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Red Hat Linux 6.1 vs Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 112

joe_s writes "CNET recently posted and update to their shootout between Red Hat Linux and OpenLinux, which has some pretty interesting points of view...and could be pretty useful for a newbie. "
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Red Hat Linux 6.1 vs Caldera OpenLinux 2.3

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  • First off, who was it a week or two ago here saying that Caldera didn't get any press, and so "was dead"? Care to re-think that position?

    Not that this press is anything to write to Mars about, but it's still attention. C|Net is covering the same old ground here, albeit with new products. Ease of installation, sheesh--that's the last thing one should be worried about in an OS. But in today's world, you lock your doors, you burn your credit-card receipts, and you judge operating systems on, among other criteria, how easy they are to install. Sigh.

    The article did have a couple of notable passages, bowever. I liked the opening comment--"Nothing moves faster than the Linux world". Hah! What was your first clue? They hurt because they can barely put their electronic stories to bed, forget about print, before they're laughably obsolete. But in today's news-hungry world, fast is good. Expect a lot more attention from a starving press, and hope that at least some of it doesn't suck.

    Another item of interest--I happen to be one of the "old-school Linux users" who "appreciate [Caldera's] graphical installer". I appreciated it right up until it bit me in the gatcher. No non-DHCP NFS install? Where's my LILO? Ahem. It didn't take me long to drop back to using their old-style LISA installer, which is no worse than it's ever been. Don't get me wrong--despite the flaws in Caldera's Lizard, it is as much of an advance over the current state of the Linux installation art as Slackware's color installer was over SLS, if not moreso. A few more iterations, and it will set a new standard of excellence. I love it when vendors fight to see who can make my life easier!

    And with any luck, once Caldera gets it right (or RedHat or SuSE or whoever gets a polished Lizard-alike on CD first), maybe C|Net will have an article about it, and will get the kernel version right in that one. We can only hope.

  • they apparently dont know about irc ("chat rooms" for the less informed). its fairly easy to find at least one person who can, if nothing else, offer insight to a problem. the major irc networks all have linux channels, afaik

    While it's true that most irc networks (notably Undernet and Efnet) have linux channels, fairly well populated, I've found that actually getting help there is an exercise in futility - in the 7 channels on 3 different networks i visited, either everyone was idling, or I was simply told "You don't have it configured right" when i asked for some insight for LILO refusing to run off an HD.

  • Perhaps you should try both installers and notify me of what is different?
  • Hope someone will tell me more about caldera, if it's really cool i'll buy one to every newbie who badge me :)

    I've been using COL since version 1.1 (with brief detours to RH, SuSE, and Linux-Mandrake), and I like it a lot. One of the reasons I use it is that I provide Linux tech support to a few friends. Its easier for them to use than some other distros, and its easier for me to troubleshoot problems if I'm running the same distro.

    The other reason is that Caldera tends to hold back on stuff until its stable. For example, RH 6.1 uses a RH-patched 2.2.12 kernel, and Linux-Mandrake 6.1 uses a pre-patched 2.2.13 kernel, while Caldera held back and used 2.2.10, which was the last stable kernel in the so-called stable tree until 2.2.13 was released a few days ago.


  • At work we have a mirrored Slackware site, so naturally I started on Slackware (back in Jan 97). To this day I run Slackware at work and have a quad boot at home: Slackware, RedHat, Windows95 and Windows NT. I still need 95 for Quicken, but I'm about to zap NT (disk hog!) cause my use with it is about gone.

    Several of my peers have started migrating from Slackware to RedHat. In fact, one of them even made a RedHat mirror. I stuck with Slackware because I prefer the level near the guts of the Machine. I needed to install RedHat at home to understand what others were talking about (utilities and such). But I upgraded Slackware to glibc myself. I'm slowly starting to boot up in RedHat more and more (at home) because it is easier IMO. But there comes a problem: "The dummying effect". Just the other day, a former Unix/Slackware Guru, now on RedHat, could not remember how to set up the /etc/fstab file. He said that most his work is done through GUI's that he forgot how to do it by hand. This is what scares me. And is why I still keep Slackware.

    Although (as mentioned in the article) linuxconf is nice, I like AIX Smit, better. Mainly because it would show you the command line command as it executed. I was thinking of writing an equivalent , when I get time, for Linux, and call it something like "Spit".

    But if you get too use to using those GUIs and don't play with the files themselves though vi, then you will probably suffer "The Dummying Effect" and forget how. Not to say that its bad, but I don't want to be stuck with depending on a tool for administration. It should only be a tool to help your job, and not just always do it. Tools are usually not to flexible, and cause special needs to be hacked. Sofar I havn't had a problem with Linuxconf, except that to use Netscape mail I need /var/spool/mail with mode 01777 and everytime I activate changes with linuxconf, it changes it back to mode 0775. This ticks me off!!!

    Ok I'm nit picking...

    Steven Rostedt
  • Quote "Red Hat doesn't include software to partition your" .. Checkout the /dosutils dir on the redhat cd. "kernel 2.3" sorry. (Unattended mode Caldera) (RedHat kickstart Floppy)

    Do a little more reading.
  • Slackware = For people who are stuck in 1995 and don't want to learn how to use better things like Debian which could save them hours of frustration

    Debian = A distribution for people need a tool to get a real job done.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does this mean that OpenLinux comes without telnet and/or the possibility to export X-windows (and hence - using COAS remotely)? Of course OpenLinux features this (writing this without having been near a Caldera Linux distribution), but it seems as the writer thinks that remote-admin means a web-interface. To me remote administration imply more than using a web-interface. Greetings, Michael Jacobsen
  • Examples of proprietary extensions in COL 2.3: Partition Magic and Lizard(QPL==proprietary)

    I don't want to start up yet license flame war, but even RMS has admitted that the QPL is an acceptable free software license. He didn't sound too happy about it, but he did make that admission.


  • Installing from Windows can be incredibly useful.

    That's one less piece to write for the trojan/worm that finds Windows machines, and replaces it with Linux.
  • a) When applauding OpenLinux they are applauding a development which will lead to a linux code split. Caldera business model has always been to mix in as much proprietary software as possible, which will lead to the linux community splitting if ever Caldera gets to a point where they actually mean anything in the community. Their Netware technology and that windowmanager they had earlier are good examples. Examples of proprietary extensions in COL 2.3: Partition Magic and Lizard(QPL==proprietary)

    RedHat ships Real Video client and Netscape 4.x whats your point?

    Linux kernel Code Split? I don't think that any distribution will really want to do ANY propietary change/addon to an essential Linux component (not just the kernel) because they all know what happened to UNIX. Just because the ship the propietary PQ and Lizard does not mean they will make any propietary changes to kernel or parts of OS utilities in general.
  • Or maybe I do it because I want a faster binaries not ones complied for an i386. Not to mention you might learn something about the system. I'd didn't know crap when I used RedHat, no I can get an admin job with ease. Oh I just goto end this one with SysV scripts are cryptic debugging nightmares. I can read all my BSD scripts easily and modify them and see what's wrong when I screw up. Ok enought flaming for now.
  • Yes yes.. I'm a Corel stock holder, and proud of it damn it! :)

    COREL is taking care of EXACTLY that problem that current windows users have. Its tough to convience someone to learn something NEW, especially when it comes to computers and people who are already SICK of everything they had to learn just to enter the wonderful world of computers.

    COREL's Linux Distro will LOOK & FEEL exactly like Windows. It'll have My Computer, Network Neighboorhood, Control Panel, START, etc. Thats AWESOME. Not only that, but things will be configured JUST like they were in windows. For example.. Samba will be in the background for windows-linux linkage, but you'll still browse the network thru Network Neighboorhood, like you always have.

    WINE will also be distrubuted with COREL Linux, that will allow you to run QUITE A FEW CURRENT Win32 apps. Including DirectX and 3D games. Visit http://winehq.com, check out their App database and see what they currently run. WINE is a MAJOR part of Corel's LINUX strategy.

    To make a long story short, Corel is at $6 a share right now, and its going to go thru the roof when they start marketing their distro in late November. You can figure the rest out. :)

    Technetos, Inc.
  • I had this experience too. The ftp install failed with a trip to the python debugger (apparently due to a problem with doing passive FTP over an IP-Masq connection). The HTTP install went further but died with a trip to the python debugger after one timeout (a timeout not suprising considering it is initiating hundreds of connections). I finally bit the bullet, burned a CD at school from the handy iso image on the FTP server. The CD install seemed pretty good. It boots into X which is cool, but the X configuration part itself still sucks. I ended up having to use a combination of Xconfigurator and hand editing to get the monitor/resolution/bitdepth combination I wanted as default.

    I did try the custom and Gnome workstation installs of the CD both seemed to work ok, but I liked the old package chooser better.

    My net assessment of the 6.1 install is that it is prettier and friendlier but less useful, and much less stable at net installs than 6.0, which was a big improvement over 5.2.

  • the biggest problem that new users face is trying to find out _where_ this information is. it's easy enough to respond with RTFM, but if you don't know where the manual is, how do you read it?

    there's nothing wrong with a little handholding...it helps prevent reinventing the wheel everytime you want to go for a sunday drive.

    it takes awhile to get comfortable using linux. redhat, suse, caldera, and the like, make an effort to help a user get a system up and working without knowing all the intricate details.

    i'll agree that hiding how the system works is probably counterproductive. this is part of the reason why i don't use caldera. too simple, there aren't enough package choices shipped with the cd's, and the latest caldera i tried (2.2) wouldn't even allow me to choose individual packages at install. since this bugs me, i don't use caldera. *shrug*

    that being said, there's a tremendous difference between fluff and ease of use. caldera, to me, seems like fluff. suse has (relative) ease of use going for it. i don't really have an opinion about redhat. 5.1 left a bad taste in my mouth, and i've not tried it since. plenty of savvy folks use it, though, so i rather doubt the fluff moniker fully applies to it.

    oh, and if Slack were on store shelves everywhere, you'd have just as many people asking the types of questions you are trolling about.

  • sell it in boxes with gobs of documentation

    I found the documentation for Red Hat to be decidedly unhelpful. The tone veered between insultingly patronizing and obtuse. It also focused primarily on their front-end tools. Frankly, I didn't get Linux as a replacement for Windows on my desktop, I've never run Winblows on a computer. I got Linux to get into the machine, not hide from it.

    I'm getting a lot more satisfaction running Debian on a little homebuilt mailserver; without X and with the LDP/HOWTOs.
  • > I can make Caldera just as good a server as Red Hat with just a few downloads.

    would you mind saying what a few of those downloads are?

    I just installed Caldera this week and am looking to optimize :-)

    I have heard it is a good idea to upgrade KDE right away...

    off topic: I also tried to install RedHat 6 recently, and it was kind enough to fry my Fujitsu laptop's lcd. My vote is for Caldera.

    can't wait for my DSL to get installed and to get my class C addresses, to start serving!
  • Is it just me, or did that article sound like there were no other dists in the game?

    Yea, how hard could it have been to drop in a couple links. Of course I did like the M$ backhands. Talking about how RH was close in price to the *upgrade* for Windoze. Not to mention NTServer or even BackOffice. As a fairly new convert I like articles like this, a comparison, not a flame-war, at least then you get some facts, not wild opinion and emotion.

    C|Net has been pretty hip to the whole thing. Although wasn't that a mistake saying they were based on the 2.3 kernel, isn't that just for developement and masochists?

  • Posted by dos-de-place:

    You don't need to download each RPM, personally I download the ISO image of each of four or five distros, then burn them onto a CD-RW disc and use that until the next distro update. Sure it takes some time to download, but I get the CD faster than ordering it from cheapbytes or lsl.
  • Heres my take-

    1. Open Linux the only one that has partition magic. This article implies that that applies across the board. McMillans package of Linux Mandrake includes it too.

    2. Interface Choices, documentation. Again, why did they not even mention McMillans distro? At least in passing they could have mentioned "However, both of our distributions are beaten in these categories by McMillan Delux Linux 6.5, which contains thousands of pages of books on CD-Rom, and its default installation allows you to choose between KDE and Gnome on bootup, you can change which one you want to use whenever you want without installing anything extra. "
  • Yes well I guess I was expecting something innovative from redhat, they sure proved me wrong ;) Oh my first post got moderated down! Wohoo.
  • Llynix: No, 100% of learning Linux is being such a fucking egotist that you're damned if you're going to come crawling to an IRC channel full of assholes to get your questions answered.

    Seen on Undernet #Linux
  • by Siva ( 6132 )
    a decent article in general, but there are a couple things that should be mentioned.

    round 1
    Red Hat offers several new installation options, including Custom, Workstation, and Server.
    this isnt new to 6.1, i know 5.2 had them, possibly earlier versions as well. they also fail to mention kickstart, which allows you to create a file specifying an installation procedure and then use that file to do unattended installs. as they later point out, unattended installs are a new feature of openlinux 2.3.

    Red Hat doesn't include software to partition your hard drive.
    last time i checked, fdisk, cfdisk, and sfdisk were all included. as is fips, which will allow you to repartition without destroying data. granted these arent "graphical" in the way a newbie would prefer, but they are included.

    round 2
    Yes, email tech support (offered by Caldera) or postings on Usenet deliver somewhat speedy answers, but there's nothing like a bit of human contact when you feel stumped, frustrated, and ready to crawl back to Windows.
    they apparently dont know about irc ("chat rooms" for the less informed). its fairly easy to find at least one person who can, if nothing else, offer insight to a problem. the major irc networks all have linux channels, afaik.

    round 4
    not so much a critisism, but there are tools out there that can be downloaded and installed with little hassle to facilitate remote administration. check out Webmin [webmin.com] for one...

    anyone else catch anything (other than the reference to the development kernel, 2.3.x)?


    Keyboard not found.
  • Mandrake 6.5 also ships with Partition magic

    I find that hard to believe considering there is no Mandrake 6.5
  • I am not for sure what might be missing from OpenLinux, but a good place to start would be RedHat's FTP servers. Unless you are an advanced admin, Caldera probably has all you need.

    I just ordered OpenLinux today, the CNet article sold me, though I just got the CDR version from lsl.com for $5.00.


  • Teacher say:

    "First you must unlearn what you have learned."

  • Come on moderators, this was humor, not flamebait.

    Maybe we need to pitch in and get this a "humor for dummies" book. (and slashdod gets ANOTHER angry letter from IDG :)

  • For future reference, irc.linux.com #LinuxHelp is a pretty decent newbie help channel. Usually your question will get answered, and sometimes you'll even get help from people who really know what they're talking about.

  • MS server OS deadlock?

    Yes quite frequently.
  • Partition Magic is easier to use. OTOH, every time I've used it I've eventually needed to reformat the entire drive due to partition table problems. I assume that not all of their users have this experience, but that's been my experience. FIPS never did that to me. For that matter, if I just set up the partitions ahead of time with fdisk I didn't have that trouble either. Among the products that I have used, this problem is (was, actually) specific to Partition Magic.
  • Oh you mean the high quality NDS that is not native NDS and doesn't support IP but only IPX that Caldera uses? It doesn't matter since Novell is going to OpenSource their native NDS 8.0 version here in the next few months.
  • There are some major problems with Caldera that other distros don't have.

    • It's not free software: It may include free software, but as a package you can't give it to your friends for them to install, or buy one CD to install a whole office.
    • It does everything in VGA mode. There's no reason to have a graphical boot up screen.
    • It doesn't give very many choices. Although forcing people to make too many choices makes a distro look less user friendly, allowing people to choose to choose just makes sense.
    • It just doesn't include enough packages. Having an O/S be usefull is all about apps: it doesn't matter how easy it is to install if once you install you're staring at a KDE desktop and you can't find anything useful to do...
    • At least in 2.2, their attempts to emulate a Windows type look and feel throughout hurt stability. Caldera is the only distro that's forced me to use the big red button to reboot three times in two days.
    • Little annoying bugs, both times I tried 2.2 (on different machines) all the pixmaps in the WordPerfect UI were corrupted. That's buttons, splash screen, everything.

    For a newbie or someone who "Just wants to get work done", I suggest RedHat 6.1 or Mandrake 6.1. For someone who's more adventurous and wants to learn Slackware or Debian. For someone who wants eithor european language support or a lot of packages SuSE.

    Note: I've actually run each of these distros for a sufficient length of time to be able to make basic judgements about them. Caldera is the one that I've run for the least amount of time, but that's because after my first 8 hours with it, I never wanted to see it again, and after my second 8 hours with it, I almost broke my CD in half. So, even if this may be flamebait, it's *informed* flamebait.

  • Not sure about 6.1 but my 6.0 still had an "expert" mode, which among other things made you partition your drive. The first time I installed I had a dual boot 98/RH5.2 system, I simply installed Windows first, left 2g of space open and chose "typical workstation" install method. Worked beuatifully and I reccomend that for any newbie. Just explain to them that when they see the words "LILO" in the future to type linux for linux and so forth...

    Another nice peice of S/W to check out is one called Rashnish's (sp?) Partition Manager. It allows you to load up your own custom boot loader, recognizes Linux and Fat32 partitions in nag mode, and the author says if you send him a skyline of your hometown on a postcard and he likes it he'll give you the full-ver license which does many other FS as well. Pretty cool EULA IMO. Oh yeah look for it at download.com the executable is called part.exe and I'm pretty sure it'll run off a FREE-DOS boot disk...

    rschaar{at}pegasus.cc.ucf.edu if it's important.
  • Could you perhaps explain a bit better for the rest of us who do not know:

    In what ways does SuSE offer better european language support?
  • In what ways does SuSE offer better european language support?

    Hmm... I could be wrong. I was just assuming on the basis that SuSE is based in Germany, as well as the fact that their English isn't perfect.

  • "and the addition of limiting licensed software will only enchance the end user experience." OK, lets make sure all linux distros are not redistributable and contain swathes of closed software. The only way the FSF will win is to join its enemy!
  • Are you telling me that there are multiple flavors of Linux out there?

    How am I supposed to run my grandmother's Iron Lung if I don't even know what I'm getting?

    Sorry Grannie, I'm going to have to hook you up to Windows 2000; it's not as reliable, but at least we know what we're getting...
  • I hope I'm not the only /. reader that wants to
    ask these questions.

    What is a distribution?
    Any FAQs that explain how to make a distribution?
    Is it something I could do?

    I think it's just a way to create all the needed
    directories and move files into them.

  • http://www.linux.org/dist/

    Tells you about it.
  • Although both Red Hat and OpenLinux distributions are based on the Linux 2.3 kernel

    Is this really true, I don't user either of these distros? Or a simple typo? What company would release their distro based on an experimental kernel?

  • by cdlu ( 65838 )
    I porsotnally take preference to debian. And IIRC there was a /. poll that showed debian to be tho most used on slashdot, though those polls are inherently inaccurate.

    Is it just me, or did that article sound like there were no other dists in the game?
  • by ed_the_unready ( 5193 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @06:00AM (#1577206)
    Isn't it interesting that C/Net concluded that Red Hat was of more use to corporate customers and server environments while Caldera had the advantage as an easily installed personal desktop? Not even two years ago Red Hat's primary advantage was its relatively simple installation and maintenance, while Caldera emphasized its commercial ties and networking (i.e. Netware) support.

  • by Jon Peterson ( 1443 ) <jon@nospAm.snowdrift.org> on Friday October 29, 1999 @05:53AM (#1577207) Homepage
    We all know that the install is the part that each distro spends most effort customising. But what other parts really matter?

    Much of it simply comes down to deciding what app to make the default - as in the case of Gnome vs KDE. Here the distro maker is simply giving a vote of confidence to a particular app, rather than doing anything very innovative.

    Package management is an area where distros can stand apart from each other, but unlike the install process, it introduces the possibility of incompatibilities, so there is more incentive to be cautious rather than innovative. After all, if ACME Linux decide to write a better RPM, will it be worth their trouble fighting off the cries of 'incompatible' and 'embrace and extinguish'? Money that could be better spent on an ad campaign.

    Multilingual support is one area where distros have a chance to shine, not least because there seems to be little support for it in the existing foundation of GNU tools that make up the meat of every distro.

    But, it seems to be that what really sets distros apart is branding and mindshare. I use SuSE not for Yast, not for ISDN support, but because I see them as _strategically_ aligned with KDE, and I see KDE as being new and innovative (and European!) (no flames please).

    If I was into clustering I might go with RH because I see them as aligned with relevant kernel development and the Beowulf project.

    If I was into bsd style init scripts and curses, I'd go with Slackware. (Joke).

    At the moment distros that really go for innovation run (even greater) risks. In the marketplace of openness, no one wants to be seen to break even de facto standards. No one wants to get too friendly with closed software. No one wants to say that another distro is wrong (solidarity, brothers!) - there's room for everyone.

    for now.......
  • When i first started with linux sometime ago, Slackware was the only choice to go with! Then it seemed that Redhat was the one the only!

    as a newbie this stuff is really useful cause it lets you see up front what you are getting into! A lot of ppl will see this and be a bit more confident to go with one distro. or the other! Who cares which one they go for as long as they make the first step to try out Linux! then they have a chance to get hooked and soon they will be making decisions based on their own.!

    An operating system for most people is not a very simple product to decide on. Whatever we say, it is a big change and there are a lot of ppl. who will stay with the devil they know, than switch to the devil they dont. With all the media coverage, i still dont see reviews too much, which would in my mind be interesting for newbies and others alike!

    Of course knowing how some Linux users are, we are going to be having a war about how inadequate some features of redhat/openlinux are! But i dont think that should be considered since most ppl. on /. are probably seasoned linux users! They can decide on their own (and probably add/remove features on their own!)

  • This article is more aimed towards newbies who don't even know how to defragment their drives, let alone play with a nice commandline repartitioning progam. Think point-and-click here.

    I personally have always used Caldera, though I have tried all the others (probably because I have always been on a mainly Novell network).
  • Although both Red Hat and OpenLinux distributions are based on the Linux 2.3 kernel,

    The Linux 2.3 kernel? I should hope not. Besides this one little error, though, I thought this was a pretty fair article that touched all the bases for both end users and enterprise computing. Personally, I would recommend OpenLinux 2.3 for a Linux newbie, although I run Red Hat 6.0 myself.
  • It's even threatening to break Microsoft's deadlock on the server OS market.

    Dear CNET: What color is the sky in YOUR world?

  • by festers ( 106163 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @05:55AM (#1577212) Journal
    "And worst of all, it's much harder to install Red Hat on a Windows machine and then boot between the two operating systems, since Red Hat doesn't include software to partition your hard drive" Although its not as pretty as Partion Magic, FIPS does a quick and painless job of partitioning your hard drive. I've set up several dual boot Red Hat/Win98 systems with this great utility and have had no problems. I guess CNET didn't realize that FIPS is included on the Red Hat CD.
  • Come on, Red Hat for servers, and Caldera for newbies...get real.

    We all know that all Linux distrbutions are not that far apart, and that I can make Caldera just as good a server as Red Hat with just a few downloads.

    Considering that fact, Caldera seems the better option since it is much harder to reproduce Caldera's ease of install under Red Hat.

    Linux is Linux, no matter what distribution you have. Sure one distro or another might have different built in tools, but they are all basically the same. Most of those tools can be downloaded anyway, if you want to use another one.

    My point is that Linux distributions should not be labeled only for certain users.


  • Eh...more like..

    Caldera = Apple
    Red Hat = MicroSoft
    Slackware = Unix

    Of course the real discussion is AT&T vs. BSD isn't it? I mean, that's why i perfer Slackware, it's BSD style, whereas Red Hat is a "broken" AT&T
    ( and if anyone wants to know what i mean by broken try using some switches in cpio, tar, and ps ). Ah who cares, past the penquin and the beer, keep it rolling, let it go, if you don't like it, use something else.
  • Hey mom, look. Caldera will install from Windows. :P
    Big flipping deal. I mean, so what? I honestly wouldn't want to install a distribution from anything with a kernel leaking that much memory. It'd suck to have windows decide to BSOD when I was "walking my Lizard". A RH installation is simple enough for the average jane user. Boot off CD, and p'n'c.

    Then again, this entire article is petty space filler. If you like Caldera better than RH, use Caldera. If you like RH better, use RH. If you like Slackware better... well, i wont comment. After all, this revolution is about choice, right? But it's CNET, so we can all claw and hiss over it for a while.

    Honestly, I'm not biased by the fact that i work for a RedHat ISV. Or that I grew up in Raleigh/Durham, NC.
  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @08:01AM (#1577218) Homepage Journal
    I didn't have a problem installing the server (or tweaking Apache) and I admin NT (and Linux) for a living. The problem comes from a total change of perspective. It would probably be *easier* for a clueful 13 year old to do it from scratch than your average NT admin. Why? There is no baggage, no looking for a c:/, no assumptions, you get to learn from a tabula rasa, not one filled with FUD (which you get from using M$ product extensively).

    You don't learn what's *different* just what is.
  • Anybody been able to build an RH6.1 system as dual boot? I've build a couple hundred so far on previous RedHat versions. Now, in 6.1, it appears to be impossible to select a different active partition.
  • round 1
    Red Hat offers several new installation options, including Custom, Workstation, and Server.
    this isnt new to 6.1, i know 5.2 had them, possibly earlier versions as well.

    RedHat 5.2 was the first to give you three installations choices, with 5.1 you had to custom define what packages were loaded.

  • That is a problem. But newbies often misunderstand the distribution thing. I always make a point to refer to "RedHat Linux 5.2" or "McMillan Deluxe Linux 6.5" and if refering to linux version independent of distro, use the kernel version. Perhaps a page in the manuals shipped with the distros could explain proper usage?
  • The other reason is that Caldera tends to hold back on stuff until its stable. For example, RH 6.1 uses a RH-patched 2.2.12 kernel, and Linux-Mandrake 6.1 uses a pre-patched 2.2.13 kernel, while Caldera held back and used 2.2.10, which was the last stable kernel in the so-called stable tree until 2.2.13 was released a few days ago.

    2.2.12 is stable. Any patching that RedHat did to it was for added functionality, or to fix one specific bug (That was in every kernel from 2.2.8 - 2.2.12).

    Although COL *used to* be the conservitive distro... Debian is now the only one that still does that. Caldera no longer does that, look how quick they adopted KDE when it hit 1.0.

    Also, Caldera has an odd tendancy to tweek *everything* (Well, where'd *you* think their graphical boot screen came from), and their tweaking hasn't improved stability.

  • I noticed something strange, i often give support to newbies by answering their questions on nowonder, usenet, mailing-lists and i've never been asked about a problem with a caldera distro.

    I wonder why there is so few problems with caldera :
    - is there a really good support ?
    - is it so simple to configure and use that even my grand ma can read her mail with it ?
    - or is it because there is less users of caldera ?

    I have to say that redhat and mandrake are the most problematic common distros but i'm not sure newbies are using debian or slackware.

    btw, what i would appreciate is optimization of packages compilation. That's what mandrake is trying to do but it works only on i?86 platforms.

    Hope someone will tell me more about caldera, if it's really cool i'll buy one to every newbie who badge me :)
  • Mandrake 6.1 is shipped to stores in a package known as The Complete (or was it Deluxe) Linux 6.5. Close, but no cigar. You'd think they'd at least keep the version numbers corresponding as they did with 6.0 and 5.2 before it, which was actually RedHat. Oh well.
  • An ISO on my DSL takes about an hour to pull down. While I can't speak for the original poster, my "ISP" has me patched almost directly into their backbone and makes more money off me than their average dialup customer (do some research on how your provider routes your service and their average cost on different types of media). As for frivolous bandwidth usage... If one does not use a mirror system, and is trying to pull ISOs off some rinky-dink machine, or a central server, then, yes, they are screwing it for everyone else. However, a good user uses mirrors - fast ones with little load, and close to a backbone (it's not only in the downloader's interest but everyone else's as well). If you can't figure out how to tell which mirrors to use try constructively using traceroute (it is a network tool after all) occasionally before pulling down mondo data.

    The backbones laugh at a DSL download. The back-river lines don't. Be selective. Once we have respected our responsibilities with regard to the Internet Commons we are free to utilize our purchased service to its utmost. If there is a bandwidth crisis the prices will rise.

    Cope with it.

  • Speaking of getting bit on the gatcher, RH 6.1's installer croaks and drops you into the Python debugger if you choose certain non-standard installation options. (C'mon, RH, not testing branches you don't think will be chosen is a tyro coder's mistake)

    I finally let RH's installer have its way with me, and fixed things up later. Since the best thing about Linux and Unices is the control you have installing and configuring stuff on a running box, gettting the installation _just_right_ is not all that important, if you know what you're doing.

    By way of contrast, the reason I was installing RH on this machine is that I needed NT on it. It had a bunch of oddball components, large hard disks etc., and both the NT 4 and Win98 installers simply croaked on it. It turned out the easiest way to get NT on the box was to install Linux, then run it on vmware!
  • It's more than that. Most people think of computers as a tool. Same as a screwdriver or a hammer. It should be easy to figure out and easy to work.

    Linux is great in that IF you want to tweak the bejesus out of it, you can. But for it to really succeed, it's gotta be a tool to get a job done. Nothing more, nothing less. If this means the installer is easy and graphical, so be it. Some users just don't have the luxury of time. "Get it up and get it running, we have money to make!" is the mantra.

    The beauty of all this is as follows: Just like Burger King, you can have it your way. If you want the ease of installation and configuration with point in click, pick the distro behind door #1. If you want the pain and suffering because you like it, pick the distro from behind door #2.

    Linux is about choice. Don't beat down the newbies because they want to configure their network using a point and click interface. To them, it's just a tool and they need to get a job done.

  • you can download the file "comps" from the "base" directory of the redhat distro, and look what packages are there. it'd be pretty easy to script something....


  • > Are you telling me that there are multiple flavors of Linux out there?

    As a programmer and a sysadmin, this is my only problem with the billions of distributions. Newbies get a particular distro and refer to that as "Linux" to the exclusion of all else. Just yesterday I had to figure out what my fencing apponent was talking about when he said "Linux 6.1" (it doesn't ring a bell to me because I don't use RH).

    I like the idea that any ol' J. Random Burner can throw a selection of stuff together and burn his own JRB Linux v52.8 CD distro. I /don't/ like it when said distributors start referring to themselves as /the/ Linux.

    Enh, just my two timeslices.
  • I wonder why they think that somehow KDE is more "slick" or "easier to customize" than Gnome. My experience is that KDE is leaner, more efficient, and certainly less buggy than Gnome. Nonetheless, Gnome+E is my preferred user interface, because despite the instability and system requirements of Gnome, it is certainly inproving at an alarming rate, and the interface is EASILY more customizable, and perhaps more "slick" than KDE, which is, in fact best for newbies, for now. I'm really license agnostic; I like Gnome for its feature set, and it attempt to not make everything windows-esque. My $.02.
  • The Distribution HOWTO [linux-howto.com] is probably a good start. Distributions, to summarize, are packages of software, including a Linux base operating system.

    Think of Windows without all the extra software (IE, WordPad, etc.). Then think of Microsoft selling the base Windows system to any company who wanted it (Symantec comes to mind) and those companies selling packages of Windows + Office + Extra software all together.

    Distributions are basically that; they take the Linux kernel (the common denominator) and package software around it in a typical Unix style (sometimes they change how the files are laid out on the drive, etc.) and sometimes add their own custom software to make life easier for configuration and installation.

    As long as distributions are testing the software they're packaging together and making life easier for those of us who want to keep an up-to-date Linux box, distributions (and paying for the support) are a good thing.

    - Michael T. Babcock <homepage [linuxsupportline.com]>
  • Yes but even as a non newbie. I cried when in the actual install (booting from cd) partition program made me enter cylinder ranges as opposed to MB (sure it dynamically told me the MB it would take as I typed. but geez.. come on)
  • Or Debian, for that matter. For one, they don't get much mainstream coverage. Then, they require you to know what you're doing, or at least the names of the programs you want. A newbie unfortunate enough to be faced with these distros(my information is more than two years old, beware) would just run back to his W98 CD...
    As for the problems that the users have, expect to see more and more from the more popular distros, because that's where the newbies will be.
  • good words: once there were slackware era, then redhat days, etc. now mandrake or suse seems to capture the flag.

    it is the consequence of us being the ultimate neophiles. the same processes are going with toolkits, libraries, wordprocessors, etc., although these processes are somewhat hindered by the unusually high degree of commitment to favorites (as in any non-mainstream fraction).

    some consequences are visible. e.g.:

    1. commercial linux shops may tend to be short-term establishments. if it is true, maybe we better keep this for ourselves...

    2. unpredictability of mechanisms by which we are going to take over. linux evolves sufficiently fast to successfully scan all the holes which the traditional AI technology displays, and to find where slip in. e.g., the incredibly successful and modern design of kde-2 internals may become the example how to write the post-y2k software.

    3. what more, folks?
  • Um, here's a few bytes. Go get yourself a clue.

    SuSE, RH (at least 3.3, 5.1, and 5.2) let you customize to a T with cat, Perl, rm and dd if you like.

    Repeat after me:
    The underlying configuration is STILL THERE.

    If you like, you can run a RHAT box exactly like a Slackware box; change what you don't like -- you've got the source -- and run it how you prefer. Ditto for SuSE. So, the clueful who actually read manuals and don't say, "Oh, a GUI? Gee, they must have taken away the CLI configuration methods" are unhampered.
  • If you want phone support, it's available, but only for $150 per incident. Yikes!

    Better not call Billy for NT support then.

    Caldera's market is business, not everyone, like RedHat tries to be.

    Also, I disagree that Caldera is any worse than RH in the server league. Check out the Netware support.

  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @09:17AM (#1577247) Homepage
    Hm. You don't mention which partitioning program you were using, but I'm pretty sure the basic fdisk lets you specify a partition with just a starting cylinder and a megabyte count (e.g. +2048M, IIRC).

    Still, 'tho, machines nowadays tend to have absolutely flimsy, useless manuals. I remember manuals talking in depth about config.sys options, about partitioning limits (32MB ea), maximizing conventional memory and so forth. Nowadays, the going assumption seems to be that the user shouldn't even be asking those questions.
  • Yeah, and it said Caldera was the only distro with partitioning software - Mandrake 6.5 also ships with Partition magic.

  • But that's essentially the problem - fdisk isn't available in 6.1 - you're forced to use what looks like a crippled version of Disk Druid.
  • Ahhhh. I see; I've not used RH since 5.2...

    That's simply evil.

    I remember toying with the Druid in 5.2, saying "blech" and going straight to fdisk.
  • Use a DOS bootdisk and set whatever partition active that you'd like. This is what many of us had to do with RH6.0 installs on a clean disk, because the damn thing didn't set ANY partition active and the machine wouldn't boot at all. Jeez. Talk about a bug...
  • I like Caldera OpenLinux; as a lightweight workstation system it's less confusing than Redhat, less obnoxiously invasive than SuSE, and easier to install than Debian. But it does have some fairly extreme limitations.

    For example, don't try installing it on a laptop and expect it to work out of the box. The default kernel with COL 2.3 lacks APM support (confirmed by Caldera support), and I have my doubts about its PCMCIA support, too: if you want COL on a laptop you'll need to do a kernel rebuild, to say nothing of figuring out how their cutesy boot-time display works.

    As laptops aren't exactly rare these days, I'd have expected Caldera to put a bit more effort into supporting them ...

  • by Ih8sG8s ( 4112 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @06:58AM (#1577256)
    I remember why I switched to linux. I was bored with OS/2 and i had heard quite a bit about this unix stuff and how powerful it was. I was curious. OS/2 was nice, but I wanted to learn more. I had used crappy operating systems for years (OS/2 much less than windows), and had come to accept all the quirks that 'all operating systems have'. I didn't know better. So I started using linux, and was blown away by what i could do with it, and how well thought out the thing was. As I learned more, repeatedly my mind was blown as I realized what was possible with a real OS. What intruiged me the most was the philosophy that presented itself in all the tools, and design philosophy of just about every piece of unix software i could get my hands on. Ultimately it was my thirst for knowledge that got me hooked. the more I learned, the more i liked what i saw. Now take average joe-bloe. Been using windows forever. Doesn't know anything but windows because according to him, windows is what came with the computer he bought, and he basically stuck to it because that's what he was fed. Words like stability, robustness, and configurability equate to hardware to these people. "Faster CPUs makes more robustness, if you buy good hardware then your system will be stable. Better not play with windows too much because I might break something." Fact is, this is all most people know, and what they concider the truth. They accept it as truth. Stick these people in linux (regardless of distro) and watch them hate it. They don't care that they can configure X in 100,000 different ways, and the thought of customizing something for themselves scares them. They want to hit the power button, and see what they are familiar with, windows. In the garbage that is windows, things are much simpler. It's a flat, single user system, and its closed. As terrible as we all know this design is, it caters to the moms and the pops. There is no need to promote linux to the home user. If he/she is the sort that would explore linux and enjoy it, then they must first be looking for better philosophy from their computing environs. It wasn't the eye candy of E, or the dozens of window managers, or the 800+ packages that comes on a distro that hooked me on linux. It was a question of philosophy. The rest was a bonus.
  • ok, so we've just tried the two installs( redhat and caldrea) listed in the article, here's my humble opinion:

    caldrea get's high marks for eyecandy in their install. obviously spent their development money to get the friendliest install to lure and handhold the most inexperienced. (red)hats off for helping the revolution...

    redhat on the other hand get's two thumbs up by getting their installer running in x. reminds me of solaris installers. a little dry, but IMHO flash during setup is REALLY unnecessary! there is some humor in the install(kernel dev with the AC icon), but i really miss the redneck install.

    overall, i think RH is still the better distro between the two, mainly 'cause i feel uncomfortable with partition magic(fuck partitioners, get another drive! they're dirt cheap!) and i'm really grooving on gnome. aside from these trivial "flavorings" that different distro's have, aren't all linux flavors pink on the inside? their all good if their running gnu/oss/open binaries, and the addition of limiting licensed software will only enchance the end user experience.
  • As many people already pointed out, I was having trouble figuring out which things were fact and not in this. Neither RH nor Caldera are running the 2.3 kernel (thank god). Since when does Microsoft have a deadlock on the server market? Get real people. Try commercial unices, DUX or Solaris/SunOS, not to mention of course FreeBSD and Linux. RedHat has no partitioning software? Where did that come from? If you need more than FIPS and fdisk, you're in trouble. Apparently CNET has some real trouble on proof-reading. What a shame. Linux crusaders get enough bad press as it is for flame-spewing arrogance. Let's at least get the facts straight.
  • It's a simple typo ... Redhat 6.1 comes with 2.2.12 ... but I love your sig ;)

    Gnome -- I use ... for the three panels I have running (autohiding) with clock / stats / etc.

    I may get rid of them entirely at some point as Enlightenment [enlightenment.org]'s support for Epplets allows me to do the same things (and its root menus drop down the Gnome and KDE menus so I don't need little feet :).

    - Michael T. Babcock <homepage [linuxsupportline.com]>

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