Thursday, September 16, 2010

Red Hat Linux

Through my husband's job at the university, I was able to purchase "Red Hat Linux Enterprise Desktop (Academic Edition)". The word "Enterprise" occurs often in linux circles, so I thought I would have a try.

Although I am not a newbie when it comes to Linux, Red Hat had me stumped. Its registration procedures were complicated for me. My first problem occurred because I created a Red Hat account because the seller told me I needed one. However, it turned out that I had to create an account by clicking on a link in the email message they sent to me.

I installed Red Hat with little dificulty, although it did not detect my screen size and I have been working with somewhat squat letters. Initial reaction is that it is not as pretty as Ubuntu or Mandriva.

The usual procedure with installing linux (or any OS) is updating the packages. This was not automatic with Red Hat and here is where I got into trouble. Well, it was automatic except that I had to re-install Red Hat several times because Ubuntu 9.10's Grub 2 could not find it. Nor could easyBCD a cross platform application which I had been using with Windows 7. Something went wrong, I think, because of the re-installing. I did not like the default hostnames and usually change them, and for this reason, the Red Hat registered hostname had a different name than the one I was currently using. I figured out that I had to delete the profile on Red Hat but I could not figure out how. The Red Hat FAQ was missing a step, I think.  Today, after wandering around, I found the spot where I could delete the profile. Once this was done, I ran the command as root:  rhn_register and everything worked perfectly!


  1. Next, trying to get my monitor working. Downloaded the linux driver for my card from the NVIDIA website.
    Stopped the X Server (after much searching, Ctrl-Alt-F1 and then type "init 3" at command line, without the quotes. type init5 to get back to desktop). I had to install gcc.

    Screensize is correct now (to get to nvidia, I had to go through System->Preferences->more preferences).

    But the fonts do not look nice.

  2. I find that I am dealing with linux problems which I haven't seen since SUSE 9.2. Ubuntu and Mandriva currently handle my monitor, sound card and browser Flash plugins without much work from me. But this version of Red Hat is minimal and I find that I don't have the patience to track down sound problems when they should just work. I do not understand the goal of this version of Red Hat.

  3. This command gives informative stats for sound:
    cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat

    Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.14rc3 emulation code)
    Audio devices:
    1: ALi M5455 (DUPLEX)

    1: Realtek ALC850 rev 0

  4. Well, working on a new instal of Ubuntu today, I see that gstreamer is propriotory and that RedHat probably soes not have sound installed for this reason. I have not given up on it yet, but have turned to Ubuntu to learn the Virtial Work Station first. Then I will go back to RedHat.

  5. Sudo today: The command syntax is (using man visudo): visudo [-c] [-q] [-s] [-V] [-f sudoers]. The name of the file is not necesssary (is implied) when using -s and -q. The -f is attached to the sudoers, unlike the other flags. So, to edit as root, type: visudo -f sudoers. According to the man page, the -f flag is used only if the file sudoers is in another location (redhat 5, it is in /etc.) I added this to the Wiki.

  6. To install using YUM, adobe-flash: Download rpm from Adobe. # rpm -Uvh and then #sudo yum install flash-plugin. I do not understand why rpm did not install.This web page has a nice description of the differences.