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Red Hat Software Businesses

Red Hat Growing Pains 203

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-this-does-not-star-alan-thicke dept.
Rounding out a week with a lot of Red Hat news, def con cyber has written a good piece describing what a lot of you have been talking about: changes in Red Hat over the last few years. I think that this one sums up quite well a lot of the email I've been getting regarding RH. As a side note, the Slashdot feed on their portal site has been blatantly deleting all stories about them. They say that the SEC is requires this of them, so all I can say is that if you want uncut Slashdot, get it here. But then again, you probably were anyway... *grin*

The following was written by Slashdot Reader def con cyber

An open letter to Red Hat

I have been a Redhat user since release 4.2. I have always been so impressed with your desire to advance Linux technology and bring Linux to the world with your ease of use and easy installations. My Linux experience started off downloading images of slackware Linux off of the net. When I loaded my first Redhat distribution, I swore I would never use anything else.

But now, I find myself waivering on that decision for several reasons. First, I was so excited to get my copy of Redhat Linux, I surfed on over to your website and decided to give you guys a little extra business. For the first time, I will take the plunge, dig deep into my wallet and buy the extra pack. Well, it looks like I will have to dig a little deeper than I expected $99.00. But what the hell. Lets do it.

So, for the next week, I listen to my Linux cohorts telling me about their new Redhat 6.0 Linux boxes. So, I break, I run off and buy a retail version. I still have the perks to look forward to when my plus pack comes. Again a dent to my wallet. $79.00

I load it onto my box, new install. Looks just like the old. Finally, I am up and running. A flawless install. Unfortunately Gnome is buggy and crashes (a lot). I have never spent more time rebooting my system since I ran Microsoft products on it. I type "glint" to install some additional packages. What? Glint is nowhere to be found and GnoRPM is very confusing to use. Why would you drop something tried and trued just like that.

I attempt to install Redhat on my laptop. Glitch, I am trying to install from a superdisk which is recognized as second device, second ide controller or in the Linux world hdd. Not a problem, I am sure I can override Linux trying to mount fd0 and telling it to mount hdd. I try for a few days and fail. Well, I'll try later.

I finally get my Redhat extra pack. I excitedly rip it open. I thow the powertools and application disk into /dev/floppy and spin it up. Well, they are both full of lame application which can be easily d/l'd from the net or that Redhat used to distribute with their standard distrubution. What the hell, I am going to get my moneys worth. I phone Redhat to redeem my free technical installation support about the superdisk problem.

Well, little to no wait, very impressed. I find out why in a minute. I explain my problem and my proposed solution and the tech support says cheerfully, "That sounds reasonable". After being on hold for 5 minutes she comes back and informs me that she spoke to some techs there and, "they could not understand why I wanted to do what I was asking therefor, they could not support the problem." Wow, from, "that sounds logical" to "no way in hell" in five minutes flat.

The problem has since been fixed (without the help of Redhat). Well, this past weekend I get the chance to really tweak my system. I find liks that point to old versions that were not loaded into the system (Ironically when I tried to use the Redhat 'support disk' (a hi-jack of out of date usenet lists)).

I go to the Redhat errata page. I try to dowload the update to Netscape. Broken links. So I ftp into Redhat's updates.redhat.com. What do I find, but a bunch of empty directories. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the errata page had several fixes that pointed to this area. I dreamed of the day Redhat would go public and actually have been putting money aside for when it finally happened. When I read about the Redhat IPO, I wasn't the least bit excited.

Redhat, please know that I am not flaming you. I have tried to fill this with legitimate complaints. I am not anti-Redhat. You and I have been together for many years. I am an Internet content provider and run 5 boxes 24x7x365, and one laptop. All running Redhat Linux.

I have always "bought" your distribution to support you because you were supporting me the user. I have purchased every release since 4.2. I have always recommended you to newbies and helped them setup their systems.

I do not ask for perfection. But you are now charging $79.00 for your basic distribution. As a customer, I am getting less, quantity, and quality. My web server (Redhat 5.0) has been up since Sept. 98 without a glitch. My Redhat 6.0 workstation locks up every few days (much like my wife's Windows machine).

I appreciate your need and desire to win corporate business. But I am "common joe Linux user". I feel I helped you get where you are. Please tell me there is still room for me within your business plans and future goals. If not let me know now so I can find a different distribution who is still looking out for the little guy.

With respect and hope for the future of Redhat, Stuart MacKenzie

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Red Hat Growing Pains

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    RedHat is a growing company and is trying to do a billion things at once, what else can you expect! Your biggest complaint seems to be the price of the distribution, and as other have pointed out, you DON'T HAVE TO pay that much. If you feel its too much, don't pay for it! Also, powertools has always been mostly comprised of utilities freely downloadable off the internet, there is no surprise there. As for glint, it was *horrible* and clunky. GnoRPM on the other hand has numerous features and inculdes web searching. The only real problem with GnoRPM is its ridiculous sytem usage -- they really should have fixed this before shipping it. It takes up more cpu and ram than ANY other process on my system, which is ridiculous for the trivial tasks it does.

    As for the gnome/e thing, that was a real bad mistake. GNOME/E are defintely not ready for primetime usage. Of course they refused to use KDE as default (which IMO would have been MUCH better) and thus the only other alterntative was the worse fvwm.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thank goodness Slackware 4.0 is finally out.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Unlike the others who poo-pooed your post, I appreciate it...because I understand.

    I also have worked in software support for a highly technical retail product, and know the stresses involved in providing support, testing, and minor debugging.

    I've purchased 3 boxed sets (5.1, 5.2, and 6.0) and have never called for support since the problems I did encounter were either not important or not Red Hat's problem. One day I might call, and I want to make sure that not only are there programers there to fix the problems but people like yourself who can give a decient reply and make the programmers pay attention!

    The demand that every problem be solved prior to shipping is absurdly unrealistic. Improve quality? Sure. If RH doesn't do that, you guys will definately know about it...only it might be 6 months after the fact.

    Remember, in support...1 out of 5 customers will be pissed at you no matter what you do. The down side is that it's not always the same person!

    The other 4 are usually more patient than they should be. Ignore the unreasonable complainers, but remember the complaints. Yadda yadda yadda...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    *Nice*? WTF? Look at it!

    I have been a Redhat user since release 4.2. I have always been so impressed with your desire to advance Linux technology and bring Linux to the world with your ease of use and easy installations. My Linux experience started off downloading images of slackware Linux off of the net. When I loaded my first Redhat distribution, I swore I would never use anything else.

    Okay, great, I liked RPM too. And I like that Red Hat funds lots of Linux development. So far so good.

    But now, I find myself waivering on that decision for several reasons. First, I was so excited to get my copy of Redhat Linux, I surfed on over to your website and decided to give you guys a little extra business. For the first time, I will take the plunge, dig deep into my wallet and buy the extra pack. Well, it looks like I will have to dig a little deeper than I expected $99.00. But what the hell. Lets do it.

    This is the only point I agree with. But you can't *blame* RH for it. You *can* dl it for free. I think that they're dumb to price it that high...I'd say $49 or $59 is a *lot* more reasonable, because I was gonna buy RH 6.0, and got scared off by the price too. But they're the ones losing money if they price it too high, not you. You just dl it for free. I just think that it's self-destructive of RH, but I certainly don't blame them at all.

    So, for the next week, I listen to my Linux cohorts telling me about their new Redhat 6.0 Linux boxes. So, I break, I run off and buy a retail version. I still have the perks to look forward to when my plus pack comes. Again a dent to my wallet. $79.00

    Right, right. But RH will figure out a good price sooner or later, as fewer people buy the more expensive package. I agree it's too pricy, but don't blame RH for that. They hurt themselves a lot more than you. You just don't buy it.

    I load it onto my box, new install. Looks just like the old. Finally, I am up and running. A flawless install. Unfortunately Gnome is buggy and crashes (a lot). I have never spent more time rebooting my system since I ran Microsoft products on it. I type "glint" to install some additional packages. What? Glint is nowhere to be found and GnoRPM is very confusing to use. Why would you drop something tried and trued just like that.

    Yep, good old RH install. Surprise, Gnome is buggy. Gnome is new, a massive project, and trying to be a cohesive interface, something that Linux has never had. Surely you knew Gnome was still working out kinks before you bought RH 6? Maybe you wanted RH to wait for Gnome to stabilize before including it with RH releases? RH is trying very hard to make Linux competitive with Windows. The *only* way you are going to get novice users in is to have a solid, consistent interface like Gnome. They're under a lot of pressure to make Linux approachable. You aren't brain-dead, you can dl updates or just get the Gnome libs and use AfterStep (good ol' AfterStep) or something else.

    I admit, I'm biased on the Glint deal because I never use Glint or GUI package managers...I really like the CLI RPM manager interface. But, surely if you don't like it, you can dl Glint (or another Gnome RPM manager)? It won't kill you. RH can't make a system that everyone likes. That's why they made it so easy to download and install new packages. Get rpmfind, grab Glint, and be happy. They're trying for a consistent interface that can compete with Windows.

    Admittedly, I really think they should have put the RPM on the disc, even if it isn't installed by default.

    I attempt to install Redhat on my laptop. Glitch, I am trying to install from a superdisk which is recognized as second device, second ide controller or in the Linux world hdd. Not a problem, I am sure I can override Linux trying to mount fd0 and telling it to mount hdd. I try for a few days and fail. Well, I'll try later.

    Granted, RH install procedures can't handle every single weird computer in the world. They try. Send 'em a report, and I'm sure they'll put in a fix in the next version. It's not *their* fault that you can't contort their install system to do something they never intended to be done. Well, maybe they should have given you more control over install, but I think they did pretty well.

    I finally get my Redhat extra pack. I excitedly rip it open. I thow the powertools and application disk into /dev/floppy and spin it up. Well, they are both full of lame application which can be easily d/l'd from the net or that Redhat used to distribute with their standard distrubution. What the hell, I am going to get my moneys worth. I phone Redhat to redeem my free technical installation support about the superdisk problem.


    Okay, here we get into the meat of the problem. Did you, perhaps, *read* the product description of the Powertools CD before buying it? The entire point of the thing is to make it so that you don't have to d/l lots of software--just pull it off the CD. Heck, you can dl RH 6.0 itself instead of buying the CD too, but I don't hear you complaining. Instead of whining about RH not going out and custom-programming 650 megs of software (and giving it to you for almost nothing), how about being happy that people make this software freely available for d/l. In the Linux world, there's something called OSS. Most software abides by it. If you don't like being able to d/l software, use Windows or something. RH is in the business of collecting, archiving, and selling OSS software that works together. That's what they do. Nothing wrong with that.

    As for tech support, here's your second mistake. I like RH because they make a lot of software available in an easy to install format, and make sure everything works together. Not for their tech support. I have never seen a company that has even somewhat decent tech support, and I didn't expect RH to be the first. If you have the skills to be a highly-paid programmer, you aren't going to work in tech support, period. RH isn't God, and it isn't going to change the laws of greed. Their tech support is going to be designed for idiots who can't figure out the button to push to install stuff. Same as every other company in the world. I blame them not at all. Of course, I guess that if you're a person who uses tech support, since RH (and other companies) *promise* tech support, you'd want good support. I just avoid tech support like the plague.

    M$ can't get good tech support. Heck, at least RH sells better software than they do. If a comany that charges hundreds or thousands of dollars for software can't do something, what makes you think a little tiny company that isn't even supported by most people (i.e. they go out and d/l software and drive up RH's bandwidth bill) can? RH is made of Good People. They do a lot, and donate money to Linux development that they wouldn't have to if they were just out to make a fast buck. Hearing all this RH slamming going on because RH isn't perfect makes me sick. Without RH, there would be no Gnome, no RPM, no news articles on how Linux is a dangerous competitor to Windows. 'Nuff said. Go make your own RPM distribution if you don't like RH. You're free to do so.

    Well, little to no wait, very impressed. I find out why in a minute. I explain my problem and my proposed solution and the tech support says cheerfully, "That sounds reasonable". After being on hold for 5 minutes she comes back and informs me that she spoke to some techs there and, "they could not understand why I wanted to do what I was asking therefor, they could not support the problem." Wow, from, "that sounds logical" to "no way in hell" in five minutes flat.

    As far as I can tell, this entire complaint is based on the fact that you're upset about your Superdisk on some specific setup not working, and tech support not being able to fix it. At M$, you wouldn't even get a "that sounds logical". They'd just blame something like your OEM (against all reason) to say that it's impossible and get you to shut up. She probably didn't even talk to any techs (or maybe so...as I said, the most knowledgeable people ususally aren't in tech support). She probably just looked at her technical documentation. The Linux world once was a fix it yourself world. It's only because of RH that there's even the thought of calling tech support. Calm down.

    The problem has since been fixed (without the help of Redhat). Well, this past weekend I get the chance to really tweak my system. I find liks that point to old versions that were not loaded into the system (Ironically when I tried to use the Redhat 'support disk' (a hi-jack of out of date usenet lists)).

    Good, I'm glad you asked someone knowedgeable and got the problem fixed. Everyone else for years has had to fix Linux problems this way. They don't run out and write "Open Letters to Red Hat" because they had to go all the way to to IRC or USENET.

    I don't know what your "liks [sic] that point to old versions that were not loaded into the system" means. Old documentation? Old RH releases of software? If so, this *is* RH's fault, as they should have gotten the help stuff working right. Still, not even close to deserving of you writing this letter. Exactly how many bad links did you find? Are you sure that the reason the docs aren't on the system isn't *your* fault (i.e. you chose not to install them)?

    The "out-of-date Usenet lists" you mention are archived Linux questions. RH, as I said above, is in the business of compiling and archiving (information, in this case). There just isn't that much formal Linux documentation in the world. Usenet questions are where one gets many Linux answers, and at least to me it makes sense to archive them, so the same question doesn't get asked a million times. Did you expect RH to run out and write 650 megs of documentation? For a product that can be freely downloaded? Look through the archived USENET questions, read the HOW-TOs, and if you can't find your answer there or on USENET or IRC, then solve the problem yourself, and write documentation on how you solved it. Just like everyone else.

    I go to the Redhat errata page. I try to dowload the update to Netscape. Broken links. So I ftp into Redhat's updates.redhat.com. What do I find, but a bunch of empty directories. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the errata page had several fixes that pointed to this area. I dreamed of the day Redhat would go public and actually have been putting money aside for when it finally happened. When I read about the Redhat IPO, I wasn't the least bit excited.

    Gee. RH has broken links. Somewhat like 99.99% of sites on the Web. Did you, perhaps, e-mail the webmaster so that the links could be fixed, or did you just whine about it?

    RH *should* have a perfect FTP, but if a new product is coming out, I could understand them not having everything up perfectly. E-mail them in case they aren't aware of the problem. I don't often use updates.rehat.com (rpmfind works nicely for me), but I believe that there are mirror sites...did you, perhaps, try them before writing this letter?

    Regarding the IPO, I think you're kinda stupid, judging a company's business success on whether you currently like them or not. If you don't like RH, okay, but that doesn't mean they're a bad investment. Heck, I downright hate Microsoft...but boy, I wish I had put a big chunk of money into them a few years back.

    Redhat, please know that I am not flaming you. I have tried to fill this with legitimate complaints. I am not anti-Redhat. You and I have been together for many years. I am an Internet content provider and run 5 boxes 24x7x365, and one laptop. All running Redhat Linux.

    Well, you aren't using nasty words, and I laud you for that, but you are blowing tiny problems way out of proportion. The complaints *are* legit (well, some of them), but none warrant an open letter.

    I'll bet that mentioning that you use RH Linux makes the RH guys feel good--it's always nice to know that another person appreciates your hard work.

    I have always "bought" your distribution to support you because you were supporting me the user. I have purchased every release since 4.2. I have always recommended you to newbies and helped them setup their systems.

    "Bought". Ye gods. RH's SEC filing was wrong. They're biggest risk isn't Microsoft. It's their user base that treats paying money for anything as abnormal.

    Why on earth do you keep buying every update? I'd just get a new version if you need it.

    I *hope* you recommend RH to newbies. It's the only remotely newbie-friendly Linux system *out* there.

    I do not ask for perfection. But you are now charging $79.00 for your basic distribution. As a customer, I am getting less, quantity, and quality. My web server (Redhat 5.0) has been up since Sept. 98 without a glitch. My Redhat 6.0 workstation locks up every few days (much like my wife's Windows machine).

    Yeah, RH *is* charging too much. No argument. They're hurting themselves, though, a lot more than you. You've got a nice fast connection. Download what you need. I just downloaded the parts of 6.0 I wanted...the kernel, some new libraries, etc. If you don't want something, don't get it. Wait until there's a bunch of software out there that you need in a version, then buy the release....and even so, I'd just update from the RPMs on the CD. I wouldn't go through the RH update procedure...who knows *what* that does to your system? You have the opportunity to avoid the Microsoftian "click update to do weird things to your system that will never be known to you". Take it.

    I appreciate your need and desire to win corporate business. But I am "common joe Linux user". I feel I helped you get where you are. Please tell me there is still room for me within your business plans and future goals. If not let me know now so I can find a different distribution who is still looking out for the little guy.

    Heh. Right. "No, I'm sorry sir, we no longer have room for you." Riiiight.

    It would be sorta nice to see another RPM-based distribution (perhaps there is, as I never really paid attention). The problem is that we hold RH to an incredibly high standard. An impossible one. I think it's insane that RH does as well as it does. They *care* about Linux. Write them e-mail if you have a problem or concern...maybe they'll improve, and you'll help both them and yourself. Contribute to the Linux world, if you don't like its current state (isn't much hope in the Windows one...). Write documentation. Do whatever you feel like to help the areas that you're concerned with.

    Most of all, think relatively. Whenever I get frusterated regarding Linux, I just find that I need to put things in proportion. Okay, Linux isn't perfect. But, is it better than the alternative? A whole *lot* better?

    I generally feel much better. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 1999 @04:44AM (#1855453)
    Unlike so many others, I am not turned off by RedHats business forays. If they can bring commercial software makers into the fold fine, if they can make a buck fine, if they are the foremost distribution fine. RedHat has made a huge contribution to the Open Source movement and they are still doing it to this day. They are providing hackers like Miguel and Alan Cox with livelihoods to code Linux and release all of it under the GPL. You can still load one copy onto any number of computers ( unlike Caldera but that is another story. ) It's total crap that Redhat is selling out.

    However, the quality thing is another issue. The thing that attracts people to Linux is its stability. If RH continues to release buggy distributions they are shooting themselves and us in the foot. Why should anyone switch from M$ crap to Linux crap. The 5 series distributions were decent but included a few major problems such as broken Linuxconfs and the program that erased the fstab for you. The problems with 6.0 seem to be rampant though ( Truetype fonts that stop working, Samba misconfigs, and crashes due to Gnome, etc.). Gnome may be the next big thing but it obviously isn't ready for the big time. It jumped from .3 to .9 for no apparent reason and even Miguel admitted the 1.0 release was too early. It is obvious that Gnome was falling quickly behind KDE and needed a 1.0 release to stay in the race. ( No I don't want to start a flame war about K and G - but the situation speaks for itself. )
    As for me I am about ready to go with Debian or Mandrake Linux which is basically a fixed version of RH 6.0. I think unless RH straightens out this quality thing, they are injuring themselves as well as the rest of us by because as the foremost Linux distribution the rest of the world percieves RedHat as Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 1999 @04:33AM (#1855454)

    Being in the new york startup scene, I know the quiet period is an SEC requirement for a fact. The rule seems to be intended to prevent self promotion by the company going public. The idea is that the company files and the investors use the filing to judge what the market value should be. Based on the rules and format of the filing itself, it is probably a way of forcing the investor to look at a company in more objective terms than a normal press release.

    -Dave

    David Stenglein daves@bluetape.com

    Check out http://www.sputnik7.com for a cool interactive music video experience. (Blatant Plug. We're nowhere close to our quiet period ;-)

  • Why would RedHat want to censor this if they didn't feel they had to? Being called the "Microsoft of Linux" by a bunch of slashdotters can only help their stock price. To investors, a Microsoft of anything is a Good Thing(tm), since a company raking in billions of dollars a year in profits is a Good Thing(tm) when you're buying stock.
  • My primary concern is that Red Hat appears to be forgetting the reasons for their success. Some reasons why, in the past, I standardized on Red Hat:

    1) Large amount of contributed software on their FTP site. Now the /incoming directory has disappeared and there are no directions on any Red Hat web site on how to contribute to RHCN, the purported replacement. Don't believe me? Try http://developer.redhat.com and http://rhcn.redhat.com!

    2) Swift bug releases. In the past, Red Hat swiftly released bug fixes. Today, go browse BugZilla on http://developer.redhat.com . Look for problems with, for example, the NIS daemon. Look at the "Resolution" box. I'll bet you that 99% of the bugs you find will have "WONTFIX" or "LATER" (fixed in later release, not in 6.0) in the "Resolution" box. For some things this does not matter. For others it does -- for example, the NIS password daemon dying is a major bug for those of us who use NIS, and it is marked as "LATER". It appears that the automatic response of the poor slob they have monitoring these hundreds of bugs is to automatically put "LATER" or "WONTFIX" into that box so that he won't have to actually do anything about them (work? gosh, what's that?!).

    3) A coherent web site. In the past, Red Hat had the best web site of any distribution. It was chock-full of information, you could find out almost anything you needed to know about Red Hat Linux by following the links, it pointed you to their mailing lists, etc. Now it's a mess. You can't find anything, the links are all broken (like the one on how to contribute to RHCN!), and you can tell that behind the scenes, the thing is torn to pieces and the mechanics are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to put it back together again. In short, it's a mess.

    These are growing pains, certainly. But unless Red Hat remembers why they got where they are, they're going to start losing market share -- and once that happens, they'll lose their luster of invincibility and end up being just another distribution.

    -- Eric
  • Posted by d106ene5:

    Every sweeping social trend is associated with at least one person who, unable to actually make any sort of positive contribution, makes themselves known by throwing snits, kicking up mud, and/or entering into some specious litigation.

    Just some nobody who wants everyone to smell their farts. Another entry in the "ignore" file.
  • Gnome not working is another issue entirely - and it's another reason why I'm waiting for a .1 or .2 release to bother to upgrade my RH boxes.

    If you go to the latest Gnome summary [gnome.org], it mentions a site that has precompiled RPMs of up-to-date Gnome packages for RH6.0. Apparently the latest stuff fixes a lot of bugs, so you might want to check it out.

    -Doug

  • All netscape in RH6 crash on Java pages. Run the following command as root to fix it:

    chkfontpath --add /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi
  • They're not censoring.
    They're selectively placing news on their site.
    What's so wrong with that?!

    THey're not supposed to self-promote. So they're
    taking the easy way out....just don't point to
    any information about your company from 3rd party
    sources.... I think we're all being a little too
    paranoid here. I'm sure once the IPO is over,
    they'll have slashdot back on the front page again.

    It's really not all that different than if I had a homepage about Video Games and only pulled slashdot stories that dealt with games to my site. The content's there for the picking....they have every right to point to what they want and leave the rest.

  • Two things
    1. I have a Red Hat 6.0 box running on a P100 w/32 Megs of RAM. It's been up since I installed 16 days ago and it's busy all day....GNOME crashes, but I haven't had to reboot because of it...so I'll blame that on GNOME.
    2. To anyone who misses Glint....GNORpm is so much nicer...just learn it...you'll see the light and never look back....unless you're using the manual... :-)
  • On a slightly offtopic note, does anybody know why the incoming.redhat.com ftp site has been down for the past week?


    --
  • Hate to tell you this, but E doesn't ever crash on me. Gnome apps crash all the time, so I don't use 'em, not even the panel. E runs great, even the 0.16 CVS release that I'm running right now. I love the eye candy!
  • Please go read a book that covers SEC. While a company isn't held liable for what's in the NY Times that they happen to have in their store, they ARE in trouble if they blow it up and put it on their front page (Or store window).
  • Well, this may not apply to RH6, but it will for version 5: this [geocities.com] will fix all your Red Hat problems!

    I've never had any trouble with Debian - is it any wonder why Corel chose it over Red Hat?
  • 1. If you tell Gnome to switch to WindowMaker instead of Enlightenment, it often decides to ignore you and bring up E anyway. (Even though if you go and check the setting in the config panel, it's still properly set to WM.) So much for making things simple.

    2. I've had the problem on several boxes where gdm/xdm/kdm won't take keyboard input if you boot into runlevel 5. Works fine if you start with 3, and then go to 5 later. Really weird.

    3. /dev/dsp seems to randomly get its ownership and permissions changed, and not changed back.

    4. Something in gnome litters core dumps everywhere.

    5. I've seen several cases of "slow login syndrome". When you log into X w/gnome, it inexplicably takes forever to load the window manager and gnome stuff. Once things get started, speed is ok. The syndrome persists even across sessions, which makes sense, but weirder still, you can cure it: switch to a console and kill gnome-session manually. Next time you log in, no problem.

    6. A bunch of stuff that isn't necessary for most people isn't optional -- it's installed without either asking or even telling you. Why install getty when there's mingetty? Does everybody need pcmcia on their desktop? Is the spell-check dictionary really that vital? Things like this make it more work than it should be to make a minimal install.

    These things are all fixable, or at least work-around-able. But not very slick for a commercial distribution.

    --

  • I'm not listing all this just to whine :) -- has anyone else seen these problems?

    --

  • look in /etc/inittab and find the line that says

    id:5:initdefault:

    make that say

    id:3:initdefault:

    --

  • by suprax (2463) on Friday June 11, 1999 @05:33AM (#1855469)
    I can see your understanding of being fustrated at the pains of RedHat linux, but there are some simple solutions which I will list.

    1. Don't pay that much for linux. Linux started off as a free OS, and continues to this very second.. RedHat sells their distribution for that much to provide the user with good(unable to confirm), support. I have yet to buy a distribution of linux, and the closet I ever did come to it was 2 years ago when I ordered something like 12 cds with distributions and archive packs from cheapbyes for something like under 10 dollars. I now have acces to a T1(they claim) at school, and can download it if I am really determined to, which I am not really. Either order some 2 dollar cds from Cheapbytes, linuxcentral, or linuxmall, or download it using someone's fast link. Don't pay Microsoft prices.

    2. When you are having problems, don't call RedHat support, as you have already learned. Every tech support department at companies consist of many phone operators sitting next to thousands of sheets of paper in tech manuals. When that tech support person told you that she checked with the techs, she was most likely meaning she opened a few manuals and looked around, not finding anything. Whenever I have problems, which dosen't happen much cause linux is mostly good to go when you have a good base install and maintaince, I go to IRC and ask. Sometimes it might be a gimp question, or gtk, or something. But I access IRC on one of the many networks and find the right people to ask what to do and how to fix it. 100% free and most of the times it's only a matter of minutes before someone can help me with the problem.

    3. Extras pack. Hey now, no need for that. I have never even seen an extras pack, much less bought one. All it is, like you found out, is a bunch of applications that the RedHat people went and collected off the internet. Spend the ten minutes and download those few megs of programs that you really need to use.

    I hope that this will guide others in aqiring linux and using it, as it will save you money, time, and paitence. Linux was started as a open source free project, let's keep it that way and not taint the idea that started it all.
  • They were using a pre release version. Red Hat get's burned over and over using prerelease stuff. I'm not sure exactly what they have against /opt.
  • I basically agree with this. I haven't paid for a copy of Linux yet--my current distribution is RH 5.1 [boo hiss, I know] installed from a friend's CD, and before that I actually installed Slackware 2.0 via FTP over modem and SLS [remember that?] from about 30 floppies.

    But....

    Do the business models for open source [opensource.org] really work, especially the first, most-cited one, selling support? Cygnus isn't just selling support, they're selling stuff you don't get by going with gcc alone (read their FAQ [cygnus.com], particularly the last question).

    And while it's true that there will be people who will buy Red Hat just for the technical support, ultimately will there be enough--can there be enough? One of the arguments for Linux has been the "you can get technical support in a newsgroup for free immediately" shtick. And whether or not it's politically correct, for a lot of people the "free beer" part is just as important as free speech. Even if I do pay Red Hat directly for my copy of Red Hat 6.0, if I then put it on 100 machines their profit has effectively evaporated.

    No one can (or at least no one should) argue that open source doesn't produce high-quality software and doesn't have the potential for dazzling development speed, and it can certainly have a place at commercial software companies. But if you can buy my products for a thirtieth what I charge you for and you have no reason to buy my support because you can get equivalent support for free, isn't it only a matter of time before I go out of business?

  • Does anyone know what's up with yesterday's anti-Red Hat rant [segfault.org] on Segfault yesterday? As far as I can tell, someone at RH said or wrote something nasty about a Segfault editor, RH fired him and now she's making angry phone calls to Bob Young over something I can't understand. I found the article incomprehensible but maybe somebody can explain it....

  • | I type "glint" to install some
    | additional packages. What? Glint is nowhere to
    | be found and GnoRPM is very confusing to use.
    | Why would you drop something tried and trued
    | just like that.

    While some good points were made in the article, I have to voice some dissention on this point about glint. I'll give it "tried", I'll even give it "try*ing*", but I sure as heck won't give it "true". I've never gotten it do do much useful on my Alphas, so I'm certainly not sad to see it go. If it didn't outright crash it just didn't do anything at all.

    Gnome not working is another issue entirely - and it's another reason why I'm waiting for a .1 or .2 release to bother to upgrade my RH boxes.

    That and I'm waiting for some sort of multiplatform pack like there was for 5.2!
  • It is short for support manager. PS the previous wasnt a form letter. I spent half the morning typing out something while answering tickets.
  • Dear Sir and other readers.

    Thank you for voicing your problems with Red Hat Technical Support. We can only address those problems brought to our attention.


    For other people reading this, and looking to either give positive or negative feedback on their support, please get the name of the Technician, the time you called, and send your input to sup-manager@redhat.com [mailto].

    From this we can talk to the technicians involved and work on better methods for clearing up such problems.

    Stephen Smoogen

    Support Manager

  • by Pretender (3940) on Friday June 11, 1999 @04:38AM (#1855476)
    Yes, but the point of the post was that he had been actively supporting them this whole time, actually giving them money when he didn't have to because he believed in what they were doing - and this is how they repayed him.

    I think it is a good thing when people who can afford to support Linux distros/developers/etc., do so. They help to make all this possible. This post is all about trying to determine whether it is worthwhile to continue supporting RedHat when things have changed for the worse this much. In the spirit of the post this man should instead turn his business over to SUSE or Debian or someone else, where the money will be actively used to enhance Linux for the rest of us rather than whatever RedHat has been doing with the money (and let me say that they have helped the cause out a lot, but it doesn't seem to be quite as high-quality help lately).

    Charlie, someone who owns 1 legitmate copy of RedHat Linux 5.2 and is probably going to buy the next Debian distro next time instead, if he doesn't just switch to *BSD
  • I once did a minimal install of Debian on a 386 with 4 megs of ram and 40 megs of hard disk. After the base install was complete, I went in and pared out things like NFS and ae (simple editor) that were installed but I didn't need, and got the system down to about 20 megs on disk.

    Redhat is really easy to install, but they've sacrificed configurability to get there. Debian has many more options, but still manages to have a reasonably easy install. Just because it has 1500 packages available doesn't mean you need to install all/any of them.

    Yay, Debian!

  • The aforementioned Debian box was used as a router, managing 2 data-over-voice modems at 19.2K each, serial load balancing them, and routing ethernet packets from a network of 10 clients out over the two modems.

    We even used it to compile a kernel once. Okay, so that was a mistake. It took 9 hours to compile, and the fellow who did it forgot to include fp emulation.

    When we took it down for the last time, it had over 60 days of uptime, working constantly the whole time.

    Later on, the box became reincarnated as a low-demand web and mailing list server. It had a 45 day uptime when the person who was hiding it in his office to provide bandwidth got fired and had to turn it off.

    I'd like to see you even try to do that with your 50k command.com.

  • I think you missed the entire point of the post. The writer isn't just whining. He's presenting his problems to Redhat in the hopes that they will fix them. And as far as I can tell, most of his complaints are completely valid. Alright, he should have read the product description for Power Tools, but it is still reasonable to complain about the package selection. That could even be helpful to Redhat. If they know that some users aren't too happy about what is in Power Tools, maybe they'll go looking for some better packages to add. (And yes, it would have been nice if the writer had made one more step and actually suggested some packages to install.)

    As for the tech support bit, you are totally off base. I have had really excelent tech support from some companies (Dell and Origin Systems/Electronic Arts come to mind). It does exist. Companies that advertize tech support are obligated to supply it. It is unfortunate that most don't really, but we should not just accept that. The writer is trying to Do The Right Thing(tm) by writing to Redhat and informing them that there is a problem. And his complaint is absolutely valid. Tech support exists to help the user when he tries to do something a bit more complex than normal everyday use. If I ever head a tech support person say, "I don't know why you'd want to do that, so I'm not going to help you," I'd probably give him Hell and ask to speak to his manager. There is no excuse for a tech support person to take that attitude. They exist to help the user, and that is what they should do.

    I'll finish by saying that I really do like Redhat. I just installed Redhat 6.0 on my workstation, and when I get around to taking it down, I'll install it on my server too. But, like all software, it has its share of problems. The whole point of this open letter was to help them solve some of the problems.

    Cheers,
    Perrin.
  • Well - the Mandrake 6.0 release though
    slicker looking than the production from
    RH (mostly cause of nicely integrated KDE
    AND GNOME) still is as buggy as RH 6.0
    if not more. I had stability problems that
    were horendous - like 1.5 day uptimes is
    all. This partially due to the 2.2.9
    kernel and partially due to Mandrake or
    RH bugs(hard to separate those.)

    I DO like Mandrake and find the 5.3 release
    stable as a rock. I think that 6.0 of either
    RH or Mandrake isn't ready for prime-time
    yet..there are LOTS of bugs in these things.

  • GnoRPM barely works. It's OK for looking at what's installed on your system, but that's about it. The buttons don't work, some commands don't do anything, it crashes, ad infinitum. I'll be nice when it's done but isn't close to being done.

    Glint was about the most annoying linux software I've ever used. None of the functionality of the CLI.

    Anyone who uses RH has been using the CLI rpm command if you actually need to do anything.
  • As for me I am about ready to go with Debian or Mandrake Linux which is basically a fixed version of RH 6.0. I think unless RH straightens out this quality thing, they are injuring themselves as well as the rest of us by because as the foremost Linux distribution the rest of the world percieves RedHat as Linux.

    I feel I should warn you - Redhat 5.2 was stable. Mandrake 5.3, which was based on 5.2 was not.

    I know, because I make my own mini-distro, and burn CDs for people. I tried basing it on Mandrake 5.3 and boy did I regret it - they made alot of very silly mistakes; their modifications to the initscripts just plain didn't work, they included "updates" from RedHat that were broken, and so on. It really looked like they hadn't even tried booting their own distro! So please be careful about presending Mandrake as a "fixed" RedHat - the last one sure wasn't.

    Perhaps they've gotten their act together since, but that experience with "Mandrake modifications" left me with the feeling that they were amatures...

  • It doesn't matter what you or I think. It matter what the SEC thinks.
  • Well it's also not surprising that Redhat would try to avoid potentially negative slashdot editorials/headlines such as the ones we've been seeing the past few days. I won't blame them because many headlines aren't real news-just opinions and rants to generate huge threads. When slashdot sticks to news only, then redhat looks like north korea. But until then it's just about getting rid of static
  • Amen Slackbro.

    Though I wish glibc would be converted to with this particular distro I am *quite* pleased with
    slackware for ease of use stability and the name;)

    With 4.1 slackware I am sure I will be a pleased
    Linux user. Though unlike many linux users RedHat was what I started with and I moved to slackware later.

  • by Booker (6173)
    I always wondered why pcmcia was installed by default... that one is very weird.

    OTOH, all the people listing bugs/complaints here *really should* submit them to the Red Hat bug list, as well. That's how you make it better.
  • On this matter I'll have to agree. Granted, I tend to build "third-party" things like KDE myself from the sources, because of a bad experience long ago. I use KDE almost exclusively, because it does what I need. As soon as I upgraded my SPARC LX from RH 5.2 to 6.0, i started building the KDE 1.1.1 packages, and it's been extremely stable.

    Which goes to show, that no matter *what* software package you install/build/etc, if you take care when you install it, back up everything before you do major upgrades, and don't install things you know you'll never use in a million years, you can have a very stable system.

    It also helps if the code you're trying to run hasn't been pushed out the door the instant the latest build was completed without errors.
  • yeah, i had pretty decent luck with 5.0, but i certainly recall all the griping about it which is why the griping about 6.0 feels like deja vu. and we know that by 5.2, most of the kinks were ironed out and they ended up with a solid distro. the x.0 releases of RH (and many other things) should really be treated as pseudo-betas (gammas?). yeah, it sucks that they aren't completely bug-free, but it takes eyes to see and fix bugs and the best way to get more eyes is to release early and often. that said, though, there were a couple boners in 6.0 that could have been avoided with just a little testing.

    as far as bugzilla, i've had pretty good luck with responses post-6.0, even within the first week or two of release (the apmd thing, for example). i think they were also kind of swamped with people wanting breaks after the release plus the linux expo they were hosting.

    tim
  • every x.0 redhat release since 2.0 (which i started with) has caused people grief. i've had my share of problems with 6.0 (install not mounting /home or /usr properly, apmd messing up TZ info, latex getting hosed, scientific apps like IDL and IRAF not working with glibc2.1, etc.), but i certainly had problems with earlier x.0 releases as well. 4.0 was an even bigger mess than 6.0. 5.0 didn't seem as bad, though i did have to spend several evenings rebuilding stuff to work with glibc. now that i have 6.0 running, it runs fine and i don't have any stability problems with either KDE or gnome/E.

    redhat really tries to push the latest technology into their x.0 releases, sometimes perhaps before they're ready (glibc in 5.0, gnome in 6.0). they did at least make betas available for 5.0 and 6.0, but how many people really tried them out? and how many other current dists are running glibc2.1 even though it's been clearly stated that it will be a key part of the LSB? i for one appreciate redhat taking the risks of staying out on the bleeding edge. it would be really easy for them to be safe and corporate and let others innovate and take the heat.

    redhat also has a good bug tracking system in the form of bugzilla.redhat.com that i encourage all redhat users to take advantage of when they find a bug or a problem. the more people take advantage of it, the better redhat 6.1, 6.2, and later will be.

    tim
  • I've ran systems based on RedHat 2.0, 3.03, 5.0, 5.2, and 6.0.

    I would have to say that 5.2 was the most stable of the versions but I have had almost no problems with my redhat box. Yes I'm running gnome. Yes I use linuxconf all the time. My *ONLY* gripe is that linuxconf doesn't like you messing with sendmail.cf behind its back. Since I'm not running a server that isn't too big a deal, however I would like to set options like:

    O PrivacyOptions=noexpn
    O PrivacyOptions=novrfy

    But linuxconf doesn't seem to let you set that up. Also linuxconf doesn't like my DHCP setup, but thats not too bid a deal either. I have used linuxconf to set up my local DNS without any problems at all. With the exceptions of the above problem with sendmail I think the linuxconf sendmail tool is *GREAT*. This is the closest I've come to getting my mail routing the way I want it.

    On the whole I'm impressed. I don't know if I would have paid for the full distro since I already had a 2.2 kernel and gnome on my 5.2 box, but the price of "RedHat core" isn't too bad and it gets a new pressed CD to use as a reference.

    NOTE: I had ZERO problems installing the comerrcial Quake I / Quake II CDs on top of this 6.0 setup.

    -Alan
  • I (poor starving student :-) have been putting $$ aside to move to red hat for a while -- well, ever since my slakware system became obsolete (libc5/glibc2 thing). now, I'm not stupid about computers, but I also don't have as much time right now (having an actual paying job) as I spent getting slak to work before. I knew I could dl it. I knew I could get it at CheapBytes. I was going to buy it for the same reason that I'm going to buy CivCTP for Linux when my sister already bought the Windows version -- to support a company that was providing a valuable service to the community, and which I would like to see stick around and release more products.

    Because of the hardware/software I use, I needed a 2.2.x kernel (or so my linux guru friend tells me :) and so I was going to go with RedHat 6.0. (Yes, I could have gone with SUSE or Debian or anything else, but that's not the point) Then I see the price on that thing. Too rich for my blood! I would gladly shell out money for RedHat, but not that much (I do need to eat, buy clothes, fix my bike, etc!). Red Hat, what is with this? I realize it costs a lot of $$ for support, but quite a lot of people won't BUY it in the first place now! (ok, maybe I'm unique as a student buying redhat -- or not buying redhat -- but I don't think so)

    So, I invested in a CheapBytes CD, and I'm going to spend the extra money on Civ:CTP and food. (aka bike fuel)

    As to the quality of 6.0, so far I haven't had problems with it, though I think some of those files are in odd places (compared to slak at least). Hasn't crashed at all, and besides a bit of trouble with my soundcard (plays sounds but claims it doesn't when booting) I'm doing fine... of course I still haven't finished configuring my modem...

    Lea
  • Just for laughs, I once installed redhat via RedNeck.

    From then on, I had no end of problems with NLS in X complaining about not finding the redneck languange files (which didn't exist). I knew zip about X NLS so I finally just reinstalled using EN_US.

    It was probably A Good Thing (tm) that they removed it.
  • RedHat 6.0 runs on kernel 2.2.5 and glibc2.1, so you should have known it would mean a clean install. I tired to everyone using a distrobution for an excuse... if you can't maintain a UNIX system stick with NT. Sure NT isn't that stable ( Look at eBay cgi servers crash all the time. ), but any idiot can blame NT and be justified at least.

    Gnome, Star Office and everything works on my Redhat 6.0 and debian ( glibc2.1 potato/alita ) boxen... it's because I know what I'd doing. It's not the distro it's you. =)

    It's like running slackware and complaining about lack of glibc support... and another thing I hater are newbies that ask to ask questions, then when you give them a paper... they can't read the damn thing... man I'm angry today. =)
  • I have more people dieing on potato than redhat 6.0, it's that newbies can't handle the switch to newer tech - come to a linux help channel.

  • The 120 meg minimum install bothers me, too, as it made it impossible to install on an old 486 with a (very) small HD that I was planning to use for IP masquerading for my home LAN. Yeah, I know I can install Linux manually and not have to screw with the automated install, but that's why I bought RH 6.0 -- I wanted a relatively painless install. Instead, I get an inflexible installer that slings tons of unnecessary junk on my hard drive. If I was a newbie freshly emerged from Windows, I might not be surprised, but there are too many bare bones single-floppy Linux distros for 120 megs to be a minimum install.

    To add insult to injury, the RH installer doesn't check to insure that enough drive space is available before attempting the install. Hell, even Microsoft can do that much.

    I won't turn my back on Redhat just yet, but the odds are very good that my next distribution will be Debian.
  • I'd just like to point out something which DefCon seems to have glossed over -- he says "My web server (Redhat 5.0) has been up since Sept. 98 without a glitch. My Redhat 6.0 workstation locks up every few days..." It seems to me that what he's describing is Gnome crashing, not Linux itself. Were he running Gnome on that 5.0 box it would probably be every bit as flaky (possibly worse, considering the system & library shuffling he'd have to do.)

    I think there are valid issues here -- RH has raised the price of their product, included a bunch of experimental tools and features, discarded some old standbys, and apparently pinned all their hopes on the Gnome desktop. The substitution of GnoRPM for glint is something I was unaware of, and I think bodes rather ill.

    Altogether, however, I think RH's track record has been a fairly good one. RH's support of Gnome is admirable, and the fact that they decided to rely too heavily on it before it was really ready is a regrettable misstep, but one I think they'll recover from.

    Of course, that's the sort of thing people have been saying about Windows NT since 3.51... We'll see how 6.1 turns out, I guess.

  • If you do not think 5.0 was a big mess, it just means you were really lucky. I had tons of problems with 5.0 because of buggy glibc. In particular, when /etc/group had long lines (longer than 4096), login in 5.0 would segfault - not fun.

    And I agree that Bugzilla is really good, I was very happy with it several months ago, but after 6.0 was released, RedHat response to Bugzilla problems became very slow.
  • If you go to http://developer.redhat.com/ [redhat.com] or http://rhcn.redhat.com/ [redhat.com], you only need to click on the "Contrib|Net" from the image map in top right corner and you would see contribution instructions and a Sign up now! [redhat.com] link.

    But I agree that RedHat sites have too many broken links.

  • Didn't they start doing this before their IPO announcement, though? I seem to remember it started almost immediately after they put up their portal site.

    I'm very much afraid that they are scared of negative publicity from the stories - in which case they shouldn't carry Slashdot at all. Anyone who checks out Slashdot in any depth will eventually find the anti-RH viewpoints, so this whole censorship scheme is just plain silly. It makes them look like censors, which is Not a Good Thing.

    D

    ----
  • Red Hat has always said that they are not trying to make money of of Linux itself, but through packaging it nicely, publishing materials, and providing support.

    Linux is a very open system. For Red Hat to outright refuse to help this guy with his problem because it didn't fit their narrow schema of what a 'problem' is, they are failing to provide support for their product.

    If Redhat is going to adhere to 'Open Standards', they need to provide for the standard basic Linux support, as well as for any proprietary things that they add. There's absolutely no reason for them to make the determination not to "support the problem.

    The Linux community must never allow the OS to be limited by what one company considers problematic or not.
  • When I went and looked (near the time 6.0 first rolled out), the "Hard Core" distro wasn't available (for purchase) yet.

    *shrug*

    It took me 12 tries (not kidding), but I finally convinced the 6.0 installer to net-install via FTP.

    -Phyxis
  • Last Sunday I had the unfortunate need to do an emergency upgrade. Meaning, old faithful (my harddrive) took a big dive. I ran to the local store and snatched up another, slapped it in, and installed RH6.

    Now, I'm a KDE user. As such, I knew that RH somehow took the stock KDE distro and "tweaked" it to point to directories they thought they liked. So, I chose not to install their KDE 1.1, but left all else the same. I then installed all the kde 1.1.1 RPMs from ftp.kde.org.

    My system has been extremely stable, no problems at all. Everything is working, everything is nice. No compatibility problems to be found yet (this is a new machine as far as parts go).

    Just wanted to voice - it's not all bad out there, some of us acutally have good luck and no problems. :)

    -te
  • I have RH 6.0 installed on three machines. 2 old 486s and a Sparc SS1. I did not have any problems on the Intel iron (other than the new version being big and slow) but the Sparc version is a mess. X wouldn't even work out of the box and a lot of the installation features are broken.

    Now I won't excuse Red Hat for the quality problems in 6.0 but I can understand them. 6.0 is a big new version with a new kernel (that isn't mature by the way) and a lot of other new stuff. I expect the next good release from Red Hat will be 6.2.

    I bought my CDs from Cheap Bytes this time as the $79.99 price is more than I am willing to pay. Previously I bought the "Official" Red Hat version (since my first 4.1) but the new price is a mistake.

    I have never used Red Hat tech support and I doubt if I ever would. I run a technical support department for a proprietary software company and I know that, by definition, technical support always sucks. There just isn't any way that a technician (not the programmer) talking to a customer on the phone can magically devine the solutions to many problems. Real support means flying an engineer to your site and working on the problem hands-on. But you can't get that for $80.

    Now for as much as Red Hat is the company we all love to hate, I have to point out that the others are so much worse. Please remember that Red Hat is the only leading commercial distribution that is freely redistributable. This is very important to us all and we should support Red Hat.

    I wish that Red Hat would improve the printed documentation that is included with the Official version since that adds value and reduces their support costs. Right now the manuals do not warrant the $80 price of the product.

    In reading about the IPO filing, Red Hat plans to become less relient on sales of the distribution and wants instead to become a "Linux portal". This is a really bad idea. Look at their site. Does anybody go there for the priviledge of reading censored editions of Slashdot? No, you go there looking for product and support for product. Red Hat should become a service company that supports Linux for paying customers. They should give away the distribution to make sure the Linux they get to support is the one they control.

    My computer, my way. Linux
    --
    Howard Roark, Architect
  • by warmi (13527)
    Could anyone familiar with this term explain what is is and how it relates to RedHat situation ?
    Thanks
  • I ordered my copy of SuSE 6.1 from LinuxMall and had it in 3.5 working days. Good install, solid configuration tools -- the only problem I had was it wouldn't print until I added parallel support to the kernel instead of leaving it as a module.
  • I had similar problems with Perl complaining every time it was run, saying it doesn't contain support for the language set...

    The current set can be changed without reinstallation though, just edit /etc/sysconfig/i18n (or something similar) and change en_RN to en_US or whatever...
  • hey I resemble that remark, my name is Joe. hehehe

    yes I have noticed that GNOME crashes more than most programs, it is trying to do more I/O than most other window manager too, it seems. GNOME tracks the mose movements I believe, and mouse overs and such. It has never crashed my system thou. Just X

    I have thought about using debian, and may it they up to 2.2.x soon, and I find out how to do .deb's.

    until then it is the hat..

  • Compared to 5.1, RH6 is great. I have installed it on 3 machines, and the install went smoothly.

    I had bugs, you have to halt the machine from the commandline once, then you can halt it from GDM. Maybe it is becase I just telinited to level 5, whatever. The version of E they included would maximize windows over the panel. And the upgrade downgraded my gnome packages, ruined sendmail/procmail, and installed some pretty silly packages for a workstation (nfs, pcmia-whatever its called).

    Netscape is pretty stable, (the netscape that came with 5.1 was full of bugs, text boxes wouldn't even work). Gnome isn't hardly as unstable as I hear it is. Overall, worth the 5 bucks to get it from cheapbytes.
  • Most non-tech types will probably want the cheapo version. When linux is hyped, the main thing that is hyped is that it is free. Unless you wan't to support OSS (though you should probably just donate the money directly to projects, or get the debian boxset), you would just go to cheapbytes.

    I don't know why this guy would buy Redhat for 80, he must have tried GNOME and Linux 2.2.x before, and could have seen that getting they alone probably didn't justify the price hike.

    For the support issue, he used RedHat before, and I bet rarely got phone support. That alone is a sign that RedHat is getting better. Compare 6.0 to 5.x, I don't see how he could think RedHat is getting worse. It is just not true.
  • I agree. I have had many problems with 6.0 that I didn't with earlier distributions; but I'm willing to bet that they're config problems on my end.

    Especially Netscape's running in monochrom mode under AfterStep (when AfterStep is in 24bit mode).
  • It's simple really, and you can see it happen again and again in all walks of life: business, social, biological, heck even geological.

    Take any structure, abstract or physical, and make it grow as as fast possible. The result is poorer than if you go slow and take more time.

    In New Zealand they are farming pine trees now. They grow really quickly, harvestable in 20 years. Where I live in northern Canada, a similar pine will take 60 or more years to mature. Guess what, the slow growth wood is superior building material, stronger, doesn't rot as quickly.

    With concrete the longer you draw out the curing process, the stronger it is.

    etc.

    RedHat is growing too fast, walls are being thrown up on foundation which is showing cracks. Not to say I think RH will fall down, that particular outcome is unlikely. But there is too much happening at once and some things are going to fall apart and get discarded. Since we're talking about a business, the discarded elements will be people and services. Those directly involved won't enjoy the experience much.

    ramble.ramble...

    I'm done philosophizing now. :)

  • Linux Mandrake ROCKS!

    I like it alot.

    I highly reccomend it.
  • Erm, more like 2200 packages and then some. That was the number at Linux World in March, anyway, where the Debian crew were cat-ing the entire distribution on a screen in their booth :)

    ----------
  • As the author of GnoRPM, I may as well respond here. I originally started writing it since I didn't like the interface on GLINT. I didn't write it as a replacement for glint -- it was Red Hat's decision to use it as a replacement for glint. I do not work for Red Hat (you can probably tell from the email address :), and don't have a say in what packages they put in or leave out of their distribution, so do not blame me for the removal of glint.

    Yes it is true that gnorpm is not completely finished (you should be able to tell from the version number). Among other things, the install package interface on the version that shipped with RH6 was not very good.

    Since then I have been updating that interface quite a bit. If you want to try it out, I recommend you grab the latest version off the GNOME CVS tree, or get a snapshot from ftp.jimpick.com. The new interface adds all the packages from the CD to the install window, from which you can select which ones to install. The list is sorted by package group name, and can be filtered to not show installed or old packages (there are a few other filters in there as well). It also colours packages based on their status (new, current, old or not installed) so you can quickly see updates.

    If you have any other suggestions on how to make gnorpm better, I would be willing to hear them.
  • Let's face it, everyone knew that Gnome was not ready for prime time. Red Hat was pressured by KDE's success, and by trouble at home with the enlightenment team. Anyhow, Gnome is good, and I expect it will grow into a mature window interface. My point is that, if you don't run Gnome, then Red Hat 6.0 is solid. No offense to you Gnome folks, I expect Gnome to be Prime Time in the next release or two, just not yet. So, my only complaint is that Red Hat has pushed Gnome out too early, it really should be at .9, not 1.x just yet. Either way, it looks good, and if the enlightenment team doesn't go haywire, I imagine that the two together will do fine.
  • redhat 6.0 is the first redhat i've had troubles with. on reboot the gnome display manager wouldn't take my password so i ended up having to reinstall instead of just upgrade. i've had a lot more X windows crashes and netscape crashes since. Unfortunately (not redhat's fault) i also struggled with getting several scientific applications (like idl) running as they didn't work with glibc 2.1.
    I find gnome crashes regularly now (I never had troubles with it when I installed it on my own). But then I still prefer kde and windowmaker so ...
    Actually I think getting rid of glint was great but then I usually just type rpm.

    My main point is that I had a lot of troubles with my install of 6.0 when I never have had troubles before. Several of the people I work with had similar problems. this worries me.
  • The utemper [redhat.com] errata on RedHat's site fixes the problem where xterms wouldn't die on logout.
    ----------
  • The following URL contains updated RPM packages for GNOME that should fix a lot of bugs:

    I agree with a previous poster, most of RedHat 6.0's instability is really with GNOME and Enlightenment.

    On that note, I'm really curious as to what's going on with GNOME development right now. For a couple months, they were making releases like mad, fixing bugs left and right. Since GNOME 1.0, it has slowed down quite a bit. So, what are the GNOME folks focusing on? Enhancements or bug fixes? I would hope that they are working bug fixes rather than enhancements; stability should still be GNOME's #1 priority for the next couple of months. However, I don't really see too many releases coming out. "Release often" isn't necessarily a sign of bugs getting fixed, but it can sure be one.

    Final note to the RedHat and GNOME folks: PLEASE make RPMs readily available! I found the above site by pure luck, and I believe those RPMs are built by someone not officially associated with either RedHat or GNOME. It is very difficult if not almost impossible to build GNOME updates if your base GNOME is from RPMs, especially if you have RedHat 6.0 which has special RedHat tweaks. Your #1 problem right now is stability, and unless you make it easy for people to upgrade to more stable versions, complaints of buggy software will hound both of you for a long time to come.
    ----------

  • 4. Something in gnome litters core dumps everywhere.

    gmc or panel, probably - upgrading to a newer version helped. The 1.0 RPMs that shipped with RH6 are pretty good, but they're a lot more stable in current incarnation.


    5. I've seen several cases of "slow login syndrome". When you log into X w/gnome, it inexplicably takes forever to load the window manager and gnome stuff. Once things get started, speed is ok. The syndrome persists even across sessions, which makes sense, but weirder still, you can cure it: switch to a console and kill gnome-session manually. Next time you log in, no problem.

    I encountered a similar problem, then I compiled the RPM files myself from source (and threw in the PentiumPro optimizations of PGCC) for gnome-libs and gnome-core, along with WindowMaker. Now, it starts up quickly enough for me.

  • Caldera is OK for what it is. Smooth installation, easy sysadmin with lisa, and it practically configures itself. I was really happy with it when I first cut my Linux teeth on COL Lite 1.1. However, unless you buy directly from Caldera, COL documentaion is hard to come by. Using the Lite version, I found it damn near impossible. However, if you like it,run with it. Personally, my order of Debian is in the mail. Not to knock Caldera (they've been doing a lot with both software and pricing) but it just wasn't what I was looking for.


    --
  • Go to a shell somewhere. su to root. Edit the file /etc/inittab. You will find a section that looks like this:

    # Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
    # 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
    # 1 - Single user mode
    # 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
    # 3 - Full multiuser mode
    # 4 - unused
    # 5 - X11
    # 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
    #
    id:5:initdefault:
    Change id:5:initdefault: to id:3:initdefault:

    Save the file. Next time you reboot, you will be in text only mode, and should type 'startx' to bring up x.



    --
  • I think the buggiest part is linuxconf, not
    gnome. I've had a few things in linuxconf
    actually shut down my machine... quite
    odd. If I'm lucky it'll just core dump.
    Also, gmc sometimes doesn't want to shut
    down when I log out, but that's minor.
    Other than that, it's been great.

    Kinda weird to read in the manual "oh, just
    run glint to install new packages", then
    tried it, only to not have glint anywhere
    on the system. Don't these people try
    things out like that before shipping?

    -Mike
  • by John Whorfin (19968) on Friday June 11, 1999 @07:10AM (#1855524) Homepage
    Hey, everyone, listen damnit!

    From the Red Hat site:

    Red Hat Linux Core
    For the hard core Linux users, this comes with only CDs and the Official Red Hat Linux Installation Guide.
    $39.95


    There $40 bucks. IT'S $40 BUCKS, NOT $79, NOT $99.

    Yeah you don't get the source CD (?), you don't get the Applications CD, the "Getting Started Guide" nor installation support.

    But who cares? All that's available elsewhere (and it's usually better elsewhere).

    If you still have a problem with $40 then simply DOWNLOAD it, but stop whining about $79 for Red Hat 6.0.

    Thanks.
  • While in Gnome, run the program 'switchdesk' (or something like that). It allows you to switch between Gnome and KDE.

  • They are providing hackers like Miguel and Alan Cox with livelihoods to code Linux and release all of it under the GPL.
    Is Miguel in any way associated with RedHat? He works on Gnome and works for a university in Mexico. Maybe you mean indirectly because RedHat supports Gnome?
    I think some people confuse problems with Gnome as problems with RedHat. Although, RedHat chose to use Gnome.
  • Here in corporate land, where NT desktop licenses cost several hundred $$$ I get to kick back and admin my SAMBA boxes, while using the $9k I saved on NT server licenses to buy RedHat toys, O'Reilly books, and other goodies.
    Even $89 is cheaper than a windows 98 license.... and if you know what you're doing go for the $1.99. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm also able to copy my purchased cd and give it away to my LUG friends, remember?
  • Cheap Bytes...

    Granted it won't make Red Hat 6 any more stable, but you would only be out $1.99 instead of $79.99.
  • They should give away the distribution

    um, they do...
  • I looked at Zengin's web site and, as far as I could tell, the only technical person to leave SuSE for Zenguin was Bodo Bauer. The rest look like marketing and management types - the general category of which I would hardly call a company's "best talent." Looks like the core technical staff - the real lifeblood of a technical concern - is still in place (mostly in Germany).

    That's not to say SuSE isn't having growing pains as well. Last month a mysterious $80 charge appeared on my credit card from SuSE. I hadn't ordered anything recently and there is no combination of products they sell which add up to $80. The important part, though, is that they were extremely polite and helpful in correcting the mistake (thanks Jan and Ayako). I'm still a loyal SuSE customer!

    I use SuSE as my main distro and have Red Hat on my Laptop. My general impression is that SuSE is much better engineered. SuSE has a clear road map, a consistent and reliable installation and configuration scheme (rc.config, SuSEconfig, and YaST), and best of all, the whole system is well documented in an excellent manual which accompanies the distro. In my view Red Hat is way behind there, which is probably attributable to my general commentary on Red Hat: they seem to be finding their way. The installation of Red Hat is excellent - probably the best (though I haven't tried Caldera's new one yet). But the system is poorly documented, major parts are buggy (mainly GNOME), and things seem to change schizophrenically - e.g. GLINT, GnoRPM. Probably the worst thing about Red Hat is that it is developing a "skip the dot-oh release" reputation. If Red Hat is our major representation against Micros~1, this could be disastrous. There is absolutely no need to release buggy "stable" versions of a GNU/Linux system. It may require more patience, but is much better for our reputation in the long run.

    Also, though I understand RH's original reasoning in supporting the GNOME project, I thinks it's now mostly a waste of time in light of the new Qt license. Please, no flames, it just seems to me that the KDE developers set out to make a great desktop system first and work out the licensing issues later - which they did. Now KDE is way ahead of GNOME and probably always will be. It's stable, functional, and seems to be the way the rest of the Linux world is moving. I think everyone owes the KDE team a lot more respect and thanks for what they've done instead of the gratuitous flame wars which usually surround KDE news. I plan to contribute to the project myself when I feel my C++ skills are up to par.

    In closing, I think it's a good idea to support the major Linux distros. I've bought every SuSE release since 5.2, which supports XFree86, and I purchase most Red Hats (just not the dot-ohs) which supports, among others, Alan Cox and the penetration of Linux into the enterprise - which benefits us all!

    Happy Hacking :-)
  • I have had more problems with 6.0 than I did with 5.2. I have purchsed both 5.2 and 6.0 because I wanted to feel like I was giving somethign back, and I don't regret it, however I will not just rush out and purchase the next version.

    I think the main problem is that when you are presenting yourself as a *real business* you raise the level of expectations. I have had a lot of fun playing with "not ready for prime time Linux software*, but when I drop $ 60 for the latest release I expect a little more, and I get frustrated quicker.

    RedHat will have to do MUCH more QA work before releases if they want to get the real $$$$$.

    RedHat is the first to "leave the nest" and many people will be watching. Thsi should be interesting.
  • by corB (26284) on Friday June 11, 1999 @05:00AM (#1855534)
    Sounds like the netscape + 24bpp pimaps problem. Here is the answer from the XFree86 FAQ:

    Q.D3- wrong colors or black and white images in 24bpp modes for Netscape, xanim, WABI and others This is a long-standing problem with all those client programs. It is NOT a problem in XFree86.

    Technical details: it is caused by a relatively new feature of XFree86 (24bpp modes with 24bpp pixmaps) that is very poorly understood by many client authors: they assume 32bpp pixmaps instead of asking the XFree86 server for those details. Others (like Netscape) do ask for the pixmap size, but since they don't support 24bpp pixmaps, they fall back to using 1bpp (monochrome) pixmaps...

    The current public versions of XFree86 can only support a 1:1 mapping between the framebuffer depth and the pixmap depth. Some commercial Xservers support 32bpp pixmaps in 24bpp modes, and hence they present an interface to client programs that happens to match their assumptions. XFree86 4.0 will also support this feature.

    There are two possible solutions to this right now:

    - do not use 24bpp modes, but rather 16bpp or 32 bpp modes. 32bpp is best, but it requires more video memory than 24bpp.

    - don't use broken X clients. There are patches for Netscape and even compiled binaries on the net that fix this bug.
  • The value (performance/price) of Redhat just went too low for me. No way I could justify it. All my friends with Redhat 6.0 only complain about it. Redhat 5.0 was a similarly buggy, rush-it-out-the-door effort. I've been pretty happy with Caldera - tech support is sketchy - but I don't need it like I would need RedHat's.
  • And if they dropped it completely no doubt you
    would have whined even harder ?
  • > they should not be allowed to mirror a site which they have edited for content.

    Hmm, not be allowed by whom? /. or the SEC? I think there may be a valid point that they should have an all-or-nothing policy, but what difference does it really make?

    If people are interested in RedHat enough to visit their web site and see links to slashdot and then come here, isn't that a good thing? They are not allowed to make public statements regarding the IPO beyond the S-1 filing. This is obviously being extended to posting links on their web site.

    So they are complying with the letter of the law, and still leaving the door open for people to find slashdot, where they will probably find the stories anyway and see something besides the Jack Bryer BullSh*t (tm) that might help them make an informed decision.

    "..and I'd appreciate it if you'd ease up off my back about it." ;-)
  • So go tell them that if that is your opinion. I don't see how that is 'clearly a distortion' of anything.



  • "you want your baby back... Kundalini wants his hand back!" *grin* I forgot how much I love that movie. :-)

    I gueess the only realistic suggestion I've heard to rectify this would be to either just post a link to Slashdot itself, or make a disclaimer (that is, if they don't just remove the slashdot headlines altogether).

    "We at RedHat are committed to providing the Linux community .. (blah, blah). However, because of regulatory restrictions imposed on us resulting from our recent IPO announcement, we must limit references on our website to articles which may contain substantive information about RedHat. For this reason, we have chosen to block certain Slashdot headline links from our page. Please excuse this inconvenience for the short time during which we must comply with ceratin Securities regulations."

    But then, I'm sure they have competent lawyers either on staff or at Goldman who have given them specific directions on what to do. Even having a "disclaimer" like this may be construed (sp?) as restricted communication since it implies that additional information about RedHat and/or its IPO can be found at a certain place.

    There's just no making some people happy.

  • >That *is* immoral and misleading

    Well that is a pretty strong opinion. But it is just an opinion. My opinion is that it is fine. It *is* legal. It might *seem* immoral and misleading to *you* but that does not mean that it *is*.

    Cripes, you'd think they were altering the wording or something malicious. This is just the way things work in the world of businesses, investors and lawyers. If you need an excuse to dislike RedHat, surely there is something more glaring we can pick apart.

  • 2. I've had the problem on several boxes where gdm/xdm/kdm won't take keyboard input if you boot into runlevel 5. Works fine if you start with 3, and then go to 5 later. Really weird.

    I've found that the mouse cursor has to be over the login window in GDM to have keyboard focus.

    --

  • The problem is that writing an open letter for such a trifling problem does nothing but hurt Red Hat unnecessarily.
    If this problem persisted despite numerous private letters to the company, I'd say by all means. But this looks like a classic case of throwing a tandrum instead of thinking.

    So far, everyone here has mentioned that they started at 4.2. I started at 2.2. Before that I ran NetBSD 1.1 on a 68030. These were the days when you got a disk with a mini-kernel on it (880\k floppy, ya know!) that had enough to get the drives mounted where you had previously placed the basic bin tools, the compiler binaries and the kernel and X sources. From there you manually made ALL the devices (thankfully someone came up with a script to do that), then you manually tweaked out a video mode (great fun getting it wrong when it takes 16 hours to compile a new kernel), compiled all the additional binaries and your X driver because you were using an alpha release of the Retina driver, recompiled X because you had to tweak a few things here and there, and then, 5 days later, you were up and running!

    Red Hat was a godsend! I couldn't believe how easy it was to install and get running!

    The thing is, the Red Hat distributions have always had their minor problems. (2.2 -- or was it 2.3? I can't remember now -- was completely unuseable on the Alpha. 3.1 was better, but the NCR scsi drivers were prone to crash for no reason)
    3.1 on Intel, on the other hand, was great!
    4.0 was buggy, but it was understood that a dot oh release would have its share of bugs. About 2 weeks later I went to their website and grabbed the whole lot of fixes. Beautiful!

    4.1 had a kernel with posix threads! NICE!!! A bit buggy as far as the X server went, but a good build all around.
    4.2 was ROCK SOLID.

    5.0 worked fine, but the libs seemed a bit screwy and I had to symlink a few things to get any new software to work properly (particularly TCL/Tk)

    5.1 was once again quite solid.
    5.2 added gnome! COOL!!! Too bad gnome was still very unstable at the time.
    I'm still using RH5.2 and will be using that release for the web box.

    I haven't bothered with 6.0 yet. I'll wait until the fixes come out before upgrading my desktop box.


    The point is, it's not that difficult to go to their site and get the fixes as they come. Besides, why the hell would you install a completely new and untested OS on a server?
    And if it's your desktop box, who cares? You'll get the fixes soon enough.

    I can't believe it! I'm starting to sound like my dad.
    Aye, laddie, we had it tough in my day! 'aving ta trudge barefoot through 5 miles of snow and rocks (not the soft rocks they have today either!) uphill both ways ta refill the generator! Me younger brother would pedal himself ta death on the manual generator to be shuure the power didn't fail complet'ly before the kernel build finish'd! Aye! kids today is gettin' soft!
  • 1. If you tell Gnome to switch to WindowMaker instead of Enlightenment, it often decides to ignore you and bring up E anyway. (Even though if you go and check the setting in the config panel, it's still properly set to WM.) So much for making things simple.

    Gnome is a work-in-progress and is not quite stable yet.


    4. Something in gnome litters core dumps everywhere.

    Something in gnome has always littered core dumps everywhere.
    Gnome is a work-in-progress and is not quite stable yet.


    5. I've seen several cases of "slow login syndrome". When you log into X w/gnome, it inexplicably takes forever to load the window manager and gnome stuff. Once things get started, speed is ok. The syndrome persists even across sessions, which makes sense, but weirder still, you can cure it: switch to a console and kill gnome-session manually. Next time you log in, no problem.

    Gnome is a work-in-progress and is not quite stable yet.


    Does everybody need pcmcia on their desktop? Is the spell-check dictionary really that vital?

    Gnome is a work-in-progress and is not quite stable yet.
    The gnome team has better things to worry about than whether you want pcmcia on your desktop or not.


    Things like this make it more work than it should be to make a minimal install.

    Agreed, the install leaves much to be desired. Perhaps a few emails to Red Hat offering suggestions as to how to spruce it up a bit?


    These things are all fixable, or at least work-around-able. But not very slick for a commercial distribution.

    What? A few fixable problems and you're whining already?
    Come on! At least you get fixes for the problems in a timely manner! Do you think it's easy to test 650MB of software and have it work FLAWLESSLY the first time?

  • Problem #1 with the window manager was fudged through by playing with the selection input. Apparently, the display bar gets stuck on the wrong item.

    I don't know about Problem #2. The /dev/dsp locks of your problem #3 are probably from the esd demon. It's a feature. Look in /usr/doc/esound-0.2.12 for more information. Also look in /etc/security/console.apps becuase most people haven't bothered to figure-out how console access works.

    Problem #4. Sometimes I get a few core files from Gnome. Running "file core" says it's from the Gnome Pager. Probably the new rpms for Gnome will fix this problem.

    I don't have problem #5, but I don't usually use init 5. Problem #6, jeesh, bitch and moan. Yes, ispell is rather standard. Wow, the dict uses a whopping 404k. Well, I installed everything and just used rpm -e to remove packages I don't want. Very simple. That rpm program sure is slick, and those evil businessman at RH even GPL'ed it.

    Other people's bitchins:

    The Redhat FTP servers have been funky/crashing all week. They are working on it.

    The kernel shipped with 6.0 has a setting that makes the SMB protocol work correctly with Win95 clients, but screws-up Win98 & NT clients. Either recompile or grab the new rpm which I THINK has the kernel setting set for Win98/NT.

    I'm not even going to go into the price thing, if you are stingy but too stupid to realize how to get RH 6.0 for a couple bucks, then so be it.

    Wow, I've been using RH6.0 for two weeks and I'm having a great time. It's my first real Linux install as well. Maybe because I bothered to RTFM things are going easy?
  • ... Redhat tended to put more bleeding edge stuff in whereas the likes of debian (or slackware) were more cautious and waited to make things rock solid. It did seem like it took forever for debian 2.1 to come out but by all accounts debian is rock solid - although I should say that I haven't run debian in a while so YMMV.

    RedHat has always been a bit of a pain with x.0 because they always seem to be the first with the newest glibc/egcs/kernel. 5.2 was so much better than 5.0 or 5.1 (which I heard some people call Service Pack 1 ;-)

    Also to balance out the horror stories my install was no problem. In fact at the smae time I had the unfortunate task of installing win98 on my other hd. RH 6.0 installed in about 30-40 minutes and everything except my PNP modem (I know, I know, but it was cheap) worked out of the box, and the modem took another ten minutes to fix. win98 on the other hand took 10 reboots (including an off/on) before I had an even usable system (about an hour and a half later).

    However windows 98 'ran out' of IRQs for my dizzying array of hardware, so I couldn't have a modem, ethernetcard, and soundcard on all at once. Also it wouldn't play ball with my video card (Cirrus Logic Laguna). In the end I had to install 95, to at least get a decent video mode although I still had the IRQ problem.

    So however bad you may think RedHat has got (or is getting) they no way near as bad as MS (in my experience).

    grek

  • I have had some of the same problems with SuSE. I ordered 6.1 about 3 weeks ago and still have not received it. A statement on their web site [suse.com] simply says there are too many orders to fill and they are working as fast as they can. I tried to call them but have only received their answering service. Their web site also has dead links and outdated pages floating around.

    I know that SuSE, as well as RedHat and other vendors, are committed to providing a quality product to their users. However, they are also committed to making a profit for their companies. I hope that these companies know what they're getting themselves into when they start heavily advertising their products.

    I will continue to support SuSE the same way Stuart will continue to support RedHat. I hope that the business end of their operation improves however.

    Have people experienced anything like this with other vendors?
  • (Not arguing with you here. Just adding my own $0.02)

    "The demand that every problem be solved prior to shipping is absurdly unrealistic."

    While I agree that it is always possible for bugs to slip by the developers and testers, I also strongly believe that, on the whole, quality is too frequently sacrificed for, "We must ship next week."

    I don't think this is a problem unique to Red Hat (I'm not using RH right now, so I don't know if it really is a problem for Red Hat). It seems built-in to the software development model that most companies use today. The desire to get the most and latest "stuff" included right up to the ship date results in some of that "stuff" not getting the quality assurance it should. This is not the fault of the QA people and certainly not the fault of the support people.

    FWIW -- I've found that the biggest source of frustration for support experts is a lack of information. Few things are more frustrating that not knowing what the problem is or even how to troubleshoot it. By taking the time to explain how things (should) work, development staff can save themselves a lot of time dealing with unnecessary problem escalations. The support experts are happier and the customers' problems get fixed faster.

    I have a little problem with the idea of "don't bother calling for support". Uhhhh, what is support there for? What am I, Joe Software Consumer, paying for? Unfortunately, the goal in too many support departments is churning the maximum number of calls. This, IMO, is a big reason for the "reinstall to fix it" mentality among Windows users. Get 'em off the phone and answer the next call. I would hate to see a simliar attitude take root (no pun intended) in the world of Linux support.
  • I don't claim to know about SEC codes on this. But step back a moment and think.

    If Red Hat's Slashdot feed pulls all Red Hat stories, it makes it look as if Red Hat is unnewsworthy to Slashdot. That's some pretty nasty publicity there.

    Sure, we do a lot of Red Hat bashing (personally, I like them), but the bashing is positive publicity. Some attacks are the overcommercialism. Others are attacks on being the top dog. Others are about quality. We keep on calling Red Hat the Microsoft of Linux: those are buy words in the securities market!

    I don't claim to know whether Red Hat is required to remove those stories. However, they have nothing to gain and much to lose by doing so. I figure they wouldn't pull those stories if they didn't have to. An SEC ban sounds like a good explanation to me. Anybody have better ones?

  • I am currently running Mandrake 6.0 and the only problem I have had is not with Mandrake it is with X so it's a moot point to this discussion. I run copies of Mandrake as servers that back up 400 gig of data per night to two 4 dirve DLT machines. I used to run RH but found that I liked Mandrake better. This version appears to be very stable, but I have only been running it a week. I have ahd 0 downtime thus far.
  • by Sun Tzu (41522) on Friday June 11, 1999 @05:20AM (#1855560) Homepage Journal
    The part of his experience I found most apalling was their refusal to support their product because they didn't understand *why* he wanted to use it (in that way). As a sysadmin, I sometimes uncover a bug by doing something that the tech's don't undertand. The fact that they don't understand *why* is no reason to refuse support. I will not accept that excuse -- unless they can tell me a better way!
  • I agree with a lot of the above complaints, and can't really comment on others (like tech support)...however, I installed redhat 6.0 as soon as it was released, and was very impressed. the installer worked correctly (and on the first try, too, something that's never happened before), and even set up X right. I haven't had any crashing problems yet, and gnome seems pretty stable, though there are some glitches (weird app crashes, etc, but nothing that takes out X or the rest of the system). The new GUI stuff is pretty slick, though I honestly don't use most of...personally, I think a graphical package-management tool is a waste of disk space and system resources.

    On the down side, the RedHat 6.0 sparc distrib plain sucks. They really should have worked on it for a few weeks longer before releasing it. I have a sparcstation 5 I was using as an NFS/mail server at work running redhat 5.2...after "upgrading" to redhat 6 and finding that basic and necessary apps don't function (sendmail says "bus error" and dumps core on startup, for example), and that the knfs stuff doesn't _quite_ work as well as it should on sparc, either, I decided to switch the machine over to solaris 7; it's installing as I'm writing this, actually. RedHat should really place proper functionality ahead of releasing all 3 architectures they support at the same time.

    The other problem I have with RH6.0 is something one other reader observed: you can't do a really small install any more. Well, you can, but it's not easy. All the big ugly GUI stuff is becoming less optional then it used to be...RedHat would do well to set up their installer so that you can still do something useful with a 386 or 486 class machine, without having to manually select only those packages you _really_ need.

    anyway, my 2 cents...

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