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DistributionWatch Review: Red Hat Linux 6.2 - page 4

Introducing Red Hat Linux 6.2

  • April 4, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

We installed Red Hat Linux 6.2 on a Pentium II-based H-P PC with 128 MB of RAM, a Matrox graphics card, an 8-gigabyte hard disk and a PCI-based networking card. As hardware configurations go, this one is rather generic.

At the outset, you'll need to decide if you want to install as a workstation, a server, or as a customized installation. For many users, this decision is at best confusing and at worst a complete waste of time. In theory, a workstation installation is streamlined, involves fewer decisions as to what to install, and is designed for new Linux users.

Red Hat Linux 6.2 has been vastly improved when it comes to having multiple Linux distributions installed on the same system. For a workstation installation, it gives you the choice of removing all existing Linux partitions on all hard drives on your system or of repartitioning the hard drive for multiple operating systems.

In this workstation/server dichotomy, a strong argument could be made that Red Hat has it backwards. Desktop users want the power to pick and choose from among applications and bundles; instead of giving these users a wide range of installation options, Red Hat Linux gives them relatively few. By contrast, most server installations are identical, apart from about 10 percent of the software that might differ from server to server. Server administrators don't really need a wide range of choices of operating system features, but they're offered the most options under the Red Hat system.

I ended up installing two ways: as a workstation and through a customized installation. What Red Hat Linux calls a custom installation is really the way almost every other Linux is installed and configured: create and format partitions, choose a boot method (boot disk, network installation, or bootable CD-ROM), select and install packages, and then configure a boot method. For the most part, these steps are better documented than in previous Red Hat Linux versions.

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