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LinuxPlanet: DistributionWatch Review: Red Hat Linux 7.1

May 19, 2001, 03:55 (56 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

Figuring out what Red Hat is up to with each release can be a minor challenge: in past releases they've pushed the envelope with glibc and gcc while remaining conservative in other areas. Red Hat 7.1 is no different: with some up-to-the-minute additions and some surprising displays of conservatism, such as the exclusion of ReiserFS at install-time; and some pleasant new features, such as the inclusion of firewalling out of the box, Red Hat 7.1 is a curious blend. Brian Proffitt explains in our latest Distribution Watch review.

It's this kind of dichotomy that lends to a little confusion on judging Red Hat. Conservative in many ways on what's released but every once in a while they run off and implement something that's way ahead of the rest of the Linux distros. They did it with glibc, they did it with gcc (which is version 2.96-RH in this release, by the way), and they are doing it with the inclusion of ReiserFS.

While I have personally had no problems with Reiser, many people have questioned its use on production systems--enough that you would think Red Hat would wait and see a bit before releasing it in their distribution.

Second guessing what Linux distributors are going to do seems to be almost every Linux journalist's favorite hobby. Speaking for myself, it gives me a headache. The ever-changing market conditions and technological breakthroughs make this task as easy as using a Ouija board to compile source code. Still, long-term I think there is little doubt in my mind that Red Hat is moving towards getting this distribution onto the corporate desktops of the world. Red Hat Linux 7.1 confirms this.

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