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RedHat 8.0 Personal Review - Part 4
LinuxLinks Review
(11/2/02)
By Dave Edwards

What's New

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 here. 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 is supported.

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 www.limewire.com.

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.

Discussion

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Installation
3. Candyfloss ?
4. What's New
5. Discussion
6. Conclusion


Last Updated Saturday, November 02 2002 @ 05:58 AM EST


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