Built around the Linux 2.4 kernel and boasting several new configuration and usability enhancements, Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux 7.1 packs advances for the corporate server and desktop alike.
In eWeek Labs tests, we were impressed with Red Hat 7.1s server configuration tools. The BIND tool provided a nice graphical editor that let us create forward and reverse lookup zones, and the Apache configuration editor let us quickly edit what port the Apache Web server used, set up document root directories and enable Secure Sockets Layer support. It was a pleasure to use and a welcome addition because Apache doesnt ship with any administration tools.
Red Hat 7.1 installs more securely out of the box than Version 7.0 did. By default, it installs firewall settings that block incoming IP traffic on ports below 1024 (with the exception of ports used for automatic IP address assignment) plus higher-numbered ports used by Network File System and X Window. We could easily re-enable ports for common server applications if we desired.
Red Hat 7.1, available now for download, carries with it the bolstered multiprocessor support, greater memory expansion range and multithreaded network stack of the 2.4 kernel and now ships with the fast Tux 2.0 Web server.
Versions of Red Hat Linux in $39.95 Standard, $79.95 Deluxe and $179.95 Professional packages will hit retail stores this week and can be ordered through Red Hats Web site. The Deluxe and Professional editions come with 60 and 90 days of technical support and access to Red Hats software update service, respectively, and other bundled software.
Red Hat 7.1 ships with KDE 2.1.1, the latest release of that desktop environment. With 2.1.1, KDE has reached a level of maturity at which many Windows-accustomed users will quickly be able to find their way around.
Red Hat 7.1 does not ship with GNOME 1.4, but with the older Version 1.2. Alternatively, MandrakeSoft Inc.s Red Hat-like Linux-Mandrake 8.0, which shipped last week, includes GNOME 1.4.
Red Hat 7.1 also ships with XFree 86 4.0.3, which boasts wider graphics card support and, with KDE 2.1.1, allows for anti-aliased desktop fonts.