Red Hat Launches Version 7.2 of Linux OS

Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. on Monday updated its Red Hat Linux operating

systems for consumer PCs and for business workstations and servers.

Both operating systems use the Linux 2.4.7 kernel and the GNOME 1.4

desktop environment. Red Hat also announced pricing for its upcoming

Red Hat Embedded Linux Developer Suite, setting the price at US$2,500.

The Linux 2.4.7 kernel makes the open-source operating system more

scalable by improving its performance in computers with more than one

processor, expanding its system memory up to 64G bytes and using Ext3

journaling and a logical volume manager to better manage large file

systems. It also has advanced power management features. The 2.4 Linux

kernel was released by Linux creator Linus Torvalds in January.

The updated Red Hat consumer Linux flavor, Red Hat Linux 7.2, comes

with improved USB (Universal Serial Bus) support, the GNOME and KDE

desktop environments, game demo software, a Nautilus file manager from

Eazel Inc. and a Mozilla Web browser. It also comes bundled with Sun

Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice 5.2 office applications, and compilers

for C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, and PHP interpreters.

The GNOME 1.4 open source desktop used by Red Hat isn't perfectly

compatible with the version developed by open source software vendor

Ximian Inc., said Marty Wesley, a Red Hat product manager. "We're both

pulling from the GNOME base, but from a different point in time," he

said. Ximian tends to use later versions of GNOME in order to stay

cutting edge, while Red Hat tends to work longer on its GNOME products

in order to improve stability, he said.

Linux isn't perceived as user friendly when compared to the Apple

Computer Inc. or Microsoft Corp. desktop environments -- an issue the

open-source community has tried to address with the GNOME project for

an open-source desktop. Just as Red Hat banks on Linux, Ximian Inc.

banks on GNOME, producing its own flavor of the Linux-compatible

desktop.

As Red Hat's modifications to GNOME are published under the GNU General

Public License (GPL), the two versions will grow more compatible, he

said. "Ximian tends to stay a little closer to the tip of the tree ...

but all of these branches eventually fold back into the trunk."

The updated operating sytem for business PCs and servers, called Red

Hat Linux Professional, comes with everything in the consumer version,

along with Web server applications software, application development

tools, an e-commerce package, workstation applications including Adobe

Systems Inc.'s Acrobat reader and IBM Corp.'s Java Run Time

Environment. It also comes with system administrator software and two

months of support, along with a six month subscription to Red Hat

Network Software Manager for one system.

Red Hat plans to release an advanced server version of Red Hat Linux

7.2 for data center use within the next six months. A version of Red

Hat Linux 7.2 for IBM's S/390 mainframe computers and a version for

Intel Corp.'s Itanium processor will be released by the end of the

year, Wesley said.

Red Hat also reiterated its intent to release its developer suite for

embedded Linux, but without giving a release date in the announcement.

Red Hat Linux 7.2 is priced at $59.95, while Red Hat Linux Professional

is priced at $199.95. Both versions are available from Red Hat's Web

site, http://www.redhat.com, at retail stores and through computer

makers.

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