Red Hat

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Red Hat is one of the oldest and biggest of the Linux distros, and has been widely adopted in the corporate server space. We also have Red Hat to thank for the RPM file packaging format.

  • Note: Since release 7, Fedora is not "Core" anymore. The blurbs about this change are unclear (before, there was Core and Extra-Stuff, and now it's All Together) since you would still rely on external sources (Livna & such) to get codecs, drivers and more.

Current Version: Fedora 8, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
Editions: Fedora comes in one edition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux comes in three versions, ES, WS and AS
Core: Fedora 8 - 2.6.23, Red Hat Enterprise Linux - 2.6.19. Both versions are available for x86, x86_64 and PPC platforms
Package management system: Fedora - yum based on RPM. Red Hat Enterprise Linux - RPM with up2date online utility
Price: Fedora - Free, Red Hat Enterprise Linux - depends on version and support options
Website: RGEL[1] ( Fedora[2] (
Reviews: This could be a selection of links to reviews of the product.

Despite Fedora's continuing efforts, most people using a Red Hat distro are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As of now, Fedora has adopted a much quicker dev pace and focuses strongly on Bleeding Edge stuff; latest kernels usually appears very shortly after official release of a vanilla one; If you feel like ubuntu is too stable and outdated, this may be the distro for you :)

  • Note: CentOS is a community-supported rebuild of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. It's useful for developers who want to test for RHEL without paying for licenses, or end-users who want a very stable distro but don't need support.

User opinions: Users might like to submit their own experiences of the distro. What they liked, hated and had problems with.

Fedora Core 5 from an American Persective

Having used Red Hat since December 1998, Red Hat continues to deliver performance for Fedora Core 5. Like Fedora Core 4, the latest, KDE and GNOME are introduced here before they end up an other Linux distributions (not just RHEL). Fedora Core 5 incorporates 7.0 and GNOME 2.14, and still emphasizes on GNOME as the default desktop.

I like the fact that the GIMP included with Fedora Core 5 includes the data-extras package, so I do not have to download the extra gradients, patterns, etc from the GIMP website ( F-Spot is a welcome addition, too as I really enjoy using that photo management software.

What I do not like, however, is that I have to install separate libraries and software packages to get support for certain popular multimedia formats. How many hardware media players in the consumer market support the ogg-vorbis format? NONE, (at least here in the US). Just because Red Hat has a problem with patents does not mean that we cannot install what we need from source code.

On my Gateway 700S LTD machine (a 1.8Ghz Pentium 4), Fedora Core 5 actually performs faster than openSuSE 10.1, and the PPP connection through the system-config-network works properly (unlike Ubuntu, which sadly I was not able to get their PPP configuration to work properly), as this machine is a gateway between the Internet and my internal network.

Not only was Fedora faster than openSuSE, I was able to, through Fedora Extras, configure the machine similar to openSuSE, and get Fedora to do everything I want it to do. Even the KDE supplied here works properly, and is closely integrated with the default GNOME desktop. I have added WindowMaker to my installation as this is one of my favorite window managers when I am not running GNOME or KDE.

Though Red Hat has focused its distribution on the enterprise market, the Fedora Core version makes a great distribution for home and small business use.

Now, if only Red Hat will advertise on American television...


Nick Veitch The latest version of Red Hat, 9.0, is an interesting departure from the old 6.x and 7.x series. Since version 8, the 'grown up' version of Red Hat, aimed at servers, has been under the new 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux' brand. This means that the standard distro could be a little more adventurous, and it shows, in a much more cohesive user experience.
I am, however, one of those people who take exception to the knobbling of various bits of KDE.

Lancer A strongly commercial flavour of Linux which still honors the original GPL. Red Hat has become the most popular distro and receives a lot of press coverage. The company aims for the business buyer and has created a range of 'products' which are the same Red Hat distro retailored for different prefessional needs and purposes (some can be expensive to purchase an authentic original copy). Since version 8.x, Red Hat has merged KDE and Gnome desktops into a singular theme (aka Blue Curve) in order to clean up some of the clutter created by desktop wars between the two. Purchasing Red Hat results in a time of direct online support only available as a 'demo account' if one uses an unregistered copy.