RedHat Linux is one of the most well-known versions of Linux, a computer operating system based on Unix. It does everything that Microsoft Windows can, though it requires, (at the moment), more work from the user than Windows does. Unlike Windows, however, this operating system is free. Although RedHat has moved on to version 7, there's a lot to be said for sticking with RedHat 6.2 for a while longer. RH6.2 is an easy install, with few problems along the way. It comes with most of the stuff you need to get up and running, particularly on older hardware. Why stick with this version and not go for the latest and greatest? The first thing is stability, of course. RH 7 features the latest Linux kernel which is still being debugged and tested. On the other hand 6.2 has been out for a while and there are numerous updates available for it. Just as important for beginners, there are dozens of books focused on RH6.2. Many of these include 6.2 on the CD, so getting a book gets your the system too. The default desktop is GNOME rather than KDE, which is what you get with Mandrake. But of course you can always switch to KDE if you want to, it's there on the CD. With so much useful information out there already, RH6.2 is a sensible choice still.
I've used Redhat Linux since version 5 and have always found it to be VERY stable and capable of doing anything that I need. Hardware compatability was an issue in earlier version but is being ironed out as it matures - it even has a basic plug and play system running now. I ran RH6 with Apache , MySQl and SSL as a intranet in my home as a project and although initially it can be tricky to setup once it's done it generally needs very little attention - because it is modular in design adding patches and modules is a snap (eg PHP to Apache) and also with the RPM software there is very little effort in upgrading or installing apps. All in all this is an excellent choice for an operating system and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.
Having used Linux for a number of years I can often forget how really difficult it can be to setup and run. I read a number of reviews about REDHAT and decided to buy it and install it on my thinkpad laptop. The package came on 3 cd's and had some excellent instructions aimed at computer literate users to the novice PC users out there on how to install REDHAT. First of all documentation is very important with LINUX/UNIX because of the different drivers and ways to install the different components that make the operating system up. I let my boyfriend who has very little past experiance of operating systems install it for me, using the provided instructions. 3 hours later, to my suprise he had the laptop a duel Op system environment. Redhat partitioned of from Win'98! My god if he can do it i promise you most people can. The Cd's also consist of drivers, programs, extra's etc..making the whole package a great introduction for anyone into the world away from 'normal' op systems. I love redhat because its a lot faster for me to program in and a much lower level to work at. It rarely crashes which can be a big problem when working on long tasks. With more people writing great add-ons for this environment its well worth a look at. Ohh its also freeware! I paid for REDHAT becasue I wanted some extra programs and the documentation.
Let me ask you this: Are you sick of Windows falling over all the time ? Yes - Read on No - Read something else Linux and Red Hat inparticular is a very stable OS I run it on my laptop and it hasn't crashed once (I've lost count of the amount of time Win98 as fallen over) So just how stable is Red Hat well let me put it this way I have a Linux box at University that is running a website it has been up for 6 months now and hasn't fallen over yet. we have just put Red Hat 6.2 on it and it's still going strong. The NT boxes at uni fall over on a hourly basis it's hard to do work on them they are that unstable. That's just my opinion why not try it for your self it's free !
From another department I nicked a Dell Optiplex GX110 with 128Mb RAM and a P3-500 and opened the Red Hat "getting started guide". I have to say that I've never been a big fan of manuals and found myself slapping CD's in and guessing my way through the install. Immediately I had problems. The GUI was unable to fire up and I could find no troubleshooting section in the manual, so I went through the text version of the install routine. With the exception of GUI problems the NIC and everything else detected perfectly. The mere fact that the lack of GUI didn't hinder installation is a plus. After a little browsing around the Dell support site, I downloaded 2 files. One a patch for the i810 chipset (doh!) and another for a nice Dell Desktop Theme. Since then, I've fairly smoothly bodged my way through to a Linux machine running the Gnome front-end. Lovely. Everything about it looks good and the speed is evident over one of Billy's big O/S's. I suspect that the real test is in long-term use. These Linux box's will stay alive for weeks, months and years, whereas an NT (Workstation esp) box will hang at least once each day. One slight downer for me was the slightly "buggy" display. Occasionally, the text on a button will kind of "overlap" as if out of focus. I don't know if it's the card driver, the particular display theme or something else, but it's the sort of thing that puts me off. I will spend more time with Linux. Certainly I'd use it over MSoft if the apps I use were available. Just don't expect it to be *as* user friendly as Microsoft. Unix folk always seem to "geek up" commands and descriptions, so you'll need to get used to that. At the end of the day, this environment is ideal for making a slow and controlled cross-over into the world of the high forehead, sturdy sandals and anorak :-) UPDATE :
Having used it for a while, now, a couple of weeks later, it is clear that knowing the GUI won't cut it with Linux. The KDE Desktop was my favourite, but my IP settings went wrong and I couldn't for the life of me fathom a way to those settings via the GUI. You will need to swot up on the CLI / Terminal side of things to really get going with Linux - as with any Unix. It's definitely the tool tho' for a basic browsing/web server situation. Good Luck to ya!
Sure, the setup routine is getting quite good. There are a number of improvements from 6.1, but I am still not impressed by this distro. Hell, nip on to the redhat.com site and you'll see a price of 180 quid for this software. Yeah, you can download it at a nice 650MB download if you like, but thats the basic version, with no add ons, and no support and no manual. Free indeed! anyway, I would much rather use something like SuSE for the servers at work. I find it much better to use when installed and the documentation is a little better. I did get a nice set of redhat stickers the last time I had a boxed version of it, which is always nice.
Linux. Some tout the open source freeware operating system as the great solver of all problems. Linux supporters poke taunts at the Windows operating system to the point of developing a screen saver that looks like the BSOD (blue screen of death) that the Windows users know all too well. So is Linux the panacea that end users are looking for? Let's take a look. First off, Linux is an extremely stable operating system. Linux developers brag about their machines which can stay up for days, weeks, months, and years even without needing to be rebooted. They sing the praises of machines that never crash. Basically every major flaw pointed out in other operating systems the Linux enthusiasts have seemed to correct in their operating system. Secondly, Linux is a open source program. This means that anyone with the know-how can go into the program and change things to suite their needs. While not a feat for the faint of heart, those would be budding programming geniuses, have managed to create various versions of the Linux kernel. Linux can be programmed using C, C++, Basic, Python, and several other languages. Basically if you have the knowledge of programming in any of the more popular codes, then you can tweak your version of Linux into something more fitting. Compilers come standard in some of the Linux versions, and downloads are available for others, usually free of charge. Another feature that should make Linux appealing is the cost. Free for the most part. Yes, that is free. It's a freeware operating system. For the consumer who believes that he (or she) gets what they pay for, off the shelf versions of Linux are available for a fee. Corel is releasing a version of Linux with their WordPerfect Suite for Linux that should be hitting the shelves soon. Red Hat, Caldera, and several others all have hopped onto the Linux bandwagon. Their version of Linux is packaged along with access to tech support, some neat add on's to make the p
rocess run smoother, and in Caldera's version - a socket to allow you to run Windows 95/98 from within Linux. What hardware will run a Linux operating system? Linux is being run on old Amigas, Ataris, 386, and 486 machines, as well as the Pentiums, PII, and PII, and the newcomer, the Itanium. In fact, there are quite a number of web servers that are actually 486 machines running Linux, and Apache Web Server software. Linux is an excellent manager with resources. The fact that it can turn an old 486 into a powerful web serve is proof of the stability and resource swapping the system has. Convinced Linux is the solution to your operating system problems? Hold off on downloading the most recent version of Linux and scrapping your Windows. Linux is not fully supported by all hardware vendors. There are resources on the internet that list what compatibility. Secondly, not all programs will run under Linux. Again, there are websites that will document which versions of Linux will run certain versions of software. Of course if you have a version of Linux that will support a Window's socket and run Windows 9x then you're fine as far as hardware and software go. Support for Linux comes mainly in the form of the Internet. Aside from the main Linux headquarters sites, there are many different Linux sites on the web that have FAQ's and tech threads to help with the more common problems. Some even offer email support. Of course the retail outlet Linux products include customer support with the fee they are charging for the software. Telephone support along with e-mail support are customary ways of having your problems resolved. Another disadvantage is that Linux is always changing. With the open source code, the programs are always being modified, refined, expanded upon. While this is good in a way that there is progress in the development of the software, this is bad because hardware and software vendors are having
a time keeping up with the changes. Though the newer updates try to be backwards compatible, there are problems on occasion with compatibility issues with older software and hardware. Linux is coming of age. While personally I do not feel it is the operating system for everyone, it is making strides to leave it's stamp on the computing industry. It may be worth the effort to install it on a partition of the hard drive and become familiar with it's offerings before taking the big plunge. There are quite a number of websites that will provide information about the program. It would pay one to do extensive research before abandoning their current operating system for Linux. But I feel that this is a program that will be around for many years to come, and we are seeing it in the toddler stages of development. It will give Windows a run for it's money once it has a little more maturity under it's belt. When the Itanium chip is released to the general market, Linux users will grow, and so will the hardware and software available to it.
If you have ever thought about installing Linux but have been put off by horror stories about overly complicated installation procedures, this is the distribution for you. For the average home user there are two ways to go about laying your hands on Redhat 6.2, firstly it can be purchased for 53.69 EURO (sorry, cant remember how to get the symbol on my keyboard), this is the standard version and comes with nice packaging, a documation CD, source code, 30 days priority online access to updates and of course the OS itself (I believe you also recieve a floppy boot disk, but could not confirm this on their website). However, If you are fairly competent with computers and feel you dont need all the extras, Redhat can be downloaded from the internet completely free. Being a tight fisted computer genius, this is the option i went for. After a day an a half leeching on my puny 56k modem i finally had the 600+ meg ISO, thank the sweet lord i didn't have any crc errors. The ISO burns to a bootable CD, very useful for those of us who rarely use floppies and therefore only have one or two lying around the house. Having dealt with, and had major problems with, several installations of other distributions, I was delighted to find that Redhat installation was the epitomy of simplicity. A nice Windowsy GUI guides you painlessly through all the previously complicated steps, including the dreaded partitioning. And now the OS itself, well what can I say, It is superior to any of the buggy bloatware Micro$oft has in ALL areas, with the exception of game support(although this is changing, the excellent Unreal tournament and the crappy Quake 3 are available for linux). All in all i would recommend this to everyone apart from the ultra computer illiterate, and they should all be shot anyway. PS. I frogot to mention Linux can be installed on a very low spec machine, Is ultra stable, very fast, Incredibly secure and endorsed be Jesus