By Dave Edwards
First we'll go through selected core packages in RedHat 8.0 in greater detail.
RH8.0 is built on gcc 3.2, glibc 2.2.93 and the Kernel 2.4.18. The
latest stable kernel as of Oct 2002 is 2.4.19 so RedHat have got a
recent up to date Kernel in RH8.0. You can read in detail about the
features of the 2.4 series of kernels here. The development version of the Linux Kernel is
currently at version 2.5.44.
RedHat have included the Apache Webserver 2.0. This now is a lot more
scalable, in that each deamon process can have multiple threads. By
default though this behaviour is switched off. As usual this release
contains many new features and unfortunately some security problems have
become apparent with Apache 2.0. It would be wise to keep an eye on
www.apache.org or redhat.com for patches and new RPMs.
CUPS 1.1.15 is the Common Unix Printing System. It's well on its way
to becoming the standard Linux printing system though it works on many
other Unix systems. It is based on the "Internet Printing Protocol" and
provides complete printing services to most PostScript and raster printers.
Amongst other things CUPS 1.1 adds IPP/1.1 support, banner pages,
digest Authentication support and persistent job information
Mozilla 1.0.1 is the default Browser under GNOME. It's also configured on
the taskbar as the default browser under KDE. Release 1.0.1 mainly fixes a
lot of bugs and security problems in Mozilla 1.0. Mozilla is now at version
1.1 which promises improved layout and performance - it might be worth a download
from mozilla.org as the beta 1.2 is also now out. Mozilla is arguably the best browser
under Linux. It feels a lot slower than Internet Explorer, but most pages are
likely to render correctly under it. Galeon is a possible option for proponents
of Gnome as it uses the GTK and so feels faster.
Perl 5.8.0 is a new major release of the Perl programming language. It features
better Unicode Support, new threads implementation, a new IO implementation, 64-bit support
and of course many new modules. You can read more about this new release by clicking
The X server bundled with RedHat 8.0 is XFree86 4.2.0. As usual this contains
a raft of new drivers for various video cards - see
here to see if your card
More interesting software is supplied with the applications CD which
comes bundled with RedHat 8.0. For fans of peer to peer Limewire 2.5.5
is included. LimeWire is the one of the most sophisticated file sharing
program for the Gnutella Network available. The current version is 2.6
though and 2.7 is just in beta - you can download these editions from
RPMs for the JDKs 1.3 and 1.4 from Sun are here - this is a very
welcome addition. Java is a good object-oriented programming language
for Linux. It includes its own graphical API called Swing and has the
usual command-line utilities for building and debugging. The best IDE
for Java in our opinion is JBuilder and a personal edition is available
from Borland as a free download. J2EE development benefits from the
professional commercial edition. Two good alternative IDEs are eclipse
(eclipse.org) and netbeans (netbeans.org). Netbeans is the
software on which Sun's ONE Studio 4 IDE is based.
Commercial software on the CD includes Joydesk 2.6. It delivers
powerful wireless and web-based messaging and collaboration software
solutions for dedicated company Intranets or web-hosting companies.
Joydesk 2.6 also features encrypted SSL security, sound notification for
new mail and the ability to create single or multiple domains .
There's also a trial version of Vexira, the antivirus product. Vexira
offers a solid feature set and is a good virus catcher so it may be
worth checking out even though the number of viruses under linux is
still pretty small. It provides the ability to scan files as they are
accessed, configureable path protection, E-mail notification and blocked
access to infected files. Xess, a spreadsheet package, has also been
included on the Applications CD.
Finally there are two games on the CD. Mindrover from CogniToy
is the future of strategy and puzzle games, apparently and it has received
good reviews. DockingStation from Creature Labs is a completely free artificial
life game developed by Creature Labs - the creators of the Creatures series of games.
Well worth an install.