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Red Hat 7.0

Version 7 (Guinness) certainly has been one of the most anticipated and

hyped releases of Red Hat. It's been out for a while now and it's time

to see whether all that hype was justified. We'll be reviewing the Red

Hat 7 ftp release here.

The first thing new about the distribution is that there are now two

installation CD's. Red Hat has added a lot of new stuff here namely

OpenSSH and Tripwire for security, Kernel 2.4, Abiword, Xfree86 4.0

and USB support. Is the added software worth it? System administrators

are still likely to go for the latest software release off the net.

Desktop users will like this because there is quite a bit of useful

and more importantly, up-to-date software to work with here.

Coming to the installation. There's not a lot new in the Red Hat 7.0

install. If you've been through a 6.2 install, you've already seen

what the 7.0 install looks and feels like. There are some improvements

though. One new thing in the install is the ability to select both the

GNOME and KDE desktop environments for installation. Red Hat 6.2

allowed you to choose either but not both. X configuration has also

been beefed up and it's much more structured now. You can select which

environment you want to use by default here. Detection of the video

card and monitor seems to work better than in previous releases.

Though our monitor was not in the list, the default values detected

worked just fine. All relevant parameters of the Matrox G200 with 8MB

on our test machine were detected correctly. We also tried an install

on a system with the 810 chipset. Previous releases promised support

but did not deliver. No such problems this time. The chipset was

detected correctly and we were also able to test the configuration

right there.

Disk Druid still remains very capable but is nowhere close to

Mandrake's partition tool, which just steamrollers the competition.

We tried a couple of upgrades from Red Hat 6.2 and they worked very

smoothly, and more importantly, without a lot of input from us.

We found that the second CD was not required for the workstation

installs. It is only required for the server, custom installs or the

upgrades. We initially thought that some packages might have been

dropped but a quick check showed that it was a proper and very

complete installation of Red Hat.

An early test release of kernel 2.4 is included. This is really only