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the distro kunundrum...

On Nov 17, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Stephen Adler wrote:

> I feel the need to chime in, especially since I started this thread.

By all means, please do. ;)

> I think Red Hat has done a superb job of keeping to the mission of providing a stable linux distribution for so many years. I've had more trouble going from one version of fedora to another because things change so much between releases.

My only significant annoyance with Fedora isn't so much Fedora as it is the upstream kernel. While the latest release is *usually* better than the prior one, far too often, something breaks on at least one of my systems. More often than not, its something somewhat critical to proper operation of my ThinkPad T61. With 2.6.31, wireless likes to periodically wedge itself after years of working flawlessly and the sd/mmc card slot driver started doing something dumb when a card is in the system, preventing suspend from finishing, leaving the thing hung trying to suspend for all eternity... As a result, my ThinkPad has been relegated to a testing/hacking machine, rather than the main laptop I rely on for personal use. Check the headers in this email to figure out what OS is running on the new la
 ptop I bought... :)

> VMWare is a case in point. I could never keep VMWare working from one release to another without having to dig through the internet looking for that patch out of the .cz domain. For mission critical system, one you have rhel installed and working, you can pretty much forget about the system and move on to other projects.

Yeah, VMware is notorious for sucking at keeping up with the latest upstream kernel. VirtualBox does a much better job on that front, but their management tools are nowhere near as mature.

> That being said.... I did have my first big letdown with this last server from Dell I got. And I blame it on the hardware out pacing RHEL.

That pretty well sums up the problem here. RHEL updates are only released every 6-8 months or so. Major kernel changes are frowned upon in between those releases. From time to time, new hardware lands in the middle of that window, and the new hardware requires major kernel changes to be properly supported. Adding that support also involves some heavy-duty regression testing to make sure that its not going to break any hardware already out on the market, because supporting a shiny new box is obviously no good if its at the cost of the existing user base. Avoiding regressions is probably one of the most critical things Red Hat attempts to do with any and all RHEL updates.

> The was just something basically wrong in the way RHEL 5.4 was running on the Dell. The dell is based on the 5520 chipset from intel. when I turned on hyperthreading, the raid rebuilding was running at about 4megs/sec. When I turned off hyperthreading, the raid rebuild went up to about 30megs/sec. When I installed fedora 11, the raid rebuilding popped up to about 70megs/sec with hyperthreading enabled. I also had the problem with the network bandwidth running way too slow. There may have been some kernel flag I needed to put in the boot command line, but there was nothing which I could find. So in my haste to get this dell up and running, I put fedora 11 on it (the equivalent to openSUSE) and it's running great. Since this system is a backup machine for studies being done under the previ
 ew of the FDA, I would prefer RHEL.
> Redhat 5 has now been out for several years. I'm not sure when rhel 6 is due, but I'm going to wait until it comes out and the replace fedora 11 with the newer rhel 6.

I have reason to believe your machine will also be well supported by the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 kernel, if not sooner. I can neither confirm nor deny anything related to RHEL6 release dates... :)

Jarod Wilson
jarod-ajLrJawYSntWk0Htik3J/w at

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