Red Hat Releases Junky 7.0

11-Oct-00 - Red Hat ships 7.0 with "buyer beware" attitude. "Anybody seeking to do serious work with any software ought to test it thoroughly first anyway".

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Red Hat has released Red Hat Linux version 7.0. Many in the Linux community warn of severe problems, especially with the all important C / C++ compiler. Red Hat 7.0 ships with gcc-2.96, a non-existant release. What they are shipping is a development snapshot not ready for prime time.

The gcc group warns that 2.96 is a code word and not a real release. They warn that the snapshot Red Hat is shipping is incompatible with the current version 2.95.2 and will be incompatible with the to be shipped version 3.0. 2.96 will not compile much of the source code shipped with Red Hat 7.0.

Analysis

This continues Red Hat's tradition of shipping a disjointed release based on stuff that isn't ready for prime time just so they can be on the "bleeding edge" and satisfy their hacker constituency. They expect users to endlessly download and apply patches and fixes.

Lamentable examples are 5.0 with glibc-2.0.7, also an "non-existent" not to be released version which caused no end of grief, and 6.1, shipped without working parallel printer ports. 6.1 was still shipping with the old Berkeley print spooler, a real pain, while other distributions have been shipping lprNG for years. Hard core Linux enthusiasts just don't consider printing to be important.

We Recommend

Business should avoid Red Hat Linux, but most especially avoid any .0 release. Their .2 releaes are considered pretty stable.

Caldera makes a very fine, tested and consistent distribution speciffically for business use. Official Debian releases are also quite clean, though not as business oriented as Caldera.

Every ISP and software developer we have talked to who is familiar with multiple distributions says at least 80% of their problems are Red Hat specific. Our own experience is similar.

Unfortunately Red Hat is very good at marketing, and concentrates very heavily on it, so once again, an inferior product is the market leader.

LINKS

Linux Planet - The Price of the Bleeding Edge

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