Features in Red Hat Linux

Features in Red Hat Linux

The major components in the Fedora Core include (with version numbers):

  • Linux kernel: version 2.4.22

  • GNOME (desktop environment): version 2.4

  • KDE (desktop environment): version 3.1.4

  • GCC (GNU C language compilation system): version 3.3

  • Apache (Web server): version 2.0.47

  • Samba (Windows SMB file/printer sharing): version 3.0

  • CUPS (print services): version 1.1.19

  • Sendmail (mail transport agent): version 8.12

  • vsFTPd (secure FTP server): version 1.2

  • INN (Usenet news server): version 2.3.5

  • MySQL (database server): version 3.23.58

  • BIND (Domain name system server): version 9.2.2


    If you want the latest features in Linux when looking at different Linux distributions, compare the version numbers shown above. Version numbers and names that Linux distributors such as Mandrake, SUSE, and Red Hat associate with their releases can be arbitrary. By comparing versions of the kernel, KDE and GNOME desktops, and GNU compiler they are using, you can tell which distribution actually has the latest features.

As Red Hat continues to consolidate its distribution, some popular packages have been dropped from Fedora Core since the previous version of Red Hat Linux, such as the following:

  • LPRng — This printing service was dropped, making CUPS the preferred (and only) printing service included with Red Hat Linux.

  • exmh — This e-mail handling system was dropped from this release.

  • galeon — This Web browser was replaced by the epiphany Web browser.

  • pine — This e-mail reader was dropped due to maintenance and licencing concerns.

  • LILO — This boot loader has been replaced by GRUB by and removed from the distribution.

  • tripwire — This software for checking the integrity of your Red Hat Linux system was removed from this version. (You can find information on tripwire on the Red Hat Linux Bible Web site: www.wiley.com/compbooks/negus.)

Here are a few other packages that are noted as deprecated (slated to be dropped in the future):

  • Glide3 — This package supports 3D graphics for Mesa and 3Dfx Voodoo hardware.

  • sndconfig — Redhat-config-soundcard is recommended for configuring sound cards.

  • ncpfs— This package is used to set up NetWare servers in Linux.

See Appendix B for information on other packages no longer included in Red Hat Linux.


Just because a package has been dropped from Red Hat Linux doesn't mean that you can't still get and use the package. In fact, I tell how to find and install packages like wine and WuFTPd in this book that have been dropped from previous versions of Red Hat Linux.

The following paragraphs describe many of the major features in both Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Red Hat config tools

Red Hat has added to its growing arsenal of graphical administrative tools. Since dropping the linuxconf and bypassing the Webmin graphical administrative interfaces, Red Hat has been steadily developing and adding its own administrative tools to its distribution. As a result, a systems administration can often skip running shell commands and editing plain-text configuration files to set up servers, manage system resources, or add users.

The following is a list of Red Hat GUI packages and what each is used to configure:

  • redhat-config-bind:???Domain Name System server.

  • redhat-config-date:???System time and date.

  • redhat-config-httpd:???Apache Web server.

  • redhat-config-language:???Languages for Red Hat Linux.

  • redhat-config-keyboard:???Keyboard selection.

  • redhat-config-kickstart:???Kickstart files for unattended Red Hat Linux installations.

  • redhat-config-mouse:???A mouse.

  • redhat-config-network:???Network interfaces.

  • redhat-config-nfs:???Network File System shared directories.

  • redhat-config-packages:???Red Hat Linux software.

  • redhat-config-printer:???Printers.

  • redhat-config-printer-gui:???Printers (GUI).

  • redhat-config-printer-tui:???Printers (text-based).

  • redhat-config-proc:???Kernel tunable parameters.

  • redhat-config-rootpassword:???Change your root password.

  • redhat-config-samba:???Samba Windows file/printer sharing (new in Red Hat Linux 9).

  • redhat-config-securitylevel:???Iptables firewalls.

  • redhat-config-services:???System services.

  • redhat-config-soundcard:???Sound card.

  • redhat-config-time:???Set time and date.

  • redhat-config-users:???User accounts.

  • redhat-config-xfree86:???X display and monitor.

  • redhat-logviewer:???System log file viewer.

You can launch the tools associated with the previous packages either from the main Red Hat menu or from a Terminal window. In most cases, the name of the command you run to launch the window is the same name as the package it comes in.

Red Hat desktop interfaces

KDE and GNOME are desktop environments that provide a framework for running and developing graphical applications and offer a full range of preferences to allow users to tailor the exact desktop look-and-feel. There was some hubbub surrounding the new "Red Hat" look-and-feel implemented in Red Hat Linux 8, which gave both GNOME and KDE similar menus, icons, and colors. Die-hard GNOME and KDE users, however, are free to change their desktops however they like.

Unlike previous releases of Red Hat Linux, you have to work a bit to get the KDE desktop. If you choose to install Red Hat Linux as a Personal Desktop or Workstation system, you get the GNOME desktop by default. You must specifically ask to install additional packages to get KDE. By default, it is only included in an Everything install.

Additional software packages

By far, most of the enhancements to Fedora Core over previous versions of Red Hat Linux have come in existing packages. Some new packages have been added, however. Along with those mentioned in previous sections, the following list gives you an idea of some of the new software packages added to Red Hat Linux:

  • acpid — Provides tools for the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface feature.

  • Bluetooth — The bluez-bluefw, bluez-hcidump, bluez-pan, and bluez-sdp packages offer support for Bluetooth wireless networking.

  • brltty — Contains support for braille terminal access to console.

  • dovecot — Contains the dovecot secure IMAP server.

  • dvd+rw-tools — Contains tools for mastering DVD content.

  • epiphany — A Web browser that replaces the galeon Web browser in this release.

  • freeradius — Contains the remote authentication dial-in user service authentication protocol..

  • gnome-pilot-conduits — Contains the Palm OS PDA conduits.

  • nano — Contains the nano text editor.

  • yum — Contains the yum command for downloading and installing selected software packages in RPM format.

There are other new packages in this release of Fedora Core as well. For a complete list of packages in this release of Red Hat Linux (all of which are on the CDs that come with this book), see Appendix B.

Part IV: Red Hat Linux Network and Server Setup