Choosing a version of Red Hat

Eric Rostetter eric.rostetter at
Fri Oct 10 13:10:01 CDT 2003

Quoting Brian Guy <brian at>:

> Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm a bit confused as to what
> version of Red Hat Linux I should choose for my servers.

If you want any support, then it has to be one of the Red Hat Enterprise
Linux versions, or a non-Red Hat version (e.g. SuSe).

> My understanding is that Red Hat versions 8 & 9 are mostly enhancements for
> a desktop scenario,

That is not true.  8/9 add a lot of server features like LVM, SW Raid support
at install time, experimental ACL support, better kernel VM and kernel utils
(e.g. irqbalance), Native Posix Threading in the kernel, newer mailman
software, a different ftp server, apache 2.x and newer php, devlabel support,
etc.  Plus some security upgrades to sendmail (runs as two processes instead
of one), ssh, iptables is the default instead of ipchains, etc.

It is not just desktop stuff, there is a lot of server updates in there.

> and that version 7.x should be sufficient for servers.

Yes, it is sufficient.  But I would run something newer.  For example, I
waited for years for LVM so I can do snapshots.  I've upgraded all my
servers so I could use LVM.

> I was going to install Red Hat 8 or 9, but I am noticing that some of the
> "add-ons" I need only have drivers for 7.x (I haven't considered too
> seriously the 2.x Enterprise versions since I'm trying to keep costs down).

If you need something that is only available or supported on 7.x, then
I would recommend 7.x.  RHEL 2.x is based on RH 7.x, so it would probably
work also.  RHEL 3.x is based on RH 9, so beware of that.

> My specific concerns are support for Dell OpenManage and support for the
> Adaptec ATA RAID 2400A (in 2 of the 5 servers).  The Adaptec web site states
> that Red Hat Linux driver is only available for Red Hat 7.0.  Only 2 of the
> servers will have the Adaptec ATA RAID 2400A with 4 x 120 GB IDE drives (to
> save $), and the other 3 servers will have software RAID with Dell OEM SCSI
> drives (no PERC to save $)

Dell OM should run on any Dell Supported version.  I would stay clear of
RH 7.0 as it was a terrible release with lots of strange quirks (2.4 kernel
ready but running the 2.2 kernel, shipped with lots of security bugs, out
of RH support, etc).

> getting the Dell distribution of Red Hat?  Does the Dell distro of Red Hat
> make it easier to get OpenManage working?

Only slightly.  You should be able to run OM on any release.

> Thanks!
> Brian

Eric Rostetter
The Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin

Why get even? Get odd!

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