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DistributionWatch: Another Tip of the Red Hat - Examining Red Hat 7.3 - page 3

Overview and Installation

  • June 14, 2002
  • By Bill von Hagen

Sigh. I'd like to give an unqualified "yes," but the fact of the matter is that I found installing Red Hat 7.3 to be problematic on several of my test machines. On an old HP desktop system, the Red Hat 7.3 installer "exited abnormally" several times when installing from scratch, while Red Hat 7.2 installed with no problems. Similarly, the X Window system configuration portion of the installer didn't correctly probe and identify the LCD display on my IBM ThinkPad A20p, though this worked fine when installing Red Hat 7.2. (I was able to find an XF86Config-4 file on the Web that worked just fine, but this really should have worked correctly - especially since it used to under Red Hat 7.2.) On my more random test machines (ones I've built myself from random parts), both from-scratch and upgrade (from Red Hat 7.2) installations worked fine.

Red Hat 7.3 includes a newer kernel than previous releases, which is important if you are using USB or PCMCIA devices (especially wireless) that require the updated drivers and subsystem support found in the latest kernels. It also includes KDE 3.0 and GNOME 1.4, which provide significant improvements over earlier versions. If you're already running Red Hat and have a fairly stock system (in other words, if you haven't manually installed lots of packages since a previous release of Red Hat), I'd recommend upgrading to Red Hat 7.3.

If you're putting together a new system, I would also recommend trying Red Hat 7.3 - if you have problems installing it, that's what Red Hat's much-touted customer support is for. The new versions of KDE and GNOME are truly attractive, stable, and powerful, and Red Hat 7.3 includes a nice selection of recent and current utilities and applications.

On the other hand, if you have a business-critical server system, are already running Red Hat and have significantly tweaked your system, or don't care about having the latest and greatest versions of KDE and GNOME, I don't see any must-have features in Red Hat 7.3 beyond simply staying current. If some of the new software bundled with Red Hat 7.3 sounds intriguing, You can get things like Mr Project (www.codefactory.se) and Evolution (www.ximian.org) from their home sites and manually install them on your existing system.

In general, Red Hat 7.3 is the best version of Red Hat yet, though plagued by some irritating installer problems on some of my test systems. Caveat Downloader.

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