonable thing to do.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Redhat is a big company with an in house network, and solid connection to the net. My guess is that a lot fo sub systems don't get tested as much in house there because they simply don't have the resources. ie, not many modems lying about. I'll bet that a lot fo the testing is from employees going home, and dialing into the corporate network, and not much else.

besides, were the Linux world, the user base is still kind of treated as a giant beta testing group of people who don't mind superficial bugs. as long as the screen don't tuern blue, and I don't have to restart the machine mroe than once a year......

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Agreed on that.

All the RH network tools are down on my computer.

I have a DSL connection and add to install rp-pppoe to configure it. Using the wizard gave me exactly the same result.

Every time I install a Red Hat distro I have the same reaction: great to have the rpms to install new software, but if you want to customize your computer you will definitely mess up with the RH configs.

Too bad.

Hope they'll solve that one day.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

sjlinuxfreak's picture

I definitely agree. I installed RH7.2 on my gateway laptop, and it couldn't have went any better. Although I do not agree with the new pricing of their boxed sets, I enjoy the distro, and look forward to 8.1 or 8.2. :)

Re: Red Hat 7.2

TedC's picture

I enjoy the distro, and look forward to 8.1 or 8.2. :) Forget about 8.1 (for now), I'm looking forward to 8.0! Red Hat "dot oh" releases can sometimes be an adventure (GNOME 1.0.4/5 that shipped with RH 6.0 comes to mind), and as Mr. Baggins once mused, adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine. Get ready for an emergency update to gcc and/or glibc. But it will be worth it -- us Red Hat users can once again push the leading edge, while the rest of the Linux world whines from the safety of their soon to be outdated distros. ;-) On a more serious note, RH 8.0 will ship with "one dot oh" (or better) releases of Galeon, Evolution, Abiword, and Gnumeric, making it Gnome's first real chance to function as a reasonable complete desktop environment for so-called "normal" users. The update to Python 2.whatever will be nice too. -TC PS. If anyone can tell me how to get boot images for Rawhide, I'd appreciate it. This is probably the sort of thing I should have looked into before downloading the entire development tree...

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Horrible review.

You wrote:

"I can comfortably recommend Red Hat 7.2 for anyone."

Anyone?

My dad is a photographer that knows nothing about computers. He would like to use a digital camera, but also scan in old paper-based photos. Is RH Linux 7.2 compatible with his digital camera and scanner, and does the OS offer any of the digital media niceties in, say, Windows XP or Mac OS X? (the answer is no; don't bother looking it up).

My son is a game player and would like to play the latest first person shoot 'em up games. But I don't see a huge Linux games section in the local Best Buy or even at Fry's Electronics. How does RH Linux 7.2 address this market, exactly?

I'm a professional writer and need MS Word revisioning functionality. Only the Open Office/Star Office 6.x beta offers even basic compatibility with this feature. How does RH Linux 7.2 address my needs exactly?

I also have a wireless network at home, and have tried four different brands of wireless cards with RH Linux 7.2 on a modern Dell laptop (I can provide model names and numbers if you're curious). None work. In fact, networking on RH Linux 7.2 *blows* because it brings up the networking subsystem BEFORE the PCMCIA subsystem, so my PC card wireless cards never work on boot up and the boot process stalls for 1 minute (with any of the cards I tried) because it's trying to start networking up and the PC card hasn't even been initialized yet. Please point me to the easy to use checkbox in the UI that changes this behavior, since it's been driving me nuts.

Etc. Want more? I've got a million of them. How about all the bizarre dependency issues in the Ximian Software Update? You don't think that's a huge problem?

For someone who is purportedly a "UNIX software developer for 15 years and a Linux user for over eight years" (8 years? Come on), you've lightly treaded through a review that does more harm than good, mostly because you tested the system on about one PC from what I can tell, and don't even consider the wider needs of your audience. How can you possibly, even remotely, recommend something like this when you really don't have that much experience with it? I've tested RH Linux 7.2 on a variety of systems--laptops and desktops--and have run into various issues on each one. How could you provide such a non-technical and glossy overview of something this important? It borders on the irresponsible.

For the record, I've evaluated various distributions in various situations, and none of them are exactly "right". For the wireless stuff, for example, Mandrake 8.1 actually does load the PCMCIA subsystem first, and one of the four wireless cards I have does actually work on that system. But Mandrake, of course, doesn't include many of the utilities I expect (and get in RH), so it's still problematic. I think that RH is the "best" overall distribution, but I also think it needs further explanation.

Paul

Repost: You, gentle reader, are ideally suited for a career in g

Anonymous's picture

It seems that it didn't like my post the first time around. o_O

----

I would like to stress that I am in no way a "power Linux user." Even with a limited background in *nix systems, I can safely assure you that you are quite wrong about it. Allow me to go point by point:

Is RH Linux 7.2 compatible with his digital camera and scanner, and does the OS offer any of the digital media niceties in, say, Windows XP or Mac OS X?

Many of the other, and more sensible readers, have provided the answer: Yes, provided you take the time to download the drivers.

But I don't see a huge Linux games section in the local Best Buy

Nor do they carry many Macintosh games; go out and find a proper retailer that doesn't go to bed with Microsoft. I would like to inform you that Quake III Arena and Railroad Tycoon II Gold were my two most recent Linux purchases; both were at Best Buy for 10$USD. Q3A is usually 30$USD for the Windows version.

Professional writers shouldn't need MSWord compatibility; MSWord isn't always compatible with MSWord! Most of the publishing firms that I have worked with either refuse to open .doc files based on recent security holes, or use Macintoshes simply for compatibility with pre-press.

Granted, my publishing experience is limited to newspapers and small magazines, but I have a feeling it must hold true for many other firms.

Networking. Hrrm. If you're not using an 802.11 network, why are you using proprietary solutions? This is a classic example of Linux's reputation for being "l337" instead of mundane, and using open source instead of bloated code. If you are using 802.11 networking, then it most certainly will work; just follow the advice of the more skilled readers on the board.

Finally, I would like to comment on your "evaluation" of various distributions in various situations. All your situations reflect one thing; an underinformed "Harry Homeowner" Windowsmonkey was doing the installation and wasting his time flaming a good review of a solid product.

You, gentle reader, are ideally suited for a career in governmen

Anonymous's picture

It seems that it didn't like my post the first time around. o_O

----

I would like to stress that I am in no way a "power Linux user." Even with a limited background in *nix systems, I can safely assure you that you are quite wrong about it. Allow me to go point by point:

Is RH Linux 7.2 compatible with his digital camera and scanner, and does the OS offer any of the digital media niceties in, say, Windows XP or Mac OS X?

Many of the other, and more sensible readers, have provided the answer: Yes, provided you take the time to download the drivers.

But I don't see a huge Linux games section in the local Best Buy

Nor do they carry many Macintosh games; go out and find a proper retailer that doesn't go to bed with Microsoft. I would like to inform you that Quake III Arena and Railroad Tycoon II Gold were my two most recent Linux purchases; both were at Best Buy for 10$USD. Q3A is usually 30$USD for the Windows version.

Professional writers shouldn't need MSWord compatibility; MSWord isn't always compatible with MSWord! Most of the publishing firms that I have worked with either refuse to open .doc files based on recent security holes, or use Macintoshes simply for compatibility with pre-press.

Granted, my publishing experience is limited to newspapers and small magazines, but I have a feeling it must hold true for many other firms.

Networking. Hrrm. If you're not using an 802.11 network, why are you using proprietary solutions? This is a classic example of Linux's reputation for being "l337" instead of mundane, and using open source instead of bloated code. If you are using 802.11 networking, then it most certainly will work; just follow the advice of the more skilled readers on the board.

Finally, I would like to comment on your "evaluation" of various distributions in various situations. All your situations reflect one thing; an underinformed "Harry Homeowner" Windowsmonkey was doing the installation and wasting his time flaming a good review of a solid product.

You, gentle reader, are ideally suited for a career in governmen

Anonymous's picture

I would like to stress that I am in no way a "power Linux user." Even with a limited background in *nix systems, I can safely assure you that you are quite wrong about it. Allow me to go point by point:

>Is RH Linux 7.2 compatible with his digital camera and scanner, and does the OS offer any of the digital media niceties in, say, Windows XP or Mac OS X?But I don't see a huge Linux games section in the local Best Buyvarious distributions in various situationsflame on before you BASH it." ^_^

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

stop crying, you whiny kunt.

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Maybe your dad is so f u c k i n g stupid that he shouldn't even use windows!

Re: Red Hat 7.2

Anonymous's picture

Maybe your dad is so ***** stupid that he shouldn't even use windows!

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