Red Hat Linux

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Linux distribution. For the women's society, see Red Hat Society.

Red Hat Linux is a Linux distribution, which was one of the most popular. It is assembled by Red Hat.

It is one of the "middle-aged" Linux distributions; 1.0 was released in November 3, 1994. It is not as old as Slackware, but certainly older than many other distributions. It was the first Linux distribution to use RPM as its packaging format, and over time has served as the starting point for several other distributions, such as the desktop-oriented Mandrake Linux (originally Red Hat Linux with KDE), Yellow Dog Linux (which started from Red Hat Linux with PowerPC support) and ASPLinux (Red Hat Linux with better non-Latin character support).

Since 2003, Red Hat has shifted their focus towards the business market and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Linux 9, the final release, hit its official end-of-life on April 30, 2004, although the Fedora Legacy project continues to publish updates.



Red Hat Linux is marketed primarily as a server operating system. It is also popular among companies running computing farms and the like as the built-in installation scripting tool "kickstart" enables fast configuring and set up of standardized hardware. From version 8.0, Red Hat has also targeted the corporate desktop.

Special characteristics

Red Hat Linux is installed with a graphical installer called Anaconda, intended to be easy to use for novices. It also has a built-in tool called Lokkit for configuring the firewall capabilities.

As of Red Hat Linux 8.0, UTF-8 was enabled as the default font encoding for the system. This has little effect on English-speaking users, but when using the upper part of the ISO 8859-1 character set, characters are encoded in a radically different way. This has been seen by e.g. French or Swedish-speaking users as an aggressive move, because their old filesystems look very different and might be unusable afterwards. This change can be undone by removing the ".UTF-8" part of the "LANG" setting.

Version 8.0 was also the first to include the Bluecurve desktop theme.

Red Hat Linux lacks many features due to possible copyright and patent problems. For example, MP3 support is disabled in both Rhythmbox and XMMS; instead, Red Hat recommends using Ogg Vorbis, which has no patents. MP3 support, however, can be installed afterwards, although royalties are required in the United States. NTFS support is also missing, but can be freely installed as well.


Main article: Fedora Core

Red Hat Linux was originally developed exclusively inside Red Hat, with the only feedback from users coming through bug reports and contributions to the included software packages — not contributions to the distribution as such. This was changed late in 2003 when Red Hat Linux merged with the community-based Fedora Linux project. The new plan is to draw most of the codebase from Fedora when creating new Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions. Fedora Core (wrongly known as Fedora Linux) replaces the original Red Hat Linux download and retail version. The model is similar to the relationship between Netscape Communicator and Mozilla, or StarOffice and, although in this case the resulting commercial product is also fully free software.

Version history

Release dates drawn from announcements on comp.os.linux.announce (news:comp.os.linux.announce).

The Fedora and Red Hat Projects merged September 22 2003.

See also

External links

da:Red Hat de:Red Hat Linux es:Red Hat Linux fr:Red Hat ja:Red Hat Linux ko:레드햇 리눅스 pl:Red Hat pt:Red Hat Linux sv:Red Hat Linux zh:Red Hat Linux


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