Red Hat 9


The CD-ROM includes the KDE-EDU package, a nice collection of educational and recreational programs. This household's favorite is KStars, shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. To Infinity and Beyond with KStars

Scanning and OCR

As already mentioned, Shrike was the first Red Hat version to let me use my scanner without changing any settings. I was able to scan without a glitch, so when I saw the OCR button I immediately pressed it (I consider this the number one application area still sorely missing good software for Linux, be it free or proprietary). The system answered with “gocr: command not found”. I didn't find this program on the CD-ROMs, so it does seem to have escaped the dependency checks. I found the gocr RPM on-line and am still testing it.

CD Burning

During the first weeks of life of the Shrike users list, a noticeable amount of traffic was devoted to CD burning problems. On the test system used for this review, using Xcdroast on a Philips CDRW1600 device, no problems were observed. Everything was recognized without manual intervention, and no disks were wasted. Several users reported that problems disappeared by removing the magicdev package. This tool is supposed to perform several user-friendly actions when removable media are inserted—playing audio CDs, opening a burn window in Nautilus and so on. The fact that Nautilus (and its dependencies, like magicdev) were not installed on the test system seems to confirm the hypothesis that magicdev, at least as packaged in Red Hat 9 version 1.1.4, is not ready for prime time, at least not for all systems.


Red Hat 9 is indeed a nice desktop. Overall performance, even on a relatively limited system, is not slower than with the previous release. The convergence imposed on KDE and GNOME is much less dramatic than it may seem and hopefully will lead to less work to maintain future versions and fix the quirks reported here.

Marco Fioretti is a hardware systems engineer interested in free software both as an EDA platform and (as the current leader of the RULE Project) as an efficient desktop. Marco lives with his family in Rome, Italy.


Articles about Digital Rights and more at CV, talks and bio at


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Anonymous's picture


White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState