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Subject: Easiest LinUX distribution/Some remarks [21 Kb]
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 16 Dec 1996 19:57:49 GMT

text/plain (444 lines)

         On the easiest-to-install LinUX distribution
                       Compiled notes by
             [log in to unmask]


    * Article on Red Hat LinUX v. 4.0 [Source = Info World];
    * A short descriptive note on the OS;
    * FTP sites to retrieve the OS.

Linux operating system Cheap, powerful  Red  Hat Linux 4.0 has no
Web-connection limits.  By Nicholas Petreley.  Publication  Date:
October 14, 1996 (Vol.  18, Issue 42) [InfoWorld].

After looking at Red Hat Linux 4.0, I'm in awe of how quickly the
Linux operating system  is  moving  forward.   Last  summer  (see
"Linux  may  give  reasons  to remove Win95, NT from your desktop
system," July 8, page  107)  I  predicted  that Linux, an already
popular  implementation  of  Unix,  would  infiltrate  mainstream
corporate America.  If Red Hat Software Inc.  (and all the unsung
Linux contributors) continue advancing Linux at the present rate,
such widespread adoption is guaranteed.

Simply put, Red Hat is easily the best Linux version released  to
date.  It's a must-try for users new to Linux and a must-have for

Up,  up,  and  away.  Red Hat's installation program makes it far
easier to install than  any  other  version  of Linux I've tried,
including prior versions of Red Hat.  It shields you from  enough
complexity  to  keep it simple, yet it provides enough options to
satisfy Linux geeks.

Red Hat comes with the Apache Web server, one of the most popular
servers  on  the   Internet.    The   server  can  be  installed,
configured, and set to run automatically  with  no  more  than  a
click on a single check box during system installation.  Setup of
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) services is equally easy.

It's   just   as  simple  to  add  Web  and  FTP  services  after
installation.  That's thanks  to  Red  Hat's  now famous -- among
Linux users, at least -- installation and removal utility  called
Red Hat Package Manager.

The OS can be a network file system (NFS) server to Unix clients,
and  it  can provide native file and print services to any 16-bit
or 32-bit  Windows  client  and  AppleTalk  services to Macintosh
clients.  Red Hat can also  be  used  as  a  client  to  NFS  and

Red  Hat  licenses  and  includes Metro Link Inc.'s accelerated X
engine, Metro-X, which supports a  long list of display adapters.
A number of video cards I had problems with  in  Windows  95  and
Windows  NT  (including  the  Elsa  Winner  2000  Pro  and Matrox
Millenium MGA) have  enjoyed  good  support  by  Metro-X for some

The Metro-X driver absolutely blazes on my Matrox  Millenium  MGA
card.  In addition, Metro Link offers OpenGL for Linux separately
if you want to build 3-D graphics applications.

A pretty face and more.  This version of Red Hat introduces a new
version of FVWM, now  called  The  Next  Level.  FVWM is a window
manager that is  configured  to  look  and  feel  something  like
Windows  95,  with cascading start menus, a task bar, and a pager
that lets you switch among  a set of virtual desktops.  Switching
between desktops on my  machine  is  instantaneous,  faster  than
anything I've seen on Windows 95, Windows NT, or OS/2.

The  Linux  kernel  used  in  this  release  of  Red Hat supports
symmetric multiprocessing, a feature  that  brings Linux into the
scalability big league.

It also supports dynamic loading of support modules.  That  means
you  can  set up the system to load certain features, such as the
capability   to   read   OS/2   High   Performance   File  System
(HPFS)-formatted drives, only when needed.

Linux can read  and  write  to  a  long  list  of  file  systems,
including  DOS  File Allocation Table (FAT), Virtual FAT (Windows
95/NT long file names),  and  HPFS.   Free NT File System drivers
are also available from a variety of FTP sites.

One of the most important enhancements to this version of Red Hat
is support for pluggable authentication modules (PAM).  PAM is  a
tremendously  flexible  means of letting you choose the levels of
security you want to attach  to  any service your server provides
-- from simple log-in to remote access of  applications  and  FTP
services.   Essentially,  PAM paves the way to soothe fears about
Unix security.

A  low  price  and  easy  installation  make  Red  Hat  the ideal
alternative for those  who  are  put  off  by  Microsoft  Corp.'s
Windows NT Workstation license agreement (which prevents you from
using  Windows NT Workstation as an inexpensive Web server).  Red
Hat's processor scalability  and  multiplatform  support -- Alpha
and Sparc versions are available -- make the argument  for  Linux
all the more compelling.

Nicholas  Petreley ([log in to unmask]) is editor at
large at InfoWorld.

Mainstreaming Linux.  Although file and print services aren't new
to  Linux,  in  the  past  they've  been  anything  but simple to
configure.  InfoMagic  Inc.   fixes  the  problem  with a product
called InfoMagic Workgroup Server.

For   $75   you   get  the  graphical  tools  necessary  to  make
configuration a no-brainer.   In  mere  minutes,  I installed the
product and configured native file  and  print  services  for  my
Windows  and  Macintosh  clients.   You  can get more information
about Workgroup Server at

Linux is also maturing  as  a  mainstream client, as applications
for the OS appear from several fronts.   Red  Hat  Software  Inc.
offers  the  Applixware  productivity suite (see Product Reviews,
Aug.  5, page  84),  and  Caldera Inc.  (http://www
sells a suite for Linux that includes WordPerfect for Unix.

Also, Star Division Corp.  is planning to release a Linux version
of its powerful Star Office 3.1 suite.   A  beta  version,  which
will  be  free  to  noncommercial  users,  is available now.  See for more information.

The one thing that makes FVWM, Linux's  default  window  manager,
daunting  is  that  you  have to edit text-configuration files to
customize  it   to   your   liking.    Workgroup  Solutions  Inc.
( may help remedy  this  when  it  releases  a
Linux version of Common Desktop Environment, a Motif-based window
manager available on several Unix platforms.

Look for a review in an  upcoming issue of InfoWorld.  THE BOTTOM

      A short descriptive note on the Operative System
                 Red Hat distribution v. 4.0
Durham, NC -- Red Hat Software,  Inc.  is pleased to announce the
availability of Red Hat Linux release 4.0 for  Intel,  Alpha  and
Sparc  computers.  This release is the first synchronized release
of  *any*  operating  system   for  these  three  platforms,  and
represents a  huge  leap  in  reducing  your  administrative  and
support  costs  for  your  heterogeneous  network.   This release
offers  many  substantial  improvements  over  previous releases,
including additional hardware support,  simplified  installation,
rewritten   network  configuration  tools,  dramatic  performance
improvements, and many more.

NEW  FEATURES  IN RED HAT LINUX 4.0.  Modular 2.0.18 kernel.  One
kernel for all hardware, support  for much more hardware.  Kernel
is distributed as an RPM package.  This means that to upgrade the
kernel you only need to upgrade the kernel RPM package, which  is
just  a  single  command.  Only one installation floppy!  Two for
PCMCIA and  FTP  installs.   Both  floppies  are  included in the
Official  Red  Hat  Linux/Intel  boxed   set   product.    Easier
installation.    Smarter  network  configuration,  full  "cancel"
ability,   simpler   package   selection,   package  descriptions
available during install, much faster.  New version of RPM.   RPM
2.2.5  includes  dependencies,  improved  PGP/MD5/size  signature
capability,  dependencies,  more powerful querying, dependencies,
improved  multi-  arch/os   handling,  dependencies,  relocatable
packages,  dependencies,  support  for  building  and  installing
packages as non-root..  Did I mention dependencies?   Improved  X
Windows support.  Easier X Windows configuration.  Just pick your
video  card and monitor from the provided lists and you are done.
Latest MetroLink X server 3.1.2 (Only available with the Official
Red Hat Linux/Intel  boxed  set.)  Expanded  Red Hat Linux User's
Guide.  236 pages of installation and configuration  information.
Expanded coverage of the control-panel tools.  Includes MetroLink
X  server  configuration  information.   The  User's Guide is now
available via FTP under the  same terms as the LDP documentation!
It  is  also  browsable  on  our  web  site!   Improved   network
configuration.  New graphical network configuration control panel
tool.   Allows  for  simple configuration of PPP and SLIP network
connections.   Makes  it  simple  to  move  your  machine between
networks, add  ethernet  cards,  etc.   Pluggable  Authentication
Modules  (PAM).   PAM  is  used  throughout  for increased system
security  and  configurability.   Shadow  password  support  (and
groundwork for future support of "long" passwords, MD5 passwords,
and other authentication schemes).  Red Baron secure web browser.
Supports forms, frames, SSL,  SET.   Faster than Netscape!  (Only
available on Official Red Hat Linux/Intel  boxed  set.)  Upgrades
and  Fixes.  Over 180 updated packages, and over 60 new packages.
The full  package  list  is  available  at
Many, many,  many  security  fixes  --  most  of  which  are  not
available on other UNIX/Linux systems.

Installation.  Our third generation installation system is easier
to use than ever.  By presenting  simple fill in the blank forms,
and applying intelligent  automation  to  network,  package,  and
module configuration, the system relieves you of the most tedious
and  most  troublesome  aspects of installation.  Installation is
supported via CD-ROM,  NFS,  FTP,  hard  drive partition, and has
seamless PCMCIA support.

Package Management.  The RPM package system  is  designed  to  be
powerful  yet  easy  to  use.   These design features, along with
smart config file handling across package upgrades, "shared" file
handling, documentation  searching  support, package installation
via FTP, dependencies, and powerful querying, make RPM  the  most
advanced package system available.

With  our  graphical  package  manager  Glint you can track every
package installed on your  system,  and all packages available on
the CD-ROM.   You  can  examine  package  descriptions  and  file
contents before you install them.  With a few mouse button clicks
you  can  install,  uninstall,  list  and  verify  all  installed
packages.  No other installation system comes close.

Configuration  Tools.   The  Red  Hat  control  panel tools cover
configuration of  your  network,  printer,  filesystem, users and
groups, SysV init, time  and  date,  and  modem.   PPP  and  SLIP
configuration has never been easier!

Compatibility between Linux Platforms.  The Red Hat Linux 4.0 for
Intel,  Alpha  and  Sparc  products are built from the exact same
source  packages.   This   ensures   maximum   ease  of  software
portability between machines running Red Hat Linux regardless  of
the   underlying   hardware   architecture.   In  addition,  your
investment in configuration of Red Hat  Linux will pay off on all
three platforms.

License Terms.  Red Hat Linux is distributed under the  terms  of
the GPL, and is freely available from our FTP site, and dozens of
mirrors.   For  the first time, the Red Hat Linux User's Guide is
also available freely, under the terms of the LDP license!

to track both Linux and UNIX industry standards closely.  Red Hat
Linux conforms to the Linux file  system  standard:  FSSTND,  and
tracks many other Linux and UNIX standards.

Testing  is  probably Linux's greatest strength and the origin of
its remarkable stability for most applications, and Red Hat Linux
benefits from this.  The truly open development model followed by
Linus Torvalds and  the  Linux  development  community allows new
releases of the  kernel,  components,  and  distributions  to  be
tested  by  hundreds  of  thousands  of  users.   Their access to
everything at little or no  cost, including full source code, off
many sites on  the  Internet  enables  anyone  to  contribute  to
further  development  by not just reporting bugs but contributing

Red Hat Linux depends  on  this  open development model.  We post
Red Hat Linux  as  "freely  redistributable"  software  for  free
download  off  of many sites on the Internet, and we are grateful
for the valuable assistance we receive.

The National Institute  of  Standards  and Technology (NIST), has
decided to stop charging for their POSIX Conformance  Test  Suite
151-2,  in  hopes  that  the  POSIX  standard may be more broadly
applied.  Red Hat Software  applauds  the  move, and has obtained
the suites for  consideration.   We  would  encourage  all  Linux
developers  to  take advantage of this development.  Comments and
questions can be directed to Martha Gray <[log in to unmask]>
at NIST.

Red Hat's software packaging  scheme  (RPM) provides the reliable
and consistent installation on a stable  environment  that  ISV's
are  looking  for,  and yet allows for a flexible environment for
further Linux development.

RPM's advanced software  packaging  features  enable RPM packaged
software to be installed easily and  correctly  on  any  Red  Hat
Linux platform.  Running older software versions on a new release
of Red Hat Linux is generally reliable and trouble free.

FREELY REDISTRIBUTABLE SOFTWARE.  Red Hat Linux  is  released  as
freely redistributable software under the terms of the GPL.  This
allows  anyone to use Linux without restriction and to contribute
to Linux development.  It also prevents anyone or any corporation
from  restricting  access   to   Linux   or  Linux  source  code.
Commercially licensed software  can  be  ported  to  Linux  while
maintaining  the license terms that the author uses for any other

RPM - RED HAT  PACKAGE  MANAGER.   After installing Red Hat Linux
once, you will never need to  reinstall  Linux  again!   Our  RPM
packaging  system  is  sophisticated enough to allow upgrading to
new Red Hat Linux releases  without reinstalling your system - no
partitioning, no backing up all your files, no headaches.

Red Hat Linux 4.0 is built on a third generation packaging system
called RPM.  The RPM  system features include smart configuration
file handling across package upgrades,  "shared"  file  handling,
documentation  searching  support,  and  package installation via
FTP.  You  can  install,  uninstall,  query,  verify, and upgrade
individual RPM packages.

The Red Hat Software web  site,,  contains
more information on RPM and the RPM-HOWTO, which describes how to
use RPM and build your own RPM packages.

A  graphical  package  management tool called GLINT allows you to
quickly and easily manage and  track  your system.  It displays a
hierarchy of packages represented by  individual  package  icons,
and displays progress meters during installation.

We are releasing RPM under the terms of the GPL and we would like
to  encourage  everyone to use it to package their software.  You
can get RPM separately from Red Hat Linux from our FTP site.

PRISTINE  SOURCES.  An important element of the design of Red Hat
Linux is our  commitment  to  the  concept of "pristine sources".
Our RPM source packages include pristine, untouched  sources,  as
well as patches and a control file which defines the building and
packaging  process.   It enables us to work with other members of
the Linux development community easily and effectively by clearly
separating and documenting the code that they contribute from any
modifications that are required by Red Hat Linux.


Red Hat Linux is available for the Intel, Alpha, and Sparc on our
FTP site:

Many sites mirror the Red  Hat  FTP  site,  and may give you much
better performance.  A list of these mirrors is at:

(Note that the Metro X  server,  Red  Baron  and  Grail  are  not
available  via  FTP.   These packages are only available with the
full boxed set product.)

RED HAT  SOFTWARE  WEB  SITE.   The  Red  Hat  Software web site,, contains a wealth of helpful  information,
as well as a web-based ordering system for all our products.

Of  particular  interest  is the support section of the web site,
which includes archives  of  our  mailing  lists, errata, Red Hat
TIPS,   the   LDP   documentation,   and    lots    more.     See

UPGRADING  AND  EXCHANGE  POLICIES.  All previous releases of Red
Hat Linux (2.0, 2.1,  3.0.3)  can  be  upgraded in place (without
reformatting or repartitioning).  For those who want to  upgrade,
but do not want to purchase the full boxed set, the Red Hat Linux
Archives 4 CD-ROM set is the right choice.  Red Hat Linux for the
Intel  and Alpha are both available on the Archives (Metro X, Red
Baron, and Grail are only available with the full boxed set).

Exchange and upgrade  policies  for  those  who  purchased  3.0.3
recently  are  best  addressed by the vendor of your product.  If
you purchased it  directly  from  Red  Hat  Software, contact the
sales office at:

Please use a mirror if possible. FTP Sites for RedHat LinUx:

--        /packages/linux/redhat     /pub/redhat/                    /pub/linux/redhat

------               /pub/linux/redhat        /mirror/linux/redhat/                  /pub/Linux/redhat           /pub/Linux/redhat                  /pub/linux/distributions/redhat     /pub/mirrors/redhat              /pub/mirrors/           /pub/linux/mirror/        /pub/linux/redhat                  /pub/linux/distributions/redhat                 /pub/linux/install/redhat                  /pub/Linux/RedHat                  /mirror/redhat         /OS/Linux/Distributions/Redhat              /pub/Linux/RedHat                  /pub/mirror/RedHat                /pub/Linux/images/RedHat          /pub/Linux/redhat        /mirror/linux/redhat               /pub/linux/RedHat             /pub/linux/redhat               /pub/linux/redhat                /pub/os/Linux/distr/RedHat       /pub/Unix/Linux/Distributions/redhat                  /pub/Unix/Linux/distributions/RedHat              /pub/os/linux/redhat                /pub/Linux/redhat                  /pub/mirrors/

------                /linux/distributions/redhat

----             /pub/linux-redhat               /pub/redhat             /pub/Linux/redhat           /OS/Linux/packages/redhat              /pub/Linux/distributions/redhat              /Unix/Linux/RedHat              /LINUX/redhat

South America
-------------  /pub/OS/linux/redhat

North America
-------------          /pub/mirrors/redhat                 /pub/linux/redhat         /pub/linux/distributions/redhat           /pub/linux/redhat        /pub/Linux/RedHat           /pub/linux/redhat           /pub/mirrors/linux/RedHat                 /pub/linux/redhat             /pub/linux-redhat              /pub/Linux/redhat                         /pub/linux/redhat       /pub/linux/redhat                  /linux/redhat           /pub/linux/distributions/redhat      /pub/systems/linux/distributions/redhat             /pub/mirrors/redhat              /linux/redhat              /linux/redhat             /pub/Linux/distributions/redhat          /pub/linux/redhat                 /pub/systems/linux/redhat        /pub/linux/distrib/redhat                 /pub/mirrors/redhat           /pub/redhat            /pub/redhat             /pub/mirrors/redhat                /pub/Linux/Redhat

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