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Red Hat 8.0 For KDE Users (And Newbies)

CmdrTaco posted about 12 years ago | from the simple-is-better dept.

Red Hat Software 435

pantropik writes "OSNews has been giving quite a bit of bandwidth to Red Hat's newest offering lately. This article, which generated quite a bit of controversy in the comments section, detailed a new user's 'frustrations' with the new release. The latest article, written by yours truly, is rather lengthy, explaining such things as adding 3D drivers, missing MP3 functionality, DVD decoding, using APT with RHL, and customizing Red Hat's modified KDE. At the end, I wrap up with my impression -- as a simple user -- of this 'crippled' KDE implementation. Of course, you can also check out this story, which takes a look at RH 8.0 from 'Joe and Jane User's' perspective."

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to (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409824)


me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409831)


[Trolling Stones] Troll Tuesday at Subway (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409832)

At subway, you get a sub prepared anyway you like, by our friendly, efficient staff. Choose from mouth-watering veggies, succulent meats and cheeses, and a variety of freshly-baked bread. Why not stop in today and pick up some subs for the whole family to enjoy. I suggest the Italian BMT, piled high with genoa salami, pepperoni, ham, and provolone cheese. Top it with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, a few spritzes of italian dressing, and a dash of salt and you've got a meal fit for king. Subway: eat fresh!

g to the oatse
c to the izzex
fo shizzle my nizzle that Jared guy stole my bike. I would've chased him down, but now that he is thin, he can run faster than my flabby ass!

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409833)

Did I get it?

Crippled? (5, Informative)

jaavaaguru (261551) | about 12 years ago | (#4409843)

I used it at work yesteday and all the functionality that I would normally use in KDE was there. It's only a desktop environment, and that's all I expect of it. The Window Manager works fine, the UI is clean and easy to use (just as it was before RH played with it) and the file manager/web browsing works just fine. The first difference I noted was that the links on the panel went to Mozilla and Evolution instead of Konqueror and KMail. I have my links on RH 7.3 at home set to do that anyway.

Re:Crippled? (5, Informative)

maloi (175772) | about 12 years ago | (#4409911)

And anyway, they don't actually link directly to the browser, but to a utility called "htmlview," which can easily be configured either system-wide or on a per-user basis to use any browser you choose.

note to newbies (0, Offtopic)

Raiford (599622) | about 12 years ago | (#4409854)

Go get the latest Slackware distribution. Install -> tinker around with XF86Config for an afternoon and an evening and then you won't be a so much of a newbie anymore. It's the only way to get your feet wet and dirty

Re:note to newbies (1, Troll)

Dionysus (12737) | about 12 years ago | (#4409867)

What if you don't have an afternoon to kill, and you just want something to work so that you can get your work done, and go home to your family?

Re:note to newbies (2, Troll)

Raiford (599622) | about 12 years ago | (#4409920)

hmmm ... might want to stick with windows. Two things inconsistent with Linux hacking (1. No free time and 2. a family). Unless of course you are living in their basement.

Re:note to newbies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409972)

I ever thought that real top guns used their times doing really difficult things like checking the proof of Fermat's theorem instead of spending an afternoon configuring XFree. That kind of past times is of the kind picked by losers who can't do really difficult things like advanced maths or physics. BTW Linus (yes that Linus) is notorious for using distros where he doesn't have to spend an afternoon configuring XFree and two days getting the printer to work. Are you going to tell him to go to Windows?

Re:note to newbies (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | about 12 years ago | (#4410037)

Well actually checking checking the proof of Fermat's theorem does not require XFree only gcc and a console

Re:note to newbies (2)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 12 years ago | (#4409981)

Having a family is definitely consistent with Linux hacking. Linus Torvalds has a family. He even has a child.

Re:note to newbies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410103)

he also has a job.

He has a child?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410120)

I thought he just went to Linux conferences six days a week. I just kind of find it hard for a leading Linux developer to actually...y'know...

Re:note to newbies (1)

bytor4232 (304582) | about 12 years ago | (#4409983)

Not really. I have a Debian server PLUS plenty of free time with my family. I never have to tinker with my server at home, and it serves terminals on top of a web server. Debian really takes alot of the tinkering out of the equation once you get it up and running. I spent an afternoon last year setting it up and havnt had to mess with it since. Apt is the whip.

Re:note to newbies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409922)

Wow, you're allowed to install your own operating system at work? Sweet! I wish my company let me do that.

You know what the answer is for you?
Just use windows.

Re:note to newbies (1)

swordfish666 (518548) | about 12 years ago | (#4409971)

That's what geeks do. We spend every second we can in front of the computer. Coding. Tweaking. Tinkering. Reading /.
Human interaction.....ha!

Re:note to newbies (2)

carpe_noctem (457178) | about 12 years ago | (#4409973)

I have a feeling that you'll eventually get modded down for troll/flamebait, but I think you have a very good point here. As I type this, I'm running RedHat 8.0, and downloading ISO's for slackware 8.1. I've used slack in the past, but switched to RH because it was nice to have an OS that just did everything for you (ie, I was too lazy to compile everything I needed myself). However, when I run linux, I find myself using a handful of applications that I compiled on my own (fluxbox, Eterm, phoenix, etc). So when I installed RH8, there was essentially no visible difference.
Actually, I should note that the RH8 kernel seems to be really laggy for some reason. When I do processor-intensive tasks, things lag, keyboard and mouse stop responding, and so forth. It's really quite weird, and I'm not sure wtf RH did to screw this up since 7.3. On the plus side, they finally dumped gcc2.96, which made me happy. However, I think I'm definitely on route to slack8.1.

Re:note to newbies (0)

pyrim (315794) | about 12 years ago | (#4410073)

Speaking of which i just got zipslack for a lil digital hinote vp laptop
and X11 was about the only thing that didnt work
too tired to 'tinker' tho
sleep now

One interface is enough (-1, Flamebait)

billnad (206934) | about 12 years ago | (#4409862)

I can imagine it would be nice to have lots of interfaces but I have always used KDE and am now using the defualt as a new user of RH8. I have alwayys relied on Windows and its one interface and welcome one interface for my favorite Linux distro. If someone wants a full KDE that works it would probably be best to use one of the dozens of others out there that better support KDE. RedHat seems to keep its dominance because they look at there distobution first and the ex-windows users second and seem to always try to keep in line with what the newest Linux convert would want.

Just great! (2)

quantaman (517394) | about 12 years ago | (#4409874)

As if it isn't hard enough trying to download the ISOs as it is now everyone who was about to lay off the mirrors just got another reminder 8.0 is out. Thanks a lot /.!

USENET (4, Funny)

KelsoLundeen (454249) | about 12 years ago | (#4409936)

Ever heard of usenet?

Last I looked the RH ISOs were on nearly every CD group, just waiting to be snagged.

This is off-topic, but lately I'm finding that more and more people have absolutely no idea what usenet is. I mentioned this to one of our new IT guys here -- a so-called "hot-shot" just out of college -- and wondered if usenet "sells DSL because he can't get it through AT&T."


KelsoLundeen (454249) | about 12 years ago | (#4409961)


I forgot the word "he" in the sentence above.

"... *he* wondered if usenet 'sells DSL'."


Re:USENET (5, Funny)

bsharitt (580506) | about 12 years ago | (#4410104)

and wondered if usenet "sells DSL because he can't get it through AT&T."

Well do they? I can't get it from Bellsouth either.

(Note: I'm only pretending to be someone who doesn't know what usenet is. I'm well aware that it's an operating system, not an ISP)

Re:USENET (2, Interesting)

Garfunkel (3569) | about 12 years ago | (#4410130)

USENET is not well advertised by providers because it's a huge bandwidth and storage hog. In fact a lot of people aren't able to get USENET at all except through some pay services and Google News which doesn't carry everything (especially binaries) and takes forever to update sometimes.
It's really not surprising people don't know what it is or how to use it. Anyways, much of the functionality is being replaced by web boards and the binary part is being replaced by the multitude of P2P apps.

I just discovered the other day that my provider does have a full feed available for free to it's subscribers, but I sure couldn't find mention of it anywhere in their literature or on the website.

Re:Just great! (2, Informative)

bassman2k (409481) | about 12 years ago | (#4410075)

Try rsync'ing it from a mirror. Find one that supports rsync on, then do:

rsync -Pzrv --size-only rsync://(rsync site you found)/(path to site's iso dir)/ .

to download all 6(?) ISOs under the local directory.

For example, to download from, type:

rsync -Pzrv --size-only rsync:// /en/iso/ .

If the download is interrupted, just enter the command again from the same directory and rsync will continue where it left off. Another advantage is rsync will compress the download on the fly.

(I hope I didn't just start the first rsync DoS from /.!)

Re:Just great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410084)

Hey, that's a good point! I'm going to go download Redhat 8.0 AGAIN!!! Thanks for the reminder, Slashdot!

Re:Just great! (1)

boiscout (450132) | about 12 years ago | (#4410094)

Hehe. I love living on campus... ISO's in Minutes!

An OS for all occasions... (5, Insightful)

Coplan (13643) | about 12 years ago | (#4409875)

It sounds to me that the problems are the same problems held Linux-World wide. These are common, and not necessarily specific to Red Hat 8.0. I'm a firm believer in using the best OS for the task.

As the writer wrote:
I was excited to see all the positive, glowing reviews of the latest version of Red Hat Linux. I thought, "finally, I can get away from Windows 98." "It just works" is the mantra. Unfortunately, this was not the case for me.

If the goal is to simply get away from Windows while still maintaining functionality, and you're just a hack user, I would recommend Mac OS X. If you don't have the money to buy new hardware...then I don't know what to tell you.

At this point, Linux is still not going to replace Windows or Mac OS X. And you can't expect REd Hat to solve all the problems in one release. It's a step in the right direction, but this isn't the miracle that Linux needs to attract joe-user.

Don't be so critical.

Re:An OS for all occasions... (2)

gTsiros (205624) | about 12 years ago | (#4410029)

Macos x doesn't run in i386, and it is very limited as far as hardware is concerned (compared with i386 arch).

The "it just works...NOT" issue exists because the hardware existing for i386 is so vast you just cant take everything into consideration. It's a bloody mess.

Now, on the other hand... if you can tell me why STILL after so many years i have to configure my awe64gold by hand...

Re:An OS for all occasions... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410033)

The point is that Red Hat has specifically touted this version as more newbie-friendly. It's perfectly reasonable for a new user to call them on it if their experience differs. I'm only going by what the article says though, I can't try RH8 myself because I can't install it [] .

(And before anyone says Linux doesn't need non-technical users, remember that the more grandmothers, etc. who use Linux, the harder (politically speaking) it will be to outlaw it with crazy DRM laws. If Linux is driven underground, sure, maybe a few geeks will still be able to use it, but good luck getting drivers for your spiffy new GeForce 20-HyperMegaWormhole Platinum Edition.)

Re:An OS for all occasions... (4, Interesting)

bricriu (184334) | about 12 years ago | (#4410053)

Does OS X run on the guy's Celeron? What about his Toshiba laptop?

I have an old 233 mHz Dell kicking around. It runs the most blessedly stable Win95 install you could hope for, courtesy of 2 intentional drive-wipes right after purchase. It is my general backup computer. I've played around with Linux, and having put Mandrakes 7.2, 8.2, and 9.0, and Lycoris Amethyst on, I can safely say that none of them 'just worked' (so far, only Mandrake 7.2 worked with my sound card without a hassle). I was thinking about RH as the next test distro, but no longer.

Anyway, the point is that OS X seems like a great system. I would love to run it. But I'm not going to go out and drop $1000 on new hardware from Mr. Jobs. I have hardware. I want to get away from running Windows on it for purposes other than games. Linux made much of its name by supporting older systems. It shouldn't be too much to ask that it 'just works' on these systems.

It just works: Mac OS X (3, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 12 years ago | (#4410074)

Have to agree. If you actually just want it to work (and get away from Windows), use your x86 architecture as a server/firewall/router and go out and buy a Mac. Short term investment in long term functionality, ease of use and underlying power.

Taiwan Ceases to exist, according to RedHat. (0, Interesting)

Captain_Stupendous (473242) | about 12 years ago | (#4409878)

Interesting story on Kuro5hin [] . Apparantly, in order to improve sales in China, RedHat removed the Taiwanese flag from the control panel in a modified distro of KDE. Used to be, you wanted to erase a culture from existence, you invaded and destroyed them. Now you just have to apply political pressure. Yay! More supression of free speech, this time from our favorite crippleware!
"As a global company Red Hat must be sensitive to political differences that impact the markets it serves. One of those markets is Mainland China, where the inclusion of the Taiwanese flag would have prevented the introduction of Red Hat Linux 8.0."

Re:Taiwan Ceases to exist, according to RedHat. (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | about 12 years ago | (#4410063)

This is nearly as much of a disgrace as Cisco selling filtering technology to China to aid suppression of their people. Perhaps someday, there'll be Nuremburg-like trials where the executives of companies like Cisco, Red Hat, and Yahoo will be held to account for their actions in support of tyranny.

Re:Taiwan Ceases to exist, according to RedHat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410068)

"Culture?" Taiwan isn't a cultural entity, it's a political one. If the Communists had lost the civil war, and retreated to Formosa, that wouldn't mean they weren't Chinese.

Wake up to reality. (2)

Havokmon (89874) | about 12 years ago | (#4410122)

"As a global company Red Hat must be sensitive to political differences that impact the markets it serves. One of those markets is Mainland China, where the inclusion of the Taiwanese flag would have prevented the introduction of Red Hat Linux 8.0."

Yay! More supression of free speech, this time from our favorite crippleware!

Apply this [] to your flawed logic:
"The leaf-shaped island, one of the most densely populated places on earth with 21 million people, is only about 245 miles long and 90 miles wide. It is dwarfed by mainland China, with a population of 1.2 billion."

Hmm $40 * potentially 1.2 billion
$40 * potentially 21 million

Red Hat could sell v8.0 in China for 25 cents, to 25% of the population, and STILL make more than retail to 100% of Taiwan.

What company do you work for, and what symbol is it traded under? Because the REST of us know that something as simple as a flag could be re-added by one of the 21 million Taiwaneese, if they so desire.

Same here (5, Informative)

rash (83406) | about 12 years ago | (#4409884)

I had the same problem as the author of this article about the slowness.

My computer has a xp 1600+ processor, yet gedit for example took 16 seconds to start (time gedit, then close the window as fast as possible).

Some comments in the article suggested that he should change the hostname. It was possible that X didnt get it correctly, then the apps hadto wait for something to time out.

I saw that the hostname when I typed hostname in the terminal was green.rsn. But in the more standard hostname config files it was localhost.localdomain.

So I changed the hostname from green.rsn to localhost.localdomain

Problem solved. Gnome was now very fast.

So if anyone else has speed problems with Redhat 8.0 this might be worth looking into.

Re:Same here (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 12 years ago | (#4409938)

woah, excellent doscovery! I'll give it a try on my R&D pc's here... I recently started to revier RH8 for deployment to start upgrading the RH7.3 machines here.... and I dismissed it as gone-horribly-wrong being well over 50% slower than RH7.3

I'll try that this week! Thanks!

Re:Same here (1)

baywulf (214371) | about 12 years ago | (#4409994)

"My computer has a xp 1600+ processor, yet gedit for example took 16 seconds to start (time gedit, then close the window as fast as possible)."

You got to be kidding. I just did this on my PII 350 system (with average components) and the startup time for gedit was 3.173s (real time.)

Re:Same here (1)

prgammans (134908) | about 12 years ago | (#4409996)

16 seconds is very slow. I assume you are running a KDE desktop, because it only takes 5 second to load gedit and quit on my machine, which is a lowly PII 300Mhz.

But i'm running Gnome so i assume some, if not most, of the libs are already loaded.

Load another Gnome application then try to load gedit and see if he load time is reduced.

Re:Same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410003)

this is unfortunate.

THOUSANDS of linux newbs will obtain a copy, really screw themselves up getting it installed.

only to find it dragging ass on athlon xp's.

way to go.

Have u tried XP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409885)

I was sorely disappointed with Win95/98/NT. I was also disappointed with RedHat - I would often get as many crashes with RedHat (using KDE) as I would with Win98.

But when XP came out, I decided to give it a try, and it has worked smoothly and painlessly for me. Sure it's by Microsoft, but I want an OS that just works. I'm sure Linux is an industrial strength OS, but it is lacking in its stability of GUI implementations.

Also, I've only had a handful of crashes under XP. Way less than Redhat (7.2). Might give 8 a try later.

Slowness (2, Interesting)

Vinum (603982) | about 12 years ago | (#4409886)

The comments on OSNews refer to the RH8.0 and KDE combo to be extreamly slow. I wonder why that is? Maybe Redhat screwed up some things with changing KDE around?

Maybe the guy turned up the specicial effects knob all the way? I dunno, either way the guy did use a slow machine in the review (500mhz celeron). But I am typing on a p233 mmx right now running FreeBSD/KDE3.0 and it is incredibly fast. (Except Mozilla basically refuses to run on this machine, waaaayy slow. Mozilla runs slower than the Java apps I run on this machine (IDEA, TCC, etc)).

Re:Slowness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409943)

I don't understand why people say Mozilla is slow.

It's running fine on my P1 166 MMX w/ 32 megs of RAM even.

You guys got screwed up computers or something.

KDE is slow though... ugh. Maybe it's the combination of crap on your computer. Use Oroborus + Mozilla... works fast on the slowest of computers.

This is what is really needed (5, Insightful)

carlmenezes (204187) | about 12 years ago | (#4409893)

Sorry to say it, but it's high time the KDE - Gnome squabble stopped and both teams started concentrating on a unified desktop.

Consider this : given the fact that both are so refined already, if both worked together, you'd have a UI that easily bypasses anything MS can come up with and Linux becomes a viable desktop for Joe and Jane user (it already is for Joe and Jane techie).

Again, Linux NEEDS a unified desktop. I can't say it more. It may sound sad, but it has to be done.

Re:This is what is really needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409944)

I totally agree, and it's high-time that Microsoft and Linus and the KDE/Gnome developers started on a unified desktop and Operating System too...

To hell with this choice, it's only confusing consumers...isn't it?

Re:This is what is really needed (2, Insightful)

TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) | about 12 years ago | (#4410016)

Consider this : given the fact that both are so refined already, if both worked together, you'd have a UI that easily bypasses anything MS can come up

I agree - But it would be essential that the two groups have a unified vision and focus as they progressed. Otherwise, the project could easily become bogged down as each group argued feature X versus feature Y, or how the project was deviating from "the way it should be" ...

After all, it is not possible to just "stick products together" like this and come out with a product equal to the sum of its parts.

Re:This is what is really needed (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about 12 years ago | (#4410062)

I kind of agree, but on the other site you can't just take both KDE and Gnome, throw them together and get something out that is nearly double as good as one of the two alone. It would require quite a huge amount of work to bring both closer together and to unify the code base, it would also mean that large parts of code need to be thrown away, since they are redundant. After all you can't force programmers of Free Software to do what would be good, but instead they will do what is fun.

KDE and Gnome should make sure that they are compatible with each other and that things like Drag&Drop work in both directions and as far as I know, both sites already working on such compability things.

Re:This is what is really needed (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | about 12 years ago | (#4410086)

like CDE??

Re:This is what is really needed (2, Interesting)

carlmenezes (204187) | about 12 years ago | (#4410087)

Another thing :

If you look at how long it has taken Linux to evolve versus how long it has taken MS to evolve Windows, I think everyone will agree that the pace has been faster on the OSS side.

The moment you can get the average joe to move to a free OS like Linux, and the moment you can do it on a large scale, you're also fighting other MS technologies like DRM and other "customer experience enhancing" technologies because they get lower acceptance.

Now, don't flame me yet. This is looking at the long term and unifying KDE and Gnome is one way to really accelarate it. It'll take some time to do it, but if you really look at it, it just might be for the better good.

That last page.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409896)

..about RedHat made the article truly worth reading.

I've got to say, right on, man.

I'd also like to tell detractors to go look into what RedHat has done for Linux and Open Source.

Evil and corporate? If all corporations were evil, we'd do well to have them all under RedHat's brand of evil. Are some of you people capable of understanding how much money RedHat has sunk back into the community? It is, quite frankly, staggering.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If you don't like it, compile KDE yourself, or switch distributions. Distributions should not be carbon copies of each other, nor should they include every piece of software imaginable (Yay 7 SuSE discs!)..

I Feel The Pain (1)

mgmartin (580921) | about 12 years ago | (#4409899)

Even as this is posted, I'm re-compiling a 2.4.19 kernel with gcc 2.95 in an attempt to get 3D accel back in my radeon 8500 since ATI provides a static library which was compiled with a gcc 2 compiler. In addition, the newer kernels are hanging on boot on my laptop. I've been trying to figure out how to get an install of Redhat 8.0 then replace the kernel through a rescue attempt.

Re:I Feel The Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409985)

The sad thing is, that you waste your effort trying to recompile everything with gcc2.

gcc2 and gcc3 are incompatible in C++ ABI, not C ABI. Everything what was needed was to recompile wrappers for drivers with gcc3 and link with supplied static library.

RedHat's thoroughness to KDE (1)

twener (603089) | about 12 years ago | (#4409901)

Tell me if the last RedHat-added step of "kpersonalizer" does anything for you. Looks like a left-over from Bero which nobody removed for RedHat 8.0? Or does the setup starts if you right-click on the taskbar applet handle and select "Preferences..."? This works in vanilla KDE.

KDE is dying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409905)

Gnome seems to be the way to go. Both are,
of course, free and configurable but Gnome
seems to be the choice of the major Linux distros
and is being adopted by major Unix vendors.
I think the KDE zoids are just whining because
Gnome is winning. Don't get me wrong, KDE apps
are great but I can run 'em under Gnome. KDE is
great; but their one time superiority and supremacy
have long faded.

So what (2, Insightful)

conduit4 (589726) | about 12 years ago | (#4409909)

I havent really read much about this whole RH changing KDE thing but I say so what. So many Linux users bash windows users for not wanting to switch because they dont want something different or cant handle adjusting to how Linux does things. And here you are complaining because you have to adjust to something different. I'm a windows/Linux user and I use Gnome and KDE at times. I think it would be great to have one single GUI for Linux but I dont mind trying something different. Things are going to change and who knows, Gnome and KDE could both lose the GUI battle to something greater.

Little help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409910)

Sorry for being a bit offtopic here, but can someone here tell me how to change the graphics used in the toolbar for the Nautilus file manager under Gnome2?



Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409913)

To install latest graphics driver from nvidia:

cd /path/to/packages
ls /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/
cd /usr/src/redhat/SPECS
rpmbuild -bb NVIDIA*
cd /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386/
rpm -Uvh NVIDIA*
cp /etc/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config-original
pico -w /etc/X11/XF86Config

And then he says: "That's it!"

okay so it looks a lot more complicated than it really is,
but for my mum, that's hardly a consolation..


bbh (210459) | about 12 years ago | (#4409941)

Actually it was the use of pico that I found most appalling...
Doesn't mum know vi?


Actually READ the article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409915)

The problem the person is having is extremely apparent and is stated right at the top of the article: the guy is trying to run X and KDE on a system that only has 64 megs of ram.

In other words, Red Hat Linux is a RAM hog (1)

yerricde (125198) | about 12 years ago | (#4410025)

the guy is trying to run X and KDE on a system that only has 64 megs of ram.

Why does Red Hat Linux have to require a lot of RAM? Some of its competing products (namely Windows 98se and Windows 2000) are happy with 64 MB.

Re:In other words, Red Hat Linux is a RAM hog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410054)

Why does Red Hat Linux have to require a lot of RAM? Some of its competing products (namely Windows 98se and Windows 2000) are happy with 64 MB.

Dude! Have you tried win2000 with 64 megs of ram? Its totally unusable. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH!

I feel for the writer (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 12 years ago | (#4409918)

Yes, Linux is becoming bloatware. there is not one of us who can deny it. A Celeron 500 with 64 meg of ram is more than enough to run an OS, X server, desktop and browser+office suite. Why it doesnt? the only reason is feature bloat.

I just recently tried RH8.0 (I support RH in a corperate environment) and liked how it looks, but am appalled that in order to deploy it I have to replace all the workstations with new just to keep everything feeling right in speed. (WE have aincent P-III 866's here with a paltry 128 meg of ram... I know... I should be killed and eaten for using such old and outdated hardware.)

Redhat 7.3 is the last stage here.. and if Linux desktops in general keep getting feature bloat and exrta slow-down added... I may have to stand up with egg on my face and reccomend that we switch back to Microsoft in a few years.

KDE and Gnome... they need stop all development and focus on getting a 50% speed increase. If they have to cut and slash to do it, then do it. Mozilla needs to do this as well as Open Office.

everyone is sitting behind the excuse that "processors are ultra fast now and ram is cheap." Linux is not the big fish... we must be faster and sleeker than the big fish to survive and overcome.

Re:I feel for the writer (2)

Coplan (13643) | about 12 years ago | (#4409977)

That brings a whole new perspective for me to the article. I'm kinda spoiled, as I run my computers personally, and I don't use them in a corporate environment.

I agree with you on the efficiency thing. KDE is nice and all, but do we really need another mail checker to nest in the bar?

KDE, Gnome, X -- whoever, should seriously consider your words and put them into actin. Never Mind the big/small fish just makes sense to have an efficient system anyhow.

How do other distributions compare? Are they more efficient?

Re:I feel for the writer (1)

Azghoul (25786) | about 12 years ago | (#4410015)

This is, actually, an interesting perspective that doesn't get enough attention.

Just a quick aside: Build more mail checkers, maybe someone can come with the greatest one yet... applets don't add bloat in and of themselves.

The trouble is, the people writing the applications have good machines and see the performance as "good enough" for them. They dont' ever run Gnome and KDE on old systems, or they'd see the crawl, the jumpy window moves and so on...

I can say they don't, because if they did, it'd drive 'em nuts and they'd spend some time on optimizations. :)

At least using Linux I can chop out the stuff I don't care for (I'm using WM for now...) and speed up the system myself, while the Gnome stuff I need (like Gnumeric) can still run when I need it!

Re:I feel for the writer (2, Informative)

bytor4232 (304582) | about 12 years ago | (#4410002)

Linux is not getting bloated, some distros are. I use Debian and can fit my entire os and every app I need on one CD. I put a PGI installer, which was trivial to do, and started handing it out. People have been loving it. Not to mention that you can just download a net installer which is alittle over 150 megs and let the installation process download just the packages you want.

Or you can go the route and kiss a social life goodbye.

Re:I feel for the writer (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 12 years ago | (#4410077)

Unfortunately, the consumer distros ARE getting bloated. That means that Joe Winpack, after hearing that Linux will work on his obsolete hardware, will buy RH 8.0 at the local CompUsa, install it, and gripe because it's slower than Doze! He probably hasn't even heard of Debian or Slackware, let alone LFS.

Re:I feel for the writer (2, Interesting)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | about 12 years ago | (#4410079)

Well I hate to be one of those "it works fine for me" types, but... it works fine for me on my p3 700 thinkpad with 256 meg ram. Not a powerhouse, and I tell you, beOS ran much much faster.

For a little reference, seeing BeOS was a sinking ship, I knew I had to find a new development platform. So I tried several distros, before settling down. Redhat, consistently (version 6.2, 7.0 and I think 7.1 or something) was slow as molassas. I tried SuSE, and it hauled a** relatively speaking. So I moved over to SuSE for about a year, before trying slack 8, which became my favorite. Slack made my "meager" p3 run like BeOS used to, and was so well designed, layed out, and documented that I didn't need YaST just to change my default runlevel.

Then, I found gentoo, but frankly gentoo isn't noticeably faster than slack. The only reason I'm sticking with gentoo is that its init system is the most utterly beautiful system I've ever worked with. And, because my work, which required under slack about 20 minutes to build after a "make distclean" builds now in about 7 to 10 minutes, which is a very nice thing.

So, what I'm getting at is that yes, mainstream linux is bloated. Sure. But I'm sure you can either turn off a lot of the nastiness redhat defaults to, or you can install a lighter system.

That's why we have options and competition people. Stop bitching.

Oh, and one more thing -- I do run kde, and on a well tuned system it hauls like a bat out of hell. You don't need to sacrifice functionality for performance. And yes, BeOS was fast, but BeOS didn't do 10% of what Gnome2 or KDE 3 can do ;)

Re:I feel for the writer (2, Informative)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | about 12 years ago | (#4410134)

I'll have to be one of those "works great here" types.

PII-266. 224 MB RAM. 6.4 GB HD.

Runs fine.

Balsa starts up fast. Galeon starts up fast. Mozilla starts up fairly fast. The only thing really slow starting up is OpenOffice. Hell, I have less trouble running DivX videos on this than on my folks' Celery 500 with 256 MB RAM.

Got the httpd running. Got named running. Got sshd running. Nautilus sits in the background doing Kosh-knows-what.

Distro? Red Hat 7.3. May go to 8 or Mandrake 9 if I can get my hands on some CDs.

I couldn't imagine running WinXP on anything less than a 600 MHz box with at least 256 MB ram.

But, that's just an anecdote...

Re:I feel for the writer (5, Insightful)

Ektanoor (9949) | about 12 years ago | (#4410114)

Bloatness on Linux is a question of administration and not a distro problem. Distros are for features and for the laziness of building everything nearly from scratch. On Celeron 500 + 64Mb maybe RH 8 will slow down as you may have installed everything you could... On PIII 866 + 128Mb? Well I've just 2 months ago switched to 256 and I don't get where you could have had problems. For a simple office task the machine was ok. However it was hard to work on a destkop and having 3-4 servers working on background for good. Yes, for good, as one of them was no one else than the video broadcaster from mpeg4ip which loads the machine very well.

On what relates to Windows. Do you wanna tell me that you can find a Windows good enough to hang on the configurations you pointed? Even NT had trouble working on the Celeron you pointed out. With only a browser it managed to eat up all memory and permanently require some 20Mb swap.

Or are you talking about the "new" Windows? This new XP crap needs no less than 256 megs to live relatively well on a PIII 900MHz. On that same machine I'm able to use a full-featured Mandrake 9 and have always some 100Mb free for something else, Quake III for example...

Keep the FUD for yourself while you can't switch from Windows Help to man rtfm

I'm using KDE w/ redhat 8 right now (2)

npietraniec (519210) | about 12 years ago | (#4409919)

I'm using KDE w/ redhat 8 right now, changing everything around and getting rid of that ugly bluecurve theme wasn't that bad. I'm even using KDM. The only thing that I had a problem with was removing that pam icon from the kde taskbar. I ended up renaming the binary... It's /usr/bin/pam-panel-icon if anyone is interested.

I think creating a common theme isn't a bad idea... The feel isn't my cup of tea though, since I don't like gnome. Changing everything wasn't that hard as long as you're familiar with the basic inner workings of the system

Re:I'm using KDE w/ redhat 8 right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410035)

What is this "pam"? The additional empty space in the system tray (or "keys" if you entered root password)?

Re:I'm using KDE w/ redhat 8 right now (1)

npietraniec (519210) | about 12 years ago | (#4410133)

the empty space and the keys are the same icon. move the binary mentioned and it will remove the empty space and the "keys." I wouldn't have anything against the keys, but the empty space is annoying. There's no way to just remove the empty space... It seems like a flawed implementation to me.

Good Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409923)

"...What kind of message do we as a community send when we shout about freedom of choice from one side of our collective mouth while condemning Red Hat (or anyone else) out the other side for exercising that very freedom in a manner we find personally objectionable?..."

Bravo. Nice article with a well-informed opinion piece at the end.

Didn't even get that far thanks to grub and lilo.. (5, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | about 12 years ago | (#4409926)

Bought RH 8.0 Professional expecting to get support people that could actually speak luck there. Four calls to tech support and I've yet to find any tech support person that could spell my email address correctly or understand English.

So I post to the Bug-Grub bug reporter answers yet.

Funny how other OSes(and their respective boot loaders) have no issues on this hardware....but Grub throws an "Error 28....cannot fit selected item into memory" and lilo just hangs or gives me a "CRC error".

I understand, nothing in the IT industry is perfect, but when I pay for support, I expect to get my problems resolved. (That's a stab at RedHat, not the Grub maintainers.) Other commercial OS vendors are quite responsive...I've even had MS tech support people on the phone for hours on end on a Saturday fixing an Exchange problem!

These bootloaders and Redhat's support system need a lot of work before corporate America commits time and resources to their products.


apt on RH? Me like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409929)

... I'm definitely going to try that. rpm is in all honesty Not That Great. Didn't know it was that easy, else I'd have gone for it long ago!

I don't plan to go to RH8 on my current machine, because the main improvements seem to be in the Gnome / KDE world, and my computer's just too slow to care - I live in WindowMaker.

And we have to have seen the world's most concise DMCA violation here: 'apt-get install ogle'. Twenty felonious bytes of federal crime and international terrorism...

Growing pains (2, Insightful)

lpret (570480) | about 12 years ago | (#4409935)

I've been hearing some really mixed messages about Red Hat and this can mean only one thing: Red Hat is growing and is poised to be a major player. I know I'm preaching to the choir a little, but I think these differing reviews help to bring Red Hat to the forefront. As the guide for John and Jane user showed, Red Hat 8.0 is going to allow new users an opportunity to jump on the linux wagon because of it's simple setup and use. And the amazing thing is that us nerdz can still micromanage to our heart's content.

I think as a whole community we need to show more support for Red Hat because once people see the advantages of Red Hat, it's not a big jump to find your favorite distro (SuSe for me :-) ) and isn't this what we're wanting to happen?

MP3 is GPL issue, not Thompson (5, Informative)

forevermore (582201) | about 12 years ago | (#4409937)

Thompson Multimedia, holders of the patent in question, have not unilaterally stated that Linux distributors are exempt from the licensing fees associated with providing MP3 decoding functionality in a non-free product.

It's my understanding that RH removed mp3 functionality because of GNU GPL issues, not Thompson's licensing. Apparently, the GPL prevents including code from patented, non-open/free protocols (I don't know the exact clause, but I'm pretty sure it's true). This means that all of the mp3 players out there are actually in violation of the GPL.

Say that again? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409964)

Apparently, the GPL prevents including code from patented, non-open/free protocols (I don't know the exact clause, but I'm pretty sure it's true). This means that all of the mp3 players out there are actually in violation of the GPL.

Are you on acid or something? Even if the GPL forbid the use of patented methods (It doesn't), did you even stop for the picosecond it would take you to realise that there are non-GPL MP3 players?

At least you got something right: RedHat removed all MP3 software due to Thompsons fuzzy licencsing terms regarding free software. Use Ogg instead (Or download the mpg123 RPM's yourself if you really must).

Re:MP3 is GPL issue, not Thompson (5, Informative)

be-fan (61476) | about 12 years ago | (#4410102)

The relevent clauses are 7 and 8 in the GPL [] Interestingly, the MP3 situation seems a bit fuzzy. They say that if you cannot redistribute the source freely (because of patents), then you cannot distribute the program at all. This does not necessarily mean that a GPL program cannot implemented patented non-open/free protocols. It just means that it can't implement such protocols if they require a license fee per copy, which until recently MP3 did not. Also, since most MP3 players are distributed mainly as source, it is questionable whether they violate the GPL. After all, FreeType includes the bytecode interpreter in the source, but that doesn't violate Apple's patent unless an actual product (binary) is generated with the bytecode interpreter enabled.

That title is double-redundant! (0)

The_Messenger (110966) | about 12 years ago | (#4409940)

Newbies using Red Hat and KDE? You don't say!

Re:That title is double-redundant! (5, Insightful)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 12 years ago | (#4409982)

This is one of the main reasons that GNU/Linux is so slow to grow. The condescending attitudes of people like you. What did you start off using? debian? suse? or did you just write your own flavor. jesus man, thats why people are so scared to try it out, because if they ask a question of SOME people, they get laughed at and made to feel stupid, and get stuck. Maybe these "newbies" just want their system to
  • just work
maybe they dont want to compile everything, maybe they are just converts that want to email websurf and do light gaming. Give people a little slack. Just a thought.

A play-by-play of the reviewer's day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4409949)

1) Start up KDE in RedHat 8.0
2) Make theme related changes
3) Write article with conclusion "It's just theme changes, no big deal!"
4) Spend a few minutes trying to figure out how to shut the computer down, then give up and shut down from Gnome or the command line

Red Hat 8 (2)

j_kenpo (571930) | about 12 years ago | (#4409962)

OSNews had a similar article yesterday with similar complaints.. I thought it was strange that they ran almost the same story today as well. Im running a Cyrix 6x86 at my house and Red Hat 8 with KDE as my desktop runs great. Not as fast as a Windows 95 setup on that box, but much faster than a Windows 98 setup. My KDE response time is pretty decent with this setup. Im running a custom kernel of course, since this box doesnt have half of the stuff that comes pre-compiled or modularized by default. In fact, Im pretty satisfied with Red Hat 8.0, although I wouldnt go so far as to say its noticable faster than 7.3 was, or if there are any noticable improvements other than the included OpenOffice, Evolution, and Synaptic (I use apt-rpm for package management off fresh-rpms). I didnt experience any of the complaints that were described in the article...

Strip down the distro...make it clean... (1)

bsdparasite (569618) | about 12 years ago | (#4409965)

I agree with the author about the distributions. I think they load your machine up with several choices for the same application. I have a 192MB PII 266, and I installed RedHat 7.3 and found that I had to tweak and uninstall several things and stop various services before I got reasonably fast GNOME desktop. I know it's a pain to run GNOME on an old box, but still, I am guessing GNOME 2.0 is slower than the 1.4 version I have on my machine. I guess I need a hardware upgrade, but if I just want to choose that path, I might as well go with *gasp* M$FT!

Re:Strip down the distro...make it clean... (1)

ambrosius27 (251484) | about 12 years ago | (#4410018)

Most reports are to the contrary: GNOME2 is considered much faster than GNOME 1.4, especially with regard to Nautilus. You should try out GNOME 2.02 parallel installed through one of the new distributions or through GARNOME, for example.

Re:Strip down the distro...make it clean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410085)

Try other distributions, like gentoo.

read the release notes if you want dvd playback! (5, Informative)

iamwoodyjones (562550) | about 12 years ago | (#4409980)

Man, I skipped them and ended up getting burned bad! They made it where you can't enable Direct Memory access on your dvd player unless you modify /etc/modules.conf and put a options line in it. I banged my head on my desk for hours wondering why I couldn't get my DVD player to work right until I read a note on Ogle's FAQ. So, just a reminder to all you DVD playing cats out there, read the release notes!

DMA is disabled on CD-ROM drives in this release in a different but more reliable way than previously. If you are sure that your CD-ROM drive is capable of IDE DMA, place the following line in the /etc/modules.conf file:

options ide-cd dma=1

Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410012)

is the solution to speed problems. A bit of RTFM-ing on their website shows up gcc flags that can be used to compile all the binaries effortlessly from scratch that will result in 200% speed increase (damn I start sounding like a pron site :P) RedHat is just a distribution like all the others. A bloated distribution with a poor package management system too. Not to mention default security.

Note to Linux newbies: you should try other distributions as well. RedHat is just not the way. And for servers, Linux is not the way to go. FreeBSD is the schnitz when it comes to http servers, samba, you name it. If it has networking and it's a server, it will run on FreeBSD.


Would you like cheese with your whine? (1)

Whatthehellever (93572) | about 12 years ago | (#4410020)

Quit bitching about the crippling of KDE. Do not install KDE during the installation of RH8, FTP the source, compile it and *bam*, you have KDE 3.0.3.

Personally, I use Blackbox. Why? Because I have the right to *choose*.

My mini RH 8.0 review (4, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | about 12 years ago | (#4410041)

Let's see if RedHat 8.0 works as a business desktop, its STATED target.

Easy for admin to deploy. check
Easy to use desktop even for a windows user. check
Comes with a great Office Suite and email client. check
Comes with a fast stable web browser. check
The best fonts and font tool ever for a linux distro. check
Absolutly 100% free to download ISO's. check
A billion times more secure than Outlook/IE. check
Responsive on modern(1GHz 256MB) machines. check
Companies has given/gives back a LOT to the community. check

I've been using Redhat since 5.0 and I've also pretty much every distro under the sun. For desktop linux this is a high wark mark. It still has a few rough edges when it comes to consumer usage, but really for the business desktop this is deployable NOW. If I were starting a company today there is not doubt RH 8 would be my choice regardless of cost. Also remember this is Redhat's FIRST attempt at the desktop. I can only imagine how good Redhat 8.1 or 8.2 is going to be.

Re:My mini RH 8.0 review (1)

twener (603089) | about 12 years ago | (#4410092)

Requires registration for (security) updates. check
Sends your installed packets list during online update. check
Tries to send your hardware configuration and mount-points during online update. check

Doesn't sound this familiar from a much bigger company?

Some thoughts and specific user experience items (4, Interesting)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | about 12 years ago | (#4410044)

me me me ... I've been using RH80 for a few days now. I was initially a bit scared of the XP-ish UI, but I found it to be quite pleasant and non-annoying like the real XP.

There are a few things that initially annoy me, but these are relatively minor and I'm sure they'll be addressed in the next point releases ...

1. The lack of MP3 support in XMMS is retarded. Supposedly, they were going to provide an alternate XMMS plugin that would at least inform the user about MP3 support, but somehow that didn't make its way into the final release. So, try to initially play an MP3... doesn't work, no information about *why*. (not a problem for me, because I just went and compiled up my own xmms, but for an average joe, this would be a problem).

2. I'm sick of Mozilla being included in these distros without any plugins! For christs sake, at least throw some java in there by default!!

3. Logged into gnome as a regular user, there should be some way to supply a root password into Nautilus to be able to manage files in restricted folders, such as /root. Most commonly, the end user is root, but probably runs as a normal user most of the time. I don't want to log out, and log back into the GUI as root, just to perform some basic tasks.

4. Some bugs... don't leave any non-gnome apps open when you log out, such as xmms or gkrellm. If you do, when you log back in, your session will be f*cked and for some odd reason, you won't be able to log out. The fix (if this happens to you) is to go to one of the many setup menus and find the "sessions" admin app, and clear the non-gnome apps from the current session and save. Then, you'll be able to log out and return to normal.

5. FIRSTBOOT!! There's a daemon that runs on the first boot, and it uses X. Sometimes, at least in VMWARE, X fails to load for firstboot, and hence, it gets skipped. Without going through the firstboot process, certain parts of the distro get broken, such as the hostname, and thus, gnome runs like crap with hostname problems.

6. Too many setup menus!! There are just too many menus for configuring the system. Seems kinda redundant, and silly to have to search through multiple menus to locate a single app because the user can't remember whether the item is in "preferences" or "system settings".

7. Get rid of the "extras" menu... just move those apps to their appropriate menu items. For example, the x-chat IRC client is located in the "extras menu" beneath "internet"... well, it should be in the real "internet" menu.


Thats it from the complaint dept. Otherwise, even as an experienced linux user (and a CLI oriented programmer at that), I find the RH80 gui environment to be extremely nice to usem, wihtout many annoyances.

Fact: slashdot is dead! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4410047)

Ok, let's examine the situation. A person writes a Review of Red Hat 8, and it gets posted on OSNews [] (which, btw, allows user comments). Then, that person tells slashdot [] (which also allows user comments) that he wrote a review and posted it to osnews.

Soooo, why didn't the review get posted to slashdot to begin with? Is anyone going to miss slashdot when VA Linux closes it down in January?

Changing Linux (1)

dazdaz (77833) | about 12 years ago | (#4410049)

If the goal of Linux is to run on lots of hardware, including the not so old 500mhz boxes, then Redhat has lost the spirit of Linux, which makes me wonder what the longer term implications of this are. The distribution should follow the spirit of the kernel.

It also makes me wonder when Linus will put his foot down, I would be very surprised if he does'nt as these distributions simply "don't understand" the whole point of Linux.

Or should Linus setup a Linux distribution, that would make Redhat conform too.

Why do they call it slow? (2)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 12 years ago | (#4410055)

I've noticed that a lot of Linux distribution reviews from people who have little experience with Linux say it's slow.
I don't get it. Why? An earlier RedHat 8.0 review from Eugenia says that RedHat 8.0 is *faster* than previous versions. GNOME 1 users reported that GNOME 2 is a lot faster (and I agree with them; GNOME 2 IS a lot faster, especially Nautilus).
I have an Athlon 1.4 Ghz with 128 MB RAM, and running on GNOME 2. It's very usable (I use Linux as my primairy OS) and fast. Compared to Windows ME, there's not much difference.
Yet the article says everything is slow as hell, even the one with 128 MB RAM.

Why? Why is it half of all reviews say that the desktop is slow while the other half say it's fast?

For the love of GAWD (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | about 12 years ago | (#4410106)

This guy is using a dinosaur notebook. It only has 64mb of RAM, a 4.3gig HD and a Celeron400a (whatever that means. Whats the Mhz on that thing?)CPU.

I'm starting to wonder. Is one of the requirements to being a faithful free software proponent that you suffer using old and vastly outdated hardware to compliment your largely incompatible and non-user-friendly software? Then once you've installed the latest distro, which is surely a lot more resource hungry then the fabled "bare kernels" which so many love to boast they've installed on their toasters, you bitch about how slowly it performs? Give me a break.

...yes. (0)

hatrisc (555862) | about 12 years ago | (#4410108)

yes. now we see what red hat has been looking to do since the beginning. it's looking to take something and make it theres. you have two awesome things, in kde and gnome, and red hat brands them both as if red hat made them. not giving credit to the people who put all this hard work into it every single night. also, who is very much synonymous with linux to new users? red hat. red hat was the company (along side of valinux) who hit big in the stock market. anybody in business will know red hat, but will they know debian or slack? not, unless they really dive into this mysterious world which is the linux saga. only then do new users see that there are many many more choices. (maybe sitting on the shelf next to them, and maybe they will buy non-red hat, but what made them come to the store? a little guy wearing a red hat.) there is a reason that red hat has a majority of the linux public. it's because of association. people immediately associate linux with red hat. i work in a computer lab, and when people ask me to install linux for them, i ask which distro? and they look at me with a blank stare and say, huh? this maybe only happens here, i don't know.

8.0 (1)

dr-suess-fan (210327) | about 12 years ago | (#4410126)

Problems ? At a Redhat x.0 release ? *yawn*

No vendor is perfect. If this release isn't, there will always be updates and 8.1 down the road.

My 2 cents including tax.
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