Red Hat Linux 7.1 Review by Joey.
Created on May 21st, 2001
I will be the first one to admit, I haven't really been a huge Red Hat Linux fanatic since version
6.0 was released. It seemed like they were becoming the "Microsoft" of the linux community, which was something I really didn't care for.
I was running Debian GNU/Linux
When I got my new job 3 months ago, I started using Mandrake Linux and liked it a lot. It was easy to configure and easy to maintain, so I decided to install it at home. Then behold, version 8.0 was released a few weeks ago and I decided to upgrade my home machine. To make a long story short, the upgrade died halfway through the package install and my system was nice an
toasted. The hunt for another distribution then started, which leads me to this review/story today.
"Red Hat 7.1....." hmm I thought, could be interesting. So I popped in my Mandrake 7.2 cdrom, did a quick install and then proceeded to download the Red Hat Linux 7.1 ISO images (cd1 and cd2). Once the downloads were finished, I loaded up Xcdroast, burnt the first cd and then rebooted the box to start the install, thinking I could burn the second one when I reboot with Red Hat.
The installation was nice, it detected all my hardware, including my video card. I selected my partitions and then proceeded to the "Custom
Install", selected the packages I wanted, and after a few more questions, it began the installation. With about 20 packages or so left to
install, a nice little box popped up on my screen that read: "Please insert disc 2" (which I never burnt, not many distros need both cds during
the install). At this point, there was no way to cancel the install (I had to hard reboot the machine, something I HATE doing). Hopefully they
can add this feature to 7.2.
I thought maybe I selected some of the things that we on the second cd, so I restarted the install, choosing hardly any packages and once more, began the installation. Everything went well, then it got down to 1 package remaining and that cute little box reappeared asking me for the
second cd. A few kind words came out of my mouth and a little smoke out of my ears, as I knew what I had to do now.
So once Mandrake 7.2 was reinstalled (grin) I mounted my /home partition, loaded up X and started Xcdroast to burn the second cd. 15-20 minutes later, I was back in the Red Hat Linux 7.1 install, and this time it completed without any problems, installed LILO and rebooted my
machine. A nice Red Hat Linux screen came up (acting as LILO) with the kernel(s) I could select, I hit enter and it began to load linux.
I quickly got my internet connection up and running and then remembered that Kernel 2.4 does not use IPchains as a firewall, it uses IPtables
instead. So I edited Davion's IPtables-script, adding all my rules, and then launched the firewall.
Now I had to get sendmail, apache, mysql, php and a bunch of other things up and running. I noticed that Red Hat Linux 7.1 installed sendmail and had it running by default. So I had someone send me a test email to see if it was configured correctly, but the mail was not delivered. After fooling around with it for about an hour, I finally decided to search google and found out that for some bizarre reason, Red Hat Linux 7.1 ships with sendmail only enabled for local mail delivery. To fix this, you will have to edit your /etc/mail/sendmail.mc file and then restart sendmail. Look for this in the
dnl This changes sendmail to only listen on the loopback device 127.0.0.1
dnl and not on any other network devices. Comment this out if you want
dnl to accept email over the network.
That is pretty much my only beef with Red Hat 7.1, because I had to sit there screwing around with sendmail trying to get it to work.
They also shiped 7.1 with a developmental version of Xcdroast. When you load it, you will have to agree that the software is broken and that you wish to use it. Not sure why they couldn't just ship it with a stable version.
Once I had my applications restored, I loaded up X (which was nicely configured during the install) and loaded up GnoRPM to remove any unwanted applications. I make this a common practice with all distributions, if you don't run it, remove it, less chance of it biting you in the ass later.
They also have a neat feature called up2date that logs into the updates directory on their site, compares what you have installed to what
updates are available. If there is an update for a package you have, it downloads and installs it, which is a very nice apt-getish sort of
feature. To use this feature, you will have to sign up at http://www.redhat.com/network/main/login.html and then enable the feature once you log in.
Some of the packages Red Hat Linux 7.1 ships with are:
gnome core 1.2.4-16
All in all, Red Hat 7.1 is a pretty decent distribution, and I really like the up2date feature. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone who is
looking for the latest applications/kernel and configuration tools. (I just tried printtool and it locked my system, stay away from it)
You can download the ISO images at