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Red Hat Software Businesses Software Linux

Red Hat EL 4.0 Released 88

diegocgteleline.es writes "As it has been noticed by some news sites, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 has been released. RedHat's web site doesn't seem to have any reference, but with Red Hat being probably the most used distro in the enterprise and featuring for first time a 2.6 kernel, this is a major milestone for linux in the server arena. There're already some reviews."
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Red Hat EL 4.0 Released

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  • Linux 2.6 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Turmio ( 29215 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @01:20AM (#11675109) Homepage
    I hate to disappoint you, but Linux 2.6 used in RedHat 4 enterprise distributions hardly makes it a major milestone in the Linux server arena. Enterprise Linux distributions with Linux 2.6 kernel is not exactly a ground breaking thing. SUSE LINUX Enterprise 9 [novell.com] featuring Linux 2.6 was released many months ago. Also the 2.4 kernel used in the 3 series of RedHat enterprise distributions isn't quite vanilla 2.4. It contains already many, many features backported from Linux 2.6.
    • Re:Linux 2.6 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by crow ( 16139 )
      It is significant for everyone who uses Linux. While most other distributions have been using 2.6 for a while now, Red Hat is what the big corporations pay attention to. This means that people who develop software for Linux can no longer point to Red Hat as an excuse for not supporting 2.6.

      In other words, the whole world can now pretty much agree that the 2.4 kernel and the software that runs on it is in maintenance mode now.
    • Many IT reviews online are disappointed with the late release by Red Hat of an Enterprise Linux based on the 2.6 Kernel. I disagree with their views, Red Hat has done a lot to it's previous release running on the 2.4 kernel to make it stable, performant and has back-ported quiet a lot of interesting 2.6 features. Enterprise want stable systems above all, and they do not want to change their installed base to often (just look at how many Windows NT 4.0 servers there still are out there in companies, while SP
  • Red Hat! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @01:38AM (#11675196)
    *looks down*


    *shakes head*

    Ol' Red Hat. Heh. Didn't know people were still usin' it.

    *low whistle*

    I remember that one time my RPM database got wedged in the middle of a critical glibc upgrade. Let me tell you, them admins didn't like being paged at 4 in the AM. But that's how it was with ol' Red Hat.

    And that time I tried to install a customized version of PHP. I just wanted to change one little line in the config for a client. But I had to hunt down and install 12 different devel RPMs first. I didn't want no ODBC, but I had to compile it anyway. Then when I was done, it turned out I downloaded some with security holes. Why couldn't they just put all latest RPMs in a single directory so I could download them easy? That's how it was, with ol' Red Hat.

    *looks whistfully into the distance*

    *Yup, ol Red Hat. Wonder how she's doin' now. But don't get me wrong, it's over between us. We had some fun. But when her ass started gettin' big and she refused to go on a diet, and she still wore those ol' 1970's style hats when she new it looked stupid, well, that's when it was time to move on. I got a new love now. She does whatever I want and doesn't fight back. But that don't mean she ain't strong. Nooo sir. She just wants the same things I like. Stability. Ease of use. Flexibility. Ain't never seen a distro bend like she can. Whew!

    What's that? No I ain't tellin' her name. I figgur, long as you're over there with Red Hat running PostgreSQL 5.0, kernel 2.2, and whatever else, trying to figure out how the heck a .spec file is supposed to look, and payin' through the nose for it, my business is already one step ahead a your'in.

    Well, nice talkin' with you son. I best be movin' along. This ol' back a' mine don't take well to settin' still.
    • This is one of the best posts i've ever read. Good job!

    • Yeah, even a RH guy like me giggled some over that.

      RH does what I need, and I run customized versions of a whole lot of apps I could use RPMs for. When I don't need 'em custom, the RPMs are all right by me.

  • Now, I am not trying to start a flamewar here, but how relevant is RedHat anymore these days?

    Now, don't get me wrong, I used it for a long time, and I'm sure we all did. However, Redhat fell behind the times a few years ago, and many of us moved on to bigger and better things. ie. Fedora, Xandros, Debian, Mepis, Knoppix, etc.

    So how relevant would you say Redhat is the Linux distro wars of this day and age?
    • To the average linux user: not very.

      To non computer geeks, who only hear about linux through mass media: almost as relevant as back in the day.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Are you so sure that you are the "average linux user" anymore?

        Flamebait or no, I'm guessing most RedHat users are the 7 Year+ UNIX Sysadmin guys and not the crowd trying to use Linux to watch WMV porno and play Halflife in their mom's basement.
        • rpm --import http://freshrpms.net/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.txt
          rpm -i http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/fedora/linu x/3/freshrpms-release/freshrpms-release-1-1.fc.fr. noarch.rpm
          yum install mplayer

          7+ year sysadmin AND watching WMV porno.

          And while the Nvidia accelerated drivers work fine, I don't run Half Life. I use that for q3a + mods.

        • I run a tight shop and when WebSphere doesn't play ball on a production server for some reason I need to know that, as a last resort, I can scream at someone. Preferrably both the app and os people.

          I haven't needed phone support yet, but if I did, I could go that route. And the clients like that. If they like it, it's successful.
      • The average user doesn't spend a whole lot on 24x7 support contracts or care about 7 years of patch support either.

        There's a reason why it's called Enterprise Linux.
    • by Leghkster ( 603558 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @02:32AM (#11675381)
      With much (most?) commercial database, email, etc. server software supported only on RHEL in the past, it's the familiar comortable choice for businesses that have already jumped. Remember the "E" in RHEL. More often, recently, I see Suse officially supported, but that's often a harder sell to the bosses. They've heard of Red Hat by now. How do you pronounce that Suse thing? ;-)
    • (Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion.) If you're building your own box for your own purposes, and expect to be able to fix things yourself based on google/forums/friends, then don't go RedHat. It's too limited in scope for that. FC gets good support from their development framework, but again you don't need it. From what I see on a daily basis, RedHat's big plus is it's heavily certified with Oracle (and I'm not sure what else, because that really doesn't concern me in my work). There's only a few
      • by fm6 ( 162816 )
        By far RedHat's biggest failing IMO is the lack of support for ReiserFS - JFS and XFS would be nice for others, but the former is all I really care for.
        Ah, but you don't need a journalling file system to run Oracle, do you?
        • Indeed we don't, not for the database files at least. However, it's hard to go past for other filesystems, including Oracle's apps.
          • True. Personally, I would not consider any OS that didn't support a good journalling file system. It's a huge safety factor.

            I guess my point was that Red Hat has pretty much lost interest in supporting non-server users. But even in that context, their refusal to upgrade their file system support is pretty shortsighted.

      • by sbennett ( 448295 ) <spbNO@SPAMgentoo.org> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @09:01AM (#11676331)

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

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

      • You needed to install the kernel-unsupported RPMs from the (4th?) disc. It didn't show you it in the install because they didn't to encourage anybody to use something they couldn't support as easily. But if you wanted it you could have it. They even provided the user space tools by default (jfs-utils).
    • for geeks it is not of value For enterprises it's the leader. Debian and Fedora don't give you support when oracle runs slow.
  • Compared to . . .? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wakejagr ( 781977 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @02:05AM (#11675281) Journal

    From the article:

    Conservative release cycles and a more exhaustive test cycle make Red Hat Enterprise Linux a safer bet for the business community--they don't have to chase the release of the week.

    I guess they aren't comparing release cycles with Debian . . . maybe Longhorn?

    All joking aside, I think RHEL isn't so much competing with other Linux distro's as with Windows. RedHat is trying to offer a choice to companies that are considering the jump away from MS: AS and ES for server machines and WS for workstations, solid support. I haven't used RH in a while, but I hear RPM hell isn't the "killer" app it used to be. Sounds like it's good competition for Windows.

    • Hmmm... The whole idea of conservative release cycles doesn't seem to me to be that much better for a business. We all know that linux is not a finished product, nor will it ever be. Things advance rapidly enough in the Linux world, that even if a release is only 1 year out of date, it sometimes feels almost stone age compared to the new, bleeding edge distros. For many businesses, some of the late-and-breaking advances would be of considerable interest, as they deal alot of the time with security and suc
      • They introduce regular new releases every eighteen months for the people who want the latest and greatest. And under their enterprise license you have the right to run any currently supported version, including newly introduced ones.

        I find most people who've never done large scale administration highly overestimate the value of new versions. Especially when there's the option of a stable platform with all the relevent security updates.

        Most businesses I've dealt with are prone to be lax with regards to s
    • by hdparm ( 575302 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @02:19AM (#11675343) Homepage
      Well, it has ousted Sun from pretty much all of the big financial organisations and is making inroads elsewhere but not necessarily 'attacking' Windows. It will be long and hard battle in all places that have Windows AD installed - there still isn't open-source replacement for it out there. Hopefully, samba 4 will give us leverage on that end as well.

      I personally can't make much sense in using commercial distros for replacing Windows in a small / medium enterprise market - much easier to sell is free (as in beer) OS. Plus, FC3 does the job well on a server and on a client side - it's been rock solid for my needs (file, print, squid, email mostly).

      • by SunFan ( 845761 )
        Well, it has ousted Sun from pretty much all of the big financial organisations...

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

        • Basis are articles, news, whitepapers I came across since 2002. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suiss First Boston, Chicago Merc. Exchange, Central Bank of India, New Zealand Stock Exchange (this one is not RH customer but they are running RH)... None of them used Windows, of course, all Unix, most Solaris.

          • Do they actually execute trades on Linux? IIRC, the Chicago exchange was using Linux on the web servers and still had a mainframe-like system actually pushing the money. Saying an exchange is "running Red Hat" implies more than it means, IMO. Linux is very appropriate for web servers and app servers, but I would hope machines running billions of dollars in trades would be five-nines all the way.
    • I think RHEL isn't so much competing with other Linux distro's as with Windows.

      Not at all. RedHat is very happy staying in the "Enterprise Unix" niche -- J2EE, financial applications, Unix, Oracle. They're stealing business like mad from UNIX/RISC companies and barely acknowledge Microsoft. Who needs Main Street when you have Wall Street?

      RedHat has done almost nothing to compete in the "LAN" or Windows server market -- file & print, directory services, groupware, RAD apps -- they've simply got no an
      • Red Hat People are working on native Eclipse port... This would be for RAD. Also for "LAN" (what do you mean anyway? Local Area Network?) - they are starting the Stateless Linux project that touches this surface (mobile, desktops etc.). Also Fedora incorporates lot's of desktop enhancements like RH NetworkManager and (desktop) configuration utilities and so on... Also they are looking at embeded Linux market. So they are (or wan't to be) in almost every market that Linux can be used... IMHO.
  • Call me when... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ZuggZugg ( 817322 )
    I'm no Solaris or Windows fan per se, but RHEL is still missing a few things:

    -Xen or virtualization solution like VMWare, Virtual Server, Solaris Zones
    -Fair Share Scheduler like in Solaris
    -Better management tools with better documentation, particularly GUI tools to displace Windows installs

    RedHat needs to integrate/clone/whatever the following solutions:

    -A fully supported Samba + LDAP solution like IDEALX, to eliminate the need for MS ActiveDisease
    -A mail/groupware solution with a client (suggest latchin
    • Re:Call me when... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ag0ny ( 59629 )
      [...]but RHEL is still missing a few things:

      -Xen or virtualization solution like VMWare, Virtual Server, Solaris Zones

      Excuse me? We're using VMware Workstation here, running on a Fedora Core 2 host.

      Do your homework and read the specs [vmware.com]. VMware has been running on Linux since ancient versions.

      • One thing to note is that Xen and Solaris Containers are both free. Solaris 10 doesn't run Windows binaries like VMWare would, but Sun claims it will run Linux Standard Base and Solaris binaries side-by-side.
      • I wasn't clear, what I meant to say was that RedHat needs to incorporate a solution natively that would be similar to VMWare...I'm aware of VMWare's long history of supporting and working with Linux, this is great but costs a lot of money. When compared to Solaris which is now basically free and does have virtualization built in it's a tough call for some.
  • by menscher ( 597856 ) <menscher+slashdotNO@SPAMuiuc.edu> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @03:27AM (#11675514) Homepage Journal
    Every time any /. article mentions RedHat, we get a bunch of kiddies attacking it. So, I propose a new rule: before attacking RHEL, please consider a few points:
    • Do you have 5+ years of sysadmin experience?
    • Do you have 100+ users?
    • Do you have 10+ machines?
    • Do you have to support enterprise applications?
    Seriously, if you can't answer "yes" to all four questions, perhaps you should just keep your opinions to yourselves. The other distros are great for your mommy's basement, but in the enterprise, there are serious support/stability issues to consider.
    • There are plenty of other distro's around that are equally as good, or better, or worse. (depending on who you speak to) - stability... It's the kernel. What does red hat do to make that same kernel so much more stable than kernel.org? If an application is screwing things over, logical step is to drop it.

      Yes, I have all of your points checked, and this is slashdot where it quickly becomes worthless without disparate groups of opinion.

      I'm thinking you are a red hat fan boy? Not that there's anything wrong
      • by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @05:01AM (#11675720)

        What does red hat do to make that same kernel so much more stable than kernel.org? If an application is screwing things over, logical step is to drop it.

        RedHat does the kind of stress testing using common usage patterns and edge cases, and on a scale that loosely organised volunteers currently don't. I'm not saying that Debian (for example) couldn't come up with a project that does this kind of thing, but this is the area that RHEL appeals to (non-pointy haired) bosses.

        The conservative release cycles of RHEL are because the users can't afford the downtime required by the frequency of Fedora upgrades (and Gentoo is a non-starter for enterprise users unless you're a masochist who likes getting ragged on by your boss when the system crawls during an emerge).

        Well that's f*cked off the Debian and Gentoo amateurs ...

        • Well that's f*cked off the Debian and Gentoo amateurs ...

          In the case of Gentoo, though, you have the same reply to "It's the kernel. What does red hat do to make that same kernel so much more stable than kernel.org?" Gentoo provides several patched kernels in addition to the vanilla kernel, with gentoo-sources the norm. Pretty much all distributions do the same. (I forget what the stock Debian kernel is.)

          So, yes, an RHEL kernel is a very different thing than a kernel.org release.

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

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

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

        Now that's a i

    • Seriously, if you can't answer "yes" to all four questions, perhaps you should just keep your opinions to yourselves.

      Seriously, if you have to be a self-important elitist, perhaps you should just shut the fuck up.

    • Interpretation: All attacks on Red Hat go here.

      The hope is that Red Hat is driven by the same blood curdling fear of disaster to thoroughly test every release that drives sysadmins to want to spend 4x as much and set up every server with dual redundant power supplies and battery backed hot swap scsi drives in a raid 1 or raid 5. If someone is badly bitten by an "enterprise" distribution they'd be more apt to let everyone know.

      But for the most part, when it works it works, no matter what distribution. Alwa
    • I agree.

      Personally, I'm quite fine with managing Debian thank you very much.

      Unfortunately when it comes to your employers wanting to try out Linux, they are going to go the whole hog and demand a solution - backed up by a company with a contact number, who will move mountains to serve them in the event that they just happen to just *think* on the spur of the moment (and without any basis in rational argument), that their product blows.

      Unfortunately, none of the free distros can offer that service ("servi
    • This is the same kind of argument that people use to justify overpriced hardware. I've seen roomfulls of expensive Compaq hardware because it had all kinds of wonderful features and was supposedly the "best". The problem is that you could engineer a fully redundant solution for less than 1/2 the hardware cost, and maintenance would be way fewer $ too. (Maybe you can ask Carly about this.) We run Mandrake for mission critical stuff and have very few problems. We occasionally get bitten by new bits, but
  • by Trevin ( 570491 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @04:35AM (#11675663) Homepage
    I realize that Enterprise Linux is geared toward a narrower market of server-class computers than the multitude of desktop PC's, but it seems like they still need some bugs worked out.

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

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

    As much as I'd like to have leading-edge software and all the latest security patches, as administrator of a network that has to maintain at least 99.5% uptime (and preferably 99.99%), stability is the top priority.
    • The company I work for has around twenty licenses for RedHat Enterprise Linux, and I know they're not going to adopt RHEL 4.0 anytime soon. Half of their servers still run RedHat 7.1, due to in-house application stability problems with Apache 2.0 and Perl 5.8.


      # rpm -q redhat-release-as apache perl
      apache-1.3.27-8.e nt
  • RHEL4 v Fedora3 ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slashmojo ( 818930 )
    Is there anything/enough in rhel4 that isn't in fc3 to make it worth the upgrade? I'm using fc3 on a file server at the moment (switched from centos3.3 after endless problems with a 3ware9500 which fc3 only partially solved).

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

    • Yes - a 12-18 month release cycle. For enterprises deploying linux - I couldn't fathom considering Fedora Core - it becomes legacy much too quickly. For admins where importance on keeping patched to avoid exploits, this is very important.

      Fedora Legacy has done an okay job at keeping up with some of these, however Red Hat seems a bit more responsive w/ their Enterprise line.
    • Re:RHEL4 v Fedora3 ? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I run rhel3 on my servers and fc3 on my personal machines. There are unfixed bugs in fc3 that are driving me nuts (memory allocation). With rhel3, I've had zero problems. I'd assume those bugs aren't in rhel4, since it's billed as Enterprise, but you never know for sure. Anyway, the web management stuff from rhel is nice. You don't get that with fc.
  • Really, RHAS/RHEL distros were the ones i spent most of my time just making it work properly. Who knows, maybe it's just because i expected too much from them ...
  • i hate to say this but i prefer fedora over redhat, though same company but still the basic functions is the same.
  • I wonder if RHEL 4 looks like Fedora Core 3 [osdir.com]?
  • Anti-RedHat bias? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @07:27PM (#11683481)
    RHEL is the leading enterprise Linux distribution and RHEL 4 release is a _big_ news for most RHEL users but somehow Slashdot editors didn't deem it to be important enough to put the story on the slashdot front page. Coincidence? I think not..

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