Red Hat, Inc. released its Red Hat Linux 7.1 distribution for free, public downloading Monday. Commercially packaged Red Hat Linux 7.1 will start shipping on or about Monday April 23, 2001.
Core System Component Improvements & Updates
The most important improvement from Red Hat Linux (RHL) 7.0 to RHL 7.1 is the switch from the Linux 2.2.x kernel to the newly released Linux 2.4 kernel. Additionally, RHL 7.1 ships with KDE 2.1 as opposed to KDE 1.1.2, which ships with RHL 7.0.
Red Hat lists an upgrade to GNOME 1.2. However, GNOME 1.2.1 already is in Red Hat Linux 7.0. The current GNOME version is 1.4. The Red Hat people were asked for a clarification but so far we have not received one.
We asked Melissa London, Red Hat's Director of Corporate Public Relations, why the RHL distribution upgrade to the new 2.4 kernel is numbered as a minor upgrade (7.0 to 7.1) rather than a full version upgrade such as 7.0 to 8.0. She replied: We want to maintain backwards binary compatibility for at least 1 to 2 minor releases. Software will run unchanged.
You will have three browsers at your Web surfing fingertips with the new Red Hat Linux 7.1 distribution KDE Konqueror. Mozilla 0.7, and Netscape 4.76. Red Hat's choices of Mozilla and Netscape 4.76 over Netscape 6.0 for RHL 7.1 piqued our curiosity. So we asked Red Hat's Melissa London some questions about those browser selections for RHL 7.1.
MozillaQuest: It appears that you are shipping two browsers with RHL 7.1, Netscape 4.76 and Mozilla 0.7. Is this correct? Are there any other browsers also included with RHL 7.1?
Melissa London: This is correct. We also include "Konqueror," a highly capable browser included with KDE 2.1.1.
MozillaQuest: Why did you choose Netscape 4.76 instead of Netscape 6.x?
Melissa London: Netscape 6.x is not freely distributable. 4.76 is the last version based on the "old code", and is faster and uses less memory than Netscape 6.x
MozillaQuest: Why did you choose to include Mozilla?
Melissa London: It is a picture of where open source browser technology is going. The Mozilla we shipped is better than Netscape 6.x.
MozillaQuest: Why did you choose to include both Netscape & Mozilla?
Melissa London: They both have strengths and weaknesses. A future release will likely see the drop of Netscape 4.7x.
MozillaQuest: The most recent Netscape 4.x version is 4.77. Why did you choose 4.76 instead of 4.77?
Melissa London: It was not out when we went gold. We have now made 4.77 available.
Other core system component upgrades that Red Hat lists for RHL 7.1 include, gcc 2.96-RH, glibc 2.2.2, and XFree86 4.0.3.
Acquiring & Upgrading to Red Hat Linux 7.1
You can download the basic (Standard) Red Hat Linux 7.1 for free from the Red Hat FTP site or any of the many mirror sites. However, it is some 900-MBs. So you might want to spring the $40 for the commercially packaged Standard Red Hat Linux 7.1 product.
Red Hat's Melissa London says that the free download RHL 7.1 is the same as the commercially packaged (Standard) product that Red Hat is shipping. The only difference is technical support and the Red Hat Network-based Software Manager (although some level of Red Hat Network connectivity is free).
There are three, commercially packaged, variations of Red Had Linux 7.1. All three variations include the Red Hat Linux operating system and installation manual.
The RHL 7.1 Standard package ($40) also includes 30 days web-based support and 30 days Red Hat Network Software Manager for 1 system.
The RHL 7.1 Deluxe package ($80) also includes 60 days of Red Hat Network Software Manager for up to 5 systems and 60 days of telephone and web support. You also get some additional software with the Deluxe and Professional packages including Sun's StarOffice Suite, some Loki games, and lots more.
Some additional software included in the Deluxe and Professional packages is merely limited or trial version stuff, but some is full version software. Check the Red Hat Web site for the details and specifics. (Links in the Resources section below.)
In addition to everything included with RHL 7.1 Deluxe, RHL 7.1 Professional ($180) includes 90 days of Red Hat Network Software Manager for up to 10 systems and 90 days of telephone and Web support . . . support for Software RAID Configuration and Apache and BIND configuration.
If you have Red Hat Linux 7.0, you can upgrade to RHL 7.1 rather than re-install Red Hat Linux. We asked Red Hat's Melissa London about that too.
MozillaQuest: Can owners and/or users of RHL 7.0 upgrade to RHL 7.1? If so, how can/should they do that?
Melissa London: Absolutely. They can use the Red Hat Linux Installation Program to do so, simply choosing "upgrade" instead of "install." We encourage users to upgrade.
The new 2.4 Linux kernel has been out for a while. However, it takes some time before the commercial Linux distributors start shipping new versions of their Linux packages, which include the new kernel. That's very understandable. It takes work and time to integrate a new kernel into a top-quality, complete Linux distribution.
Red Hat now has a Linux distribution package, Red Hat Linux 7.1, that includes not only the new Linux 2.4 kernel, but also the new KDE 2 desktop, the Mozilla browser-suite, and other improvements too.
Altogether, the improvements in Red Hat Linux 7.1 should make Red Hat Linux easier to use and even more powerful.
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Red Hat Linux
Download Red Hat Linux 7.1 - Free
Red Hat Linux 7.1 - Standard
Red Hat Linux 7.1 Package List
Red Hat Deluxe Workstation
Red Hat Professional Server
Red Hat Linux 7.1 Product Comparison
Red Hat Linux 7.1 Manuals
On-line Resources for Red Hat Linux 7.1
Red Hat's Netscape 4.77 Upgrade RPMs for Red Hat Linux 6.2 and Red Hat Linux 7.0