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First Look at RHEL 5 - From the New, More Open Red Hat 220

Susie D writes "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released today, and Linux Format has an in-depth first look (with screenshots aplenty). With RHEL 5, Red Hat aims to become even more 'open', by using a shorter and clearer SLA, improving community involvement through its Knowledge Base, and providing the new Red Hat Exchange. But what you really want to know is, yes, it does include XGL for fancy 3D desktop effects."
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First Look at RHEL 5 - From the New, More Open Red Hat

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  • CentOS (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:08PM (#18351949)
    Let the recompile begin!
  • CentOS... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <harwoodr@NosPam.linux.ca> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:21PM (#18352247) Homepage Journal
    So, start the timer... how long until CentOS 5.0 rolls out based on the RHEL SRPMS?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 0racle ( 667029 )
      CentOS 5 beta is out. If past performance is any indicator, final should be done in about 2 weeks. Unless something goes wrong of course.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spevack ( 210449 ) *
      And that's a good thing. Red Hat likes CentOS. Between CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora, there are three "Red Hat Family" distributions that meet three very different sets of needs.

      Every CentOS install is an install that is within the Red Hat family. For people who don't need to be able to call up Red Hat and ask support questions (but who still need an enterprise distro), CentOS is a great choice.
  • I have a bad feeling about this... that poor server.

    And amusingly enough, the image text for passing this through is IMMINENT. No kidding...
  • XGL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:22PM (#18352267) Homepage Journal
    Now, I don't see any reason not to have XGL on the desktop - in fact it's a huge boon. But is it actually necessary on a server? Or more to the point, isn't it a horribly bad idea on a server? You should be running as little as possible on any critical machine... And if you have so many windows open on your server that you need a 3D desktop to manage them, perhaps you should be running all that shit somewhere else. And if you're using RHEL for a desktop system, for any reason other than being able to test things before deployment, you should have your head examined.
    • RHEL isn't just for servers...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Red Hat Enterprise also has a "Workstation" flavor. They are not all Server centric OSes. For one, I don't see many people using Red Hat as a workstation, but then again, my company left them for Novell SUSE a year ago. We are happy in the change.
    • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:31PM (#18352483)
      If it's a server, your default init state should be runlevel 3, right? Doesn't matter if you've installed all the XGL stuff in the world if it never gets run (for the most part; carrying unnecessary executables/packages/services around on your system does potentially open vulnerabilities in your system).

      You should never take a server to runlevel 5 unless it's been taken out of service for maintenance - and not even then! Just because a GUI may make you able to more quickly or more simply maintain your server doesn't mean that it's okay to run X on a server. GUI's tend to "dumb down" user tasks (that is their function, after all). GUI's have progressed over the last decade, but they still carry their penalties in system load, "dumb-down" factor and increased vulnerability to exploitation.

      As for using RHEL as a desktop, I agree wholeheartedly. Everyone knows that Gnome under OpenSuSE 10.2 is the ultimate XGL desktop experience!

      • Except that XGL is a whole second X server. AIGLX + KDE + Beryl (or Compiz if you swing that way) on the other hand... mmm...
    • > And if you're using RHEL for a desktop system, for any
      > reason other than being able to test things before deployment,
      > you should have your head examined.

      Actually there are few more reasons to use RHEL (or maybe deriatives like CentOS) on workstations.

      http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/ [redhat.com]
    • Many worstations use RHEL because most proprietary apps will only target it and or SuSE enterprise. Also companies like Dell will only support their workstations if they run RHEL. Obviously mute if you only run free software and firefox.
      • s/mute/moot/ but besides that, my point is that most workstations don't even have proprietary apps on them. If you need it, fine, run it. But most people don't. Obviously there is always that one person, or that one company, that will need to use it.
    • They have AIGXL. AIGXL is preferred to XGL these days, because people thinks it's much easier to build the future 3d desktops starting with aixgl today.
      • by Wyzard ( 110714 )

        It's AIGLX, actually, not AIGXL.

        Anyway, AIGLX is preferred over XGL because it's a cleaner and more elegant solution to the problem, not because it's "easier to build the future 3D desktops" -- Compiz and Beryl can run on both XGL and AIGLX, in fact. However, AIGLX required modifications to the video drivers, and ATi and nVidia took some time in making the necessary changes. That's why XGL caught on initially: because unlike AIGLX it worked on mainstream 3D cards. (These days, nVidia's current drivers

    • Redhat/CentOS is a perfectly usable desktop, just enable the RPMForge repo and you can install almost anything through yum. There's also the concept of familiarity, I know where everything is in Redhat, other distros just seem weird now.
    • The Client and Server channels do not contain all of the same packages. The compiz window manager is not in the Server channel, so this is a non-issue.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:23PM (#18352297)
    I used Redhat back in the day, just before I became a die hard Debian user. I'm wondering what exactly should drive me to want to switch to Redhat at this point? They seem very fractured to me and the whole "Enterprise" setup with a "free version where we develop everything" or whatever doesn't strike me as very appealing.

    But I'll grant, I'm somewhat ignorant of the whole Redhat thing these days. Anything I should be enthralled by and jump into Redhat for? Not trying to bait or troll. Would seriously love to hear what people with more recent experience of RH have to say (especially if they're also familiar with Debian and others so they know where I'm coming from).
    • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:41PM (#18352677) Homepage Journal
      Things are different these days. The main thing you get from being a paying customer of Red Hat is long-term stability (i.e., packages stay relatively the same for years, aside from bugfixes), patch rollout, and support from both Red Hat and other vendors. You're probably not in their ideal audience anymore, since general users who want a good free desktop were pointed to Fedora when that project was created from RH9 a few years ago. Now the company's audience consists almost exclusively of corporate types who want support from Red Hat, or who run software that is certified to run on Red Hat but is not guaranteed to work on much else (such as Oracle). Your distro of choice, righteous though it may be, wouldn't suit that audience very well because if there were problems, there would be no one to blame.
    • There is no reason to switch to RHEL unless you have an enterprise to run. It is a very conservative distro (as in not includng cutting edge stuff). It has to be, since stability is what you get and pay for.
      • The downside is that RHEL tends to get stale quickly, much like old versions of Debian. RHEL4 has very old php, perl, python, mysql, etc. If you install modern web applications, RHEL frequently does not meet the minimum requirements. What RHEL really works well for is installing applications that just run and run, that don't need updating frequently. Unfortunately, we live in a world where you you usually NEED to upgrade applications due to vulnerabilities that have been found in old versions of software. R
    • by KiltedKnight ( 171132 ) * on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:42PM (#18352697) Homepage Journal
      Well, RedHat's business model is centered around providing support for a version of the Linux operating system and its programs. Businesses don't want to deal with a large cloud of people anywhere and everywhere in the world when it comes to requesting improvements, fixes, etc. They want to go to one place and point a finger and say, "You! Fix this!" That's what RedHat, Inc., is. The people you point the finger at. They build, package, and distribute a specific version of Linux and its programs and utilities. They make them work together. They provide security and bug fixes.

      You can argue which distro is better until the cows come home. But when it comes to a corporate adoption, you'll need a RedHat, SuSE, or some other company like that to provide the target for finger pointing.

    • Well, the 'free version where we develop everything' is sortof like Debian Testing, except that things that go in there don't necessarily make it into the absolutely-stable RHEL offering. Another reason to go RedHat is that they are major contributors to the kernel.

      I think that's about it though, You do pay for RH support, but the kind of people who buy it are the ones who want that, and (apparently) get good support too. If you don't need it, then there's not much point in going RH. Maybe you'd be better o
      • by init100 ( 915886 )

        Maybe you'd be better off with Centos, in which case you have something very comparable with Debian, with the 'non-free' packages added.

        What "non-free" software is in CentOS but not in Debian? CentOS is built from Red Hat's source RPMs, and to my knowledge they do not contain any non-free software.

    • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:52PM (#18352873)
      yeah, we have that production server & desktop vs. "free/bleeding edge/risky where we develop everything" version in the Ubuntu world, too

      we call that one Debian
    • Freaking Easy.

      I just downloaded Centos 4.4 [centos.org] and just fell in love. I like debian, but RedHat really has a nice polished product here.

      PS - Just in case, Centos 4.4 is the same as RedHat ES 4.4, just recompiled from sources.
      • by init100 ( 915886 )

        You could have waited two weeks, which is when CentOS 5 (based on RHEL 5) is due to be released.

        • Meh. I need something for work that uses RPM's and works with RedHat 4. Dell dosn't have anything for 5 yet.
    • IF your employer uses Oracle it maybe worth the switch. They no longer support Debian.

      ALso if you run servers that can not go down it maybe nice to have RHES running as its supported by software vendors and OEM's.

    • by Znork ( 31774 )
      "Anything I should be enthralled by"

      If you need the enterprise support and certification with all sorts of enterprise applications and hardware, you dont have that many choices, it usually comes down to SuSE or Redhat (with the rest of the contenders being too young and unproven or too small).

      If you also want a credible commitment to Free software and both the letter and spirit of the GPL, which your debian leanings may indicate, that pretty much leaves Redhat.

      Personally I use it for enterprise stuff. And a
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:26PM (#18352385)
    "RHEL used to come in four main strands: ES, AS, WS and Desktop, although the Desktop product was sold as a pack of ten clients along with a copy of RHEL ES, the server version. With RHEL 5, Red Hat has swept all of that away in favour of a simpler structure. Instead of distributing the four sets independently, Red Hat will provide only two main sets, referred to as Server and Client. Subscribers are issued with installation keys that pre-define package manifests depending on the subscription level."

    There is something about a Linux distributor telling me that I am limited as to how many clients I can install based on how much money I pay that just rubs be the wrong way. How can they do this and not go afoul of the GPL?

    I have not used Red Hat for a number of years. Do they even have a free as in beer download of their client? If I pay am I not allowed to distribute the GPL'd product as I see fit?? Do they prevent redistribution by bundling in non-GPL stuff?

    Like I said, it has been years since I used Red Hat so I really don't know what they're like now.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )
      Usualy for things like that (and I didn't check, and don't quote me), is fairly simple. When you pay redhat, what you're most likely buying is the support, not the product. So if you install more client than you paid for, and you called redhat and they somehow knew about it, you're sorry out of luck.

      That quite the abstraction of how it works, but you get the idea.
    • by CustomDesigned ( 250089 ) <stuart@gathman.org> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @04:23PM (#18353497) Homepage Journal
      There is something about a Linux distributor telling me that I am limited as to how many clients I can install based on how much money I pay that just rubs be the wrong way. How can they do this and not go afoul of the GPL?

      There is no limit on downloading the source. When you buy RHEL, you buy the *binaries* and you buy support. The GPL explicitly allows charging for binaries. You are even allowed to charge "reasonable" media fees for source, but Red Hat very kindly makes the source free as in beer. You can compile the source yourself, or let http://centos.org/ [centos.org] do it for you.

      The GPL is about *freedom*, not price. RHEL gives you full freedom. And while you can't get official RHEL binaries for free, derivatives based on the source are available that are free as in beer.

      While an individual or small business has little reason to buy RHEL, an enterprise has good reasons. You get a highly stable platform with security patches for a long period of time. You get support. You get someone to blame when things go wrong. As an individual, you might want to try Centos and get familiar with it. You never know when you might want to work for an enterprise that uses RHEL. As a small business, you can start out with Centos, and if your business takes off, scale right up to RHEL with minimal hassle.

    • There is something about a Linux distributor telling me that I am limited as to how many clients I can install based on how much money I pay that just rubs be the wrong way. How can they do this and not go afoul of the GPL?

      They can do this because the GPL does not mandate that you cannot charge money, and does not mandate that you make the software available to everyone. The GPL requires that if you provide a binary copy of a GPL'd program to someone, you must provide or offer to provide equivalent sour

    • > There is something about a Linux distributor telling me that
      > I am limited as to how many clients I can install based on
      > how much money I pay that just rubs be the wrong way. How can
      > they do this and not go afoul of the GPL?

      No. This is not the case. RHEL is completely GPL (or similar, compatible) licensed so you can install it on as many machines as you will. But I guess you can only register the number you have paid for in RHN.

      RHN states for Red Hat Network - a system that lets you remotely
  • by jfroot ( 455025 ) <darmok@tanagra.ca> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:28PM (#18352423) Homepage
    I always wondered why these articles focus on screenshots. I would assume most people who are running RHEL don't ever use any graphical interface at all. Servers don't need to run any graphical applications really and it is a waste of system resources to have any of that left on IMHO.

    First thing I do to a shiny new Redhat install is:

    perl -i -p -e s/id\:6\:in/id\:3\:in/ /etc/inittab

    To disable X11 completely. You should to.

    • by daves ( 23318 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:44PM (#18352725) Journal
      perl -i -p -e s/id\:6\:in/id\:3\:in/ /etc/inittab

      You really should install vim. It doesn't take that much room.
      • If I'm not mistaken, vim (or a vi-like) ships with nearly every Linux out there. No disto I've used has failed to ship with one of the following vi-likes (or mabye a few I can't think of):
        * vim
        * nvi
        * elvis
        * vile
        * viper-mode for emacs
        * busybox (which has a vi-like in it)
        In fact, if you want to be considered a UNIX (or are trying to be as close as you can, like Linuxes), you have to have some form of vi. Which means knowing vi is a real bonus if you work with any *nixes (that includes Mac OSX, as of Leopard
    • "perl -i -p -e s/id\:6\:in/id\:3\:in/ /etc/inittab"

      I was thinking of writing a program in perl a few days ago for a pet project but your post makes me think that is a bad idea. Shudder

      • Why? Having trouble with an extremely simplistic regex? If you can't handle a simple regex, then you better stick to Excel macros Bill, because just about every single language uses them now.

      • by fimbulvetr ( 598306 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @05:09PM (#18354151)
        Well you just gotta look at it the right way.

        He's running perl with three options, right? -p -i -e (I like them in that order because "It's easy as pie to replace strings in files with perl")

        then he's giving a regex, followed by a file name.

        If he had a file with the contents "foo" and wanted to replace the word "foo" with "bar", he'd do:

        perl -p -i -e s/foo/bar/ file

        The command he gave just looks ugly because it needs the \s to escape the colons. It'd be easier to not escape the colons and wrap the command in quotes, like so:

        perl -p -i -e "s/id:6:in/id:3:in/" /etc/inittab

        Six one way, one half dozen the other.
    • Yes, because I want to make an oracle 10g install harder by turning off X.... never mind that some enterprise software does use X. Not everyone runs a server with just apache and qmail. Granted, I use SSH/bash most of the time, but there are apps on some of the servers that I use that require X.
      • Um, most of us in this situation ssh -Y into the machine and use the X server on our desktops... You don't run your servers headless????
        • Yes, I run the servers headless. Usually. It depends on what the PHB of the corporation I am being contracted for wants. I use Putty and Cygwin most of the time, pretty much like everyone else. Trouble with being a contractor, is that the people at the other end sometimes have weird demands. Some of them want "a hands on" windows environment for their servers and software, so I give it to them, hell, they pay me either way.
        • I should add that having a flashy GUI tends to convince a PHB that the server is "working better". So, if I can demo the apps on the local machine in X, it is far more likely that I can get a Linux system installed at the client site.
  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:30PM (#18352465) Journal
    Okay, someone look at the official announcement... er, official "thank you" page [redhat.com] for RHEL 5, and watch the embedded video.

    Then tell me someone at Red Hat hasn't been playing too much Katamari Damacy.
  • One major question for me is: What is the state of KDE support in RHEL5? Redhat has always shown a preference to gnome over kde, but nevertheless included KDE as an option in RHEL4. Do they still?

  • *NOT* XGL! (Score:5, Informative)

    by r_cerq ( 650776 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @03:53PM (#18352907)
    RHEL (like Fedora) does NOT include or support XGL. They support AIGLX, another accelerated desktop mechanism. They do support and ship compiz (the Window Manager that does the cube thingy), though. (compiz works on both AIGLX and XGL)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'll direct everyone to the Wikipedia page.

      Short comparison: XGL is an X server implemented in OpenGL, which currently means (at least on Linux) that it must be run on top of a traditional X server. You cannot run accelerated OpenGL apps on top of XGL -- you would have to find a way to run them inside the "real" X server, and they could not be composited. Since ATI has done nothing to support the compositing extensions, modern ATI cards require XGL to do any sort of compositing.

      AIGLX is a way to allow a win
    • Re:*NOT* XGL! (Score:4, Informative)

      by init100 ( 915886 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @05:09PM (#18354147)

      Many people do not understand the difference between Compiz/Beryl and XGL/AIGLX. They think that the cube is XGL, and are not aware of that the cube is actually created by Compiz or Beryl, with XGL or AIGLX being the framework that makes this possible.

  • CentOS 5 Beta is out (Score:3, Informative)

    by pajama ( 48556 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:09PM (#18354977)
    CentOS 5 (Beta) for i386 and x86_64 is released:
    http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/ 2007-March/013617.html [centos.org]

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