[lug] RedHat Improvement Suggestions

Riggs, Rob RRiggs at doubleclick.net
Wed Aug 1 15:28:20 MDT 2001

I think that most production sites have gotten into the habit (since RH5.2)
to not upgrade production servers until the .2 release. You'll see a lot of
people upgrade then. This also gives the commercial software vendors time to
catch up with Red Hat's major point releases. You'll see commercial software
available for RH7 by the time RH7.2 ships.

The issue is three-fold:

1. Open-source software development progresses very rapidly, and there is
little respect for backwards compatibility. If Red Hat waits too long to
adopt newer versions they will be hopelessly behind.

2. The first two versions of any new release usually has a number of bugs
because of #1. This causes users to delay adoption until the release is
stable. (We are just now starting to adopt RH7 for some production systems.)

3. Because of both #1 and #2, commercial software takes time to release. The
rapid progression and lack of backwards compatibility requires that the
software vendor make significant code changes. These code changes force
significant regression tests. And the slow adoption into production means
that vendors aren't pushed to release until late in Red Hat's major release

-----Original Message-----
From: Ferdinand Schmid [mailto:fschmid at archenergy.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 3:04 PM
To: lug at lug.boulder.co.us
Subject: [lug] RedHat Improvement Suggestions

Tom Tromey wrote:
> Do you have some specific piece of Red Hat software you are unhappy
> with?  For particular reasons?
> Tom
> _______________________________________________
> Web Page:  http://lug.boulder.co.us
> Mailing List: http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/mailman/listinfo/lug

This is an invitation to a great flood of e-mails.  Without going into
detail (I will be glad to discuss all this in more detail with you
offline) here are some basic suggestions:

RedHat likes to change the behavior of their distributions significantly
with every update (and without a warning).  Sometimes I get the
impression they do this just because a new version of some package came
out and not because there is a real improvement compared to the previous
version.  Examples range from bash to just about any package that is
included in the distro.

It would also be nice if RedHat would make ReiserFS a choice.  If you
don't think it is production quality then simply state that in the
installation GUI.  But you could/should still give your users a choice
of file systems.

This leads vendors of commercial software to try to avoid Linux.  Often
I now hear "we support RedHat 6.2", a distro that is really outdated.  I
have had problems with backup software, CFD software, ... and the list
goes on and on.  More consistency (and cooperation with commercial
software vendors) would help.  I am not intending to cast the blame on
RedHat alone because I don't know if those sofware vendors approach
RedHat for new version info.

It would also be good if RedHat's GUI administration tools would work
more reliably for beginners.  I have actually damaged David's RedHat
installation earlier this year at a Linux Expo simply by trying to
configure DHCP through using linuxconf.  The same action on Mandrake
(RedHat clone) and on SuSE worked just fine.  All distros have their
shortcomings, including Mandrake and SuSE - but you asked for feedback
as the listening ear of RedHat.  I very much appreciate your
participation on this list.

Thanks for listening,

Ferdinand Schmid
303-444-4149 x231
Web Page:  http://lug.boulder.co.us
Mailing List: http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/mailman/listinfo/lug

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