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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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I just bought a copy of RedHat 9 online, and have just come to figure out that RedHat no longer releases RedHat 9. Do I have to switch to Fedora or can I stick with RedHat? Since you can download Fedora, did I just pay for RedHat for no reason? Am I an idiot?
"Do I have to switch to Fedora or can I stick with RedHat?"
No and yes... No, you don't need to change to Fedora. There are people still using RH 7.x. Yes, you can stick with RH. The people who are working on Fedora also have the Fedora Legacy project, which aims at keeping RH 7.3 and 9 up-to-date. Check it out at <<www.FedoraLegacy.org>>.
"Since you can download Fedora, did I just pay for RedHat for no reason?"
No and yes... Yes, you paid for RH without needing to, but not for the reason that you can download Fedora. You can also download RH. Before, RH offered support for a packaged version, but not for a downloaded version. Since they end-of-lifed it, they don't have support for either, now.
In my opinion stay with redhat 9 and learn a little bit. After which switch to a distro that fits you. I brought my first linux too, RH6.2 haha. It is good to support the free world. Who knows you might decide to switch to slack, gentoo, suse, debian, arch, LFS, etc. I suggest as you get use to one, try another until you find that one that is perfect for you.
You can use RH9. Just go here http://www.fedora.us/wiki/FedoraHOWTO for it or apt-get so you can get updates. As for paying for it, good job. Open source needs heroes like you. Which reminds, is Redhat Workstation any good?
I'm new to linux myself, so it took me a while to find a distribution I liked. I tried several others and settled solidly on RH9 - I think it is excellent and would gladly have paid for it. It seems to offer the best balance between ease of use and packaged software I've seen. It's also got a guy with a red hat on the boot loader. You can't go wrong with that.
It (RH9) was the last version where the commercial and free versions were the same. It's a pretty stable system and as mentioned, supported by fedoralegacy.
It would be a good idea to add YUM ( http://linux.duke.edu/projects/yum/ ) or apt4rpm as mentioned, as this enables you to do installs/updates from the net and the tool will automatically take care of dependencies for you.