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Red Hat Software Businesses Software Linux

Red Hat EL 4.0 Released 88

Posted by timothy
from the hey-no-fair-lookin' dept.
diegocgteleline.es writes "As it has been noticed by some news sites, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 has been released. RedHat's web site doesn't seem to have any reference, but with Red Hat being probably the most used distro in the enterprise and featuring for first time a 2.6 kernel, this is a major milestone for linux in the server arena. There're already some reviews."
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Red Hat EL 4.0 Released

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  • by Meetch (756616) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @01:32AM (#11675382)
    (Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion.) If you're building your own box for your own purposes, and expect to be able to fix things yourself based on google/forums/friends, then don't go RedHat. It's too limited in scope for that. FC gets good support from their development framework, but again you don't need it. From what I see on a daily basis, RedHat's big plus is it's heavily certified with Oracle (and I'm not sure what else, because that really doesn't concern me in my work). There's only a few distros that have this support advantage, and RedHat was one of the first there. I'm fond of SuSE myself, but we can't justify going that way with the local support we can get if we have to.

    As for making the jump from EL3 to EL4, well the main reasons IMHO are to dump all the backported patches made since EL3's inception first, going with packages a little less off-the-beaten-track, and then a few updates of things that help the job for frustrated admins. Little things like installing on logical volumes at the outset (long overdue!) and the nature of LVM 2, which allows taking multiple read-writable snapshots of any logical volume, and if lvcreate's usage is to believed, at some point we will be able to take snapshots of snapshots.

    By far RedHat's biggest failing IMO is the lack of support for ReiserFS - JFS and XFS would be nice for others, but the former is all I really care for. I like having a filesystem that genuinely allows for atomic disk transactions without any noticeable performance hit. But as has already been stated, RedHat aren't interested in supporting it. It's a real shame, but something we have to live with for now.

  • by SunFan (845761) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @02:05AM (#11675468)
    Well, it has ousted Sun from pretty much all of the big financial organisations...

    I'd bet Linux has a single-digit percentage share in financial institutions behind mainframes and Solaris/HPUX/AIX. What is the basis for your so confidently stated statement? Even that Omaha bank article that re-surfaced recently had their IT people saying they would have stayed with Sun if Sun's current product line up were available a couple of years ago.

  • by menscher (597856) <menscher+slashdot&uiuc,edu> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @02:27AM (#11675514) Homepage Journal
    Every time any /. article mentions RedHat, we get a bunch of kiddies attacking it. So, I propose a new rule: before attacking RHEL, please consider a few points:
    • Do you have 5+ years of sysadmin experience?
    • Do you have 100+ users?
    • Do you have 10+ machines?
    • Do you have to support enterprise applications?
    Seriously, if you can't answer "yes" to all four questions, perhaps you should just keep your opinions to yourselves. The other distros are great for your mommy's basement, but in the enterprise, there are serious support/stability issues to consider.
  • by Trevin (570491) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @03:35AM (#11675663) Homepage
    I realize that Enterprise Linux is geared toward a narrower market of server-class computers than the multitude of desktop PC's, but it seems like they still need some bugs worked out.

    Personally, I have been using Fedora Core 3 (on which RHEL 4 is apparently based) for several months now, and I'm seriously considering downgrading to a more mature release the next time I replace my hard drives, and then just installing piecemeal upgrades of various applications as needed. Most of my trouble with the 2.6.x kernel comes from poor driver support: I haven't had accelerated 3D graphics or been able to record CD-R's since upgrading, VMware takes at least ten seconds to set up its dynamic virtual device nodes every time the system boots, and I recently discovered that the driver for the RAID controller I was going to buy has had some serious stability problems (NOT good for a RAID array!).

    The company I work for has around twenty licenses for RedHat Enterprise Linux, and I know they're not going to adopt RHEL 4.0 anytime soon. Half of their servers still run RedHat 7.1, due to in-house application stability problems with Apache 2.0 and Perl 5.8. The other servers can't even install anything later than 3.0 update 1, because installs are done over the network and update 2 introduced problems with the ethernet driver our servers use.

    As much as I'd like to have leading-edge software and all the latest security patches, as administrator of a network that has to maintain at least 99.5% uptime (and preferably 99.99%), stability is the top priority.
  • by Erik Hensema (12898) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:36AM (#11675806) Homepage

    It's the kernel. What does red hat do to make that same kernel so much more stable than kernel.org?

    Red Hat properly tests the kernel and patches problems they find. Also, they add features which may be too intrusive for a stable kernel. Not because of code stability (as in: crashiness), but as in interface stability. But it's mostly the far better QA. Sane people don't run vanilla kernels on their production servers.

    If an application is screwing things over, logical step is to drop it.

    Now that's a innovative way to make your distribution stable! But what if said application is critical to the buisiness, like Oracle?

    I'm thinking you are a red hat fan boy?

    Red Hat has no fanboys. Fanboys are exclusively found on Gentoo, Debian and some on Slackware. All nice distributions, but all lacking good QA.

  • RHEL4 v Fedora3 ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slashmojo (818930) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @07:45AM (#11676263)
    Is there anything/enough in rhel4 that isn't in fc3 to make it worth the upgrade? I'm using fc3 on a file server at the moment (switched from centos3.3 after endless problems with a 3ware9500 which fc3 only partially solved).

    Anyone know if they fixed this rather serious problem [redhat.com] yet?

  • by sbennett (448295) <spb&gentoo,org> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:01AM (#11676331)

    By far RedHat's biggest failing IMO is the lack of support for ReiserFS - JFS and XFS would be nice for others, but the former is all I really care for. I like having a filesystem that genuinely allows for atomic disk transactions without any noticeable performance hit. But as has already been stated, RedHat aren't interested in supporting it. It's a real shame, but something we have to live with for now.

    And they're not supporting it for good reason-- its extended attribute implementation is horrifically broken, and so it won't even mount on an SELinux system. IMHO (and a great many people share the same view), the increased security from SELinux is more important than the slight speed gain, especially at the expense of much higher CPU usage.

  • Re:RHEL4 v Fedora3 ? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @10:52AM (#11677693)
    I run rhel3 on my servers and fc3 on my personal machines. There are unfixed bugs in fc3 that are driving me nuts (memory allocation). With rhel3, I've had zero problems. I'd assume those bugs aren't in rhel4, since it's billed as Enterprise, but you never know for sure. Anyway, the web management stuff from rhel is nice. You don't get that with fc.
  • by chez69 (135760) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @12:49PM (#11679059) Homepage Journal
    you reported these kernel bugs, right?

    since RHEL 4.0 is based on fedora core 3, the kernel in RHEL 4.0 will be almost mainline.

  • Anti-RedHat bias? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by guacamole (24270) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @06:27PM (#11683481)
    RHEL is the leading enterprise Linux distribution and RHEL 4 release is a _big_ news for most RHEL users but somehow Slashdot editors didn't deem it to be important enough to put the story on the slashdot front page. Coincidence? I think not..

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