Announcing the availability of Red Hat Linux 7.2 (Enigma)

Posted by dave on Oct 22, 2001 5:40 AM EDT
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Red Hat, Inc. (NASDAQ:RHAT) today announced that Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux Professional are now available in stores, through computer resellers and direct from Red Hat. The latest version of the market leading Linux distribution adds significant new capabilities, both for use as a workstation and use as a server. Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux Professional will also be available through hardware partners in the coming weeks.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - October 22, 2001 - Red Hat, Inc. (NASDAQ:RHAT) 
today announced that Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux Professional are 
now available in stores, through computer resellers and direct from Red Hat.
The latest version of the market leading Linux distribution adds significant 
new capabilities, both for use as a workstation and use as a server. Red Hat 
Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux Professional will also be available through 
hardware partners in the coming weeks.

"Red Hat Linux has built an unmatched reputation in terms of reliability, security, cost effectiveness and service - and as a result, we are seeing more and more software developers choose Red Hat Linux as their Linux development platform of choice," said Paul Cormier, Executive VP of Engineering, Red Hat. "We are pleased that for the first time in the open source space, Red Hat Linux 7.2 will provide both developers and customers a unified code base for a full spectrum of computing platforms, from small, embedded devices up to the largest mainframe computers."

Key new features of Red Hat Linux 7.2 enhance the viability and value of the Linux OS as a server in the corporate environment. These include:

* The 2.4.7 Linux kernel for increased scalability * Ext3 Journaling file system for data reliability * Network Configuration, User Management, and Hardware Viewing tools for infrastructure and development * Firewall Configuration during installation and Red Hat Network for added security

Red Hat Linux 7.2 is a powerful workstation product at an unbeatable price. Key new features include:

* Improved USB support * Nautilus file manager * Mozilla Web browser * Latest versions of the GNOME and KDE desktop environments * Office applications, such as a full version of Sun StarOffice 5.2 * Printed Installation Guide and extensive Linux documentation * C, C++, Java and other compilers as well as Python, Perl and PHP interpreters * Complete web, file, mail, name, ftp and print servers * Loki Game demo CD * 30 days of Web-based support * 30-day subscription of Red Hat Network Software Manager for 1 system

Red Hat Linux Professional is for professional workstations and servers. It includes everything in Red Hat Linux 7.2, plus:

* A printed Customization Guide * A Web Server Applications CD with application development tools and Interchange ECommerce package * Workstation Applications CD with full Adobe Acrobat, IBM Java Run Time Environment and more * System Administrator CD * 60 days of Web-based support * 60 days of Telephone-based support, including 2 incidents * 180-day subscription of Red Hat Network Software Manager for 1 system

Within six months, Red Hat will announce an advanced server version of Red Hat Linux 7.2, with a Linux kernel specifically compiled for datacenter deployments, including full support for UP through 8-way SMP systems. Also due out later is a version of Red Hat Linux 7.2 for IBM's S/390 Mainframe, complete with the 2.4 kernel, development libraries, and S/390 specific tools and utilities for installation natively or as VM guests. For both products Red Hat will offer a complete set of support and professional services, including software maintenance, technical support, consulting, deployment, integration, training and custom development services.

Additionally, Red Hat will be announcing the availability of the Red Hat Embedded Linux Developer Suite, a packaged solution for creating embedded applications and devices. The Developer Suite, which will start at $2,500.00, accelerates development cycles and improves product quality by using Red Hat Linux 7.2 as the common base for the host and target platforms.

"The unified code base of Red Hat Linux 7.2 provides an unprecedented technical capability, which will have market-changing ramifications," said Michael Tiemann, CTO of Red Hat. "Embedded systems can now save cost by using commodity PC components, benefiting from the immense driver support offered by Red Hat Linux 7.2. Mainframes, which offer tremendous capabilities and capacities for workload and data management, can now manage modern Linux-based applications and services."

"Recent IDC surveys show that many organizations see Linux as a low-end replacement for UNIX," said Dan Kusnetzky, VP system software, IDC. "Concerns about Linux's scalability, reliability and manageability have been holding back the Linux implementation plans in these organizations. The announcement of Red Hat Linux 7.2 is likely to put many of these concerns to rest."

Pricing and Availability Red Hat Linux 7.2 is priced at $59.95; Red Hat Linux Professional is priced at $199.95; Red Hat Embedded Linux Developer Suite will start at $2,500.00. Pricing for the other products will be announced upon availability. Contact Red Hat for pricing of various service and support programs.

Red Hat Linux 7.2 is available at and at retail stores including Best Buy, CompUSA and MicroCenter. Red Hat Linux 7.2 will also be available through hardware partners such as Dell, Compaq, IBM and Penguin Computing.


For download availability, please try the mirror closest to you. The following mirrors have Red Hat Linux 7.2 available:

Europe: (also rsync access) (also rsync access) (valid reverse DNS record required) (also rsync access)

North America : (also rsync access) (also rsync access) (also rsync access) (also IPv6 access)

South America :


Asia: (also IPv6 access) (also rsync access) (also rsync access)

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Red Hat Linux/x86 7.2 Release Notes ---------------------------------------------

Anaconda/Installer Notes ------------------------

Bootloader ----------

- We now use GRUB as the default boot loader. However, LILO is still available for legacy installations.

- GRUB supports a password that controls access to the GRUB shell; because of GRUB's ability to run arbitrary commands, this can be an important aspect in maintaining system security. Please carefully consider the implications of this before deciding whether or not to set a GRUB password. This password is encrypted using MD5; see the grub-md5-crypt man page for more information.

- When performing an upgrade from a previous version of Red Hat Linux, it is necessary to write the boot loader out to the same location that was used in the previous installation. For example, if the boot loader was written to the master boot record (MBR) originally, when the system is upgraded you must write the boot loader to the MBR as well. Otherwise, the system will most likely not be able to boot. - If you are using the GRUB boot loader, please note that you do not have to re-run GRUB after upgrading your kernel. This is different from the LILO boot loader, which required re-running LILO after each change. Simply modifying GRUB's configuration file (/boot/grub/grub.conf) to point to your new kernel will allow GRUB to boot it.

- If you decide to switch to using the GRUB boot loader after installation, or you need to reinstall GRUB, you may do so using the /sbin/grub-install command. The command syntax must include the device specification showing where the boot loader should be installed.

Example: /sbin/grub-install /dev/hda

- To boot into single-user mode from GRUB, do the following from the GRUB menu screen:

1. Select the desired kernel.

2. Press the 'e' key to edit that entry.

3. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the kernel line (for example: kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.7-1 ro root=/dev/hda2)

4. Press the 'e' key to edit the line.

5. Add the argument 'single' to the end of the line and press return.

6. Press the 'b' key to boot.

Partitioning ------------

- The Disk Druid user interface has been redesigned to incorporate an interface that takes better advantage of a graphical environment.

- Disk Druid can now create primary partitions by specifying a cylinder range.

- Disk Druid now supports the ability to specify that a new partition must be created as a primary partition.

- Text mode installations now have support for creating RAID devices.

- Specifying spare drives for RAID devices is now supported.

- Autopartitioning now allows you to specify which drives to use, and which to avoid touching at all.

- There is now an option to view and edit the results of autopartitioning (for graphical installations only -- under text mode you will always see the results).

- The ext3 journaling filesystem is now available.

- Pre-existing filesystems may be selected for reformatting during the installation.

- Pre-existing ext2 filesystems may be migrated to ext3 during installs and upgrades. This process does not affect the data on the filesystem.

- Many additional sanity checks are made against user-created mount points; this should avoid most common problems (such as a '/' mount point of only 5 MB).

- GNU Parted is now used as the partitioning backend, replacing the libfdisk library.

Parted determines the filesystem type by examining the actual filesystem written onto a partition, instead of relying on the filesystem type written in the partition table. This can lead to confusing situations when there are preexisting partitions.

For example, if you use fdisk to change the partition type of a VFAT partition to ext2, parted will still see this as a VFAT partition because there is still a VFAT filesystem on it. In this example, you must explicitly reformat the partition as ext2 via the Disk Druid interface before the partition will be treated as ext2. Anytime you use fdisk inside the installer, and then proceed to the Disk Druid screen to set mount points, you should also review and edit each partition (in Disk Druid) and appropriately set its format options.

Kickstart --------- - During the installation process, a kickstart file reflecting the user-selected installation options is written to /root/anaconda-ks.cfg. This file can be used to create a installation similar to the newly-installed system.

- Kickstart runs in graphical mode (when this mode is available. However, it can be switched back to text mode by using the 'text' directive in the kickstart file

- Kickstart Configurator (ksconfig) now supports creating partitions on a specific drive and an existing drive, configuring X, writing pre-installation and post-installation scripts, performing an upgrade, and the new kickstart features present in this release. It also allows users to preview their choices before saving the file, and has an integrated manual to assist in easy kickstart file creation.

- Kickstart has several new features/directives:

interactive -- reads in kickstart file, goes through install with UI filled in with kickstart values. It will wait for user input at each screen.

text -- forces kickstart to run in text mode. The default is now to run in graphical mode.

- The clearpart directive now accepts a --ondisk option:

--ondisk -- you can specify which drives to create partitions on now.

- A new command for bootloader, 'bootloader' which supports the following:

--append -- append on the kernel line

--useLilo -- use LILO instead of GRUB

--md5pass -- password for GRUB to use

- Added flags for xconfig directive to define:

--resolution 1024x768 -- set screen resolution (1024 by 768 in this example)

--depth 16 -- set display color depth (set to 16-bit color in this example)

Miscellaneous -------------

- The drivers.img driver disk image has been split into multiple disk images. For more information, please read the README file in the images/ directory on CD #1 (or in the install tree you are using for network installs).

- The individual package selection screen now supports a flat view of all packages.

- For FTP-based installations, it is now possible to loopback mount the Red Hat Linux ISO images on an FTP server. The ISO images should be loopback mounted as /disc1, /disc2, and so on -- in the same directory. This directory should be then be specified when an FTP-based installation is started.

- In order to maximize space in the install image, the BusyBox program now provides support for many commonly-used commands.

- Rescue mode now prompts before attempting to mount filesystems from the installed system.

- Partitionless installations are no longer supported; however, upgrades to previous partitionless installations are still supported.

- USB floppy devices are now supported during installation.

Distribution General Notes --------------------------

- There are known issues upgrading Red Hat Linux 6.x, 7.0, and 7.1 systems running Ximian GNOME.

The issue is caused by version overlap between the official Red Hat Linux RPMs and the Ximian RPMs. Please be aware that this is a configuration unsupported by Red Hat. You have several choices in resolving this issue:

- You may remove Ximian GNOME from your Red Hat Linux system prior to upgrading Red Hat Linux.

- You may upgrade Red Hat Linux, and then immediately reinstall Ximian GNOME.

- You may upgrade Red Hat Linux, and then immediately remove all remaining Ximian RPMs, and replace them with the corresponding Red Hat Linux RPMs.

You *must* resolve the version overlap using one of the above choices. Failure to do so will result in an unstable GNOME configuration.

- GNOME has been updated to 1.4 and includes the Nautilus graphical shell.

- The GNOME control center has been replaced by the 'preferences:' folder in Nautilus. Running 'gnomecc' manually should still work.

- The PowerTools CD is no longer being produced. However, the most widely-used packages which were in PowerTools have been included in Red Hat Linux. - Firewall Configuration -- For added security, you can configure a firewall as part of your system installation. You can choose from two levels of security, as well as choosing which common system services should be allowed or disallowed by default.

Please note that both 'medium' and 'high' firewall settings will cause RPC-based services (such as NIS or NFS) to be blocked, and thus fail.

- XFree86 updated to 4.1.0, and includes improved hardware support. 3D hardware acceleration for the ATI Radeon is now included. Most video drivers now support the RENDER extension, providing anti-aliased font support to a wider range of hardware. The old XIE and PEX (Phigs) X extensions are now officially deprecated by the XFree86 team, and will be removed from a future release of Red Hat Linux.

- XFree86 3.3.6 is now deprecated and will be removed from a future release of Red Hat Linux. It is currently included for compatibility.

- The initscripts now use /sbin/ip (from the iproute packages) for most operations. /sbin/ip requires the netlink and netlink routing features of the kernel to function properly; it is impossible to make use of the kernel's full routing functionality without these features. If you are building your own kernel, make sure that CONFIG_NETLINK and CONFIG_RTNETLINK are enabled.

- Initial unified support for Korean has been added.

- Binutils and gcc now support merging string constant duplicates across whole binaries or shared libraries (previously duplicates have been merged within a single compilation unit only).

- gcc-3.0 is included for those who need standards-compliant C++ or STL support, and for those who want to use the Java features of gcc. Note that the supported system compiler for C and C++ is still gcc-2.96 (Red Hat).

- The VNC package now supports a new encoding type for low-bandwidth connections.

- Red Hat Linux now includes the first release of the Gnome XSLT processor (xsltproc) using version 2 of the associated XML library.

- ODBC-support has been added to php, postgresql have been updated to 7.1.2, python interfaces have been added, and perl interfaces updated.

- Several new configuration tools are included. With these tools you can configure:

- network (redhat-config-network) - time/date (redhat-config-date) - system control (redhat-config-services) - users/groups (redhat-config-users) - The following packages/features are deprecated, and may be removed in a future Red Hat Linux release: - Netscape 4.x - Qt 1.x - KDE v1 compatibility libraries/build environment - Red Hat Linux 6.x build environment - Enlightenment window manager - linuxconf - ncpfs - mars_nwe - XFree86 3.3.x - kaffe

Kernel Notes ------------

- The kernel now includes the ext3 journalling filesystem. This filesystem has 3 modes of operation:

- 'ordered' - 'journal' - 'writeback'

The default is 'ordered', which will make sure that after a crash you should always see valid data in recently-written files.

The 'writeback' mode can be faster in some cases, but it does not force data to disk so rigorously; therefore, after a crash you may see corruption in recently-written files.

The 'journal' mode copies all data to the journal, and can result in great speed boosts if you are performing lots of synchronous data writes (for example, on mail spools or synchronous NFS servers). However, in normal use 'journal' mode is usually significantly slower.

The mode is set by using the 'data=' mount option in /etc/fstab or as 'mount -o data=' on the mount command line.

Normally, an ext2 filesystem is checked automatically once either a certain period of time or a given number of mounts have passed since the filesystem was last checked. At these times, a full 'fsck' (file system check) of the filesystem will be forced at system boot time in order to check the integrity of the filesystem.

When the installer creates an ext3 filesystem or upgrades an ext2 filesystem to ext3, it disables these automatic checks. Use 'tune2fs' with the '-c' and/or '-i' options to re-enable them, or to disable them on ext3 filesystems that you create manually.

Note that these cleanup fsck scans have nothing to do with the filesystem's behavior when an error is discovered on disk, or when a crash occurs. If a filesystem consistency error is found on disk, then on subsequent reboot a fsck will always be forced, both for ext2 and ext3 filesystems. If a crash occurs on an otherwise intact filesystem, ext2 will always force a fsck, and ext3 will always perform its filesystem recovery step; these cleanups are not affected by the 'tune2fs' forced-check interval settings.

Please keep in mind that even a journaling file system can be damaged by power loss. When a system loses power, that system's behavior is undefined. For example, memory contents can decay (become randomly corrupt) as the contents are copied to a hard drive running on the last bit of power. This is a fundamentally different situation from the more defined sequence of events caused by pressing the system's "reset" button while the system is running. In addition, IDE hard drives do not provide all of the write order guarantees that SCSI drives do.

Therefore, after a system crash, you will be offered a chance to choose to check the integrity of your filesystems. The file /.autofsck is the "crash flag" used to provide this functionality. You will be given five seconds to type "y" to check your filesystems during a boot after your system has crashed for any reason.

- Red Hat Linux will install a kernel optimized for Athlon processors on systems with an Athlon-class CPU. Due to the optimization, this will put a greater load on the system components. Therefore, a very small number of machines may fail to boot as a result of the hardware not strictly conforming with AMD's specifications and thus being unable to cope with the load. On such systems, you can either upgrade the hardware (under-powered power supply units can cause this) or use the rescue capability of the installer to install an i686 kernel.

- Some Athlon-class machines are out-of-spec or have overly aggressive chipset configurations set by their BIOS. On these systems, you may see random "Oops" messages at boot time (after successfully completing the install process) and will be unable to boot successfully. On these systems, boot with the "noathlon" option to turn off the athlon optimizations; install the 686 kernel instead of the athlon kernel to avoid this for the future.

Printing Notes --------------

- The printconf system now provides a printconf-tui program, for text-mode printer configuration.

- The printconf-tui program provides command line import and export capabilities. The import can merge printer definitions with those that are already present, or it can override them (the default).


printconf-tui --Xexport > settings.xml

printconf-tui --Ximport < settings.xml or: printconf-tui --Ximport --merge < settings.xml

Combined with redirection -- such as bash's 'here documents' (see the bash man page for more information) -- it is now easy to put printer setups into kickstart files.

- The printconf-tui program can clear settings completely.


printconf-tui --Xclear

- The printconf tools now provide limited printer auto-detection.

- redhat-config-printer-tui and redhat-config-printer-gui alias printconf-tui and printconf-gui, respectively. - Ghostscript has been updated to 6.51, and supports many additional drivers, as well as encrypted PDF files.

- Support has been added for Hewlett Packard's hpijs ghostscript print drivers. Though they are not shipped with the distribution, due to license restrictions, they can be downloaded from the project site at:, and should work as drop-in components.

i386 7.2

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