February 21, 2019

DistributionWatch Review: Red Hat Linux 7 - page 3

A Set of Updated Tools

  • September 26, 2000
  • By Brian Proffitt

The addition of XFree86 4.0.1 to Red Hat 7.0 is a welcome upgrade for users. Font and display management is increasingly better as each X upgrade is released, and this one is no exception.

Users will see a new look to their desktop environments, especially if they are using Gnome. Red Hat has packaged Gnome 1.2 with release 7.0, using the Sawfish window manager underneath. Sawfish, rather than Enlightenment, is now the window manager of choice for Gnome, and while we missed some of the features of Enlightenment, Sawfish and Gnome work fairly well together. Theme management was the only source of contention, since you have to apply GTK and Sawfish schemes separately and sometimes I had to play around a bit to get two themes that work well together.

I liked the addition of USB support and the USB mouse I borrowed from a friend of mine worked perfectly.

Samba setup is still a rather convoluted rigmarole, something on which I wish all of the Linux distributions would take their cue from Corel Linux, where Samba is automatically set up. Still, everything worked out fine once the setup process was complete, and I had no trouble seeing the Windows machines and printers on my network.

In short, Red Hat 7.0 is not going to throw a lot of changes at its current user base, so don't look for a lot of surprises in the interfaces or the basic toolset. Stability and ease-of-installation have been enhanced, as has configuration, so Red Hat still offers users a comfortable place to hang their hat without becoming a plain vanilla Linux offering like Corel.

Red Hat, while it would like to be thought of as an all-around platform, still mostly excels in the server category. Despite the improvements for the end-user noted here, Red Hat is still a better platform for back-end services, particularly in the pricey (but loaded) Professional edition. This is a worthy goal, one which I hope Red Hat does not lose sight of in future releases as they keep trying to tap into the end-user market.

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