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August 19, 2002


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Red Hat Calls on Linux Community for Beta Feedback

Red Hat Linux 7.4/8.0 Moves Closer -- Beta 3 (Null Nee Limbo) Released

Mike Angelo -- 19 August 2002 (C)

As the next edition of the Red Hat Linux Distribution gets closer, Red Hat asks the Linux community for help with beta testing that upcoming distribution. Thank you for trying out the Red Hat Linux BETA. The purpose of this beta is to get feedback from testers so we can improve our distribution. (Red Hat Linux 7.3.94 Release Notes)

The next Red Hat Linux release is in the works and getting closer and closer and closer. Red Hat has placed the third beta of the next Red Hat Linux distribution, Red Hat Linux/x86 7.3.94 (Null), on its public FTP servers today. It likely will be called either Red Hat Linux 7.4 or Red Hat Linux 8.0.

Red Hat placed its Red Hat Linux/x86 7.3.92 and 7.3.93 (Limbo), the first and second betas of the next Red Hat Linux distribution, on its public FTP servers on 3 July 2002 and 29 July respectively. However, the Red Hat developers have changed the name of the Red Hat Linux 7.4/8.0 beta from Limbo to Null.

Typically, Red Hat Linux is revised twice a year. Red Hat 7.2 was released in October 2001, and Red Hat 7.3 was released 6 May 2002. If history repeats, look for Red Hat Linux 7.4/8.0 around mid-October 2002.

However, it was less than two months from RHAT 7.3 beta 1 until RHAT 7.3 release. So if that history repeats itself, the next Red Hat Linux distribution could be out well before October 2002.

But don't look for history to repeat itself in respect to Red Hat 7.4/8.0, necessarily. The several previous Red Hat releases involved only two public betas and no name change in the beta series. The Red Hat 7.4/8.0 beta series now involves at least three outings and the beta series name change from Limbo to Null is a departure from recent Red Hat Linux distribution development history.

According to the Red Hat Linux 7.3.94 Release Notes, Null uses the 2.4.19-pre10-ac2 Linux kernel release. The Netscape Web browser has been removed. Here are a few more of the many changes from Red Hat Linux 7.3 listed in the Release Notes:

  • GNOME version 2.0 is now included.
  • The Apache HTTP server has been updated to version 2.0
  • GNU Ghostscript has been upgraded to version 7.05.
  • Red Hat Linux 7.3.94 contains . . . [ten] new configuration and system tools.

As we mentioned in our articles Red Hat Linux to Drop Netscape Browser When Mozilla 1.0 Ships and A Red Hat Linux 7.1 Preview: What's Under the Newest Fedora Red Hat was planning to drop Netscape from the Red Hat Linux distribution after the release of Mozilla 1.0.

AOL-Netscape's Mozilla Organization has released Mozilla 1.0 and now Red Hat is doing just what it said it was going to do -- drop Netscape. Look for Mozilla 1.0 or a later version of Mozilla in Limbo.

Two installation changes/additions listed in the Red Hat Linux 7.3.94 Release Notes, Null, that caught our attention are:


* There is now an option in Disk Druid to help create large RAID arrays consisting of drives which are identically partitioned. The Clone Tool allows you to select a source drive and copy its partitioning scheme onto an arbitrary number of other drives in the system.

NOTE: ALL DATA on the target drives will be DESTROYED!

This is a relatively new addition, so note any issues you encounter when using this feature. The Clone Tool can be accessed by clicking on the RAID button. At least one unallocated software RAID partition must exist before the option will be available . . .


* A new installation type called Personal Desktop is now available which installs pre-selected software for home or small-office use. It is possible later in the installation process to modify the default software selection if you need a package that is not included in the Personal Desktop installation type.

The Workstation installation type has been redesigned for users who are interested in software development or system administration.

* The graphical installation program has a new package group selection screen that eases the processes of customizing the software you want installed. If you choose a Server or Custom installation type, the package group selection screen will be displayed by default. If you choose a Personal Desktop or Workstation installation type, the installation program allows you to either customize packages with the package group selection screen or continue with the default installation . . .

For a more complete list of what's new and different, please see the Null release notes.


Red Hat Linux 7.3 New Features

Helpful Books

Red Hat Linux 7.3 Bible, Christopher Negus, Wiley, 2002, ISBN: 0-7645-4941-3. $50.

Red Hat Linux 7.3 for Dummies, Chapter 9, Jon "maddog" Hall and Paul Sery, Hungry Minds, 2002, ISBN: 0-7645-1545-4. $30

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