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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Stable, good yum-repository support
Java / gjc / gcc compatibility issues
At our site(s), we're running RHEL3-5 as a server platform. Being fairly comfortable with Redhat, I decided to replace Windows as my desktop OS with CentOS 5.1. (Originally Centos 4.3, then upgraded to 5.1 a few months ago) So far, version 5.1 has been an extremely stable OS, with plenty of quality yum repository support. I have struggled with the jvm compatibility, though. Getting Sun's JDK to play well with Redhat's default gjc/javac is more trouble than it should be, in my opinion.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Well supported, long release cycle, secure.
Heavily patched kernels to conform to upstream kernels.
CentOS 5 is, in my opinion, the best and most stable Linux distribution that I have tested and used. It has quickly become my OS of choice.
I still like to test drive other distributions from time to time, but I always come back to CentOS.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
Slow. Wireless support??
Trying to get CentOS up and running reminded me why I keep going back to PCLinuxOS. I sometimes forget how awesome the admin tools are in PCLinuxOS (and organized too) until I get a distro like this that sadly lacks them.
I'll also admit that I had a chip on my shoulder about this from the beginning. After trying to install 4.7 on a couple of machines and getting aggravated (X would not start. Numerous help documents, forums and many hours later and no luck.), I decided to try this version.
The install was fine. The system hung after entering a regular user and password. Had to reboot. This was not a recurring problem, however.
When I do manage to get in, I find I have no network. The network config tool is pretty useless unless you happen to have one of the listed ethernet cards.
Wireless is not supported out of the box, which brings me to my next headache.
I have a wireless network card with an Atheros chipset. This is a problem with this version of Linux. I have 5 other Linux Distros, so I booted one up and went looking for a solution. The first step was to "yum install madwifi". I actually tried it before I got the joke. Yum is pretty useless without a network. If you've got another OS running and a usb stick you should be okay. Tried downloading some of the madwifi packages then booting back into CentOS to install them. Good old dependency hell was next. I've done enough Linux installs to know when to quit...usually.
Not leaving well enough alone, I strung an ethernet cable across the house to my ethernet card. Hey, a network! Still couldn't get my wireless card configured, though. Some people will like the challenge of getting it to work. I'm not one of those people. Update: Evidently, I am one of those people since I'm trying again.
I updated all the packages and looked around. First thing I notice is that this is slow. I only have a 1.8GHz processor and 1G of RAM, but I have other distros that run just fine on it.
I don't see anything here that I can't find in another distro--without the wireless headaches. It's 2008 and I think it's time to add some semi-decent wireless support.
If you are bound and determined to use a RedHat distro but don't want to pay for it, then I guess this distro is for you. If not, there are plenty of other distros that are faster, easier, snazzier, etc. Some won't like this distro, while others will think it's the best thing since sliced bread. To each his own. I can only relate my experience. I give it a five rating because it seems solid, if unremarkable.
Update. We have RedHat at work, so I need something to learn from at home, so....I tried again. Install went fine. The distro doesn't support wireless out of the box, but I'd done this dance before. I did manage to find a wiki that contained info on wireless but haven't had a chance to try it. The wireless instructions are in a wiki for laptops. Evidently, only laptops have wireless network cards. Whodah thunk?
While this release really ticked me off because of the wireless shortcomings, I will say that if you have a wired network you should be fine. Under KDE, the networking tools seem to be placed into the menus in a way that the logic escapes me. Some tools are under "System", some are under "System Tools". kwifi was someplace else entirely. This is not unique to this distro, however.
The aesthetics won't wow you (it's pretty bland), but that's fine. You can always make it look like you want it to. I don't understand people who say that a distro looks boring. Don't like it? Fix it the way you want. This is Linux, not Windows.
I think most people would be comfortable with this, even though I only gave it a "5" (hey, I'm rating MY experience with it, not yours.)